It’s finally done. Paperwork has been submitted, signed by a judge, and filed. I carried around a certified copy for two days, just to remind myself it’s over. I’m divorced. For the second time.
There was, of course, one last verbal skirmish with the Butt-Ferret before it was all said and done. I had to file additional paperwork, take some more time off work. But it was beyond worth it. Whatever needed to be done to see that judge’s signature on that page, I was happily volunteering.
During our marriage, especially towards the end, I had no control over my life. What I ate, wore, read, who I talked to, where I went and how I got there, it was all subject to his approval. Or simply handled for me, without my consent. By the end, I was merely showing up to be counted and had no idea what was going on. Most of the time, I was daydreaming about someone noticing my plight and whisking me away to freedom. (At night, I dreamed of watching movies with male friends, and woke up crying because someone being interested in what fucking musical I wanted to see seemed so far from what my reality was.) I had shut down, almost completely. I still put on a good show for friends and family, because if not I’d be accused of being an attention whore, or being insane.
One day, I was taking a shower. I had remembered to lock the door, so I actually got to be alone (My bathing habits were also under constant scrutiny.). I was replaying my favorite scenario where a strong, sweet man rides up on his gleaming steed, steals me right from under Butt-Ferret’s nose, and gallops away. About the third time through, a tiny voice, one I don’t hear often, said as clear as day, “No one is going to save you.” That was it. I lost my shit, and spent the next 10 minutes sobbing on the tub floor.
Then, I got up, dried off, and went about saving myself.
Recently, I ended another relationship. While doing so, I was told that I had now become controlling. It was understandable, given what I’d been through, but in protecting myself against situations like it, I had now become what I fought so hard to get away from.
I control what happens to me. I control what I will accept and what I won’t from a partner. I control what I do, where I go, how I spend my money, who I talk to, what I wear and how I look. I know what my needs are, and I make it clear what I won’t tolerate in my life, or the life of my child. THAT is being independent. That is taking care of my damn self. That is not controlling another person, telling them how to act, think, feel or be. It’s just uncomfortable and unfortunate for others that I know what my needs are and don’t have time to waste on not getting them met. It’s not a character flaw, it’s just part of life.
I no longer need, or even remotely want, to be saved. I got this.