Oh dear. Things are not good. The details really don't matter, but I reached the point this evening where I finally said that Dave and I shouldn't communicate any more at all. If he has something to say, he should say it to my lawyer and she'll convey the message. This guy with whom I have two children and many memories.... we may never talk again. Just when I thought my heart couldn't be any more broken.
When most of this tragic e-mail exchange happened, I was actually at work. He couldn't have known that, so there's no blame here for what ensued. I was almost as distraught at this latest development as I was when I left Swarthmore. I was casting about in desperation for the next right thing to do. Catch up on documentation? Go hang out with the clients? Make sure there are no children unattended and unsupervised? There must be something right that I can do. When things are this bad, I've learned that I have to think very small and very short-term. This is not the time for grand plans. Rather, I have to think of some small thing that I can do right now that has the virtue of not being wrong.
I realized that what I wanted to do -what I MUST do- was write. How weird is that? Some people might need chocolate. Some people might call someone (Actually, I did that, but work isn't a great place to carry on a private conversation of this importance.) Some people (those not at work, one assumes) might need a drink. I was beside myself because I didn't have my journal. If I grab a piece of paper and start writing, will I remember to put it in my journal? If it's not in my journal, does it "count"? What if I get distracted and accidentally leave it lying around where someone can find it?
But there was no peace until I grabbed some computer paper and a pen and started writing. I had to figure stuff out. I had to process information. I had to try to forgive. And I had to put it all somewhere -somewhere not the front of my brain, so that I could continue to function as a, you know, person in charge, but also somewhere where I could revisit it.
I had a professor in college who, when the conversation got heated or entangled, would primly say "writing makes for clear thinking." He would then make us get out paper and pen and write down our arguments. We would roll our eyes and think of him as essentially a prig. But, I still think of that man today. My need to write was visceral.
I don't know what this means. I was howling in pain -quietly. I was struggling to understand. I was trying to reject bitterness and anger. I was, at the same time, trying to claim a spot on the planet that says that I am NOT unworthy, unattractive, uninteresting or just plain awful. (I'm smart enough... I'm good enough... and dog gone it, people like me.) I make no claims of being good at writing. I just need to do it.
Writing makes for clear thinking.