Left Foot Before Right
On turning the pain into something.
One of the hardest parts of a break-up is how quickly someone goes from intimate to stranger. From close to closed off. From familiar to alien.
You go from knowing someone inside out, upside down, front and back to…not really speaking to them. Not hearing about the intricacies of their day. Not knowing if the things they once dreamed are still true. If the things they were once afraid of still keep them up at night.
My ex is in Paris.
Or at least I think he is.
He was leaving yesterday.
Or at least I think he was.
I wouldn’t know, really.
I don’t need to know, necessarily. Except for the part where we share a child, and the parenting of that child. Or so I thought. That’s a whole other newsletter.
When I found out he was heading to the City of Lights, by having to wrench the most basic of information from him, I laughed. Out loud.
It’s so on brand, for where we are now, and who he has become.
Apparently two weeks in Paris with a woman is better than two weeks at home seeing your child. On their holidays. When they’ll also celebrate their tenth birthday.
I was talking with my friend E yesterday, and I said, “I’ll hazard a guess that in ten years this woman won’t be in his life.”
I might be wrong. I’m open to being very wrong. But it feels unlikely. What I do know is that our son will still be our son in ten years.
E asked me how I felt about it all. About my ex leaving for the duration of the school holidays without even checking in to see if it would work, about him not being around for his son’s milestone birthday, instead gallivanting through the City of Love with someone else, while I work, and tend, and raise, and, and, and.
I am disappointed for my son, because he deserves more. Yet I am comforted by O having a jam-packed couple of weeks with playdates and sleepovers and an interstate trip we’re taking and fun activities and yes, I am overcompensating, but I want to make his tenth birthday memorable, for the right reasons.
I am not surprised by my ex’s actions. Before he even had the decency to have a conversation with me about us, and our twelve-year marriage, he had already started to move on, in every single way. He is a different person now to the man I stood on an altar with and promised forever to. The person I married would have never.
That person is gone now.
I am grieving someone who is still alive.