Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In Which I File the Papers

The local branch?  The maple kind, yeah?
The local branch, could I go there?  Would they accept the filing there?  Did I have to go to the main courthouse, far away in the county seat?
Who could tell me?  Only automated answers, no help I could trust even if a person answered.  They're all civil servants, marking time until their union-enforced ten-minute break, who cares if they give this desperate woman with social anxiety and OCD the correct information about where to file the papers to legally separate herself from the man she has been married to for TWENTY-TWO YEARS.

This is really happening, I am doing this.  The decision has been made.  I am merely carrying out the plan -- going to the courthouse (fuck, the COURTHOUSE, OMG) but it's not open yet.  Okay, then, Starbucks, double tall soy vanilla latte, feigning nonchalance, waiting for it to be time to drive up the street.  Isn't it on the right?  The even numbers on the right, the odd on the left side of the street.  Isn't that how it goes? Maybe not in this town.  Rules are never followed when I need them to be.  I drive to where I think it is, but maybe not and there is traffic behind me, I shouldn't slow down to check.  Nope, that was it, there I go right past it.  Now a U-turn, but now there's a median and nowhere to cross so another U-turn.  The symbolism is not lost on me.  It never is.  My life is one fucking symbol after the next.  That's the way my mind works.  Metaphors in everything.  Fuck there it is, a low-slung building, ranch-style, mission-esque, my Kalifornia Kitschy Kounty Kourthouse.    Papers in my briefcase in the trunk, *are* the papers in my briefcase, *is* my briefcase in the trunk?  I have to check, I always have to check, I could check and see that they were there, and then check again and they'd be gone.  I try to make it easy on myself by announcing the beginning of a new system:  I'm going to keep these important papers HERE.  THIS will be the new place for them.  And promptly forget so that there is new terror when I go to look for them everywhere but in the NEW PLACE.

Lately, this has been getting worse, I think as a function of having no real system any more.  I haven't put a new system into place, so these little "okay THIS is the calendar I am going to use from now on" and write down five dates in it, then lose it, or abandon it for some new system that will be equally ineffective.   ZOMFG and then I got my first smartphone.   Assistant kept nagging me, then begging me, then shaming me.  "Klonnie, they're a dollar now, you deserve it, what the hell are you waiting for, get the contract while he still has to pay for it."  Assistant is so wise.  Young enough to be my daughter, yet so far beyond me in so many ways.

So I got the smart-phone on a recent impulsive, defiant whim.  And now add guilt to the mix (kidding, it's the main ingredient), I'm supposed to be using the phone to run my life and whatnot but I don't know how and I keep meaning to sit down with it and really learn it but there isn't that "okay this is the official smartphone-learning time."   So I catch as catch can (note to self, GTS the origin of that phrase sometime) and fly by the seat of my pants (ditto) and just teach myself to do the basic things like jot notes, ask Siri for directions, send texts (now I can see the conversations, or in my case, my unanswered messages to Mr. K., four in a row or even five sometimes, screenshots are awesome little pieces of evidence aren't they?), and run my FB page (not very well, the app is weak and I'm dumb about what it can do).   Let's see, what else?  Oh!  Rdio is cool but I thought it was a free trial but now that's over but everyone else can still make it play songs and all I get are playlists.  Whatever.   I manage all this better on my Chromebook, anyway.  The Chromebook rocks, thanks, Google, for that, for everything really, except it sucked not having bank when you IPO'd, once again a missed opportunity, once again a disappointing metaphor.   On the other hand, talk-to-text has been life-changing.  Welcome to the conversation, as my asshole friend likes to say.  (This is a test to see if he reads my blog.)

Where was I?   Right.  The courthouse.  Right.  I got the big shakedown at the door, two sheriff's deputies lanky and laconic.  ("Morning, Sheriff," I always think when I see them, tipping my imaginary hat and straightening my imaginary holster like in Bonanza or some shit).  There is one of those metal detectors like at the library although the one at the library is only there to make sure you're not walking off with some book you didn't check out.  Library larceny, although let's face it, that's almost always an oversight, just forgetting to check out the book, you're not really there to STEAL FROM THE LIBRARY and isn't the whole concept of a library kind of larcenous anyway, considering you are getting to read a lot of material whose author has only been compensated once despite the fact that hundreds of people are going to enjoy it for free?  Don't get me wrong, libraries are in my top five favorite things today.  Wouldn't it be cool to make a list like that every day or a certain day of the week on the Facebook page, only call it Today's Five-orite Things?  Hang on, let me ask Siri to remind me about that later.  Siri-mind me.

Where was I?  Right.  So I got through the metal detector (sorrow detector?  bullshit detector?  idk but I got through), and the next thing was to determine what line to stand in for which window.  It wasn't a huge decision, but I was having trouble seeing because Maintenance must have been hitting the place pretty hard with some anti-seasonal allergen tear gas made of onion juice, although looking around, it didn't seem to be affecting anyone but me.  So I figured it out and got in line and there was only one other person at the window so I waited pretty far back because I figured if there was ever a time to respect someone's privacy, this would be it, and not some pharmacy consult (because let's face it, I've listened in on a couple of those and I could have done a better job with no notes).

Suddenly, it's my turn and I make my way to the window, which is low enough that even I gratefully accept the chair that awaits my bottom.  I sit with all my papers, looking at them and praying that everything's in order (even though I don't pray ordinarly, apart from the "dear lord I'll never ask you for another thing if you <insert some dreadfully important and yet somehow inconsequential thing>).  So far so good, as the very kind woman (thanks be to the Goddess of Insecurity and Social Anxiety) is stapling and stamping to beat the band and I overhear at the next window, a man talking in a very agitated manner, with a heavy accent.  He's supposed to be paying child support from what I can gather, but he was sent to the wrong office (I KNEW it) and now they can't help him and he has to catch a bus and take a 45 minute ride and he's already had to miss work and they might give his spot to someone else if he doesn't show up in 20 minutes.  So right then and there, I knew my problems were pretty insignificant, relatively, so I started having some embarrassed guilt, which helped strengthen my resistance to that onion juice tear gas that had been plaguing me earlier. When the woman asked me for my $400 check for the filing fee, the flash of adrenaline I felt before I remembered I had it in my wallet made me feel very much like the woman in the that meme about first world problems.

JK I only have one Lexus.  JK I don't have any Lexus.

So.  Ticked and tied.  Licked and stamped.  Done and done.  I walked out through the metal detector again (had I somehow PROCURED a weapon in my brief stay in the clerk's office?), through the doors, out into the parking lot.  I looked down at my hands.  Trembling.  But other than that, I didn't feel much different.  Married, divorced, separated, it's complicated.  It's just a Facebook status in the end.  So much more to a person than whether they were ultimately brave enough to stand up and say "enough" to propping up an alcoholic, "enough" to emotional abuse, "enough" to feeling panicked and inadequate and scornful and alone.  There had been many tears, and doubtless there would be many more.  But today, I stepped out into the mid-morning sun, thankful that the traffic would have abated by now, and that my drive to work would be smooth sailing.




29 comments:

  1. I am currently in the beginning stages of separation...divorce...whatever. Emotional abuse...anger issues...indiscretions. I also suffer from Major Depressive and cluster b personality traits..anxiety..ya..fun times. Thank you for this post...it gives me strength that all will be well...

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  2. Great blog! I have never been divorced but my parents are and my father's alcoholism played a big role. My mom is bipolar too, so it was very insightful !

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  3. You did it, and made it through! : )
    Chrissy Jackson

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  4. I'm not quite sure how I found your Facebook page, but I have liked it since I found it. I also enjoy your blog - probably because I can relate to you on so many levels. Thank you for having the courage to write about the things you do. You are helping more people than you can possibly imagine. It is also, hopefully, taking the stigma away from the dreaded "mental illness" that people who have not experienced are so quick to judge and dismiss. Again, thank you and blessings to you.

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  5. I understand you. I understand you to the point of wanting to cry myself. Because we (or at least I) walk in shoes that no one understands. At times I want to scream at the people in my life: "Do you NOT see my struggle?!" Other times, I just think fuck it. They don't know my shoes; they don't want to know my shoes. It's as if I might "infect" them with my "disease". MY God damn "Mental Illness", as my oldest sister so kindly (ha!) put in once. God, she can be such a bitch. Anyway, I commend your bravery. I envy your bravery. Because I can make this 'checklist' in my mind; I can go over it a hundred fucking times some days, "things I want to do" (that are really 'things I NEED to do') I know this. But I've yet to master "bravery". I am aware that I am rambling. It's what I do. Somehow I believe you'll understand. I don't know you. But reading this? Finding this page, or blog, or whatever the hell it is.... It's like finding 'home' to me. Thank you for that.

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  6. You go, girl. It's always difficult the first time, and on your own. But it sounds like you passed with flying colors. Be strong, and don't let the bureaucrats give you any problems they won't help you fix. Once filed, now the wait. Don't stress about it, and just let the system happen. It only seems like it takes forever, but soon, you'll be 'Miss' Klonopin. Your readers support you.

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  7. I remember what it felt like - different, but oddly relieving. 12 years later, I occasionally feel guilty or sad but ultimately know it was the "best thing" for me. and maybe for him. I hope

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  8. So, I just "commented" (in length) on what you wrote; but since I'm 'new' to this, the whole. fucking. thing. got. deleted! How ironic. Kinda defines my life right now. "deleted". Anyway, I said that I commend you for your bravery.
    I, have not gotten to that point as of yet.
    I was talking (or, rambling I imagine) about our shoes. Or, more specifically, MY "shoes". How no one has 'walked' in them. No one understands them. How sometimes, I just want to scream at the people in my life "Can't you SEE my struggle?!" And, other times, I just think "fuck it." They don't WANT to understand my "shoes"; because it's as if they do, I might somehow "infect" them with my "disease". My "Mental Illness", as my oldest sister so kindly (sarcasim) put it once. God she can be such a bitch. I am a person. I can function. I'm a fucking Nurse for God sake! Yet somehow, I still wear this "stigma" like a neon shirt that I can't take off.
    I understand you. I understand you to the point of wanting to cry.
    But then, that's where I'm "at" right now. Doing a lot of 'crying' today.
    Today, I am sick of this bullshit. I am sick of my "lists" that sit in my mind because I'm far too afraid to actually put them in writing. Because putting them in 'writing' makes them real. And I'm not just ready for that yet...

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  9. "I looked down at my hands. Trembling. But other than that, I didn't feel much different. Married, divorced, separated, it's complicated. It's just a Facebook status in the end. So much more to a person than whether they were ultimately brave enough to stand up and say "enough" to propping up an alcoholic, "enough" to emotional abuse, "enough" to feeling panicked and inadequate and scornful and alone. There had been many tears, and doubtless there would be many more."

    Substitute alcoholic with drug addict and voila - the end of my marriage. I totally 100% relate to this entry. As such, my heart just breaks for you. He may try to convince you that YOU are the asshole for leaving, accuse you of giving up or abandoning your family, and he may even have you believing it for a while at first, but you ARE making the right decision.

    Sending you lots of love, hugs, and cocktails.

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  10. My mind follows everything you say, and understands it all!

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  11. Oh, Klonnie, I love you, but this was eerily like reading my own mind. Apparently, I AM undiagnosed and unmedicated. Thank goodness for humor, huh? But you did it! Bravely facing the unfaceable, and emerging, well, done, if not triumphant.

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  12. It's anxiety-inducing, but the "omg I did it" elation afterwards is a little bit liberating, no? Deep breaths, and you've got this. You're a smart lady, a strong lady, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

    I did, and I'm still trying to get my head on straight. But you've got this.

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  13. Well done, Klonnie. You. Are. My. Hero. All the Best from one of your most devoted Nutjobs.

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  14. I absolutely love reading your stuff, Klonnie. So profound, poignant, and yet funny and SO relevant. I wish you the best in your new journey. I've done it, it's not easy, but in the end you'll be much the better for it. Blessings!

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  15. I can't imagine how difficult it was to get this down on paper, it's difficult enough just doing the filing thing. I'm glad you did write it out though, it's so important to flush out the garbage! Good on you! Signed: fellow nut job. :-)

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  16. You have me laughing and crying uncontrollably at the same time. You own this sunshine...claim it.

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  17. You did good. Nerves and all, you still got through it with style. Onion style, but style none the less.

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  18. Big, big hugs, Sweetie; I walked (stumbled, crawled) this path myself 3 yrs ago. Keep breathing; you are not traveling alone. xo

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  19. Good for you Klonnie, proud of you!

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  20. *hugs* I have rarely felt such great relief as I did the day my divorce went through No more violence or "you're not good enough"s. Just...done.

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  21. Wow....I wouldn't want to get lost in your. It sounds like a dangerous neighborhood. Bravo on your courage to write it all down!

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  22. Like. A. Fucking. Boss. Sometimes bosses cry too. Good job, love.

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  23. HOLY EFF - you're a god-damned wordsmithing genius AND also a strong-ass woman. Huge, huge step. It felt like I was going right up to that courthouse with you (and I was ALSO oh so worried I had procured a weapon while inside and would be caught red handed on the way out). Bravo.

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  24. It's usually the sorrow detector for one party and the bullshit detector for the other.

    Man. Don't I know.

    You're brave and doing good...hang in there.

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  25. Add an alcoholic mother, and for Mr. substitute alcoholic with drug-addict, like Janet's and there you have my story, years ago! With a history of panic attacks since I was 11, first diagnosed with MDD at 16, and alone in a country I didn't grow up in, I know exactly how you felt when you where driving down that road. Scared as shit! After Done, walking out, the triumph feeling, Hey. Done. ME! Pride In Your Step. I know how huge this step is and you rocked it! You Own This One!!! And whenever in doubt, come to your Nutjobs for support! I am a semi-newbie (long enough to catch on to the acronyms;-) ) and I feel so at home!! Thank you for being so honest, open and funny! Oh, and did I mention I discovered The Klonopin Miracle 4 years ago when my GAD was diagnosed. Found the Ritalin Miracle about 7 months ago, when ADD and Borderline were made official at the age of 46. Makes for a very interesting mix! But anyway, (ADD moment) I'm so happy to know I'm not the only one! Thank you! You will Rock through the rest of this one! Cause You Do! Done.

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  26. Did the friend pass the test? Does he read your blog? I do :) And I'll be reading your book when its published! Tru dat...to everything you wrote.

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