It seems as though my best laid plans have been thwarted. I've done nothing for the past year or more but to make sure everything worked out exactly as planned. Once Hubby and I decided in April of last year that we'd get divorced, we started figuring out how we'd like it to go down. Of course it took us a while to actually get around to the part where we'd visit with a mediator, but once that happened I had it all charted out.
1. Talk to my kids (they're the first, no matter what!!)
2. Talk to my sister (she's my closest family member and my best girlfriend)
3. My mother-in-law (I felt I owed it to her because it's her baby boy that I'm doing this to)
4. My mother and step dad (I gotta tell my mommy!)
5. My father (I gotta tell my daddy!)
6. My brothers (probably another letter)
7. Enter Grapevine
The first move of my well designed path was when my daughter figured things out. I knew this would happen because she's a smart girl. I had a feeling she would confront me, which she did, and then we could talk about everything. After our discussion, I had certain time frames floating around my head and even though it didn't make much sense, it brought me much comfort. Such as, I will tell my boys as soon as the papers have been filed with the court and not a minute before. Not when we first met with our mediator. Not once we had attended the divorce/parenting classes. Only when everything was signed and delivered, beginning our up-to-90 day waiting period before it was finalized. I wanted them dreading the D day for as little time as possible. Once I had told my boys, I was moving on to my sister and on and on...
Our papers were officially filed last week. We sat our boys down on Sunday evening and told them about the upcoming divorce. We haven't yet told them about Kim because I don't want them to think she's the reason for the divorce. I knew it was time to talk to my sister and to get things moving on. Yesterday, just three days after telling my boys, I sent my sister a text and told her I'd love to have a sit-down-and-chat with her sometime soon. As was expected, she said, "those don't really go so well for me." We joked around a bit about avoidance, because it's her "bestie" (in her words) and then I offered to either write her a letter or drop it completely, whichever she was most comfortable with. This is when things took a turn that I hadn't expected.
(Disclaimer: I want to document my entire process, so I'm including our conversation, but I worry that it will be insensitive to my sister. I think I'll try to paraphrase her part)
My sister said she needed to figure out if she's even up for a conversation and that I should decide too.
Me: I already know that I'm up for it or I wouldn't have brought it up. I don't want to cause undue stress. It was just a heads-up. If you'd rather hear through the grapevine that's something you'll have to decide.
She said that although I'm up for talking, I might not be up for hearing. She said my grapevine is pretty active, which sent me into somewhat of a downward spiral. I could feel my plans falling apart at a rapid pace.
Me: Okay then. Well, I'm not sure what grapevine you're referring to but nobody has heard of any of it firsthand from me. I am guessing it's all speculation. May be accurate, however. Is there anything you'd like to say? Are you okay with me? It sounds like maybe not.
Sis: You and Kim blog about everything. It's not a mystery to most people who know you .... I'm good though. No worries.
Me: Would you be willing to tell me who is in my grapevine? Or how someone discovered my blog? Or at least if mom and [mother-in-law] know? Anything?
She mentioned that I've talked to a lot of people and have a lot of information on the internet so I shouldn't really be surprised that someone I know has seen it. She doesn't know if my mom or MIL know and she said she hasn't told anyone about it. She said something about everyone being more smart than we're giving them credit for.
Me: I have never assumed ANYONE was stupid. I have tried to do all of this with the best timing I could. I wanted my children to know first and then I was coming to you, MIL, mom and dad (in that order) and then the rest. My boys just found out on Sunday. But if you read my blog you already knew that. It should be obvious that I was going to start talking to the people closest to me because I contacted you today, withOUT knowledge that "pretty much everyone I know" knows everything. If someone went searching for clues and knowledge then I can't be blamed for them knowing things, can I? It's apparent that you feel resentment toward me for this. I tried to do this the best way I knew how, but my plans have obviously failed. Not sure what else to say.
She said she isn't a regular reader of my blog but that she has read it before. Apparently not everyone knows and she said she's speaking for herself only. She's not mad, although she's not sure exactly what she's feeling. That makes sense as I'm sure this is a difficult thing to hear.
Me: "It's not a mystery to most who know you" made me think most people know. I'm glad you're not mad. I would some day like a chance to actually speak to you about it all, to clear up the questions you might have. I can wait for as long as you want. I'm sure things could be said to help you understand. Most is on my blog but a lot is in my heart.
That was the last of our texts last night and I haven't heard from her this morning.
I should explain why I wanted to first talk with my sister, after having talked with our kids. Back in February of 2011, when I had to come out to her because of a silly mistake, we had a really good conversation. She seemed to accept the gay part of me, but not the part of me that decided to stop going to church. This has been typical of most people in my life, and that's understandable. At one point that evening she almost encouraged me to divorce Hubby. She talked about how unfair all of this was to him and that it would be selfish to hang onto him. Everyone in my life knows what an amazing man he is, and I'm not surprised and I'm definitely grateful that they would rally around him and want the best for him. I do too! At that point I was terrified at the thought of letting him go, but I listened and tried to take it all in.
I've gone back to that night a lot during the past year. I have tried to be less selfish and try to figure out what Hubby needs. Once I was able to truly put him first, I was able to agree to the divorce and start making plans. I knew that all of the rest would just have to fall into place somehow, which again is absolutely terrifying, but I finally knew it had to be done. My sister has been the closest family member to me for years now. It wasn't always that way growing up, but once we both married and started families we grew much closer. Although I knew she didn't agree with some aspects of my life, I thought I could talk to her about the divorce and she'd understand. Not that she would be thrilled, but at least she'd agree that it was the best for Hubby.
Since there hasn't been great dialogue, I have to assume what she's thinking. I'm guessing she wouldn't necessarily be too surprised or upset by the divorce. I think the problem is that I have a girlfriend. That makes sense. This isn't ideal, I know. Although Hubby has known all along, and even gave his seal of approval, and he and I separated maritally and emotionally a couple of years ago, it is technically still adultery - we're still married on paper. That isn't something I'm proud of for sure, but it is what it is. I try to have no regrets in life. I will never wish something had happened differently because I'm where I am today because of each little step. The only regret I do have is hurting the people I love. My actions have hurt others many times and I feel terrible. People will know about my relationship with Kim prior to my divorce and that's something I have to live with. I can only pray that one day I will be forgiven and that I can mend the relationships that may suffer because of it.
For now, I'm not sure what the rest of my plans are going to look like. I called my mom last night and she has no idea about what my sister has talked about. I told her I needed to come and visit very soon because I don't want to have the conversation over the phone. Tonight Hubby and I will visit with his mom and tell her everything. Once we talk to my mom, I will call my dad. It's all happening rapidly at this point, which is unsettling yet also a relief. One day soon it will be finished and we can live our lives without having to plan out every little thing. I look forward to having it all taken care of.