I’ve actually never had a root canal, but when I had my wisdom teeth out, having declined general anaesthetic in favor of some fairly ineffective local, I remember lying there repeating the mantra, “Time passes. This will be over.”

This is like that.

The week was eventful: two emergency trips to the courthouse to intercept the divorce papers on their way back to me and check a box or fix some minor clerical error, then re-submit in the hopes that it would, finally, go before the judge, get signed, and be final. Both of the trips were thanks to my lawyer friend, who checked online and saw there were issues. On the second one, I watched them dig the file out of a pile on the floor (after much searching), which did not inspire confidence.

I want it to be done. I need it to be done, not just for my peace of mind but so that I can move forward and make plans. I need to know that the judgment has been signed and the waiver (of the waiting period) has been granted and that I do not have to live in this limbo of worrying that K. will try to take the house or we’ll somehow have to renegotiate everything forever.

And so I find myself straining to push the rock of this divorce up a hill, which is ironic since I never wanted this rock in the first place.

It’s hard having my in-laws stay with me. They mean well, but, well, there is no neutrality to be found here; I feel grievously injured by K., and I continue to be infuriated by his irresponsibility with the children, and so we cannot meet on neutral ground, and his parents’ visiting, while helpful and probably necessary, also involves them making a pilgrimage down to the bar where he works so that they can admire him in action, while to me that bar represents The Lure of The Twentysomething Lifestyle and his involvement with his coworker (of the famous text message and housesitting; and no, I don’t know if he is (still) (or did) fuck(ing) her, but it doesn’t really matter; the text messages reveal enough betrayal of our relationship all by themselves, and whether his penis got there before or after the move-out date doesn’t make it any better). And the in-laws’ pilgrimage to the bar reminds me of that late November trip to same, where I ended up having to stay home and watch the kids and which somehow seems to signal the beginning of the end, and it also reminds me that, for example, my sister-in-law no longer has time for me now that she doesn’t hope to get closer to her brother through me.

And I am trying to find tickets for us to go to the Hawaii reunion at the same time as I wonder if that is not a completely insane thing to do. Because the truth is that I can’t stand it. I can’t stand being around people who don’t acknowledge K.’s perfidy, his disregard, his betrayal of our marriage and family, and his continued flakiness. Not to mention his total obliviousness to it, like “What? You mean I should feel bad that I forgot I was going to a concert and am canceling parenting this week? You mean I should try to find another time to visit my kids when they ask me to work on Sunday?”

It drives me crazy. He’s never been a great father. The quality of his parenting has not gone up since he left. The children’s security with him has declined (Thing Two continues to cling to me and resist going to him, Thing One to act conflicted before and after). He’s pretty passive most of the time, at best.

It’s so much less than one could hope for. And, as my friend Joaquin says, it’s hard to be neutral in this situation. Joaquin started out wanting to be neutral (apparently on the premise that I must be hard to live with). Then he went out with K. and was disgusted by his abdication of responsibility, his rebelliousness, and his lack of caring for anyone but himself. And, of course, hearing about the umpteenth time K. was late to see his kids doesn’t help either.

So it’s hard for me to countenance neutrality. Because even if you think what K. did to me, in terms of the way he ended our relationship, is just fine and dandy, the way he continues to disappoint/neglect the kids and his clear failure to understand his responsibilities is pretty egregious. And so when his whole nuclear family makes a pilgrimage to his bar, I don’t feel neutral about it. I feel like they’re condoning all the ways he’s a shit to his kids, and I wish they wouldn’t. And maybe that’s just my style and not theirs. But that is how I feel.

But in the meantime, I have a ton of work to do. And I have not much time to do it. And I’m feeling particularly frustrated and ugly and unlovable today. And I guess I’m just going to have to sit with that. Because I don’t have time to get some instant freedom or gratification by dumping my kids and moving somewhere else and having an affair with some random person and because I can’t really muster much interest in that kind of five-minute solution anyway.

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