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Chasing The American Dream

July 16, 2006

BATTLE LINES



I told you way back when that the whole divorce process from cradle to grave sucks, no two ways about it. The worst part about it is that it can wound and even sever relationships. I’ve often thought about how many relationships I no longer have with people I once called family or friend. Why? Because divorce forces you to draw battle lines. It’s one side against the other and there are no holds barred. Yeah, it could be viewed as a boxing match because the fate of the outcome is in a judge’s hands. And that single judgment can and does change lives and relationships.

Despite what I would call a favorable ruling, the process left me scarred. It was bitter and ugly and negative and really no positives can be said here. Perhaps the number one question you guys ask me is, “How come you’re not in Phoenix closer to your son?” Well, I can’t capture the emotion here on paper, but the fact is, I haven’t been mentally ready to go back there. I definitely needed time and space to recover and figure out my life. For me, twelve months of divorce battle took its toll on me. In the beginning, I never really expected a battle, but it just turned out that way. OK, I’m trying to get to a point here, but you know me, it takes me a while.

Being here in Phoenix with Andy opens my mind up. I begin to see that it’s possible that I might come back here. Truth is, I’d really love to. But as explained, it’s been a hard recovery process. But what happened last night really made me realize just how badly these battle lines were drawn. For his birthday party, Andy chose to go see a baseball game with his best friends. Actually, the game idea came from the ex’s best friend who just so happened to testify in divorce court against me. And Andy’s best friends are her kids. Awkward situation because of the relationships formed by the battle lines. And it’s that awkward feeling I get when I’m here like I’m not wanted. I still feel out of place here as a result.

But last night, I took Andy and her kids to the ballgame, and we couldn’t have had a nicer time and the kids couldn’t have been any more well-behaved. It was fun having fatherly responsibilities again. That feeling of heightened awareness that you have when you have three kids you’re looking after in a crowd of 40,000 people. But what made me feel really good was knowing that they all had such a great time.

I dropped the kids off and she actually invited me into her house and we chatted a bit like friends, if there can be such a word after all that has transpired. The thing is, in any other given situation, I’m sure we could easily have been friends, but this is what divorce ultimately does to relationships. But I am happy for the progress that was made last night. I know it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter what the other side feels, but I know me. I need that comfortable state-of-being. I need more turning and healing of relationships so that I feel that comfort. I know I’m not quite ready yet, but it’s this positive turn of relationships like last night that gives me hope to someday return here.

13 Comments:

  • I'm happy to hear that last night made a positive impact on you. That was just one night...imagine how many more there could be. While divorce is never easy for anyone, I actually think we came out of it fairly well. Sure, things were said in the heat of the "battle" on both sides but, I burried the hatchet long ago and maybe you're beginning to see that. I would be happy to have you back in Phoenix for Andy's sake as well as my own (I could use a little help with him here now and then) Heck, I'll give you a key to the city! If you see battle lines, you are the only one who sees them. I hope you are very seriously considering moving back. Andy needs you in his life much more than I think even you know. For all the "Plantation" followers out there, in case there is any doubt...yes, I am Andy's mom :)

    By Anonymous Andy's Mom, at 4:09 AM, July 17, 2006  

  • Good for you, Andy's Mom!

    By Anonymous Barbara E., at 9:48 AM, July 17, 2006  

  • what more encouragement do you need than that stated by Andy's mom!?! Yes, there are wounds from the battle, but it's how you deal with it that's more important than how others deal with you. My ex and I have best friends that happen to be married to each other. It took work on OUR parts, but we're all still good friends.

    I know your heart lies near Andy. Think it over. Glad to hear you're more open to it now!

    By Blogger Amy, at 1:19 PM, July 17, 2006  

  • That's great that you both were finally able to get to this point. I'm happy for you Todd and hope for the best for you.

    By Blogger Sass, at 4:06 PM, July 17, 2006  

  • That's great to hear. I bet Andy would love to have his Dad in the same city. I cannot imagine how difficult it all must be, but it sounds like everyone is willing to work at it.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 6:47 PM, July 17, 2006  

  • Heading to Scottsdale in September...any restaurant recommendations. Will be there for 5 days then on to Sedona for 3.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 PM, July 17, 2006  

  • Being the one who nicknamed you PLANTATION to begin with, I declare that even if you do move, you will never be PHOENIX.

    By Blogger StephanieKlein, at 12:03 PM, July 18, 2006  

  • Technically, you shouldn't even be Plantation anymore, right? You should be something like CocoGrove, ha, ha!
    But I think Plant or Plantation is just going to stick. Agree with SK that Phoenix is OUT of the question :)

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 4:24 PM, July 18, 2006  

  • Still some things to work thru but I'm hopeful. Thanks all for your comments.

    Agreed Stephanie. Just as you will never be Austin.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 11:38 PM, July 18, 2006  

  • It's so great to hear that you and Andy's mom are beginning to find your way together. It takes time, a lot of time, but I'm sure it will only get better from here.

    And it would be great to have you in Phoenix! Don't worry, even if you move here, I'm with Steph...you'll always be Plantation!

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 2:13 AM, July 19, 2006  

  • Anon, there are a ton of places to eat in Scottsdale depending on what you like to eat and how much you want to spend. If you want to send me an email letting me know, I can give you a list.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:41 PM, July 19, 2006  

  • I recently nixed a move to Florida (yes, Plantman, that's right...) for fear of seperating the kids from ex-Mr.-Me.

    Battle lines or no, some things are too precious to be away from for too long. Family is porcelain. Sounds like a wonderful chance.

    By Blogger Emily, at 1:26 PM, July 22, 2006  

  • Em, obviously you made the right decision and hopefully you are happy. For me, I need to be happy. Bitterness interferes with happiness which is why I couldn't go back. There are signs that bitterness (on the other end) has left, but I'm not sure yet because important discussions have yet to take place. Hopefully soon.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 2:29 PM, July 22, 2006  

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