The Earth You Fall Upon - Part 1
There are things in life that one is unable to predict one’s reaction to until completely immersed in the situation.
Divorce is one of these.
Divorce is a horrific experience for everyone involved, but it affects a man some very harsh ways.
I can only speak from my own experience, but it has had a cascade of devastating affects on me. Even four years later, I am licking my wounds.
She was fascinating. Intelligent, beautiful, and tolerant. I had never been in love like this. She became my world and every decision I made had her in mind.
We had a plan, too. I was going to work my ass off while she went to graduate school and after she got her Master’s the roles would switch. I would quit my job and take care of the two kids we had already named. Thomas and Hannah. We would travel the world with her education and I would play Mr. Mom.
I still smile just writing about the plan. It was perfect.
I adhered to the plan. I mean, it was The Plan. I worked grueling hours at a thankless job. I put up with horrific owners and a complete lack of appreciation. I did this all for us. Our life. The Plan.
I received a call at work on a Monday night. The Monday before Christmas. She never called me at work. Did her Grandfather pass? What was that sadness in her voice?
I rushed home prepared to sweep her up and give her the “it’ll all be okay” when I walked in the door.
What I saw was a different scene than I could have fortold.
There she sat at our dining table with a glass of untouched Chardonnay. A dining table with the sole purpose of catching keys, mail, and umbrellas. It was odd to see what it looked like when someone sat at it.
Beside her was a black suitcase with handle extended.
I sat at the chair across from her and reached out to touch her tear soaked hands. She pulled back and began.
The most excruciatingly slow 6 minutes of my life were occurring. She did not love me anymore. She did not want to have my children. She was leaving.
The Plan was off. The Plan left with her that night.
I can still remember the numb feeling I had in my face. I couldn’t feel my nose. Like a roar of a distant train, undeniable and inevitable. I just could not get off the tracks.
She was gone. Love was gone.
I’d been socked in the mouth and all I could do was enjoy the view of the room from my mis-used dining table.
I would make the occasional late night call to her. I begged her to come back. Her heart was gone.
I convinced her to go to counseling. We sat in a small room on a small couch facing a woman that knew neither of us. I heard about how I wasn’t there for her. How I didn’t care about her. How I had been neglecting her feelings. How she was going to research Lemurs in Madagascar for 14 months.
Yes. Lemurs. 14 months. This was the first I was hearing about it.
I walked out of that session explaining to the counselor that I didn’t have the problem and perhaps the attention needed to be taken from the ‘us’ and focus it more on the ‘her’. Theraputically, of course.
We still had a trip planned to Bangalor, India for a wedding in 3 weeks. Yes, Bangalor. India. How was I going to sit beside her in a vacuum sealed airplane for 16 hours? Are flight attendents trained for this type of situataion?
After a night with my good friend, Jameson, I determined that it would be a horrible idea to go to India. With a heavy dose of liquid courage I called to change my ticket.
“Where would you like to go, Mr. Womack?”
Shit. Makes sense. I should have somewhere to go.
How Ibiza entered my mind, I’m not sure I’ll ever know. Perhaps it was on TV or I’d read about it recently. I don’t think I had ever even said the word out loud, but that is where I chose to go. The island of Ibiza. As physically far away from this pain as I could afford to go.
Stay tuned for Part 2…