It’s amazing how quickly you can get divorced when there’s nothing to fight over. You call your attorney in the morning and make an appointment. The next day, you go to his office and file for divorce. Two months later, it’s all over. You give him half your house, with the promise that once your younger son graduates high school, you will sell it and split the profits with him. He has poured his heart and a lot of money into fixing up this house, and although it’s your house, it’s his, too. You help him find an apartment, get the gas and electric turned on and teach him how to pay his bills. You didn’t divorce him because you hate him. You just couldn’t live with the constant eruptions and you don’t want to be responsible for killing him.
Now that you are single and living on one income again, you step up your freelance work. You work all day and when you come home, you work until 2am, sleep for a few hours and start all over again. You have never needed a lot of sleep. Your kids are pretty self-sufficient and don’t really need much attention, so the long hours are not an issue. Your older son’s mental health issues worsen; he spirals out of control more often, and because you have no idea how to deal with him, you end up in the spiral with him. Occasionally when he flips out, he is violent. Twice your younger son calls the police because he is afraid for your safety.
His last year of high school is especially difficult. Your younger son has his license and a job, so he is gone much of the time after school. The two boys don’t get along, never really have, probably never will. You constantly try to “fix” this. In his last year of high school, your older son experiences a psychotic break, induced by the addition of yet another drug to his “cocktail.” A minor altercation occurs when a kid in gym class throws a dodgeball at his head and breaks his glasses. The school suspends him for 10 days, but in view of the circumstances, the superintendent also grants a medical leave while he withdraws from all the drugs. This allows him to make up all the work he will miss due to the suspension. You take off for two weeks to stay with him during the withdrawal period, two weeks is absolute hell for all of you. Somehow, you manage to get through it and he graduates.
Meanwhile, your big-headed boss (BHB) is on his way to a melt-down. His marriage is crumbling and he misses a lot of work. When he is there, he gets nothing done and he is in trouble with his bosses. In a departmental meeting in front of your entire department, he pins all the blame for his current woes on you. He is angry that you have not delivered on a completely unreasonable demand to create a huge website he assigned you six months ago. Never mind that you have no knowledge of web design, no training and no time to learn on your own. Completely disgusted and very angry, you decide it’s time to leave and find another job, maybe move out west. You go home and work on updating your résumé.
In your email at home is a message from an old friend with whom you have stayed in touch sporadically, primarily through funny emails. His sense of humor tickles your funny bone. He hasn’t written in three or four months, so you are dumbfounded when you open it to find a list of jobs in the area you would like to live. You have never mentioned being unhappy with your job, or that you are thinking of moving, and yet….
You decide this is one of those “woo-woo” moments; something is definitely afoot in the universe.
(to be continued)