My best lady friend texted me yesterday to say “I just realized that tomorrow is your one year anniversary of freedom.” That’s why I love her, because of course she would never forget an anniversary.
It has been a year since this horrible shit show began (or at least since I figured it out), but the truth is, I don’t have freedom yet. I’m still not divorced. My ex still sends me horrible, aggressive, controlling texts and emails at least daily. He drops off my kids’ dirty laundry on my front porch twice a week. He lingers in my front yard, petting my dog unnecessarily. I’ve got to face him in court again two weeks from now, and I can tell that he’s gearing up for it. His emails are getting more rife with accusations. He’s not through with me yet.
But it is sort of amazing how much life can change in a single year. A year ago, before my husband left me, I was desperately trying to get my baby to sleep through the night. Hell, I would have been content with even a single wakeup. But the baby was waking two, three, even four times per night. He didn’t get back to sleep easily. He wanted to nurse all night long, and I was a 41-year old mom with a full-time job. Literally the only thing I wanted in life was for the baby to sleep. Sleep and sleep and sleep.
So happy anniversary to me. I might not have my freedom yet, but it’s something worth celebrating that it has been a year of not having to have sex with the dude who left his wife before their baby was sleeping through the night. I’m not the lady married to that asshole anymore! So that’s something.
I was thinking about anniversaries though, since this is a pretty big one. And my wedding anniversaries kind of feel like the perfect encapsulation of what being married to my ex was really like.
I got knocked up pretty much immediately after my wedding, and as such, on my first wedding anniversary I was very, very pregnant. I was also extremely swollen, was gaining something like six pounds per week, and was right on the verge of being diagnosed with life-threatening preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is diagnosed when you have both high blood pressure and protein in your urine. One of the ways they test for it is a 24-hour urine collection. Basically, the lab sends you home with a gallon jug, and they tell you to collect every drop of your urine in this jug for the next twenty-four hours. You can’t really go anywhere during the test because if you do, you have to bring your gallon jug of pee with you. And in between pees, you keep your urine jug in the refrigerator, so I guess you would have to bring your jug in a cooler if you wanted to go somewhere. Which is to say, basically you stay home for a day and drink a lot of water and pee in a container that you keep in your refrigerator next to the lemonade. (Eww). Anyway, as fate would have it, I had to do my day-long pee collection (AND IF THIS WASN’T THE UNIVERSE SENDING A MESSAGE, WHAT WAS??) on my one-year wedding anniversary.
There is absolutely nothing else that I can recollect from my first anniversary. Just a big jug of piss on the top shelf of the fridge.
On my second wedding anniversary I had an eleven-month old baby. The firstborn was a good sleeper, but still, we were tired. We didn’t have a babysitter. I’m pretty sure we got takeout and were in bed by 9:00.
I have no memory whatsoever of my third or fourth wedding anniversary.
On the fifth anniversary, I felt bad for never doing anything special for our anniversaries. We went out to this burger joint for dinner with our four-year old in tow. I drank two beers in rapid succession, and then while walking home I made the ridiculous decision to stop in to a local tattoo parlor and get our wedding song tattooed on my forearm. It seemed like a grand gesture, in a relationship of zero gestures.
I don’t tend to think things through sometimes.
My sixth, seventh, and eighth wedding anniversaries are completely lost on me as well. I know that we literally forgot at least two of them, possibly three.
My ninth and last wedding anniversary was two months after the baby was born. I’m not sure that it was even acknowledged.
Which is all to say, a marriage built on that little love was always doomed to fail. I probably even knew that all along. There is a bright side. I’m not exactly celebrating a year of freedom, because I definitely am not free yet. But I’m smarter now. I’m not kidding myself anymore. And believe it or not, I’m happy. I’m actually fucking happy.
So happy fucking anniversary to me.
p.s. More good news. Now, when my ex sends me psychotic emails, I just laugh at him. That’s one way of saying Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road, right?
(This is a pretty damn good cover).
Also, don’t forget to listen to The D-Train: The Playlist. Like my middle aged butt, it gets bigger every week!
Finally, did you know that you can give a gift subscription to The D-Train to a friend? It makes the perfect, um, anniversary gift for that special someone in your life.