Monday, March 12, 2007

fits and starts

That pretty much describes how often I work on or update this blog. And it pretty much describes life in general right now.

Banana and I are cruising the weeks and the new custody arrangement with fewer and fewer hiccups. Mornings go easier most days, and she seems to be genuinely happy most of the time. I wish I could say the same for myself.

The emotional triage I have to do on a regular basis gets a little tiresome, but it's necessary. When you lose your partner--especially a partner you willingly brought back into your life--it seems like the days just stretch out and all you're doing is surviving. But then there's the matter of having the partner on the edges of your life--hearing reports of friends who run into her, having her try to edge back in in small ways, even just having to explain to people what the shape of your life really is. It's exhausting in spiritual and physical ways.

One of the worst parts, however, is having no real release for all of the feelings that roil about. Drinking is a lousy approach--and one that I've used too often. Finding small releases like trips or hikes are good, but they don't really accumulate the peace of mind that I miss.The real release I want some days is the chance to scream at the ex, to spill on her all the vitriol I'm feeling, to take her apart for what she's done to Banana and me, to rip into her about what all of my friends really think of her, to scream in a soul-cleansing tirade. But, even if there were a chance to do this, it would probably do more harm than good. After all the victim of any of this fall out would be Banana.

It's all a matter of time and babysteps, I suppose. Just like learning to keep the house in good order, and my bank accounts in good order; just like learning to take proactive steps to build a better life as a single dad; just like that, it's a matter of doing the emotional and practical triage to get past the worst of the feelings. After all, as I told a friend this morning after we dropped our kids off, at least I'm finally learning to accept that she had a breakdown and that it wasn't about me. He laughed. "We all knew that," he said, "and if you didn't figure it out, we would have told you."