One career step ahead, a car expense back.
Read inspiring passage in a book, get paranoid and bitter e-mail.
Talk to the ex maturely. Read her get passive-aggressive same day.
See the boys. Nothing's going to keep me from being a father.
Think about the threats she's made to me and others.
Friend makes a comment about legal process favoring women. I protest weakly, drift off. His fiancée finishes my words. She was wrecked in her own split. I smile sadly. Keep quiet. Don't want my issues with this one woman to affect my feelings toward more of them.
Day upon day of riding high, doing what I need to, helping others, impressing others. Rise in petty politics, work well with others. In harmony as much as possible. Protect those under my eye. Serve those in power above me. Liberal dream.
Flip out, feel miserable, sob for hours for the first time in months. Get told that this kind of thing doesn't go away in weeks or months or even the better part of a year. Get treated compassionately. Peer with tunnel vision at the cruel and the treacherous and the vengeful. Want to scream at her, When did you become so coercive? When did our love yield to the fixtures and trappings, and when were you the type to prefer us chained together than free, if apart? Why do you host house party after party now when it was an effort to get you out of that goddamned recliner and away from the fucking Facebook browser games for nearly a decade? I didn't hate you, though you're trying hard now. I hated that you lived like a ninety-year-old at thirty-five, and I hate that you'd use words like socialist to describe yourself with me and now you're nothing more than a vindictive bourgeois hausfrau. Vote for Obama like that makes you different, but a woman who expects others to validate her social blueprint is the same as any other social repressive.
But I know her better than she ever knew me, and I know that to shout at the traumatized and the victimized achieves nothing. We had our chance to learn from each other voluntarily, and I surely learned from you.
I'm surviving, and I thank anyone who asks or cares. I teach new staff now, and it is wonderfully cathartic to find a position of both power and raising others to my level--or beyond, depending on their gifts. I write. I father. I hope to return here, but I'm low on the pyramid right now.
I can't wait to not be scared anymore.