Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

“Hope You’re Having A Great Time!”

“Hope you’re having a great time!”  A warm and encouraging wish that is typically used when someone is away on a trip, vacation, event, or perhaps on a date.  This comment is normally sincere and genuine.  And under normal circumstances, I would probably do my best to oblige the person making the comment.

But then there is this…

“Hope you’re having a great time!”  Of course, in written form it looks no different than the way I typed it in the last paragraph.  For the purpose of this post, this time, the sentence is meant as pure sarcasm.  And it is directed at me.  I have received this comment many times from those who feel they need to comment on my divorce proceedings that have no say at all, but feel they have the right to get involved.  And admittedly, I have received this comment from a few people on “my side”.

In any case, their assumption, and it is 100% wrong, because there are very few people who are aware of what is actually going on with me.  And that knowledge is intentional, but my claim that the statement is wrong is an understatement.

Just as the events leading up to me filing for divorce, I kept them from everyone except for my ex-wife.  We knew our issues, and there were many attempts to deal with them, and those attempts failed every time.  And so it came as a shock to everyone, including her (though it should not have come as a shock), when I filed for divorce.  But here we are a year later, and as I have always done, for the most part, I have kept the majority of my decisions and actions to myself.

Now of course, because it is human nature to be involved in things that should not involve us, my keeping things close to the vest result in a stereotypical behavior.  Humans “assume”.

Yep.  Here it comes.  “You know what happens when you assume?  You make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.  Okay, I got that out of the way.

So, things have finally been discussed, where they needed to be, in the courtroom.  Actually, I would have preferred to work this out than through the courts, but that was not my decision.  But, everything that anyone could want to know about what I have been doing, decisions being made, and more importantly “why”, were all discussed.

This time of year has always been difficult for me as it is.  I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a “drama free” holiday season, and I am talking about going back three decades or more.  Whether it was health, life or death, employment, tragedy, I have not had one drama free holiday season that I can remember.

So I want to take the time to actually make a rare comment about my divorce.

“I am not having a great time.”  This is genuine and sincere.  It is not sarcasm.  Receiving death threats and harassing phone calls, texts, emails, and yes, even replies to this blog… not my idea of a great time.  Being unemployed, having lost my job assignment to corporate downsizing, complicated by my health issues… not my idea of a great time.  Facing daunting court orders that I cannot meet… facing penalties such as bank accounts being frozen (no money in them anyway), passport seized (I have not been planning any trips), and many other penalties such as potentially having my driver’s license suspended (tough to get a job if I cannot drive), to possibly facing jail time (which definitely will not help me get employed to produce income to meet the court’s orders)…not my idea of a great time.  Not seeing my daughters every day, even at the least via video phone calls… not my idea of a great time.

So for those who want to say that I must be “having a great time,” you must have a warped and sick idea of what a good time is, and perhaps your life might just be worse (if that is possible) than mine.

There is a big difference between having a good time, and survival… relaxation… staying focused.  Much like I needed my marriage to adapt, I have done it as a single person.  I have learned how to do without.  I have learned how to do things that help me unwind.  I budget my time and activities accordingly.

I exercise daily, which mainly consists of a walk on the beach.  It is very convenient to where I live.  So there are no excuses.  And although I live near a beach, I am far from tanned, because other than my walks, I do not go to the beach.  There are lots of activities all over the place here, but that is not to say that I attend them.  I enjoy music because it helps me unwind from the day’s torment.  So I often pull up a seat, which are free, and just sit there, listening to the performances.  A benefit to not having a regular income, I have lost weight.

In my new home, I have developed some amazing and supportive friends, who combined with my true friends back home, give me strength.  But it is not fun whatsoever, discussing my moods from the daily divorce issues.  But because the majority of my support network here has been through divorce, some several times, there is understanding.  And these are very good people, and I know some day, I will get to have pure enjoyment with them all.  And yes, some day, someone will come up to me, and tell me what they are currently going through, and just like my friends, I will be able to tell them, “it will get better.”

But for now, every day, it is the same thing.  Wake up.  Search for job opportunities.  And wait.  Get another harassing or threatening communication.  Unwind.  Then think about tomorrow.

No, I am not having a great time.  I do not have the chance.  And if you mistake my ability to find ways to relax and survive for fun, that is on you.

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