I am reading a book that I cannot put down. “How To Sleep Alone In a King Sized Bed” is the story of divorce, motherhood, doubt, fear, confidence. I am wound up in the words of this book. This story has me nodding my head, laughing, silently mouthing, oh yes, to myself. I am amazed at how similar the writing style of this book is to my own, but then realize that the author and I speak the same language and far more than simply English, or Spanish or Italian, we speak the language of divorce. We speak the language of motherhood. We speak with a mixture of anxiety and confidence.
It is a language of our own. The desperateness, the loneliness, the building again of ourselves and our trust. The idea of wanting, oh wanting some time for yourselves and then achingly missing your children when they are gone.
I remember when I was newly separated, among all the drama more than anything I had was the fear, the absolute panic and the horrible weight that I would not always be there with my children. I remember crying myself to sleep thinking “but I am their mother. It is my job to watch over them, protect them, be there for them, how can I do that when they are apart from me”. This was my worst nightmare.
Now I think how much I enjoy the time apart. Look forward to an uninterrupted workout. A movie and a glass of wine. The quiet of the house to sit down and write. Granted we are in a much better place now. For right now I have no worries about what is happening when they are with their father. That certainly makes it easier.
In this book the author references divorce books she has read that state it takes two years to recover from divorce, and I think about this. In May, we will have been physically separated for two years, granted the “official” divorce didn’t take place until June of last year.
But I think about how much progress has been made. Reading this story of divorce, reminds me of myself. The anger, the desperateness, the many, many days and nights of WTF am I going to do now?
I don’t cry much anymore. As much as I did in the marriage or in that first year after. Apart from the occasional school night locked in the bathroom thinking, “how in the hell am I supposed to take on homekeeping AND math homework“, most of these days are good.
It takes time to adapt out of a marriage, especially one that has lasted ten years and two children. To become one again instead of two. To get back that identity. On this journey you think you must be the only one who is feeling so inadequate and empty. Then you pick up a book like this and you find a consort, a partner in crime, someone else who has stood her ground, cried herself to sleep, felt a little bit insane and a whole lot of inadequate and still managed to raise two children.
And the king size bed? I have one, but I am never alone. This morning I woke to find two bundles of fuzzy girls and one cat stretched across my pillow. But having faced the prospect of the big lonely bed in the evening I recommend lots of pillows and a heating pad. It makes one hell of a comforting nest on a cold and lonely night.