Divorce with Dignity

That’s the tagline for the lawyer’s firm that I will call “Counselor” for the rest of my life. If I can’t get closure with her, I will get closure without her. She is one of the lights of my life, being Dana’s sister, the one that she could go to with everything because I am only one person and sometimes I am the problem, not the solution. She is the reason we were married as long as we were, because she was Dana’s safe place to fall, and always will be.

She carried so much weight in our family, sometimes being stuck in the middle as Dana and I both rebelled against parental approval. We didn’t need it. We were going to be married whether they liked it or not, and they could get on board or they couldn’t. Their actions did not affect us. Our reaction was constantly not to have one. To pretend that it mattered was to stop being us and start being what they wanted, instead. She looked into us and called it good, even though we had to be selfish and set boundaries because the more we let them in, the more they had the power to destroy. They thought I was a deadbeat. They thought I was holding Dana back. They have thought this about every person Dana’s ever been with, because they have a perfect video tape of Dana’s wedding that does not include me or any other vagina.

She stayed with us. She prayed with us. She never let us forget that she was on our side just as much as she was on theirs. Her reaction was constantly not to have one, because there was nothing left to do but be judge and advocate for us both; handy because she like, does that for a living. As I told Argo, I love her sometimes more than myself for it. She didn’t have to be kind and loving, but she was. She didn’t have to be accepting, but she was. She didn’t even have to like me, which is good because we are both so strong that we cannot help but fight like first children, either. But with Counselor, fights end in hugs and tears and cheek kisses, because even when I don’t like her, I love her as easily as breathing in and out.

The funniest one is that she got mad at me for changing the settings on her washer because it cost more money and I joked with Dana and her parents that I was going to go to the bank and get ten dollars in pennies and just spread them out all over the top of the washer. I will not tell you whether the joke landed, because that would be inappropriate. I don’t mean to embarrass Counselor, only to tell her that I accept her for all her fire and all her ice and everything in between. I also cannot help flipping her shit about being the older child that I am. Peering down over a book most days.

And that is the beginning is the end is the beginning. It doesn’t matter whether Counselor loves me or not, just that loving her makes me a better person in all the right ways. She is strong, admirable, one of the great loves of my academic life…… which is why I generally date second children. I can’t help but burn bridges with first children, because we have a pathological need to be right. Injustice is grievous unto us, and we are vocal when wronged. It’s a lead the charge into hell relationship all the way around……..

Which makes me think.

The thing that always helped Dana and me is that she kept me grounded and I kept her from swinging at every pitch- until our roles reversed and she was climbing the ceiling with want and I was the one to say no. The relationship fell apart when Dana felt wrong all the time. It was not reality; I am a verbal processor. She wants to apologize once and have the conversation be over because she does not want to talk about touchy feely shit most of the time. That’s why we’re breaking up- I need time to process without the conversation ending.

I will get closure with or without her.

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