Jellyfish Jail

Now I know why Tolkien invented his own language for writing.  I wish I was savvy enough to do that.  I am doing well to make adequate use of my native language.  My partner, who has an eye for these things, constantly finds the little grammatical mistakes that hold me back.  Some people have an eye for that sort of thing.  I have come to accept my weaknesses with language, but I digress.  My point was going to be that if I had been able to write in my own special language, then Monday in court when reviewing the evidence of my estranged husband’s articles of evidence, I wouldn’t have had the utter shock of seeing my journal entries included as evidence.  I wouldn’t have seen the first fourth step I had written for AA from 2005 included as evidence — evidence of my crazy, substance abusing unfittness to be a mother.  I was incredulous.  I have worked hard to stay sober and those efforts are being used against me.  I guess all is fair … but it seems pretty smarmy to me.  Seeing the affidavit signed by my parents was shocking, and two of my good friends, and two other friends… It is very sad how this process becomes like bear baiting, people form a circle and break one direction or the other at the equator to watch the blood bath.  I guess it is a shedding of old friendships and a clinging to new ones, or steadfast ones.

Divorce is a stripping away process on many levels.  When you throw in infidelity (on both sides I might add in my own defense) and coming out, there is a whole other level for judgements to be made and sides to be chosen.  I had affidavits too.  Some said I was perfectly sane and sober, some said I am a good mother, some were more disparaging to him just as his were about me.  I am not sure if we are trying to convince the judge of our own fittness or if we are just casting blame in one direction or the other.  I have not said he is a bad father.  He has said I am a danger, unfit mentally and emotionally ill and a substance abuser.  I am not.  I am not any of those things.  He has even used this blog as evidence of my insanity, although altered and out of context but used and abused just the same.  If this is how the game of divorce is played, it has an dirty and viscous rule book.  I would rather not play this ugly game.

I would rather agree that we should work together to raise our sons.  I would rather agree that we need to go our separate ways so that we can find out what happiness is.  I would rather not tear our boys apart in an effort to be the most right or at least the least at fault.  In truth all I really want is my children out of this mess.  I want to have a relationship with them independent of this broken marriage, independent of his critical eye, independent of his home turf.  I want to teach my boys to love everyone.  I want them to know that being gay isn’t a target for hatred.  I am going to live as if that is true.  I want to take my boys to the beach.

My eldest and I went walking on the beach while his dad and little brother went to Aikido class.  We talked some and walked some and picked up seashells for his grandmother.  I stuffed the resentment I had for her at that moment.  I don’t want to interfer with his love for people who betrayed me.  Relationships are complex and confusing.  I want to catch people doing the right things and praise that instead of condemning the wrongs.  It is easier to find the wrong instead of looking for the right  — especially right now.  As we walked, we found a portuguese-man-of-war on the beach.  I have walked the beach a lot and have never seen one.  I would have to say it was beautiful.  Deadly and beautiful.  It was freshly washed up and its swim bladder was still inflated.  It was an irridescent blue and the sail waved in the breeze, for a moment, my son thought it was trying to get him.  Then he did what I imagine all of us do or think about doing when facing deadly danger, he poked it with a stick.  He very timidly and quickly jabbed the swim bladder with a stick and then threw the stick in he ocean as if whatever venom may have gotten on the stick would creep up it and sting him.  It was not an aggressive poke.  It was more of an inquisitive poke.  It was even a gentle jab, so gentle in fact, that it didn’t even deflate the sail.

My son is not an aggressive boy.  He has a kind heart.  He was in a quandary of what to do.  He thought we should scoop it up and throw it in the trash, but we didn’t have a shovel.  He wanted to send it back into the ocean, but again, we had no means of transporting it.  He wished there was a turtle around so it could have a tastey snack and solve our problem of a deadly creature washed up on the beach for some unsuspecting beachcomber or unleashed dog to step on it.  We stood there for a long time staring at the hydroid (a friend of mine told me that the man-of-war isn’t really a jellyfish but it is a colony of animal working together for survival) trying to figure out what to do.  Finally, my son thought that we should gather the stalks of beach grass and build a jellyfish jail around it.  That way it would be easily seen and thus avoided.  I thought that was a marvelous solution.  So that is what we did.  We put the hydroid in jellyfish jail.  We did what we could with what we had to work with.

I guess that is what we do even in ugly moments of life like divorce.  We do with what we have to work with even if it is out of context, out of history or out of character.  I think we just grab whatever validation we have at desperate times even if it is tearing someone else down.  I am just trying to understand the uncomprehensable.  Maybe I will get it when I look back, and we all survived it.  I hope so anyway.

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