It’s the two-month (and eight-day) anniversary of my divorce, so it’s time to check in.

Things are actually going pretty well.  Pat seems to be drinking less – at least, we only get into unpleasant conversations when he’s been drinking, and we get into unpleasant conversations less than we ever have.  He and Kelsea seem to be getting along better.  In fact, he seems happier without me.  And I think I am happier without him.  That’s not to say that’s a bad thing.  We were commenting today that we are getting along better now than we ever did.

We’ve had some minor trouble with child support.  I’ve been diligently paying him each month (though I was overpaying him the first two months).  But I kept getting these things requesting payment from something called the Family Support Registry.  I knew I’d been paying, so I just ignored them, until last week, when I thought, “Maybe I should tell these guys I’m just paying Pat?”  When I called them, they said that I needed to pay them and then Pat could get the money from them. 

“But I’ve been paying him”, I told them. 
“We have no record of that”, they said, “so in other words, to us it appears that you are delinquent.  To fix that, you have to contact your lawyer.
“But I didn’t use a lawyer.
“Then you have to contact the judge.”
“How do I do that?”
“We can’t tell you.”

Well, thanks for your help.  I’ve seen from the Captain’s experience what happens when you’re delinquent in child support payments – the one thing that I couldn’t bear to have happen:  you can’t renew your passport.  So in order to restore my good name, and avoid a bench warrant and subsequent fugitive status, Pat and I went to the courthouse today to see how we could fix this.

The first person we talked to, the Information Desk woman (who had a tremendous amount of cheese on her desk – weird), told us we had to go to a different town to talk to Family Services.  What?  There’s no other way? Well, since we seem to be “communicable” (as she put it), we could try talking to the Family Assistance Someone Upstairs.   Agreeing that while I may be communicable, though Pat is perfectly healthy, we headed up to talk to the Someone Upstairs. 

We explained our issue to Someone, who we then discovered was the Someone Upstairs’ secretary.  We discovered this when she walked four feet into the room we were almost standing in and told Someone Upstairs about what we were looking for.

Anyway, we filed a motion to update or suspend or reanimate (I forget the exact word) the Support Order so I can pay Pat directly and get credit for what I’d already paid him.  And it cost us (well, me) $105.  Hopefully, since we’re so communicable, the judge will approve it.  If she doesn’t, do I get my $105 back?  I doubt it.

Otherwise, it’s going pretty well.  We’re not fighting.  We talk briefly most days, usually around arrangements for Kelsea.  He brought me some groceries yesterday when I was still really sick.  (Today, I’m only pretty sick, not really sick.)  I kind of feel like we’re lucky.  Almost every person I’ve talked to about divorce over the last 15 months has told me that I was sure to need a lawyer at some point, that there was no way that we could continue to be amicable about everything.  I know that could still happen, but every day it feels more and more likely that we’ll escape without going to that bad lawyer place.

There’s one thing that I’m not nuts about.  I suppose it’s a function of being sick and not going to an office every day anymore, but I find that I am lonely. 

More often than not, living alone is not bad.  I’ve always appreciated my time alone.  And when I have Kelsea with me, it’s not like I’m living alone – just half the time, really.  But I haven’t had her with me since I’ve been sick, she’s been sick, and she’s had CSAP (so she’s assured of getting to school on time).  

When I go to bed at night, the house just feels empty and I feel alone.  Not in a good way.  In a hopeless, Im-going-to-be-broke-and-homeless-in-six-months way.  This has been going on for some nights now.  I am sure that when I finally (if I ever) feel better and loose this nasty, disgusting, snot-dripping-down-my-throat-induced nausea and cough, I will be able to get outside, enjoy spring, maybe even start a garden.  But not yet.

That’s not really a function of divorce recovery, but then again, maybe it is.  Maybe it’s learning to be alone not just when you want to, not just when you can carve out time to do so.  Maybe it’s learning to really LIVE alone. 

I think that’s a good thing.