Amidst graduation season, there are plenty of public celebrations all over the country. With good reason, because who doesn’t like to be celebrated for a huge victory? Over-sized bunches of balloons, sashes, leis, cards, parties, tweets, Instagram posts, and status updates. We love good news, and we love telling people about it.
But what about when you want to tell people something that many don’t consider good news?
OH, YOU MEAN LIKE A DIVORCE?
Exactly. Like a divorce. For reasons I haven’t thought of too far into, I haven’t been going on a social media rant about divorce this, and we split, and I’m back in the game, or whatever. I know it’s a sensitive subject (to me as well), and I know that some people will just go off and I don’t really feel like dealing with “all that.” Close family and friends know, a few of my coworkers, and well, those of you I haven’t met that are reading this blog.
While my wife and I were still Facebook friends (yes, we planned on how to address name changes, relationship status changes, and unfriending each other) I wanted to give her the respect of telling her folks in her own way on her own time, so I didn’t make any public changes that her folks would notice and then start gossiping about.
But since she’s moved out, we’ve decided to cut social media ties as well, and the healing can really begin. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve lived alone, and I fully knew going into it this would be a huge challenge. A blessing, and a great opportunity for growth, but a monstrous challenge. So with summer creeping in and as the mercury begins to rise, I default to cranking up the AC.
But do I need to, or should I sweat it out for a bit every once in a while?
I like to think of myself as an open person. This has often led to some sick burns. However, this has also led to some awesome fucking friends. That being said, and acknowledging the fact that I’m writing a blog about my divorce as it’s happening, I like to share what I’m going through.
The AC I’m referring to here is not Air Conditioning, it’s what I’ve identified as the Attention Cycle.
I’m mildly attempting to keep to myself, do my thing, stay calm, and move forward, but I know I possess a strong need to be heard.
I need attention.
(25 points if you read that aloud. 150 points if you’ve actually said those words to yourself aloud before you read this blog.)
Sometimes people ask about the divorce, and part of me enjoys it when they do because I interpret it and receive it as them caring, but the more I talk about it, the more it weighs on me. So I throttle what I share in face to face conversations. Bite-sized doses of what’s going on. I like the attention, but then it hurts the more I talk about it. And as the pain sets in, I need more attention. It’s a vicious cycle.
And so I need to choose. This is one of the most immediate changes I can make in this new stage of my life. This is where I can learn to be guarded again, something I chose to stop being in the eighth grade. This is where I can control how much of me someone meets. My reluctance is in my interpretation of this concept. I feel that being guarded is a form of lying. I know it’s a defense mechanism and something that many people do to keep from letting others too close. And in my desire to be more honest with people, I choose to share information I am not ashamed of openly. I do have boundaries, don’t get me wrong. Professional lines are something that are clear cut to me now and I am comfortable accepting and respecting those lines. But off the clock, I’m just a guy who’s a disabled veteran, with a college degree, and a job, who’s going through a divorce.
Just like I can control the expenses in my apartment, I can control my personal AC. Summertime. Go ahead and beat down on me. I got this.