The divorce itself went smoothly, but prior to that, not so much. The attorney I worked for told me, “Do not walk away with nothing! You deserve something!” We discussed a reasonable amount based on income and debt ratios. I never intended to hurt Bear financially or put him out. It was only fair that I got something, because I chipped in and sacrificed whether or not he agreed. The amount wasn’t a lot, but it helped for six months. I could’ve received as much for up to two years, but this is where Bear and I disagreed.
I had to constantly remind Bear that he made living with him unsafe, and I was forced out on the last day of my job. I didn’t find work again for four months, lived on credit cards, and begrudgingly applied for food stamps. At first, Bear was agreeable on things, but that quickly changed. He suddenly seemed aggressive and angry in his messages. He must be talking to someone about this, I thought. Knowing he wouldn’t spend money to hire an attorney, I figured this must be someone we knew that worked for a Florida lawyer. This person was another backstabbing bitch that pretended to be my friend. (For writing purposes, I will call her Titsonastick.)
Titsonastick was one of the several couples Bear and I met at a restaurant’s bar when we were married. (She was part of the group with Bréagán.) After talking to her a few times, we learned we went to elementary school together. (She was a few years older, and I think she may have been a mean girl.) About two years prior to my separation, Titsonastick and her husband went through a nasty divorce. Like anyone does for their friends, I watched her get sloppy drunk and listened to her woes for months. Then her son was killed in a tragic accident, and I attended the memorial service on behalf of Bear and I (he couldn’t get off work). So it was disappointing when none of these people reached out to me to ask me how I was doing and believed Bear’s every word – whatever the hell that was! Not a fucking one of them even said hello! Feeling that we were a little closer than I thought, what I hadn’t expected was for Titsonastick to take sides, much less to help Bear give me less than I deserved. Titsonastick was such a shitty person. She screwed over her own best friend, who confirmed she helped Bear with the legal stuff.
Bear and I agreed to half of the amount I rightfully deserved, because he wasn’t backing down. He acted like such a dick; I wanted to get it over with and be done with him once and for all. I didn’t want to hate him, but he was making it difficult. Other than this issue, we were mostly civil with each other. I brought the animals to my house Sometimes he was nosey and asked too many questions, personal ones that were none of his damn business. Other times, he asked my daughter about me. What does he care if he’s already moved onto another woman?
On our court date to complete the divorce, I was really nervous – a mixed bag of emotions. When we arrived, neither of us realized it was an open family court in which they call you up one couple at a time. I didn’t like that at all, because this was personal between Bear and me, not anyone else. When the judge called for us, she read the agreement aloud, and asked if we agreed to everything. We said yes. She seemed surprised.
“You both agree to everything? This is a first. I get no one to agree to everything. This is the easiest divorce I’ve done!”
Within a few minutes, it was over. We walked outside the courthouse and chatted a bit, hugged goodbye, and that was almost the last in-person conversation Bear and I had. I had about a half hour drive home on a long narrow road. Along the way, my emotions let loose, and I bawled the rest of the trip home. I didn’t want to go anywhere or be near anyone. I was still seeing Dodger, but I needed to be alone for a while to grieve from the death of this portion of my life.
Eight months after moving out of the house with Bear, I found a more permanent place to live in an area I liked. It was close to the office and better quality overall. Right after I moved in, Dodger and I broke up. I think he was not only jealous of my new place, but it was a lot farther drive than the five minutes he was used to at the old house. He seemed upset that I moved into a place without him, even though I was in no position for any kind of commitment like that, and our relationship wasn’t secure. We weren’t saying, I love you, or anything close to it. He lived with his cousin and their kid, and he was getting too comfortable staying at my place. Besides, Dodger already owed me money, and there was no way in hell I’d live with a sponge. We could have broken up maturely, but he went about it all wrong. In hindsight, Dodger was such a loser; I don’t know how I didn’t see that sooner. Maybe it was his giant dick that hooked me. He was the first knot in a new string of meeting insecure, immature, and emotionally unavailable men.
Women in their 40s often need a little reassurance that we’re still sexy and got it going on – especially coming out of marriages that leave us feeling less than worthy. Compliments from men of all ages feel great. Suddenly, I had this salacious sex drive, unaware of its existence. Younger men pick up on that and flatter and do whatever it takes to get laid by a cougar. They flooded my dating profile inboxes with offers and dick pics. This was all new to me, and the attention felt good – although a little overwhelming.
In the meantime, I was experimenting with dating apps, still going out and meeting people. One night, I went to listen to a band at a popular bar downtown. Three young guys (I thought they were about 21) crowded around me to start a conversation, offering to buy a drink. It turns out they were in their late 20s and in college. (I always asked, because I did not want them to be my daughter’s schoolmates!) They thought I was in my 30s. Talk about a self-esteem boost!
These guys went to school for rocket science and robotics. They had a lot more to offer and more class than Dodger or other men my age. It was finally nice speaking to people with an education. One guy asked which one of them I wanted to take home, to which I replied, “Which one has the biggest dick?”
Two of the guys pointed to the short one with pretty eyes. He was the rocket scientist. We left the bar together and went back to his place. His friends weren’t lying; he had an enormous red rocket, and we had a great time. Red Rocket and I saw each other several times before he graduated and moved across the country to build rockets. Even though we don’t exactly communicate now, Red Rocket and I follow each other on Instagram.
Shortly after I moved into my permanent home, I met a guy that I went to high school with but didn’t know him then. He found me on Facebook, and then we realized we were neighbors. He was going through a divorce and lived down the street in his grandparent’s house (the grandparents passed). We became friends, hanging out often, mainly out of convenience, maybe out of loneliness. Plus, he had a boat, and I wasn’t saying no to that. (I wrote about him briefly here: Being the Rebound Girl, when I appropriately named him Big Liar.)
Unfortunately, my judgement was way off, and I probably wasn’t listening to my intuition. Oh, and did I mention I was drinking a lot? I stuck with Big Liar off and on for a while. It was a total rollercoaster shit-show. I didn’t know it, but Big Liar was a terrible alcoholic who lied about everything. Being that I also recently divorced, I understand people tend to drink more, so at first I wrote it off as a phase. I’m sure it was because I told Big Liar that I had been drinking too much, and he said he had, too, because of the divorce. But this was no phase.
All of my beliefs were confirmed when I received a message from his ex-wife asking if he’s been lying to both of us…