the only way out is through. cinco de mayo.

i don't even know where to start.

i feel like i was picked up, chewed up, spit out, jumped on, and then run over by a city bus.

the day started off rough. i woke up and aubree was already up, setting up the kitchen. she got a call that changed our morning plans, and that had us rushing around to get places at times much earlier than she'd been told.

which was ok. but i was exhausted, and was looking forward to the last chunk of time i'll have with her before sunday.

and it disappeared rather quickly.

she's been such a workhorse. building things, setting things up, cleaning. while i pace the apartment and try to remember what i was trying to do.

it's been an exercise in breathing. and in saying calming things to myself.

i didn't really talk to myself before. but i do now. because there isn't anyone to say things to the majority of the time.

but i have tried to prevent panic attacks a few times a day lately. luckily, i'm succeeding for the most part. but it's making me want to start drinking and not stop.

so i took her to the place she had to be. and it just happened to be one building away from my good friend rob.

so i called rob, and he just happened to be there. so i went to visit.

i love rob. he was my best friend here for a while. he brings sweet things to my stores, and it became a habit for two years to have mondays with rob. we'd talk for an hour at least, and lament, vent, rally, whatever we needed that week.

i have been missing him lately, and it had been a while since we've had a heart-to-heart. he's going through some heavy shit. i'm going through some heavy shit. so we trade stories, and encourage each other.

so i got to spend over an hour today talking with him. of everything he said, when i was talking about the emotional end of what i'm dealing with right now, he said 'tea, the only way out is through.'

and towards the end, i told him i had to go. because today was lawyer day, and i had to be there in just over an hour, after stopping by the stores first. and i fought tears. because i'm tired. and i cry when i'm tired.

we had a great conversation. his family has built this apartment for him above the bakery. it looks like a luxury suite, it's just incredible. but he has slowly been moving into the place, and now pretty much lives where he works.

so we sat on his couch and talked. we talked only a little business. he went through his personal life, i went through mine. we made each other laugh. we talked about ever. we talked about his ex girl. and how the two of them complicate our lives and make things impossible. i've been helping him through his stuff for a while now, and as i was standing up to walk out, he said that it's time to focus on fixing me now. and to make me smile again. and i smiled genuinely.

he walked me out to my car and i left for work, and for the lawyer. he always gives me a kiss on the cheek and a hug when i see him and when one of us leaves. today when he was hugging me, i told him i love him and that i hope things get easier for him. he said he loves me too, and wished me luck.

it was heartwarming. i need more friends like rob. he makes me feel like a good person, because i have the honor of knowing him.

so i ran my errands quickly, and somehow made it to the lawyer without getting lost. a small miracle.

to set this up, what i went to the lawyer thinking was altogether different from what i left there knowing.

i went there thinking that i was filing for divorce today, and wasn't sure if i was filing for separation before that. the nice lady on the phone had told me that the consult was an hour, $275. which was a tough pill to swallow. but she also had said that when i came in, we could fill out the paperwork, and that the lawyer would only help me with the things i need help with, to save time and money.

so i'm thinking: $275. paperwork filed. done.

this is what i left knowing:

in addition to the $275, i have to pay $300 to file.

in addition to that, i have to pay a retainer. when i pay the retainer, she is going to fill out the paperwork to file for the divorce.

my retainer... $2800.

fuck my life.

it costs something like $50 to get married? $125? i don't remember. it was 7 years ago.

i don't have 2800 spare dollars laying around. i don't have 300 or 275 either.

i don't have $3375.

guess what mom and dad? me again...

i left there knowing that selling the house is the only option. that we can delay the inevitable by signing a contract that says that he has x amount of time until it goes on the market.

and if by some turn of events he can come up with the money by then, then he can pay the full price.

and if not, it goes on the market.

basically, she told me what our marital assets are. i didn't know that we had any.

his business is one. i have to decide if i want to cut and run, and take a chunk of money to sign away my rights. or if i want to stay involved because it is half mine (because it was started in the marriage) and take cuts of what he makes.

i want to cut and run.

obviously, if one of his employees makes it, then i'd be fucking myself royally. and i've always believed that would happen. it's why i invested for so many years.

because he has the house and the business, he has all the assets. because i have the car and the credit card, i have $1000 in marital assets.

the disparity is alarming.

in any case, she is representing me. i had hoped we could use her together, but that's not how it works.

so if he can come up with that amount of money, then he can get a lawyer, too. and his lawyer will probably advise him to get alimony from me.

and if that happens, his lawyer would also advise him to not sign anything and drag it out. because he can collect until the divorce is final. and he could make that take up to two years.

i cannot even imagine having to carry him for two more years, when that was the reason why i left.

my back is broken from carrying him.

there's a lot i'm leaving out, probably because it was entirely too much information to attempt to soak up. seems like i'm getting caught off guard a lot lately. and this was not good. combined with the surprise roommate and the move-in, it's starting to get pretty overwhelming.

i'm starting to freeze up. i'm starting to fall apart a little.

i just got interrupted by a call from rob, checking up on me.

it was funny... at the law office, the nice lady from the phone was talking to me for about 20 minutes, because i got there early.

and she knew a lot of my story from trying to set up the consultation, so she had an idea of where i am mentally. but she asked if there was someone new with a twinkle in her eye.

and i said emphatically 'no' and that there won't be for a long while.

and she asked if i thought i'd be a single mom. and i told her i'd been thinking about it, because of my age and because of this divorce adventure. and that i don't prefer it, but that because of my age that i had to think of it as an option.

and she said that she deals with a lot of adoption cases and divorce cases (family law) and that from talking to me, that she thought it would work for me, if something else doesn't.

i'm so determined. i'm so committed to having a better life.

and if that means a life without a husband and a white picket fence, then so it goes.

i don't want to be alone.

but if i end up that way, then it is what it is.

i have to talk to ever. and i don't want to. it's overdue. and i just don't want to have to deal with him.

it's so much easier when i don't have to.

the only thing worse than making a huge mistake is making a really expensive one.

nina put it so well, though.

it will cost something like $4 a month for the rest of my life to not have to be married to ever anymore.

and that, my friend, is worth it.

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