Winter Magic

Winter Magic
"Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall." ~ Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Post-Divorce Anxiety

I step out of the shower and pat myself dry with a towel, my back still bumpy and itchy from the allergic reaction I had to new laundry soap earlier in the week.  I reach to scratch and then stop myself, picking up the lotion instead.  I look in the mirror, towel wrapped around me held up with one hand, I see only a blur so I crack open the bathroom door to let out the moisture and steam.  Then I peak out and I see his reflection in the TV.  The game is on, ULCA v. USC basketball.  I suddenly want him to put the lotion on my back, I almost walk out to ask him, but I stop myself.

In my moment of hesitation thoughts race through my mind... he's watching the game, maybe I shouldn't interrupt... the lotion smells like vanilla, maybe he won't want to smell like that...we don't have time to fool around, maybe this would tease back is bumpy and red, maybe it will bother him...It really would be nice, but the game is on...maybe I should just do it myself.

I take a deep breath, I remind myself that this is someone new.  I tell myself I'm being silly, I'm over thinking, I just need to ask.  So, I open the door and walk out into the hall, towel held up by one hand Vanilla Lace lotion in the other, and I ask him if he can please do me a favor and rub some lotion on my back.

He jumps up from the couch and is following me into the bedroom as I hear him say "I'd love to".   I relax.  I enjoy every second of his hands on my back, the lotion taking the itch away.  And when he is done, he hands the lotion back to me, looks me in the eyes, and asks me why I asked him like that.  "What do you mean" I ask.  He says that I asked him like I was afraid he'd say no, like he was doing me a big favor or something. He hugs me and tells me that he loves doing little things like that for me, and in no way should I consider it a favor.

I realize at that moment that I'm more damaged than I thought. There is anxiety and fear inside of me that I can't hide.  He saw it.

And I am okay with that.

Friday, February 7, 2014

No more "we", no more common goal...

When I filed for divorce there were two things that I knew were going to be the biggest "issues" to deal with.  The first was babybug, the second was our house.  Turns out that custody issues have been much easier to deal with than financial issues.  The house has become a pawn- an emotional and financial pawn that can't just be walked away from.

My ex has a condo that is "pre-marital" property, so it was pretty clear that he would be moving in to his condo, which also put him only five minutes away from his work, and that I would be staying in the "marital home".  We agreed quickly that the best thing to do would be to sell the house.  I would live in it while it was on the market, but since we have equity in the house selling it made the most sense. I knew I would want to buy a place right away, something closer to my work and smaller for just me and babybug.  These decisions were easy to come to, they were obvious to both of us and easy to make.

But then it got complicated.

How much do we put it on the market for?  He wanted an amount much higher than what our Real Estate agent recommended.  We fancied him for a month, then once it was clear that no one was going to give an offer near that price, we adjusted the listing price.

  If I'm living in the house and my ex is not, how much should he pay towards the house payment?  Thankfully our mediator had an answer for us that allows me to stay in the house without having to pay the entire payment and allows him to pay a portion of the payment to keep his equity in the house.

Once we get an offer, how do we agree on negotiations?  This is where the problems began.

This is the point at which I realized that my ex viewed the house as a pawn, as a way to get to me, as a way to prove that he still had power over me.   And the thing is he does.
I want to move.
I want to buy a new house.
I've actually found the house I want.
He doesn't care about any of that.  He doesn't care if the house sells today or in six months.  He does not need his equity now, so he has no real motivation to sell.  Not only that, but when we do sell he will lose that connection to me, he will lose that power, so he is making things very difficult.  It is amazing to me that the law allows him to do this, but according to my lawyer and the all-knowing "Google" there is nothing I can do.

The thing is, we have to agree on the selling price.  We have to agree on what to counter, what to fix in the repair request, and all of the other details.  We both have to sign everything.  Except that "we" are no longer "we"... there is no common goal anymore.  I take that back, the only common goal we have now is raising our daughter, and to my ex, babybug does not figure in to the picture when the house is discussed.

It is six months later and our house is still on the market.  We've been in escrow three times, and each one has fallen out of escrow due to different reasons.  I've put an offer on a house - the same house - twice and have had to fall out of escrow due to our house not selling.  And then today... today we get two more offers on our house... and the house I want to buy is still available... so I will write about all of this later.  Now, I want to summarize the last six months, and I will try my best to leave out the mundane.

I've been working on this post for over a month now... and I've realized that I can't summarize without bringing in the mundane, without complaining, without getting angry.  So, for now I will stop here.  I have Five more stories to tell with regards to the house... I will tell them one at a time.  But not today.