Today, finally, it is all over for me.
Today, finally, I don’t have to think about it anymore.
Today, finally, I received my Decree Absolute.
The Decree Absolute tells me that the marriage has been completely dissolved. It tells me that I no longer have any legal ties to Chris. It tells me that I am no longer legally a Butcher.
The marriage was actually legally dissolved on 29th June but it seems that there was a problem with paperwork and my copy went to my old address. I had to ring yesterday and speak to a very curt woman who snapped at me for a number of reasons before promising to re-send my copy of the paperwork and hanging up on me.
It is a genuine relief that now, today, ten months and eighteen days after we decided that our forever was over, I can rest easy and not have to worry about it anymore.
I’ve been pining for his father a lot lately… John was a fabulously eccentric man who I always seemed to get along with quite well. He was always so friendly and warm with me in his own racist, shouty, only-in-pants sort of way and I miss him a lot. I’ve not seen him now for over a year. It was 21st of July last year and we went on a trip to Calke Abbey. We walked through the massive gardens and I leapt over the barriers to pluck the fresh raspberries off the bushes for an after-lunch snack. That Tuesday hosted a beautiful afternoon that ended with us having a fabulous gammon dinner at home and with Chris and I deciding not to travel back to Wiltshire with them due to financial constraints and a job I had been given doing wardrobe for a short film with a friend.
I’ve loved John from the first time I heard his voice… his accent being the perfect amount of West Country for me to understand and mock occasionally. He is so loud and has a rare type of self-confidence that oozes onto me when I am around him. He cares not what anybody else thinks, he just does what he wants when he wants and I love that about him.
Out of all of Chris’s close family, John has always been the one that has made the effort to talk to me and be friendly with me. He’s always been kind and funny and spoken to both of us on a very regular basis. He called almost weekly and I always loved hearing him immediately shout down the line, in his oh-so-familiar voice, “You alright my lover?” I would instantly shout back “you alright John?!” and we’d talk about the recession, booze and work.
I miss John and I am hoping that I will get to see him during a brief excursion I will be making down to Wiltshire next week. I shall most likely ring him tonight and see if he would mind a quick cup of tea with me… just for me to say goodbye properly and thank him for being such a wonderful father-in-law. He was the best father-in-law I could have imagined having and it’s going to be hard to not have him in my life anymore…
I find it so difficult to believe that it’s all officially over now. Monday I found myself watching Chris as he sat and talked in his typically animated way to some random person. I was stood with Franny and Jax, waiting for the music to start at a gig I really had no interested in being at, when Chris came out and sat. He was wearing the red and black checked shirt that he bought during one of our Matalan dates over a year ago. His hair was a mess and he was quite clearly inebriated. It was the first time I was presented with him very forwardly touching ANNA in front of me. I attributed this mostly to his being slightly drunk, as I know he gets that way… that’s just the thing though, I KNOW him and it hurt.
Stood there in that beer garden I love so much, tossing words back and forth between us, I noticed he smelled different. I found myself wondering why he changed his man-perfume and when.
I noticed he had a different mobile and I asked him how long it took him to choose it, knowing before I finished the first word that the answer would be “more than two weeks”… because he LOVES to investigate every single option available from every single source, most times he doesn’t even achieve a purchase as he becomes exhausted from the process long before his brain will let him click into grab-the-wallet-take-out-card mode.
My heart began to hurt, remembering that he was my husband… I was married to him at one time and we were happy. I watched with harsh judgement at the lack of warmth that ANNA seems to supply to him and I worried that he doesn’t get enough cuddles. He deserves cuddles, they were always his favourite. Even though things were awful in the end I still loved nestling under his chin for a hug… I loved feeling the embrace and emanating body heat of someone else. I wonder why she doesn’t… why don’t they ever seem to touch one another or show any form of outward affection?
He asked me how I was… not in a patronizing way, but in a way that expresses general worry. He always asks me that and his big green eyes look so genuine every time. he knows me and he knew from the moment I told him I was moving away how terrified I would get so now he doesn’t even bat an eyelash when I begin explaining to him how little I am eating or how the lack of sleep is affecting my daily routines.
From the very first day that I announced I had become emotionally entangled with Muffin again Chris has been concerned for me. He told me often that I was perhaps rushing into things and that I needed to take some time for myself to be free and easy and not have to live for anybody else. I scoffed my way into my citizenship, a flight and moving house before finally sitting down and wondering if he was right… I hated admitting it to him as we were stood there under the neon blue fairy lights, but I really am worried I’ve not taken enough time for myself… I went from being married to Chris to being divorced to planning ANOTHER forever with Muffin within a month…
Even in the time leading up to my leaving I am not taking time for myself… I am creating for other people, baking and cooking for other people and tidying for other people. I just want to relax… I want to sit, watch every film on my shelves I’ve not watched yet and not have to worry about anything except what bit will be best to pause for a toilet/snack/nap break. I am taking as many precious little moments as I can do for myself, but I am still finding my candle burning at each end and I don’t have the time or energy to re-build.
So here I am, 321 days into being divorced and twenty-two days from a flight halfway around the world… I have never in my life been more terrified of anything. I’ve never questioned something so much in my head or made so many excuses… I can honestly say at the moment that I’ve no idea what I am doing…
I wonder if I should have listened to Chris all those months ago when he said I needed to take a break.
I wonder if I should have stopped trying to be some sassy and in-control-of-her-own destiny girl and taken the advice of someone that knew me better than most at the time…
I wonder what will be on my megamix from graham.