“A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.”–Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors. She’s an intelligent and imaginative writer. There are very few books I will read more than once but I read her The Handmaid’s Tale every few years. If you are female and you’ve never read this one, you should get a copy. I recently stumbled upon this quote about divorce by Ms. Atwood. It’s been rolling around in my brain for days.
I remember thinking when I first saw it, “Oh, Margaret Atwood has been divorced.” Of course I don’t actually know that. But then of course I do know that. How? Only a person who’s lived through a divorce could have expressed it so perfectly. I’ve been muddling along for four years now feeling as if some vital part of me is missing. People who have lost a limb say that sometimes they still have feeling in the missing appendage. I think it’s called phantom pain, itch, etc. It reminds me of the times that I thought D was lying next to me in bed but it was only a pillow or a blanket. Initially I would think, in the dark, that I really saw him there. I would see his profile or his beard. I would reach out to touch him. Nothing. Phantom images. I think there’s a biological reason for an amputee to “feel” physical sensations. I suppose there must be some mental/psychological explanation for phantom images.
I’m noticing today that the more distant my separation from D becomes the less likely I am to compare it to an amputation. I think I’ve said before that I like to look for the humor in every situation. So I’m thinking that maybe I just lost about 200 pounds of excess weight. Or maybe I had a headache for a very long time and didn’t know how to act once I got rid of it. Maybe my toes stopped hurting once I had no one to step on them. Maybe I feel more attractive than I have for years now that I’m not waiting for someone else to pay me a compliment. (He was never going to.) Maybe I really do have a brain. Maybe I can actually count money. Maybe I don’t miss his passive/aggressive attitude.
Maybe I will make a list of all the pluses (funny or not) and continue this rant another day.