Sunday, April 14, 2013

Losing $20,000+, Changing My Name, and Crying in My Car

People tell me all the time how well I’m holding up, how strong I am, how put together. Mostly, it’s pretty true. I have kept my shit together in public. However, most of these same people don’t know the sadness and frustration I carried around for years prior to my divorce. These people have no idea how often I burst into tears in my car or silently sobbed in the ladies room at work or in bed lying beside Max. Since filing for divorce, I've felt much more peaceful; even if I have no idea what the future holds, at least I know I won’t be trapped in a passionless marriage. How liberating!

I guess it was bound to happen: after a fairly extended period of optimism and patience, I unraveled a bit this week.

My new necklace with my maiden name initials.
I got it when I bought my right hand ring.

The Name Change

On Monday, my new Social Security card came in the mail. It was addressed to me, but with my maiden name. I was so happily overwhelmed, my hands shook ever so slightly and tears filled my eyes as I tore it open. My name. My real given name.

When Max and I got married, I loved taking Max’s name and how it showed the world that we were our own family. But over the past nine months, it’s felt like a total farce. I hated being Mrs. Max’s Last Name because that family had disintegrated.

Now, I held in my hand a piece of paper that symbolized my return to my true self. I’d lost some of myself over the years, as I tried to fix my relationship and protect Max. I thought to myself, I'm back, bitches!

Armed with my new card, I started the name change process at my work. (By the way, Max and I met at work, but thankfully he no longer works there.) Over the next two days, my old name disappeared from my work email, instant messenger, name plate, and benefits and my maiden name was restored. It felt great but also embarrassing; anyone who knew me pre-marriage now knows that I’m divorced. Next up, I have to tote my divorce papers to the DMV and the bank to get my name updated. Why don’t we just tattoo “DIVORCED” across my forehead?

The Price Change

Meanwhile, Max and I had to have a tough conversation with our realtor about the price of our condo. Despite many showings, we hadn’t had any offers, so it was time drop the price. Bye-bye, $20,000! Just like that! Further, it occurred to me that even if I wanted to say screw it and move out, I can’t. Packing to move out means tearing apart the condo and making a mess, which means that many more days that buyers aren’t coming. I’m trapped here.

Continuing my roller coaster feelings, after the price reduction on Wednesday, we finally got an offer on Friday! But, the offer was another $30,000 below the reduced price. It was like watching my savings account get flushed down the toilet, thousand dollar bill by thousand dollar bill. (We made a counter offer, so keep your fingers crossed for me.)

The Breakdown... and Recovery

These ups and downs meant two tearful and semi hysterical phone calls from my car, one to my mom and one to my brother. During each call I babbled nonsensically between sniffles as I tried to not ruin my eye makeup or get into an accident. I felt badly for them having to listen to me in the state. It’s never easy to hear someone in pain when, truly, the only thing she can do is be patient and time will sort things.

Thankfully, the weekend recharged me. I spent Friday night at Jen’s apartment with a bottle of wine, hummus, and chips and salsa and lovely conversation. I spent all of Saturday alone, which I desperately needed. I went to the gym, ran errands, baked almost 200 cookies for Nora’s bridal shower, and went to a movie. Today, I got in a run and a yoga class, and then Skyped with one of my best friends in Germany.

This week reminded me that I’m coping with the loss of the love for and dreams with Max that I thought would fill my future. As I grieve my loss, I’m going to have those out of the blue moping, crying, “woe is me” moments. I’m allowed.

What was a moment after your divorce when you lost your cool?

Super Sunday Sync


  1. Crossing my fingers for you! I don't know how you are living with him post-divorce. You've got some strength!!

    1. Some days are easier than others. Thank goodness we don't hate each other! Though it was awkward last night when I was sitting next to Max on the couch while I was texting with my 26-year-old!

  2. I love this blog and i felt so many of the same feelings you felt when you got your new s.s. card.

    As far as the 20,000, get over it! My dad would say, "It's the best 20,000 you ever spent!" As long as you are moving toward a better life, isn't it worth it?

    1. Thank you! I know, I'm totally getting over the money we're losing. Could be much worse. The buyers have come back to see the condo twice since we countered their offer, so maybe we're getting close!

  3. Those who have never gone through a divorce often fail to realize what a lengthy emotional process it is.

    I changed my name when I divorced, too, and it was such a relief! With each step you take towards creating your new life, you'll feel a little less shaky.

    Btw, I’m dropping by from #Mondayblogs on Twitter I’m @TuiSnider there, and would be delighted if you’d drop by my blog sometime! Nice to meet & tweet you!

  4. Hi Tui -- Thanks for stopping by! I don't know about you but I don't plan to ever change my name again.