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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beginnings, begun

I had no idea when I posted my Endings and Beginnings post that I'd get so much attention!  The first day it was up my blog got 133 hits, and the next day was well over 200!  My numbers remain at least double of what they were pre-divorce.  Huh, I guess the way to get people to visit your blog is to do something extraordinary!

Clergy divorces are big news.  I'm told that my blog is the talk of our Metropolis (like a diocese) and perhaps even of the archdiocese.  I didn't make this announcement in order to gain popularity, but you are all welcome to check in here!  Seems like clergy divorces are usually messy and one partner was very hurtful to the other and it causes a huge scandal and he who was set high on a pedestal is now brought down low into the mud.

First off, I want to say that I am doing very well.  We are a week into the "rearrangement" and it's gone fine so far.  I am happy.  Yes, I am HAPPY!  It's been a little disconcerting to me how many people expect me to be sad, upset, angry, even distraught.  Yes, there are moments of sadness and anger.  But mostly I am happy.  

I wonder: is it a *bad* thing for people to remain friends when they divorce?  It seems that some are upset that I am happy and that Paul is happy.  We can't just look at this for what it is, decide that we have grown apart, and decide to move on?  Would it be better if we were at odds, always fighting, and became enemies?  I get the feeling sometimes that some are looking for someone to blame.  One of us must be to blame, right?  Well, no.  We both share "blame" if blame must be assigned.  But mostly, no, we don't assign blame and are content to leave it at "we grew apart."  We just aren't the same people anymore and we don't fit in a marriage anymore.  But hey, we still make great friends!  

I just really, really think this way is so much better for all involved than if we were fighting and hating each other and making life miserable for all those around us.  We still function very well as co-parents and I think the kids do appreciate that.  I would be eaten up by guilt if I felt like we were ruining our kids' lives by being enemies.  

In all honesty, we did have months of fighting.  We had a very difficult year.  We did our misery, and the kids did get dragged into it.  But now, we are no longer in that space and I am so very glad.  
In other news, my student doula practice is finally starting to pick up.  I have a doula partner and we are attending one birth,  a woman who is due this Sunday, and we're talking to another tomorrow about her birth.  I'm so excited to be back into the birth scene!  It's one of those things that has been suppressed in me for so long.  I was very interested in birth after Carissa was born and the power of birth just washed over me.  Even more so when Zac was born at home--then I saw homebirth as even more empowering to women.  And I wanted to enter that world, to help other women to have an empowering birth, but I had two small children, so that dream was put on hold.  I am so glad it's no longer being put on hold!  On the flip side, I'll need to get used to long wakeful nights.  


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

"I wonder: is it a *bad* thing for people to remain friends when they divorce? It seems that some are upset that I am happy and that Paul is happy."

Well, Elizabeth, I am not one of them. And yes, if divorce must be, then why make it worse than it is by moping, blaming, resenting, and hating. No, it is not a bad thing to remain friends when a couple divorces. When you have children, you don't have the option to be at odds. The love you had for each other before has changed as to outward expression, but it cannot just disappear, unless you will it. And you haven't. The kids will see that more and more and come to understand that "family" actually means more (sometimes) than mere marriage. Not to belittle marriage; the intentions that God has for us don't change but, using a metaphor that Jacob used in his comment on your previous post, your calling is catching up to you, just as his (hopefully) has caught up with Paul. But if his calling hasn't really caught up with him yet, don't worry, it will. At age 58, my calling is finally catching up with me, even though I still can't quite make out what it is exactly, but it gets a little clearer every day.

I haven't poked my nose into your blog much, but I check in from time to time. Everything will work out for the best.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
—Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

And also from my favorite poet,

"All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon.
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is less or more than a touch?
Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so."
—Walt Whitman, Song of Myself.

It seems to me that your lives are partaking of the truths revealed in scripture, and in the poet's words.

Go with God, adelphí mou agapití.

Magpie Ima said...

I'm really, really glad things are going as well for you all as you report. But those of us who've lived through ugly divorces can't help but carry some of that along with us. I'm delighted that it's going well for you in these first weeks, but I also know how deep the hurt can go and how long it can last. You and Paul are truly blessed to have found a mature way through this. Many families aren't so lucky. I sincerely hope you all continue in a positive direction.

Mimi said...

I agree, that you and Father Paul strike me as handling this very maturely, but know you still have my hugs and prayers.

And, whohoooo on the doula gig! I am so looking forward to hearing about it!

Ali said...

I think a lot of people need to grieve the end of a marriage, and anger is a natural part of grief. Maybe you and Paul aren't dealing with that because you don't see your relationship as ending? Maybe defining it as "rearranging" is the key. Or maybe the grieving will come later, for one or both of you. Anyway, I'm wishing both of you continued well-being as you make your way through the process.