Monday, March 11
I called Kat this morning. She’d left a voicemail a couple of days ago wanting to know what recovery meetings I was going to and if I wanted to meet for coffee.
“How’s everything?” Kat asked.
“Well, JB took $70,000 out of our IRA.”
“Oh my God,” Kat gasped. “Well, you’re going to make a ton of money. Your book is going to be made into a movie and you’re not going to have to split it with him.”
“You’re right. That’s what’s happening. I feel it. I know it. But damn, Kat. How long has JB been stealing, lying, cheating? Everything he says turns out to be a lie and I keep finding out new and worse things. I can't take much more.”
“You knew something was very wrong,” Kat said. “You’ve been unhappy with JB the ten years I’ve known you. You need to accept and learn to be okay with the fact that you chose to stay in a relationship that made you uncomfortable that long. You did it to yourself. You had some admirable reasons to stay. You had children to raise. That was a good reason to try and make it work.”
“I was afraid my boys would hate me. My friends told me being a single mom was horrible.”
“If everyone told you to jump off a bridge would you?” Kat condescended.
“A friend just told me to think long and hard before I divorce him.”
“That friend is no friend,” Kat spat. “You need to get rid of her. You need to get rid of her now.”
“We’ve been friends since high school. She’s had a hard life raising two children on her own. She’s coming from a place of lack. She thinks she’s looking out for me.”
“Get rid of her! That relationship is harmful. You need to look at why you . . .”
“You dissuaded me from divorce. You told me it was tough to be a single mom and I should try to make it work.”
“Oh, that’s icky,” Kat said. “That’s slimy trying to blame me for your choice to stay in your bad marriage. I’m not taking that on! No way, I’m not taking that on at all.”
“I’m pointing out that you both gave me the same advice and if I should write her off, I should write you off, too!”
“You were blaming me,” Kat yelled. “I never told you to stay in your marriage after I knew he cheated like your sick friend did.”
Kat ranted on and on and on. Soon she was screaming.
“Good-bye Kat,” I said and hung up. I was shaking. Hours later, Kat called again. I saw her name on my phone, whipped it on the couch, and walked away. I waited a long time before listening to her voicemail.
“Brenda I love you!” Kat said. “I know you’re in a lot of pain. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. If I could beat the living snot out of JB I would. You’re decision to stay married to a passive-aggressive man that made you so aggravated at times was your decision. All that time that you were married, I told you what my formula was. I went to therapy, marriage counseling for three years. I dotted my I’s and crossed my Ts. When it came to getting divorced, I did not know Tim was cheating on me 100 percent. I suspected it, it was enough. I wanted people to support me, too. I wanted people to be there for me, too. But I made that decision. It was really hard. That’s what I told you. It’s really hard to get divorced. You have to be comfortable with that decision. Knowing what I know now about JB cheating on you: catastrophic if you stayed married. That friend knew JB cheated on you and told you to stay married to him. She’s sick. The minute I found out he cheated on you, he’s a dog piece of crap. I don’t care how hard. I told you a million times how hard divorce is. I will support you any way I can while you go through this process. That’s what a friend says. You’re a terrific person going through a difficult time. I love you very much. Bye.”
“My high school friend loves me, too, and believes she’s looking out for me,” I texted Kat. “That’s the point. Don’t go after me with your chainsaw mouth again. Your reaction was violent. It was the last thing I needed.”
“Really, violent?” Kat texted. “I’m sorry. I felt really hurt, too. I truly hear you blaming me. Let’s talk in the future.”
“Yes, violent. And I don’t blame you.”
“You were passive aggressive with your remark. Saying that I was one of the people saying you should stay married. I didn’t yell and scream at you, you were screaming at me. I will not take responsibility for sharing my views about divorce, and you choosing to stay married.”
“Kat, go away. I have had enough of this shit.”
“Take care, peace.”
Two hours later, Kat texted, “BTW, I’m sorry to have added chaos to your day. It is hard to talk to anyone about traumatic life events over the phone. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May my words add hope and love to your life. Hey, I heard this somewhere THIS TOO SHALL PASS! XOX”