When you've been with someone for almost 13 years, it's tough to work separately. Especially when you have kids. You tend to project. My parents have been together, through thick and thin, and this frame of reference is how I have constructed my approach to marriage. If there are problems, you deal with them. Work on it. Get through it.
But after a year of working, I am still stuck. I see that the separation was necessary, to move forward. Wherever that may take me. It's funny how no matter what history you have with your siblings, stress brings blood together. My sister, my biggest critic in life, is supporting me. That is enough for me, right now, to do what I am doing.
So I am really looking forward to heading to Atlanta this weekend, to have a fabulous birthday dinner for my brother at an amazing restaurant (Two Urban Licks - I have checked out the website and am really stoked). But even more, I am looking forward to Saturday and night with my sister. I've been off this week, and have had loads of fun re-connecting with old mentors at the University and the VA, spending time with my nanny and her granddaughter at ACH, and just taking time for me. Alone. Coffee at Boulevard. Dragging a glass of wine out over two hours with a book.
My favorite book last year was Olive Kitteridge. Despite the fact that I haven't yet finished, I think I have to say my favorite book this year is the one I am reading (and I have read a ton so far this year) -- In The Woods by Tana French. It won a lot of awards, so I don't have much to add except that I would highly recommend it, thus far. The only nitpicking I have yet to do is her portrayal of the forensic pathologist. When you've been there, and done that, no one can describe it to your satisfaction.
So here I am. In a place I would have never imagined. One that does not fit into my image of myself, or of a perfect family. But strangely, I am doing all right. I've got a lot of support that I would never have imagined. And the kids are adjusting to their new reality. They are the most important ones to focus on, right now.
Yesterday, when I was at the VA, I visited one of my favorite attendings from fellowship - one that I hadn't seen in a couple of years. I told him about my separation. He was more shocked than a lot of my other friends and family.
"I guess that this is the time in my life where I am supposed to become a lesbian. Except there is a problem with that, for me. Girls are amazingly beautiful, but they have never done that 'thing' for me. So I guess I will be celibate, like Morrissey (sp? - I am too lazy to check)."
He laughed. "I miss you so much. It's not the same around here, without you. Don't worry, Giz. No matter what happens, you'll come out all right. I know you too well. I have faith in that."
I'm glad for his faith. As well as that of my friends and family. I'll get through this, somehow.