I've come to the conclusion that I have to re-learn how to make small talk. All of my stories involve HIM. When BLT and I are sharing stories I have this uncomfortable awareness that after spending 18 years with my X I don't have anything to talk about that does not, in some way include him.
All of my vacations were with him. All of my friends are his former friends. All of my holidays involved him. All of my traditions. All of my successes and failures in some way involved the one person I would rather never see again. I've spent far too much time in the past year crying, and stressing, and talking about him, and about what he did to me. I don't want to give him that kind of influence in my life any longer.
I need to figure out how to share parts of myself without focusing on my X. I don't want to talk about him, I don't even want to think about him. This is just one more of those weird things about divorce that nobody talks about. I mean, how do you do it? How do you figure out what to share, what to keep to yourself, and what do you do with the uncomfortable silence when you realize you've got nothing to add to a conversation that doesn't start with, "when X and I went to ____" or "during the holidays X and I used to do such and such."?
And good lord, what do you do when your children want to talk about their father? Talk about uncomfortable. The other night at dinner the kids were asking who OJ Simpson was. We explained that he was a sports star who turned pseudo actor, who many people think killed his ex wife. At that point TNT said "oh like how my daddy tried to kill my mommy" It was absolutely silent. I had no idea what to say. I mean how does one recover and make polite chit chat after THAT?