life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Darlene

Drew spoke to her the other day.  He spent 45 minutes on the phone with her.  And afterwards, when he told me about it, I had to pretend to care.
The sad part is, we used to be friends.
I don't think Darlene and I would have become friends if not for our husbands;  Drew and Tommy were friends since childhood.  But she was smart, witty, outgoing, warm . . .we became close friends.
She and Tommy were never blessed wuth children of their own.  They loved Jen and Becca, though.  It was like having another aunt and uncle for my girls.
And then came the divorce.
Drew and I had a very nasty divorce and inflicted a lot of pain on each other.  Even though we have long since reconciled, there are still things that crop up from time to time that hearken back to the "dark days".    Yet the essential truth of it is that we have forgiven each other and have rediscovered what we both believed to have been lost.
But yet, I cannot forgive Darlene.
In the dark time, when my marriage was falling apart, Darlene and I would have long, serious talks.  She would tell me that getting a divorce was probably best for me and for the children, that I should leave my husband.
But when I made the decision and walked out the door . . .
Somehow I knew Drew would "get custody of the friends" -- as I said, Tommy and Drew were lifelong friends, going back to a time long before Drew and I met or Tommy met Darlene.
But I never expected her to stab me in the back.
That terrible night when it all came crashing down, I took the children and moved into my parents' house.  (It was supposed to be temporary.  19 years is "temporary" I suppose.)  So I had my mother, my father and two of my sisters looking after my children while I was at work.  A safe, secure, family environment.
Drew sued for custody, of course.  I knew he would.    His request was denied, as I expected.
Darlene submitted an affidavit in support of Drew's request, indicating that she would become the children's nanny and look after them while Drew was at work.
She was going to raise my children?????
I just can't forgive and forget.
Tommy died about 10 years ago.  Darlene eventually remarried and moved to North Carolina. 
She told Drew that her life is miserable right now.  Her health is completely shot and ger only source of income is SSI.  Her husband is chronically unemployed and is in danger of going to jail because he hasn't paid child support.  They lost their condo and are now living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere.  The power company turned off service for 10 days when they didn't pay the bill.  She had to borrow money from relatives to get it turned back on, and she's afraid it will happen again but she can't borrow any more from relatives . . .the money she borrowed from Drew will never be repaid . . .
I listened to this tale of woe and felt . . .indifferent.  I mean, it's sad that anyone has to live like that . . .but I felt no sympathy for Darlene, no motivation to offer my help or even my good wishes.
I felt . . .nothing.

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