Originally published on July 18th, 2010  This blog post is from another older blog that I am currently shutting down.

So if you know me at all, heck if you have even encountered me for more than five minutes since June 21, 2009 you know a few things about me.

1. That I am going through a divorce, and thank you New York State for making the process drag on so long.

2. That my husband was gay, a closet case which I had to forcibly “out” after finding evidence.

3. That I have generally had a rough time of all of it.  I went on antidepressants and was suicidal at one point.

4. I have found it next to impossible to date anyone for any significant length of time, or even keep anyone’s interest for more than a couple of months.

5. My husband is a clown, and got me into doing clowning for a living and I am near starvation now because of it.

So knowing all of that, let me paint a picture of what happened to me today.  I was scheduled to work at a large outdoor music festival in Central Park for children and family audiences.  I was running late due to some train trouble and when I get there I am greeted by someone who has said the worst thing to me that anyone has said to me in regards to my divorce.  Her statement some months ago was that

In EVERY relationship when you really break it down, both sides are equally to blame in a break up

This was unsolicited advice on her part, and when I tried to argue with her she dug her foot further into her mouth.  In the case of my breakup, one side was definitely to blame far more than the other.  I was true to my husband and loyal to a fault, he was the one who deceived me for the entire nine years we were together.  If I did anything wrong in that relationship, it was not getting out sooner.  Since this woman spoke those words months ago, I haven’t been able to even look her in the eye.

So this individual is the first to meet me at an outdoor gig in extreme heat.  My contract said there would be two face painting stations yet, when I get to the gig there are three.  She tells me that I am not to set up at her station but to go to another area of the park, she does in such a clipped fashion that I immediately turn and walk away.  She tries to welcome me and ‘give me a hug”.  But I would rather not, I don’t consider her a friend, and I don’t really want to hug someone in a disingenuous manner.

I then go over to the area, and I am sent to the worst position to begin face painting in the group.  Well I think to myself, I am running late it is ultimately my fault.  I set up, and another face painter arrives with her brand new baby.  Lately other people’s babies, especially friends babies, almost elicit tears of sorrow in me and not of joy.  I am 37 years old, I am not dating anyone, nor can I seem to successfully date anyone or even get excited about the prospect of dating.   When men are attracted to me lately it just makes me nervous, not excited.  I figure they are just going to cause me further pain and grief, and as my therapist tells me all of the time.

“You have major trust issues”

No kidding.  So the likelihood of natural childbirth for me shrinks by the day, and any hope of having a child on my own is slim due to my increasingly dire financial state.

I have never felt overly welcomed by the community of clowns to begin with, generally speaking ” the clowns” tend to treat me like a Yoko Ono figure.  Since my husband is very successful in his craft, and I only began clowning once married to him, some clowns have been mildly to downright overtly nasty towards me.  As if I would marry someone to further my clowning career.  My head spins at the very notion of such insanity.   I have been performing since childhood as an actor, but some of “the clowns” this fact is completely disregarded.  And since the split I have felt more excluded.  Since Joel is so good at what he does people always want to hire him and now are reluctant to hire me because they are worried about drama on a job.   And try sitting down at a job interview for a “normal” job and explaining how you have been working for eight years as a clown!

And to further my sense of isolation the other three face painters share one large table and I am left by myself at one huge table.  Why we didn’t go two and two is still beyond me, but there it is.  Meanwhile I watch as my soon to be former husband runs around the event as emcee and general crowd-pleaser with huge accolades from everyone.  It was a rough gig.  I just wanted to go home.

Then she sat down in my chair, a striking girl probably around age six with medium brown skin, beautiful copper-colored hair neatly done in twists around her head, light almond-shaped hazel eyes and a sweet smile.  The woman I assumed was her mother explained she wanted a butterfly on her arm.  I thought nothing of it, since some kids are shy and it is common for parents to make requests.  While I was painting I heard the woman sing along with the band onstage, and said to the little girl.

“Your Mommy has such a lovely voice”

There was an awkward silence which I didn’t quite understand.  Then I said

“What do you think?  Do you like the butterfly?

And the woman explained that the little copper haired beauty only spoke French.

“Do you have her enrolled in a French school?”

My first thought was she might be Haitian but I thought I would go with the more obvious choice of an expensive private school since this was Central Park after all.  The woman then explained that the little girl was struggling to say something but couldn’t communicate.

“I am her cousin, we adopted her after she lost her family due to earthquakes in Haiti.”

I remarked how well she looked and the woman said

“She has been through so much, and she is doing so great all things considered”.

It was hard not to start crying right there.  Here I was depressed about my life falling apart but at least I hadn’t “lost my family”.  Sure the little girl will grow up with a much greater quality of life living here in New York than in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but at such a great cost.  I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be to lose both your parents, possibly siblings, extended family and the life you had known in an instant.  And then to come to a strange country where no one speaks your language and EVERYTHING is different.

After she left my whole attitude changed, I still wanted to get home but my problems didn’t seem so significant, amazing how the universe will do things like that for you.  If it be some type of God, karma or positive energy I have found over and over again that just when I need it, I seem to get a kick in the head waking myself up from self-pity.  Whatever our sorrows or trials are, there are always those who have it much worse off.  And I don’t remember who said the quote but I try to remember,

“No one is fortunate all of the time”.

We are all just doing our best to make it to the next day.   One of the things someone told me going through addiction recovery was to “treat everyone like they are dying”  because when you think about, we all are anyway.

 

3 comments on “Life After Divorce: A Child gives me perspective

  1. Cadence Harper

    What a great post! It really evoked some emotion on my part. 3 lines in particular stood out. #1 -“In EVERY relationship…” I won’t even retype the rest as it is SO IDIOTIC not to mention completely false. I stomped my feet and bitched and argued as soon as I read it! #2 – No one is fortunate all the time. So true… And #3 -Treat everyone like they are dying, because when you think about it, we all are anyway. LOVE this and plan to start putting it into play immediately. Thanks for that.

  2. dadogyure

    Ah Juliet, I loved reading this. What a weird thing is life.

  3. genevieve305

    Thank you for checking out my blog page genevieve305.wordpress.com. I’ve read some of your post and I have to say you are a really good writer. I really like that you mentioned the Haiti earthquake as it happens that I am Haitian. I look forward to reading more from you and you are an inspiration for me to keep writing my blog.

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