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Deebeedeebeedats all Folks!
As many of us who grew up on saturday morning cartoons know, this is Porky Pig's sign off message to say that's the end of the show.
My marriage of eleven years is over, has been legally now for about two years. I realized early on, probably on the day that I went before a judge in open court to answer their three standard questions about the divorce, that that wasn't the end. That wasn't going to bring me the closure that I needed. I already had planned to start the process within the Catholic Church to seek an annulment of my marriage. Six months after the formal legal proceedings were done, I was able to start the process of divorce within the Catholic Church. It's called seeking a "Decree of Annulity" against the marriage.
For those non-Catholic readers out there in web land, the Catholic Church doesn't grant "divorces" at all. There is no such thing listed anywhere in the doctrine of the church. However, in Canon Law, there is a precident for saying the marriage never occurred. Let me rephrase that a bit; its not that it didn't occur, but rather that some critical elements involved with committment were unknowningly (by one or both parties) not really there. Hence, if the basic things that the Church decrees must be there to have a marriage are missing, then the marriage could not have actually occurred.
In my case, after filling out 30+ pages of answers to three pages of questions (front and back), and spending about 14 months with my local Advocate (not a Canon Lawyer, but a person on your side who previews your case so that frivilous cases don't make it to court), hammering out all of the "details", I've finally got my decree of annulity.
This step is, for me at least, the final chapter of the divorce process. I knew from the moment that I found out that my EX had been a lesbian/bisexual prior to meeting me that I would fight for an annulment. Now I have everything I wanted since I filed for divorce back in 1999...almost.
During the entire divorce process, I have had to deal with some very difficult things. I had to let go of many things (my partner, the mother of my kids, money, etc.). I've had to deal with some very tough emotions. I had to deal with a sudden sense of hopelessness, a very real sense of betrayal, as well as just trying to get enough sleep. I've developed this web site, in part to quell some gossip that was going around, partially to simply dump some of my "Hampster Thinking" out so that I can let it go.
It has been pointed out to me that we need cerimony in our lives to commemorate special occasions. We have weddings and receptions to denote the beginning of something beautiful. We have baptisms and baby showers to usher into the world new lives. We have wakes and funerals for the dead. However, there is no such thing for divorce. What I would have given for a party then. Something, anything to let me know that there were people who would have cared for me, who saw this as a great new beginning. Anything. But there you have it. Zip.
However, the formal process is now over. No cerimony (like the marriage at the start). No beautiful document to hold (the marriage licenses here in Oklahoma are pretty nice things to look at). This entire missive is my way of documenting that bit of closure. I'm sure I'll still have things to say in my journal entries that will reflect bits and pieces of the "me" that I've left behind, but that's about it for any of the more active stuff.
Written March, 2002.