There were a million reasons not to go through divorce being angry. And another thousand slogans to go with them. Like: Life is too short. Anger consumes valuable energy better spent on productive pursuits.
But none of these did me one bit of good as I churned through the months after my husband moved out with anger pouring out of me like lava from a volcano.
That I was capable of such anger took me by surprise. Who was this angry, bitter person? I wondered. Hadn’t my ex-husband and I resolved, once the divorce became inevitable, that we would do this in the most civil way, and rise above anger or blame?
Yes, but that was before events took over – and everything changed. Once the cruel realities of money, property and child support appeared, with divorce lawyers added to the mix, things took on an ugly urgency.
So to get away from my anger, one gorgeous October when I didn’t have the children I drove to Vermont for an organized bicycling weekend. I decided that God’s green earth and the brilliant autumn foliage, along with all that good exercise, would heal me and rid me of all negative thoughts. The fresh air alone would be medicine for my bedraggled soul.
A group of 18 of us were lodged in the Proctorsville Inn, a picturesque bed and breakfast with fragrant hand-stitched cotton quilts and decades-old country furniture. Dinners would be gorgeous country meals of roast chicken and autumn vegetables, with fresh homemade breads. After breakfast of fresh scones and waffles loaded with fruit and Vermont maple syrup, our guides would send us off on long daily rides, our bicycles packed with maps, clean and filled water bottles, and high energy snacks. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
And I couldn’t have been more miserable.
As usual, most of the group were couples. At my table the first night was also a group of three men – an older man and his two married sons taking a father-son bicycling weekend. Then there was me. Worn, hollow-eyed, and exhausted from the divorce.
I set out alone that first morning, grateful for the chance to take in the quiet.