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New Chapter Excerpt: Robin Explains

Dear Readers:

I hope this chapter excerpt helps explain my vagueness over what’s been happening in my life.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Yes, I know it’s Thursday, but I’m heading out of town.*  

Make this a beautiful day!  I know I will.

Chapter One:

This Isn’t Happening to Me.

“I want a divorce,” he stated calmly.  He delivered this news with as much emotion as one would conjure up to order a tuna sandwich.

I stared at him, thinking I must be hearing things.  We were going through a difficult time, to be sure, but I never thought we would get divorced.  I never believed he would actually leave, even as he had threatened to so many times over the ten years of our relationship. 

We loved each other!  We were happy together!  We had a family!  We were making plans for the future!

“This isn’t happening to me,” I thought to myself.  “He doesn’t mean it, or maybe I’m dreaming.  He’s not ‘that guy.’  He’s not just going to leave us.  Take a deep breath, Robin.  Remain calm.”

“Calm” is not something I excel at in highly-emotional situations.  “Calm” is especially not something I excel at when I am the only highly-emotional person in the room and divorce is being proposed as casually as a round of golf or the purchase of a new microwave.

“You can’t be serious,” I cried.  “Over this?  You are leaving me over this?”

“Yes, but ‘this’ is not the only thing.”

As I sobbed like a shady divorce lawyer who had just been told she had to keep accurate time sheets, he blithely rattled off all of my shortcomings.  He was methodical in his criticisms and extremely efficient. 

He listed his complaints as if he were doing me a favor and hit me with all my biggest button-pushers:

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  • I don’t make enough money.
  • His friends don’t like me.
  • His co-workers don’t like me.
  • His kids don’t like me.
  • I am too emotional.
  • I am too obsessed with the election and my horror over the monster that is Donald Trump.
  • I embarrass him.
  • I’m not funny and people only laugh when I try to be humorous because they feel they have to.

That last one really got me.  See, “funny” is my thing. 

Don’t Tell Me I’m Not Funny!

Everyone with any sort of a personality is known for something, and I am generally regarded as having a splendid sense of humor. Frankly, I am damn hilarious. I’m the life of the party and have a knack for coming up with clever and insightful insults at a moment’s notice. 

I have mastered the art of the pun (for which crime I belong in the punitentiary for punishment – ha!). I once saw a group of children outside a daycare center running amok while their caretaker tried to corral them, and I spontaneously noted to my friend that we were witnessing a “coup de toddler.”

He knows I pride myself on my sense of humor and that it is the only thing about me of which I’m confident and proud.  Well, that, and my ankles.  They are pretty spectacular.  

Here, you be the judge!

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It was clear the list was years in the making and as I listened to his analysis of who I am (and am not) as a human being, I felt deeply wounded and ashamed.  He was right about all of it, but the validity of his observations did little to lessen the sting of their impact.

Each criticism severed my connection to terra firma and made me feel more insecure, worthless, unloved, and unlovable than I had ever felt in my entire life, including the time I came in second-place in a city-wide karaoke contest.

Don’t judge me.  It felt important at the time.

So what was the “this” that lead to this, in addition to the collection of critiques above?

I finally spoke my mind about the chasm I saw between our families, with him and his children on one side and my son and I on the other.  This was familiar ground for us as a couple, but in ten years I had never voiced my feelings about that vast space to any of his kids, when his son and his son’s fiancee announced that my son, their stepbrother for 8 years, was not welcome at their rehearsal dinner.  My husband told me then that I was “insane” to think Jake should have been included.

So for years I had remained silent.  I had never challenged them on their peculiar attitudes towards me and my son.  For years, I waited for my husband to find the strength and courage to stand up for his wife and stepchild.  He never did, so I knew I’d have to speak up.

That day, I had.  It wasn’t pretty.  It did not go well, to say the least.

To be continued…

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Would-be robbers: I have an excellent house sitter who will fuck you up if you try anything in my absence!  Speaking of that, I won’t be able to moderate comments for the next few hours so if you are a new commenter, be patient!

 

 

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Nannette Cobb

    Obviously he’s delusional your hysterical and your wit may be a required taste, but I love it! Have you considered that he might have a new Mrs. Patience and understanding awaiting?

    1. Robin DesCamp

      I would consider it if I cared. Truly, I don’t. I’m doing very, very well!

  2. And a Bag of Chips

    Robin, first off, you are as funny as you think you are (rarely is this the case). Secondly, good riddance. Put the trash at the curb. Third, thank you for sharing this. It is very brave of you and I think it helps bring your readers in and feel closer to you. I know I do. Fourth, I can only imagine what this new chapter has in store for you! I picture you like Mary Tyler Moore, throwing your beret in the air and spinning around singing, “I am going to make it after all”!

  3. Nannette Cobb

    I meant to say acquired taste, however we might want to leave as REQUIRE, because the next Mr Descamp will need to love your sense of humor and wit. Hopefully with grown children with busy full-filled lives and will not require your assistance to find happiness.

  4. Sharon G

    I’ve been told several times to talk to you… tell you my story… get your thoughts and advice on what I’ve been forced to deal with for 10 yrs now and still counting. I was told not to be afraid to talk to you about this… that you are understanding… a good listener… trustworthy… an advocate. I was told something about your sense of humor even. Although I don’t recall the exact words, I do recall thinking,’hmmm, she sounds a bit like me’, but I’m not sure why. My brother once said I don’t have much of a filter. I speak the truth… exactly as I see it… pointing out it’s my persective in case someone wants to argue about it. This is the 2nd time I’ve been to your website. I was hoping to find a way to sit down with you and share my story, but it appears you too have much on your plate and won’t be available. PDX has been my hometown for over 40 yrs, “a lady never tells her age” hahaha- I’m no lady… well maybe I am. I will browse your site and look for contact information. Worse case scenario, you have my email information from leaving this comment and contact me. Good luck with whatever it is you are going to spend time away doing… even if it’s doing nothing at all. Sometimes that too is exactly what we need.

  5. Mike

    You are funny as hell and your ankles are world class!

  6. Jenn

    Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear this. 🙁

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Please, don’t be! I’m not! Blessings come in all sorts of forms, sometimes extremely unexpected.

      1. Nannette Cobb

        I love you using the the term blessings but that’s for another day. Love, prayers and Internet hugs.

  7. Mark

    Group vetting, I say! As my priest once told me when I informed him of my pending divorce, “Mark, sometimes you just have to say to Hell with it.”

  8. Annulment TBD

    Mark, sounds like a Jesuit! God does understand!

  9. Claudine Kent

    Your wit , honesty and self reflection make you a fabulous writer and person. You are strong, passionate and courageous . Never feel you are not enough. I sense, you are too much for Mr. Patience. Love your attitude and ability to entertain us with your personal story. I admire you and your talent. You have the beginnings of a great book !

  10. Signal Mixer

    If his friends do not like you, then Mr. Patience & Inderstanding needs to get a better class of friends, or at least some friends who are willing to reach outside of their comfort zone and conventionality.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Thanks for your comments but I totally disagree. He should not find different friends any more than I should! We both should have seen how different we were before jumping into marriage. I am confident everyone will emerge happy and healthy and find partners more appropriate to their personalities and proclivities. There are wonderful times ahead and great lessons have been learned.

      1. Signal Mixer

        What a wonderful attitude you have! Your clients at DBD are going to be well served and fortunate to have found you.

  11. Signal Mixer

    A person might not like your sense of humor, and people will react differently to your many bons mots, but it’s impossible for anyone to say that you are not humorous without showing himself or herself to be completely lacking in judgment. If he appreciates neither your humor nor your ankles (which really are spectacular), then you should not trust his opinion about anything else.

  12. Florida Fan

    Can I assume this blog and the last one are related? If so I’ll say this: any man who would think it’s OK to treat a kid like that and not insist he be at a wedding event after being in the family for ten years is no man at all. He sounds like a coward who will do anything his kids tell him to. Any person who would exclude their stepbrother from their rehearsal dinner is an asshole. Pardon my French but seriously, what a dick. If this is the same guy who you quoted talking about “Brian” in the letter to you, that tells you more than you ever need to know about who he is. My question is why you stayed so long. I hope you are getting counseling to answer that question because otherwise you’ll make the same mistake over and over again. Trust me I’ve been there and done that. Love yourself and surround yourself with good people. Love from your friend in Florida.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      No name-calling! Thanks for your thoughts but I don’t want this to become a bashing board or I’ll take down the comments. This will sound odd but this divorce is actually a beautiful thing – truly. There are many people who have been playing roles for too long and who are now free from those characters. I have been given the opportunity to find out who I really am and what I can do. Do you know how freeing that is? In the past two months since all this began, my life has changed enormously and in every way is better – and I am sure that is true for him too!

      We tried, we failed, but there is no shame in that. I am proud of the efforts I made over the years and I will not be ruled by unhappy memories. The future is a wide open road of exploration, expansion, and excitement. I can’t wait to take you all along with me!

      1. Terwilliger

        This is the right stuff, though I am not sure divorce is ever a beautiful thing. It is, however, certainly a fine time to be indulgent – and to indulge.

  13. Me

    You really DO have a time machine! Your post is 5 hours in the FUTURE!! Samantha was right!

    1. Robin DesCamp

      I can’t figure out how to fix that. As for Samantha, she recently mocked my current family situation. I found that wildly amusing, not only because I’ve never been happier, but also because: 1) I have an amazing relationship with the most important person in the world to me – my child, 2) My business is thriving and I have gone from being totally dependent upon someone to being 100% independent and able to pay all my expenses and have money to put into my nest egg, 3) I am having the time of my life with friends new and old, and 4) I still have my beautiful home in the neighborhood we share where we absolutely do not meet for coffee. I don’t mean to be a bitch (well, OK, I do) but I like to play a little game called “Scoreboard” every now and again. Ahem. Also, the company at which she claims to have been blackballed by me has no record of her. I recently met someone very high up at that company and her claims to have lost a job opportunity there because of me (hilarious since I want nothing more than for her to pay her obligations to her former family) were fabricated – made up out of whole cloth, if you will.

  14. Holla!

    I’m so happy to hear you’re handling this like the awesome, hilarious, sexy-ankled woman you are. I know you’ll be fine – no, you’ll be amazing! Girls night soon?

  15. Dani

    Hugs to you & your family. We all walk thru fire at times and it only makes us stronger and better. I look forward to watching you transform – but don’t change much, cause your pretty much perfect already.

Comments are closed.