Thursday, November 27, 2014

Coolest. Trees. Ever.

At the University of Virginia, LegalMist's alma mater, stand the coolest trees in the world.  They are called "Pratt Ginkgo Trees," and they are lovely.  They are found elsewhere, too, of course.  But I remember, very clearly, exactly one day at the end of autumn, just as winter was beginning at the University, watching these beautiful trees shed their leaves.

They do not lose leaves gradually, like other trees.  Instead, they drop them all at once, in about one day.  I sat for about three hours one afternoon near the Lawn at U.Va., watching one gorgeous tree drop leaves.  It looked like snow.

I found a video for you on YouTube of a ginkgo tree at someone's house, that looks about like that tree at U.Va. looked, on that gorgeous fall day, dropping leaves so fast that it almost looked like a snowstorm.  Here it is:

I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Divorcing this narcissist will be hell on steroids...

No one gets married thinking they will get divorced.

Well, maybe some people do, but then they are fools.

But let me give you some free advice:  Before you get married, think about how a divorce would go, if it were to come to that, sometime in the distant future.  And then don't marry anyone who you would not want to have to try to divorce.

I knew from the beginning that my then-boyfriend could be mean and vindictive if he felt he had been "wronged."  I watched him treat others badly and seek petty revenge when he felt they had treated him badly.

But I was in love, and so was he, and at the time, we were nice to each other.  He was fun to be with, creative, smart, funny, adventurous, romantic...  We both thought we would be friends forever, regardless of what else might happen between us.

We were wrong.

We have tried marriage counseling.  It helped, marginally, for a while.  The counselor would tell us both things that we should work on to improve our relationship.  But instead of taking the counselor's advice and applying it to himself, my husband too often used it as a weapon against me, as in "The doctor said you are supposed to ____" or "are not supposed to ___" -- all the while, not working on the issues the counselor had asked him to work on.  He wouldn't take seriously the "couples exercises" the counselor assigned -- the ones in the book designed to build trust and understanding.  He would say they were "silly" or "goofy" and he didn't want to do them.  If I pushed the point, he would give short or flip answers to the questions asked.  I gave up.

Eventually, I gave up on the marriage. I got tired of giving and not feeling appreciated or loved.  The constant criticism is just too much to bear. I guess a part of me felt like, if he was going to criticize constantly, he might as well have something to criticize.

At this point, we are not friends, and we are not lovers.  There is open hostility, snide remarks made in front of the kids, and a complete lack of communication about many issues.  It is time to end this marriage.

It is not good for me.  It is not good for him.  It cannot possibly be good for the kids.

And yet I dread it, because I know he will be manipulative, vindictive, and downright mean.  He thinks I have treated him badly.  I think he is wrong, but it doesn't matter what I think.  I know what is coming.

I have assisted so many others through this process.  I have seen the damage a manipulative, vindictive, and mean person, with the "right" ("wrong?") lawyer, can inflict on a soon-to-be-ex-spouse, on the kids, on the family as a whole.

I do not want my kids to be in this crossfire.

But the only way through to the other side, to peace and the potential for real happiness, is a divorce.