Book 44 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from May 19 - 22
Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce by Stacy Morrison
Summary (via Goodreads)
Just when Stacy Morrison thought everything in her life had come together, her husband of ten years announced he wanted a divorce. She was left alone with a new house that needed a lot of work, a new baby who needed a lot of attention, and a new job in the high-pressure world of New York magazine publishing.
Morrison had never been one to believe in fairy tales. As far as she was concerned, happy endings were the product of the kind of ambition and hard work that had propelled her to the top of her profession. But she had always considered her relationship with her husband a safe place in her often stressful life. All of her assumptions about how life works crumbled, though, when she discovered that no amount of will and determination was going to save her marriage.
For Stacy, the only solution was to keep on living, and to listen - as deeply and openly as possible - to what this experience was teaching her.
Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriage offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere.
Very engaging and the pages turned quickly.
I could hear her heartbreak and desperation in this passage:
""Please help me understand," I said. "If you really think this is over and you are done, I beg you to help me get it, to explain it to me enough so that I can see what you see - why we can't be together - so I have half a chance of being able to move on and let go." So I can breathe again someday. So I can be a good mother to your son. So the entirety of these years we shared is not thrown into doubt. So I don't have to spend the rest of my life with a black spot on my heart, hating you for destroying everything we built together. I knew I might not ever agree with his reasons about why we couldn't be together anymore, but I also knew that without understanding at least part of it, I would spend the rest of my life asking the same questions, wondering what I could have done differently to avoid this terrible outcome."
As always, I wonder what the other people involved think about the book. Although she does include unflattering things about herself she is also pretty judgmental about how others handle things.
I thought this was an interesting point:
"People often asked me if Chris was dating again, but I didn't obsess about that so much. Chris + Some Other Person = Happy isn't where my anxiety lived; Chris - Me = Happy was much more difficult to accept."
I also appreciate that she was able to make distinctions between herself and some of the struggles other women may face that she doesn't because of her support and resources. To quote from the book, "I was not actually a single mom, but a mom who was no longer married to her child's father. I had too much support and presence from Chris to pretend I was on my own in parenting..."
A Few Quotes from the Book
""I'm done with this," he said, gesturing with his hand to encompass our living room, our kitchen, our home, our son, our future, our dreams, every single memory we'd ever made together in our thirteen years as a couple, and me, suddenly meaningless me."
"Chris was going to leave me. And leave Zack. And leave the shell of our life and the shell of our house behind. I would be left there, listening to the echoes of our dreams."
"I was learning that divorce is not a fight, it is a funeral. It is the death of a shared dream, a fatal fall after a beautiful leap of faith."