I get up early every morning. This is a professional habit that later became cemented in place by an online Domme who lived in another timezone and really loved to control me from dawn to dusk—and on her time zone. I loved it too.
I was downstairs, making coffee, getting ready for a morning run (yes, drinking coffee before a run speeds muscle recovery time), writing, sorting papers. It is part of a morning ritual that begins each day at 5:00.
The children were with me, and so I was also preparing one of their favourite breakfast treats—the delicious smells wafting through the house. It was harm, almost hot, already by 7:00. The time was drifting. There came a loud banging on the door. I went downstairs in what I had slept in, hurrying, as missing the mailman or delivery guy is a frequent problem that results in all kinds of trouble to hunt down packages. I opened the door, and a burly man was standing there, and suddenly I felt rather underdressed.
“You’ve been served,” he said, in a line straight out of the movies.
“With what?” I asked.
“Divorce papers from your wife,” he said. He was really quite polite. Even sweet. I think my smile was disarming to him. He had also now had the time to take all of me in, and well, that was probably rather disarming too! “I’m really sorry to bother you like this in the morning,” he said.
“No worries,” I said, “it’s not you,” and I was thinking how badly I wanted to take a selfie with him but was afraid he would run away while I got my camera. I wish I had. I know the situation is serious, but it felt hilarious in a way. So dramatic.
A few weeks ago, the Financial Times had run a fascinating article on just this process. That in the UK, you have to serve papers to someone via a clerk of the court to ensure that they have been officially received. That my wife has chosen to “serve” me with divorce papers is vaguely hilarious. They are usually reserved from people who are really hard to get to…think Russian oligarchs or South American cartel leaders—people surrounded by security, behind the velvet rope, who are really seen in public. I had to laugh. She could have just handed them to me.
One by-product of this was that my children became aware of this. I had originally wanted to protect them from divorce, having been the child of divorced parents, and knowing how destructive divorce can be. And perhaps discovering that my wife is making it difficult for this to be a smooth and amicable separation. Maybe they never are. But in this way they got to know about it in rather spectacular style. And we talked about it.
Funnily enough, one said, “Mama kind of alluded to this not too long ago.”
“Really?” I asked thinking that we had talked about not telling the kids just yet.
“Yeah, she said you guys weren’t really getting along. That you weren’t really seeing each other much anymore. That things weren’t good.”
Another said, “this is what I predicted last night.” The first child concurred.
“Really, was it that obvious?”
“Well, I hope you kids are going to be okay about it.”
We had a long conversation about how much both of us loved them, that they were the most important things in our lives, the best things that ever happened to either one of us. In the end I am glad they found out in this way. It was important to me that they know I am being divorced because I am transgender, not for some other reason, and that my wife is unlikely to be truthful on this point with them.
It would have been very difficult for me to have sat at the dining table with wife and children and listened to her lie about her motivations or to have felt constrained away from telling our children the truth. In the end, this is much better. It is a huge relief.
All these events are conspiring to lift my spirits, to raise my optimism for the future. I can’t wait to meet a woman who will just accept me as I am.