I received a notice in the mail yesterday that I have to report to court to settle one of the financial messes that my ex left behind. I have known that this was coming, but that does not make its arrival any easier.
I’m angry. Angry that he continues to dodge his responsibilities while I, as a tax-paying citizen who holds a job and a valid driver’s license, gets to deal with the mess he so casually left behind.
I’m anxious. Even now, almost three years out from the initial blow, I’m still half-waiting for another explosion.
But, most of all, I feel ashamed. I don’t know why, but this is my response when I feel like people are judging me, even when their assumptions are untrue. These people don’t know anything of my story, nor do they care. I want to walk in there, head held high, with the “innocent spouse” letter from the IRS fastened to my collar, an anti-scarlet letter. I want them to know that I am the one cleaning up the mess, not the one who left it there in the first place.
But, I guess it doesn’t matter. Part of marriage is cleaning up after your spouse. My clean-up duties just happen to extend beyond the matrimony. I’ll walk in there, keep my story to myself, and take care of business, leaving me with one less of his messes to clean up.