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He Sold The Company

June 13, 2013

Friday, June 7, afternoon:

I was sitting with my co-worker at my desk discussing a project. I got a text message from my ex-husband. “I sent you an important e-mail.”

Uggghh. Oh God. What now? I checked my e-mail. I started reading.

Holy Shit. He sold the company. He sold the company back to the owners he bought it from. What the hell happened?

My ex-husband worked for this company some 15 years ago. They fired him after he started taking anti-depressants and behaving differently. He stopped thinking about work as a life and death, all or nothing commitment. He started placing value on family. He started coming home at reasonable hours. So, they fired him. We moved when he got another offer at a printing company on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Of course, the attitude shift didn’t last. He stopped taking the medication and shifted back to his former way of being.

Eleven years later these same owners approached him to buy the company they fired him from. They courted and negotiated for a year, ultimately coming up with a bizarre deal that made him the owner in a sort-of rent-to-own scheme. We moved back to Lafayette for our new life with an empty nest and a challenging future. That was July of 2011. We separated that October and were divorced by the following July.

In May of 2012, I sat across from him and he told me that after I left, the previous owners and his business lawyer pressured him to file for divorce, so he did. “I don’t want you to think I was choosing between you and the company,” he told me. I sat back in my chair and let out a sigh. Of course I thought that. That’s pretty much what he did. It was his choice. He could have said, “I have to go see about my wife because my marriage is the most important thing to me,” or he could have filed for divorce. The choice was his alone. Pressure or no.

During the divorce process I agonized over whether I should accept a settlement or try to take half the company. My lawyer and accountant pushed to go to court and take my chances with a judge. Finally I decided he deserved to have the company. It was his baby. His hard work. He had sacrificed everything to own that company. I decided to let him have it. I was taking a risk. He could end up successful and wealthy and I could end up poor. (I am poor.) But I had nothing to do with it, so I let him have it, free and clear.

And now, I found out that he sold it back to the previous owners!

I read the e-mail to my co-worker in disbelief.  “…..looking for new opportunities….need to find a job soon….” What in the world happened?

I found myself smiling uncontrollably. I was laughing. I looked at my co-worker and asked, “Why am I so happy?”

“Because you win.” she declared.

“No,” that’s not it. I said.

That wasn’t why I was smiling. I was relieved. A flush of memories passed through me as I was taken back to the days of endless tension. The blame, the criticism, the stress. It was overwhelming. I was smiling because I wasn’t with him. I was happy to not be with him right now. The toxic pool of negativity that must be his existence at this moment. I was free. I felt the enormity of my freedom at the moment. I live in a piece of shit apartment. I can’t afford anything. I am poor. But I am free. Every day I am around the people I choose. And those people like me and admire me. They compliment me and encourage me. I laugh and sing and exercise and love. I had dinner with Mr. Z’s roommates last night. I sat in another crappy little apartment eating home cooked Indian food on plastic chairs and talked about history and culture and it was glorious.

I am not soaking in the pool of toxic existence. I am not the receptacle for the blame monster. I am not being accused of being a burden. I don’t have to try to hold up a weak person living a delusion. I don’t have to bend and compromise and give away pieces of my soul every day. I am not with him.

It’s not very often that you are presented with actual validation of a very difficult decision. The universe provided me that gift Friday.

I’m not happy that he failed this venture. There will be others. Failure is just part of learning. Ironically, a part of me is kind of proud of him for taking the risk and trying. He bought a company and ran it for two years. Good for him. If I were his friend I would be telling him that. But I’m not his friend. I am not his wife.

I am free.

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From → Rantings

2 Comments
  1. What an honest and vulnerable post. Nice.

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