I had to fill out some online crap survey the other day. Mostly, the early questions were simple: Name, age, etc. But, one in particular raises ire within me every time I see it: Status.
I was married, happily, I thought. But, my spouse apparently was not and divorced me. There are a plethora of choices in surveys: married, widowed, partnered, divorced, domestic partnership, single, etc. Every time I have to bubble in DIVORCED, I get pissed. I am surprised at my response. I am not mad that I am no longer married. I am, however, FURIOUS that I am divorced. I am filled with anger, hurt, disappointment, rage at times, even fear.
Occasionally, a sense of haughtiness even appears as though I should still be married, but my spouse couldn’t handle a grownup relationship with valleys and peaks and plateaus. Her inability to be an adult fucked up my ability to be un-single on stupid internet surveys, after all. That is a legit cause for anger, right?
I am angry because I am divorced and being divorced isn’t a status. It is a failure. It is an excruciating process that sometimes separates me from my child at bedtime. It changes my financial status and ability to provide for my child. It changes my self-perception. Being divorced shook my sense of self and made me question my ability to read people. I was lied to, betrayed and humiliated for a good 6 months before I caught on. Being divorced reminds me that I was an idiot. Being divorced makes me feel like a colossal failure on so many levels.
The status question pokes at my frailty and highlights every insulting thing hurled my way during a 3 year uncoupling.
So, I have made a decision to be single, not divorced. On stupid internet surveys and in real life. I choose to acknowledge an event in my life but not be flattened by it. I have done hard work and been introspective almost to the point of distraction. I can own my actions, but I don’t have to own anyone else’s.
So, fuck you internet survey. I am single.