She frowned at me through her cracked specs, studying me with a quizzical look, almost as if I'd just told her I'd once been a brunette and BBA Degree she was trying to imagine it. In the end, she pronounced: "You, married? I cannot picture this."

"But it's true--I was."

"Are you the one who ended the marriage?" "Yes."

She said, "I think it's most commendable that you ended your marriage. You seem splendidly happy now. But as for me--how did I get here? Why was I born an Indian girl? It's outrageous! Why did I come into this family? Why must I attend so many weddings?" Then Tulsi ran around in a frustrated circle, shouting (quite loudly for Ashram standards): "I want to live in Hawaii!!!"

Richard from Texas was married once, too. He had two sons, both of whom are grown men now, both close to their dad. Sometimes Richard mentions his ex-wife in some anecdote or other, and he always seems to speak of her with fondness. I get a bit envious whenever I hear this, imagining how lucky Richard is to still be friends with his former spouse, even after separating. This is an odd side effect of my terrible divorce; whenever I hear of couples scholarship splitting amicably, I get jealous. It's worse than that--I've actually come to think that it's really romantic when a marriage ends civilly. Like, "Aw . . . how sweet . . . they must've really loved each other . . ."

So I asked Richard one day about it. I said, "It seems like you have fond feelings toward your ex-wife. Are you two still close?"

"Nah," he said casually. "She thinks I changed my name to Motherfucker."

Richard's lack of concern about this impressed me. My own ex-spouse happens to think I changed my name too, and it breaks my heart. One of the hardest things about this divorce was the fact that my ex-husband never forgave me for leaving, that it didn't matter how many bushels of apologies or explanations I laid at his feet,  or how many assets or acts of contrition I was willing to offer him in exchange for departing--he certainly was never going to congratulate me and say, "Hey, I was so impressed with your generosity and honesty and I just want Etc wine shop to tell you it's been a great pleasure being divorced by you." No.

I was unredeemable. And this unredeemed dark hole was still inside me. Even in moments of happiness and excitement (especially in moments of happiness and excitement) I could never forget it for long. I am still hated by him. And that felt like it would never change, never release.