Okay, let’s slow this train down a bit.
Actually, let’s bring it to a screeching halt.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that the story of my last year or so hasn’t been told in the clearest of ways. As I sit back and read through my entries, my life on virtual paper, I realize, to some, this may be very true.
You see, in order to protect certain individuals involved in my mess of a life, I tend to take a different approach to writing about my everyday happenings and emotions. I do not do this to hide my responsibility for my own actions, but rather to not tell too much of the story and let the reader develop their own sense of relation to what I may be experiencing. In doing so, there have been sentiments and sympathy thrown my way from the best of people. And even though these words of encouragement helped me get through some of the hardest of times, I now realize that certain people may feel that I was not deserving of such kind words and that I was, in fact, playing the victim role when I shouldn’t have been.
Over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of twists and turns in my so-called life. Some have been bad, others have been extremely good. I have hit a new level of honesty with someone that I’ve hurt really bad. And in the interest of opening the book for everyone who has questioned me to see, in interest of keeping a level of honesty so high, I have decided to tell my story as purely and blatantly as possible. This is my attempt to set the record straight, to expunge and dispel any rumors and untruths. Some of you may hate me even more after this. And you know what? That’s okay. I am not doing this for the sake of your comfortableness. I am doing this for me, for her, and for the myriad of others I have hurt, confused, and completely baffled over the last year.
So, here goes nothing. I hope to see you on the other side.
(***Please note: This is my life. This is real. I am not doing this for sympathy or for personal benefit. I am not doing this to look good or to be played up as something I am not. This is my account of events and craziness that this last year has brought. You can do with it as you will.***)
Part One: The Beginning of the End
Shortly before the birth of our second child, I started to get really ill. Daily, new and mysterious symptoms would seem to pop up out of nowhere. As any good patient would do, I spent loads of time and money hopping from one specialist to the next. I mean, if they had an “ologist” added to the end of their specialty, I had one, if not two or more appointments scheduled with them. Test after test revealed a bunch of obscure abnormalities, but nothing that fit a bigger picture, nothing that seem to fit any type of diagnosis. On a daily basis, I could feel my mood decline, my happiness seem to sleep almost completely away.
Without a doubt, around this very time, I am convinced this is when a fickle little bitch called “depression” started to take hold. Of course, my wife noticed and urged me to get help. Me, being the alpha-dumbassmotherfucker-male, denied up and down that I was anywhere near that hideous label of being one of those “depressed” folks. I could surely handle these feelings on my own. I sure the hell didn’t need therapy. And medication? Heh. Medication was for the weak. I was NOT weak. I was a man, dammit.
With my mental status and physical status both quickly declining, thoughts of divorce crept into my mind constantly. I mean, I had fleeting thoughts about it before. But they were just that. Fleeting. There one minute and gone the next. What married person hasn’t thought about it one time or another? But this time around, it was different. Those thoughts that were once just an aberration, were now front and center on a daily basis.
At this point, I had been married for over 8 wonderful years. On the outside (and even on the inside) our marriage was rock solid and except for a few revolving issues (which mostly had to do with my emotional unavailability), we were the epitome of a successful marriage. But still, I felt broken inside. I felt like I never could fully open up to her and reciprocate the type of love she deserved. I felt like a coward because I couldn’t tell her what was going on in my mind out of pure and simple fear of hurting her feelings. I mean, what if these feelings all the sudden just went away? Why would I bring them up if they surely would soon disappear? But alas, the cowardice built up inside to a point that it brought another emotion in with it. Hello, guilt. How very nice to meet you.
As the months went on, my health was declining and failing fast. To make matters even more complicated, we now had a newborn in the house with a four year old to boot. Combined with the lack of sleep and an extremely colicy baby, my health was nearing a breaking point. Little did I know, I would be hospitalized soon. And not just for a quick moment either.
For the better part of a month, I was in and out of the hospital. I accumulated a total of 18 days in aggregate being poked with needles, blasted with radiation, and put on every type of intravenous medication known to man. In and out of drug induced consciousness, I could see my wife standing, sitting, sleeping, and watching over me all the while keeping a house together and two kids safe, healthy, and satiated. Not only was this very comforting to me, it was also crushing at the same time. Here is this remarkable woman keeping her vow to me in sickness and I am consumed with thoughts of divorce. Whatever was left of my happiness was wiped clean off the earth at this time. I despised myself. I hated everything I was. I was a fucking loser. I wasn’t a man. I was weak, lost, and above all, a terrible husband. Who could you even think of a divorce after she stood next you rock steady during your worst of times? What a despicable excuse for a human being I had become.
After an EUREKA! moment by a couple of physicians, I was finally released from the hospital and sent home to start my recuperation. As I arrived home and settled in, I was convinced that since we had made it through this toughest time, the thoughts that screamed so loudly in my head, would certainly reverse course and cease to exist. We had, once again, made it through the dark and there had to be nothing but light ahead, right?
But there was never any light coming out of my little tunnel. And being the intuitive, caring wife, she started to notice my attitude had changed. Still, I pressed on. Her questions about my happiness where quickly answered with a wide array of reassurances. For the most part, those reassurances were completely true. You see, I did love her. And I was happy on some levels some of the time. The problem had nothing to do with her. The problem(s) were all self contained. That is, until that night.
As the tears strolled down both of our faces, my mind finally came to terms with what just came blurting out of my mouth.
“I want a divorce.”
After 9 years of marriage, I had just brought down the entire relationship with four words. I felt sick. I wanted to vomit. At that point, I truly wanted to die. My mind swirled as she lashed out in anger and sadness. Throughout our entire marriage, I was hellbent on never making her hurt or sad. I tried my best to always insure there was a smile on her face at all times. But there I was, doing the very thing I promised I would never do. Hurting her was one of my biggest fears. And I was solely responsible for the tears, I was the only one causing the hurt.
That night was one of the worst nights of my life. My heart still pounds and my hands still shake when I think about it. A lot of people think that once you ask for a divorce, that’s it, that’s all there is. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Reality hits you harder than you ever thought possible. The hatred, the loathing, and the fear quickly invade whatever emotional vacancies you have left. Nobody ever wakes up wanting to voluntarily hurt the one they love. I, for one, never thought I would be that guy.
But I was.
And unfortunately, this was only the beginning to the end.
(To be continued…)