Choosing What Was Behind Door Number One

Colorful Door

Colorful Door (Photo credit: brentdanley)

When I was 19 I got married for the first time to a 9th grade high school drop-out, pot smoker who’s biggest aspirations in life was to become a rock star.  By the time we were 26 years old, he left me on New Year’s Eve after a seemingly innocuous argument over a ceiling fan we had just received as a Christmas gift.  As he packed his things into a cardboard box and I stood in the doorway to the bedroom door of our trailer home and watched, he summed up our life together saying, “I don’t want to be a dad and a husband anymore.  You have been holding me back from becoming a rock star.”

Of course, one paragraph cannot sum up ten years of a life with somebody; it started out when we were 16 years old, when I was a junior in high school and he was working at McDonald’s, already living on his own with some friends in an apartment.  We had the typical relationship of a rebel teen and a straight A student.  My parents hated him and thought I could do better, but it mattered very little to me, he was my way out of the hell that was my home.  He cheated on me, I cheated on him, but we were drawn to each other in a dysfunctional way.

When we got married, it was on a whim, no big plan with a fancy wedding… I was hundreds of miles away at my sister’s house and had just come back into town.  He asked me on a Friday, we made the arrangements on a Saturday and were married on Monday.  My mother was not even certain if she was going to be able to attend.  The day of the ceremony, my father offered him $2000 if he would just walk away; to this day, I am not certain why he didn’t.

In the back of my mind, I always knew I would never grow old with him.  I am a person who dreams a great deal; every morning I wake up and can recall very vividly what I have dreamt about the previous night, and I daydream and fantasize… he was never there in my future, not even the next day.  So, when we broke up less than a year after our wedding, I was not surprised.

However, as is typical of these types of relationships, we got back together for the last time; but this time, I got pregnant immediately. That solidified the relationship a little more, made it a little more real, required us to grow up a bit, but it was no more loving or caring than it had ever been.  And, six months after our daughter was born, I was pregnant a second time.

We went through the motions of marriage for several years.  Or rather, I should say, we were parents, no real marriage.  I loved my children, hugged them, told them I loved them, did arts and crafts, took them places, did everything I thought I technically should to show them that I loved them.  But somehow I knew it was fleeting, that we did not have a family.

And, I was right, that New Year’s Eve when he packed his box and left all three of us.  I learned a few days after he left that he had a 17 year old girlfriend that was pregnant.

Was it then that I started to have no affect?

Or was the fact that I had no affect the reason for him cheating?

6 thoughts on “Choosing What Was Behind Door Number One

  1. Holy crap is this significant.

    I get the marriage thing, how different you two were, that it was the way to get out of your home and away from your parents, the having two kids and the breaking up. A very common story, sad to say. In the context of all the writings I’ve gone through so far, no big. I did enjoy your father offering the guy two grand to just walk away. I would have done the same and perhaps offered more and I still would today. Now let’s get serious.

    In describing raising your two girls, you write, “. . . did everything I thought I technically should to show them that I loved them.” Maybe I have the wrong vibe from this, but that sounds rather cold. I’m sure you loved them dearly, but that immediately set off an alarm in my head. Noe for the big one.

    Second to the last line of your article, “Was it then that I started to have no affect.” Is this the crack where we place the chisel and tap with a hammer? Does anyone dare? To me it is rather important to know whether you always had no affect (I know it gets better and worse) or whether there is some defining moment that triggered all this. The grand question goes to how much can be restored and how much is necessarily there from the beginning as nature.

    I accept you gladly as you are today November 30, 2012, but if you want and can achieve better then I’m on board.

    I wish I could do more than coldly point out what seems blatantly obvious to me but that is all I have to offer. I have no more to give today, but there is still tomorrow.

    • Thank you, Sir. I accept your comments. I am not certain I know how to respond… am I hurt? Am I … nonchalant? Cold? Callus?

      I am not sure… I do know your comments have made me think… I loved my girls; however, everybody has told me that I was a terrible mother; that I am a terrible mother. Including my own children.

      I know I have not always been flat. I used to be known as the life of the party, the girl everybody wanted to be around… something happened. I’m trying to figure out exactly what..

      Two bad marriages… a lifetime of regret… not fulfilling my dreams. No idea.

      I’m sorry if I disappointed you, Sir.

      Always,
      Me

      • NEVER that you disappointed me. Never that.

        I just thought I saw something that might help enlighten on closer examination. Sometimes we say or write something that we don’t realize is important, other times we misspeak and say the opposite of what we intend or what is true. Perhaps I will do that with you from time to time.

        I wish only to help and nurture, maybe to lend a shoulder to lean on. I am so sorry if I provided otherwise. I would wrap you in a soft blanket and protect you from the world if not for the fear of smothering you.

        I think the Christmas story you shared recently proves how much your children loved you. It is my belief in the overall context that someone other than yourself convinced them otherwise, poisoned their viewpoint. I have said that before and I believe it more and more.

        I am so proud of you for what you are attempting and how you are going about it, by laying yourself bare. Very few people could even bring themselves to attempt what you so powerfully succeed at.

        Perhaps what is most significant is knowing what you do want to feel and who you want to be. And once knowing that one must wonder if anyone truly has whatever that might be. What people appear to be and what they feel like inside can be so very different.

        Pride and admiration I feel toward you. And protective. Never anything else.

      • Sir, thank you for clarifying. I did not mean to reply so quickly; I have been hurt… often, and deeply.

        Often times it is difficult to read (no pun intended) what others are trying to say to me. Your kind words sometimes are very foreign…

        Tonight, I am teary-eyed at what you say…

        Thank you,
        Me

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