August of 2012 was technically when this whole thing started.
It was started because we weren’t happy.
So simple really.
Counseling, marriage retreats, lessons learning to communicate, parenting seminars, marriage workbooks…
We seriously tried everything.
Night after night of arguing and fighting.
In front of the kids, behind closed doors, it didn’t matter.
Some days he was my best friend.
That’s what I held onto for so long.
I held onto the fact that we had grown up together, we had gone through so much, we always made it, we were always ok.
The thing is, we never really were though.
If you tell a lie enough, you eventually start to believe it.
I used to tell my mom that I would never put up with this or I would never let that happen…
I don’t know exactly when it all became ok but at some point, all the things that I swore would never fly, were swarming around my head.
I really did but I ended up lost.
We had been together 6 or 7 months; I’ll never forget it, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of the Blockbuster in the city where I was working at the time.
My baby was 2 and she was my whole world.
My whole world.
He was on the phone and we were arguing, nothing big, but we were going back and forth.
He told me that he couldn’t handle her.
I remember saying that sucks cause she was here first and if you can’t handle her then we’re done talking.
He said ok.
That was all, just ok.
He hung up.
That was that.
I was totally shocked.
That was my first glimpse at how he dealt with things though.
We got back together obviously, but that was a huge moment.
I didn’t know it yet, unfortunately, but it was.
No one wants to fight.
I know that, I get that not everyone loves a good debate like I do and I respect the fact that some people can’t talk when they’re mad.
Some people need to go for a drive or a long walk down a long driveway.
I get it.
What I had just been a part of though, in that parking lot, was what would ultimately destroy my marriage.
He could not show anyone how he felt.
He would much rather appear to not care, even if it meant losing someone.
Acting like you mean nothing to him was his specialty.
That was his coping mechanism.
For the rest of us though, that meant we had to decide to believe he loved us when he says he hates us.
Or was it the other way around?
It got blurry along the way, really blurry.
I couldn’t handle it.
I’m a big proponent of telling my babies every day, several times a day, that I love them.
I’m a huge hugger and if you’re walking out the door I fully believe you should know just how much I love you before you take that final step.
I believe in manners and I believe in rules and respect.
I don’t believe in accomplishing those things through fear or bullying.
There’s a huge difference between teaching manners and respect and your kids being scared so they behave.
As a young mom, I had a lot to learn.
I thought I was doing a good job with my girl but when someone came along to help me, oh my word was I grateful!
Maybe his way was better.
The kids seemed so much better behaved when he was around.
I can’t make big ol bug eyes like that…
It wasn’t the big ol bug eyes though.
I didn’t realize it until one day when my wise Grandma said it.
She has no filter.
Something clicked and I realized I wasn’t ok with anything anymore, I really never was.
I couldn’t tell anyone though.
I couldn’t risk someone not liking him.
I know how that turns out and I couldn’t do that again.
I tried handling it myself.
It was all or none with him though.
If I didn’t like the way he disciplined, well then he wouldn’t do it at all.
Lose – lose.
Things were not ok but I had to keep a calm, happy face.
It’s not easy to explain how difficult it was.
Fighting to keep your family together, fighting to keep your kids happy, fighting to keep your husband happy while the whole time you’re so sad and miserable yourself.
We had a spotless house.
Never a toy out of place.
To me, that always seemed so sad.
It looked good though and let me tell you, people commented on how nice our house always looked.
It was nice but would it hurt to let the kids play in the living room?
Again, either you want me to help clean or you don’t.
No leeway, no grey area.
This way or no way.
It was exhausting.
Just as soon as I got to the point of full on overload, I can’t take anymore or I’m going to go insane; we had a great couple of weeks.
It was a cycle that was very unpredictable.
All I ever wanted was for him to stop being so anal and tell us all how much we meant to him.
Just stop and kiss and hug everyone without me telling him to.
Without me asking.
Tell me you appreciate all that I do.
Instead the answer was always, then don’t do it S.
It wasn’t that I minded doing anything, I loved to do all of it.
My family was my whole world.
My one and only job was to keep the 4 of them happy and all I wanted was to be reassured that I was doing it.
That was all.
I was reassured.
Yes I was.
Every Mother’s Day in the card I got it said, Thank you for all you do.
When the day finally came that enough was enough I stood in the kitchen and told him we were going to get an apartment.
He said ok.
I was sobbing like a two year old having a meltdown.
Please tell me you don’t want us to go.
He said I don’t care what you do.
I kept on, all I needed was to hear him say he loved us and didn’t want us to leave.
He never did.
That was the first time I made the decision to break up our family.
Five years after that day nothing had changed.
Well, not for long anyway.
I tried to be ok with things but I wasn’t.
My life felt dark.
It felt like I was walking around with a blindfold on, not really going anywhere, not really doing anything.
My final tipping point, the moment where I knew with every inch of my heart and soul that I just couldn’t anymore…
Despite all the good, all the bad and all the in between there was a moment when I looked at him and I just knew.
Sometimes you just know.
The very end?
I wrecked his truck.
It was an awful accident and in the ambulance they told me I was lucky to be alive.
I was crying because I knew how upset he’d be about his truck.
Not his wife.
When he got to the hospital I told him I was sorry.
My mom said S, he’s just happy you’re ok.
He was silent.
I was looking at him, deep in his eyes, crying and I said I’m sorry again; he didn’t bend down to kiss me or tell me he loved me, he didn’t grab my hand and hold it tight.
He just said, I know I’ll never have anything nice.
That was all.
I asked them to go get me some water and I laid there with tears running down my face.
I knew that was it.
That was the end.
We wouldn’t be ok.