I’m back, chapter 1

So it’s been a looooong time since my last post and nearly everything in my world has been turned upside down so this is going to be a series of long catch-up posts broken up into chapters. A little less than two months after my post in February of 2012, my then wife took me out to dinner at Olive Garden and broke the news that she was leaving me. It was totally unexpected and came in the wake of being completely let down by missing out on what I thought at the time would be a life-changing 1st teaching job after I had put in 5 years of hard work as a substitute building a good professional reputation. She had been thinking about separation for a while and had already made her peace with just living out life as a single woman in a small house with my son as the only man in her life. I didn’t know how to react or really think she would go through with the divorce, so she started staying with an older male teacher she coached track with who was her BFF at the time while I stayed in our home with our son except for a few hours each night when she would visit him while I left the house. This arrangement was my idea to appease her and accommodate her early morning CrossFit workouts and coaching schedule. After about a week of this her parents convinced her that I should be the one to move out since she made more money and thus had more of a claim to live in our home we had purchased jointly in 2010 after becoming pregnant with our son. I believe her parents made her the narcissistic person she is by always teaching her to look out for number one. This just further reinforced the feeling of being a second-class citizen due to our individual financial contributions to our marriage that had already been an ever looming issue since I had originally moved in to her first home part time while I was still going to college back in 2006.

I started binge drinking to try and drown the feelings that come with the ultimate form of rejection that absolutely crushes your sense of self-worth as a human being and changes absolutely everything you thought you had planned for the rest of your life. I became hypomanic, sleeping for a few hours a night and trying to validate my self worth by sleeping around with women I picked up at the bar or strip club. Of course that would only numb the pain for a few hours. At the same time however, I was doing everything productive I could do to try and save our marriage. I was doing CrossFit almost every morning at 5:30 before work to make myself more attractive and feel better, and was dragging my wife to counseling at the same place I had done my Intensive Outpatient Program following my DUI conviction back in 2011. She seemed to be just going through the motions for the first few sessions just to make me happy and say she tried, and things hadn’t really changed much until an anonymous letter arrived in her mailbox at school from the friend of one of my one-night stands telling her what had happened. We were separated but my wife called me furious asking if I had cheated on her. I thought we were separated so didn’t see the wrong in it, but of course I denied everything and so did the woman I slept with when my wife confronted her at the softball fields, mostly out of fear. The funny thing is that event lit a fire under my wife and made her realize that she wanted to be with me again. Maybe I was on to something, people generally want the things they can’t have or are jealous of the things others have, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. I’ll never forget the night I was washing dishes in the kitchen and she came up behind me, wrapped her arms around to hold my stomach and told me she wasn’t ready to be done. It was as if the governor had given me a pardon just as the executioner was about to throw the switch on the electric chair. The knot in my stomach and tightness in my heart was gone, and for the first time in forever I felt the sensation of happiness and joy.

It was at this point my wife came up with the idea to move to Texas for a fresh start away from the black hole that is my hometown. We had talked about moving there back when we were both in college because it would be an awesome place to live with many more opportunities for activities and better weather. People almost never leave my hometown and hardly change from high school, it’s a very stale, cold, windy, and depressing place to live, especially in the long, bleak winters. Throughout this process we fell back in love and I couldn’t be happier, I bought her a wedding band and re-proposed to her at the lake we had fallen in love at back in 2003. Soon after that, I was offered my first official teaching position at a middle school in Austin, Texas. She didn’t have any luck with jobs since art positions are pretty rare, so the plan was for me to move down first, and her and little man would follow later. I imagine that pioneers felt the same anxiousness and optimism I felt as I packed my car to the brim that August and left behind everything familiar in search of a better life and to save my marriage somewhere I didn’t know a soul.

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~ by vann1912 on 2 November, 2014.

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