One warm evening when I was seven (I think) my brother, mom, dad and I were driving with the top down in our little Morris Minor. We were at
I asked a question that would haunt me for the rest of my life. “What does divorce mean?” After it was explained to me my folks asked us how we would feel about it happening to our family. My brother and I put on brave faces and told them if that’s what they wanted it was okay with us. It wasn’t of course. For years I thought I gave them the idea.
I’ve lost people I love very much over the years. Bad things have happened to good people. I don’t think anything hit me as hard as that. It still hurts if I let it.
I loved both of my parents and couldn’t accept anything tearing our family apart. Kids need that I think but what doesn’t kill you…….
There had been a lot of fighting and yelling. I know now that it was an impossible situation for my mother. It had to happen. I made a silent resolution that this would never happen if I had kids.
It happened! When my ex told me our marriage was over I couldn’t believe it. I was in a fog for months. She talked me into taking antidepressants.
I told my old girlfriend Joanie about it. My emotions must have been pretty close to the surface. “Someone finally got to you,” she said. I didn’t want to sound like a complete jerk by telling her I wasn’t that hurt by our breakup. It was the loss to our kids.
Friends tried to keep me distracted. I went out a lot. Let me tell you antidepressants and booze don’t mix. I was a complete ass!
My buddy Steve took me to
I almost went back to apologize. I found myself doing that a lot in those days. I’ve always thought bad behavior under the influence was a glimpse of who you really are inside.
One afternoon we were having a barbeque on our deck and Kim’s folks were there. I was incoherent from pills and booze and decided to start a religious argument. They considered themselves biblical scholars and were incredibly offended by my remarks. It didn’t help that I was mixing facts in my delirium.
After (what was becoming too commonplace) my apologies the next day I began to do some soul searching.
The pills were incredibly easy to get from my doctor. I’d been on a few different types for a few months now. It occurred to me their purpose was to keep me from dealing directly with my problems. I realized things really were that bad and I needed to feel every bit of the painful truth. Instead of being incapacitated by my troubles, I really did become stronger.
I stayed at the house for a year before moving back to the city. It took a long time for us to get the courage to tell the kids. We were all in tears. I got really angry when Kim hugged the kids and said, “We’ll make it somehow.” I saw it all as her fault.
That night, as I lay in the dark in bed devastated and still in tears, Kim came in and sat at the edge of the bed.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“That’s life!” I replied.