Though I had obtained employment and was functioning in society as a human, nothing in my life felt human. I would awake every morning with the realization that I was in another life, one that I wasn’t sure was my own anymore.
I was at rock bottom, devastated, destroyed and aggressively looking for any rational reasoning that I had found myself in this situation. I over analyzed everything. I spent hours upon hours scanning every minute of my 10 year marriage: hours upon hours relieving the affair with R., the times together, the things that we said. I knew I deserved everything that was happening in my life, I had created this mess by making the wrong choices: I was lying in the bed that I made for myself. and that my friends, was a horrible feeling.
I waited every day for someone to save me from myself. I could not let either my husband or my lover go, my heart could not face that I was unloved and unimportant to either of these men. I felt used, nasty, disgusting and worthless.
I threw myself into my silly waitressing job, but it was just what I needed at that point in my life. Living in a tourist area, summer is the opportune time to be in a place as such. My worries over my bills were drifting to the way side, but I had no clue how to continue on. Nothing in my life was normal or functional. I began my job a week before Mothers Day weekend. My youngest son was settling into life in TX at basic training, my oldest son had just graduated basic and was stationed in MS for tech school, my daughter gave all appearances to be fine with our current situation and her life was continuing on, as normal. Mothers day came, my first ex husband was traveling with his family to Atlanta, GA to deliver my oldest sons car to him. My daughter wanted to travel with her Dad to see her brother that weekend and I gladly let her go. I needed that break, I needed those few days to just breathe.
Mothers Day I worked a double shift, I volunteered too. I knew the money would be worth it and my mind would be distracted from my life. That day, was one of the hardest in my memory. Families were coming in to treat the moms in their life a dinner out. Husbands were taking out wives, children were taking out their moms and I was surrounded with these “happy” families. I hated every one of them, I did not have that happy family, to be honest, I don’t think I ever did. I drove home around 8 p.m., my cell phone had not so much as vibrated or rang all day. I was forgotten, my kids did not call, my husband did not call, I was simply a woman alone in the world. I walked into the condo, in the dark, went into my medicine cabinet, removed every med I had known to man, and laid on the couch in the dark while my world crashed. It had been a few weeks coming, I had maintained my strength and my dignity for my children for so long, the emptiness in my home and my heart crashed around and I cried for hours for everything that I had lost, for everything that I never had. I made a decision, at that moment, to take my own life. I had hurt everyone around me, including myself, by my own hand: no one would miss me and the world would be better without me. I looked to ceiling and out loud commanded God to give me a reason to live, to stop me from what I was about to do. Two seconds later, my cell phone rang. It was my youngest son, calling from basic training. He had only been enlisted for two weeks and new trainees are not usually granted phone privileges for the first month. I answered the phone and proceeded to listen to my baby boy tell me happy mothers day, how proud he was of me, how much he loved me and how he was worried about me. He did not have long to talk but he will never realize what that ten minute phone call did for me that night. My son saved my life, he will never know that, but he stopped me from taking my life. I heard the words he was saying, I felt them in my heart and I knew I had to move forward, not only for myself, but for my children. I had to make our lives normal again and I needed to be the woman that he was describing to me in that conversation. I hung up the phone and again was crying, but for different reasons, I fell to my knees and thanked God for that phone call and for my three beautiful children. I promised God and myself that I would never consider suicide again, I placed the pills in the toilet and I pulled myself up by my boot strings.
The month lease on the condo was due to expire May 22, by May 15th, things were not looking well. I had phoned every real estate company in the area, searched every news paper, and was finding nothing available in my price range. I had no furniture, it was all in my husbands home still. All we owned were the clothes in our closet and the few items I had placed in the car the day I left my home. On May 16th I found an ad in the paper for a furnished condo in the units beside of us, I phoned, I was the first caller. That week, I met with the real estate agent three times. I passed the credit check and background check and though I had supplied great references, the landlord was hesitant on allowing a single mom of a 17 year old into his home. After the three meetings, the real estate agent reluctantly offered me a lease, she could find no reason not to. There was one issue, the lease did not begin until June 1, I needed to be out of the current condo by May 22. I phoned the real estate company that managed the current condo, again gave them my situation, to which they phoned the owners who were willing to allow me to stay until June 1. Times were tough, everything felt like a battle, but I was surviving.
June 1, I packed my daughters and my belongings into my car, drove to work, worked a double shift and at 10 p.m. that evening, my daughter and I were moving our things into our new home. The lease was signed for a year. It was a fully furnished condo with an ocean view, just what we needed.
A few days later, my husband emailed me to tell me my personal belongings were in storage. Until that point, he had no contact with me, it wasn’t until I threatened a lawsuit that he willingly returned what was rightfully mine. The day I drove to the storage unit and saw my grandmothers china cabinet, my hope chest that was a gift for my 16th birthday and my dads antique sewing machine, I cried with relief. It was so nice to see something that was “mine”.
The days came and went, my life was still on autopilot. I was dropping weight, I could not get the hurt to stop, my heart was forever aching and broken. I maintained a daily schedule for my daughter and I but I put up barriers in my world. I did not look at men, go near men or even begin to think of dating again. I did not talk with my co-workers, I never told them a thing about myself and I spent hours on the phone with my best friends simply crying.
My friendships began to struggle. I have been blessed with a few of the very best friends in the world, but I could tell they were becoming increasingly frustrated with my lack of moving forward. I could never make them understand or realize how devastated my life and heart were.
At the end of June, I relied on a my dependable credit card to supply at trip to TX to watch my youngest son attain his dream and graduate into the United States Air Force. My daughter went with me and for the first time in months, for two short days, everything felt normal. We all spent time together celebrating my son. I returned home and again, locked myself into isolation. I was terrified of everything people, emotions, reality.
My husband never attempted to contact me again. He placed my items in storage, ignored my emails or calls and never looked back. Word around town was he was dating already, he had repainted the entire town house, was seen out on the town laughing and partying with friends, meanwhile, my life was spent hiding from everyone and everything!
In July, my best friend booked a trip to spend the week with me. She lived in Memphis and I was excited to spend some much-needed girl time with one of my greatest supporters. She came into town and was surprised at the woman that she found waiting for her. Expecting to find the old me, I think I broke her heart when she walked into the life of a distraught and devastated soul. It was hard for her to wrap her mind around the person I was. Though I could keep up the appearances on the outside, what was inside was not pretty. We had a few huge fights while she was in town, fights that were needed and opened my eyes to my life and what I was doing to myself. We had been friends for many years, through divorces and marriages and child raising, etc. She was surprised at how much damage R. had done to my heart and told me so. She was livid at the woman he had made me, at the woman I had allowed him to make me.
After she returned home, I began to analyze the truths that she had brought to the forefront and I realized one thing was right, I had allowed these men to decide my fate and who I would become, that power was no longer going to be theirs to have. Over the three months that R. and my husband had vanished from my life, I had convinced myself I was unlovable, undeserving of love and had made sure to place those barriers for no one to get in. The truth was, I deserved so much more than I have ever received, I deserved to believe in me again. My 11 years that had been spent with dedication and devotion to my husband were never real. He never loved me, never believed in me and had worked hard to make me believe I was nothing without him and the sad part was, I did believe that. The months that I had spent devoted to R. were also a sham. He was never in love with me, never had any intentions of leaving his wife or being a person in my life, I had sacrificed everything, for a fantasy. Neither of those men were going to have any say over my present or my future, I made that decision.
My job was bogging me down, my life was going nowhere and I knew what I needed to do. I quit the waitressing place, after battling for unemployment, I had received a back pay check for the time I had not been employed, this granted me the option of taking a few weeks off, gathering my thoughts and finally moving forward with me life.
My daughter went to spend the last weeks of summer with her Dad, she had worked all summer at a local pizza place and wanted a small vacation of her own. With the timing of all that was happening, I agreed. My home quiet, my bills paid, and the end of summer upon me, I spent the first week, alone, in my condo, not leaving my bed, but allowing my heart to begin to heal.