I am a husband first, a father second, a writer, a son, a brother, an outdoors man, a paranoid schizophrenic.
I am all those things and more. When I think about it my chest gets tight and my breathing becomes a bit ragged. It just seems like piling rocks on my chest while I am strapped to four horses facing the four corners and waiting to be untied (maybe I’m being a little over dramatic). If I break it down, which I try to do, and think about and deal with one thing at time things are not perfect, but they are much smoother.
I have been a husband since 2005 when I got married to my first wife. Those two years were a joke and I didn’t understand what it meant to truly be someone’s partner. Before I got married my longest relationship was five and a half months, I didn’t like to be reliant upon someone else and I quickly got tired of other people’s bullshit. I would say that I didn’t respect women, but the truth is I didn’t respect people at all. I had had relationships with men and women to see if one was better than the other and, at the time, neither was good. I was sure I was destined to be alone which is why when th opportunity for me to possibly ‘settle down’ I jumped at it.
I knew two months in that I had made a mistake, but the fear of being alone pushed me into sticking around, it was another selfish move in a lifetime of selfish moves. After a year my wife could tell that I was unhappy. Neither of us said anything, but she started trying everything she could think of to make me want to stick around and feel good about it; it didn’t work. I started contemplating divorce and argued with myself about not wanting to be alone. Then she took a page out of several of our friends relationship books – an open marriage.
Bringing other people into your relationship to ‘keep things fresh’ or some other reason does not work more than most of the time. When discussing it with me as I was against it, she tried to convince me that it was what was best for us and it would work. She gave examples of successful relationships (all but one of them are back in a closed relationship and had to take years to recover from the issues that generally come from an open relationship) and eventually convinced me or maybe I was just tired of listening to her.
Over the following months she had quite a few sexual partners and formed no relationships. I assumed that she wanted us to have relationships on the side not a free pass to screw whoever we wanted with no repercussions, I was apparently wrong. Since I was looking for more than another sex toy I had not found anyone that sparked my interest enough to add to my life – until I saw her.
It was only a glance, but she was imprinted on my mind forever with that one glance. She didn’t know I existed, but I knew I would stop at nothing to win her favor.
I found out she was 19, I was 25. That made me back off a bit, but only for a few days. When my wife let me know the girl was in a relationship I didn’t care. It wouldn’t be the first relationship I had destroyed. My wife also gave me the green light to pursue her – she had no idea that, even before I had actually met her, I wanted to fall deeply in love with her.
We were finally introduced. My wife made the connection as she wanted me happy. The next couple of months found us hanging out, with our significant others, quite a bit. In a drunken state she told me that she liked me. I was flying high for the next week. The day before Easter there was a party at a friends house and she came without her boyfriend. I was determined to get as close to her as possible, not just physically.
She drank too much and got sick. After being taken care of by the girls she was dressed in clothes that were not hers and not covered in vomit. The other people at the party also found her attractive, the girls as well as the guys all wanted to get in her pants and so didn’t trust themselves to stay with her while she was sleeping so that they could take care of her if she had any issues. They all decided that I was the most trustworthy person there and was the best option to take care of her. I was also the least intoxicated. If I was the most trustworthy person there we were all in trouble, but they just didn’t know me that well and my wife knew it would make me happy.
She woke up with her hand in my chest hair and her head on my shoulder. Her legs were draped over mine and when she jumped a bit she only moved a small amount as she realized who she was so close to. Instead of jumping up she nuzzled in close and asked me what had occurred the previous night. I filled her in and she gave me a kiss as a way to thank me. It was a chaste kiss, but I will never forget the first time her lips touched mine. She left shortly after that, before anyone else got up, and promised to give me a call when she got home.
Our relationship grew quickly, spending hours on the phone at all hours of the day and night. We saw each other at every opportunity and soon we found ourselves in a sexual situation. After that we were both determined to eb a part of each other’s lives as long as possible. I had found my extramarital relationship and my wife was happy. She went back to screwing anything that moved and, even though we slept in the same bed – which we sometimes shared with my new love interest, we were no longer intimate.
After mulling it over I came to realize that I could not be married to a woman I didn’t love while have a relationship that would never result in an official joining with a young woman that I was falling deeper and deeper in love with. I told my wife that I wanted a divorce and my girlfriend finally ended things with her boyfriend.
That should have been it, but in the state where we lived a pregnancy test was required to finalize a divorce. Of course it cam back positive. I was sure it was not mine, but once we found out how far along she was I determined that I was still being intimate with her at that point. I had to wait until the child was born and a blood test was performed to refile for divorce and then wait for it to be finalized.
My son was born on October 28, 2005. The blood test proved he was mine. His mother, my soon to be ex-wife, refused to let me in his life until he was a few months old and the court signed off on a custody order forcing her to allow me to have time with him.
My current wife and I waited until June 15, 2007 to get married and our daughter was born on March 3, 2010. Now I am a full-time father to my daughter and a part time father to my son. I am a decent father to my daughter at best and a not-horrible father to my son. I am trying to be more, but it is taking time to get through the mental illness that is standing in my way.
Bear with me, we are almost there
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. It has always been an outlet for me. I wrote my first book in preschool (Minnie the Mouse).
I had a rough childhood. I am currently writing a fictional memoir that is based on the facts of my life. It is a project that is taking me a while because I am reliving some of the trauma that I went through and never wanted to revisit. Because of my past I have been receiving treatment for mental illness since I was five. That was never enough. The drugs never helped enough. Writing closed the gap a little bit. It is still my goto when things get too rough.
Illegal drugs were my goto when writing wasn’t enough. I started with the abuse when I was seven or so and didn’t get clean until I was 23.
Things get too rough all the time – more than twice a day. I try to not let things bother me, but I have a hard time controlling my reactions and emotions. I cannot handle any stress. I have to shut off the voices and ignore things that I realize are not probable to even be the husband and father I can. I am constantly working to improve who I am and the medications are finally helping, but they are not perfect nor will they ever be (not being pessimistic, just realistic).
I realized, only recently, that I was not making my wife happy. She loved me, but she didn’t like the person I was. When we first got together I wrote her poetry, sang to her, bought her gifts all the time for no reason, and did everything I could to show my love for her in private and in public.
She liked it then and I never changed. She has come to hate those things. She needs me to be more assertive as I constantly deferred to her on everything, not making any decisions. She still enjoys me telling her that I love her and the occasional gift, but a fraction of what I have been doing. Virtually no public displays and no large displays of affection (i.e. Facebook proclamations, singing to her in public, randomly bursting out in poetry, sending gifts to her place of work several times a week, etc.).
Coming to realize this I have started to change and I am realizing that who I was was not who I am. I am finding myself again and I am finding out that who I really am is someone that my wife is more than happy with. Things are going to continue to get better but I realize things will never be perfect in my life. I worry that I will never be a great father, I will be stuck being a decent or maybe a good father. I will try and try to be a wonderful husband, but I am not sure how far I will be able to go.
My immediate family is all I can worry about right now. I neglect the rest of my family and feel bad about it, but I just can’t fit them in my life if I want to be a good husband and father which is what is most important to me at this point in my life. I want to spend all of my life with my wife and I want my daughter to have memories of her childhood that she can be proud of and long to remember the love we always will have for her.
I know I am trying and that is more than some people, but I don’t care about other people. I am impatient and I want to be better now,but I have to settle for making plans, goals, reaching for dreams. That has to be enough for em right now. All I can give is not enough, but hopefully it will be when I can give more. One day I will be able to live the life I want to live.