First Post… Laying it on the table

11 02 2013

If someone had told a 20 year old me that the “girl of my dreams” would rip my heart out, hand it to me, and expect me to eat it with a smile on my face – I would have thought they were crazy.  Yet, after 14 plus years of marriage, that is exactly what happened.  I came home to find her cleaning out her stuff from the house she wanted in the tiny town she wanted to live in.  I guess you could say that right from the start the balance of power in our “marriage” was in her favor.  Lemme rephrase that, I was completely whipped – simply because I thought I couldn’t do BETTER…

That mistake cost me 15 years of my life that I won’t get back.  I’m looking ahead.  I know I can do better – which is exactly why I started this project.  For the last 15 years, I was scared.  I was scared to “upset the apple cart”.  I was scared to stick up for myself.  I was scared to be alone.  I was scared she would leave.  I was scared I wouldn’t have any friends.  Scared, scared, scared!!!!

You have to hit bottom to realize that fear, isn’t that big deal.

So there I was, she had left.  I had drank 1/4 bottle of whiskey and I was thinking “exactly how many of my anti-depressants could I take to end my life”.  I had spoken to people on the phone and someone called the police.  I voluntarily committed myself to the hospital because I really wanted to die and I knew I would do it by morning.  I remember as the police officer drove me to the hospital,and how he was telling me how he was going through his second divorce.  Divorce?!?  No one said anything about divorce?!?  Erika and I are just having a “misunderstanding” and I am just going to sit down when we are calm and smooth things out.  Divorce isn’t going to happen…..

They checked me and automatically, I realized that my life was about to change.  Being put in a room where things are bolted down for “safety” really changes your perspective on life.  The on-call counselor was a “straight shooter” in my recollection.  She basically told me that she thought I was a danger to myself and that it would be better if I got some rest and be evaluated over the weekend.

I wrote 3 letters to Erika that night, pleading with her to come back.  I still have one of them, and I shake my head whenever I read it because it was written completely out of fear.

That night was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Now dear reader, you may think “how could being institutionalized be the best thing that ever happened to him”  Well, I’ll tell you.  While I was there, a few things changed.

  • Perspective:  My life was not as bad as it could be.  I met people with traumatic brain injuries, schizophrenics, severe violent out bursts..
  • Fear:  I was alone.  I was in a mental institution.  I hit bottom.
  • Christian Rock Karaoke:   Yes, as if it is the punchline to a really bad joke – Mental Patients singing Christian Rock Karaoke made me want to live my life to the fullest!

I met with the social worker and the psychiatrist on-call.  Oddly enough, the preceding day I spent making arrangements with  various psychiatrists to work on my abandonment and rage issues.  I was diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder and after learning about it, I believe it is a pretty accurate diagnosis.

I called Erika several times but she  didn’t answer the phone.  It turns out she was busy cleaning out bank accounts, clearing out the rest of her stuff from the house and changing her mailing address.  Divorce was imminent, even if at that time, I didn’t want to accept it.




One response

11 02 2013

Way to take a good look back and put it all into perspective. Sometimes, our darkest hours come just before the new dawn. : )

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