A Brave Farewell

I haven’t written regularly in ages. I haven’t had the urge. Even when I get an idea in my head for a post, a lack of motivation kills whatever ideas I may have concocted. BUT…I’m sitting here a bit buzzed after a long, stressful week at work and decided to catch up on some reading when I saw this week’s FTSF topic: One of my biggest fears I ever had to face…

The biggest fear I’ve ever faced, and overcome, is the fear of leaving the twins’ mother.

What started out as a somewhat normal relationship between myself and a woman four years my senior rapidly turned sour. I realized rather quickly that we were severely different people and that there was no chance we would ever be happy together.

Despite my realization, I put off saying anything to her for a multitude of reasons. She was a single mom struggling to pay her bills. She guilted me into moving in with her because she was having financial trouble. Yes, the decision to move in with her was ultimately mine, but manic breakdowns where she told me she’d have to beg her ex-husband to take her back multiplied the guilt factor ten-fold. So I moved in with her. We are different people, though. While she has socially liberal views, she lives somewhat conservatively and has a very conservative sense of humor. Or, she did at that time. I obviously have no idea what she’s like now. I was foul-mouthed, 20 years old, and not ready for (nor wanting) the type of responsibility she was thrusting upon me.

After about three months of shenanigans, I decided I couldn’t live like that any more.  And I told her so. She flipped the fuck out. She went bananas. She screamed. She cursed. She stormed out the door and told me over her shoulder that she was going to jump off the I-75 overpass and left me there with her sleeping children. Eventually, she came back, but I didn’t end up leaving because I was suddenly afraid.

What if she actually kills herself? Could I live with the guilt? What would happen to me? How would I deal with it? What would happen to her children? Their father moved across the country.

I ended up staying, but things got worse. She was paranoid about me leaving. She was controlling. She was manic. She was oppressive. I knew she needed help, but at the tender age of 20 I didn’t have a damned clue how to help her. I tried to stick it out, but I just couldn’t deal. I told her again I was going to leave…and then it happened.

She actually tried to commit suicide.

When I first told her she tried to storm out of the room. She was going to go jump of the I-75 overpass. I had to physically restrain her from leaving the room. I was not going to let her hurt herself. After a while she seemed to calm down and told me she needed to use the restroom. I moved myself down the hallway far enough so that she could reach the bathroom, but couldn’t make a run for the front door.

It never occurred to me just what we kept in the bathroom. You know, where the medicine cabinet is. For the life of me I just didn’t see it coming.

She came out moments later. She slowly crept towards our bed and laid down on the floor beside it. She calmly gazed towards me, and as a tear rolled down her cheek told me, “When you wake up tomorrow you won’t have to worry about me again.”

She had swallowed an entire bottle of Benadryl.

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement of elephantine proportions. I collapsed upon our bed and wept like a child who’d had his candy taken away. In my horror it never occurred to me to call 911. It never occurred to me to seek help. I was just…shocked. So I wept.

The morning came and we both awakened. Relief swept through me like a tornado through the corn fields of Oklahoma. She was alive, but she spent the majority of the next three days in our bed asleep. It still never occurred to me to call 911 the next morning. It never occurred to me to do anything. I knew she needed help, but the thought of telling her family the reason she was trying to kill herself was because I was trying to leave her prevented me. So I said nothing to no one.

I also decided from that moment forward that I would stay with her no matter what. I was not going to be the reason she committed suicide. I was never again going to do anything to push her towards that ledge. I was never going to do anything to jeopardize our “relationship.” When, months later, she dragged me to the jewelry department and said, “This is the wedding ring I want,” I didn’t object, despite the fact that I had never proposed (nor did I want to). When, a couple of months after that, she told me she wanted another child, I agreed without argument.

Eight months later she was pregnant. Nine months later I was the proud parent of a set of beautiful twins.

Years went by. She spent two years in college. Our boys took our full attention. When they got a bit older and required less of our attention, though, unhappiness began to creep back into my psyche. She was still controlling. She was possessive. Our personalities were still complete opposites. Most importantly, though, I didn’t love her. And never had.

For years I had wrestled with the idea of leaving her, but I never did. I was still frightened by that night. I was still afraid of what she’d do to herself. More, I was afraid of how my children would cope. Would they be okay? Would me leaving fuck them up? Would they hate me? Would things be alright? It was a perpetual struggle.

But I made a commitment. I told myself I would honor that commitment no matter how unhappy I was.

One night as I sat at the computer (doing whatever it was one did at a computer in 2006 – probably MySpace), she came down to say goodnight. The obviousness of my unhappiness was soaked on my face. She asked me what was wrong.

Before I could come up with some bullshit, which was what I always did, I blurted, “I don’t love you.” I have no idea what compelled my mouth to spew those words. In the past I was always able to come up with some lie to tell her about what was bothering me. Maybe my subconscious was tired of my bullshit.

She flew off the handle. I can’t even remember what she said, but none of it was pleasant and all of it was at a decibel high enough to shatter glass. As I sat there, dejected and berated, I decided I’d finally had enough. My limit had finally been reached. The meter was full at last. I wasn’t going to take this shit anymore. I wasn’t going to stay in this façade of a marriage. I wasn’t going give her happiness at the expense of my own. I was finished sacrificing my life.

It was the bravest thing I’ve ever done. I refused to be controlled any longer. Her emotional manipulations fell on deaf ears. Her angry outbursts solidified my resolve.

There was one moment of weakness, though. One night as I returned the twins to her, their tears shattered my resolve. I came back home, but things only got worse. A month later I left again and never looked back.

It’s been nearly 10 years since this all transpired, and none of my fears came to fruition. She didn’t commit suicide. In fact, she finally sought treatment after I left. My boys, though they were initially distraught, have turned into fine young men whom I’m proud to call my sons. They are kind, funny, and compassionate souls and I’m still unsure what I did to make them turn out as well as they have (or even if I had anything to do with it).

Deciding to end a relationship, and a family, may not seem like a brave thing to do, but out of everything I’ve ever faced it was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.

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About Twindaddy (325 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

25 Comments on A Brave Farewell

  1. Damn, dude. FRIST. And OMG I didn’t realize you were so young – I know you’ve talked about her before and about her depression (and yours) but wow, so young… I’m SO glad to have read this tonight. You fucking rock for soldiering on because that’s the truth even though you right now I know want to dismiss it. Leaving took big balls. You left and are better for it. Her, too, Same goes for your kids. DAMN SO GLAD YOU WROTE.

    Like

  2. While I can appreciate that was a difficult time of your life, I’m not sure I agree with the way you talk about your kids’ mother when they have the ability to see what you’re putting out to the public. Kinda rubs me wrong.

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    • I’m not talking about her any way. This is what happened. This is not meant to be a disparaging post. This is my story.

      Furthermore, my children know about this and I’ve talked about it with them. They know she attempted suicide and they know why. I have also discussed with them what they should do in the event that someone ever tries to control them with emotional blackmail because I don’t ever want them to be held hostage as I was. I want their lives to be better than mine. I want them to get help for anyone who may do this to them, which hopefully will never happen.

      I have discussed with them that I have a mental health issue as does their mother. I have further discussed with them that they likely will have their own mental health issues due to genetics. It runs on both sides of the family.

      Even furthermore, I am not publicizing this post on Facebook where they will see it. I have no intentions of trying to influence their opinion of their mother one way or the other. They love her and she loves them. To the best of my knowledge, they have a great relationship with their mother and I hope it stays that way. However, if they do see it, it will not be news to them. As I’ve said, I’ve discussed this with them before.

      And, finally, I’m not really worried how this rubs you. I didn’t write this for you. I didn’t write this for her. I didn’t even write it for them. I wrote this for me. This happened to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Someone who’s never been emotionally manipulated like that will never understand the dark hole it can put you in. I’m glad you write about this and have written about it before. I’ve found it very helpful in figuring out my own emotions. So thank you.

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  4. I remember this. Writing it out helps, however many times, no? You were – and still are – strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like Jaded, I remember this — it’s a story that is hard to forget. And important to remember.

    There are a lot of reasons why your boys have turned into good young men. Look in the mirror for No. 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to your situation…I had a choice to make-I was going to move to another state where I would have family support to raise my children. That would involve ending a relationship with my “boyfriend”. I was afraid of him by this point-I knew he had killed his own father, and that he had potential to escalate to violence. When I told him I was moving, he threatened to shoot himself and end it all. I stayed…married him…had two kids….I finally got the courage to leave the relationship, but with two young children, the abuse follows. He did not seek help. I am glad that the people in your life grew and changed for the better. It does take strength to leave toxic relationships.

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  7. I’m a believer in setting the truth free, no matter how painful. If you don’t bring it to life you can’t put it to rest. Your boys are good kids because you’ve given them the most important thing of all, your love and time. Food helps, but you know what I mean.

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  8. ‘m so sorry you had to endure such abuse from the twins’ mother. You were very brave to have finally left her. I am glad she didn’t commit suicide and in fact decided to seek help, but even if something had happened to her, it wouldn’t have been your responsibility.

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  9. It is so good to read you again. I’ve always admired and appreciated your daddy skills.
    Do you know why you’re a good daddy? It’s because you’re a good and brave man. Amazing.

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  10. Hugely, HUGELY brave. And it seems you all are the better for it. For real.

    (also BOO to the comment about the tornado and OK…*nervous*)

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  11. Lots of emotions reading this… At first, I was thinking, “She needs someone to take care of her and looked in the wrong places. A young man isn’t ready to take care of a woman. She should have aimed for someone older, more mature, with their feet already planted somewhere.” But then as I read, wow. I did the same thing. I found a young buck when I needed someone ready for family. I mean the family thing just happened without any planning, but he was too young for it. I didn’t realize it. My husband is going through this. All of this. I wasn’t as trifling as that woman sounds, but I know my husband probably would be better off to leave me. The difference between her and I is that I am crazy because of my husband, and I feel like he owes me support and security. But boy did you just give me a lot to think about. I’m glad that you found your way through it all. It’s making me very hopeful despite the fears it’s making me face. Thank you.

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    • At the time she did need someone to take care of her. She was a mess. She was in the middle of a divorce and was struggling to make ends meet. Her children were acting out and finding a sitter for them was a daily challenge.

      I was lost, honestly. I wasn’t ready for all that, which is why I tried to leave. But, she managed to stop me, obviously.

      Hopefully you and your husband can communicate openly. That’s one thing I could never do with this woman. She flew off the handle any time I said something she didn’t want to hear.

      Best of luck.

      Like

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