I was married for 20 yrs. We were together for slightly longer than that. I didn’t really know much back then. I mean I should have, I was 24 when we started going out. It’s was actually my 24th birthday. I alway used to say he was the best birthday present I ever got. Of course I used to say a lot of stupid things.
I had gone to spend the weekend at my best friends house and party because it was my birthday after all. Back then I really didn’t need an excuse to party. It was what I did. I worked through the week and on the weekends I went to a small town outside of Portland where my friends lived. I’d spend the weekends doing dope and drinking. Sunday night I’d wander back home and do it all over again. Anyway, I had met him before and I really thought he was an arrogant asshole. He was. He still is as far as I know. But that weekend he paid attention to me and made me laugh and I was so lonely. Plus he was the worst decision I could make so naturally that’s the one I chose. So we drank, got high and spent the weekend together. And every weekend after that for about the next six months, we rented a apartment and then it just got bad. Lots and lots of booze, dope, stupid people and bad decisions all happened really fast. We split up and I went back to Portland, within the month I found out I was pregnant. He of course didn’t want anything to do with either of us. So I worked, I had a baby and I took care of a beautiful baby boy. It was hard but I was mostly happy. I decided to move back to Alaska when my son was about 8 months old. He eventually moved up there, we got married and I had another baby. I also ate, a lot. He was abusive and mean and I was convinced that he was and always would be the only person who I would ever be with.
There were good times, really good times. Because of course there always is, right? Times we would spend all day and all night just talking and laughing. Days were we would cook in the kitchen and play with the kids. Days when I felt so broken and I would go lay on top of him straddled his waist and tucked my arms in close and would just lay there absolutely still. I’d press my heart into him until I couldn’t tell whose heart was beating, I’d fill my lungs with the smell of him and I would relax. I would tell him “you fix me” and that’s what it felt like. Like all the broken and hurting pieces were fixed somehow. It’s was those times that kept me there threw all the shit. I stayed through things that any normal person wouldn’t dream of having to live through. But I stayed because I believed he was “the” person. The one who finally, finally protected me from my family, he told my step dad once that he’d kill him and nobody would ever find his body if he ever attempted to hurt me or the kids. I’m pretty sure he meant it. My stepfather was positive he did. There were times I left through the years. Some longer than others. We got divorced and we got remarried. He got better and he got worse. I continued to get fatter. The kids got older. When I was 40 years old I weighed 405 pounds and he drank at least two cases of beer every weekend and a 12 pack a night during the week. I had a gastric bypass in a desperate attempt to lose weight and it went horribly, horribly wrong. I spent two weeks in ICU and I almost died twice. I left the hospital on pain pills and the doctor really didn’t know what else to do but hope I would heal. I did heal but it took a really long time and I stayed in a huge of pain so the pain pills just kept coming. It was actually ridiculous the amount of pills I had at any given time. A lot of things happened. Way to many to write about at once but he started taking my pain pills and then everything went straight to hell. Threw all of it I stayed with him until the very end.
It took 4 trips to detox, 83 days in rehab, 3 days in jail, the loss of my family, my home and my car before I managed to get sober.
I can say truthfully now I’d not go back to him. I couldn’t always say that though. That part of me that felt like it was “fixed” by him? It’s still in me. It’s not as loud as it once was. A crap ton of therapy later it’s just a small voice amongst a lot stronger voices now. But there are times like tonight when it’s warm outside and there’s a breeze and I’m sitting on the porch alone when that part of me that stayed with him, that part that got fixed. That part really misses him. That part, despite all the abuse and the pain and the bullshit aches to be “fixed” even if for just a few minutes. So now instead I breathe and I paint or I write or I snuggle a grandchild and that part hushes. Would I do things differently? I don’t know. I do know that I am who and what I am because of what it used to be like so I’m hesitant to say I’d change it. I kinda like this person I am now. I think she’s kinda cool. Even with the broken parts.