The last time I blogged was early 2010. Let's just say I am NOT a good blogger! It seems like everything else in my life, almost like one of those collages floating around on facebook...I'm sure you've seen them, the "how I see _______, how ________ really is." Yep, that's me in a nutshell. I always envision all of these things in my head that I am going to do or say, but when it comes down to it, it never turns out the way I planned...EVER!
So here I am, once again, going to attempt to blog. Who knows...maybe it will work out this time, I have so much to say so it's a perfect time I guess. My goal is to post once a day, no promises though.
Now where to start...
I guess since this blog is going to highlight what my little family's life is like now, there's no better place to start than the beginning of it all...whatever "it" is.
I am warning you now that there are details in here, lots and lots of details. If you don't want to know about everything that has happened to me the past few months, then there is a little "X" at the top right corner. I'm not going to hide anything. It's a one time deal and then I will begin my daily blogs tomorrow focusing on what is going on currently...but to get to the present and the future, I have to explain my past. So bear with me please...
In December of 2010, Dan came up on recruiting orders. It came at a great time because we had just decided that recruiting would be a great next step in his career and it would mean 3 years of no deployments. Any position in the army that you can be stateside for a while is obviously a blessing to a family with small children, so of course we were ecstatic. We started doing some research on choosing duty stations and the whole nine yards. It didn't take long to decide that as a family, Texas would be the most obvious choice for him to try to get stationed in. It meant Avery and Malachi being closer to Bobby, which meant less time driving to Texas for visitation and more time for date nights. Of course it also meant I would get to be close to my family for a little while, which in turn meant he would get to see his more often. We'd be the same distance away from them as before, but since we would be living so close to my family, we would take more trips to see his instead of having to split our holidays between the two. He also said that since I came to Colorado for him, despite hating the cold, it only seemed fair that we do 3 years in Texas too, despite him hating the heat. Again, all of these reasons made Texas the obvious choice.
Fast forward to July, July 12th to be exact. We took the kids to the movies, came home to barbecue ribs in the crockpot...and then came time to drop him off with some coworkers waiting in the Walmart parking lot so they could drive to Fort Benning for school for the army. If you haven't noticed by now, I have somewhat of a photographic memory, so this entire blog is going to be viewed through things I can think back and see in my head so clearly.
This was only a 6 week school, but it dragged on and on. No joke, it felt like a deployment. On September 2nd, he came home again! I feel like a little kid looking back at how giddy I was, embarrassed to look him in the eyes. It's what even the slightest separation does to an army couple. It's falling in love all over again...pretty hard to explain unless you've been there.
The next night, Dan met my church family for the first time, at Chick Fil A (which has become a weekly ritual). During his 6 week school, we had grown extremely close to a lot of people up there. For his birthday, we went on a date night and I love thinking back to how excited we were to be able to get out alone...it never happened. I still have a text from him the night before telling me how he couldn't wait. It was the littlest things that mattered.
Two weeks came and went by way too fast and soon enough we were getting ready to say goodbye to him a second time. It wasn't nearly as bad, I think because we knew that as soon as this 6 week recruiting school was over with, it meant 3 years unseparable...and like any other army couple who had been apart for half of their marriage, we could definitely use it!
Dan called me one of the last days of September to tell me that we were indeed going to San Antonio and to start looking for houses- yay for good news! Within the days to come, he would send me link after link to different houses in our budget, making sure they had enough room for extra kids because we wanted more right away. With 3 years together, it was the perfect time to expand our family so that we knew he wouldn't miss any of the really important stuff that he was missing with Kaylee.
October came and went like normal, with the daily "I love you" and "I miss you" texts that I looked forward to waking up to each morning. Conversations started slowing down but we were both busy and it was understandable. I felt awful that he didn't have anyone over in South Carolina to hang out with, I knew it was making time drag on for him...so when he started calling to say he was going to a movie with a friend from class, or grabbing a beer with a study partner, I was happy for him and gave him some space, especially since had plenty of friends here to keep occupied, and the kids kept me busy for sure.
October 22st was the last time my husband ever told me he loved me.
The next few days are now a blur for me, I think it's because I have subconsciously tried to block them out, I really am not sure though. Sunday, October 23rd, I called to find out why I hadn't been able to get ahold of him the night before, when I had Kaylee in the urgent care. After he finally answered his phone, we talked a little bit and he seemed annoyed, as was I with the situation, and we got into a small argument...if you can call it that-more like a misunderstanding and I hung up. For the next 3 days, he didn't respond to calls or texts unless it was to be rude, so I finally told him to just stop talking to me. I should have known something was really wrong at that point because our arguments never lasted more than a couple of hours. On the 27th, I texted him asking him why he hadn't called to check on the kids in days and he responded with "you said not to talk to you." Me: "yeah but if someone had my kids, I don't care what they said to me, I'd still text to see how they were." Him: "you don't have my kids, you have my kid."
I lost it at that point. The man that had raised them for 3 years, the one who had told all of our friends that he didn't see a difference between his stepkids and his daughter, the man that changed his myspace parenting status to "proud parent" the day we got married, and the man that always corrected me in an argument where I called them my kids and said "no they are OUR kids." How could he? Was it just to hurt me? Still, how could anyone say something that bad? I went to bed hoping it would blow over, but knowing it was going to take a huge apology from him the next day.
But the next day didn't bring an apology...it brought more hurtful words from him, and then finally "I'm done, I want out."
My head was spinning and I burst into tears...what? how? This is not happening. Where did this even come from??? Things were perfect less than a week ago, I don't even have a clue what's going on at this point. So like any woman I ask him, "are you cheating on me Daniel??" and he gets defensive..."why do you always jump right to that!?" So I feel stupid for asking, and guilty for bringing it up.
I guess in my naivety I wanted to believe that even this argument was unlike any other, it would blow over too.
Talking to a friend the next evening, she asked if it were possible he was seeing somebody else. Um no...not my husband, not ever. He had already screwed up royally before while we were dating and he was still regretting everything because it changed our relationship and trust levels so much, he would never do anything like that to hurt me again- I trusted him 100%. So what led me to check the cell phone records that night, I have no idea.
But there it was in black and white...some strange number, over and over and over. My stomach dropped and in my heart I knew. That stupid number, hundreds of times a day in texts, at least 10 incoming and outgoing calls every.single.day. All of those days he made me feel guilty for keeping him up late because he needed to get in bed since he had class the next morning, he would hang up...and call that number, not go to bed. So this is why he was becoming so distant.
I picked up my phone, shaking and bawling my eyes out, and I called him and called him and called him until he finally picked up.
She's just a friend, he said. She's just interesting, he said. I'm sick to my stomach just replaying that night. I begged him to stop talking to her, to just come home and we'd figure things out. But he said he couldn't promise me that. So I called his parents in the middle of the night, I didn't know who else to call or what to do. Why was this happening to me? It was so surreal. They were as shocked as I was, but they promised they would talk to him. His dad could get through to him at any point in the past, so I knew that's all it would take.
So this is when I check the bank records. For the past few weeks I had been asking him if he needed me to transfer more money to him. I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed. Little did I know that I would look at the bank statement and see he had been going and spending $50+ for each dinner. How does one single man spend that much on dinner for themselves? They don't. Hundreds of dollars at the bar? All of these times I encouraged him to go to the movies with his friends, go to dinner with study partners? He was going with another woman...and I was sitting on the sidelines, wishing him a good time. How was I so stupid?
He came back the following weekend, after his graduation. I am sure she went to his graduation, the same one I was going to fly out with the kids to surprise him at before all of this happened. I picked him up at the airport hoping that once he saw me, everything would coming rushing back and he would realize exactly what he did to his family. But it wasn't even him I picked up...he just wasn't himself, he was an emotionless shell of the man I married. He look disheveled and reeked of smoke. But the man I knew didn't smoke. What on earth happened to him??? It took everything I had in me not to break down at that moment. Over an hour drive back from the Denver airport and not a word was spoken.
This is where some more of the details fade. I remember searching through his laptop for clues to this girl he was spending all of his time on the phone with. I found pictures, I found phone numbers. I did everything in my power to keep him from communicating with her, but he always found a way. I spent the next couple of weeks begging for marriage counseling, begging for a chance. I still don't understand why I was the one begging when I did nothing wrong. But I still did it. I wanted a chance, my marriage means the world to me...even after everything he had done, I knew we could get through this, we could get through anything.
I spent weeks wondering what I did to deserve it, where on earth I went wrong? What could I have possible done to make somebody want to hurt me (and my kids so badly), and I blamed myself. And I didn't stop blaming myself until a very wise pastoral counselor at church told me that no matter what, even if our relationship was full of hatred (which it wasn't) or if we fought constantly (which we didn't), that what he did was inexcusable and that there was no way he could biblically or morally justify his actions. I know I have had some harsh things to say, but it wasn't until he told me he wasn't going to stay no matter what I did said. Of course I was angry, I am still angry...who wouldn't be? But my feelings of anger are short-lived and I go back to hurting and crying and begging God to restore my husband to the man so many people knew and loved.
All of November was spent begging and pleading...to God and to Dan because I knew they were the only ones that could fix what had been broken. My efforts were fruitless. Dan left our home and stayed in the barracks. Once again, I was alone. It hurt...so much. I was supposed to have the next 3 years with my husband once he got home from recruiting school, and I was all alone. I still don't know how I have survived this long, only by the grace of God I suppose.
I remember texting him in early December asking him if he was planning on filing for divorce and if so, if he were going to do it in Colorado or in Texas after 6 months of living there. He said he had no idea what he was going to do yet.
I'd find out the next day that was also a lie. I got into his email account that day and found a receipt for a local attorney's office for a little over $1800. Where he got that money, I will never know. I checked his account and somebody had deposited it for him the day before. I've assumed it was somebody from his extended family as nobody else he knows has enough money for anything like that. But rest assured, whoever you are, you enabled him to do this to his family. Congratulations.
Communication with Dan has been few and far between. He doesn't respond to texts, emails, calls...anything. I have probably said everything in the world to convince him that what he is doing is wrong...from biblical scriptures, to quotes from favorite books and movies of ours, links to divorce counselors, pictures of our family and his daughter. Nothing has swayed him, the new Dan is made of stone.
And let me just stop here for a second and say this. I do not think I am perfect. I have never claimed to be. But I try and I try, and I make improvements each day and then sometimes I stumble. But...my commitment to him meant something. I believed that when we got married and he said we'd be together forever, that it really meant forever. I believed him a couple of years later when he said divorce would never be an option. And I've tried...and tried.
How could someone so dedicated to their family one week, up and leave the next? How could he decide he didn't care? How can he ignore me pleading with him to be a part of his child's life, the daughter we tried to conceive for over a year, the daughter we had named 2 years before even becoming pregnant? And now she means nothing...and how, HOW can you claim to be following Christ, when your actions and words prove opposite? How could you move to Texas and not ask about your child a single time in over a month?
Just a couple of days ago, a friend asked me if the pictures he was tagged in on Facebook was of his new girlfriend. My heart sank. I guess it was stupid of me to hope and believe that all he did was work and go back to his apartment to sleep. Wishful thinking maybe. My friend sent me the pictures, I immediately felt like I was going to vomit. How quickly he just forgot about us. While I was dealing with a sick baby in the hospital, he was out partying with yet another new woman. It is evident in pictures and this girl's facebook statuses that they are definitely together. My heart is shattered. How easily we were replaced.
And I know it shouldn't matter WHO he is with, just the fact that it isn't his family should be enough. But I can't help but be upset that he is clinging to everything that he used to hate and call trash...the drinking, partying scene, the girls who dance all over the bars wearing less clothes than it would take to make Kaylee a new cloth diaper. I guess this is just me being bitter again, but I can't really help it.
What happened to him? Who is he? I've tossed around the idea of PTSD because how else does somebody just snap like that? It doesn't help that he has told me since his first deployment he thought he had it but was never taken seriously. So maybe that's it...or maybe I'm just grasping at straws trying to figure out what on earth happened to him.
One thing I can be sure of is this will end for him someday. I am positive. I can say this because when we were dating at one point, he broke up with me. He said that the way we met was wrong (yes, it definitely was) and he was not honoring God by being in a relationship with me (this was true as well), and that he really needed to focus on re-building a relationship with God because everything else would crumble in time if he didn't have a solid foundation with God first. This hurt...but was understandable. A couple of weeks later, I found out I was pregnant-obviously not very Christian-like of either of us since we weren't married yet and he took it as a sign that God did want us together. (That pregnancy later ended in a miscarriage) We ended up changing a lot about our relationship, trying to start over the right way and do things that we knew were reflective of our faith. But back to the original point...he's been at a low point before, not nearly this low...but one of these days, he will wake up. He will realize God is supposed to come first, and who knows, with God first, maybe he will get to that breaking point and wonder what on earth he was thinking when he threw his family away.
And maybe he won't.
So what does this mean for us now?
Our divorce will be finalized in the middle of March. I tried fighting it but apparently in America, you need money for that sort of thing. Money- one of the many things he left us without. I have no choice, and I can not fight it. Again, thank you Mr. No Name that gave my husband money to walk out on his family and divorce me. You must have no morals.
And after all he has done, most of which I haven't touched base on because I try to block out the hurtful words, I still love him.
And I miss him.
So very much.
I miss having someone to come home to after a long day. I miss cuddling up on the couch watching the Big Bang Theory or The Good Wife. I miss having someone who knew every last detail of my life. I miss getting texts every time I left the house, telling me to hurry home because he missed me already. I miss taking pictures of him asleep on the couch with Kaylee in his arms. I miss Sunday breakfasts where he would sneak downstairs and cook and not let the kids wake me up until it was time for me to eat and then us go to church. I miss his arm around me during the service.
I can't even go to church without Kaylee anymore. I have to have her in my arms because I need that physical touch. Nobody understands.
I miss his stupid little jokes that always made me laugh. I miss hugs from behind when I'm standing in the kitchen. I miss having someone to talk to every time something gets the best of me. I miss him having my back no matter what. I miss feeling safe in his arms at night.
I miss him, and it hurts.
It hurts so much I can't breathe.
"If I would have known that the last time I held him would have been the last time, I would have held him and never let go."