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Something I read the other day made me think about the past and just how screwed up it really was at that particular time in my life. I look back at my previous marriages and cringe at the remembrance of some memories. My first marriage didn't really last that long and I was so young that I barely remember most of it. I hardly ever count that one even though it did yield two beautiful children. Now my second marriage.....that was the one I thought would be the death of me. I think one tries harder the second time around because who wants to be a two time loser right? I stayed and took things that I normally wouldn't from anyone else but I think my biggest problem was I could never truly be myself in that relationship. Oh, to the outward appearances we looked to be the perfect couple but behind closed doors it was a totally different story. Many people were shocked to hear we had split up.
I worked a twelve hour swing shift and took care of his elderly grandparents that lived next door. Both in diapers, both needing a full time nurse, not someone who was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I would cook most of the meals for them, wash piss soaked sheets, clean crap off of them when they messed their diapers, give insulin shots and dole out meds like I knew what I was doing. Then I would try to take a nap, keep my own house clean, cook, help 3 kids with homework, give baths, adhere to other wifely duties and then go work 12 hours in a factory. All the while my husband worked a normal day job, never cooked or cleaned or did laundry. He would come in at 4:30 and proceed to fall asleep in the chair watching the 6 o'clock news. But I didn't mind because I was in love and me being in love meant.....I will do without sleep for 36 hours at a time so I can take your grandpa to the doctor, I will clean shit off a 80 year woman's behind with a smile, I will work an extra 20 hours a week to buy those $2500.00 wheels and tires for your jeep baby, I will bring your dinner to you in your recliner....no don't get up, I will lay your clothes out for you before I go to work, I will pay all the bills, I will protect you from your insecurities and pain, I will give you all my time, my devotion, my body, my soul, the moon and the stars if I am in love with you. That's just the way it's always been with me. I will give until I am totally depleted and left lifeless or until someone else comes along who knows exactly what to say when I'm at my lowest, to shift my focus and the process starts all over again.
Now, I don't doubt that my husband loved me, we just couldn't figure out how to NOT make each other desperately miserable. I resented him because I had to do everything and he resented me because he didn't feel needed in the relationship. I gave him whatever he wanted and never said no to anything, so he thought I just didn't care what he did or didn't do. I was busy being Super Mom and Wife of the Year and although he got to reaps the benefits, he didn't feel that I loved him enough. He said I treated "personal time" like one more job I had to get done before I got to finally go to sleep. I thought I was being the perfect partner but as my resentment grew, so did his distance until finally there was nothing left to save. You can love someone and still resent the hell out of then. We are perfect examples of that. Even now I think we both morn our marriage years later. There were good times and lots of them. Moments I miss. But those moments are blind to you when you are going through a divorce. You forget about them until after the fact.... when your life is left in ruins around you. Broken promises and hurt feelings littered everywhere. They say no one has ever die from splitting up the furniture but there were times I thought I would....I wished I would, so I could be released from all this pain.
One of the hardest things about leaving is my ex husband has never forgiven me for it. He feels I have destroyed his life somehow...... although he's gone on with another relationship. And no matter how many times we apologize and offer explanations for what happened to our marriage it's never going to banish that missing piece of me, that constant reminder, that I was the one who chose divorce over him. That is the guilt I feel every time I see him. Although we both did some pretty crappy stuff to each other during that time, he has never lost the sadness in his eyes and I know I am responsible for putting it there. That being said we are still pretty protective of one another. If someone else hurt the other one, we would be the first in line to dole out an ass whoopin'.
I remember this one instance in court, for an unrelated case when my ex was called to be a character witness against me, when a lawyer asked questions about our marriage and we both started crying. He was on the stand being questioned. The lawyer was talking about how I had done this and that to him during our divorce and my ex goes, "Well yea, but we were going through a divorce and those things happen but she is totally a victim in this case." The more the lawyer talked the madder he became and started defending me like no other. After wards, outside the court house he tells me he didn't know if he was a help to me or not but he tried. We hugged and cried a little and he walked away. My attorney turns to me and says he has never seen two people love each other more and wonders aloud as to why we got a divorce. My response was and still is.....We love each other but we just can't get along. We both have very dominant personalities that clash and bang together with no respect for the other. Sometimes things are just that way.
Life isn't always fair and we don't all have happy endings but at least we can maintain some sort of peace among ourselves. We do have a beautiful daughter and for her, I will always be grateful. She is the light of my life and his.