So in my previous blog, I gave a brief history about my past and my struggles. So I decided to break down my past in my future blogs to give more of an understanding and to also help heal myself from it all. I’m going to work myself from the most recent to the oldest ones in my past.
I met Derrick in June of 2015, through, of all places, Facebook. He began steady liking my posts and pictures I posted on Facebook, so I decided on a whim to send him a message…hell I was single at the time, why not? I messaged him on June 29 and we started talking from that day forward. The messages quickly turned to exchanging phone numbers, to texts and then talking on the phone for hours a day.
During the phone conversations, he explained his past and history to me. He had a history with alcohol and had gotten his third dui the previous year. His license was revoked so he could not drive and he lived with his parents due to his divorce and struggles financially because of child support for two kids. This kind of stuff has never mattered to me, I have never been one to judge someone. We have all been in a tough and embarrassing situation at some point of our lives and that does not make us a bad person, something I am coming more to realization of personally about myself.
We talked for several days and decided to meet face to face. We made plans to go to dinner to get to know each other. I picked him up on a Saturday and we went to eat at Chuys. We both had a beer at dinner, talked in the southern humidity on the patio and things went surprisingly well. We had a lot in common and the conversation in person was not awkward at all. We decided to go to a bar downtown after dinner called the Big Bang, it was a karaoke/piano bar. We had a few more beers there at the bar and I remember him kissing me while we were standing in front of the bar. Something just felt right about it all immediately, I don’t know how to put it into words. We walked from the bar to my car in a parking lot and he kissed me again at my car. Not just a casual kiss that time, but the kind where it seemed like there were fireworks and the whole knee bending, toes pointing in the air kinda kiss. I took him home and before I could even get home he had sent me a text to make sure I made it home okay. I was smiling ear to ear the whole way home.
Several dates came after that, dinner, movies, watching the sunset, coffee…I cannot honestly remember all the things we did. One night we went to see Ted 2 at the movies, we had some time to kill so we went to a bar near there and had a few drinks before the movie and he told me the rest of his story about his past addictions. He was a recovering cocaine addict and had a few years of sobriety under his belt. He almost cried when he told me because he thought I would run immediately. I understood his story and did not judge, I have struggled with my own past addictions as well. We went to see the movie and somehow both ended up falling asleep in the theater.
I surprised him on a Saturday after we both worked and we went to Metropolis. When we finally got to the hotel room I showered and I’m not quite sure how it happened but we slept together for the first time. He told me how beautiful I was and that he loved my body and made me feel confident, a feeling that was completely foreign to me. We drove to the casino and played the slot machines and had a few drinks. I remember this clear as day, we were standing beside a bank of slot machines when he pulled me close, kissed me on the forehead and told me that he was quickly falling for me. I didn’t want to admit that I felt the same, but I fought my instinct and said it anyway.
Things continued to progress from there. My company was having a family picnic at a baseball game and I invited him to come, along with my kids. During my time after my divorce, only one man ever met my kids that I dated. So him meeting my kids was a huge deal! Things went well, the kids liked him. He was attentive and affectionate toward me the entire game. Co-workers even told me how cute it was that he was so infatuated with me and how he looked at me like I was the best thing since sliced bread.
We went downtown to a Counting Crows concert in September. I remember him texting me the morning of the concert to tell me that he had something really important to tell me that night. Ironically, I had plans to tell him something important that night too. The band played A Long December, he grabbed me from behind and pulled me close to him and whispered in my ear the words, I love you. Even though I was planning on telling him the same thing that night, it threw me off guard and I started crying and it took my breath away. I couldn’t even say it back. We left the concert early to fight the crowd and we went back to the same bar we went to on our first date. Walking up the stairwell holding hands, I stopped him and told him that I loved him too.
I met his daughter sometime after that. And this was a huge deal to him as well. No one he had dated had ever met his daughter. I was nervous and uncomfortable, not for myself but for Caroline. This was foreign to her and I am sure a bit scary so I was a little stand offish, I just wanted her to feel comfortable and lead the way. Caroline grew to really like me. I remember at Christmas, she was in his room and needed help with a game she was playing. She walked into the living room and asked me for help figuring it out. I laid across the bed reading the directions to help her. She laid across the bed beside me. Derrick walked into the room and saw us both on the bed and almost started crying.
Things just continued to grow between us. We talked about future plans, moving in together, being together for forever and even marriage. (Something we both agreed from the beginning that we never wanted to experience again.) He had changed my mind about so many things that I wanted in life, things I thought I would never want or even experience. Then in February things began to change. I found out he was keeping secrets from me about prescription drug use. I confronted him about it and he told me it was only for his back pain. I was stupid and believed him.
March came and he was working on a Saturday and decided to do some side work with one of his co-workers. They were going to Cross Plains to do a small drywall job, the last I heard from him was around 4:30ish that afternoon and Daniel was going to bring him to my house after they were done. He never came home. I began texting him, no response. I called him many times, no answer and no return call. I stayed up almost all night either texting or calling, with no response. Around 5am on Sunday morning his phone started going straight to voicemail. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t.
I messaged a mutual friend on Facebook at 5:30 am to see if they had heard from him. The wife messaged me back around 8am to let me know they had not. Around 20 minutes later I got a call from Derrick saying that he was okay. He fell asleep at Daniel’s house when he got drunk that night. I was angry! I was up worried all night and he was out getting drunk. He asked if I wanted Daniel to drop him off at my house and I told him to do whatever he wanted, just like he did last night.
I decided to take a shower, I honestly did not expect him to show up. My phone started ringing when I was close to being finished. It was him, I knew by the ringtone. I took my time and he called two or three more times after that. I got out of the shower and started drying off, he called again and I answered. He told me he was outside at the garage door and asked me to let him in. I told him I just got out of the shower, I will be there when I get done. Then he said please come let me in, I just want to go to sleep. I became even more mad at that point and said didn’t you sleep enough last night?
I let him in, walked through the living room and out to the back deck to smoke. I came back inside and he was really laying in my bed asleep! Really?!? After the hell you put me through, you can really fall asleep right now. I put my makeup on, I went and dried my hair. All the time my anger building more and more. I started to flat iron my hair and decided I was going to wake his ass up and take him home. I went to smoke one last time after I finished my hair and talked the courage into myself to do it. I came into my bedroom and repeatedly asked him to wake up that I was taking him home. He laid there dumbfounded until I started to pack his clothes and things into his bag. Then he got angry and finally got up. He grabbed the bag from me and told me who would do it his damn self. I went outside to smoke while he got his shit together and he came outside and asked if I was ready. I got up, went and got my purse and drove.
The entire twenty minute drive we did not talk. I pulled up to his parent’s house and stopped the car, not even putting it in park. He opened the door and asked are you happy now? I asked why? He said because you took me home, you got what you wanted. I yelled at him that I don’t want to fucking be around you and I don’t want to see your fucking face. Apparently it was pretty loud, his mom came out from the fenced backyard and knew something was going on. She waved at me and I half-heartedly returned one. He got out of the car and I left. I got a call from his mom a few hours later, where she told me that he had came to her a few weeks prior telling her that he thought he was starting to develop a problem with pain pills and he wanted to go to meetings. She said he was back on drugs, was not going through this anymore and was kicking him out. I was worried about him. I didn’t know what all he had done the night before. I tried to call him several times, phone went straight to voicemail. I drove up there, worried he had taken something and I was going to find him dead. I got to his parent’s house and went in and woke him up to try to talk to him. Every time, I would ask a question I would either get silence or he would laugh. I got so mad that I started to feel like I was going to cry so I walked out of the house and left. I did not want to let him see me cry.
I went into a lot of detail with this incident because this is the first time that I felt that he truly did something intentional to hurt me. The first time that he truly made me cry tears of pain. Before this, it had only been tears of happiness.
It took a few days but we talked and agreed to be honest with each other going forward and that he would start attending AA meetings again. He went to them every damn night! At first his mom was taking him to them and then I was taking them to them seven days a week! I thought things were going great with his sobriety. I even stopped drinking myself and started to read the AA book. We shared stories from his meetings, stories and insight into what we were learning. Something happened in my personal life and I started to withdraw.(I will get to that in another blog) I fully immersed myself in fixing him and supporting his sobriety. I constantly told him I was proud of what he had done so far. He made it to 30 days sober. A week later…reality check hit…and a hard one at that.
Derrick went to a meeting on Friday night, I heard from him last at 9:49pm that night. He was supposed to be going to watch the Predators game that night with some guys from AA. I text him asking him to let me know that he made it home okay. I woke up on Saturday morning, no text. I thought it was odd. I text him and called him several times throughout the day and got absolutely no response back. This was not like him at all. 7 o’clock comes and still nothing from him, so I decide to go and wait in the parking lot at his usual Saturday night meeting to see if he would show up or his friend or sponsor. His sister called me when I was on the way to the church and told me that he did not come home Friday night and there was no phone activity. I was immediately panicked thinking the worst. We just went through this a month ago and he promised me it would never happen again. I got to the church and backed my car in beside a big truck. I waited until 8:30, the meeting started at 8. Nothing, not Derrick or anyone that I would hope to show up. His phone started to ring straight to voicemail. I again thought the absolute worst.
I text his mom to see if I could come up there and help. I didn’t want her to be alone and worrying about him. We went through phone records and found numbers. His mom and his dad called every one of them. Trying to get information about where he was, the last time someone had seen or heard from him. There was no phone activity after 10pm on Friday night. I checked all the jails, hoping every time that they would say he was there. Not one of them had him. We started calling hospitals in the area, also hoping that one of them would say he was there and okay. Nope. My head honestly convinced me that he was dead. I posted a missing person post on my Facebook page that night when I tried to sleep, hoping that someone may have seen him. So many of my friends reached out to try to help, whether it be just sharing the post, prayers, texts or phone calls. I can never be thankful enough to all of those that were there and they will never know how much it really meant to me.
I barely slept that night…maybe two or three hours. I stayed with his parents that night and slept in his bed and cried on his pillow. Around 11:30 am, he text his mom and said he was ok and would be home shortly. A woman dropped him off and he went straight to his room. (This is a woman I now can call a friend.) His mom went to check on him. He wasn’t ready to face me. His dad went to see him and he was ready. I almost started crying when I went into the house. We talked, he told me the story of what had happened. He was blackout drunk from the moment he was picked up at the meeting until Sunday morning. I asked if something had happened with the woman who dropped him off. He told me no, I knew better.
And then I met Sherry.(someone that was placed in my life at the just the right moment) Sherry came to do somewhat of an intervention with Derrick. I sat by his side and supported him through the entire thing, I cried and cried. I got a message on Facebook from the woman that brought him home and she apologized saying that she had no idea he had a girlfriend. When I read that I knew exactly what that meant, but I needed to know for myself. I asked her the nature of their relationship and she told me that they had sex that weekend. She told me the truth that I already knew but just didn’t want to come to terms with. I sat down to dinner with Derrick, Sherry and his parents just moments after I read the message. Sat right beside him, him rubbing my leg, my shoulder, trying to hold my hand…while I pretended everything was ok. Sherry left and I told him that we needed to talk. I told him I knew the truth, he denied it all until I told him that she had told me. I asked to see his phone, he kept insisting there was nothing else. I went and got it from his room and made him unlock it. I started going through text messages. He was standing over my shoulder as I was doing it. I got to one text thread and he said I wasn’t going to like it. It was a girl from his meetings and they were texting in a not appropriate way. I’m not sure exactly what happened after all that, I know that I called a few people including the AA girl from his phone.
I was in compete disbelief with it all. I was hurt, angry, sad and in a weird way relieved all rolled into one. It’s hard to describe the feelings. I tried to get answers and I could get nothing but I don’t know from him. I asked him why he wasn’t happy and he continued to say that it wasn’t me that he was unhappy with but himself. I finished my cigarette, grabbed my belongings and went to my car. He followed me out, I was almost in tears as I got into my car, he kept asking me not to go but I drove away.
We met twice the following week to talk, the first time on Monday night I kept my cool. I explained my feelings and how I felt that the one person that I thought I could count on to be there through all the things going on wasn’t there. He was emotionally checked out. He kept asking if he had lost me. I had went to Sherry’s earlier in the day and we had talked. We went over some things that I should say and that I needed to have more respect for myself than to continue on with the relationship. I said absolutely everything that we had talked about, but the words that I was done could not come out of my mouth. Despite all the hell that he had put me through I still wanted to be with him. I still loved him. I still cared. I read some texts that I had sent and the replies that I got back from him. He became furious and raised his voice at me. I told him we were leaving and that I was taking him home. He apologized but I still said that I was taking him home. I pulled up to the house and he asked me something, I can’t remember what it was or what my answer was. All I remember is that when he got out of the car he was mad and he threw his water bottle at his dad’s boat. He text me the next morning apologizing, saying that he was angry with himself and not me. And that he loved me and hoped to hear from me.
We met again on Wednesday, I picked him up from his AA meeting. We didn’t talk until we were almost to his house. He told me that he was not good for me how he was right now and that he needed to fix himself so he could give me what I deserve from him. I was angry and hurt…I had every intention of working it out with him. I was silent, trying to hold back the tears. He finally got out of the car and I left. I stopped at a gas station on the way home to get gas and cigarettes and something inside me snapped. I broke down…I will get to that in another blog.
So I sit here in my bed, listening to I Am Legend on the tv in the background. A movie a few months ago we were just watching and talking about watching together from the beginning to the end. I sit here expecting myself to be crying. Expecting myself to be emotional, especially after writing all this. But I’m not. I feel relieved. I feel a small amount of happiness as I write this, a small amount of pride…very surprisingly. Yes all this hurt me. Yes all this absolutely devastated me. I thought he was the love of my life, the one that I would spend the rest of my days with, the one that I would grow old with, the one that was going to always be there and love me unconditionally. The one that was brought into my life to save me from myself. Ironically the last one may be true still…maybe not in the way that I believed he would be but maybe in the way I needed him to be. You see, if all this would not have happened I would not be where I am today. Searching for the real me, digging through my mistakes, trying to forgive myself for my past and trying to learn to love myself. In the time were together I felt loved. Loved in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time even if it wasn’t real to him it was to me. Loved by his family. I needed that and I needed them in my life at that time. I have learned so much about myself in the past month. So very much and I have learned to forgive. Something that I have never been able to do. All of this set me on my path to discover me…the real me and given me the opportunity to be selfish for me. Something also I have never done. I also learned that I am broken and damaged and I cannot fix anyone but myself. I have begun my path of doing just that. I am no longer a victim of my own circumstances…I am a survivor…and I will keep on surviving and healing and learning and loving.
The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. —Dr Victor Frankl