I cut him off in November and tried to concentrate on my new job and catch up on bills with an income cut almost in half. I had to try to get ok with the fact that this is where I was stuck now, that art and building, sculpture, gardening and sustainable living weren’t where I was gonna be for God only knew how long. I wasn’t doing well. My last boss was so encouraging, told me I was the fastest learner he’d ever encountered and one of the best jewelers he’d ever known. I felt stupid and inadequate here though, I was struggling hard, knocked down more than I was lifted up no matter how hard I was trying. I was a prisoner in my own home, unable to keep up with bills or housework and certainly unable to continue fixing the house and yard. The kids were and still are being left at home alone while we both work and I had told myself I’d NEVER let that happen. There was and still is zero expendable income and me and my husband were irritable and stressed out with no way to relax or blow off steam. No outlet for our frustration. Then in July, he messaged me, my Trailer Trash Skater Boy. He said my husband was in his dreams, he missed him and was confused about why we had cut him off. I told him to message my husband and leave me out of it, but my heart was pounding out of my chest and I just wanted to talk to him like we used to. He asked more questions, and I told him I’d message him after work.
I went home, ran a bath, poured myself a glass of wine and spilled my guts. His response was something like, “We never flirted or said anything inappropriate to each other ever. I was just happy you would talk to me. We never did anything wrong! But it’s pretty clear now, that you love me and I love you, and we can do something about that without hurting anybody.” And for the next four months we talked every single day about hopes and dreams and our lives as they were right then, about our kids and projects he was working on. What we did for dinner and how we missed each other being right there beside each other doing daily things like laundry and shopping. We talked about art projects we’d do together, what we’d have in our garden, how we’d build our treehouse and how we’d travel with next to nothing but the clothes on our backs. He’d write me poetry that was the perfect blend of romance and raunch, love and humor, things that would make me sigh with delight and laugh out loud and ache with lust. He was at once lovingly romantic and disgustingly dirty and playful. I would tell him all my flaws and he’d come back with perfectly logical and loving responses that told me he wasn’t dismissing my imperfections, but embracing them. He was ready for them.
Once I asked him what our first fight would be and he said, “Period panties in the sink.” and I was like, “Gross! I’d NEVER do that! Put some Spray n Wash on those shits and throw ’em in the washer! But I DO loose a lot of hair in the shower that I don’t want going down the drain, so I collect them in a pile in the corner of the shower and then I forget to throw them out. It gets gross.” and he said, “I’d collect them and cherish each one like they were strands of gold.” Like, who says shit like that??? But I believe him, because I always paid attention to how he talked about his friends and family, his kids and his ex-wife, and it was always loving sentimental shit like that even before he thought about trying to impress me. Plus, he’s an artist and we do crazy stuff like that. He’d probably make ’em into hair on a weird artsy doll or something. Did I mention he sews too?
It DID eventually get inappropriate, very very inappropriate at times, and like I said, my body responded. I had thought that part of me was dead and it scared me and excited me and had me totally addicted right quick. I felt sexy and beautiful for the first time in years, like he was making love to my being before he had ever seen or touched my body, and though he’s seen me now, he still hasn’t ever actually touched me except for brief hugs back years ago when he and my husband were still friends. He has seen my body now, through pictures and videos. The first time I sent him a picture was after his dog died. He had come home with a huge gash in his side that would need extensive surgery to fix and my Love had to have someone come help him put the poor thing down. he was sad and panicked and I did it to cheer him up, to prove to him that my feelings were real. After I sent it, I threw up. I threw up almost every day for about a month after that. Even though I loved and still love this man, I was and still am married to a different man, a good man who is the father of my three children.
After that picture it was on and crackin’. We did some really shifty shit besides the pictures and videos. I made a fake Facebook account and a Twitter account so we could talk. I opened a PO Box that he paid for so he could send me little things, and I called him once in a while. It was wonderful and awful.
I thought I would leave my family for him. I thought they wouldn’t care much. I was thinking about love and freedom, but not money or logistics. They don’t like the things I like. They don’t think the things I think are important are important. I’m a dirty hippie at heart, my husband and girls want to live in a city with a nice car, stainless steel appliances and modern décor. I still haven’t seen Yosemite or Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, and I haven’t been to the Redwoods since I was little, let alone anywhere out of the country, and they want to go to San Francisco to Japan and Korea Town and to the big malls. I have fun doing that too, for them, but my SELF is being smothered. I don’t even have the time, money or energy to make master tonic or chicken soup or natural lotions and salves or to tend the small garden I do have. I want to build my own sustainable home and sit out on the deck I helped build smoking weed and drinking tea and sit by the fire snuggled up to my loved ones reading aloud or watching a movie. I want to build and create and raise my own food and cook from scratch, can and preserve shit, make crafts and art to sell at festivals, go backpacking across country and live amongst the trees. But even that life requires an abundance of money that I don’t have. Even if it was possible, my fear is that this fatigue, this heaviness, this depression wouldn’t leave my body and I’d fail at that life like I’m failing this suburban one. I know that diet and exercise and creativity are all essential to fighting depression and that lifestyle lends itself to all those things where this one sucks them all away. Changes must be made, but how? Going away to depend on another man for those things, and one on a fixed income at that, may not be the best way and I’m aware of that.
When my husband ran across my fake account and came to the realization of my deception, he went ballistic. He screamed and yelled and threw things, understandably. He found the stupidest picture he could of Trailer Trash Boy, one where the idiot had shaved the top of his head like an old man and made a face at the camera after having a spray paint fight with his son, and showed it to the kids telling them, “This is gonna be your new step-daddy! You like that? Huh? You’re GROSS Jen! You disgust me!”. He called me every name he could come up with, and I just sat there and took it while the kids cried. What could I say? It was my fault this was happening. He went through so many emotions. He told me I had been his pride, that he loved me and never thought he’d have to worry about anything like this, that he had always thought he had the best wife of all his friends. When he went through my phone and saw all the pictures and conversations he cried. It was the first time I’d ever seen him cry over anything but death. I wanted to comfort him, but how? He wanted sex from me more than anything after that, but my body responded the way it always had and worse, by closing in on itself and shying away. I love him, but I don’t want to make love to him, I can’t and it’s not that I haven’t tried or that he’s bad or anything. My body simply refuses to go there, and I hate it.
My oldest kept telling me she loves me no matter what I decide, but she doesn’t want me to leave. My middle daughter refused to talk to me for months and wouldn’t let me touch her till just recently. She’s having trouble in school and stopped caring about keeping her room cleaned or helping around the house like she used to do. My son cried and told me he loves me, asked me questions about Skater Boy, never judging either of us, he was incredibly understanding and forgiving, but said he doesn’t want me to go. My husband kept wanting to talk about it, but I’d close up. I don’t know how to talk about it. We can’t even keep one household afloat, how could we possibly keep two?
I got caught talking to him again a couple times till November of 2015 when I cut him off completely. I still miss our conversations with every breath. I still hate this existence, still can’t get to a place of craving my husbands advances. I still loath getting up in the morning to leave the kids and the house I so desperately want to keep clean and transform into the vision I had for it when we bought it. My husband still wants to talk about it, still can’t let it go, and yet, still tries to make me happy, to take care of me. He just can’t. Sure he works and pays bills, but he’d do that with or without me. He takes care of our children, but he’d do that no matter who their mother was. He cares that I am depressed and miserable. He’s even said multiple times that I should just go, but I can’t leave my kids and I can’t afford to live here in a place that would have enough room for them. I can’t stand how every single night he looks at me accusingly and says, “You’re missing.” meaning my Trailer Trash Boy, and he’s right, but I always deny it. I can’t stand how he insults him every day, calls him Busta Boy and makes fun of how small he is, commenting about his little hands and feet, sneering about how he lives off the state and doesn’t work, telling me stories about how he had wronged him in their youth and telling me that anyone they grew up with would tell me what an asshole this guy is. He doesn’t understand that insulting someone I love is insulting me. He doesn’t get that I’ve probed this mans heart and mind for years and come to my own conclusion about him. He’s had fifteen years to learn and grow just like we have. He’s not a kid anymore. Insulting this man is not going to make me love him any less or love my husband any more. As a matter of fact, it may have just the opposite effect. Even so, I DO take many of these things into consideration, not because my husband points them out, but because as much as I hate being an adult, I am one and I HAVE to think rationally instead of like a love-struck teenager.
We spoke briefly through messenger about a month ago, reaffirming that we miss each other, that we love each other. My husband caught us talking, again, I’m really bad at this sneaky shit apparently, and the whole thing blew up again. Now I’m here, writing this because I have to make changes in my life. I HAVE to. I have to decide what routs are open to me, what I want, what can be done, which way is going to make the most sense and make me the happiest, or at least the least sad. I cut Skater Boy off for now despite how much I miss him because it’s obvious that we have said everything we can possibly say to each other from this place of indecision. He knows I love him, I know he loves me, but unless I’m willing to pack up and leave my kids, what’s the point of talking, of torturing ourselves? He’s only going to beg me to come and I’m going to resist leaving my kids and it’s going to ruin us. So, unless I figure out that going to him would be the best thing for me and my family, I’m not going to talk to him anymore no matter how much I miss him.
The last time we talked, he helped me understand that I have nothing but choices ahead of me. I have to weigh pros and cons of each possible choice, make lists, make plans, decide which ones to follow and then actually DO it. He said he understands my position and the difficulty of it, that he’d never be mad at me for not choosing him, but that he’d be there no matter what, no matter how long it takes.
Now I guess it’s time to start writing out my options, my dreams, think about what I can do in the near future to drag myself out of this darkness and start on a path to happiness, or at least less depression. Stay tuned.