In order to try and protect the innocent (and not so innocent) I will refrain from using names or real names in my blog as much as possible. I know my friends are rolling their eyes at the idea that I’m doing this, and maybe I am stupid, but there are several things that have instigated my want to write a blog. They are as follows:
2. Beyonce the Chicken (check out above)
3. My mom and her friend’s idea to write my story to Ellen because it’s so unbelievable that she would just have to fly me out to her studio to hear it in person and give me money and a new car (I’m still giggling over this).
4. The fact that the past year of my life has been so outlandishly insane, that if I don’t write this all down, I myself may never believe it happened.
So here is the lowdown…If you don’t read this post, you will not understand much that follows, so begin here. About a year ago, on the first day of school (I was a 5th grade teacher at a Catholic school at the time) my then husband of seven years came home and informed me that he had been having an affair for the past 2-2 1/2 years. Not only that, but he had previously cheated on me six years prior when I was pregnant and on bed rest with our first child.
How it went, [after it being a COMPLETELY NORMAL evening together and finally getting the girls to bed after a crazy first day of school, I mean he brought pizza home for christ sakes!]:
Me: I’m going to go to bed, I’m beat.
Him: That’s cool.
[I go get into bed, he wanders in and acts like he’s going to bed also]
Him: I’m cheating on you
Me: What!? What!? Turn on the f***ing light! What!?
Him: Yeah, for a couple of years now.
[What follows is for no one’s ears for ever and ever…]
Now this is not extremely unbelievably, I know, it happens everyday. The back story is that he was telling A LOT of people that he had a receive a recent promotion at work and was crazy busy all of the time. He was to receive a substantial raise and we had made all kinds of plans to pay bills off, etc. He kept being wishy-washy about when the new raise would kick in. First August, then September. It was making me insanely crazy as the sole person in charge of finances for our family. He had to go on “sudden” out-of-town conferences for the new CEO. Really? He worked in mental health, how many out-of-town conferences could one have???? I was left with the kids, but supportive. All I asked was that he remind his employer that he does have a family and planning is key. Additionally, he was working on his master’s degree and I was staying home with our girls all day during the summer (sidebar: I have no idea how stay at home moms do it and I totally believe you have the hardest job in the world). His work schedule was insane and he was working “extra hours” a lot of the time and doing “school stuff” also. (His fellow cheater was a co-worker and co-student who would go to all classes together and work together too.) It was all a huge shock to everyone who knew us as we seemed happy and content with our lives together (me included!!!).
Looking back now, I totally should have busted him out, I mean really, just writing these facts down causes me to realize how dense I actually was. Honestly, I questioned him several times over the course of the previous year if he were having an affair with this person. When I was busy and he had the girls he would often take them to her home or she would go out with them to McDonald’s or whatever. I know I should have been more suspicious, but I honestly believed him, who wouldn’t believe their husband? (Besides, to know him is to love him but to also realize that he isn’t an epic catch… I mean I loved him and loved our life together, but there was definite room for improvement, he was no Don Juan, ya know? Note: I do not think I am perfect in any way shape or form, and will be the first to tell you all of my shortcomings, hindrances, and idiosyncrasies.)
What followed was me making the first rational decision of my life (where any stupid boy is concerned) and asking him to tell the girls he was leaving the next day and moving in with his parents. I believe he was intending to stay until his “girlfriend” decided whether to take him back or not, but he stated under no uncertain terms that he was done with the marriage. No counseling, working it out, talking about it. No real outward sign for 7 years, aside from the rough patch and short spurt of counseling following the birth of our first child, but wait, YOU WERE F***ING CHEATING ON ME THEN TOO!!!!! Really, you couldn’t have said something then? Nope, let’s hide our heads in the sand and go along like everything is sunshine and roses and kitten farts. Ok. Cool. Let’s do that.
So this timeline follows: December = divorced, and the girl’s visitation is with them both in their new apartment, January = they’re pregnant and engaged, February = married.
At this point I don’t know if I’m afoot or horseback (and I’m pretty sure my kids didn’t know if they were either). Since the birth of our first daughter, we had been living in his grandparent’s old farmhouse. We all loved that house. I would have sworn to you I was going to grow old and die in that house, then my children would grow old and die in that house (at least one of them). The house actually was owned by his father, who was gracious enough to let us live there. The girls and I had stayed there throughout this whole fiasco, but I knew, and his parents knew, we couldn’t stay forever.
Timeline continued: end of March = the girls and I move out, and in with my parents. Oh yeah, my parents, ’nuff said.
Now the move was completed over spring break. My daughter went to the same school that I taught at. The administration had been warning of possible budget cuts that would cause them to have to eliminate a position. You can already guess… I was the elimination. For what reason I was chosen, I will probably never know. I was given no reason. Many times the last hired is the first fired, but in this case the last hired was kept and I, a teacher of the school for 4+ years was let go.
The ensuing stress and emotional turmoil I was under through the school year was raw and ugly, and I admit, not the best thing to be going through while teaching 5th graders. I was paranoid, stressed out, and quick to snap, which did not make for a good combination while teaching in a small school of about 10 strong-willed women (one male teacher, and a male principal), those of whom were all very close and which too many personal issues had been shared among them. I had no filter during this time, I am ashamed to admit, but when one goes through a trial like this in their life, there is a level of insanity that goes along with it. You feel crazy, your world is literally upside down, and VERY FEW people can understand what you are experiencing.
In June of this year, he and his new wife moved into the old farm house the girls and I loved so much. It was the only house they had ever known, and it was confusing for them and a bit uncomfortable to be back in that house in this new situation. It was heartbreaking for me because I would have stayed in that house FOREVER. We had renovated some of it and we had plans to complete the kitchen, but never did. Well, he did before they moved in. That was always the room I wanted to have re-done, but it never did, until now. I can’t tell you how much that burned my butt, but hey, ya learn to let things go pretty quick, ya know?
The “last hired” at the Catholic school accepted another job at a different school and the administrator hired a new teacher. Apparently, it was not just due to low enrollment and budget cuts that I was let go. I even asked for a letter of recommendation after finally deciding that I did want to continue to teach, but was refused.
So here I am months later, I am sure there are tons of side stories that could also be told, but this post is long enough. I am unemployed, no letters of recommendation, no job in sight in this downsized market. My girls and I are still living with my parents, and there are a lot of bad days, but equally good one’s as well. I am looking for balance in a crazy topsy-turvy world, and am not only stronger, but smarter to the ways of the world and the people in it. Will I ever get married again? I doubt it, but that’s ok because the one thing I have learned from this is that I’m ok on my own. I have a few really GREAT friends that are always completely blunt and honest with me, but have my back also. I don’t know if this story will be as effective written down, or if you had to experience it first hand, but I hope it allows at least one person to not feel quite so alone. So, onward we go…