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My Marriage, Part 5, The END

This post will recount the last year I was married to my wife and how it fell apart,  how we came to not want to be in eachother’s lives. Not even a full year has passed at the time I am scrolling this down on paper. So this is a little difficult to talk about.

I was released from my second hospitalization and entered a group therapy specifically for trauma. I was learning a lot and gaining more self confidence. I had a moment in the hospital where I realized why I was still alive–what my meaning in life was. It was a few things which gave me meaning. And I was learning, for me to heal, I needed to create a life where I could easily take part in as much self care as was needed and centered around my meanings, my reasons for living. This was a life I didn’t have at all.

Meanwhile, my wife said she was experiencing transmisogyny and discrimination after coming out to her superiors and coworkers. It was very distressing. But my wife being an extremist suddenly decided we needed to live in a specific region on the East Coast where she would not be facing transmisogyny due to the laws in the area.

I tried to offer suggestions and reasons why it would be best for our finances to have her try to find a more LGBTQ+ friendly job where we were, even at least for a time. If we moved East we were going to have to break our lease, sell most of our possessions, and road trip across the country–once we found jobs in the area that is.

But as all of her other life choices there wasn’t time to look for jobs in the area. We needed to move ASAP! And she cried and sulked saying I didn’t care  about what she was going through. She said she had already spoken to a mutual friend in the area and that we were invited to stay with them and their mother until we found jobs and got an apartment.

My wife claimed she was thinking of me too in this move. But if we moved I wouldn’t finish my group therapy, I would lose my medical insurance by quitting my job, no longer be able to purchase the medical marijuana that was helping me to sleep, and leave one of the best degree programs in the nation for my major only to find universities which wouldn’t at all prepare me for research or a professorship in my desired field, which is one of my the long term goals.

Nothing about the move would help me, except it would help my wife’s transition and seemed it would make her happy.

So in less than a month we moved, all of the above things happening and having what turned into not enough savings to pay our fair share for more than a month or two once we got to our friend’s home. I’m not very confident of the time line, everything was such a whirlwind, but my wife found two jobs by about the fourth month or so, but we had been living off my credit card and by the time money started flowing in, we could hardly pay for our new health insurance, food and all the creditors coming our way.

Life on the East Coast was worse for me, but there were many defining moments during the five or so months I would never trade, even though it all was stressful, heartbreaking, and at certain times cruel.

During this time I was able to be mindful and take care of myself enough without consistent therapy to put down boundaries, advocate for my needs (even if they were dashed aside), and decide what I did and didn’t want. I could also find the best action to take with new information, no matter how difficult it was to hear and accept.

I don’t feel it would be appropriate to go into all the details about what happened and how I was treated. She said and she said etc. But even to have the strength to reach out to any and all friends and family and walk away took radically accepting the situation with my wife, and moving forward. Because I knew deserved better.

Halloween 2016

In short, my wife had created an emotional and physical relationship with the friend we were living with and tried to get me to get on board with a polyamorous lifestyle. They had been physical since April of 2016–which my wife only updated on her facebook once I walked away.

In the midst of this conflict my wife’s . . . (forgive the callousness of this term, it’s the only one that seems to fit) side piece, was threatening to kick me out of the home based on pride as far as I could tell by the accusations of embarrassment I allegedly caused and that I wasn’t doing the house work well enough while I searched all day for a job, took care of the three animals in the house and the meals while still finding time to meditate by the way. But these weren’t the real issues, just a smoke screen.

And my wife just sat there, letting this verbal abuse happen and agreed with it. She told me when I asked her how an unemployed woman with mental health concerns would live on the streets–Where would I go? How would I eat? My wife said, “You’ll just have to figure it out.” In this instant all love, care, adoration and any benefit of the doubt I had endlessly allotted to my wife was gone. I was being tossed aside as garbage.

We both agreed we wanted a divorce. She’d “had enough of [me]”.

With one checked bag, a backpack, laptop bag, and $9.00 in my pocket, I boarded a flight back to Phoenix, Arizona not three days later. This was due to the kindness of a man who was once the boy who made fun of me when we were children growing up in a small town. Without him, my family, and one very close friend in particular, I wouldn’t have been able to escape an abusive environment and take charge of my life.

As I type this out in a coffee shop, my scribbled first draft to my right nearly a year later I can say that I did take charge of my life. It wasn’t easy. When I fled, my now ex-wife threw out all my possessions including large pieces of complex abstracts I had been working on. I never had the chance to scan them. Then she re-homed my cats even though I told her I would send money for them to be flown to me. This loss was greater than what I felt of the forever gone childhood photos, books, my violin, and art combined. I cried for my little boys for a long time.  I still feel the loss, I even created my own word for it.

My ex-wife then refused to communicate with me about the filing of the divorce. I looked it up online but the courts sent me on a big pass-the-buck scavenger hunt of paperwork to try to get a copy of the divorce papers. Once I opened a P.O. Box address and emailed it to my ex for her to send the divorce papers to me, the very next day she informed the courts I defaulted. She emailed a scan of the divorce decree which stated we’d “divided up our debts amongst [ourselves].” But we hadn’t. She landed me with over half the debts, plus owes me money for all my possessions totalling in the thousands. But the attorney fees would be more than the total cost just to get her to be honest and divide the debts in half as is the common practise. So I’ve just accepted it.

I got a job almost immediately upon returning to Arizona, it was within the first two weeks, but one thing people sometimes don’t understand is I was starting all over with nothing and now buried under crippling debt probably for the rest of my life. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve received a lot of help and kindness from family and friends and I love them so much for that.

I wouldn’t change what happened or my life now. It’s been hard work but “The grass is greener under me” as Demi Lovato sings, not just compared to my ex (I’ve heard she has gone through some unfortunate events), but compared to my life before as well.

For the first time in my life I am not being criticised for how I use my spare time, my choice of job, a choice to change jobs, how I drive, my opinions–the list could go on and on. I’m free and I have an amazing support system who love me, I’m getting the therapy I need, I have a car, and I’m following my meaning and dreams in my life. It’s the most wonderful feeling to finally live my life for what I love and not for others or what others prescribe for me.

Life is worth living! I no longer want to run away from responsibility by taking myself out of this world. I no longer think I am a burden and that everyone would be better off without me. Meaning is all around me, opportunities to be in touch with the world, to live in the moment. And each day I take baby steps farther and farther out of my comfort zone to heal for certain this time.

I know this is a phase overused, but the world is my oyster–and it’s your’s too! You deserve better–correction–you deserve the best. Take care of yourself and don’t let others take that away from you. Set boundaries. Adopt a “no nonsense policy”. If someone treats you and others like a shit, cut them out! You don’t need that. Work toward a better self and your dreams and let in those who will support you–not those who want to change you and/or make you like them to stroke their egos. You are amazing and you can overcome anything if you try. And I’m not just saying that. I have a long record of hardships which I never asked for, but I’ve kept fighting–even when I didn’t want to. So you can do it. If you need help, I’m here for you.


–C. Lake

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