In The End

It starts with one thing
I don’t know why
It doesn’t even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away

It’s so unreal
Didn’t look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but you didn’t even know
Wasted it all just to watch you go
I kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me
Will eventually be a memory of a time when

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

One thing, I don’t know why
It doesn’t even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme
To remind myself of a time when
I tried so hard
In spite of the way you were mocking me
Acting like I was part of your property
Remembering all the times you fought with me
I’m surprised it got so
Things aren’t the way they were before
You wouldn’t even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me in the end
You kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

I’ve put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
For all this
There’s only one thing you should know
I’ve put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
For all this
There’s only one thing you should know

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

In The End – Linkin Park

I first heard this song during my divorce, and it really hit home. It was such a snapshot of how I felt at the time it was downright spooky! As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was extremely hurt by what happened to bring about the end of my marriage, and even all these years later the scars to my pride and the wounds to my heart are still there.

I first met Christine when I was working for a traveling carnival. My job was to help set up, tear down and operate a 90 foot tall Ferris wheel made by Chance Rides. I was 26 years old and in my prime. Crazy endurance, 6’1″ 195 lbs and no fear of heights. A typical tear down consisted of the following…On Sunday I would operate the ride from 10 am to 11 pm, then tear down the ride without sleep. This ride filled 4 tractor trailers and took myself and 8 others all night to pack away. Drive to the next site in the morning, sleep maybe 2 or 3 hours, then spend 12 more hours setting it back up. NOW we could go to sleep, many times in my dirty greasy clothes I was so tired! I bet I could still remember all the steps but the stamina is long gone!

We were married on August 9, 1992 in Everett Mass, the same day Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. We soon moved to Gray Maine into a small trailer by the same High School I went to. Things went well at first. We both had decent jobs and enough money to afford 2 nice vehicles. After about a year, things started to change.

I worked for a Turf Maintenance company and made good money for Maine, but Christine lost interest in her nursing job, quit and took a job at a department store for half the pay. I tried to be supportive but it didn’t take long for the money to get tight. Like most young couples, we lived right at our means so there was no room to spare. Soon we lost one vehicle to repossession and she lost her job due to missed time. It was the beginning of the end though I didn’t know it.

We struggled for a time, then her sister offered us the chance at a new start in Naples Florida. She and her husband had a successful variety store and offered free room and board while we got our feet under us. It took me 4 hours the first day to get a job, and I started the second day, but it took Christine 2 months to find work. Most days she just watched her sisters kids and did nothing to look for work. She finally found a job as a server and started making great money, so we found a nice little cottage rental.

One morning I awoke to flashlights shinning in the windows. It was the local Police and we found out someone had been in our cottage while we slept along with 2 other houses down the street. That spooked me pretty good, but Christine never got over it. Her paranoia escalated to the point of barricading the door at night with anything she could. It took 5 minutes to get out to go to work! She was not sleeping well and had been using sleeping pills for some time now. Little did I know she was taking 5 times the dose and hiding the empty packages from me.

This went on for a time until one day she called me at work, and I couldn’t understand what she was saying on the phone. When I went home, she was on the couch, open eyed but unresponsive. Well I freaked out! I picked her up and took her to the hospital. After her exam they told me it was possibly a Psychotic Break. The lights were on but nobody was home! It took 2 days to get her to talk about what had brought this on. She said she  had not slept in 7 days. I felt so guilty I had not seen this happening, but she was a good deceiver.

The idiot doctor gave her Valium and sent her home! Are you kidding me? Still, I was so naive I didn’t realize until it was too late, she took a months worth of Valium in a week. When she ran out, she asked me to get her more. Once again, deep in withdrawals, I took her to the hospital where she spent a week this time. Her diagnosis was extreme Bipolar Disorder along with acute trauma from the burglary. She started counseling and I tried to keep her going to it, but she refused after awhile. She did level out so I hoped for the best.

We eventually moved back to Maine and I started a small landscape business. My first 2 seasons were quite successful, but the 3rd year was marred by Christine falling back into her old pattern. She had not worked much since Florida, and she had taken up pot use quite heavily. I think at this time I wanted it to be over. I found myself distancing myself away from her. She stayed up all night and slept all day, the only time we spent together was to eat dinner and smoke pot. She would them retreat to the computer and the web, and I to tv and sleep. Our relationship was basically over.

She came to me one day and said she was leaving, going back to her mom’s house.  I think in a way I was relieved, almost glad she was leaving. Little did I know she was pregnant, and not by me. The next time I saw her was at the divorce 7 months later. Boy was I surprised to see her state! She told me, as matter of fact as could be, not to worry as the child was not mine. Hows that for a slap in the face! 2 months later she had the nerve to send my mother a birth notice of her child with my last name! We were together for over 13 years, and it was then that I realized just how much she had used me.

For many years I was very bitter about what had happened. I hid behind a mask of false bravado, told myself it didn’t matter. As I reflect back on those days I now understand that even though I made some mistakes, the real problem was something neither of us had control over. No matter how hard I tried, it all fell apart. No matter what, I walk away knowing I gave it my all.

I also realize, there are things I do have control over, and that’s how I deal with what is thrown at me. I could curl up in a ball, hide away from the world as I did for many years. I could wallow in self pity, never really letting go of the past. But now, I am done with that, I have forgiven her and I am free.

Free from the pain and confusion, free from the regret and despair of a moment in time that cut so deeply. Free to open my heart again to new experiences and dreams. Free to believe in myself and my worth in this world. With this newfound freedom comes the strength of will to chase my dream of Independence, my dream of new shores and friends. In the end, I now know what it means to be who I was meant to be. In the end, I am truly free to be me.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “In The End

  1. We grow through all our adversities don’t we? Thanks for sharing that and I’m so glad you feel free now … free to dream and make a new, bright and hopeful future, full of love and good fortune. That’s what I wish for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read your story before but that made no difference to the impact of the re-telling. Yours is a powerful and tragic tale, worthy of Tennessee Williams. Your ex-wife was ill, addicted and used you, abused you. YOu will always be scarred. But now your thoughts are forward. YOu have a dream, a fully achievable dream and you are working hard towards it. Little by little the light is intensifying and you will be living the life that you desire. Soon. YOu will.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I now understand you much better, John. You know that my field of work was mental health and a serious diagnosis puts such a strain on a marriage, especially when the diagnosis follows the marriage. I hope time has allowed you to see that Christine couldn’t help what happened to her and if she had a decent diagnosis, might have been able to claim disability benefit. One of the symptoms of a manic episode can be an increase in libido and behaving inappropriately – it doesn’t reflect the person’s personality. This was just the saddest set of circumstances. When you feel bitter, think about my husband and how he has had to support us financially and emotionally. There is a lovely lady waiting out there for you who will understand how difficult life has been.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope she is too but it is a hard life coping with a serious mental illness. It is difficult to keep jobs and keep your health stable no matter how compliant you are. I had to ask my husband yesterday, “Do you think I should come off the second anti-depressant?” No was the response…

        Liked by 1 person

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