Family is a treasure

My five-year-old sleeps in my wife’s bed.  He has for a few months now.

He goes to sleep a lot earlier than she does.

He always wants someone to be with him.

My wife is usually busy with homework.

I don’t mind laying down with him.  Most nights that’s what I do.

The other night I was laying down with him.  I was rubbing his hair.

My mind kept wandering.  I reminded myself that my time with my boys is short.  I tried to stay focused on being with him.

I realized there wasn’t anywhere else I wanted to be right then.

What better place could there be?

“Job security” is an illusion

I found out this morning that my job is being eliminated at the end of the year.

I had no idea anything like this would happen before today.

Maybe a month ago I asked my manager about two similarly named services our company offers.  One is the service I support.  The other is a similar service.

She said that some clients are being moved from our service to the other one.  She said not to worry.  The process would take years.  I would most likely be trained to support the other service long before we stopped supporting the current one.

She believed it when she said it.  I’m sure of that.

It’s not the first time I’ve been laid off.  The last time I had no warning.

That’s the danger of being too dependent on one income.

One person can make a decision which can throw your whole future into doubt.

I know it wasn’t my manager’s decision.  The decision was made by someone above her.  Probably someone I’ve never met.  Someone who doesn’t know or care about me.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do at this point.

Getting one full-time job doesn’t seem like the smartest option, though.

I still love my wife

It’s a weird situation.

My wife told me almost six months ago she wants a divorce.

She was thinking about it a long time before that.

We still live together.  We sleep in different rooms.

She hasn’t filed for divorce yet.  She talks about it occasionally, though.

I’m not really in a hurry.  I just wish I knew for sure what was going on.

I still think the world of her.

She has plenty of flaws.  I’m sure she knows that better than I do.

She wanted to be with me when I could barely support myself.

She was supportive of me when I was laid off and couldn’t find another job.

She worked to support our family so I could go to college.

She forgave me the first time I told her I’d been lying to her and that I was addicted to porn.

She stayed with me when I told her I wasn’t going to finish my degree.

Best of all, she’s given me two sweet, wonderful little boys.

I hate that I hurt her.  Again.

It hurts me to lose her.

Whatever happens though, I want her to be happy.

Worst. Girlfriend. Ever.

I’d just had my heart brokenTwice.

I was also feeling desperate.

My artist friend decided to take me around to “visit some people.”  The people he took me to meet were all girls.  We went to several apartments full of girls.

She was the only one who blatantly flirted with me.  So she was the one I liked.

My friend warned me that she was just a flirt.

That didn’t stop me from getting attached.

She was sweet at first.

After a couple of months she started to show her true colors.  By then we’d lost our virginity to each other.

She was critical.  She’d make fun of me – the way I walked, the way I talked, etc.

I didn’t have a job at first.  She said if I didn’t have a job I was worthless.  I took my first phone job because of pressure from her.

She wanted to go out to dinner and a movie every night.  I’d spend entire paychecks on dates with her.

She’d insist they weren’t “real dates” because I didn’t call her in advance to set them up.

I’d take her roses every week.  That didn’t make her nicer to me.

At one point we were engaged.  I bought her a cheap little gold ring.  It was all I could afford.  Later she got upset and threw the ring at me.

I hid things from her because I was afraid she’d be mean if she knew.

I quit one phone job because I couldn’t take it anymore.  I lied to her and told her I was still working there.  I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of her knowing I had quit.

Before I got another job her sister’s husband’s brother decided to sell his car.  My girlfriend decided I was going to buy it.  She was tired of driving me around.

I didn’t have enough money to buy it.  She decided she would lend me the money.

A few weeks after I got the car a found another job.  I finally told her I’d been lying about working at my previous job.

She was furious.

I didn’t see her for a few weeks.  Eventually she started seeing me again.

A few weeks later we went out.  I was really tired.  Neither one of us could decide whether to go to dinner or to a movie first.  Eventually she got mad and told me to just take her home.

I did.

I dropped her off.  She slammed the door as she got out.  I drove off and didn’t look back.

There was a girl at work I sat next to.  We would joke around together.  I think she might have dated me.  I think things were going in that direction.

After a couple of weeks my girlfriend begged me back.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back together at first.  I ended up getting back together with her because it was easy.

What a mistake!

She used to taunt me with this line from Poe’s Trigger-Happy Jack: “You can’t talk to a psycho like a normal human being…”  Ironic that she would say that to me…

The abuse didn’t usually cross over into physical abuse.

One time she kept pinching my arms.  She wouldn’t stop.  A little while later a bunch of red marks showed up on my arms.  She had the nerve to ask where they came from.

I’m pretty sure she was bipolar.  She was never officially diagnosed.  Any time I even hinted that she might need some kind of help she’d get mad.

She had threatened to move out of her parent’s house multiple times, but never did.  Eventually my mom’s water heather started leaking and soaked my bedroom floor.  My girlfriend talked me into getting an apartment.

There was a neighborhood I liked.  It was close to her work.  She told me I shouldn’t move there.  She talked me into getting a cheaper apartment in a much rougher neighborhood.

Sometimes I wonder if she was trying to kill me.

Eventually she cheated on me.

Her family went on vacation to the same place every year.  She told me she always got sick and had a bad time.

We’d been together about a year and a half.  It was vacation time again.  She wasn’t going to go.  She was going to spend time with me instead.  A few days before her family left she announced she was going with them after all.

That Saturday I had a bad feeling I’d never had before.  I decided to go to her house, just to set my mind at ease.

I looked in the window.  Her family never closed the blinds.  She was sitting on front of the computer with a guy I didn’t recognize.  I found out later it was a guy from Texas she’d met in a chat room.

I guess she couldn’t find anyone closer…

She came to the door.  She tried to calm me down.  I asked her when she was going to come get her stuff from my apartment.  She said she’d let me know.

She’d broken up with me multiple times.  I guess it took me breaking up with her for it to stick.

She’d still come see me every few weeks.  One time she stopped by on the way home from work.  Eventually it became obvious she wanted more than conversation.  I thought she wanted to get back together, so I went along with it.  Afterward she told me we weren’t getting back together.

A few months later she was over to visit.  I walked her out to her car.  I went inside and looked out the window at her for a while.  She sat in her car looking back at me.  After a few minutes I looked down.  After several minutes I looked back up, and she was gone.  I went to bed that night still missing her.  The next morning I didn’t miss her any more.

I still owed her the money for the car when we broke up.  She had also bought me some things over the course of our relationship she decided I “owed” her for.  I decided to give her the money rather than argue with her about it.  It seemed like a small price to pay to have her out of my life.

Initially I gave her the checks in person when she’d come to visit.  Once I didn’t miss her any more I started mailing them to her.

I delivered the last check in person.  She’d held onto one of the keys to my car.  She’d threatened to take the car if I didn’t give her what she said I owed her.

After that I cut her off.  Moved.  Changed my phone number.  Blocked her email address.

I’m sure she’ll be mad if she ever reads this.

She’ll probably never talk to me again.

That’s probably for the best.

I was afraid to go on a mission

I was pretty sheltered as a kid.

My dad died when I was three.

My mom kept me home most of the time.  I was happy there, so I didn’t mind.

In the LDS church young men are expected to serve a full-time mission for two years.  At that time they would go at age nineteen.

I was afraid of being on my own for that long.

I’d been on my own at scout camps and events, but that was it.

I was afraid of being far from home.

I had always wanted to get married.  That seemed a lot safer, and I’d always been romantically inclined.

I had a plan.

Right after high school I would go to college for a year.  While I was there I would find someone to marry.

Never mind that I had never gone out on a date before.

Never mind that I was afraid to even talk to girls.

My plan was foolproof.

What could possibly go wrong?

“What do you care what other people think?”

I try not to.  But I do.

I worry if I write too many good things about myself people will think I’m bragging.  That I’m full of myself.  Maybe that’s why I write so many negative things about myself.

There are a lot of things I do that I don’t want to do.  Mostly those are things other people want me to do.

I’m a people-pleaser.  I want people to like me.  To love me.

That’s not such a bad thing by itself.

I do things that make me unhappy to make other people happy.  That’s when it becomes a problem.

When I become a doormat.

I’m intelligent

I could count to 20 when I was two years old.

I could read at a fifth grade level when I was in kindergarten.  At least that’s what my mom says my kindergarten teacher told her.

My senior year in high school I took AP Physics.  We did an experiment on projectile motion.

The experiment used a spring-loaded cannon which would launch a metal ball.  We were supposed to launch it through some hoops.  We had to calculate the right heights for the hoops.

I did the math for our team.  We finished first, and we were the only group to get it right the first time.

I could think of other examples, but I think those are sufficient.

Rock Bottom

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

– J.K. Rowling

I haven’t hit bottom. Not yet.

To be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I’m not looking forward to being divorced from my wife.

I’m not looking forward to living in my mom’s basement. (Sigh…)

I’m especially not looking forward to being separated from my boys

I’m looking forward to making progress. To getting myself on the right path. To really working toward achieving greatness. To being a good example for my boys.

With the help of a loving Heavenly Father I can do it.

With his help I can do anything.

My artist friend

He lived down the hall from me.  Everyone in the dorm had to share a room.  After the first term his roommate left school, so he had the room to himself.

I’d talk to him about the woes of my love life.  He was a good listener and he’s share stories of his own.  Sometimes we’d go for long walks together.  Once we even walked to the next town, six miles away.

It was the end of the school year.  I asked if I could move in with him.  He was reluctant at first.  He enjoyed having a room to himself.

I explained the difficulties I’d been having with my roommate.  He agreed to let me move in.

I broke up with my first serious girlfriend/fiancee.  I called him and told him what happened.  I hadn’t seen him for a few years.  He was going to school an hour and a half away.  He invited me to come visit him the next day.  He spent the day with me.  He introduced me to some of his friends and showed me around campus.  He asked me to consider going to school there.

That was the last time I saw him.

I’ve contacted him several times since then, most recently on Facebook.  It’s not the same.

I miss my friend.

I’m so glad I met him.