I've made a few good friends through posting on this site, and for the most part, those who read my posts probably see me as a bit of a jackass, what with the nature of my posts, the third person thing, etc.
I've made a decision to use this place as a bit of a platform for telling the world, in a pseudo-anonymous way, about my struggles. Some might scoff - hell, I might scoff on any given day - but there are some things I need to say to people, and since I can't say them to the people who occupy real time and space in my world (save for a precious few), you poor unfortunate souls get to listen to me babble.
What prompted this specifically was a friend I've made who wanted to know about the time I was married for a single day.
I have avoided telling her that story, because I have yet to speak about it publicly to anyone since it took place nearly 3 years ago. Since that time, my life has been filled with therapy sessions, heartache, antidepressants, way too much introspection and self awareness, massive anxiety, stress, depression, anger....I could probably go on, but I won't.
Anyway....I am getting married in 28 days, and there is something inside me telling me that I need to expel this from my system before that day. I don't know that I will even respond to this thread should there be any replies, but similar to when a stomach contains something the body rejects and the result is vomit, I think I need to emotionally vomit. There is stuff inside me that my mind is rejecting, for lack of a better term.
For anyone who's seen The Sopranos, Tony from time to time mocks himself for seeing a psychiatrist for what he calls 'mommy issues' - even the shrink at points makes fun of it as being the prototypical 'guy' issue. Well, I suppose it starts the same way for me. I'm not going to get into the gory details, but suffice it to say I grew up in an environment that was heavily abusive, both verbally and physically.
My mother was the all-powerful one, and to approach and/or disagree with her would be committing oneself to instant misery. My older sister, who is transgender and had the unenviable task of informing my parents that she was gay, was greeted by being pinned down by my mother and burned with a curling iron.
You get the idea.
I say this only to provide a background as to why I made some of the choices I did when I was younger. I left home just as soon as I possibly could, moving in with my girlfriend who I had started "going out with" at the tender age of 11, also when I became sexually active. Through this time I had a pretty solid relationship with my father, who remains in my life as one of the most important figures to this day, but had little to no relationship with my mother.
My relationship became somewhat unhealthy...a kid at 11 years old shouldn't be committed in a relationship that's akin to marriage until he's 22, no way to grow up....not to mention having her mother as a surrogate of sorts was just...well, I'm getting off track.
Sadly when I reached about 22, hormones had their way with me and curiousity was the catalyst for cheating on my girlfriend. I say sadly for her, because noone ever deserves to be treated that way. If she knew how much that incident taught me today, perhaps that would serve as somewhat of a balm, but she will never know.
In any event, the relationship that had replaced much that was missing in my life was destroyed, and sent me into a tailspin that took two years to ....well, I was going to say recover from, but one could argue I never did.
But what did happen was I met someone back then that symbolized hope of some kind, and when a human being is suffering to the degree that I was suffering, they will reaceh out to anything and everything in hopes of finding something to grasp on to to save themselves. That's the role Melanie played in my life. It was a case of two people coming out of bad breakups, finding solace in one another.
Looking back, it was obvious to me on the very first date that I was not attracted sexually to this girl. I will never forget the first time being naked with her and thinking to myself hmm, this doesn't feel right AT ALL.
8 years passed in an entirely co-dependant situation whereby there was no real love involved above and beyond that you'd have for a best friend. In 8 years we had sex maybe 4 times.
Again this led to numerous incidents of me being unfaithful. You can imagine the guilt and shame cycle that ensued. I've never been, nor will I ever be, someone who can easily brush these things off, but at the same time I was obviously not strong enough to prevent them from happening in the first place.
8 years passed and both of us were miserable. It wasn't until I met someone that I knew I had real feelings for that I realized I had to make a change. At this point, though, I had succumbed to pressure to propose to Melanie, and so here I was, 3 months before a wedding, having recognized what I knew was real with someone entirely different.
I'm a pretty wordy guy....but honestly, there is nothing I can write in this space to accurately describe how I struggled with what to do. Melanie insisted we get married, even in the face of my sitting her down and telling her that it was not going to work, that I was not in love with her. She insisted that if we followed through, it would work. That I had cold feet.
To this day, I wake up drenched with sweat after a nightmare that she's convinced me that following my own heart is wrong, and to rescue her from her sadness.
This doesn't end the way you might imagine. I followed through, I married her. My friends were there. My family. All of them knew what I was going through. And each of them stood there with me while I committed the ultimate sin. I didn't even say a word at my own reception. I didn't have a dance.
It was as though I walked a plank, allowing my feelings to be entirely manipulated, and succumbed to my inability to break this girl's heart. I can still see her in her wedding dress.
Ironic, isn't it? That by doing this, I end up hurting her more? I know. I know it doesn't make sense. I know I should have had the balls to just insist, or rather refuse, to follow through. I am fallible, what can I say. I am not the cocky jackass I make myself out to be. In fact, the entire reason I am writing this painfully boring diatribe is that I need to regain some sort of control over my emotions.
In any event, I woke up the next day with this feeling in the pit of my stomach. A physical sickness. And I knew, upon waking up and feeling that way, that there was only one way to alleviate it. I had done wrong, and I had to exit the situation. And so that's what I did.
I left that morning, left Melanie, left everyone who had stayed over at the hotel, left my family....without having said a word to anyone. I have never seen her again, to this day. We worked out a divorce (sidenote: annulments are not as easy to obtain as you think) through lawyers, we sold our house through a real estate agent, and we split up possessions through pre-arranged times and dates.
I am sitting here at my desk crying. Crying because I have buried this shit inside me for almost 3 years, unable to speak of the unspeakable. I realize there are worse things out there that people have done...I come from a childhood where those things happened. This was unspeakable for me. And I have to let go of the guilt that I am carrying around like a 6000 pound backpack.
I am marrying the girl that I am in love with next month, who somehow, through all this, including the marriage, has stood by my side and believed in me and in us. But I refuse to do so while still harboring and carrying around this fucking anvil.
I am currently weening off antidepressants that I went on as a result of this mess, and that's a battle in itself. Feelings that have been suppressed by this for almost 3 years are coming back to the surface in the form of anxiety and depression and anger and irritability (avoid ssri's if you can, they have their place, but they are not cures for human problems), and I am in therapy in an attempt to process them in a healthy way.
So....wherever you are...Melanie....I am so sorry. And that sounds trite and callous considering what we've both been through, but it's all I have and I give that to you. You came into my life and served a wonderful purpose and rescued me from myself. I will never forget that. I will also never forget breaking your heart into a million pieces. But I have to forgive myself.
For those who are still reading...thanks. Pretty odd place to unleash something like this, I realize. Perhaps the opposite of the "t-man". But, then...I've never really been the prototypical 't-man' anyway, so I suppose I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by finally letting this demon out.