My husband, Steve's beautifully raw and vulnerable guest post...
Written early Sunday morning after he drove with me @ 3:30am bc I thought I forgot to lock one of the offices *which I didn't forget :)
Who would have thought a silly morning filled with adrenaline and insomnia, would produce such an honest, heartfelt writing and peaceful discoveries
We are both learning more each day how much writing, opening up - as well as to one another, only brings us closer and brings us answers
More posts to come, after digging deep
Thank you all, for your amazing support.
I am so grateful.
*for those just tuning in...Steve's not too big of a country music fan hence the Pearl Jam ;)
Now, Grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or whatever your fancy...and enjoy my Mr's story <3 ************************************************************************** Ah, good morning all! Well it is at least morning when I am typing this, so to quote the great philosopher, Jim Carrey: “Good morning! And in case I don't see you: good afternoon, good evening and good night.” – Truman Show I’m sorry, had to do it. Based on the fact that I got 2 ½ hours of very poor sleep last night, and oh, it’s now 9am, been up since 8. To get you to where I am now, Maria had an epiphany at 3 am this morning in which we ended up leaving our house to drive 35 minutes to “somewhere” to check on “something” just to see all is ok, which it was. There was no way, brownie points or not, that I was letting her drive alone knowing the time, along with the wildlife and cops that were surely going to be on her drive, which they were both out in full force. Well, I was hungry and still quite alert based on our mid-day nap the previous day, so Coffee and McD’s breakfast sounded about right at 4:30 in the morning…. Bad idea, but oh so good…
Anyway, if you have not figured it out by now, this is Maria’s husband, Steve. I told Maria that I would one day write a guest article for her blog because I love to write and I support her 150% with this, so what better of a story and reason than this. I too am very open, however, this is such a sensitive subject that I have been hesitant because it just did not feel “right”, until now. These wonderful 2 ½ hours of REM sleep coupled with a loveseat that is 4 feet long, me 6ft tall, cats running all over and the sound of my TV on a Sunday morning. Anyway, it was annoying and stupid me didn’t get any sleep of value, but the entire time, as if she were controlling my dreams from our bed upstairs, I ran through what appeared as my “entire life flashing before my eyes” kinda thing, and decided to sit down and put “words onto paper” proving insight into everything going on. Ok, I won’t lie, I also saw a commercial for Oprah and it got me thinking the “What if” scenario if we ever made it to her couch. In my moment of delusional thoughts, I started getting all choked up!! So now, for your reading pleasure, you get my virtual pen to virtual paper. Without further adieu, my songs (Yes this is a two for one) 1.) “Alive” by Pearl Jam… My life story, tenfold… 2.) “Just Breathe” also Pearl Jam.
"Son," she said, "Have I got a little story for you
What you thought was your Daddy was nothin' but a…
While you were sittin' home alone at age thirteen
Your real Daddy was dyin', sorry you didn't see him but I'm glad we talked"
Ok, so I was 12, not 13 (not until April the next year), but essentially this is me, and since the day I heard this song, I have learned every lyric, sang it multiple times either in my room, drunk with friends in someone’s house or at some random Karaoke joint. This song embodied EVERYTHING I went through, felt, LIVED and was the song of a generation that I felt was made just for me… But we’ll get to this story, right now, I have 12 years to catch you up on.
Born in the 70’s in New York City (Queens) in an area that was once nice, and quickly turned due to the easy access of public transportation. Unfortunately it was also at this time from stories recounted to me that my Father, the oldest of 9 children, began to drink, heavily at that. I in no way blame “myself” for this as I was an innocent baby, unfortunately my father was a “lost soul” who had a very difficult childhood of his own in a very different time and this was the figurative straw for his camel.
Alcoholism… It’s very different for every person living it and those living with it. My version was that of a very loving man who was lost and haunted by ghosts and demons from the past, did not know how to show his love, afraid to make a mistake and ironically made the biggest mistake of his life. From what I remember, he loved to laugh when he could, of genius intelligence and would literally KILL to protect my mother and I (Flashback to a Billiard parlor and 2 guys making rude comments to my mother with me in a stroller, and my father throwing one of them through a store front window while dragging the other into a knock down middle of a busy New York City street and introducing him to the windshield of a car…). That said, he NEVER laid a hand on my mother or I.
Back to the alcohol abuse.. His was an odd one in that he would not drink on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, I do not recall having any alcohol in the house. However, something, a clock of sorts, would go off telling him to drink, and for WEEKS on end, he would consume BOTTLES of liquor a DAY for WEEKS on end. My mother told me it started with Crown Royal; however, my memory is that of cheap vodka. During this time, my mother and I would sleep on our living room sectional couch in our 1 bedroom apartment in an 84 family apartment building. Fortunately I had all the families with kids in the building and neighborhood who knew our issues that took care of me and raised me while he was drunk with my mother in the house keeping him from going out and killing himself or someone else.
With all of this for the first 11 years of my life, I missed out on some of the basic normalcy’s a child should have. Forget about having friends over, money to play organized sports, family trips, vacations, and happy memories.
All I had were memories bars and billiard halls where my father would bring me to play video games and pool while he played poker and pool for money (He was ranked #2 in the country as an amateur at one point), living vicariously through my friends new toys and eventual computers and going away to my grandparents where my uncle “B”, who was 2 years older than me (and my father’s youngest brother) had every amenity known to man and then some. Never jealous, I always loved experiencing things for the first time like cable TV, Nintendo and swimming in their huge in-ground pool. Every time though, I knew I had to come back to reality, to a hell that no one else could understand…
Flash-forward to 1988, my parents divorce while I was away in Canada with a friend’s family, ironic how that happened. My father’s drinking is reaching new heights as his body is getting older and more tired and his phone rants are now too obnoxious to bear. My mother is spending more time with a male colleague from work, a Captain, who came over a couple of times, always with a box of baseball cards in hand, and ALWAYS a story about baseball and my New York Yankees! I knew what he was doing and why, and I accepted it as best I could, however, I would not let him or her relax around me, as dictated from our first dinner below:
Adult Male: “Thank you so much for this dinner, everything tastes fantastic”
My Mother: “Why thank you, I hoped you would like it”
Devilishly handsome son: (without looking up or missing a beat) “The noodles are from a package, she just put them in water…”
Enter Awkward Silence and my mother’s jaw hitting the floor….
Anyway, it’s now the end summer of 1989, I’m just back from my first stint at sleep away camp, and my Father calls me knowing my mother is not home… He has always wanted me to live with my Grandparents in Long Island thinking that was the best life for me and that my mother was absentee from my life and not fit to raise me… This from the louse slurring his words and mixing up his thoughts, again, I am 12 years having this conversation… My very last words to him before slamming my phone down…
“I wish you were dead…”
A month and a half later, on October 6th, 1989, I was called into my mother’s bedroom,” Your Uncle “B”just called….”
He had been dead for a week… His TV on, the dentist office above him hearing it on, his car there but not moved, they called the police who called my Uncle Joe (or some combination of) who when they walked in found his body in the bathroom, his skull cracked and his body blue, all alone, but finally at peace. The autopsy and police report hypothesized that that the veins in his throat hemorrhaged and burst making him feel like he had to vomit (Which he was really suffocating) and while he staggered to the bathroom, fell, hit his head and died instantly…
He was 42 years old… me 12… I vowed never to become that, ever…
That October, I lost the man who I called my father, my uncle “J” and My Great Grandmother, attending a funeral each weekend except the one that I had to clean out my father’s apartment.. My life was tumbling into a downward spiral…
The following year, my mother remarried, to the friend she had around, who turns out was one of the 2 best gifts I was ever given, however I was too messed up to realize it. In 2 years, I dealt with a divorce, death and remarriage… My mind was gone:
"Oh, she walks slowly, across a young man's room
She said, "I'm ready for you"
"I can't remember anything to this very day 'cept the look, the look
Oh, you know where, now I can't see, I just stare"
Enter teen angst, drinking, various other things, reckless behavior, but never in trouble, just in danger. I treated everyone better than I treated myself, cared for them to a fault and always tried to make everyone happy even if I wasn’t as that was the only thing I had to give.
I left NYC after I graduated high school for Philadelphia to attend Temple University, and never looked back. I left a life that was nothing but horror, with a sprinkling of loving girlfriends and friends, but not enough to draw me back to the misery. I survived and escaped, but with my new freedom came reality and stupidity.
College years are a blur mostly. I have retained some friends and many acquaintances, but left early to hit the real world. With a new job at an early age showing me money I had not experienced personally in my entire life, I too became lost for quite some time, making one stupid decision after another. My survivor skills and fight to better myself were diminishing, my vow vanishing, and my life in danger.
This was the time that God, the one thing I doubted most, decided to help me…
find the best gift...
Enter the World Wide Web, the Internet, and Match.com… I was surviving but not living, and get an email from someone for the very first time saying that “I was cute” and that "we seemed to have alot in common.. That was nice… She said she “lived close by”, that’s a plus. She sent a picture.. She was drop dead gorgeous!
She is the author and creator of this Blog…
"Is something wrong?", she said
Well of course there is, "you're still alive," she said
Oh, and do I deserve to be?
Is that the question? And if so, if so, who answers, who answers? (Pearl Jam)
Together we grew as people, as adults, each of us showing the other a path of success. We experienced highs and lows like anyone else has, but together we were perfect. Nights of staying up talking drinking wine turned into days and years. She helped me cope with my demons, made me see what real love is, and as time went by, we both uttered the same statement to each other:
“We cannot wait to have a family and show our children a life and love that we both thrive for so badly…”
I decided I wanted to marry this woman to live that dream.
This brings me to the next song, “Just Breathe”, and the closing of my blog post. I am sorry if it was long winded.
"I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw-huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave"...(Just Breathe)
Maria, my wife and love of my life… You have given me my life back once, and now we are trying to give each other a brand new one. You have given of yourself tenfold towards our goal, dealing with the emotional distress, physical pain and mental anguish. There is not a day that I do not wish I could take all the horrible memories away, but at the same time, I know that we have not been closer because of it either.
I may not say it to you enough or at all, but I think about this all the time too, I just don’t want our lives to be dictated by this. We have survived, no, lived up until this point, and we will succeed with our ultimate goal someday. We love each too much to let this consume us and drain the life from us.
Thank you for everything you have done for me and us, and thank you for all the help you are providing everyone else that is reading this. Whether they laugh at your silliness or cry along side of you, I know that you are providing everyone with a moment of escape or reassurance that they are not alone.
I hope you all enjoyed, thanks for listening.