… (continued from prior blog) The Summer of 2005 would come and go. Mom went back to Milford and I stayed on Cape Cod. That Summer would be the year that my life would forever change as I knew it. My marriage was changing, I knew it, my husband knew it. Our children were beginning to feel things, to hear things. My sons would walk past me and glance a little longer in my eyes and I was making extra trips to the drugstore to buy eyedrops to take away the red from sleepless nights and repressed tears.

I was in a glass house. I was in a glass house where there was no transparency. A sublime state between sanctity and insanity. I was living life by just purely existing. I could not escape my reality. I could not change what was happening. I could not run from the truth. I wanted to unzip my soul from my body and give it back to God before I unintentionally would hurt Him because I no longer cared anymore. I was the good girl my whole life, always following by the rules, no drinking, no drugging, the girl who would give her shirt off of her back to the person that was sticking the knife in her side.  The good girl who always dressed sweet, the good girl that would bake cupcakes and cookies for everybody because she loved to see people happy and smile. The neighborhood Mom who the neighborhood kids would come over and was known as the candy lady because she always gave candy and snacks and sweet treats – and I did all of these things because nobody would do them for me – and I gave, and I gave, and I gave so much to the point that when I looked behind me I couldn’t find me anymore. I was distributed among different people. People who in reality, would have never given me a moment of their time – but I always gave a moment of my time because I knew what it was to be alone. So I filled all those empty spots in my life with kindness and love – to give away, only to have the recipients take, and take, and take. I wanted to be reckless. What my heart did not want to accept was something that my soul already knew. I had reached a point where I knew that something broke in me. I had to escape my own skin because to be in it one moment longer was unbearable.

I met Joey when I was 17 years old. I was working two jobs. Not having a car, I had to walk everywhere and so I would walk miles and miles a day in the morning after weekday Mass to get to my first job which was cleaning a high end resort on Cape Cod. After my job was done at 3:00 PM, I would walk to my second job which was in retail. When that job ended at 9:00 PM I would walk home. I had only known hard work my entire life, so working two jobs was something that made me happy. I enjoyed being independent and making my own money. I relied on no one as I had my entire life. When I needed groceries, I would go food shopping and I would have to carry them home and walk miles just to get home. When my laundry had to be washed I walked my laundry down to the laundromat and then walk it back home. I never once felt bad for myself because this was normalcy to me. Independence became my drug. I craved it. I needed it for control, because everything else in my life was out of control, my independence grew in my DNA and in the end it would overtake my being. For me to rely on someone was weakness and in my early 30s, God had had quite enough of my ways.

September 2005, the kids went back to school. Ryan began the seventh grade and Andrew was in the first grade. A new beginning for the children as Ryan was starting junior high and Andrew was a first grader. It was an exciting time for the kids and to see their joy carried me a lot that Autumn going into the Winter.

Six weeks prior to the beginning of school that September, I would get a phone call from Joey. “I need some time.” , he said. Thinking that he was being funny, I asked him over the receiver, “What are you saying? “ ”I’m not coming home tonight.”, Joey said. “Excuse me?”, I asked, my mind racing and my heart beating out of my chest. Silence on the other end of the line. “Joey?”, I said in a hostile voice, “what is going on?”  I began thinking to myself that this was not really happening. I must have walked in on someone else’s life in that moment because as I was standing in my bedroom, holding the cordless phone in my hand, I was completely nauseated. The biggest fear of my life was happening in that moment. The reality that I was feeling for almost a year, every sign that I had seen, every late work day, every call sent to voicemail too quickly, hit me like a Cyclone and I had nothing to hold onto in that moment. I was completely alone. I was completely alone because I was insistent on being completely alone. I looked to the Crucifix on my wall and I looked into the Eyes of Jesus Christ. I raised my eyes to the ceiling and I bit my bottom lip wanting to taste my own blood as hot tears streamed down my eyes and there was nothing in me. I was not human in that moment. I was nonexistent. My life had never been. I was being sucked into this black despair and I didn’t care. I wanted to take the hand of darkness, I wanted to feel what It felt like to be every single person that hurt me, how do you become like that? I wanted to know, I needed to know, because I need to become that person. I wanted to take the Devil’s hand and to tell him OK this time you can have me because Heaven cannot be worth this much pain. 

”Do what you have to do Joey.”, I said and hung up the phone. Grabbing my Marlboro Lights and going out to the deck I lit a cigarette and by the time I was done with that cigarette I was going onto my second one. I didn’t remember smoking the first one, only going in for the second one. I looked over to the fence in my yard, a weathered Cape Cod gray. I looked over to the right, beautiful gazebo. I looked to the lush florals that Joey and I had planted as a couple, the flowers that would bloom every year, the plants that we purchased together for our anniversaries. The dreams, the promises, the lies, the deceit. Me thinking that if I was just the perfect wife. I thought that I was the perfect wife because people would tell me that I was. The wife who would cook meals for her family every night, who worked a full-time job and took care of her children. A home that was always clean, children that always had ironed clothes and good mannerisms. I was two steps away from a Stepford Wife.

I walked back into the house and I made dinner for Ryan and Andrew. Not a tear fell. Smiles that were truly genuine when I looked at my children. I was being held up by angels when I look back because that night would not turn out to be the worst night of my marriage. That night would come on December 31 of 2005.

“Hey Mom, do you have a second? “, I spoke into the receiver. “Of course baby girl, what’s going on? “, Mom asked. The kids were sleeping in bed and I walked back outside on my deck, lighting another cigarette. “Mom “he’s not coming home tonight. “, I said trying to maintain a steel demeanor. I was desperate for someone to tell me that I was not a bad person, that I was a good wife, that I was a good mother, that I was just a good person. I needed to know that I was human. I needed to know that I was visible. I wanted to know if I was worth fighting for. I was desperate to know if I was worth living. I didn’t understand, perhaps there was a sign on me that was invisible – that I was not aware of – that kept on saying, “hurt me, hurt me, because I will always come back.” And I knew that that was the truth – that was my reality. I wanted to know if I was worth fighting for. Was there anything good about me?

“Melissa, what? “, Mom asked. Sipping on Bacardi and Coke and lighting another Marlboro light, I put my palm to my head and rested my elbow on my knee. I heard the mosquitoes around me and they were so loud, the crickets seem to have been singing this insane instrumental orchestra. Everything was so loud in that moment. All the sewing back of myself that I had done, was coming unloose. I felt the breeze going through me and I pictured the wind opening up the seams of the sewed back broken girl. And I was okay with that. I no longer was the woman that I was earlier that afternoon. I was in a moment of surrealities. My husband was in the arms of another woman. I was sitting on my deck, selling myself for an emotional need as I was settling for the woman that I know would give me the worst advice in the world. I understood that I was signing a disclosure the moment that I decided to pick up my phone and dial her number. I didn’t care. Why not go back to the root of the problem? Why not believe all of the lies that she had said when I was a child because my husband was not seeing me as any better than my mother was supposed to and the two people who were supposed to love me the most, well, if I was bad in their eyes, then my reality was was that I was truly nothing and I accepted that nothingness in that moment. I was defeated. I was tired. I was lost in that moment. I didn’t ask for God in any of those moments that day.  I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be loved anymore. Love came at too high of a price, my entire life. That price tag became too much to hold on to. My whole life, I was trying to live for everybody else but myself. I felt disintegrated. I was dandelions in the wind. I was absence in presence. I was arriving to only depart. I wanted to become carefully careless. I was dying every day of my life to only live in a hellish reality of wanting to enter into an exit. There was nothing left of me in that moment. The pain was so deep and the feeling was too painful.  

Opening the slider door, walking inside and looking around my living room, I saw the photos of the happy faces hanging in frames. My eyes went to a photo of Joey and I. I sat there in that moment and stared at that photo from the slider. Remembering that afternoon that we smiled so much in the photo and believing that love was real. Believing that God had really kept His Promise to me, after so many years of a painful life. After me deciding to not enter a Convent to become His Bride. I had a flashback to when I was 17 years old, sitting in the first pew at my Church and telling God, “Yes God, if You choose for me to get married and have children, I want only what you want and may Your Will be done in my life.”

I walked through my home and turned off all the lights and walked up the stairs to my bedroom. As I walked into the bedroom I looked at our bed. I looked at the bed that had conceived our children. I looked at the bed that I shared with the man that God had chosen for me. I looked at Joey’s clothes that I had gotten ready for him and were sitting at the end of the bed in a nice neat pile as they always were for him. I walked over to the clothes and put them away. I went over to my bureau drawer and grabbed my clothes for a shower. As I was closing my draw I looked up and my eyes met the Crucifix. I stood in front of Jesus Christ completely still in my body and I looked at His Broken Body and then I felt my own brokenness and I felt nothing. There was nothing there. No emotion When I looked at the Crucifix. I then looked to my reflection in the mirror. Nothing. I felt nothing and I was okay with that. 

I went in for a shower and then got dressed. I walked to the side of my bed and looked at the made bed, knowing that my husband should be in that bed, but understanding that that night – he was in the bed of another woman. I knelt down by the side of my bed and only got halfway down and then I stood back up and got into bed. I did not want to talk to God that night and it would be many weeks until I would speak to Him again.

(my husband and I discussed this part of the blog and the publishing of it. ”It is part of your journey, you need to write it.”,Was his response.)

… to be continued

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