My Failings

Our marriage limped along.  I didn’t feel safe to be vulnerable.  I tested MrJJ by refusing to clean, wanting to see what it took for him to pitch in.  I would push and push and push, wanting to see emotion from him.  There wasn’t the love there used to be.  It was either nothing or anger.

I began to get involved with an online role play community.  I had a few flirtations that made me feel better some.  I reasoned MrJJ said it was ok, right?  It did make me feel stronger.  People saw me, just me and liked me.  I felt like I wasn’t pretending online, but now I know I probably was.  At least some, everyone does.  I thought then that I was being genuine where I wasn’t safe with my own husband.

By this time I had quit my first daycare.  It was too stressful.  A friend convinced me to apply at the Christian daycare down the road.  I started working there in ’95.  I was surrounded- mostly- by people who were caring.  Who saw something in me.  When MrJJ came to pick me up, he was cheerful and outgoing.  They adored him, laughed with him.  I was fake though.  Work was an escape, school was an escape and soon my online friends became an escape.

Emboldened by the feeling that I wasn’t a worthless bitch, I began to insist that “something” be done.  MrJJ at first declared that it was financial pressures and so our problems would eventually go away when we were financially secure.  Eventually it became, “It’s your fault, you make me do it because you are such a bitch.”  I started researching divorce in our state.  I discovered we would have to have one year of separation before dissolution was granted.  One year?  They should have required a one year wait before the marriage, that would prevent problems!

MrJJ didn’t realize anything was wrong.  He went away the summer of ’97 for training.  He sent me gifts for my birthday but to me they were things you would send a sister, not a wife you loved.  He remained distant, argumentative.  So finally, one day I told him on the phone that we needed to separate.  That we would use the one year as a deadline and if he didn’t stop physically hurting me, we’d get divorced.  No more putting things off.

When MrJJ came home from training, he told me he’d leave, but if he left it would be forever.  He didn’t see how we could work on things while we were apart.  I didn’t see how we could work on things together when we failed so miserably to date.  So he left.  I didn’t hear from him at all.

I had some friends come visit.  One put it off, he was supposed to come with my female friend as they lived nearby.  He claimed his work schedule prevented him.  So when Creep finally came, it was just the two of us.  When we were alone and kissed, it felt wrong.  I felt obligated though, as though I had led him on and thus couldn’t say no.

We had sex.  It was shameful fumbling.  He couldn’t maintain an erection and never ‘finished’.  I died a little inside.  I thought it would make me feel better.  MrJJ had told me he had made out w/ another woman after I told him I wanted to separate.   I took that and his refusal to talk after he left as extreme rejection.  I convinced myself that the obligation I felt to have sex with Creep  was more than it was.  But it was really just a girl trying to find worth somewhere because she felt worthless inside.  It backfired.

I kept up the act though, acted like I was enjoying Creep’s company.  We started making cookies and watching a movie.  There was a knock at the door.  A glowering MrJJ stood in the threshold.  I went for a walk with him, assured him Creep was just a friend who had come at the wrong time.  I was amazed that of all days, MrJJ comes back in my life that day.  It had been weeks, months since MrJJ had contacted me.  This was a Sign.

When I got back, Creep nervously said he should probably leave.  He paid to have his flight switched to as early as possible.  Relieved to have him gone and resentful that he would run when he feared MrJJ would beat me, I offered to drive him to the airport as soon as possible.  I began falling asleep at the wheel.  I got a hotel room halfway there.  We slept with a pillow between us that I had wordlessly placed there and Creep just accepted.  I dropped him off at the airport and sped home.

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