November 25, 2009

11 Years Later, Thanksgiving Has Come Full Circle

When Thanksgiving rolled around the very first year that I was in a relationship with my husband, I naturally assumed we'd spend it together. Unbeknownst to me, my husband (boyfriend at the time) had made plans behind my back to spend Thanksgiving with his ex and their daughter. Not only would he be going over for dinner, he'd be over early so that he could cook the turkey.

When I called him to discuss what we'd do for the holiday, that's when he informed me of what his plans already were. I was dumbfounded. Who does that? How can you be in a relationship with someone for 5 months and turn around and spend a major holiday with someone you've been out of a relationship with for 5 months?

I asked him how could he do that? I asked him not to do it. I asked him if I was invited? I wasn't.
I told him that what he was doing wasn't right, that he was in a relationship with me. But all of my pleading fell on cold deaf ears. His daughter wanted him to cook turkey (so he says). Period. End of discussion.

I was crushed. I cried.

On top of that, he had the audacity to get mad at me. I was the one that was betrayed. Yet he proceeded to get loud and scream at me on the phone. He was cursing and probably foaming at the mouth. He cursed me up and down, in and out. Then he hung up on me.

I was speechless. I had never been treated like that by anyone. I don't even think I knew how to react. I said to myself, "Screw him, it's over. I won't answer his calls anymore."

I don't know how many times over the years I've gotten mad at myself for not sticking to that. How I've agonized and wished desperately that I could turn back time and drop him right then and there.

Of course he called me at some point and talked me back into this stupid thing with him. I don't remember how long after he hung up on me or how soon before Thanksgiving that he called, but he had his idea of how the day would be for me.

His idea: He'd go over his ex girlfriend's house and spend the entire day cooking and eating with them. I'd spend this time waiting for him in his empty, cold apartment that he had just moved into in Brooklyn. He had no heat, almost no furniture and no cable. Then at the end of the day when he was full and they had their full of each other, he'd come back and have his full of me.

Mind you, I had a very nice apartment of my own in New Jersey that was fully furnished, warm, had cable and a nice stereo system. Why on earth would I drive to NY to sit in his cold dark apartment so that after he had his day with them he could come have his way with me?

I told him that wasn't happening. I am proud to say that I didn't go and I wasn't his dessert that night, I was at least strong enough for that. A day or two before Thanksgiving, I had bought several bottles of alcohol and intended to drink them all by myself. I was hoping that I could drink myself to death actually.

I was pretty depressed.

This was the first Thanksgiving that I wasn't spending with my son and soon to be ex-husband from my first marriage. They went to Virginia to spend the holiday with some of his family down there. He had actually invited me to come with them, but out of respect for my boyfriend that I thought I was in a serious relationship with, I declined. Now I felt stupid. I could've gone with them if I knew what this fool was planning behind my back.

I was lonely and low and I had a sociopath for a boyfriend, but didn't know it at the time.

Well, over the years Thanksgiving didn't get better with him. The first one he spent with his ex and daughter. The second one he didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, so we spent it alone. Maybe we had Chinese takeout, I don't remember. The third one, he didn't want to come with me to my grandmother's house, and so on and so on.

Thanksgiving became this time of trepidation for me. I would get anxious when the holiday was coming up, because I knew something bad or not right was going to go down. There were arguments or fights. Later when he finally had a steady job, he had to work and I was home alone with one baby, then two, then three.

It felt lonely and sad.

Growing up, Thanksgiving had always been so much fun. Everyone would come to my grandmother's house for dinner. There were cousins and aunts and uncles. It was lively and loud. There was music and football and laughter. I grew up looking forward to and loving this day.

It wasn't like that anymore.

After several years with my husband I dreaded it. I wished it wasn't even on the calendar. I knew that whatever warm good family time everyone else was having, whatever I would experience would be far from that.

I began to not care about the holiday, even resent it. I hated that there was a day on the calendar to magnify the situation in my life and what I was missing. I wasn't interested in going anywhere and didn't really want to cook, but would for the sake of the children, even though they didn't typically want any food that's on the traditional Thanksgiving menu. They had no idea what a real family Thanksgiving was like, but I didn't want them to not experience it altogether.

So now it's our first Thanksgiving of freedom. My first Thanksgiving in which Jeff is no longer in my life on a relationship level. But it's still weird for me. I really don't want to do anything or go anywhere. To have dinner with any of my family I have my choice of driving 2 & 1/2 hours, 3 hours or 5 hours one way, then same thing back again. It would be a waste of time for me to stay home and cook dinner for me and the children who pretty much wouldn't want more than turkey and rice. For now I've opted for the 2 & 1/2 hour drive.

The joy of the holiday hasn't returned yet and maybe it never will. But never is a long time, so I'll remain hopeful.

And my husband? Will he be having a sad, lonely holiday, lamenting the loss of his beautiful wife and children? Not at all!

The first Thanksgiving after leaving him, my husband will be spending it where he spent the first Thanksgiving after meeting him. That's right, back with his ex and their now almost 21 year old daughter. Apparently since the children and I have been gone, that is where he has been spending a lot of his days and nights and weekends.

Truth is, he was probably seeing her throughout the time we were together. I was never comfortable with his relationship with her. It was always secretive and sneaky. There were times when I questioned things and  ended up getting cursed out or into a physical fight after he hit me because of it.

Well, they picked up right where they left off as if their relationship was on pause or in a state of suspended animation. It's as if I imagined the past 11 years. He took this break with her to come into and destroy my life, then go back to her as if the children and I never happened.

And her pathetic behind is there as usual, to take him back into her life and into her bed as if the time he has spent married to another woman and having 4 children with her is of no consequence. Prior to me they had broken up a few times, probably because of his infidelities. He'd go off do his thing, live with other women, the whole nine, then come back and she'd lap him up.

I didn't matter to him and the fact that he was with me all these years doesn't matter to her. I don't get them. I don't understand people like them. The closest I can come is that they are both nasty dogs. He's the nasty dog that humps every bitch (female dog) in sight, and she's the nasty bitch (female dog, of course) that keeps licking up her vomit for his humping.

Nasty nasty. Well they deserve each other.

So 11 years and 4 children later, Thanksgiving has come full circle. Now it is complete. He is finally and officially out of the circle of life with me and our children. Things ended where they began. Crazy as hell. One day things will be normal for me again.

That first Thanksgiving was my warning, my preview of things to come. Unfortunately back then I was at such a low point in my life, I made an easy victim for him because I was too weak to fight for myself.

Well, what's done is done.

In spite of all that has happened, I do have a lot to be thankful for. And I'll give all my thanks in my next post.