I’ve danced long enough with metaphors and hints. I circled and paced, eating my hands bloody. The truth is not beautiful and I will not give you splendid adjectives along with breathtaking scenery tonight. My time has come. Let me out of this cage, I rage.
You’ve read the good. The facade, and as I type these words I realize perhaps a mirage is all I ever saw too. I wanted to believe. Do not doubt my sincerity. Love is love. Love is not always pretty and happy. Love is not always wedded bliss and date nights. In my experience over the last year, one month, and seventeen days, love is lies. Constant all encompassing, yarn-strung lies.
I don’t know how his lies began, I’m pretty sure they existed our entire relationship and marriage. I will probably never know the extent. However, what I do know is they have not stopped and I’m tired. Tired of living with screaming hurt. Tired of the guessing game about who my husband really is. Exhaustion is bleeding through my pores, trying to make sense, what was really real, what was a mind-game, and the never-ending why.
I don’t have any answers.
In July 2016, I walked into my home to find my son alone in the kitchen. His little hands were plundering kitchen drawers and I startled him. I promptly asked, “Where’s yo’ daddy?” Ashamed, he’d been caught in drawers he shouldn’t be playing in, he immediately told me, “Upstairs.”
We are women born with a sixth sense. My foot sent an intentional chill into my spine. I knew. I had to have known. I went upstairs and found my husband in a less than picture perfect pose in front of his computer, hiding in our only bathroom. He held his cell to his ear. I don’t have a poker face. I do have a “What the hell is going on” face. He immediately told the person on the phone he had to go and pulled up his pants. Slammed his computer shut and ran downstairs. I grabbed the things I needed for my job. By the time I reached our downstairs, he had erased his entire phone history. All of it.
“Who were you talking to?” I inquired.
“My mom.” Weird. Just weird.
“No you weren’t. Show me your phone.” He showed me the empty call log. Wiped freshly clean.
I went to work. He called my cell over 20 times, at least. He finally admitted he had been talking to a student. He is a public school teacher. My mind is dropping. My guts are vomiting. I’m stuck in my car. I have to go work. Leave me alone. I text everyone I can depend on. I reach out for help. My body, my heart, is in some shocked state.
Because a year earlier, I had found inappropriate texts from another female student. I believed the bullshit. This year had been different. The student had started dropping by our house late at night. Yes, I had been home. I had found texts between this student and my husband, her teacher, asking her to meet up with him. It felt unethical. It felt predatory. It will always feel this way to me. A long time ago, I too had been a sixteen year-old girl. Admiring teachers. Trusting adults.
I tried to cope. He convinced me, repeatedly, I needed help. I needed to be on drugs. He tried to have me to commit myself into a psychiatric ward. A doctor put me on Prozac. I saw a marriage counselor, one doctor, and one psychologist and told them what I had seen. They dismissed me. They ignored me. They tried to get me back into the pill mill system which is common for the area I live in.
This road has been traveled, I’m not going back down it. I refused. I tried to move on with life. I let my brain re-wire, lost twenty pounds, and went to work. I have only a few dreams for my life: I wanted to be his wife, I wanted to be a mother, I wanted to live near the beach, and I want to write. December comes, and things are merry. My sister visits for Christmas. I don’t recall having a sweeter holiday in my life.
My husband and I talked about moving. Near the beach. Getting better jobs. Charleston, South Carolina, my holy favorite happy place. I began applying for jobs. Hoping. Looking at houses. I would go down first and then when he finished the school year, my child and him would join me. That is how the plan, the dream, went.
I had a job interview scheduled for a Wednesday morning. On Tuesday night, I found the texts. The one you’ve read about. The texts which broke apart my sanity and my marriage. I’ve been beaten. I’ve been molested. I’ve been raped. I’ve been through too much. I snapped. After walking into the bathroom only six months prior and catching my husband with his pants down, my heart and head couldn’t bear another hurt.
We had been looking at houses in Charleston only the day before. I had a job interview the next day. In less than an hour, every dream I had crashed and burned.
I asked a few weeks later at dinner the same question I had asked before, “Who is she?”
Just some girl. This one supposedly had not been a current or former student.
I went to live with my mom. Strength and courage do run out. They are not an unlimited supply. I’d lost everything. I wouldn’t see my son for a week. I wouldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t eat. I barely showered. I went numb. And I aced a job interview. Followed by being asked to take further writing tests. Yea, I completed their tests during a nervous breakdown. Because why not?
Here is where I find the beautiful, smart lady who you come to know as Therapist Lady. She brought me back from despair. She listened to me. CPS finally was notified about the incident in July. They investigated, and all I know of their final findings is how my husband isn’t allowed to communicate with students via social media or electronics anymore.
When CPS stepped in, is when the girl changed in July. He confessed to not talking to a student with his pants down, but instead talking to yet another stranger. No name. They never have names. I don’t know if this is a fetish. Calling people and not knowing their name, if so my husband has it.
He did admit he asked the student to lie for him. Which explains the Facebook message I received from her the day I walked in on his computer-bathroom tryst.
I don’t know who my husband spent computer time with in the bathroom. Student. Strange lady. You’re free to guess, all I have are speculations. Regardless, he preyed and used his position as an authority figure to demonstrate less than professional behavior.
When he asks, “Why can’t we work it out?”
These words are the answer.
Since I started writing publicly, he has told me a great many things. His words extend from “pipe dream” to “people think you’re crazy” to a personal favorite “you only write for attention.”
I’m a writer.
The words never stop.
This is who I am. Who I will always be.
And this is the last time I devote any of my God-given talent to him.
I’ve danced enough.
Let me sing.
Let me fly free.