The Darkest Hours (or months)
As you will remember from my last post, the economy had crashed and business everywhere was dying. I had just sold our house in Gunnison and we bought a nice new place here in Montrose. This should have been a time of celebration and new beginnings but because of external factors and the way I handled them this became the beginning of what would be the darkest time in my life. Things were coming apart at the shop and at home, and quickly. Oh and I forgot to mention that Ruth was pregnant with our second boy.
We moved into our house late in 2008. It was a nice new home in a nice new neighborhood. I was happy to have a new house that wouldn’t need a bunch of stuff but Ruth didn’t like it at all. She isn’t into new shiny things like I am but I had railroaded her into this place because I didn’t want to have to do any work outside of the shop. Yet another example of my selfishness. As we got settled in, Ruth started her new job in Delta with the Forest Supervisors office. From the outside that sounds like a great deal too but it was an office job in a town 20 miles from our home. Another hit Ruth had to take for my dream and my desires. While we were in Gunnison, she could walk to work and she was outside in the forest all of the time. Which is all she ever wanted out of life. It is amazing to me now that I didn’t even consider her feelings during this. I was so wrapped up in my own crap that I was just stumbling around like a moron.
Then as things began to settle down at home, winter arrived and amazingly enough, work got slower. I had to let my mechanic go and I was all alone at the shop all day every day, struggling to make ends meet. That sounds like I was able to make them meet but I wasn’t. I was struggling to make ends come within the same zip code. I was losing money so fast that it hurt and I didn’t know what to do about it. I had just moved my family over here, abandoned our nice life in Gunnison and was in a flat spin like the one in Top Gun where Goose dies. Yes, I referenced Top Gun. If you haven’t seen it, SEE IT! I was completely out of control. To numb the terror and anxiety I was drinking, and drinking heavily. I would be impaired most nights which added to my distance from my pregnant wife. Her depression was escalating to the point that she just receded into an emotional ball to protect herself from the crap storm that I had created. And then the unthinkable happened.
At the shop I had lots of friends. Even when it was slow there were people around being friendly. I am extroverted to a fault honestly and one of my coping mechanisms is to be around people as much as possible. I forget about my troubles when there is a party. Well, we had lots of parties and at those parties, I drank WAY too much. My drinking pushed my wife even farther away because she was sober for the pregnancy and she doesn’t like drinking that much anyway. As she retreated and I drew others closer I became too close to another woman. At first it was just a friendship, then it became flirting and finally, it was an affair. I am not going to go into any more detail than that because I don’t want to take any chance of damaging anyone else’s relationship or reputation.
If you are still reading (and I don’t blame any of you if you aren’t) you will remember that my wife was pregnant. YES! That is how horrible I was and how completely damaging this period of my life was to my family and me. It is incredibly hard for me to write these words because I know that it will probably change the way some of you think about me but to me, this is the proof of God. It is the absolute definite answer to whether or not God exists because through this (and it doesn’t get much better for a while) God has redeemed me, my wife and our marriage. He has made us whole again and made our marriage stronger than ever. And I know that no human, or power from this earth could have done that. Only a being with the power to create all that we know can heal the wounds I inflicted.
WHEW!!! That sucked! I haven’t told that story to very many people and now it's on the internet. Some of you might be asking why I put it on the internet. There are a few reasons. First and foremost I am on a crusade to save marriages and the institution of marriage itself. Our culture has decided that marriage is temporary and I call BULL S&%T!!! Too many people give up too easily and Ruth and I are proof that you can and SHOULD fight like hell for your marriage. I know that I don’t know all circumstances but I think you can agree that ours has been through some of the worst. The other reason I am making all of this public is that I want more reality in this world. More raw truth, more messiness. Social media and the internet have made things too easy to edit and I am guilty of that too but I am over it! So there ya go!
I hope that you who have stayed this long will stay longer because it's got a little while longer to go in the pit of despair (Princess Bride reference) but then we are going to climb, crawl, battle, and limp to salvation and restoration. If you know someone who needs to hear this story please share this. You don’t have to do it on social media, (of course you can) you can just copy and paste this URL into an email or a text. I really am on a crusade for healing and I want the world to know that you can come back!!
And if you need to talk, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I am thankful for Gods grace, My wife’s forgiveness and the gift of tenacity that God gave me!