A lot of people will say to me, on finding out that I was married, that I don't "seem like someone who was married." I'm not certain what this means, really, except that they can't imagine me being a wife. That's okay - I really can't imagine it either. I barely remember that 1 1/2 years of my life - I think I've blocked a lot of it out. But it did happen.
On this day, 7 years ago, I walked down that aisle. I said forever with a smile upon my face, as the song goes. Obviously, it didn't last forever. I left him after 1 1/2 years, meaning we were together 3 total. But I can honestly tell you that you don't marry someone thinking it will ever end - I certainly didn't. I suppose that sounds stupid to say, but these days, as most marriages end in divorce, it's almost expected. But I never considered it. We were both from families where our parents were still married, and that's supposed to be a good sign, right? Well, not in this case.
I'm not saying I was or am perfect. I'm far from it. But I was in fact very naive. He was a drug addict, and while I knew he did drugs, I thought he'd kicked them. When we first started dating, he changed his life around - got a real job, went back to school, stopped doing the drugs. His parents looked at me like I was an angel, sent to save their son. That should've been my clue. He was 5 years older than me (I was 24, he was 29), and if he was still screwed up then, I should've gotten that I wasn't going to change him. But I didn't.
His changes didn't last. By the time the wedding actually happened, he was back to all his old tricks. But by that time I thought I loved him, and so we were married. Things were okay, although not great, for a few months. And then, when we'd been married about 9 months, he was arrested on felony drug possession. He already had one felony conviction, so they tossed him into jail. I should've left him there to rot, but no, I still thought I loved him. I took my inheritance from my grandmother, bailed him out of jail and got him a lawyer. Then I insisted we go for counseling.
The counseling was fairly ineffective. I imagine it would've worked better if he hadn't still been using. And then, there was the straw that broke the camel's back. We moved back to his old neighborhood.
This meant that he was very close to all his buddies who all do drugs. So now, I would come home from work every day to find him and them smoking bowls, that he hadn't worked all day, and hadn't done anything around the house, either. I was supposed to do everything.
Finally, I came home one Saturday morning, and we got into a fight. A huge fight that started over nothing. I can even tell you what it was about, because like I said, some things you just don't forget. This fight went on for hours and touched all sorts of subjects (including the fact that he'd been cheating on me, and in an open marriage, that's quite a feat), and culminated in him telling me that if I wanted this marriage to work, I would need to change emotionally, physically and spiritually. And something inside me snapped.
I called my mother and told her I was coming home. She sent my sister, brother and one of my brother's friends and they helped me pack up a bunch of my stuff (I still regret not having grabbed my CD collection - he SOLD it). I think my mom thought this was a temporary thing, but it wasn't. I never looked back.
That doesn't mean I didn't grieve. I did, for quite some time. But the wreck of that marriage and me not processing it properly led directly into the next diastrous relationship I was in, as well as me moving to San Diego. While I loved it there, it was overall not a great time in my life. There were some good parts, but there were mostly bad people, which sucked.
But in some ways I think I've come full circle. I'm back in Chicago, and while I may not be here forever (I hope not - damn cold!), I think it's where I need to be now. I have a lot more friends now, and people that care about me, and while I don't feel ready for a serious romantic relationship with anyone right now, I think when I am, I will be a much better person to be with.
So yes. I'll never be able to forget October 14th, but I'd like to think I'm the wiser for having taken that road.