Allie has been blogging about her past a bit. And, well, I decided to copy her even though Kenny keeps trying to tell me I am a leader, not a follower. Besides, when I started this blog most of my readers where my real-life friends. They didn't need any kind of explanation of who is who. But now that I have some new blogger friends who haven't been around since Hubby No. 1, it might be time to go back and explain......
In high school, I wasn't at all unpopular. I wouldn't say I was the most popular person either. People knew me. Mostly because I was a bit mean. And I seemed to have everything. But quite frankly, I was a mess. I suffered from depression for no good reason. I craved attention. Generally I got it by being loud and obnoxious. But my junior year of high school, I caught the attention of Kris. He was tall, good-looking, and everyone knew him. He was well-liked by everyone. He was a star basketball player, holding district records, and destined for college ball just like his older brother, who was currently playing for Texas Tech. I loved the attention. And the new found "fame" of being Kris's girlfriend. I was horribly sad when he moved days before senior year started.
Our relationship ended then. But not really. We always stayed in contact. His brother switched to UT, where I was at school. He would visit. We would get together. When his brothers both moved to Houston, he moved in with them. I left school, and moved back to Houston. Kris and I were officially back together. Even then, I knew that Kris had problems. But I was still in love with the image of who I thought Kris was back in high school. Even though he never made it play college basketball. Even though he had dropped out of high school. Even though, he had by the time he turned 21 been in alcohol treatment facilities multiple times. I didn't see it. I just saw that rising star that was loved and adored by everyone. And so I stayed with him.
We were married. The wedding ceremony was wonderful. My uncle owned a five-story historic home in Portland, Oregon that was featured in Architectural Digest. We all flew to Portland for the wedding. Literally, traffic stopped outside the large windows to watch the candle-lit ceremony. It was picture perfect. Our marriage was not.
He was never mean. Or rude. He never raised his voice to me. He never called me names. He bent over backwards to make me happy. He spent a solid month searching for the perfect birthday gift for me, then spent a week celebrating my birthday. When he was sober. But he was drunk a lot. Even when he drank, he wasn't mean. He just wasn't...anything. He couldn't get a decent job. He didn't contribute financially. He would leave for work and not come home for two days. Once, when I was pregnant with Jill, I was hospitalized with pneumonia. They finally let me go home, but I was still weak and sick. We got home that day at about 1:30pm. I had missed lunch. Kris left to go get me some Chic-Fil-A. He didn't come home until 4am. Drunk. He even brought in the nuggets and fries that had been sitting in the car since 2pm. As if that would make it okay.
I didn't finally leave for good until Jill was involved. If I never had Jill, I am pretty sure I would have continued to put up with his behavior. Maybe because he was never mean. Maybe because when he was sober he was truly the nicest person I knew. But I could not let Jill ever see her father like that. I promised myself she would not know her father i\was an alcoholic for as long as I could manage. It was horrible for me. It wasn't like some divorces where you hear people say, "I just didn't love him anymore." Love was not in question. In fact maybe it was because I loved him that I couldn't let his daughter not love him. I was scared she would grow up to hate him, if she lived with him.
Now years later, I can honestly say I no longer love him. It has come from watching him neglect Jill for years. Going months at time without calling her. Moving states away so that he could be closer to his brother, his drinking partner. Going on skiing vacation after skiing vacation, but then claiming not to have enough money to come to her kindergarten graduation. When she does go to Kansas City, he spends maybe an hour a day with her while she stays with his parents (which she has to do...it is in the court order). She loves him. She knows that is her father, but she already gets it that he is never there for her. She, at six, makes comparisons between Kenny and Kris. When Father/Daughter events come up at school, she doesn't even hesitate when she asks Kenny and not Kris. It is sad. That is the very thing I wanted to protect her from. I really wanted her to be as enamored with her daddy, as I am with mine.
And so for a brief time it was just Jill and I. And everything was great. Gilmore Girls had just come out, and Jill and I would cuddle up on the couch and watch it together. She would fall asleep in my arms on the couch, and I would sit and imagine (corny as it is) that we would be something like that. It would be us two. We would be friends. And life would be great.
But then along came Tim.