"Reflections at Timmys" edited, written 29 March 2014
So now I am near the end of the first leg of that journey begun so many long months ago. How much has happened since then? How much will happen now? It's not just my education I've been working on.
That, in fact, is the only thing over which I truly feel control. That, and my career, which is directly dependent on my education to a large extent. I know I will finish whatever degree(s) I set out for. I know I will push forward in my profession(s) to eventually get what I think I deserve. It will only be a matter of time and perseverance, and human limitations aside, I have those things in abundance.
The real question is what I am doing with my life--my marriage and my family life. I have allowed these things to become my life. That's how it's supposed to work, right? I chose a life partner; we made a family; that's supposed to be the end of it. But of course it isn't the end of anything.
I had hoped it would at least become a beginning. Indeed, it has, but I am not satisfied with the progress of this life. The early denial of affection in marriage resulted in my bad choices to seek it elsewhere. That destroyed trust never came back on either side, and has crept into every other aspect of the relationship, slowly poisoning not only both of us, but our children.
I know I know the right thing, for now, is to be alone, and heal. I need to rediscover myself, redefine who I am, what kind of man I want to be and what that will take. I can not do this without hurting people I dearly love. TV common sense tells me if they love me, they will also want the best for me, but deep in my broken core, I am too afraid their pain will overcome their love, for they are broken too. And so I am once again paralyzed.
I am not impressed with the man I am. I have lied and been unfaithful. If I am completely truthful, I stand to lose the privilege of watching my children grow up the way I really want to--the way they really need me. I am only now starting to see see the effect my brokenness has had on them; what if, in an effort to heal myself, I inflict on them even more damage? Which decision makes me least selfish: new honesty or continued deceit?
And so I float in this Purgatory, on the edge of a blade, never knowing which side to lean toward, never sure where lies Paradise or Inferno. It is a painful reality to wake up to each morning, to retire to each night. Every smile of my children almost hurts me: they believe in the reality I show them, they rely on it. It breaks my heart to know that reality is laced not with a history of fierce protection and providence, but of desperation and deceit. It tears me to fucking pieces.
And so I am no further forward than I was 20 years ago, except that now I carry the baggage and guilt of the last 20 years on my shoulders. I know I am wiser, but I must dig out that wisdom and sort it from the bitterness I still surely feel. And then apply it to some as yet unmade plan.