Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Learned to Live Half Alive

An open letter to my husband's mistress.


In the beginning, we both liked you.  You were a fun flirtation to bring into our lives.  You came around for parties.  We carelessly passed you around.  You were such a good time. But you weren't a daily presence in our home then.

Jack took to life on the road.  You comforted him when I couldn't be there.  You kept the lonely away.  You helped him feel comfortable talking to others and making new friends.  I still liked you then. I didn't realize how dangerous you were.

When he came home, he occasionally visited you in bars.   Every now and then, he brought you home with him.  It didn't concern me.  We had a new baby and you weren't needed to ease loneliness he no longer felt.  I would give just about anything to go back to the days when our little girl was the light of his life and you were unimportant.

The twins arrived and the stress quadrupled.  Jack was laid off a lot.  He was a proud man and I think the inability to provide for the needs of his family took a toll on him.  I was also out of my mind with postpartum depression and terribly hard to live with.  He left our home for 6 months and took you with him.  I wanted to die.

But I pulled myself up from the trenches.  I found me again.  I guess I assumed Jack had found himself too.  He came home... Not because he wanted to, but because he had to.  We made the most of it.  For a little while, we got along well.  And then you returned.

For 6 long years, I fought you.  I threw you out.  He brought you back.  You were more powerful than me.  You evicted me from my own home.  You took my place in his life.  I only had children and love to offer. My gifts created duty and required reciprocity.  You promised an altered sense of reality and the ability to forget one's pain.  And you gave freely.

But you cost so much.  You destroy trust.  You destroy happiness.  You destroy families.  You destroy lives.

You are not my disease, but I am sick.  There is so much of me missing.  I'm tired of fighting for someone I no longer believe in.  I am tired of fighting for my children to have a relationship with their father.  I am tired of fighting you.  Add mine to your Jar of Hearts.  I can't fight you any longer.

I hate you, Vodka.


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