I need to get to the part where I start making bad choices. I will soon. But I feel like I need to fill in some pieces that happened before then. Shouldn’t take too long.
Things weren’t easy at home. We were all off. Way off. The kids and I stayed home from school and work. Each night I would put the little ones to bed and walk to the bar. I’d come home a couple hours later and lay in bed thinking and thinking and thinking until I’d enter some half sleep.
At the same time I could tell something was really bothering B. She kept blowing it off, saying everything is OK until one night she broke down.
B: Everyone is telling me ‘I’m so glad you could be here for your family, like I’m not here because I love Christine. Like it doesn’t count because she’s my stepmom’.
And she was so right. I hadn’t realized this was happening but it broke my heart to hear her say it. She hadn’t traveled from Montana to be here for us, she had traveled to grieve someone she loved very much. To top it all off, she was holding in some brutal guilt.
B: I looked up to her so much and I never told her.
These are the thoughts after an unexpected death that truly hurt the survivors, especially after suicide. Coulda, woulda shoulda. What if I had said this one thing? Would that have saved them? Was it my fault?
The house kept getting dirtier. The grass kept getting longer. Less envelopes arrived from distant family and friends.
We sat in the living room almost all day, not talking about Christine. We’d try and make small talk. When B and K get together they are savage and the playful, sarcastic insults were everywhere but we all knew it was a show. You could feel it in everything we did. She was missing.
We started looking for a new house. I couldn’t stay where I was. I needed out so badly. I had to get away. She was around every corner and wouldn’t leave me alone.
We found a home. I put an offer in.
I dreamed about her. A lot of the time we were fighting. Once she wanted a divorce. I felt so empty, just completely used up.
I went out with friends, I sat around the house. I avoided my kids because I couldn’t handle being around them. I didn’t know what to do or say.
Two weeks passed since she left. The kids and I returned to school and work. Nothing was the same. Nothing was normal. It was all just sadness, emptiness and loneliness.
I was so incredibly alone.