Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm suffering from a major case of writer's block...

but really want to post something today. there are tons of options, which is probably the biggest part of the problem. I guess I'll continue my "boys" series (here are parts one and two).

my most favorite high school boyfriend and I broke up because I started seeing someone else. it was May of my senior year and a boy who sat behind me in one of my classes had been flirting with me for months. he knew Jimmy and knew that we weren't allowed to see each other. I later learned that he thought that I might just want to see him on weekends to sleep with him on the side, since I couldn't do either of those things with Jimmy. boys are dumb sometimes.

anyway, I hung out a few times with him and a friend of his, just as friends at first. I knew it was probably going to lead to something more but wasn't really in any hurry. he wasn't really my type, or so I thought. he drank and smoked pot and hung out with that crowd. I wasn't really much of a drinker back then and have never done drugs so it weirded me out a little. but he seemed harmless enough. he was really sweet and never tried to get me to do anything I didn't want to do.

we lived in the same city and could see each other whenever we wanted, which was a big change from things with Jimmy. his parents were older and seemed to like me. he was the youngest of six kids and was born when his parents were in their 40s. he was a little spoiled and could get away with anything. we were allowed to spend as much time as we wanted in his room with the door closed. nothing sexual happened for quite a while, because my experiences with sex were not anything I wanted to repeat, but eventually I realized that being with Kevin was different from what I had been through before. my first voluntary sexual experience was actually nice, which was quite a surprise.

I graduated from high school and got pregnant about a month later. it wasn't a big deal really. I knew a lot of other girls who were either pregnant during high school or shortly after. we had talked about getting married if it happened and it sounded like a pretty good idea. looking back now, I realize that it was incredibly naive and stupid to marry someone I had only really known for about six months. we were doomed from the beginning, but I didn't realize it at the time.

from the time I had met him, all Kevin wanted to do was join the Army. I'm not sure where that came from but I knew that he would never be happy until he did it. he ended up joining the Navy instead and left for boot camp when Stephen was about two months old. I moved in with his parents and stayed with them until he was assigned to Norfolk, VA.

Stephen and I joined him there and stayed for about six months. we left because I just couldn't handle being on my own while he was out to sea. too many bad experiences from childhood had left me afraid to be alone and we were spending too many weeks alone. we moved back in with his parents and visited every few months.

it was far from ideal but it was the best I could do. Kevin and I got along well enough when we were together, even though I was still secretly in love and obsessed with Jimmy. it really was terrible of me to marry someone else when I knew I still loved him. I have no excuse for that. I did try very hard to make sure that Kevin never knew how I felt but I'm sure on some level, he knew.

military life wasn't really what Kevin thought it would be. he was really homesick and missed me and Stephen and his family very much. if I had been a stronger person, I'm sure things would have turned out differently but he really was miserable out there on his own and left before his service was over.

his disappointment and disillusion combined with his time in the military had changed him. he seemed like a completely different person when he came home. he was short-tempered and yelled a lot and was very distant. he spent a lot of time alone and didn't really want to be around me or Stephen much anymore. in a completely misguided effort to try to get closer in our family, we got pregnant again. in November, Hannah was born.

job opportunities were pretty slim in our little town back home. even finding a minimum wage job took months and months. with two small children (20 months apart), I was not working and Kevin was having trouble adjusting to civilian life as an adult. we were still living with his parents because we couldn't afford our own place. I don't know what we would have done without them. they really were wonderful people.

meanwhile, my parents were planning to move to Ohio. my stepbrother and one stepsister had moved out there and according to them, there were tons of jobs and nice places to live. we decided to follow them out to see if we could get back on our feet. we all loaded up two cars with 11 people and a U-haul and drove almost 1,300 miles in two days. it was completely crazy but we made it somehow. everything and everyone arrived in one piece and we all set out to find some work and some apartments. my mother watched the children for us and things were looking up.

Kevin and I never really argued much, because I am a person who cannot deal with anger. we only really disagreed about money. he wanted to spend it on frivolous things, I wanted to pay the bills and buy food. he seemed more and more unhappy with our life and with being a grownup and I really felt like he wanted to go back to high schoool and be a kid forever. eventually, he decided that he wanted out and moved back to Colorado with his parents.

I stayed behind in Ohio with the kids for a few months. we kept in contact by phone and somehow decided to get back together. I packed up our things, sold the car and saved up some money for a bus trip home. in the middle of all of this, I slept with someone else.

about a week later we were back in Colorado. a few weeks after that, I realized that I had missed my period. I panicked and told Kevin about the person I had slept with in Ohio and he seemed to understand. he said that if I was pregnant, we would keep the baby and everything would be fine.

a pregnancy test came back negative, which was a huge relief, but apparently he wasn't as okay with it as he had been at first. he would come home from work and tell me that he had spent the whole day thinking about what I had done and how much it pissed him off. he would say that he hated me, and that he would never forgive me for what happened. it got worse every day, to the point where I was almost afraid of him. he just couldn't get past it, and we never recovered.

he decided that he would move in with a friend of his who lived in Denver, which was about three hours away by car. I don't know if he was trying to get away and cool off or if he was just not brave enough to divorce me or what. he ended up enrolling in college and working part-time at a photo development place. he rarely visited me or the kids. he said that he still loved me but wasn't ready to come home yet. the whole situation wasn't really working for me so I asked him for a divorce. it took about six months after that before it was official because I filed the paperwork myself.

his parents watched the kids while I worked as a waitress and a month or two after Kevin moved to Denver, we moved out of their house. you would think it would have been awkward to live with his parents while we were separated but they were so wonderful about everything. still, it wasn't an easy situation for anyone so as soon as I could afford it, I left. a good friend of mine was moving out of his apartment and his roommate Joe was looking for someone to move in and pay half of the rent and stuff. it was cool because we didn't need a lot of money to move in.

this guy seemed nice. he really liked the kids and they really liked him too. we got along well enough. shortly after we moved in though, the restaurant where he bartended burned down and he was out of work for three months. we were unofficially dating so I paid for everything until he went back to work. by that time, I realized that he was a bit of a loser so we had broken up. we were still friends though so I didn't move out until I met Casey's dad, X, and moved in with him.

I don't know why I keep telling these stories, they're probably all awful and boring and I don't come off well in most of them. still I want to write them and this is the easiest way. I think it's good to look back and see how far I've come and see how much I've grown and how much I've learned. even though I don't have a past that I'm proud of, I did get three wonderful children out of it. and I might not be where I am today if I hadn't made the choices I made. all the pain and mistakes and tears were worth it if it brought me to the place I am now.