Day 4. You Don’t Know How it Feels.

April 17, 2011

I had one of those moments today when I stopped to think, which was a huge mistake. Because I miss my family, especially my little girl (if you’re a dad with a girl, you understand). I miss the way things used to be. I used to have a beautiful family and lots of friends and be a Big Deal, and have a great job and a six-figure income, and have a lot of people calling me and wanting to spend time with me. I used to have a nice house in a cool neighborhood and it seemed like I could do anything I wanted.

Boy did I mess that up.

And people don’t seem to understand what they are suggesting as it concerns my family. This foregone conclusion in everyone’s mind that my family is permanently deconstructed. And though I know everyone means well and they want me to get well and they think – probably correctly – that my relationship with my wife is dangerous to my recovery, it’s still my life that is being torn into a million pieces. These are my kids, my wife. So without questioning the wisdom of the advice or the spirit in which it is given – both unquestionably good – I can say that no one has any idea what this feels like.  

And it didn’t even happen slowly: we did it in a weekend; I feel like my family – at least as I know it – was suddenly and inartfully excised from my life. What’s left behind is a bloody stump of raw nerves and I don’t have coping mechanisms. No good ones anyway.

I recognize that to a large extent – at least as it relates to my kids – the changes are temporary. But some things will never be the same. And I don’t feel like anyone has any appreciation for how devastating this is for me. In fairness, unless you’ve been there, I guess you can’t.

P.S. Song names and lyrics are kind of a theme around here, so I should have noted that You Don’t know How It Feels is a song by Tom Petty, pride of Gainesville, Florida.

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