Crash Course

crashcourseI’ve had a lot of varying problems to deal with in the contemporary shit-storm of my life, and I’ve come to a very important epiphany: My deep-seeded issues have more than one genesis. So as I give my life’s nexus a solid and thorough review, I’m beginning to understand one of the many intricacies of my battered past.

My wedding day was an amazing day. It was a great day. As cliche as it sounds, it was one of the best days of my life. Things went so well, the ceremony was great, the reception was fun, the people were amazing – it was just a great day.

But here’s the problem: When I got married, I knew everything I needed to know, except how to be married. I didn’t fucking know how the fuck to be married. And I say that strongly because I genuinely fucked it up that bad. So suffice it to say, I learned how to be married by being the absolute shittiest husband on the planet. Granted, I’ve never hit my wife, threatened my wife, or been violent toward her in any way; my transgressions had nothing to do with violence and everything to do with faithfulness (or, more appropriately, a serious lack thereof).

I value myself an educated man – even smart. But I’m also the dumbest son of a bitch I’ve ever known, because when it comes to the most vital of life’s lessons, I seem to always insist on learning the hard way.

I learned how to be faithful, the hard way. But here’s the thing: I love being faithful. If I’d know that being faithful to my wife felt so much better than the shallow and superficial “pleasures” of being unfaithful, I never would have cheated. But, in true addict fashion, common sense wasn’t common. But I also know that I’m the luckiest son of a bitch I’ve ever known too, because I married the most amazing woman on the planet. She loves me unconditionally, and is amazingly forgiving.

Her family, well, not so much.

The other day, I was (in a very round-about way) asked not to attend her family’s Christmas Day celebration. And honestly, I don’t blame them. Granted, I don’t fully understand why they hate me so much (I mean, seriously, I’m the one who went to prison, and they’re the ones with the problem?) but I don’t really have the right to complain. This is just another example of sleeping in the bed I’ve made, and so, essentially, I’ve brought this all on myself.

I guess my only “complaint” is that they have made no effort to understand that I’m a completely different person than I was before prison. I mean, isn’t prison supposed to change people? I hate to admit it, but the system worked for me. As warped as it sounds, going to prison was one of the best things that has ever happened to me because it broke me out of the cycle of addiction and forced me to look at my life in a way that prompted strong and immediate change. I was – by my own admission – a horrid human being before prison. And they didn’t have a problem with me then, as long as they didn’t know who I truly was at the time. Now, they know who I was in the past, and hate me now, even though I’m the kind of person I should be, now. Pretty much ass-backwards. If they would make any attempt whatsoever at actually opening a dialogue with me now, they’d find that I’m not who they think I am. I would even sit and allow all of them to vent their frustrations at me, face-to-face, but they have no interest in that either. And since my wife refused to divorce me, it seems as though they’d rather simply pretend that I don’t exist.

And still, I harbor no ill-will toward them. After being dropped by my “best friend” (who is now my Archenemy), losing people has become just another part of the consequential backlash of my poor choices. So along with my crash course in how to be married, I’ve also had to take a crash course in how to lose people. And right now, I can genuinely say that I’ve learned how to sufficiently do both.