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9:04 PM, Sunday, August 31st, 2008:
"Mom left because of Mom."
As if "The Pursuit of Happyness" didn't already kick my ass every time I watch it, throw another layer on the onion. As hard as it was for the child to understand the quote above, it's a realization a husband has to come to as well... no matter how obvious. It's a conversation with a future child I had in my head several times in 2007 and a catalyst for the therapy ultimatum of last December. As we know she wasn't capable of continuing that treatment and well, there you go. I remember my initial reaction when the mother left in the movie being amazement that anyone could do that, and I'm no longer amazed. I've watched the "flight" urge with Donna firsthand and it's deeply rooted.
Anyway, I bring all of this up because a month ago today Donna had a falling out with our friends (where she ran to at the end of May) and had no place to go. That now unlocked entry was the start of another month of tension and daily bouts with scruples on my end. The details are meaningless, but what has been overwhelming is the utter lack of respect and sheer oblivion she seems to live in while she runs from her issues. All the while talking about new friends that really get her. That really understand. In reality they're just so new they have zero expectations which is her nirvana. I heard her explaining this to an old boyfriend/friend on the phone and it just blew me away. After all these years of him watching this pattern of hers, why doesn't he hold her accountable? Why don't her parents hold her accountable? Why doesn't anyone but me say: "Honey, this is the same pattern we've watched for years and meanwhile you're destroying the one person who loved you and was patient with you..." How could no one say to her: "You're married. It's time to stop running."?
And the biggest reason this sticks with me? I have such an incredibly difficult time with miscommunication. It is so hard for me to get it through my head that the other person does understand, they're just choosing to ignore it. That is the most foreign concept I've ever had to wrap my brain around. At one point Donna knew in her heart everything I'm saying. I said it, the therapists said it, she said it. Hell she wrote it within this Journey. The path however just ended up being too difficult for her to go down. And damnit I've already gotten past this and was in a great place June and July. Then she comes back in and it all kicks my ass again. And the lack of respect for someone who is not only helping you in the short term, but is singlehandedly the only reason you're in this country - and is willing to stay married to help you achieve your dream. Astounding. But I gave my word and will see it through...and she certainly knows that.
Then there's the other aspect: friends. Something I have maintained with every, single, woman I've ever been with because there's always been honesty, always been communication, always love, always trust. None of that exists here. Was I angry at Burgundie? Of course I was - but she was honest with me and we always loved each other. She just wasn't "in love" with me for whatever reason. Was I hurt that Jess needed to be in Columbus so bad? Of course I was - but I loved her to death. I could, not, live back in Ohio. Either she was gonna be miserable or I was. Now we both have the ability to pursue happiness - just apart. And we talk almost weekly with the utmost love in our hearts for each other...
Now throw in this video. The song was written about Jessica in March 2005, hitting on how I was saying "when" on the whole "friends" thing for the time being. It was just too hard. We eventually got through it. This video was taped on The Early Show in March 2007... when Donna and I were apart. It was actually a gift from the director of the show as he totally fucked up my cues a few days before and made me look like an idiot. I figured I'd ask for this, and got it. LOL. There's always an opportunity somewhere...
Anyway, at the time I was dealing with the realization that "Up & Adam" was not happening and was on the verge of losing it. That night Donna would pick me up from the airport and the rest is history. A crossroads moment for sure. Amazingly, this video has never been posted.
The entire concept is heartbreaking to me, and truth be told - may be harder than anything I've ever been through relationship-wise. Amazing right? The most over-the-top, obviously not my fault, clearly well-defined situation I've ever been in... will probably linger and have more lasting effects than anything else. Again, it's the miscommunication. I'm fine with the fact that she doesn't have it in her to fight the demons from her childhood. Nothin' she can do about that. But to hear her tell her friend that she's finally with people that "get" her makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I know, I know... when you spend your life running, revisionism is your only refuge but goddamnit - I don't want hear it. I don't want to see it. If you're so hell bent on running - then leave already.
Well that moment finally came again, on Friday. In another sickeningly familiar scene - a guy who was a "friend" showed up with a pickup truck to take her away. It's like - I don't care if she's doing a football team, I just don't want to see it. And it's all totally irrational (such is love). The rational side of me wants to buy that guy a beer and give him a hug - brother has no idea. But my heart, aches. It's a momentary sting though. June/July were incredibly fun - and I've lined up some great adventures for the coming weeks and you just keep on rollin' on.
But I am proud of one thing: when she came here a month ago, she had $200 to her name, was devastated, had absolutely no one and was ready to do some rather desperate things. She leaves with thousands in the bank (thanks to a job Michelle got her before their falling out) a place to live within walking distance, and a plethora of new friends to spend time with. And she's alive. Lest we not forget how horrific March/April were. Back when all I was praying for was that she would walk out of my house. Well she's certainly done that.
And if you haven't seen "Pursuit of Happyness", it really captures what it feels like to achieve something that took sacrifice and faith. I've felt it twice in my life. When I booked my first 4tvs show and the day I got Up & Adam on CBS. If you want to know how that feels, rent the movie...
...or read 800 freaking entries of The Journey.