Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Friendship I'm Glad I Lost

Life is good. If I could go back in time and relive my life, no doubt I would avoid a lot of the mistakes I have made, but I wouldn't choose to change how things turned out. There are many people I miss. Some are no longer part of my life because of mistakes I made. I am no longer part of the lives of some people because of mistakes they made. Some people simply drifted away and others I simply drifted away from.

When I was young, I liked Frank Sinatra's song, “My Way.” Honestlly, at this point in my life, I do not see how anyone, other than a sociopath or an egotist, could like that song. Doing things one's own way is often unwise, for we make mistakes. When one does something wrong, should one “stand tall”, as the song says, or should one ask for forgiveness? I've made many mistakes. I have asked for forgiveness along the way. In some cases, it was wise to ask for forgiveness, but in other cases it was not. There are people so filled with hate that the do not deserve an apology. There are people who have misinterpreted intent and, therefore, invented or exagerated wrongs. These people do not deserve apologies, for when they act to punish based on their false understanding of alleged wrongs, they commit greater crimes in response than the woes they, themselves, have suffered and thus they owe an apology to those whom they have accused. But, as for the song, no life is so simple as to deserve the song “My Way.” As for myself, I have not sought apologies from those that have wronged me. For the most part, I have simply forgiven them and moved on.

Nevertheless, there are people I miss. Some I will reconnect with, in time, if the universe grants me such opportunity, but there are others whom I prefer to miss than to know again. My ex-wife is in that category, for I really do not believe that the person I miss still exists. I believe she is someone else now, someone I would not like.

It was a long path reaching that conclusion. I think I have never loved anyone, except my daughter, more than her. When that love was young, there was nothing I would not have done for her. When we finally got married, though, I discovered that there was little she would do for me, beyond simply being a wife. I had dreamed my entire youth of traveling and exploring the world. I thought when we married, we would do this together, but it turned out entirely the opposite. She had no adventurous spirit. She was little better than an anchor. Every attempt I made at enjoying life, at traveling, and at engaging in the larger world was resisted and crushed by her.

I had always wanted to visit Nova Scotia, the land of one branch of my ancestors. I went on a road trip with her. We got within about 20 miles of Nova Scotia, but her whining and complaining caused me to turn around. I had an opportunity to work for a year in Japan (and bring her with me), but she whined and complained until I turned it down. I became involved in solidarity movements and had an opportunity to go to Nicaragua to work with the Sandinistas, but she refused to let me go. We had nearly zero vacations, but when we did go somewhere, she did nothing but complain and fight.

I remember the point when I realized that she was not for me. We drove down to San Felipe, in BC, Mexico to camp along the Gulf of California. On the way back, crossing into California at Mexicali, while waiting in the line at the border, a young boy jumped out and began washing our windshield. I didn't want him to do it, but I couldn't get him to stop. I knew that I had to give him 25 cents or he might dent my car, so I handed him a quarter (not even enough money to buy candy). My ex-wife was enraged that I waste our money on that little boy. We were two software engineers with no children, making plenty of money, and she was livid over 25 cents. We fought the whole way back to Los Angeles about it. I could not believe I was married to someone who could hate so much over so little.

We spent two years living on opposite coasts because she refused to move until I could find her a job. No one in the United States finds a job for someone else. You must find your own job. I spent two years alone, living most of the time in a small room rented in one house or another, sleep on a mat on the floor, because of this. I stayed loyal to her during that time, but my resentment grew daily. I could not spend money on making myself more comfortable or she would flip out.

I remember at that time buying a small compact CD player (they were new technology at that time), so that I could listen to music to take away the loneliness (I don't watch TV). In time, I also bought a small self amplified speaker to plug into it so I could listen without headphones. When she discovered this, she haranged me endlessly about how I was wasting our money. I could not even have such a small comfort without her insults.

Dreaming of traveling, I one day purchased a reporter's jacket from Banana Republic. I am someone that spends next to nothing on clothes, so this was not a case of being a clothing snob. The jacket had many pockets, where I could put a camera, some note books, documents, etc. One day I went into the closet because I wanted to wear my reporter's jacket. I couldn't find it. I asked her what happened to it. She had returned it to the store to get the money back (my money). I was speechless. It only cost about $60.00. It was my money.

When we went to a hotel, I had to hide her in the car, get the room key, drop her off near the hotel, and then go to the room alone so she could sneak in a few minutes later. Why? I had to do this because she didn't want us to pay for two people to stay, just one. This meant we had to be quiet so they wouldn't know there were two of us there.

I could go on an on, but some of the things I would have to list would involve exposing illegal things she did, and I don't want to do that to her. Living with her was like living as a refugee while having absolutely no reason for suffering that way. She was robbing me of my youth.

When I married her, I knew she was unable to have children. Basically, by marrying her, I was giving up the opportunity to be a father. That was quite a sacrifice. Now that I have a different wife and my own daughter, I know that had I stayed with her, I would not have fulfilled what I was created to be, a father. I would never have fulfilled my nature if we stayed together.

One dream she did successfully kill was my dream to become a philosophy professor. I had studied philosophy part-time when we were together. Having earned my first degree in Computer Science, I decided I would earn my next in Philsophy. She would harass me endlessly about spending some of my time reading and doing my homework. To her, it was abusive of me to spend some time learing rather than focusing only on her. I did eventually get my first degree in Philosophy, but only after we divorced and by then he had delayed the process so long, it became impractical to seek a higher degree.

Despite all of this, after we divorced, I tried to stay her friend. I would have loved to have kept that friendship going, forever. After all, we went to college together and we had been together for 10 years when we broke up. That's a long time. I thought our friendship was going well for four years after our breakup, but there were many things she was hiding from me and now I suspect she was actually sabotaging my life during that period. I have strong reasons to suspect that, but back then I was clueless for I thought she was a good person.

We had a conversation in April of 1996 by telephone. In that conversation she informed me that she was going to remarry. I told her I didn't want to know who her new husband was, at least not then, for I needed some time to absorb that news. She did not tell me who he is. However, she took the opportunity to insult me on several levels during that conversation. More importantly, she let on that she had secretly befriended an enemy of mine, someone who had slandered me. That conversation made me step back and rethink my friendship with her. It seemed that she may have not been a friend afterall. She may have become a secret enemy. I couldn't be sure, but it seemed unwise to continue being friends if I did not know. I sent her an email telling her how I felt emotionally at that time, in terms of regretting our breakup (I no longer regret it) and that I thought it was better, given that she was marrying, to not communicate again, at least until I was over it, but I did not tell her the real reason for deciding to cut things off – the fact that I no longer trusted her.

It was not until 13 years after this conversation that I bothered to find out who she married. I did a little research in 2009 and found out who he was. That little piece of information strung together a lot of puzzle pieces I had missed, relating not only to the period of our marriage and the period after our marriage when we were friends, but more importantly to a long period of online harassment and stalking I experienced. I also discovered that my anonymous stalkers knew who her husband was long before I did.

Once I knew about this connection, it became easy to determine who my harassers were and what her online identity was. I warned my family to not share any information about me with her or her family. What I have uncovered has convinced me that cutting off my friendship with her was one of the best decisions I ever made. It has also precluded any chance at being friends again. There is no way I would consider any kind of friendship with her again. My only regret, in her case, is that I ever wasted even a second of my life with her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Stephen,

Decided to look you up after all these years. Was wondering how it all panned out. Looks like you made it. You know I ran across something you wrote about cycorp in 2004 while looking for you. I always figured you must have known something really big, for the system to go after you so hard.

I didn't know what it was and I was pretty sure you didn't either, not exactly anyway. I think I know what it is now. You mentioned the Israeli art students visiting Cycorp while you were there, March 2001 I think it was. You know something about 9/11 Stephen. You just never recognized the significance of it. I suspect they hounded you for years until it became clear you really didn't know why, then they felt safe enough to leave you alone.

I don't want to get you started in all that shit again, so don't even muse about it publicly, but there is in your memory some little detail, maybe very small that you've overlooked. Maybe you can find it if you think hard enough. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't even try.

Anyway, it's nice to see you won in the end.