I don’t know that I’ve ever told the story of how Misty and I met and what she went through – and goes through – before and after our wedding. People may be able to piece together parts in one area of the picture, but few have seen behind the curtain and know the extent to which she helped me, and suffered while doing so. You won’t learn specifics from this entry either, but, hopefully, you will better understand the gravity of what Misty did for me through my expressions of appreciation.
She’s suffered in ways I couldn’t begin to comprehend. I’m only taking responsibility for my part in this post, but she’s greatly suffered from others’ actions (or lack of interest) as well.
I’d been a regular – which, in my definition, was heavy – drinker for much of my adult life. After the end of my first long-term relationship, I hit the bar even harder, earlier and more often. I was still in the throes of alcoholism when Misty and I met on Match.com (yes, we’re part of that third). I’d messaged her because I liked the line she’d written on her profile stating she was, “Just another white girl.” (I may have been a drunk, but at least I have a sense of humor and good taste.)
Before I became sober and able to better control my drinking, Misty knew (and knows) more than anyone how bad off I was. She helped me when no one else did. Bystanders remained bystanders, or enablers. More than anyone, she took the abuse. But she very likely saved my life (and possibly others’) – or, at the very least, liberty. She’d have been right to run. It took a long time for me to get where I am. There were (and are) many false starts and steps backward. And, given that we both suffer from mental illnesses, it’s damn hard. I know from experience that suffering from a mental illness doesn’t necessarily make handling one’s spouse’s illness any easier. Especially on a long-term basis. She suffered. More than anyone knows. Even me.
Sure, I’ve helped her as well, but this isn’t about me. Well, it’s me acknowledging all Misty has done for me, and letting the world know, too.
If I’m honest, I really can’t do all this on my own. I can’t support her on my own – or, hell, even myself. Ten years of fantasy that I might move up somehow in the political/governmental arena led me here. And it isn’t about being Superman – it’s being a responsible individual. For some damn reason, I just don’t seem able to make it. At times, I feel I fail the most basic test of life. Thus, it falls on Misty.
Misty has to make the commute to the office. She has to earn the majority of our income. I get ridiculed for or dismissed as not having real job (by others, not Misty). But Misty is the one who has the real job and career. It’s, sadly, true.
Of course, something inside nags at me saying, “Come on, William, you’re a writer. Embrace it for the first time in your life. Give it a shot. What’re your mottos, anyway? ‘Fuck it’ and ‘fuck ‘em,’ right? Do it already.” And then I think, “Maybe that’s what will lead to me being able to support her.” Sounds ridiculous: Writing to make a living? Beats the hell out of me. I’ve pretty much run out of ideas and am just going back to the beginning again. I’ve never called, described or otherwise hinted to anyone that I am a writer. I may write. I may have written for years. But I don’t claim that title.
More to the point, I so want to support her. To take that pressure off her. This isn’t about being competitive with her. This is me wanting to add as much as possible to the household. I want her to know she’s valued, and it isn’t all on her back. We share the burden. I want to have a hand to break our falls.
It’s always bullshit when someone asks you, “Why do you love me?” Any true love can’t be quantified in a few identifiable traits. I’ll throw a few out anyway: She’s funny, creative-beyond-all-get-out, intelligent, crazy, enjoys interesting conversation, can be a total bitch and is intro- and extroverted – that oft-overlooked power combo. Her name is on patents, for Philip-Paul’s sake. Most important, especially in my case, clearly, she’s compassionate and devoted. She doesn’t give up on people, sometimes even when she should. I can only be thankful she didn’t give up on me.
I’m still trying to prove that spark she says she saw in me between drunken bouts was a flame and not just small strikes of flint.
I’m gonna try to start posting songs at the beginning of each post, especially when the song(s) inspired (or relates to) the entry.