Over the first few years of my marriage, I began realizing that I was trying to live the life that I thought I was supposed to live, the life everyone wanted me to live. It was not the life my heart wanted for me. More and more I fell into a deep depression. To make a very long story short, I decided to divorce my husband. My childhood love had reappeared into my life at the time of my divorce. It was like I was living a scene out of “The Notebook.” I was exuberantly happy with one man while having to crush another man’s heart. My family was angry. They felt I had killed my husband for them. I woke up every day carrying a huge burden of guilt while trying to hide my new found joy. They disagreed with my decision and would not speak to me. I felt so confused and isolated. No one knew how unhappy I was in my marriage except my sister. To everyone else, our divorce was a complete surprise. When I talked to Kevin about it, his only question was: “Do you love this new guy?” “I think so Kev. I am happier than I have ever felt.” I told him. He smiled and hugged me. “Well, if you’re happy then I‘m happy, and that means I am happy with this new guy, but if he ever hurts you, I’ll kill him okay?” I laughed, “Okay Kev. I like it, sounds perfect to me.”
Kevin and some friends single-handedly got me through that crazy time. I felt horrible for hurting such a good man, but I had to follow my heart. If I continued living a life that I didn’t fit into I would come apart at the seams. I was so happy with Eric (the new guy). Other than with Kevin, I had never felt so whole, so safe, so loved. Our love was so intense in the beginning, (Eric and I) that a natural disaster could have come through our city and we wouldn’t have even noticed. I wrapped myself so tightly in our cocoon of love that I believed nothing could penetrate it.
Shortly after, while I was enjoying the honeymoon phase with Eric and surviving my divorce, Kevin called me. He needed to talk. We met at Bicentennial Park. When I got there, he was sitting in his car. I pulled up, parked, and tapped on his window. He didn’t move. I opened the car door. He looked up at me with a dazed look. His eyes were red, and his cheeks covered in tears. “Kevin! What’s wrong! What happened!?” I said as I touched his arm. “I think Becca is seeing someone else. I think she is going to leave me.” He managed between gulps and sobs. He started to get out of the car. I followed his lead. He pulled out a bottle of Tullamore Dew and lit a cigarette. He was smoking again. Oh yeah, this was bad. I had started smoking as well shortly before my divorce. I had also walked away from the church and decided to become Gnostic. A lot had changed for us both in recent days and would continue to evolve over the next year.
As he took a swig of Tullamore Dew, I lit a cigarette and chewed on what he just told me. I was so angry my body was shaking with rage. Anything or anyone that hurt Kevin would set me off like an atom bomb. I wanted to scratch her eyes out; I wanted to kill Becca. I wanted to make her feel the worst pain imaginable. As I was getting flashes of vengeful ways to hurt her, I stopped myself as I had an epiphany. Wait a minute, how can I condemn this girl? How can I judge her? I just did the same exact thing to a good man. What do I do with that? Tearing her apart wouldn’t help him at all, especially if they got back together. Although, in my heart, I knew her mind was made up. As a young bride and having children so young she had never had a chance to figure out who she was. I had faced the same internal battle when making my decision to divorce my husband. So, what do I do with all these thoughts and emotions? I wanted to kill her for hurting Kevin, but I knew and understood why she did it. I also knew that Kevin had done the same thing to her earlier in their marriage and may have done it again if he wasn’t happy. Why is love so complicated? Why is there never a clear answer when it comes to what to do when following your heart?
After working through all of these thoughts in my head, I did the only thing I knew I could do without saying the wrong words. I grabbed him and latched on. I held Kevin so tight. I concentrated with all my might and tried to absorb all of his pain like an amoeba. I kept telling him that I was so sorry. I tried to console him while tasting the bitter flavor of guilt in my mouth knowing that this was the pain that I had caused my ex-husband to feel. Kevin’s grip loosened, and he seemed to calm down a bit. We spent the next few hours talking about what happened and what to do next. I tried to give him some advice on how to woo her back into his arms, but I also had a gut feeling that those attempts would be unsuccessful. Before he left, I told him that everything might work out and to be patient. I told him he was strong and he would get through this. I said I would be there for him like he has always been there for me. I told him if he needed anything just to call me.
I left that night completely heartbroken for him. Becca had become his world. I had watched him fight his pain, depression, and darkness to be strong for her and his little girls. I knew that without those things in his daily life that he would crumble. He was “Gaara the sand demon.” If he lost his source of love, the winds would bring the sands of darkness out. I had to watch him. I had to be ready. I had to be there to catch him before those sands blew in his direction. The full effect of the break up had come to pass. Kevin was living with some friends and was doing his best to survive the change.
Celticfest was coming up. I knew Kevin would love it! That would cheer him up! I called him and invited him to go. I figured we would get a bit drunk, sing a bunch of Irish folk songs and laugh for awhile. I felt he needed it more than ever. We met up at Celticfest. We grabbed beers and walked around. We caught each other up on what was going on in our lives and enjoyed the night air filled with the sounds of Irish fiddles in the background. After our second or third beer I tried to get him to watch a band for awhile, he refused. He looked so sad. He was covered in melancholy. He pulled out his wallet and started showing me pictures of the girls and telling me stories. Some friends he knew walked by, and he repeated it all. He loved those girls more than life itself, and he missed them so much. Sitting under a pavilion, drinking my Killians Irish red, and hearing the sounds of fiddles and bagpipes around me, my heart broke into a million pieces seeing him tell story after story and show picture after picture to anyone who would listen. He will pull through this. He will be okay; I kept saying to myself.
The end of the night came, and we began saying our goodbyes. “Thanks, Taw-shina, I needed this.” He said to me with sad eyes. “Anytime Kev. I love spending time with you! If you need anything or want to hang again just call me.” I told him with a smile. “Slainte.” He replied back to me. “Slainte, cuz.” I hugged him, and he hugged back by picking me up off my feet and swaying me back and forth. “Love you Taw-shina.” He whispered. “Love you too Kevin.” My eyes were filling with tears.
To this day I am so grateful for his friends and his punk family. They stepped up to the plate when I failed. Over the next month or so he called me multiple times to hang out. He asked me to a show, I declined. He also tried to meet up with me on Halloween, and I ended up unintentionally blowing him off when my boyfriend and I went to another party. He was reaching out for love, for help, and for friendship; I ignored every sign and every signal. I was so wrapped up in my self-absorbed bubble of new love and happiness that I missed it. I offered out my hand to help then as he reached for it, I took it away. What was wrong with me!? How could I have been so blind!? I was bundled so tightly in the blanket of love I had created with Eric that I had forsaken Kevin. I had abandoned the most important person in my life. My hero. My heart. How is it that human nature and love can make us so fickle? The show, the Halloween party, the phone calls: I look back on those moments to this day and get angry at myself. How could I ever forgive myself for failing the one person that I had always promised to be there for, to catch them if they fell?
Kevin filled his days with work and spent time with his friends. They honestly got him through the next few months. I also believe he would have spiraled worse if they weren’t there for him during that time. I am so glad that he had them. Sometime after that many of us, maybe all of us stopped watching, we stopped waiting for him to break. The holidays had come and gone. All the while Kevin was fighting the hardest emotional battle he had ever fought. We all went about our lives while he was fighting a dark war. Should we have seen it? Should we have done more? What can someone do to stop someone else from breaking? He fought his mind as hard as he could, but in January he broke. He unraveled in such a way that he felt desperate. He needed our help. Since his early childhood, he only knew of one way to cry for help: to threaten his own life.
It was January 27th, 2008. I was curled up in a ball of fluffy blankets sleeping with a smile due to my new fairy tale love. My phone kept ringing and waking me up. I opened one eye and saw it was Becca. I hit the silence button and turned over to cuddle with Eric. It happened three times, four times, up to almost ten times and I kept silencing it. I will call her later, I told myself. Maybe it is about her and Kevin? I will call her when I get up; she will be okay. After Eric had gotten out of bed, I finally woke up and stretched with a grin from ear to ear. Ah, how lovely life was right now. Could it get any better? I was so happy with Eric. I got out of bed and looked at my phone finally. Ten missed calls, it said on my phone!
I began listening to the voicemails. My face started draining every bit of color out of it. My fingers began to go numb. My breath froze in my chest. I listened to the first few messages before my mind started swimming. The quarry. A gun. Sleeping pills. I don’t know what to do. Call me back! The quarry. A gun. Sleeping pills. Kevin. The show. Halloween night. The phone calls. Kevin. The quarry. The show. Sleeping pills. Becca. Halloween night. A gun. The phone calls. Call me back. Over and over the words haunted me and swirled through my mind. The feelings of guilt and ultimate fear poured over me. Kevin. I must get to him! I am coming, Kevin! I am so sorry!!! Please stay strong; please wait for me…I’m coming….
To be continued…
Coming soon: Heroes Never Die – Part 6- Darkness
As always, Sending you all love and light,
*** Pictures of Gaara the sand demon were taken from Google. Thank you to the artists that drew them and shared them. ***