Happy Saturn’s Day
Warning: To my family and friends, this one is going to be as truthful as the old Rabyd Microphone so be advised. Mostly I feel the need to write this one and the three that will follow for therapeutic reasons. This also a long post so be prepared to give it some time.
Year Ago Retrospect will thave three parts: The Breakup, The Church Nonsense, and Marriage. I will also write a conclusion post on Frigg and Freya’s Day that is a message to a few people who I no longer have any other avenue to say something to if they read this series and hopefully some final direction for myself. I am hoping these posts and writing about the events in them will give me some clarity of what to do now that it has been a year. I knew The Grey would be strong this week, but so far it has been almost overwhelming so…
These will take the place of my normal journal posts this week because in a very real sense they are me journaling my feelings. Today – The Breakup. Moon’s Day – The Church Nonsense. Wooden’s Day – My Marriage. Frigg and Freya’s Day – Conclusion. I apologize for any hard or difficult feelings this may cause. I have no doubt that this will cause some.
That said, I feel if I don’t do this, I am going to lose it with memories so strong right now. The feelings they are causing are so difficult it is hard to keep it together. I need to write about this. Why? Because it is time to get this out of my system because it is affecting me negatively. Writing as therapy. One other thing – please wait to read all the posts before passing complete judgment on me. Here we go.
A year ago yesterday, my affair with Miss Salty ended with her breaking up with me and then pretty much blocking me on every social media avenue leaving me pretty much alone, lonely and bleeding from my soul. It has now been a year since I have had any sort of contact with her. Life in the Grey has been very difficult ever since.
To understand why this was so, I have to go back a some months before that, so today as a matter of therapeutic writing and to set my side of the story straight as far as I see it, I am going to recount the events of this relationship from roughy January of 2018 to the breakup and a little beyond. I want to then end with the implications for me today, now that it is a year later.
It is hard to think of this but in January 2018 I was a respected minister of a small church. That said I was struggling with my faith and had been in that state for several years. My theological objections to Christianity were there and I was finding no answers and the fact that I was making a living doing something that was based on a faith I no longer had didn’t help my psyche. It was causing quite a crisis of conscience. I was trying to preach my way back to faith, and it wasn’t working. Then my organist died.
This was significant because it marked the end of an era for my church. Our pianist had died a couple years before and my main singer had died just a few months before the organist. With my long-time organist dead, there was nothing left in the music realm that I had started with nine years before. We were also fairly good friends. I liked Jim and understood him and respected him. I was grieving about it but no one was asking me how I was.
That is the peril of the modern ministry, you look after everyone else but no one looks after you. Into my grief walked Miss Salty. She had been a part of my church since October of 2017 when she left her home because it was an abusive environment. I had befriended her and was trying to counsel her through some issues. When she saw my grief and depression she recognized it right away and asked me several times how I was doing. It was honest and genuine and she really wanted to know. She was the only one asking me this genuinely.
At this time, it kind of took our friendship up a notch. We began to talk a lot and I soon was very amazed at how open I was with her. The more I got to know her, and she got to know me, the easier it was to talk to her. I have never had a person get me so quickly and understand me so well that I have been that transparent. Not even my wife.
I never believed in a soul mate before. I always looked at relationships with people as something you had to work at because none of them were perfect. But my relationship with Miss Salty began to challenge that notion. My own marriage at the time was hostile with that kind of passive aggression that makes things mostly unbearable. I had been going to school for three years by this time and my basic plan was to finish my degree, find a new job and then very seriously consider divorcing my wife because it wasn’t working. If Miss Salty had not come along, I would probably have continued at the church and be finishing the divorce part of the plan right now.
I started to see Miss Salty not just as a friend but a confidant. She kept my secrets and me hers. Looking back my feelings of romantic love started in about late February 2018, a month after her 18th birthday. I know what people think at this point, so let me stress this, her age didn’t factor in other than had she been under age my responses to some of the events that followed would have been different. I have far too much desire to keep my own freedom to break the law.
She was from the time my feelings started until the end of our affair a legal adult and I am very certain she had the capacity to understand what she was doing. She is smart and has enough life experience to know what people understand is right and wrong. Our relationship started as a friendship and a damn good one. The circumstances and our choices that followed led to what happened. Two people in pain, drawing comfort from one another is how this started. Nothing more and nothing less.
I want to shorten this part of the story, but suffice it to say from February until late May my feelings of love grew for her. I kept them to myself. I have never been good at starting romantic relationships. According to her, she started feeling the same in late March. She was going through a tough time then and I reached out to her and then as April and May went along we grew very close. I went to her graduation and the day after she flat out asked me if I loved her. I wish she had never asked because I have this thing with telling the truth.
I said yes because it was true. It lasted a week before it came unglued in that neither one of us could take the pressure of trying to keep up the lies to cover this up. She told her aunt and I told my wife. My wife left and we separated. Two days later I was feeling I was going to go down hard, so I deliberately pushed her away to protect her from the fallout. She was smart enough to figure it out and a week later reached out to me saying she wanted to try again.
That week had some other shenanigans I need to talk about because they factor into the breakup later. On that Monday I handed my original resignation to the church moderator (from now on referred to in these posts as The Dirty Pig) for him to read to the church. The Dirty Pig tried to lecture me; which rubbed me wrong, but he had been a friend for a long time, so I trusted him and handed him my church-key. The day after Miss Salty and I split the first time he called me and asked me to change my resignation by removing the one sentence that confessed what I had done.
His reasons were that he didn’t want to start gossip in the church at that time and that he didn’t want to drag Miss Salty into this. In retrospect, he read me pretty well. He knew I still genuinely loved my congregation and Miss Salty and he used both those things. He knew I trusted him and he used that against me as well. I turned my revised resignation into him on Friday and probably within a half-hour, based on something Miss Salty told me, but she didn’t realize it was a clue to me figuring this out, the Dirty Pig calls her up and asks permission to tell the story. Miss Salty and I were not talking at the time because we had broken up, or The Dirty Pig would have never been able to pull what he did next off.
He reads my resignation and then tells the whole story. My revised resignation didn’t have a confession line anymore, so the whole thing made it look like I was hiding something. I had planned on showing up the next Sunday to explain the situation myself, but as I got the report of what happened, I knew that was no longer possible without causing the congregation some major pain.
I am going to stay with Miss Salty here and talk about the church thing in more detail later in my second post. I have three things that cause The Grey Storm from this time period. The other two besides the breakup are the church issue and my marriage. But the foremost is the breakup with Miss Salty.
We would date two more times. The second time was truly “let’s try this out”. She broke up with me on the day I was returning from my friend’s house in Houston, TX in late June. She never gave me a reason that time, but I wrote about it on my blog at the time, because this time I wasn’t going to just suffer in silence. She cut me off, but not completely as she kept one social media avenue open.
It was through this avenue that we restarted our friendship because both of us missed that. The problem was staying just friends. It was soon friends with benefits. Not the actual physical kind as this entire time we were separated by about 40 miles of distance with neither one of us having a transportation method to see each other. Things might have turned out very differently if we had possessed this. The one thing I expressed early on is that I loved her and I knew I couldn’t remain just friends. After a couple days she sends me a short video expressing that she still loved me too.
In late July, she did something I didn’t expect. She asked me to marry her. I haven’t mentioned this to anyone but my wife and our counselor until now. At least I don’t think I have, but it is probably time to do so. I said yes. A little untraditional but I was happy to accept because I was very much in love with her. For the days leading up to the last breakup, I was never happier. I have never felt like that before or since. I finally got a job interview and things were looking up.
August 2nd, 2018 is a day I will not probably ever forget. I got up and everything was normal in the sense that Miss Salty and I were loving and she even gave me a pep talk for my interview. I borrowed my mom’s car feeling on top of the world and I nailed the interview and got offered a job. I felt great, better than I had in years. I was finally taking the first steps to all that I wanted at the time. On the way home, she texts me that we need to talk. I knew something was wrong because the usual “I love you” was missing.
I had written on the subject of the Dirty Pig’s involvement in my firing and what I had ultimately discovered above a week before this on The Rabyd Microphone. Miss Salty finally got to read it that day and she was upset. I think she thought I was lying about some of it, but I wasn’t. The hammer dropped. We had talked the day before about her drama class and how she was a good actress, and I mentioned I would have liked to see that. That moment she told me that I already had seen her act. That some of the things she had been doing with me were an act. I told her I didn’t believe her and started to cry. The conversation was one of me asking ‘why?’ through my tears and her going through a lot of reasons that didn’t make sense to me and still don’t. I guess in retrospect I am just a stupid old man that fell in love with the wrong woman.
The problem for me now is I still have more questions than answers. I don’t know whether she was genuine or not. I know the next day she got high and drunk. That is the actions of someone in love trying to forget it. I know I cried for the next few days and felt very close to losing it. Like my sanity. I suppose the spirit that would become The Grey Wayfarer was born at this time, and it kept me sane. It also probably helped that a few days later on Facebook she had posted a picture of her holding hands with someone else.
The questions remain: 1) Did she love me or was it truly an act? 2) Is it possible that I loved her but she didn’t love me back? She sure fooled me if that is the case. 3) What does this say about me now? 4) Will this scar in my heart ever heal? Probably not completely.
It has been a year; I still struggle with this. I suppose it is a testimony to the fact my love was genuine toward her and that makes me feel somewhat decent about the whole thing. I wasn’t acting or lying that was for sure. I wrote once that maybe she was the smart one and did what needed to be done so neither of us would face the ire of our respective families. It would have been a hard relationship for those we love. But to be with one’s soul mate? Maybe she was to me, but I wasn’t to her. I don’t know and it is this ignorance that haunts my thoughts.
All I know is my personality is such that I never truly fall out of love with any woman I have loved. I just don’t seem to have the capacity to completely kill that love or even be angry at that woman. Even with my wife, I never wished her ill or was angry enough to harm her. It was this love for my wife, as small as it was that lead me to reach out to try to reconcile. But that is the story for another The Grey and The Wayfarer. Until then maybe some of you that have taken the time to read all this can offer me some wisdom as to how to deal with my pain over this. I don’t believe time heals everything, I think this is one thing that will remain with me for the rest of my life. But is there a better way to cope?
Yes. I know I am an idiot. But it is something I struggle with. Miss Salty gave me a couple final instructions: 1) To try to find someone else and 2) focus on my writing. In the end, the second one has led to this blog: The Grey Wayfarer. But, it also means that the memory of her haunts my steps every time I write. I have lost something and I wander to find it and wonder if I ever will.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.