Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Whoa whoa whoa whoa hold the phone
So, just when I put up that post about things being pretty boring around here, I pick up the obits section of the local paper and find out an old boyfriend has died.
Where to even begin about Bob? Well, let's see, when were we involved ... I left my (ex)husband in 1989. I think I met Bob in 1990-ish. He moved in with me, and I think I moved out in 1993. So ... twenty-two years ago? My, how time does fly.
I met Bob in a bar and pursued him pretty hard, I'll be honest about that. He was tall, good-looking, funny, and had a good job at the time. By the time I found out he was also an alcoholic with a violent temper, he had already moved in. Not long after that, he got fired from his job for showing up drunk. Yeah, a real prize.
Those years with Bob were awful. I didn't have a strong enough sense of myself, after my crappy marriage, to know to just end things quickly, to cut my damn losses. I kept thinking that Bob would stop drinking, that he'd get another job, that he'd stop ... hitting me. Plus, my entire family hated Bob, and I couldn't let them be proven right, could I? Yeah, I was a dip.
Things didn't get better. Things just kept getting worse and worse. The drinking just kept getting worse, to the point where he was hiding bottles all over the place. He was drunk all the time. He started showing up to my work drunk. The hitting continued as well. And he never could hold a job for very long.
To be honest, I don't remember what the final straw was. How I finally got up the guts to walk away. There just came a day when I knew, I knew as surely as I'd ever known anything in my life, that I didn't deserve to be treated that way. That if I stayed, I'd get dragged down to his level.
So I left. It was hard. I wasn't making a lot of money at the time and had a car that barely ran, but I knew I had to get out. Oh, he begged and cried and pleaded on the phone, and he knew where I lived and he'd show up at my door at all hours, and it was awful. It was awful to wake up at two in the morning with him banging on the door, drunk and angry, yelling to be let in. But it wasn't as awful as living with him had been. Life was a picnic compared to that.
You know, he was my last long-term relationship, and I think the awfulness of that whole mess is part of the reason why I've stayed single since. I would rather, much rather, be alone that be involved with that kind of asshole ever again.
Supposedly, years after I'd left him, he sobered up, at least for a while. He had moved down to Florida, and he called me once, saying that he was doing a twelve-step program and had called to try to make amends.
I think I screamed at him for about five minutes before I finally slammed down the phone. I was angry, so angry, that I'd wasted all those years on him. All those years when I could have been doing other things, instead of covering up for his drunk, violent self. All those years when he made me feel like crap. Like I was nothing. I'll tell you what, it felt pretty damn good to yell at him on the phone, to tell him what I really felt about how he had treated me, and then hang up. I remember feeling such a sense of relief, like, finally, FINALLY, it's all over.
He died a few days ago, in Florida, of lung cancer. He was fifty-five. The obit asked for donations to be made to a local Florida charity; I looked it up on line, and it's a homeless shelter. I guess he never did manage to put his life together.
Goodbye, Bob. You asshole.