Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Marriage Series: In Good Times and in Bad

This is a super lengthy post, so feel free to grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, relax and start reading (or just skip over it entirely! ;)) *A huge chunk of this is copy and pasted from previous posts that just put our entire story together :)

It has been a LONG time since I've posted about anything of "substance" here on my blog. Don't get me current pregnancy, my children, and the everday parts of my life are SO important to me, and I try to take the time to document them here, but as far as REALLY delving into deep parts of my soul, it's been awhile. Two of the bloggers who I follow are doing a series on marriage, and when I saw what this weeks topic was, I had to link up. Although I'd venture to say this subject might be a bit "taboo" for some people, this is my life, and I NEVER miss an opportunity to share one of the worst, most trying times in my life with others, in hopes of showing people that our God is AMAZING! People can change! Every intrictate detail of life is so awesomely woven together by God that one simple "misstep" in life can change your entire path, but God makes no mistakes. So, without further rambling ;) here's my story...

I could have never imagined that I'd be "that girl". I was always so in tune with the behaviors and actions of the people around me. Even in my wild and crazy days, when I was hanging with a wild and crazy crowd, if you were "on something", I knew it! Even if I was on it too, I knew it. I had that intuition. Perhaps it was from growing up in a household where my father was a drug addict and alcoholic, who knows, but either way, I KNEW! I felt sorry for those friends of mine who were "good" (translation: didn't do drugs) and had no idea that their boyfriends were high and doing drugs. "How dumb are they?", I thought. Little did I know, I would be eating those words one day.

Manny and I started dating in the spring of 2005. He was your typical bad boy (jail time included). I was your typical good girl turned bad out of sheer desperation for attention and love. I fell hard and fast for Manny. He did drugs, I did drugs. It was just part of our relationship. Come June 2005, a mere 3 MONTHS after we started dating, I became pregnant. The drinking, drugs, smoking, everything came to a halt for me, the moment I found out I was pregnant. They slowly came to an end for Manny (or so I thought).

Fast forward...
Manny and I had been married for a little over 3 years. Things were going well (or so I thought). Manuel was 3, amazingly smart, growing like a weed, and the apple of our eyes. I was working hard as a Pricing Analyst at a mortgage company. Manny had just quit working for my stepfather's business to try and better himself and started driving a truck for a local printing company. We had just "graduated' from an apartment to a townhouse (we were still renting) and life seemed good.

One day, I randomly decided to check the bank account on-line (which I NEVER did) and noticed a $25 check written to my husbands brother (a drug addict). I called Manny and asked him why he had written his brother a check. He made up some crazy story (which I didn't believe), and I hung up the phone. I continued to scroll through the bank account and noticed several checks written to his brother, several withdraws, etc. (He did the bills and banking, at the time). I called him back and demanded answers!

Manny wept on the phone to me that he had been doing drugs (street and prescription. I had NO clue!). He couldn't stop, he needed to go away to rehab (it was THAT bad!). When we both got home from work that day the search began for an inpatient rehab that Manny could go to ASAP. We couldn't find a place that night. It was getting too late and most places needed to confirm things with our insurance and wouldn't be able to accept him until the next day.

I woke up the next morning and took Manuel to daycare and took myself to work (I'm that kind of person who is VERY much a "go to work no matter what is going on at home" type). Manny called me a few hours later to tell me that he found a place, his grandmother was taking him, and they would only take him if he came NOW! He didn't get to give me a hug and kiss goodbye. He didn't get to say goodbye to Manuel or give him a kiss. He was gone, just like that. I was going to be a single mommy, temporarily, and have to make my 3 year old think that Daddy was away at work.

How could I be SO dumb? How did I not know? And to be honest, I don't think I'll ever know the answer to those questions, but I don't dwell on it anymore. I didn't know that he was a drug addict (prescription and street), and that's all I can say! Manny was in rehab for two weeks (clearly not long enough, but we couldn't afford for him to be off work any longer). Manuel thought he was away for work and when we went to visit him (Easter Sunday) he thought the place we were visiting was where he was staying for work. Keep in mind, he was only 3 at the time, so he didn't know better (my goodness, if this happened now, he would NEVER buy it! He's SO smart) But we were separated for two weeks, Manny came home and all seemed well. He was offered his job back and of course took it. Life seemed to be going smoothly until Manny relapsed. May 11, 2009. My world was shattered! How could this be happening!??!??!?! What was I going to do???? My mom was going to be heart broken. She would be beside herself if I forgave him again and decided to stay AGAIN. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO!?!??! Here we go again...

May 12, 2009 Manny entered rehab again. This time at a hospital (to also deal with his emotional/anxiety/mental issues brought upon him by a pretty horrific childhood!) He was gone again, but this time, I was oddly okay with it. Would he get better? I had no clue, but I knew that for two weeks I did everything on my own (the first time he went away) and I COULD DO IT! This was huge for me (I am VERY much a dependent person. I always have been. My mom made my doctors appointments for me until I was 20 (well not really, but you get my point! :)) So he left, and I cried, but I was okay. I told him that HE would be the one telling everyone where he was this time. It was not up to me to pick up the pieces and tell his grandmother (who was BEYOND devastated), my mom (who was also BEYOND devastated), etc. He needed to take full responsibility for his actions and that was that. If he got better this time...good. If he didn't...good. I was okay on my own, and I would do EVERYTHING in my power to raise Manuel to be an amazing person whether Manny was part of it or not.

May 15, 2009...Manny was gone at rehab. My best friend since I was 8 was visiting (she thought Manny was on a fishing trip...only my family knew). We were hanging out, our boys were playing. My cell phone rings and it's my Aunt Kathy (my dad's sister) and I knew it couldn't be dad was gone. At the age of 59 he had died of a stroke (years of drugs and alcohol of abuse will do that to you). My dad was dead, my husband was in rehab, and my best friend was standing in front of me while I lost it! "Call Manny! He has to come home from his fishing trip! You just lost your dad." Veronica said over and over again. I couldn't muster any words. Do I keep lying? Do I tell her the truth? What to do? Finally I said it, "I can't! Manny isn't on a fishing trip, he's in rehab." Of course she stood there in shock! I don't remember exactly what happened next. I know my mom, aunt and uncle came over to comfort me (and of course Veronica stayed). Manny happened to call and I had to break the news to him. Of course he was guilt ridden that he couldn't be there for me. But he was where he needed to be. Life would have to go on. My dad was gone, but honestly, I felt peace about it. Manuel was going to miss PopPop (even though he was only 3, he and my dad were very close) but I had to be strong. I had to keep it together. And I did....

May 23, 2009...the day after my dad's memorial service I wasn't feeling well, so I took a pregnancy test. You guessed it, it was positive. My husband was a (recovering) drug addict, my dad had just died, and I'm pregnant and bringing a child into this mess (before I found out about Manny and his drug addiction, in my blissful ignorance, we had been trying to have another baby).

I had to try and make this work. IF Manny could stay sober, I owed it to my children, to God, to my husband, to myself to try and make our family work. (I understand that might be SO hard for you some of you to understand. Trust me, looking back, I don't know how I did it, but I am SO glad that I did. God knew what he was doing! :))

Almost four years have passed since Manny got sober. Too many memories and details to put in this post or it would take you DAYS to read it (if you are even still reading! :)) All I can say is that God entered our lives fully and completely, and that probably helps you fill in that four year span! :)) But I am beyond happy to say, that we are still HAPPILY married (more in love than we have EVER been!), Manuel and Mia are healthy and happy, Manny is 100% sober, we are expecting baby #3 in September and life is good. We celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversay on March 30, 2013 and I can honestly say I love him more today than I EVER have! But what makes me most happy about this entire situation, and the "silver lining" (if you will) is that I know that the cycle of addiction has ended (or at least that is the prayer from the depths of my soul). You see, my dad was an alcoholic and drug addict, so was my grandfather. Manny's dad was an alcoholic and drug addict, so was his grandfather (well not so much drugs, but drinking). Manny dealt with addiction. I went through a REALLY bad phase of drinking a lot and doing a lot of drugs (not to the point of addiction but I was doing them A LOT). I DO NOT WANT THAT FOR MY CHILDREN, EVER! And I honestly think, that the cycle of addiction is OVER! My children will grow up in a household where they go to church, love God, Mommy and Daddy are sober and healthy, etc. And I know anything can happen, BUT, I pray that the cycle of addiction is over!

Thank you God!

Thank you for reading (if you still are! :))

 The love of my life!
 The most amazing father a child could ask for! :)

Daddy giving Mia a "knuckle sandwich" at lunch yesterday :)


Courtney B said...

I seriously admire you two SO much! Such a strong couple to have made it through so much adversity! And look at the beautiful life you share together and your darling kids. So blessed!

Jackie said...

You are both so strong. I admire you SO much for sticking by Manny and helping him through!