Sunday, December 31, 2006

Remembering 2006

What an amazing year this has been.

The most important thing that happened to me this year was when I married the woman of my dreams, Tara Lynn Ray or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott. I couldn't have been happier and felt like all my dreams had come true.

Later in the year, I left my job at a major wireless carrier and went to work for her brother-in-law. I was really hesitant to go because I was concerned that his business would not be able to support me. After much thought, I decided to go because it meant I would be closer to my family and at home more. I really enjoyed that experience, but it was short lived. A few months later, I was no longer able to continue working for her brother-in-law.

I had been wanting to go back into business for myself as I had previously been self-employed and was successful at it but had been reluctant to because of some personal problems I had. I decided to make a go of it now that I was unemployed and sought my wife's support and opened the new business.

Despite the fact that I absolutely adored Tara and was happier than I had ever been, I did a lot of things wrong in our marriage. I would explain and rationalize everything away and did not realize how much some of my actions were hurting Tara and how they were sending the wrong signals about my commitment to her. At that time, in my mind, most of the problems we were having were her fault. I mean I could explain them objectively to other people and they almost always agreed with me. Little did I realize that I was wrong in almost every one of them and I was rapidly eroding the love that she had for me.

In early November, Tara did the bravest thing that could be imagined. She had the courage to insist that I leave despite the difficulties she would again face as a single mother, an unemployed one at that. I don't blame her one bit for the decisions that she made. I didn't realize that at the time and I was really hurt by her decision and unfortunately, I reacted very poorly and did a lot of harm in the time that followed our separation.

In the process, I've also lost my step-children. I had begun to accept them as if they were my own children. Unfortunately, in Louisiana, step-parents do not have any legal rights to visitations or otherwise so I have to accept Tara's decisions not to allow me to be a part of their life anymore. But its like an empty spot in my life now. It's like suffering the death of a loved one or of several loved ones all at once.

Though its been extremely difficult, I've come to accept Tara's decision that our marriage is over with. I do regret however that we had not parted peacefully. Tara wasn't just my wife and lover, but I viewed her like my friend and confidant. Tara and I are two very different people and that made the marriage difficult. I wish that in separating I had been more reasonable and understanding and had not lost my friend in the process. If I'd of just respected her decision from the start, I probably would be able to pick up the phone and ask her how her day went and be comforted by her voice. I don't know if the harm I've done can ever be repaired enough to make that a possibility some day.

One of the losses I suffered this year is not just Tara, but her family as well. I truly miss all of her family. I still talk very occasionally to my brother in law, but even that has been strained as of late. I do now understand why her family is so mad at me. Every time I've hurt Tara, I've hurt them. But I truly miss the cups of coffee with Tara's grandmother and spending the afternoons sitting on the porch with Tara's parents and family. Though I suppose we were never that close, I miss my other sister in law and her children and her husband. I miss my baby niece who I saw today and is growing so fast and hate that I'll only get a glimpse of her on Sunday's when we cross in church. I miss Tara's parents. I remember how much they seemed to like me when I first got involved with Tara and hate that I've managed to erode their trust and belief in me. I will miss ringing in the new year with her family tonight. I was there for the last two years and really enjoyed it.

My biggest regret for the year however is for what I've done to both her children and to my children. I know that her children loved me very much. No matter how well they are doing, I know they miss me. And I really miss them. It just kills me to not be able to see them or talk to them or even to get pictures of them from Tara. I also regret how much this has impacted my children. They were really close to Tara and to their step brothers. Even a full month (almost two now) later they ask almost daily when they will get to see or talk to or play with their step brothers again.

Until today, I've continually said that I have no regrets and even knowing what I know today, I'd still marry Tara again (of course I'd hope to do some things differently). But, a revelation came to me today. Sometimes when you love someone, the best thing you can do is to let them free. If I had it to do over again today, I think that I would not marry Tara over again. It's not because I don't absolutely love her or want to be with her. It's because I know that I hurt her and if doing with out her means that I could escape hurting her that way, I would choose that. And that is probably one of the toughest things that I could ever have come to realize or say.

I doubt Tara will ever see or read this. And by the rare chance that she would, I know she won't believe it. But I do hope and believe that Tara is or will be free from the pain that I've caused her and I hope that in time she will see, not by my words, but by my true actions and changes that I am trustworthy of her friendship. But that has to be in Tara and in God's timing. I don't have an open window right now to show her the differences in my life and she doesn't have a window to discover them on her own. Only time and God can heal those wounds and open that window. And I trust, in time that he will.

And that doesn't mean that I've given up hope. I don't believe there is anything that I could do to bring Tara and I back together again. I don't believe there is anything I can do to bring our children together again either. But I still hold on to hope that we will be able to part peacefully and that our children do not have to be victims in our feud. I also hope that some day Tara will be comfortable enough to let me call on her once in a while just to see how she is doing and how her children are doing. For now, I'm focused on changing myself so that if I ever get that chance, I won't blow it so badly like I did before.

So 2006 has been a very eventful year for me. It has marked the best thing that has ever happened to me and it has also marked the very worst thing that I have endured in my entire life. And it is in these realizations and in hindsight that I absolutely know that 2007 will be a banner year and holds great things for me.

Well, I'm off to write a few more posts for my other blogs and then I'm headed over to my friends house for New Years dinner with her mom and to ring in the new year. I'll see you next year and will kick off the year by sharing my New Years Goals, Dreams and Prayers.

David and Goliath: Revelation

Today's church sermon was very powerful. Pastor Jay preached on expecting BIG things for 2007. And that was right up my alley since I'm working on following my dreams once again and am truly expecting BIG things in the upcoming weeks, months and years.

He preached from Samuel and talked about David and Goliath. Near the end of the service, he talked about us facing our own Goliaths. I went to church today to be freed from a sinful grip that remains in my life and I walk out certain that I'm freed from it.

Although my past week or so has been immensely better, the month prior was probably some of the worst times I've experienced in my life. The message I got this morning BEFORE I went to church was "Be still and know that I am God." See, this is particularly relevant because until a week or two ago, I've been trying to do anything I can to get changes in my personal circumstances and they've all backfired on me. I've hurt the very people I'm trying to reach and show love to and I've done it time and time again.

At church however, as Pastor Jay was speaking about facing our Goliaths, I was lumping some of my personal problems such as my divorce in that group. But then God convicted me and showed me something I really didn't want to see. But in hindsight, I'm glad he did.

What God showed me was that I had become a Goliath to others. This stopped me dead in my tracks. And the more I began to think about it, the more I realized how true it was. If I don't turn to him (back to "be still and know that I am God" and put my situation in his hands and stop trying to change it myself), I will be knocked down and defeated.

So for me, that also means that I am my own Goliath. That means that I must focus on myself and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. I was already realizing this slowly over the past month through my counseling and coaching and books I've been reading, but today really was a wake up call that drove that home.

I really do believe that 2007 is the year of BIG things. I've had a lot of great things happening in the past week or so and there's no reason to believe that things will not continue to improve. And I am believing for miracles in many different ways.

But I have to stop trying to change others and I have to stop looking to God to change others. The changes need to happen in me. And as only the Lord knows, I need a lot of changing. I've made so many positive changes in me in the past weeks and many people around me are starting to see it and even comment on it. But even as much as I've improved, there is still so much left in me that needs further refining and improvement.

I know that the remaining changes that are needed in me will happen in the upcoming days and weeks and months and that a new improved me will emerge. I couldn't be more encouraged that the changes which have already occurred in me have been so evident to those closest to me that they are seeing them and acknowledging them without me needing to tell them about the changes or point them out. But I also know that despite how far I have come, I still have plenty of faults and a long ways to go.

I just wish that I had made these realizations much earlier. I did a lot of things that I truly regret. The more I wanted to show people that I cared and loved them, the more I lashed out and hurt them and convinced them of the opposite. My soul grieves the pain that I've caused to some that I care the most about. I wish I had a way to express in actions how truly sorry and regretful I am because I know how little the words themselves will mean. But since I don't know how to show that, I'll have to merely "be still" and I will have to know that God IS.

Offbeat: Colorgenics

I don't normally do these sort of things, but this site has a color based test where you look at a series of cubes and then select the color that you feel most in harmony with. You then click the next color that you are most in harmony with and so on until you have selected all of the cubes. Once you are done, it provides you with a color profile.

So I tried it and the profile it generated was amazingly accurate. Try it for yourself here: The Amazing World of Colorgenics

Once you've taken the test, post back in the comments how it went for you. Was it accurate or not? Include a few excerpts from the results that most closely match you. I'll post at a later date what my results were.

Tara and the Kids

Today was the first church service that I've gotten through without crying. My wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott to Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray was there and was absolutely beautiful as she always is. She sat on the other end of the same row that I was on but didn't say a word to me. I would love to have gone over and to have told her hi and wished her a Happy New Year, but I'm afraid that wouldn't have be welcomed right now.

Timothy and Job did walk over and talk with her. Scott did not want to. I think he is still upset. The last time he called to talk with their step brothers, Tara did not answer her phone. He called back and left a message and she never had them call back. It was days later that I was served with a petition for a protective order and so I've not let him try since. Of course the protective order was dismissed because there was insufficient grounds, but she's not indicated that it would be okay for me or for the kids to call.

I'm not sure what she told the children, but since we left the service, Job has asked three times if he could call and talk to their step-brothers. I really wish that he could, but the situation is so hostile right now that I fear if I even try and call to ask her if it will be okay, she would call the police and claim I'm harassing her.

Anyway, this morning was a very powerful service. God revealed something to me this morning (about me) that really made me feel bad and will be the beginning of some more positive changes in my life. I have some writing to do for my other blogs and I'll return later to post in more detail on the church service this morning. I'm also waiting to hear from my friend at work. Her mom is in town from Costa Rica and she mentioned to me last night that she would like me to meet her mom.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Won My First Game

Well, I played my first live no limit texas hold'em game tonight.

I really enjoy No Limit Texas Hold'em. I've study the game at length and believe that with a bit of practice, I could be a very solid player. I'm not talking about a pipe dream of playing a few games and then being a pro. I have spent hundreds of hours studying the game and learning to calculate odds, etc. Far more effort probably than most people who "dream" of making it at poker will ever put in.

Before I got married, I told my wife about my dream of being a poker player. I told her how I had studied and how I probably would never be a champion but thought I could do good with local tournaments and an occassional casino game. I explained the risks and told her how I had turned $25 into hundreds of dollars playing online and how I consistently won and used statistical analysis software to track my hands and keep track of whether I was winning or losing. I explained to her how I would never risk a dime more than the $25 I had already put in and asked for her blessings and acceptance of this dream.

After we married, she took issue with my playing. It wasn't because she thought it was wrong to play, it was because it took away from time I could have been spending with her. I pretty much gave the game up right then and there with only an occasional and brief play after that. And she was right, I played the game way too much. I never resented giving up the online playing, but still wanted to make a poker night every once in a while. I kept getting invited to games but could never get freed up to go.

Recently however, a new law was enacted that makes it illegal for banks to transfer money to and from these online poker sites and so I have not played online since.

I went and played a live game tonight for the first time ever. I will need a good bit of practice to get good at it. Playing with live people is a lot different then playing online. But that said, I pretty much had a read on the other players within the first few hands and did very well. In fact I won the game. I am proud of myself since two of the players were very experienced. One of them hosts a 27 seat tournament once per month. The other one hosts a near weekly game.

I was really pleased to get the chance to get out and play. I can't wait to play again.

Last Night

I had an absolute blast last night. It's the first time I've gone out in a long time. I don't think my parents were too thrilled that I came back in after 4 AM.

My family and kids are headed to Shreveport today to do the Christmas thing with my Dad's family. I decided not to go because I don't feel like having to deal with everyone expressing their sympathy to me that I've lost yet another wife. Last time I went there, I was told that they were all hoping this marriage would work out better than my prior marriages.

When they were packing to go, Timothy asked me where their step brother's gifts were at. I told him that I had put them in storage because it will probably be a long time before I get to give them to him. He didn't ask any other questions about it which was good for me because I'm having a hard time making excuses for why things are the way they are. Scott got real quiet after that and sort of withdrew. I hate seeing my kids like this. I've been debating on whether or not I should put him into counseling because he seams to be taking this the hardest. When Job went say hi to Tara Lynn Ray or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Scott at church, I told Scott it was okay for him to go but he said he didn't want to. I think he's kinda mad because he was told that he could call and talk to his step brother and play Star Wars with him but he's not been able to.

My diet is also off to a good start. I'm now only 30 pounds away from sky diving and 115 pounds away from my goal (that's down from 35 and 120 when I started). I can't wait to get myself in better shape than I am today. I have a long ways to go but I'm already starting to feel like I can take on the world.

I'm really looking forward to the no limit texas hold'em poker game this evening. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time. In the mean time, I'll go work on the new blog I started. I have a lot of things to post there.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Major Company Change

On a different note, at&t, inc. received approval today for the BellSouth merger. This means that Cingular and will be consolidated into the single company.

Cingular will be dropping its name in favor of the at&t brand in the upcoming months. It'll be sad to see such a well known brand like Cingular disappear. Fortunately, for its customer, this will be nothing more than a name/logo change. There are no networks to integrate or billing systems to change or phones to upgrade.

This will be the second merger that I've been through with this company and I'm excited about the prospects this holds. I think it bodes well for the future of employees of all of the companies. No doubt some changes will occur and change can be uncomfortable, but in the end, I think it will be for the better. It'll be very interesting to see what the future holds.

Well, I'm off to shoot some pool and have a good time, something I haven't done in quite a while.

Star Wars, Counselors and Apartments

Today is off to a slower start than yesterday, but I've already knocked a few items off of my list.
The one area I'm not having any success in is apartment hunting. Everything in Lafayette and surrounding areas is booked solid. Even places I'm trying further out like Opelousas either have waiting lists or no openings and don't maintain waiting lists. It is looking more and more like I may end up back in Krotz Springs. That's going to be a difficult thing, particularly since I'm sure it will be completely misinterpreted by my wife.

Because I'm having such a good week, I've decided not to schedule a counseling appointment this week (will be the first week I've not seen my counselor since my separation). I'm also not going to schedule time with Mort. At $300/hr, I just can't afford to keep doing this.

This leaves me with no outlet for my thoughts so I would expect activity at this blog will pick up in the upcoming days and weeks. I am also starting two additional blogs to detail other aspects of things I am going through. I think I would really prefer to share my thoughts with someone in person, but for the past couple of years, my wife was really the only person I spoke with. Since I don't have that anymore, I opt for these blogs as my outlet to express my emotions and vent now and then.

The only real difficulty I encountered this morning was when my oldest son asked me again when he could play Star Wars with his step-brother. I just told him I don't know. I really wish I had not told him that Tara Lynn Ray or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Scott said it would be okay for him to play with his step-brother sometimes.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Progress Today

This afternoon was a very productive day for me. At my job, they have not yet been able to provide me with logins so I don't have access to a computer, e-mail or otherwise. I've been helping where I can, but what I can do is very limited since all of the work there is computer based.

I have an unusual memory where I can remember certain types of information and things I've read with amazing accuracy and detail for years and even decades to come. I could literally quote back paragraphs from important texts I've read 10 years ago and would do so with 90 - 95% of the original wording in tact and precise. So people assume I'm incredibly intelligent. I heard the phrases "smartest manager" and "he knows everything" and "if he doesn't know, no one will" at least a dozen times today (without exaggeration).

But I have a really hard time remembering certain other types of information such as things I need to do and places I need to go. In that regards, I could literally be told to do something every day and forget to do it 100 days in a row. This side of me can be really frustrating to others and you'd think I was mentally challenged. In fact, this was a thorn in my relationship because the very first thing that went wrong that I'm aware of was me legitimately forgetting to do something and my wife interpreted it as though I was avoiding doing it. I really had no objections whatsoever to doing what she was asking, I just struggled to remember to do it in a time and manner when I was actually able to get it done (I would be reminded and remember all the time when I was not in a position to actually do it).

So to counter this, at least to some degree, I keep a task list. In the past, it would not be uncommon for the list to have 50 - 70 items on it pretty steadily. It was typical for me to complete 5 - 10 per day and work on an additional 5 or so. Some of the items on the list are dependant on the completion of other items and simply cannot be started or done until another item is completed. Some other items on the list are future dated and cannot be started until some time in the future. Some other items can be started but then have to wait on someone else before they can be finished and I have no direct control over the time it takes to complete those tasks.

And its not uncommon for me to add 5 - 10 items per day to the list. The items on the list can range from the very simple (like updating an address with a creditor) to very complex items that take months to complete (I often try to break these out in a series of tasks, but that's not always reasonable). So the list is never done. It's literally a living thing. This is what keeps me going.

The item that was so important to my wife was on my list back then. But at work we stayed so busy that I could not work on the list while I was at work. And that particular task had to be done at work. I remembered it needed to be done at least 3 - 5 times per day, but never would remember when I was in a position to actually do it. So she thought it wasn't important to me. In hindsight, if I had it to do over again, I'd of found a way, somehow to get it done. I'm not sure exactly how I'd of accomplished that but I would. I never meant to give my wife the impression that it wasn't important to me. It's just a flaw that is inherent in me and I tried to make her aware of that before we married.

After I got married, many of my dreams were incompatible with things my wife had expressed. I wanted to adjust them and blend them into her dreams, but I could never figure out what exactly it was that she dreamed. And I ended up stagnant and abandoned my list pretty early on. I should have never disrespected myself in that way. And now, looking back, I can't blame her for kicking my sorry butt out. I can't imagine how absolutely unattractive it must have been, being married to someone who was dead in the water. I think one of the things that she was attracted to was my ambitions.

But I can't keep disrespecting myself this way. So I got back on track this week. I started working on some old dreams and some new ones as well. My list really ballooned today to a total of 107 items. But because I have virtually no access to systems at work, I tried to help reps on the floor and between those interactions, I worked on my list. I'm so proud of myself because I managed to complete 55 items from the list. Of the 52 that remain, I started on 8 of them. Several of the items in the list are waiting on other people or events and/or cannot be started until some future date or time.

But none the less, I feel like I conquered the world today. I have people looking up to me. I already have people talking about wanting to go into business with me. I'm seeing more and more of the old Scott and I'm liking that. And being busy helps me to keep my mind off of other things that are going on right now. I'm sure my wife is experiencing some relief that I've not written or called or tried to get in touch with her. And I'm sure she needs that so she can be strong about moving on.

I'm absolutely looking forward to tomorrow. I found copies of the old list that I maintained before I stopped keeping a list. I will go through it and may integrate some of those items or variants into the new list. No doubt it will go up by a lot of items again tomorrow. I'm sure I will be able to knock a pretty good number out, but I doubt it will be anywhere near the 55 that I completed today. A lot of the items remaining simply will take time and so the quantity of items on the list is not necessarily an indicator of a lack of progress.

And afterwards tomorrow, I'll be going out to play pool and have drinks and do who knows what else afterwards. Saturday I'll be able to make my first ever live no limit texas hold'em game. I'm glad to be able to hold my head up high and respect myself. I just wish I'd of realized how bottom I had hit and done something about it before I hurt the people I cared about, namely my wife and her kids and my kids.

Dr. Smalley suggests that I should thank Tara for having the courage and taking the difficult steps to take such a drastic measure as to throw me out. At first I thought he was nuts, but I'm starting to think he's right. I doubt I'll ever get to tell her that, but none the less there seams to be some wisdom to what he says.

Missing The Step-Kids

Monday night really marked a turning point for me and I've had such an incredible week since then. I can't remember any time in my past where I've been more excited about what the future holds than I am right now. I really enjoyed last night and I've been invited to go shoot pool and have drinks with my former reps on Friday. I have also been invited to a no limit texas hold'em poker game on Saturday. I have been wanting to get involved in those games for a long time and have been unable to so I'm excited to finally have the chance.

So this week has been great so far, but I'm a little down today. I need to go put my step children's Christmas gifts from me into storage. I contemplated returning them for refunds but just can't bring myself to do it. I feel like I would be taking away from the children even though I know that I'm unlikely to be able to give the gifts to them anytime soon. I keep having these visions of having to wait until they are 18 and then giving them the gifts and letting them know that I have been waiting 10 years to give the gifts to them and to tell them that I miss them and love them.

I think about my step-children a lot. I wonder how they are enjoying their time out of school. I wonder what gifts they got for Christmas. I wonder if my youngest step child ever learned his ABC's. I wonder if they ever ask about me or my children.

I was remembering earlier in my relationship with Tara when I would be outside and the kids would tackle me and drag me to the ground and jump on me. Sometimes it would be six kids tackling me and dragging me to the ground and climbing on me and jumping on me. They would laugh and laugh and laugh and finally back off and let me get up just so they could do it again. I know a picture exists of the children piled on top of me but I cannot find it in the pictures I have. I would ask Tara or her family to send me a copy of that picture, but I doubt they'd even take my call at this point.

After I place the gifts in storage, I need to put my name on the waiting lists for more apartments. So far every place I've applied for in Lafayette and surrounding areas is telling me that there is a 3 to 6 month waiting list. I don't have a place to stay that long while I'm waiting. I've already had to spend a few nights in hotels. I found a house in Krotz Springs that I can rent and is ready for me to move into right away. I was trying to avoid that because I was afraid that Tara and her family would misinterpret my actions and think I was moving there to annoy her, but if something doesn't open up in Lafayette soon, I may not have a choice.

I'm worried however that this will just make it harder on my kids. How do I explain to them that we are just a few blocks from their step-brothers and their step-mother and their Mawmaw Rose and Pawpaw Danny but that they can't go see them. I am having a hard enough time explaining why they can't even call and talk to their step-brothers after they were told they could. I accept that Tara ss angry at me and I deserve that but I just cannot comprehend how or why people can just turn their backs on children. I'm doing a lot better now and my future looks better than it has in a long time, but getting my children to focus on good things ahead instead of on why they can't talk to or see their step-brothers has eluded me. Job keeps asking when he can mail his letter to Ms. Tara. I'm not sure what to tell him anymore.

So while I have a lot positive to do today and a lot to look forward to, I'm not as euphoric as I had been for the last two days. I guess once I make myself busy with tasks on my list and start pursuing my dreams again it'll keep my mind off of my step children and my day will go okay.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Another Day, Off To A Great Start

Today is turning out to be much like yesterday. I got up early this morning and began looking through my list of things to do. I also added a few new items to the list.

I spent a little time inquiring about apartments around town. I am already on several waiting lists, but figured it can't hurt to get my name on more of them. I'm changing my sights somewhat and looking at some nicer apartments on the south side of town.

I also made a call to Harley Davidson of Baton Rouge and got information on their New Riders Education course. It will probably be a month or two before I schedule the course, but I want to take it so I can get my motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license. Later in the year, once I get re-established, I'm going to buy a motor cycle, something I've been threatening to do for a long time.

Overall, this morning went well and I'm in fairly good spirits. The only difficult moment I had was when my oldest son Scott asked when he would get to play Star Wars online with his step-brother. I had already told him before that his step-mother promised to let them play occasionally, but she has reneged on that. I'm trying my best not to portray Tara as the evil step-mother, but I'm at a loss for what to tell him. I can't really find any justification for her to take her anger against me out on her or my children. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have told him that she said he would be able to, but I had no reason to believe at that time that Tara would not keep her word.

Well, its off to work for me. I'm looking particularly forward to going out with some of my former reps for dinner and drinks this evening.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Alive Again

Last night, I did quite a bit of thinking. In fact once my wheels got turning, I barely slept and was early to rise again this morning. I felt alive in a way last night that I've not felt in a long time. In fact, I've not felt this way in quite a while.

I used to keep a list of things that I needed to do. Many of them were small single tasks that I needed to complete such as updating an address with a particular firm or completing a piece of paperwork. Others were items that needed to be completed in a chain of events to accomplish some larger goal. This list had always kept me on task and kept me headed towards my ambitions. It was not uncommon for the list to be 100 or more items long in the past. And each day, I would work on it. Some days I might only complete 2 or 3 items on the list. Other days I might complete 10 or 15. And every day new items go on the list. In fact many times completing an item meant that the next step towards the larger goal needed to be added to the list.

So why is this significant? Because for the first time in at least a year, I was able to dream big again. Suddenly my desire to finish school and apply to law school is on the radar screen again. The hopes of starting a business is on the horizon. Finishing my private pilot's license is suddenly something I can see myself doing this year. And today I began searching property listings and ads. This one might be a bit further off, but I am looking to have purchased a house before I start law school.

I also made a commitment to myself to get serious and determined on my diet and health. My chest pains over the holidays really scared me and I realized that had it been something severe I would have been all alone in the hospital. I don't want that. So my ultimate goal is to weigh 165. That's a long ways off. I need to lose almost 120 pounds to get there, but for the first time in a while I have absolutely no doubts that I will make it. And to give me an intermediate goal, I want to go sky diving and need to lose just under 35 pounds to get there. I can't wait until I can go for my first sky dive. No doubt, many more will follow after that.

Work went a lot better today to. I walked in glowing and smiling big and full of energy. Several people around me noticed the difference and made comments. Many of them haven't seen me smiling this way in a long time. And tomorrow night, several of my former reps are taking me out for dinner and drinks. I'm looking forward to this welcomed distraction from all that is going on. This will be the first time that I've gone out for my own benefit in quite a while.

I really felt alive today. Its been a long time since I've felt that way. The only regrets that I had today are that I'm really missing my step-children and my children are struggling with the same.

I am actually looking forward to tomorrow. I can't wait to continue working on the list and see what gets added to it tomorrow. It feels great to be alive again!

I Wish Things Had Gone Differently

Each day at least one of my children ask me about their step-brothers or step-mother. They sometimes ask if they can write a letter. They sometimes ask if they can call. My oldest son asks if we can go visit with their step-brothers.

When they ask me, they know the answer without me needing to say a word. They know the answer by my expressions. But it pains me so to not be able to give them a reason as to why they cannot.

I understand that my wife doesn't want to talk to me or see me. I've come even to accept that. I just wish that the kids could have stayed out of the anger and bitterness that ensued when this divorce started. I know its not too late for this to be salvaged and hope and pray that the children do not have to continue to suffer for the sins of their father and step-dad.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Step-Children

Merry Christmas!

I sit here this morning with tears rolling down my face because my Christmas will be incomplete without being able to tell the two of you that I love you and miss you and being able to wish you a Merry Christmas.

I hope you realize that this is not your fault and it is not anything that you have done wrong. I love both of you and your mom very much. Daddy Scott was hurting in many ways and sick and did not realize it until it was too late, until Mom (Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray) decided it was too late.

I'm not being allowed to speak to you or even see photos of your birthdays or how you are doing or even if you are okay. You have gifts under our tree that sit here unopened because I can't get them to you. So I have to settle for this, putting a tribute to you over the web. I doubt you'll ever see this, but if some day you do, know that I love you and miss you. The things in life worth having are worth fighting for and I will never stop missing you or loving you or fighting to let you know that.

Please know that my boys miss you and love you as well.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Wish

Some people think long and hard about what they want for Christmas. I really don't have to think at all. What I really want, I already know I won't get.

Then there's the rational side of me that says to be more reasonable with my wish. To ask for something that I might actually get. I guess it would be reasonable to wish for a sign that peace is near. But even that I believe is probably an unreasonable expectation on my part. And so I'm sure my Christmas wish this year will go unfilled, but here it is none the less.

I wish only to see a sign that my divorce will not continue to be a bitter war and that my wife and I can split peacefully. I wish perhaps that I'd be caught off guard by a text message just wishing me a Merry Christmas from my beautiful wife. I wish that my children would have the chance to tell her children Merry Christmas. Such a simple thing and yet I'm certain it won't happen. I don't want cars or diamonds or millions of dollars. Just an olive branch of peace.

But I'm afraid there will be no olive trees this year for a branch to be plucked from and so my already ruined Christmas will deny me even the simplest of wishes. And since I'm convinced that my wife cares not enough even to grant this simple wish, I don't even ask.

So I lay here in pain for yet another Christmas. But I find relief finally that my emotional pain is beginning to give way for physical pain. I began experiencing chest pains a few hours ago. It feels like my chest is being twisted and wrung out like a wet towel. I've have several bouts lasting about 30 minutes each and getting worse each time. The last time, the pain spread to my arms (particularly underneath in the armpit area) and to my neck. I almost felt as if someone was squeezing my neck and choking me. The last bout left me hurting underneath my jaw as well, something I've never experienced before, at least not in that way.

But sadly, this recent physical pain has been a relief. It has numbed my emotional pain as I lay here wondering if it is stress induced from all that has happened or signs of something more serious. I find myself wondering increasingly if it will simply pass or if I my poor healthy might finally be catching up with me. As I try to nap, I even find myself wondering if I will wake again. I'm trying not to let my mind wonder in that direction because my boys need me. But I lack the will or strength or even the desire to alert anyone or do anything about it. I suppose if the pain gets bad enough, I'll take a few pain pills and try to rest until it passes.

Woke Up Dead

I woke up dead this morning as I knew I would.

My children asked this morning if they would get to see their step-brothers and bring their Christmas gifts. I broke down and cried in front of my sons and was unable to answer. I could tell by my oldest son's expression that he knew he would likely never see or speak to his step-brother's again.

I saw my wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray in church this morning. She was absolutely stunning as she always is. Once again I wished so much that I could tell her how beautiful she looked. I used to send her text messages all the time that said that. I could send her one now since there is no restraining order, but I won't. I know she won't understand or even appreciate that I am trying to show her the respect that she refuses to show me.

And even now that I am dead, I died more today in church. I tried my best to keep my composure and not break down but I cried several times throughout service. I tried to focus in on worshiping God and forgetting about my wife, but the harder I tried, the more I cried.

And what could she possibly be thinking? Probably that I'm a big wimp. Crying like a baby. She won't understand why I don't just forget about her and move on. And I don't expect she ever will. I don't suspect she will even care. I wonder where I could have been so wrong in the things that I believed about her. I imagine that she probably sits there and chuckles and is glad that she has hurt me so and that she continues to hurt me.

So the biggest injury I sustain today is seeing my beautiful wife there in church and not even being able to tell her Merry Christmas or mail to her a Christmas card. I know that I can, legally anyway. But as I said before, even though she won't appreciate it, I'm choosing to show her the respect that she refuses to show to me.

And I feel like I've hurt my own children the most. Against my better judgment I mixed them with other kids they absolutely came to view as their own brothers. They accepted my wife and her family as their own. She doesn't even ask how they are doing. She appears in church and won't even walk over and say high to the children. She'll ask superficially if one of them approach her. I used to wonder if she thought about the kids or missed them, but instead I'm left wondering if she ever cared about them to begin with. I'm also surprised that her family has not so much as asked how the kids are doing or sent a Christmas card or otherwise. I suppose it was unrealistic for me to believe that my children mattered to anyone.

After church I had to kneel before my kids and hug them and told them I was sorry that I ran off another woman that they loved. I just hugged them tight and cried for a while. I wish they didn't see me this way, but I just can't hold it together.

And so I'm lost for words to describe how I feel. I am beyond dead. The best I can think of is decaying. What was left of me now decomposes and the few signs that ever there was life continue to fade.

Children Fading Away

I woke this morning and as my children were inspecting gifts under the tree, one of them asked me if they were going to see their step-brothers so that they could give their gifts to them.

I immediately broke down and began to cry. I do not know how to tell them that because of the sins of their father, they will likely never see or speak to their step-brothers again. I don't know how to tell them that the woman they called mother does not care enough about them to ask how they are doing or wish them a Merry Christmas. I was silent and as tears rolled down my face, I saw my son's lips quivering. Though I've not yet told him, he knows.

And so today, I woke up dead and sadly, I fear my children are fading away too.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Emotions: Perhaps Today Is A Good Day To Die

I sit here today, slowly dying. My identity, my soul, my heart and all that I am.

These holidays will be perhaps the worst I have ever sustained. To not be able to hear the words Merry Christmas or mail a card to the person I love is an injury I cannot describe. Legally, I could mail the card if I choose, but I will instead show the respect that I have been denied. I doubt it will be understood, realized, or appreciated, but I will none the less.

I ask myself why things are the way they are? Things could have gone so differently. Had I just been asked, just been treated with respect, I would have given just about anything, done just about anything.

And I was too much a coward to sit back and wait for the truce. Instead I fired back and destroyed any hope that might have remained. And so today, I am destroyed by my own weapons.

No doubt, a body, a blob of flesh will awaken tomorrow and breath and walk and be alive by all definitions, but I will be no longer.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Basic Dignity and Respect

It seems to me that no matter the justification or not, for some reason people simply cannot terminate relationships while allowing the other person to maintain a basic level of dignity and respect. So far, I’m batting 3-0 on this one.

When this relationship began and looked like it would take serious turns, I expressed to my then future wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray, my concerns about mixing the children too early. I told her then that my children had been abandoned twice before in bitter divorces and that I wanted to make sure this would not be a repeat of that situation. She assured me that she would never do that to me or my children and pushed to mix the kids, probably sooner than I would have on my own.

I expressed while we were dating how important it was to me to be in a relationship where we would not simply cut our losses and run the first time the going got tough. I had been through two bitter divorces before. And my then future wife spent almost two years trying to convince me that she would not be like my prior wives in this regard.

In fact, I have an absolute dislike for the holidays. It seems that year after year I go through one family tragedy after another. And this again was yet one more thing my wife swore she would never do to me and yet I’m sitting here just a few days before Christmas and I cannot even mail her a Christmas card or send a text message to say Merry Christmas. My children made cards for her kids and I can’t even let them mail them.

And all of this is for what? My best guess is that this has been a control issue from the moment we were married. Some of the counseling I have received suggests the same as well. The idea is that most of what has happened since we have been broken up has been an effort to exert control over me and the situations.

But in the end, what bothers me about this the most I suppose is that she absolutely refuses to treat me with a basic level of dignity and respect. And it really started the moment that she insisted I leave. The sad thing is, I don’t think my wife really understands that she could have just about anything she wants from me if she just asked for it with a basic tone of dignity and respect.

And the ways in which I was denied a basic level of dignity and respect are numerous, too many in fact to list them all here. When she initially insisted that I leave, she threatened me at that time. I’m not talking about threatening as in “leave or else.” We’re talking threats to destroy me financially and otherwise. In fact, she threatened to call Child Protective Services on me if I didn’t give her what she wanted. She never would give me a reason for this threat and just reminded me that she had something to hold over me.

When I called to ask if we could separate property civilly, she made unreasonable demands. She insisted that she not be held responsible for community debt but insisted that I divide with her the funds I had including funds that existed outside of the community. When I tried to tell her that she was being unreasonable and insisted that I wanted to peacefully settle this in a way that was fair to both of us, she threatened to ruin me and to ruin a business that I was trying to start.

I reasoned that this was all done in anger and have been asking her since to settle property division with me; however she has completely refused to even discuss it with me. I even explained that it was important to me that this get settled quickly because of a business I was trying to start, and she has refused. In the end, I was forced to abandon my hopes of starting a business because she wouldn't work to settle property. The sad thing is, I lost a business before in a divorce and once again here, my wife insisted that she would never do that to me. Fortunately, in this case, the business was only weeks old and had no real momentum at the time we separated, but none the less, I've needlessly lost another business in a divorce.

The sad reality of this is, I would probably have offered whatever she wanted to settle the property peacefully and without lawyers, but my wife has resisted. Her initial demands seemed unreasonable, but that was in the heat of the moment. Unreasonable as they may be, I might have agreed later in a civil conversation just for the point of reaching a quick and civil solution. So instead, now most of my funds are exhausted with a fair bit of it going to attorneys and we’ll be left with a community debt and I’ll be forced to seek her to accept her share of those debts.

I voluntarily offered my wife some monetary support to assist her with Christmas. I asked for her account number and offered to deposit it directly to her account. I did not think she would hesitate on this because this is the same manner that she used to collect child support from her ex husband. Instead she told me to mail it. Thinking that she probably needed the money fairly urgently, I sent it by third party. I was shocked when she refused to even acknowledge to me whether or not she had received the check.

She decided to file for an abuse prevention order. Her reasoning is because I was emotionally abusing her because I would not stop contacting her. The sad thing is she never even asked me to stop mailing letters or writing.

She also took issue with a website I opened up that described the arrest of her ex husband against very serious accusations. Of course she doesn’t realize that I had posted the information a month prior, the day before we broke up on a different address. But in a moment of frustration, I posted it to a more appropriate address and pointed it out to her. She took issue with some of the information that I had posted there. She never asked me to take it down or change it or expressed to me why it offended her so much.

As I mentioned above, the sad reality is that in each and every of the above scenarios, my response might have been materially different if I had been treated with a basic level of dignity and respect. There was nothing in our separation or breakup that prevents us from having a basic and civil line of communications open. I can understand if she doesn’t want to be best of friends and doesn’t want to chat for 30 minutes at a time. But I’m unsure why it is so offensive to her that I pick up the phone and ask how she’s doing and how the children are doing and if she needs anything. I don’t understand what is so wrong with wanting to wish her a Merry Christmas.

See, in the breakup, her threats to do harm to me set the tone for everything that followed.

If she had been willing to talk about property division, we’d of already settled things and would be waiting for a judge to sign a stipulated judgment at this time. Instead, our attorneys will get far more than either of us will ever get in a settlement and we’re likely to engage in a bitter battle over the few pennies and bills that remain.

If she had been willing to simply acknowledge that she had or had not yet received a check sent to her via a 3rd party, not only would she have received voluntary funds from me to assist her in buying Christmas gifts and paying bills, but she likely would be right around the time for me to try to scrape together some more to send to her.

If she had been willing to talk with me on matters regarding the separation and asked me not to write so many letters, she wouldn’t have needed to waste her time with a petition for an abuse prevention order for it to ultimately be denied in court. I can't say that I wouldn't have occassionaly written a letter to try to move the property settlement forward and ensure a peaceful divorce, but I certainly wouldn't have been pouring my heart out to her on a nearly daily basis.

Finally, if she had been able to treat me with enough dignity and respect that we could talk to each other like human beings and expressed to me that the website I posted bothered her personally and was willing to articulate sufficient reasons for such, I’d likely have altered it or taken it down without asking any further questions.

But instead, I stand here trying to figure out why it is so hard for such a precious young lady to treat me with a basic level of dignity and respect. And so we grit our teeth and will fight to the end because it’s too honorable and easy to simply treat each other like grown adults and try to work to a peaceful means.

Perhaps the real flaw is in myself. My counselor helped me to realize this in my last session. She suggested perhaps that I build an unreasonable expectation about others when I meet them. See, the first time I interacted with my wife, I formed a belief about her. The belief was that she was sweet and caring and giving of herself and often put people ahead of her. I saw how she treated her ex husband with dignity and respect and believed that this would also apply to me should we ever separate.

But as the counselor helped me to see, what I did was built an expectation and looked for behaviors to validate it. When I look back, signs were there and all over the place to suggest that the model I built of this person was in error and that my expectations based on that model might have been unreasonable.

Legal: Victory or Loss?

We had our day in court today for my wife’s application for a protective order. Even though I won across the board, for some reason I feel like I lost.

My wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray was absolutely stunning and beautiful today. I wish I could have told her that. I suppose I know that she really doesn’t care what I think about her, but it doesn’t change how I felt when I saw her.

When we were called, we went to the hearing officer and my wife said her piece. I made a brief response that I took issue with some of the particulars of the allegations and did not think my wife had alleged anything against me that warranted a court order to prevent abuse. I told the hearing officer that if my wife did not want contact with me that I would respect that but that I felt a court order was not necessary.

The hearing officer spoke with my wife a bit and ultimately decided that she would dismiss the suit because my wife had failed to prove that I had ever acted violently or was a threat of harm to her or her children.

Despite the fact that I won, I feel like I lost.

By winning, I believe that I only made my wife that much more angry at me. It’s really sad because the request for a protective order was so unnecessary. There’s not been once that I’ve ever laid a finger on my wife in anger or threatened to do harm to her or even acted in such a way that might lead a reasonable person to believe that I would become violent.

After the initial explosions of emotion during the actual separation, I really hoped that we could separate peacefully. My wife probably doesn’t feel that way, but I invested so much into this marriage and into our relationship. I accepted her children as if they were my own. I got a position at my employer that I waited for 3 years to get and two months later gave it up for her family. I gave up an extremely attractive pension plan and lost everything in it for her family. And I would do it all over again.

My wife has plenty of reasons to be angry and disappointed. My responses after our separation were inexcusable. I let my emotions and hurt and anger guide me and did harm that I will probably never be able to undo.

But I had such higher hopes. I believed so much in her. Even as she was giving up the relationship, I just knew that things would turn and we would at least separate peacefully.

I suppose much like the petition for the protective order signified that all hope has been lost; I suppose my victory today signifies the loss of any chance that we can resolve this thing peacefully. And so I march into battle, weary and tired, ready to fall on my own sword just to avoid the fights that loom. What I wouldn’t give for a truce to be called.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Returned To Work

I recently handed over the a fair chunk of my remaining money to a couple of attorneys. I had really hoped that my wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray and I could have divorced without the use of attorneys. I am able to prepare the necessary documents myself and we needed only hash out the details of how we would divide property.

I had asked my wife several times to communicate with me for those purposes, but she refused. I let her know in one communication that because I was trying to start a business that we needed to settle the property issues quickly but that did not motivate her whatsoever to try to work with me to divide things.

This left me really resentful because she spent so much time trying to convince me that she would not cause problems like my prior wives had if things didn't work out. The example that she provided me was how easy she took it on her ex husband. But that simply turned out to be one big lie. In our only and original discussion to settle things, my wife demanded that I give her half of everything I had including monies and stocks that I had from before we were married. She also did not want to be responsible for my hospital bill despite the fact that I tried to refuse being brought to the ambulance and she insisted that I go. She threatened then that she would destroy me if I did not agree. We were never able to talk on settling property again after that.

So the lawyers have the money I had remaining on hand. I still need to get a few more Christmas gifts for the kids, but will have to transfer money from a non local account to do it. Its really ashamed. If I really want to be aggressive about it, when all is said and done, my wife would end up owing me at least a couple of thousands of dollars. Since she has a bankruptcy in her recent past, I could seek a judgment and then if she failed to pay I could seek to garnish her wages for it. I don't really see why I shouldn't be that aggressive. I warned her in the beginning when she was being aggressive with me and threatening me that I could be equally aggressive and that did not deter her. The truth is, I don't have the energy to fight anymore and will probably give in to whatever it takes to put this to rest.

I returned to work today. It was a very difficult thing to do. The day itself was difficult because my logins had not yet been setup and therefore I was left pretty much just sitting around with nothing to do. I had about 15 minutes of paperwork to do when I arrived and a meeting at 3 PM and another meeting at 5 PM. For the remainder of the day, I was incapable of doing anything and so the day seemed to last forever.

But worse yet was the fact that my wife and I met on that job. I had about 20 or so people ask me about her. They were all shocked to learn that we had split up. Many of them said that all they could remember is how happy we were when we were together. That left me tearing up and with a quivering lip several times.

Then later in the day, I passed by the desk where she sat when we first met. I could almost see her there like the first time I ever saw her. I remember that so fondly. She had one of the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen. And the day we first talked to each other, I knew then that I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. I didn't think I would be with her because of the circumstances at that time. I couldn't have been more happy when those circumstances changed and she continued to talk with me and things progressed. But the point is, I knew the first time we ever spoke to each other that I wanted her.

Everything there at work served as a reminder for the great times we had. I went and visited the desk I sat at when she used to come visit with me. I remember the first table we sat at together in the cafeteria the first time we had lunch together on the job. I even remember our first date. We left together in my van and when I returned to drop her off at her car, we sat in the van talking for a little while. I remember what spot we sat in.

And so today I regret returning to work. I believe it will only make things more difficult for me. I called the counselor and setup another appointment. I'm not sure what to even tell her. I just wish the counselor could give me some magical formula to get over all of this because I just feel like I am dying slowly right now. It kills me that the woman I loved so much and whom I thought loved me doesn't care one bit how this is hurting me and I doubt she is hurting at all.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Emotions: Difficult Today

Today was a very difficult day overall. It seemed that everything I did and everywhere I looked reminded me of my wife whom I love so much and served as a reminder that I've lost her.

It started when I got up and brought my children with me to attend a Christmas musical being hosted by our local church. My wife's sister returned the check that I sent with her to my wife as a voluntary offering of support. That was the check that set in motion a string of events which eventually led to the request for a protective order that my wife filed. Just getting the check back caused an emotional reaction in me.

The Christmas musical itself left me in tears. It was comical and upbeat and I was probably the only person crying in the entire audience. My children and the people sitting next to me stared at me through the entire thing as tears poured down my face.

The theme of the music was families being together for Christmas. Of course my family will not be together. I will be separate from my wife and step-kids. After I returned home, I began to think. Now that there is a restraining order in place and I cannot even call or mail her a card and wish her a merry Christmas. Worse yet, I have gifts for her kids and my children want to call and talk to hers and I cannot even allow them to do that now. My middle son wrote a letter and was about to mail it to my wife on the same day that I received the restraining order. Now I can't allow him to send it.

After the musical, I was really feeling down and depressed and it occurred to me that this felt more like a death in the family than a relationship coming to an end. It feels like the death of a spouse and two children or at least what I could imagine that to feel like. See, I've been through two divorces before and ended relationships and none of them have affected me the way that this one has. I'm not sure why this is so different than the others. I really miss my wife and her two children. The fact that I can't even speak to them or pass by and visit is slowly killing me.

Later in the day, I was online chatting with a female friend who is also getting over a breakup and she invited me to the park to walk with her and to allow our children to play together. We walked in the park and talked a bit and then went on to eat at an Italian buffet. I accompanied her grocery shopping after that. The children seemed really enjoyed playing together. My children are really having a hard time with the loss of their step brothers and mother and I think this provided a much needed distraction for them.

After we left, my oldest son peppered me with questions about relationships and my marriage. I wonder what he was thinking but found clues when he began asking about my female friend and her son. I've been through two divorces with my children and I think he was wondering if my female friend would be my next relationship. I explained to him that sometimes adults just need friends to talk to and share experiences with and tried to explain to him that I was still married to my wife and still loved my wife and that I was not at a point in life were I would be looking for another woman to be in love with. I tried to explain it in a way that I felt he could understand.

I have found a lot of strength in my female friend. She is very determined to win her ex boyfriend back. In the process, she is losing weight and getting herself in shape. She's very bold and determined in her desires. And she encourages me in the same ways. She insists that I need to get out and exercise and get in shape and lose some weight. And I'm sure she is absolutely right about me needing to get in shape and focus on becoming happy with myself, but I fear that accomplishing that will not in turn cause me wife to be interested in me again. I mean at this point, I can't even speak with my wife or write her a letter.

Of course I had points at the park where I had to hold back my feelings. It was difficult, but I think I managed to not show the difficulties I was going through. See, when my wife and I dated, we used to take our children to the same park together to play. The children (both mine and hers) really liked that. So being in the park was a reminder to me again of how much I loved my wife and how much I missed her.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Legal: The Protective Order

The protective order filing alleges that I was told not to have contact with my estranged wife, Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott. That's factually inaccurate.

When we originally separated, my wife demanded that I leave and I insisted that I could not leave in a matter of a few hours like she was insisting. She called the police and the police insisted that I leave right away. The warning that I received from the police was that she no longer wanted me there and since I did not own the property I should not return without a police escort.

I called that officer later in the day and asked to arrange a time to pick up more belongings. He asked me to call my wife and set it up. I had to insist that he call her and explained that she was very mad at me and not likely to accept my phone calls. He set it up for that evening and told me to call dispatch when I was on my way. When I called dispath, they also asked me to call my wife. I had to insist that they caller her.

The next day my wife called me and spoke with me by phone. We exchanged text messages and talked by phone a few times after that as well. She responded to a few of my e-mails and I was writing letters that I was mailing through traditional mail. None of these letters were threatening and none of the calls or text messages were meant to be harassing.

When I arranged again later to exchange some goods with my wife, she insisted that I be escorted by police. When I called the police department to arrange it, I spoke to the chief of police and the chief asked me to call my wife and verify. Later when I was arriving, I again called the police department and the chief answered and asked me to call my wife and have her call just to let them know it was okay for me to go.

I spoke to the police one more time in a desire to retrieve my final remaining personal property at the house. He told me that he had heard from my wife that day they did not want me on the property and so he could not assist. During that phone call, the assistance chief said to me that he was officially notifying me not to go on the property without a police escort. That's all he said. Nothing about not contacting my wife.

So why is this so important? Because now, my wife is claiming that I was told not to contact her and the police officers statement says that the told me the day we separated and again when I spoke to him recently not to have contact with her. That's simply factually wrong. He told me not to return to the property without a police escort.

I used to be a Sheriff's Deputy and if I had been told not to contact her by law enforcement, I would not have. In fact, if she had insisted that I not contact her, I would not have. Granted, I was persistent with letters and e-mails and she did not respond very frequently. But when I did want to call her, I'd often send a text message and ask if it was okay for me to call. If she would respond no, I would not call. These simply aren't the actions of someone who is wanting to ignore police notification to stop contacting someone or who is wanting to harass someone.

And the letters? They were mostly me pouring my heart out to my wife. When I wasn't telling her how much I missed her, I was asking her to work with me to settle the divorce and property settlement peacefully. When I wasn't asking about that, I was asking how she and the kids were doing and asking if my kids could still talk to them. Nothing threatening, nothing voilent certainly and nothing that would lead any reasonable person to believe violent physical abuse is likely to occur.

And that's the purpose of restraining orders. Its rediculous that I am having to go through this. I spoke with a retained an attorney today. I asked her to file a divorce and asked her to fight the protective order. I did offer however to voluntarily submit to a mutual stipulation before the court that we would not have contact with each other. I have never intended to harass my wife. In fact, near the end, my attempts were to move things forward in our separation. If she wants nothing to do with me, I'm very disappointed, but there's no need to seek an abuse prevention order.

So as much as I hate to acknowledge that things are really over, I have set the ball in motion to file divorce. It doesn't help me any to fight this. I love this woman dearly but I cannot make her return the feelings for me. Its a difficult road, but its one I need to begin down. No doubt, my wife will waive the papers around and say that it was my doing and what I wanted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Emotions: Vacillation

Since our separation several weeks ago, my emotions and conditions have vacillated back and forth between two extreme states. It is perhaps somewhere in between that I ultimately need to land, but that goal seems to elude me at current.

When our marriage began to deteriorate, I became severely depressed. I was the product of two prior failed marriages. But both of my previous wives had serious family defects and also had mental health issues of one degree or another. But my current wife appeared to be from a solid family that was strong and together and was reasonably free from any mental defects that I could determine.

I had viewed my wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Ray or Taray Lynn Ray or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly, as sweet and fragile and so as I saw her becoming unhappy and struggling with our marriage, I began blaming myself and beating myself up. I believed largely that this was entirely my fault in some way though I could never really pin down what specifically I had done wrong. This really depressed me, so much so in fact that near the end of our marriage I could barely get out of bed or motivate myself to do things. How unattractive that must have been to my wife in the midst of everything else wrong.

So once our separation occurred, I spent the first days and weeks absolutely beating myself up. I blamed myself from start to finish. I really spent a lot of time hoping to get answers from my wife as to where I had failed. I wanted to focus on fixing me but could never get an explanation as to why she decided it was time to end things.

There's no denying that we were having problems, but we weren't yelling and screaming at each other and barely fought. We had started seeking counseling and the counselor was optimistic that all of our problems were solvable. My wife seemed willing to try to work things out. And I tried to put myself into the counseling totally because I didn't want to lose this one.

I have been seeing our counselor on a weekly basis since our separation and the first few sessions I spent beating myself up and blaming myself for everything that went wrong. The counselor was telling me that I shouldn't be blaming myself, at least not entirely. She noted that it was not common to see men who were willing to come and really devote a lot of work into counseling.

But then my feelings began to shift. I began blaming my wife more and more for our breakup. I was left asking questions like whether or not she ever loved me and whether she married me merely to support her and her children. I blamed her emotional involvement with her ex husband near the end of our marriage as well.

And her reactions were completely irrational. The best reasons I could get as to why our marriage ended is because we disagree on money handling and she's more permissive with children than I am. So why then was a total communications black out necessary? Why could we not exchange belongings without a police escort? Just nothing seemed to make sense. And all I could remember was 10 or so days earlier when she displayed concern for me so strong that I had never felt more loved and how that could completely change into our current state in a week and a half's time.

The next few visits with the counselor were spent with her telling me it was okay to be angry and normal to vacillate back and forth like this. My counselor seemed to share some of my shock at my wife's actions and she told me to stop trying to rationalize and reason them because they were irrational. The counselor had been working with my wife since well before we met and became involved. I trusted her knowledge of my wife and opinions in those matters. When she told me that I was learning that my wife wasn't really the person I believed she was, she seemed to be saying that my wife wasn't the person the counselor believed she was either.

But then books I was reading and a course I was participating in suggested that regardless of whether it was her fault or not, that I should bear all of the blame and fault, at least in interactions with my wife. And I began to really feel that way again, like I couldn't do anything right and I ruined such a precious person to get to the point where someone so sweet could become so bitter and angry.

This brought about a new level of desperation. If only I could talk with her and tell her how I feel and all the things I realized I was doing wrong in our marriage that hurt her. I wouldn't apologize. Instead I would show her that I understood the emotions that she was going through. Maybe we could make progress that way. But my efforts were scorned.

And when I felt she couldn't be more ugly to me, I completely lost my cool and fired off an angry e-mail. I then also demanded the last of my property back which she is making use of. In the original explosion that occurred as she was demanding that I leave, she had threatened me in some ways that I could not understand, not only because I didn't believe they were reasonable, but they were a vicious and hateful side of her I didn't know existed and I had been contemplating for some time taking some actions that were parallel to her threats. So I notified her by e-mail that I could no longer sit back and that I would launch equally vicious claims against her.

And that was the last straw. That set in her a rage that resulted in her request for a protective order by the courts. These orders are severe and normally used in cases of family and domestic violence.

But so I remain vacillating back and forth between blaming her and being very angry and blaming myself and being very depressed. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. I know without hesitation that I failed her in many ways. But all the reasons I get angry surely aren't my being completely unreasonable either. She failed me in many different ways as well. I just can't seem to settle on any balance of the two. I swing from blaming her almost entirely to blaming myself entirely, back and forth, usually a few days in each place before swinging back again to the other.

And so the roller coaster began and continues and will likely show itself in this blog over the upcoming weeks and months. Today I'm really depressed. The protective order signifies a loss of hope. And it forces in me an acceptance that this really is over with. And that I don't like. Perhaps its time for a bit of irrationality on my part. Perhaps I should deny the truth and just convince myself that somewhere and somehow hope remains. My intellect knows better but my heart says to hope.

More About This Blog

This blog was established to follow carefully and journal the steps and emotions that this individual is going through during the divorce process.

I am a 30 year old male who has recently separated from a woman I completely adored. I was prepared to devote my entire life and everything there was about me to making her happy. Unfortunately, I failed and failed miserably at that. Our marriage lasted a short 10 months.

After our separation about a month ago, I engaged in a high pressure effort to open communications between my estranged wife and myself in the hopes that if we talked, we could work things out or at the very least, we could settle these matters peacefully.

Since that time, I became increasingly agitated that despite there being an absence of any acts of domestic violence or threats, my wife has refused to open communications even declining to answer a simple text message or e-mail. This weekend was the breaking point when I voluntarily sent to her a check through a 3rd party person to assist her with making ends meet and for her use for Christmas. She refused even to acknowledge by text message with a "yes or no" answer that she had received the check.

Following that, I lost my cool and sent off a series of demands and an angry e-mail. I also made my estranged wife aware that I was putting together public information on her ex husband, Chad William Stelly's, shameful arrest for Computer Aided Solicitation of a minor and that I was posting it online.

In either case, this enraged her and she filed a petition for a protective order. It fails to allege any form of domestic violence or abuse except to state that I was mentally abusing her by sending e-mails and letters and text messages to her. I read back through all of the text messages and e-mails and they are completely void of any threats of harm or anything that would lead a person to believe I would commit an act of violence against her or her children.

I will post here regarding the progress of this divorce as well as my emotional condition as this divorce progresses. Since I'm pretty much an emotional wreck right now, this blog should serve as an interesting psychology project to the interested student.