Sunday Confession– Satisfied
Eight long years ago, I met my husband Ryan. I wasn’t in a good place in my life, I was a complete wreck, my life a disaster. Only three months fresh out of the relationship with my son’s biological father, who had not only abused me, but was sleeping with my sixteen year old cousin, & he had just given my babies to his mother during his visitation with them, to hide from me, hoping he could prove I was an unfit mother & punish me for leaving the way I did. Ryan was the sexiest, most gorgeous guy, I had ever laid eyes on. I thought he was way, WAY out of my league, & that he’d run far & fast when he really started to get to know me & realized the story I came with.
He didn’t. Ryan stayed, revealing his own baggage, & stepping up to the plate as protector of me. He held my hand while I fought to get a court date in family court, met with lawyers, & held me every night as I cried myself to sleep wanting my babies back in my arms, wondering where they were, if they cried for me as I cried for them, if they were even being taken care of. Ryan was there the day the courts advised my ex to give me my kids back & went with me to my mother’s house, the neutral meeting ground the judge had ordered my ex to drop the babies off at. Ryan was there when I scooped my bugs up for the first time in the five long, torturous, months. He was there from that day forward, vowing to take care of me always. When my ex refused to have any further contact with the boys, Ryan stepped up to the daddy plate without hesitation. I’ll never forget the phone call I got at work one evening about two months later, Ryan was sobbing softly because Tee, at only 27mos old, said “Love you, dada, g’night” when Ryan was rocking him to sleep. My happily ever after, or so I thought, had finally begun.
Like I said before, Ryan had his baggage too. His life hadn’t been easy as mine was growing up. His mother was just a kid herself then fell into some addictive behavior, first with alcohol, then with pain pills. Ryan had suffered from a type of seizure since he was young, called auras, but normal seizure meds didn’t help, so he ended up on something that’s typically used for anxiety problems & is also addicting, when he was a young teen. This med proved to unlock the same types of behavior patterns his mother had already set as an example. Alcohol is his kryptonite, a deadly force that takes his strength & reeks havoc upon his character. I was too young, stupid, & naive when we met to understand what he had told me about. He was in recovery & working a program. I was feeling young, wild, & free within the security blanket of his love. I opened doors around him that would not only prove to me that I should’ve heeded his forewarning’s, but set the stage for the rest of our marriage thus far. Go ahead, smack some sense into the youthful Kristina, someone should’ve back then! If I could take it all back, I never would’ve pressured Ryan to join me in drinking fun. NEVER.
Our life spiraled downward, out of control, into the darkest pits of alcohol, up into the clouds soaring high with some minds, & back down again into the hell of opiates & benzodiazepines. Somewhere along the way, I tried to chase after Ryan, hoping if I knew better what he liked about getting high on the pills his mom supplied, I’d be able to save him from himself. I was prescribed my own supply, thanks to a genetic bone disorder that’s slowly causing my spine to crumble & the discs to herniate from the holes being created. Only, somehow, I got lost too, with the mind frame of ‘if you can’t beat em then join em’. How dumb was I? That was a rhetorical question, by the way, I already know how dumb I really was.
It took a couple years of self destruction combined with rehab, jail time, & one call from child protective services to get through to Ryan. He took charge of our life together with a newfound will to survive this wretched hell we created for ourselves, & he wasn’t going it alone. I was glad to finally be done with that chapter, start healing the wounds, put our life back together for the kids who were counting on us, looking up to the examples we were setting. It hasn’t been an easy road to travel. There’s been so much damage done- to our marriage, our finances, our personal relationships, even our kids. And before we were even steady on our land legs, we found out our surprising little Stinx was growing inside me.
We’ve done all that we can to make a good life for our kiddos since then, but it’s far from easy between us at times. Ryan is working his ass off so I can stay home & be the mom our kids deserved to have all along & fully enjoy the joys of motherhood with the last baby we are going to make. There’s SO much baggage still from our addiction that hasn’t been unpacked, despite traveling down the right path for the past three & a half years, that path we should’ve started out on from the get go. Distrust & lack of faith from times of seperation while Ryan was locked up have lingered. Painful memories of fights that escalated into pure madness still plague us, haunting the disagreements we have today. Communication breakdowns occur because we don’t know how to approach one another, because we are still learning what it takes to be mature, rational, optimistic adults who comfortable in our own skins. Being a partnership all at the same time trying to maintain personal growth, on top of very little time together, none of which is beneficial alone time, takes it’s toll. Neither of us is perfect, we still make mistakes, still have major imperfections, & struggle to make all the right decisions as parents, as lovers, as friends.
We’re trying to understand each other in a whole new light while moving forward & rebuilding a foundation that we set on uneven ground in the beginning. Our finances are nonexistent because we never focused on setting ourselves up for future success during our young adulthood, as one should. We’re struggling to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, & clothes on our backs. There’s a lot more bad days then good it seems, though the bad days are fantastic compared to the days of recent past, and together, we are healthy, sober, & have love on our side.
Love for each other like no other love I’ve ever experienced, even the love I had with my first, because this love is deeper, more true.
You cannot go through the amount of pain, trials, destruction, & change that we’ve survived together, coming out amazingly holding hands still, without a connection between souls that has woven itself together, tightly. All that we have conquered & overcame as a team can bring down the strongest & greatest of men, dragging them to their deaths, despite putting up their best fight. Yet, Ryan and I stand tall once more, side by side, hands clasped, sharing one heartbeat. In the day-to-day drowning ourselves in everyday bullshit, it’s so easy to forget what we are together. What we have accomplished as one. What we’ve made together with our love.
Many people, especially not-so-close family & friends who’ve witnessed our relationship from start to present, try to tell us we should just end it. Both of us are guilty of entertaining those ridiculous thoughts throughout our time together, but passing thoughts they only are, I know I could never imagine life without my very best friend in the world in it. Even if it’s not the fairy-tale version of happily ever after, it is still our very own fairy-tale with an ending being written word by word with every moment we have together, one they can end better than any story already in existence. A marriage is supposed to last til death do us part, & since we’re only in our thirties, I can foreshadow there’s still a pretty good possibility of very long road ahead of us. Plenty of time to get our shit together & figure out how to get to where we want to go.
There’s no one who’s tried harder to understand me, than Ryan. There’s no one who’s been loyal to me, like Ryan. While everyone I’ve ever known in my life, even my own parents, turned me away & tried hammering nails into my coffin prematurely, Ryan was there to save my soul. Every time I’ve messed shit up royally with my overly sensitive, time-warping feelings, he forgives me. I don’t deserve all that forgiving. Just as he probably doesn’t deserve much of my forgiving for all the hurt he also unknowingly causes with his own inner demons, either. But, when he’s lost control, raging uncontrollably, I give him my calm. When he’s stressed out with the pressures of being the sole provider, I give him my ear to bend & stretch. When he’s hurting & saddened over his mom’s recent abandonment, I give him my heart to comfort his. When he needs to get lost in a happy place after living at work for 70 hours that week, I give him the space to let his beloved sports forum swallow him whole.
There’s a give for every take, a want for every need, an up for every down, & a good for every bad. We compliment each other. We complete each other. Everything our love has built over this time together, leaves me feeling satisfied, happy to be where I’m at. I have done more with nothing but love on my side than others with have done with everything and love on theirs, though our definitions of success may be gravely different, but its all that I believe in that even matters anyway. I’m satisfied with the life I have made with the love of my life & know there’s nothing that can stop our happily ever after from being written because we share one heartbeat forever more.