I’ve never posted here before, but I have read other’s stories. Honestly, they’ve helped me feel like i’m not the only one who feels a despair and hopelessness so deep, we feel we’ll never get back out. Life has always been hard, but I’ve been able to fight through it. A big FUCK YOU to society. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be someone of value despite the roadblocks life has thrown at me, and the impossible expectations people have. But I’ve come to realize it’s all an endless cycle. And I wish it would all just stop. Sorry for the long post. I guess I just needed to get all of this out in the open.
I grew up a broken child, from a broken poor family. Literally everyone in my family has had tragedy befall them. An institutionalized uncle, another imprisoned, and so on. My mother left us when I was too young to understand, and yet old enough to remember. My father won custody of the kids in exchange for what money we had, what my mother wanted. He was never the same after that, becoming increasingly violent, lashing out at us. Until one day when I stood back up and hit him back. And he never laid a hand on me again. But my sister was not as resolved, her anger didn’t reach the heights that mine did. An anger so deep, I shut nearly everyone out and started self mutilating, cuts on my arm where I could hide it. It was a pain I could control, a pain that made sense. Loneliness and feeling worthless didn’t. Every cut drowned out that deafening emotional agony. I defended my sister as long as I could. Until, selfishly, I left for college on a scholarship. Not so much for the academics, but to escape the prison that “home” had become. I had learned to be self sufficient, to trust no one, to take help from no one, and rely only on myself. Others will always fail you in the end. But eventually, my demons led to my downfall. I had spent so much time partying and being irresponsibly impulsive when I thought I was free, that I didn’t realize I was self destructing. I lost my scholarship, and had to get a job to make the bills and tuition. Then I quit school altogether.
It wasn’t until a random event, that I decided to change, be better. A lightning strike set fire to my apartment building. I came home from work that night, crappy work in the food service industry, to find my apartment almost completely burned out. My apartment was among worst affected. If the fire didn’t destroy my things, the fireman’s water did. I had lost everything I had been slowly building. Then it occurred to me that I didn’t actually lose much. I had nothing, really. I lived paycheck to paycheck, a virtual nobody. Something in me clicked and I re-established myself in a new apartment and saved money to return to college. I had to reapply for admission and interview with the department heads. I told them that this degree is what I want, and I will do anything to finish. They saw I was serious, despite my transcript of F’s, C’s, and withdrawn courses. They just told me to prove it. And I did, but not to them. I had to prove it to myself. I went to class in the mornings, worked at night. When i came home late in he evening, around 11pm, I would run to burn off some steam and then study. I learned to get by with very little sleep. I did this every day for 2 and a half years, shunning a social life. I had to prove to myself that I deserved a better a life. That I could earn it. I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me. I may have had shit for clothes and I was skinny from making $5 pizzas last me for days, but I was consistently at the top of my class in the math and sciences. I was so determined, that time flew by and, eventually, I graduated with my BS in Biology. From this I learned how to work hard, and to always finish what I start. No matter what. It was my first revelation.
I got a better job right out college, not great, but better. I knew I had to start at the bottom and work my way up. I was also still applying for another company, a better position with opportunities for advancement. Then something happened to remind me, that I was still broken. That success was distracting me from my darker side. My friend was shot in the head by her ex, who then shot himself. She was still alive, but all I could do was call 911 and hope the ambulance could make it in time. They didn’t. She died in front of me. I knew I should have been devastated by her loss, but I only felt disappointment in myself. I felt I should have done more to buy her time. I tortured myself for months over it. Fell into a depression again. Our demons never leave us. We can bury them under distractions like college and jobs, with dreams and goals. But they always linger below the surface. I hadn’t cut since I as a kid. But I started again. I kept myself so busy I forgot how lonely I was. Even though I was becoming successful in my career, getting that even better job I had applied for. I still felt worthless. Even as I built a reputation as a reliable and creative problem solver over 8 years, becoming a unit lead, I still felt unfulfilled. Whenever someone needed help, I resolved to help them. To never say no. Expecting nothing in return. It was the right thing to do, and I wanted to be a better person. To earn the right to happiness. What I really wanted was somewhere to belong. I thought if I became a better person, that dream would come to fruition.
I had dated throughout my life, but I could never be completely open with them. I could never fully commit. I have had long term relationships, but they always ended when it came down to sealing the deal with marriage. I wasn’t interested in giving all of me to them. Don’t know why exactly, they were wonderful women. I just couldn’t be vulnerable with them. The thought of it was threatening. And I learned to never allow myself to be in a situation where I could get hurt.
Until one day, I met a unique and incredible woman who would change the way I saw the world. The second revelation in my god forsaken life. With her I experienced things I didn’t think I ever would. I was happy, truly happy. For the first time, my pain wasn’t as oppressive. After 3 years together I proposed. 1 year later we got married, and eventually bought a house. We were always there for each other, we loved each other, had fun together. It was a good life. Finally I had somewhere to belong. I had sacrificed a lot for the relationship. Gave up my possessions to move in with her, turned down job opportunities, and commuted 4.5 hours a day to work. But it never bothered me. I loved my wife. These sacrifices were my way of showing her how important she was to me. My demons reared their ugly heads here and there. I tried to OD on pills once, but I failed and just woke up feeling really terrible. I don’t think I really wanted it to work, probably sabotaged myself subconsciously. I just briefly lost myself and then pulled myself together. But for the most part, I was even keeled. My wife knew about my darker side. I was open and honest with her. As I felt a husband should be with his wife. A husband trusts that his wife won’t judge him. And she never did. A husband trusts that his wife will be faithful. But she didn’t do that either.
After over 2 years of marriage, nearly overnight, like a switch flipped, my marriage went from good to cold. We went from having sex regularly, from laughing and traveling together, to suddenly…nothing. My wife and I talked about what was happening, and she told me she needed space to think. That she felt maybe she had only been doing what she thought she was supposed to do, and not what she wanted. I was devastated by this, but I appreciated her honesty and remained calm. I was well practiced at hiding my emotion, after all. She asked me for trust and patience. So, as her husband, I gave her that. I tried doing nice things for her, with her, but she didn’t seem to respond to them. 5 months went by and things had taken a turn for the worse. I had asked her repeatedly if there was someone else, all the red flags present, and she adamantly denied it. I accepted her answer. She was an ethical person. She spoke ill of cheaters and liars. I trusted her.
One day by accident, I found evidence that she had been deceiving me. After more digging I found irrefutable evidence of what had been going on behind my back. Enough to establish a timeline. My wife had been having an affair…and with my friend, who himself is married. My entire world fell apart in an instant. My wife, the woman with whom I had built a new life with, had broken me completely. I was confused, hurt, angry, and helpless. So I cut again, deeper than ever. As the blood flowed down my arm, I questioned what I had done to deserve this. I kept my discovery to myself for a time. My wife, noticing my especially depressed mood, really went out of her way to cheer me up. But when I tried to be intimate with her, she turned me down again. So I asked her yet again, if there was someone else. She denied it. So I asked twice more, receiving the same answer. I wanted to give her the opportunity to come clean. To tell me the truth on her own. But she failed me. And I cracked. I told her I knew what she had done, that I could prove it. And then she told me everything, without really telling me anything. Her responses to my questions were always “I don’t know.” I was told I didn’t do anything wrong. And yet, I wondered why I was ‘t good enough. Why I had become disposable.
To make a long story less long, I decided I wanted to try to work this out. Despite what she had done, I still loved her more than life itself. I take my vows and my word seriously. I vowed that I would love and cherish her for better or worse. I just never expected to be tested to this degree. She agreed to work on the marriage, but it has been a slow process with no end in sight. My instinct tells me my marriage is dead. And it’s usually right. I knew in my gut what was happening since the beginning and I let my heart lead my mind. My instinct guided my recovery from my crash in college. For over a decade, it led me to success. Until it conflicted with the vows i had taken. And, to my detriment, I chose my vows. Over these recent months I self destructed, my will eroding. I had cut, drank excessively, planned options for suicide without committing to any. I even sought therapy to help me control my despair. I had been diagnosed with depression, no surprise really. But therapy never helped in the past. Not like it has recently. My doctor saved my life, though she may not realize how close I was to ending it before I decided to seek help. I’m on meds, but they don’t seem to be helping with the severe lows. This betrayal broke me in a way I’ve never broken before. Maybe meds can’t fix this at all. I allowed myself to be vulnerable, to trust other people. This is the price I pay. And yet I still hope, and dream, for the life my wife and I often talked about. We wanted kids, and I had promised myself that I would give them what I didn’t have. Unconditional love and support no matter what. But every day that passes, that hope fades and my strength crumbles. Each day is literally a fight for survival. The scars on my arm remind me what I’m capable of, and that I might go too far if I fall any further. But that’s up to my wife. I’m in limbo, not knowing what will happen, powerless to affect our destiny. I feel like I’m being punished, and I just want it to end. One way or the other.
So that’s my sad story. A relatively successful man in his mid thirties, repeatedly betrayed by the people closest to me. I fucked things up as a young adult. I was impulsive, destructive, even violent. And it cost me, I lost everything. And when I resolved to be a better person, a good person, i still lose. Life is cruel. Money, material possessions, even respect and acknowledgment from my peers never mattered to me. Somehow I had earned all of that along the way. But all that mattered was my wife and our marriage, our family. I thought I finally had somewhere to belong. But life’s demons conspired to pull me back down. Maybe I don’t belong at all. I have fought fate for a long time, and now I finally feel defeated. And so i wanted to share my story with people who would understand. To selfishly unload some of the burden, I suppose. Ironically, I was searching for suicide methods when I found this site. Your stories have made me feel a little less crazy, a little less alone in my darkness. Bought me another day.