What sort of ass would ask a woman to marry him while engaged to another woman and let an announcement in the paper be how she found out? I am not exactly sure what kind of man he was, but I know him. He was me.
Only two women and their families know this story and until now I have not had the courage to admit it to others. I began writing this blog in an effort to become more self-aware, especially of what I have to be grateful for. Quite often I come to know thankfulness through revealing a misstep or mistake and finding a bit of resolution and peace. In writing here today I am keeping my promise to dig down deep within and come face to face with my behavior in my past. I don’t blame anyone who reads what I write here today and thinks less of me. However through telling this story I hope I can let go of some heavy regret and think a little better of myself.
Talk about lost and confused, I was so baffled and bewildered in my early 20’s. Today I find that to be a flimsy excuse however for hurting any one the way I did. Wrong is wrong! There is no changing that.
Yes, I had a difficult childhood, but so did others who in spite of it grew up to behave better than I have at times. In my younger years I meant no harm, but did a lot of it others anyway. Thinking about disappointing someone or hurting another has always been near impossible for me to bear. The thought of it is paralyzing, but was especially so years ago. My inability to break up with a girl caused me to hurt her far more than I would have had I ended the relationship as I should have. It is my hope that by writing here today I can finally get some reprieve for the burden of guilt and shame I have carried for over 30 years.
I was 19 and living in Colorado Springs when I met Anna at a concert a few days after I got out of the hospital for reasons that are another story for another time. Anna was 17 and almost done with her junior year of high school when we met that spring. After dating for a short while we moved into an exclusive relationship before she started her senior year. By the time she graduated, we got engaged.
Anna’s family welcomed me openly and treated me very well. She was kind, caring and fun to be with. For over a year I was her faithful and loyal fiancé, but as was so often the case in my past life, given time I strayed. The person I met and started also seeing was the woman I ended up being married to for 20+ years. I should have told Anna, but I just couldn’t. I should have let her go, but was weak and did not. To this day my actions, or rather lack of them, haunts me to the very core of my being.
Also I was unfair to Bobbie, the “other” woman who married me. When she and her family found out about what I had done it was very embarrassing for them. She almost did not marry me. She deserved better, but she got the “me I was then” instead. We’ve been divorced for years now, but once in a while something with our son brings us together again. One of those times when I can summon the courage, I will apologize to her.
Recently I came an across a line of thinking that fits well why I am sharing what I am today. The passage goes something like “Good people end up living their life in hell because they can not forgive themselves”. That type of hell on earth is well-known to me. I am hopeful by my self admission here I can let go of a piece of self-induced torment I have lived with for so many years.
Today I come here to publicly apologize to Anna and ask for her forgiveness although I doubt she will ever be aware I have written this (but I hope somehow she finds out). I was completely and thoroughly wrong in how I conducted myself. I very much regret the lack of respect and caring I showed her and her family. Anna, I am deeply sorry I hurt you.
From the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight.
Three words, eight letters, so difficult to say,
They’re stuck inside of me, they try and stay away.
But this is too important to let them have their way.
I need to do it now, I must do it today.
I am sorry.