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A year ago today, I moved into the intensive outpatient program transitional house from a 21-day inpatient rehab program. I was over two hours away from my family, friends, and the only life I had ever known, in a town I couldn't even tell you how to find a gas station in. I was afraid, broken, and alone. For the first time since I was fourteen, I made a decision independent Scott, and had nobody to rely on but myself.

I had no confidence in my ability to stay sober. I still craved heroin the way a drowning person craves one last breath of air; most days, I survived only by telling myself that one day, I would get high again. One day, I would go home. One day, I would go back to Scott, and things would be comfortable and normal.

If you had told me that I would stay in this foreign, tiny little town, that I would stay sober, that I would build a new life for myself that Scott was not a part of... I would have laughed in your face.

But here I am. I have an incredible life here. I still walk in my front door and feel a rush of amazement and pride and serenity. This is my life? This is where I live?

The things I take the most pride in are the things that most people take for granted. Or maybe they don't take them for granted; maybe they are just so normal that it isn't even something they stop to think about. Paying rent on time. Accumulating things, things of value, that don't wind up stolen or in the pawn shop or sold on Craigslist. Working every day, and not suffering through a single shift because I'm dopesick, or counting every dollar I make until I have enough to buy a bag after I get off work. Sleeping without being high. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn't yell at me or call me names, someone I am able to have disagreements with without screaming or hitting or throwing things.

I am so incredibly proud of my home. We have brand new furniture - a matching couch and oversized chair with couch pillows and a warranty. A projector in our living room with cable and a blu-ray player and surround sound. (It took us five hours to hang the speakers - from the ceiling, angled down at the couch - it's a pretty gangster set-up.) In our room, a flat-screen on the wall, a bed with a frame and headboard and footboard. I love the way I've decorated, how warm and inviting and neat it all is. And the bills are paid. When someone knocks on the door, I'm not afraid to answer it. I know it isn't going to be the landlord looking for the rent, or the police for that matter.

Jose gave me the Navigator for my birthday. I have a Lincoln Navigator. I have a luxury SUV with heated mirrors and air conditioners in the (leather) seats and wood-grain in the dash. Me? Are you kidding? We just bought a new car, too - we call it the Baby 300, a new Chrysler Sebring with 20-inch rims and a system that rattles the windows from two blocks away.

Jose and I are good. September 26th will be one year since we met. I never thought we would be where we are. I never thought he would leave Jessie for me, and to be honest, I never thought I would leave Scott for him. But I've signed the divorce papers.

I don't have custody of the kids yet, but it's a gradual process. They are in an excellent place. They live with Scott's sister, and she takes care of them like they are her own. I have completely unrestricted visitation with them, and soon, DFS will be out of the picture and I will be able to go pick them up for weekends and overnights. I will probably split custody with Dana for the time being; I don't want to yank them back out of an environment they are comfortable in, and it's going to take some time to get used to having four young kids all the time again. But I see them all the time, and they are doing unbelievably well. I am so proud of them, and so grateful to Dana for stepping up and doing what she has done for me and my children.

I am working. I am a server at the Mexican restaurant Jose has worked at for ages. It's a small restaurant, but it has quickly become a second home. I have a really great relationship with the owner and his wife, and the bus girls who work with us in the evenings are like little sisters. And... I make a lot of money. More money than I made working for the state by far.

As happy as I am, though, I'm not going to let myself get comfortable and stagnant. I want to be in school again, I want to be more proactive about finalizing my divorce, and I want bigger and better. When our lease is up in April, I want a condo or house, so there is room for the kids - because by summer, I want to have them at least half of the time. And probably around the first of the year, I want to use the Navigator as down payment on a brand new car... one I get to order from the factory exactly how I want it. I can't believe that is even an option for me, but it is.

It amazes me that a girl like me, a heroin addict, a criminal, a shattered and lost little girl trapped in a grown woman's body, has accomplished as much as I have accomplished in the last year. I've never felt this hopeful or this capable of greatness.

(no subject)
I have over a year clean and sober.
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(no subject)
the conference call with DFS went so well.  it was me, heather (the lead caseworker assigned to the case), kayla (the services worker in the county where dana - my sister-in-law who has custody of the kids - and scott live), and dana.  nobody could get a hold of scott.

basically - the goal is not adoption, not guardianship.  the goal is for ME to get custody of my kids back.

my caseworker told me that she knows i have so much potential.  she said she remembers a year ago, when we stood outside on my front porch and i was broken and hopeless.  she said, "i have stood on so many front porches with so many parents who hit rock bottom... but there haven't been so many who kept going."  she reminded me of the promise i made to her a long time ago, when i said that i was going to be her greatest success story, and she said "i still believe that... you already are."

so i just have to buckle down.  i'm going to get back in individual therapy as a formality so it looks good in front of the judge, sign releases so she can access all of my records from inpatient/outpatient treatment, keep in touch with her on a regular basis, so on and so forth.  i need a JOBBBB.

but i'm going to do this.  i'm going to get my babies back.

i can't wait for jose to get home so i can bounce all over him and tell him how wonderful it went this morning.  he's going to be so proud of me.

scott is losing his unsupervised visitation with the kids.  he can't just go over to dana's house and see them anymore.  he has to start seeing them at DFS.  damnit, scott.  

(no subject)

God, we had such a good night last night. I needed a night like last night. I feel so much better about the future of mine and José's relationship, the way he feels about me.


We got into an argument while he was at work yesterday because I told him I was going to have Scott and his nephew, Jason, come pick me up and wouldn't be back until Monday. He got really upset - didn't understand why I was having them come get me.


Well, basically - Scott is giving me the money to pay for the car my big brother is loaning me - it was my grandpa's car before he passed away a couple of months ago - and I need to get my license reinstated before I can bring it home with me. My license was suspended last year for getting a couple of no-insurance tickets, and it is eligible to be reinstated as soon as I pay the $20 reinstatement fee and have proof of SR-22 insurance. Living in the small town I live in, I would have to mail the fee and proof of insurance to Jefferson City, the state capital, and then wait for my license to be mailed back. But Jefferson City is where I'm from and where Scott still lives, and also where the main office is... The lady I spoke to on the phone told me that if I had a way to go in the main office, I wouldn't have to wait, I would walk out with my license that day. Then I could have Jason drive me down to where my family lives in southwest Missouri to pick the car up on Saturday or Sunday. But... I understand José's frustration. He doesn't understand why I didn't wait until Monday, why Scott was the one coming to get me, why I have been talking to him so much lately.


I didn't tell him I was considering going back for good. He would not only be angry, he would be heartbroken, feel betrayed. He has sacrificed so much to be with me... Disrupted his entire family. He and Jessie have been together for over a decade and they have four kids. And he has cheated on her before, they have split up, they have had problems. But he's never left her for anyone else. I am the first woman that he has even considered doing these things for. He broke her heart to be with me. And... Instead of realizing this, being patient, giving him time to sort through what he is feeling and figure out how they are going to separate while maintaining a relationship for their kids and surviving financially, I got scared and wanted to run. That isn't fair. And honestly, if he was capable of just burning out and leaving her stranded with the kids, the house and bills, and a broken heart and unanswered questions, I probably wouldn't feel the same way for him. I do love what a good person he is... He is responsible, he does have a huge heart, he is adamantly against abandoning his kids. He wants to make sure Jessie is going to be okay, because if she isn't okay, his kids aren't going to be okay. And he loves her - of course he loves her. I get that. I love Scott the same way... Even though our kids live with his sister right now and we don't have to split our home and try to figure out custody and finances, I still talk to him every day, I still miss him with every ounce of myself and have moments where I second-guess the decisions I have made.


I know I am incredibly selfish. And I also know my insecurities and fears can be crippling. But I have come so far. Tomorrow will be seven months that I have been clean and sober. My sobriety isnt even the biggest change in my life. For a literal decade or more, I have been completely dependent on Scott for everything. My happiness, my security, my survival. I didn't know how to exist without him. I needed him in the same room to breathe. If he went to the gas station, I would watch the clock, and if took five minutes longer than he should have, I would start to panic. I would blow his phone up, scream at him, pace the floor until he came home. I know that was a learned behavior, something that manifested from years of his disappearing acts, but it was still so unbelievably unhealthy. Every problem I had became Scott's responsibility. I never spoke to a landlord, I never went out with my own friends, I never stood up for what I felt I deserved. No matter what Scott did or didn't do, not only did I go along with it, I supported it wholeheartedly. He didn't work - I did. And then I made excuses. I had better work history and job skills, so I could make more money. I wanted him to stay home with me, because I couldn't be alone. I didn't ever make him leave or even threaten him, no matter how many times he lied to me, cheated on me, got drunk and violent. He would disappear and leave me alone with the kids, lie about where he was going and who he was with, be so selfish and inconsiderate and irresponsible - and I allowed it. Then begged him to come home, promised and swore that I would do anything if he would just come back.


I found my independence, my voice, when I moved to Clinton. For the first time in 26 years, I have stood.on my own two feet without relying on anyone. I have made friends and sustained those friendships, kept jobs, supported myself in every way. I learned to let go of Scott. I have learned to live life on my terms. I stand up for myself, I keep myself out of situations that make me uncomfortable, I put my happiness and well-being ahead of anyone else's. My confidence and serenity have developed beyond anything I ever imagined to be possible. I don't hide in anyone's shadow. I don't feel that someone else has more influence in my decisions and my happiness than I do.


Going back will wipe all that progress away. It isn't that Scott is a bad person, that he controls me, that he expects these things and takes advantage of my weaknesses. It isn't that at all. In a very strange way, he spoils me rotten. He handles everything so I don't have to. I rely on him for everything because he allows it... That is the dynamic that we have. Even just being in Jefferson City for five days, that dynamic was there. And even after all this time and distance, it only took a few hours for that desperate need to be with him at all times to resurface. He and I were at his sister's house with all the kids while she and his mom ran errands, and his mom called and said that his sister was being taken by ambulance to the ER because they thought she was having a heart attack. Scott left, of course, and went up to the hospital to be with his family, and I was there with our four kids, his nephew's oldest daughter, and Scott's girlfriend's son... And the kids were being really good, they weren't being out of control at all, but I panicked. I was watching the clock, counting the minutes, texting and calling him for the most ridiculous reasons. Already, in a few short hours, I fell right back into that total dependence. When he walked back in the door, I was flooded with relief... Like I could breathe again.


I do love Scott more than I think I will ever love another human being. What we have is beautiful and effortless and I feel it all the way in my bones. It isn't just being comfortable, it isn't just that we have been together for years. I genuinely adore him, and I know he is hopelessly and unconditionally in love with me. But... We just allowed our relationship to be so unhealthy for so long. I don't know that we can ever develop a different way of interacting with each other, and interacting with the world around us as a couple. We enable each other, make excuses for each other, take our frustrations and aggression out on each other (violently, a lot of the time), place each other in such a position of total dominance in each others' lives that there is no room for anything else...


I want to be a family. I want us to be together, me and Scott and our kids, and I want to have a home and vehicles and jobs, I want to pay bills and be able to afford to take the kids places, keep groceries in the house, encourage each other to continually strive for better... But after twelve years of struggling, scamming our way through life, failing miserably to accomplish anything significant and POSITIVE, acquiring nothing but felonies and track marks, I don't think we are going to be able to change.


I am going to destroy him when I tell him I don't think it's a good idea for me to come back. I know he wants to be with me more than anything else in this world. I know he loves me so much, and I know he is barely existing without me. But... We barely exist together, just in a different way. We may be happy, and we may be in love and make each other burn with the fireworks that go off when we touch each other. But we would be staying with his nephew in the projects. As soon as my big brother found out I was back in the city with Scott, he would yank that car back before I knew what was happening, and the relationships I have rebuilt with him and the rest of my family would be destroyes irrevocably. They would never trust me again.


And José. He is so different from Scott in so many ways, so different than anything I've ever known. But I do love him. I am in love with him. I love everything about him, I love everything about myself when I am with him. I love that he encourages me to better myself, to stand on my own two feet and not rely on anyone. I love that he sees past the mistakes I made in my past, that my criminal record and the needle tracks on my arms don't matter, that he sees past that to the person I am inside. He sees my potential and won't let me stop short of realizing it. He gets up and goes to work every single day, pays his bills, works to provide for his family and have nice things.


And really, I just love being around him. He plays the piano for me, looks up from the keys to wiggle his eyebrows at me and give me that smile that twists my stomach up in knots. He sings to me, always performing, always making me smile. We can talk for hours and never run out of things to say. And god, I've never had sex with anyone, not even Scott, like I do with José. The lights on, hands roaming all over each other, lights on, talking to each other, melting beneath each other... It's incredible.
There is more I want to say, but I've written this whole thing on my phone and my thumbs hurt. I'll ramble more later, I'm sure.



(no subject)
I haven't updated in awhile. </p>

I was going to go home. Go back to the city, go back to Scott. I got scared, scared of what I felt for José, scared of losing him. I lost my job when I got arrested in February, and having no income, feeling like a burden, brought me down so far. It shattered my confidence; I haven't been unemployed since getting out of rehab in September. Then Jessie, José's girlfriend of 11+ years, found out about me and with all the confusion and uncertainty, I convinced myself he was going to stay with her.

So when I went to the city for my court dates last week, I let myself fall back into my old life. It is so easy with Scott, so effortless. Even though it is unhealthy and life with him is so chaotic and a game of survival, I know he loves me. I know that regardless of anything else, he loves me.

So I was going to take the easy road. I was going to run.

But I can't. I tried to distance myself from José. I tried to convince myself I would be okay without him, that once I was away for a little while, I wouldn't miss him anymore. That my life was with Scott, he was where I belonged. That because we love each other so much, we would suddenly be able to be together and be happy and successful. (Even though we were never able to make it work for more than a few months at a time in the past.)  Ignored the fact that he is still drinking all day every day, that we have nowhere to live, that he is facing two indictments for distribution and will undoubtedly have to serve serious time. I let my fear of the unknown and my insecurities completely overshadow all rationality.

I spent five days with Scott. José came and picked me up, and it felt so weird at first. I had distanced myself, and he was exhausted and stressed out from working two weeks with no day off and arguing with Jessie and not knowing where my head was, so there was this disconnect between us that there had never been. Instead of addressing it and trying to figure out where it came from, I put my fuck-you face on.

But... All of that shattered last night and today. I can't run from this. I can't hide from this. If I go back to the city and be with Scott, or even go to the city and NOT be with Scott, I will regret it for the rest of my life. As terrifying as this may be, I am going to stick it out for the long haul.

I am in love with José. Like... this isn't an infatuation. It's not a crush. This is real. We have argued, he has pissed me off, I see his flaws and imperfections. I know what I'm risking. I know there is a chance he will decide to stay with Jessie, that he won't be able to handle my wild side and my past and I will get bored with how calm and "good" he is. But I have to try.

It's been six months, and I am still awestruck by him.

I am in love with him.

Lots has happened in the last few days.
I haven't posted anything in a few days because I changed my email address and never validated it, so it wasn't letting me update my journal. I'm going to go through my saved drafts and post a few entries, sorry for the spam...

Lots has happened in the last few days.

Tuesday, José and I were going to go to Jeff City and get some furniture my friend Angie is giving us and see the kids. I never heard from him until almost 3:00. He texted and said "hola", and I was pissed off so I just said "hi." Well, he texted back and said "Jessie knows about you." He said they had been fighting all day and it was pretty bad.

I think I had posted about the night I had pizza delivered, and the girls who delivered the pizza wound up being Jessie's best friends. They told Jessie that he was here, and told her my name from the delivery.order. She found me on Facebook, which was public... I didn't know it was public, but by the time I went in to change my privacy settings, she had seen everything.

That day sucked. He stopped texting after he told me she was on my Facebook. I think I sent him one more message asking if he was okay, but never got a response. Of course I was freaking out. Convincing myself that he told her that he would stop seeing me, that he would choose her, that they were going to decide to work things out... The later it got, the more I freaked out. I almost sent him a shitty text that said "so we're done now, I guess?" I stopped myself, though... He and I don't interact that way, and I don't want to start.

I finally decided to go to sleep, so I turned the TV down and the lights off and was almost asleep when ai heard someone pull up outside. The relief I felt when he walked through that door... He didn't say much about what happened, just wanted to lay down and hold me.

He tells me he loves me, but he isn't the type to say it all the time. But we were lying on the couch and I was wrapped up in his arms, and he kissed me so soft and sweet and then told me he loved me looking me right in the eyes. He held me so tight, buried his face in my hair, and stayed so quiet... I didn't know what to say or do, so I just let him hold me and kept my hands on him, touching him the way he loves on his neck and chest and arms.

We made love, and it was as amazing as it always is. I love the way our bodies fit together, the way he moves me wherever he wants me, how he touches me like he is in awe of my skin and my body. And the sounds he makes... When I say his name, he whispers "what, babygirl?" or says "oh, yes, just like that, baby" or tells me how beautiful I am. It's unlike anything else I've ever experienced. He looks so deep into my eyes, and when I'm about to come, he smiles and nods, and then he pauses for a minute and just holds me while I catch my breath. It's... It's like a romance novel every single time. He touches me exactly how I want to be touched, he moves exactly how I want him to move, he says exactly what I want him to say. Sex with José is never just sex, it is always so much more than just sex.

He had kept his beanie hat on ask night, but I took it off of him while we were having sex. The lights were off, so I didn't notice anything, but then afterward, when I turned the TV back on, I saw why he had kept it on. He has this cut in his forehead, a pretty bad one, and a gash on his eyebrow. That bitch put hands on him, scratched the fuck out of his face. I was so angry I was trembling... She doesn't have that right anymore. He is no longer hers... Fuck that.

He stayed the night, and the next day he didn't go home. I got in the shower and when I got out, he showed me this projector that someone had listed on Craigslist. We wound up going and buying it, and while the guy we bought it from was turning it on and showing us how it worked, the whole conversation was like... I know it sounds silly, because we have been in a relationship for awhile, but we have always kept it quiet because of Jessie. But the conversation was like he and I were really together. Like... We were a real couple, one that went and bought things together. He gave me the cash out of his wallet to count out $175, and was joking that I would never get off the couch if we hooked a computer up to it, and just... I don't know, it was a huge validation that we are really together now.

That night after work, he was late getting back, and I thought he took the projector home and hooked it up. But he didn't. We hooked it up here, and he bought a Blu-Ray player and surround sound system. We hung a white sheet up against the wall in my room and laid down.and watched movies. It seriously is the coolest thing. It takes up an entire wall! With the surround sound, it is like having a movie theater in my room. I love it.

Before we hooked it up, though, we had to go buy an extension cord, and we stopped at Taco Bell. While we are in the car, he said he had to tell me something that was going to affect our relationship. He said that his kids are really struggling with everything that is happening. Them he told me that he is thinking about staying at Jessie's house and just moving upstairs.

I didn't say much, but I was so upset. He stayed the night again, but as soon as he left yesterday I started bawling. I can't keep doing this. I can't share him. I have sacrificed everything, ended my marriage, made sure everybody in my life knows that I am with José. And regardless of whether or not she says she is going to accept that they are no longer together, how do you live in the same house with someone you have been with for over ten years, that you have four children with, the SAME house you lived in as a family... And there is never any temptation, there are never those moments where you remember the good times and why you loved each other in the first place? I can't even be in the same town as Scott, and sometimes even on the phone there are those moments of weakness. If he stays there, he is making a decision.

I get that this is hard on the kids and I don't expect him to choose me over his kids. I would never expect that. But he can have a healthy, active relationship with his kids without living in the same house as Jessie. If tables were turned and I said I even had to stay the night with Scott to see my kids, he would call bullshit and be pissed off. It's not fair and it's not realistic that he is just going to live upstairs.

But I also know that he is really conflicted, and just because he voices something like that doesn't mean that is what is going to happen. He has been here every night... Obviously he loves me and is willing to sacrifice a lot to be with me. So I'm just going to let this play itself out. I'm not going to pressure him for a decision about where he is going to live, at least not right now. He is going through a lot of bullshit for me, and I need to have faith that he's not doing all of this for nothing.

I talked to my mom and my big brother today, and I think I might get to use my grandpa's car for a little while. He passed away last month. I am really excited about the opportunities that having a car will open up to me. You have no idea how grateful I am that not only has my family been there for me unconditionally in my recovery, but they are willing to help and trust me again. I am a very lucky girl. After the hell I put everyone through in my addiction, I definitely don't deserve it.

(no subject)
When I first started seeing José, I had all these ideas in my head about what it could be, the potential we had. What it could be like to have him all the time, to be in a real relationship with him... </p>

And now, it's no longer what it could be. It's what it IS.

He came over after work and I met him at the door like I always do. He brought McDonalds for me, and he sat on the couch beside me while I ate. He was really tired and quiet, so after I finished eating, I laid across his lap and touched him the way he loves, just running my fingertips along his neck and chest, holding his hand and rubbing the back of his hand and fingers. I could literally feel him relax beneath me, and he started joking about what was on TV.

It didn't take long before I had him smiling and laughing and messing around with me. During commercials, he got on top of me and kissed me and pressed into me, or followed me into the kitchen when I made him a pitcher of Crystal Light and wrestled with me, then picked me up and kissed me. The show came back on and he put me down, grinning at me, and said "conmercial's over, come on."

What we have is so natural and organic and simple and right. I don't connect with people on this level. Period. I never feel so comfortable and secure and free to be a dork or show my imperfections. He even teases me about something embarrassing I did in my sleep. When it comes to bathroom topics and certain disgusting things bodies do, I am so shy and weird... And of course I turned tomato red and told him to shut up, but I didn't feel so absolutely humiliated like I would have if anyone else in the world teased me about the same thing. I feel so free with José. Like... It is fine to just be Alicia. Clumbsy, slow-to-get-a-joke, vulnerable, perverted, goofy imperfect Alicia.

I asked him to run me to the gas station to get cigarettes because I only had a couple left, and he got aggravated with me. He really, really wants me to quit. I just started smoking in rehab in September - I had never smoked before - and I know I should wuite before it gets any more difficult, but damnit, I like to smoke. Well, he told me I needed to stop, because "when we get a place, it's gonna be that much harder."

I love to hear him say stuff like that... I love that validation, that assurance that he wants to live with me and have a life with me and all the same things that I want. Because God, I want it desperately. I want to take care of this man... Cook for him, clean our house, wash and dry and fold his clothes. He is such a good man, and I want to show him what a good woman is and does. I want to make him happy. And not just in the sense that I make him laugh. I mean... deep-rooted happiness. The kind of happy that makes him sleep soundly every night, look forward to coming home from work at night, have pride in himself and our life together.

I think tomorrow, we are going to Jeff City to see the kids and haul back a bunch of furniture that my friend Angie is giving us. I'm going to be exhausted... I barely slept last night, and tonight I've stayed up all night talking to my roommate. But I am a happy girl, and so excited at the direction my life has taken in the last six months. Once I get my kids back, or can at least have them for weekends, my life will be perfect.

(no subject)

I had such a good night last night, and I thought it was going to be so shitty. But typical of Alicia, I got all butthurt and pissy, only to feel like a damn fool when I realized I had completely overreacted.


José didn't text me at all yesterday while he was at work, which is pretty unusual. Even when he is busy, I get texts here and there. (He manages a Mexican restaurant, and he is so good at his job. People are drawn to him and he is so warm and outgoing and personable.) He had stayed the night here Saturday night and forgot to charge his phone, so I figured he was really busy or his phone was dead or something. But 9:00 came and went, which is what time the restaurant closes, and I started wondering what was going on.


He finally texted me at 9:15 and said they had been busy. I asked him what kind of pizza he wanted me to have delivered and he said he wasn't hungry. He seemed a little short, but I didn't think much of it and went ahead and ordered a pizza. He got here a few minutes later, and he seemed kinda weird. He said he was tired and his back hurt, that he was just going to go home and do a load of laundry, take a shower, and go to bed.


Well, then he said "you know it's going to be Eden who delivers the pizza, right?" Eden is Jessie's best friend. Jessie is his kids' mom. They still live together, but have been in the process of separating for awhile now. They have been together almost as long as Scott and I were and have four kids together, a house, vehicles... So I understand that he can't just dip out and leave her stranded. He feels an obligation, not just financially but also physically and emotionally, to be there as much as he can for the kids... And although he is reluctant to say so, I know it is for her, too. I know exactly how torn and guilty he feels... God, I know exactly. After being with someone for so long and sharing a life with that person, regardless of how unhappy and unhealthy it may be, it is hard to come to the realization that you have to leave, and even harder to actually do it.


When we first started seeing each other, he knew that they weren't working, but I think he hadn't really considered leaving altogether. He had cheated on her a couple times, but his emotions never got involved. He has been very frank and honest with me about his past and the mistakes he's made, and I knew early on that he had cheated before but had never left Jessie for anybody. I never expected us to have a future, either. I thought it was just going to be something to distract myself with until Scott and I worked things out; I think José knew that he had real feelings for me, but he thought I was going back to my husband, and that kept him from really considering any sort of long-term relationship with me.


Neither of us were prepared for what we found in each other. When I met José, life as I had always known it came to a very abrupt end. I have always developed very intense, overwhelming "crushes," for lack of a better word. Infatuations, maybe, is a more accurate word. Anyway, I meet someone and I am instantly swept away. I see a couple things I like and just run with it, filling in the blanks and painting this picture of who I want them to be in my head. Part of it, too, is that I need to feel desired. I need to know that I am special, and unfortunately, I have always used men to feel that way. When a man falls in love with me, I feel validated, worthy.


But it never takes long for those feelings to fade. And once a real person with flaws and bad habits and imperfections begins to show through that perfect portrait I had painted in my head, I flip from being completely enamored to repulsed. I get so annoyed by them, and I start picking fights and digging for more reasons to be turned off. It has happened time and time again, and even being aware of it, I still fool myself into thinking it will be different.


So I was expecting that to happen with José, honestly. But the more time that passed, the stronger my feelings became. He would act goofy or do something that would typically make me crazy, and in him... Not only did I tolerate it, I found it endearing. I love his quirks, how different he is from any other man I've ever known. I fell in love with him.


So after a couple of months, we started hesitantly talking about being together long-term. I told Scott about him, and then told him I wasn't coming back. I broke Scott's heart a few times, going back and forth, letting him believe I was still coming home when we got our tax refund in February, telling him that I would never choose anyone over him... But finally, I told him it was over. It wasn't fair to Scott, and it wasn't fair to José. I couldn't expect José to sacrifice the life he had, not knowing if I was going to be around in a month or two. And I just couldn't do it to Scott anymore, either. As selfish as I am with him, as much as I wanted to keep him waiting for me just in case things with José didn't work out, I couldn't do it anymore.


Once I ended things with Scott and committed myself completely to José, I started getting even more impatient. And to be fair, José wasn't sneaking around with me anymore. When he gets off work, he comes straight to my house, and he stays with me until the wee hours of the morning. Jessie works at the school cafeteria and starts at 6:00 most mornings, and he stays until 4:00 or 5:00, then goes home to watch the baby while she is at work. She gets off work at 2:00, and he goes in at 3:00. On the weekends, he stays at my house... He works from 11-9 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with a couple hours off in the afternoon, and he goes home to see the kids...  He stopped taking showers at home, they haven't had sex in months, he shows me affection in public, I drop him off at work to keep the car when I have things to do. But still, I wanted HER to know. I hate not being able to say his name on Facebook, I hate that his Facebook status said that he was in a relationship with her. 


Well, about a week ago, he told me to start looking for a place. And then Saturday... He told her about me. And she told him that if I make him happy, he should try it. That he doesn't have to come home anymore unless it's for the kids.


So... Wow, that got long. Back to the pizza delivery girl, Eden. Jessie's best friend.


The pizza still hadn't been delivered, and he said he was going to go ahead and go home. He still seemed a little off, but I didn't bug him about it. I gave him a kiss and a hug and asked him if he was just going to stay in, and he said that he was.


As he walked out to the car, the pizza showed up. I heard him talking and looked out the window, and sure enough, it was Eden. Only it wasn't just Eden. I guess because it was so late, there were two girls in the car. The other girl, Heather, is good friends with Jessie, too. Eden stayed out by the road talking to José, and Heather brought the pizza up to the door. She was polite but obviously very curious, and Eden was trying to look without being obvious, too. I wasn't sure what to say or do, so I just paid for the pizza and thanked her and came inside. They stood outside and talked for another minute or two and then both drove away.


I started getting really pissed off. That he had told Jessie about me, and the very next night he stays for ten minutes and goes home. Even when he is pissed off about something or exhausted or even when he was sick, he stayed, and he would be moody or go to sleep or lay on the couch and be lazy. And I convinced myself that she wanted him to come home and talk about things, and he was going... Within twenty minutes, I just knew that I had been a fool, that they were going to work things out and I had just been a meaningless fling. He had told me that he would text me when he got home - and we live in a tiny town, it takes five minutes to get from one end to the other - but thirty minutes passed without a word.


Then he texted and said "told you it would be Eden bringing the pizza." I thought he was being shitty, so all I said was "I'm sorry, I won't eat pizza anymore." He replied and said "lol its okay." I just sent a smiley face.


A few more minutes go by and he doesn't say anything else, and I am just turning a hamster wheel in my mind. Finally I grab my phone and start typing a text that says "I know exactly what's going on", fully prepared to accuse him of going home to her, lying to me. But I stopped myself. José and I don't interact that way, and I refuse to start. There are no accusations and shitty attitudes and games. We ask each other direct questions, are honest with each other even when the truth may be inconvienent, and we always treat each other with respect.


So I erase the text, put my phone down. And literally 30 or 45 seconds later, I get a text. It's from José, asking what I'm doing. I tell him I'm watching TV. He says "what else?" and I say that's about it. I was still pissy, and I didn't want to pick a fight with him, so I put my pajamas on and got ready to lay down and just go to sleep. I lit a cigarette, turned the lights off, and got situated on the couch (I don't sleep in bed unless José is here). Then I hear something outside.


I get up and look through the blinds, and sure enough, someone is pulling up outside. I'm standing there squinting through the blinds, trying to figure out who it was - it wasn't José's little car he has been driving, and I wasn't expecting him anyway - and then I realized it *was* José, he was just driving his Navigator.


He came in freshly showered in his pajamas, and he brought his ipad... Came in, sat down, kicked his shoes off, looked around and asked where the pizza was. I just blinked at him for a second and then asked him what he was doing, that I thought he was staying home.


No... He went home to take a shower because my washing machine is broken and we are out of clean clothes and towels. He was just fucking with me about staying home. Then he turns on his ipad and says that he downloaded a new game for us to play.


I do that all the time, and I am always proven wrong. He just isn't capable of disappointing me. He has done everything he had said he was going to do, has been there beside me through so much bullshit, does so much for me. I doubt him because he says he is going to go home and go to bed one night? I have to start holding on to more faith than this. This man...


He is not an addict. He does not and has not ever done drugs. He has never been in legal trouble. He doesn't have drama in his life. He and Jessie have a shitty relationship, but there isn't drama. He has his shit together. Yet... He is beside me without hesitation or question. A recovering heroin addict, kids in DFS custody, so much drama with Scott, pending felonies... He gets one day off every week and takes me to see my kids, a two-hour drive one way, even pays for the gas, treats my kids like they're his... Last time we went to see them, he took me by Scott's house and got out of the car to shake his hand knowing he very well may have gotten punched, and then I got arrested... The day I got out of jail, after being on his feet at work aaaall day, he immediately came to get me, again knowing that Scott was drunk and freaking out that I was leaving... He deals with so much for me, and he doesn't ever even say anything about it. Instead, he tells me that he is the luckiest man alive, asks me why *I* love *him*... And yet my faith is so easily shaken. I guess I just have a hard time believing that I actually deserve this.


We ate and played the game he downloaded for us, a Celebrity Icon quiz, and then he said he wanted to go in my room and play his Star Maker game in the ipad. So we went in there and he sang for me for hours... I was taking videos and we were having so much fun. The closeness and comfort we have with each other is unreal. And he is such a performer... He sings so damn beautifully, and he gets into the songs like he is on stage in front of a crowd. God, I was just in awe of him.


The last song he sang was  "How To Save A Life" by the Fray. He got a little sad and told me that song always makes him think of his mom, and we sat in the floor facing each other for over an hour while he talked. He opened up so much and told me so many things about him and his life... I was mesmerized. I barely spoke at all, just listened to his husky voice and accent, his huge brown eyes, the way he teared up talking about his mom and there was no shame or embarrassment whatsoever when a couple tears fell... God, I love this incredible man. So much.


I should have clarified that as unhappy as he is in his relationship, so is she... She isn't just hopelessly devoted to him while he is out fucking around. He asked her a few months ago, when he started thinking about really being with me, what she saw when she looked at him. At first she was just like "I see you, José," but he asked her to take the question seriously and finally she told him that he was great as a father, but that as a partner, she hates him.


I'm exhausted... José left at 5:30 this morning, and I slept for about an hour and a half before I had to get up to take my best friend Melissa to her dentist appointment in Camdenton, which is almost two hours one-way. We had a really good time, but we always do... She is awesome. :) I'm ready to pass out for a few hours until José gets home from work.


If there are a lot of typos, itse because I'm on my phone and sooo tired. :)


(no subject)

My baby. God, I love him. He's been singing all night... I swear, he could be in a boy band.