Why Don’t You Stay?

I’m on a roll with the Sugarland references. “Why Don’t You Stay?” became the theme of the next phase of my life.

I was living at my parents, working full time and spending the evenings with Bud. During the week, I was surviving. At no point would I have considered myself to be thriving. God bless my parents because I would’ve never made it without my mom watching Bud in that time.

Mr. Homewrecker was now married to someone new, his second wife. Sometimes I would get to see him. You know. On the weekends Bud was with his dad, if he could sneak out. What the hell did I leave for, I would think. So I could fool around in shady parking lots?

That song – “Why Don’t You Stay?” – I was there.

“I’m so tired of bein’ lonely
Don’t I give you what you need?
When she calls you to go
There is one thing you should know
We don’t have to live this way
Baby, why don’t you stay?

You keep tellin’ me, baby
There will come a time
When you will leave her arms
And forever be in mine”

Lies. I know it’s cliche, but if the proverbial “he” says that, he’s a liar.

He would hang with me – in my car or somewhere equally romantic – and then he’d head back to his wife. I was the second rate side piece. Except this time – I wasn’t having sex with him. I would fool around with him but nothing more. Except that one time, but that’s another week’s blog.

The weekends I didn’t have Bud were awful. I was trying not to be annoying to my parents and let them enjoy their own house, but I didn’t have my little sidekick. I didn’t have a lot of friends at this point. My best friend was now best friends with my soon to be ex sister in laws. I couldn’t very well be real with my new church friends. “Hey guys. Thanks for having me at bible study. I left my husband, and I’m hanging with a married guy that’s over 25 years older than me that I used to have sex with. Now let’s dig into the New Testament.”

I discovered alcohol in this time. I was by no means an alcoholic, but I would drink on the weekends. Going to fires with friends or the bar. I didn’t get to have that let’s be drunk era of my life because I was pregnant when I turned 21, and then it was right into baby phase. I never drank underage.

He would get pissed because I wouldn’t put out. He just wanted the same old wham bam thank you ma’am scene.

Eventually, the second wife got tired of his garbage, too. She kicked him out, and he went to an apartment. He wanted me to get an apartment with him. I seriously entertained this idea for about a hot second. God was watching out for me because I can’t even imagine. Living with a narcissist.

I was torn like I had never been torn before. Should I get divorced? Should I go back? Should I stop seeing Mr. Homewrecker?

I contemplated suicide once. I sat at the top of my parents’ driveway and thought – if I just let go of the brake pedal, it would be done. I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this chaos.

Feeling like a failure probably isn’t a fair description. I was saved now. This isn’t how Christians act, I thought.

One afternoon, I sat with a friend I met at the gym. I explained how my biggest fear was going to hell. I thought for sure that divorce meant hell. She said, “When you get to the gate, Jesus will stand between you and God and say, ‘My blood covers you.'”

She changed the game. I was still a hot mess and still torn, but at least I knew that if I happened to die in a car accident before I decided what direction my life was going, I could still go to heaven.

I decided it was time to give my parents their well deserved space. I found an apartment and moved into what was the loneliest, saddest, darkest place physically, mentally and emotionally that I had ever been.

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