The End

For a couple of months now, I’ve been thinking it is time to end Everyone Has A Story. I almost never write here anymore, and it has been very evident that I’m okay now. I’m over Chef. He texts me now and then, but it is never anything I welcome, and most of the time, I don’t answer. All of that time period is gone — Chef, Tion, Simon. Rob. Bandidos. I just don’t miss any of it. I’m happy in my new life now, and frankly, I remember when I  genuinely doubted that could be possible for me again after loving someone so much. 

Color me surprised!!

Everyone Has a Story was set up when my husband, Chef, tanked our marriage, and I’m not at all sorry I kept a sort of online diary of what that felt like. But truth be said, I’m too content with life these days to say much more about any of it. The pain now is but a faded memory.

I thought it would be fitting to write a summary of this entire website as a eulogy to my life with Chef as an ending to this website, and to say goodbye to some of my favorite followers. But, let’s face it. I was a chaotic mess, and when I read where my mind was on some of this stuff, even I have no clue.

So, I plan to keep it up, because I still get emails from sad people going through exactly the same thing I went through all the time I was losing Chef. My insanity might make them feel a little less alone and nuts. There’s nothing like feeling  a little whacko to really spice up the flavor of losing everything and everyone you love. Right?

These days the truth is, this story in my life is over. I’m happy. I’m blessed. I’m ready for the next chapter. And this chapter is, somewhat tragically, over. I’ve moved on. It happens.

So here it is. The last post for EHAS.

We all lead complicated lives. For me, I was a statistic regular. I was an abused child who learned too early that people, mainly men, couldn’t be trusted. Despite that, I ended up married to man that I truly loved for over 20 years. It took me literally a decade to relax into my own marriage, but once I had, I was invested and dedicated. I loved Chef, and to this day, I feel that he loved me.

Chef decided one day to join the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. I’m not going to lie here. I was interested in this turn as events as well, since studying human behavior is truly one of my favorite interests. We made some deep friendships, and lived in this culture for a decade. Then one day, everything came crashing down.

My Chef developed an addiction to meth. He had travelled to a funeral for a fallen “brother”, and somewhere along the way, he had used this drug to stay awake.

How typical is it that some of our worst decisions end up being decided so

But it looked like so much fun!!! Trust me. It isn’t.

recklessly? Chef had struggled with drugs before he had ever met me, but unfortunately for all of us, I did not know that. And sadly, even if I had, it wouldn’t have made any difference. Addiction is one of those roads we all travel alone.

Meth leads to a lack of foresight into future consequences, and Chef blew up our marriage. He is guilty of physical and mental abuse, lying, and infidelity. It all was too much, and without warning, I was left with no choice but to abandon him.

People will often say that what I did was abandoning a man who was sick, or that if I was really a servant of Jesus, I would have stuck through all of the pain and misery. Truly, there was time I would have agreed. But I learned within a couple of years of torture and devastation, God wasn’t interested in the plight of my marriage – He was rescuing me from something. We all say in our marriage vows, ” What God has united, let no man pull asunder” but we forget, what God doesn’t want united, that will be torn apart.

God knows me. He knows that reality can be a bit harsh for me, and I have been guilty of trying to mitigate it with alcohol and drugs myself. While I have always been able to turn back to God and cry out in my guilt and humiliation for being so weak, others, like my ex, have not. I believe with my whole heart, I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic because God decided that isn’t the road He had planned for me. Instead, He showed me what this journey must look like, and feel like, so I would never judge other people who got caught up in this harshly. I believe, He ended my marriage with Chef almost the minute my youngest child, Bug, left home because His plan for me was something different than His plan for my ex. He loved me enough to not sentence me to a miserable life of drugs, which is the life my ex, Chef, had chosen.

It is a sad fact that most Americans will experience a divorce, and even sadder, most of us will experience a devastating loss due to someone we love becoming addicted to drugs. I’m not special in this, and that is truly sad.

But one thing I’ve learned from this experience is that we can heal from it, even those of us so heartbreakingly wrecked. Life is a beautiful thing, and even those events that seem so awful and so permanent are truly valuable to our ability to appreciate what this world had to offer. It is only those of us with tragedy, disappointment, and grief in our eyes that understand what the price of a seasoned soul looks like, and comprehend how very valuable a lesson that really is. I just wouldn’t change a thing about my life, even if I could.

I want to say thank you to all of you for being my sounding board through this so very common sort of heartbreak. I want to encourage you all to take a page from my own lesson book and realize, this too shall pass. You are the only one who can decide whether you emerge from this hell better, or worse, and I hope for all of your sake, it is the former.

EHAS was so therapeutic, cathartic, and frankly fun, and I know, there are going to be times, I’m going to be sad I said good-bye. But it is time.

Good-Bye!!

~Bird

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Then I Came Home to Austin

12841331_10153539649669053_1897104843100891352_oI believe that the worst part of my break-up with Chef was the unfamiliarity of my life without him. I hadn’t realized up until that point how important my routines — the very patterns of my life — had really been to me. Then, suddenly, everything was so different. It happened quickly, the crashing of my life, pretty much falling to pieces all at once, and without mercy. Over the last few years, it was hard to really enjoy the routines I had set up to replace the smashed ones left behind by the break-up. Yes,some tiny parts stayed the same. I continued to drink coffee in the morning, or listen to the news while I got ready for work. Others were different, like caring for stray dogs and writing on a blog. But those were just tiny parts of a whole that seemed to still not be functioning correctly. They seemed to be connected, somehow, to my old life. It was as if their very differences served only to remind me of what I once had, and what was now gone. Overall, I was struggling for every shred of happiness.

Then I came home to Austin.

As an adult, I have never lived in Austin before, but this is the city I was born in. I took my first breath here. I learned to walk and talk here, and it has forever been synonymous in my head to my father. Austin is where my dad and his family were, and in the back of my mind, I guess I always kind of wanted to just come home. I really couldn’t have timed it better. I’m fairly sure the Lord has something to do with that.

I have new routines now. The pattern of my life is not only different now, but it is unconnected to a painful past. I find myself appreciating the 12801417_521154491392629_6713478659555648885_nbeauty of this city daily, and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I realize again, I’m living in Austin, Texas. I’m still not so used to seeing my father’s face that I have begun to take it for granted. Instead, I feel a surge of gratitude each and every time I see him standing at my door. I love to see how Texas seems to suit my daughter Rebekkah; how she has flourished into a beautiful, confident woman, happy again, and no longer suffering under the burden of caring for a very wounded mother. I feel a certain pride every time I pay my rent from a paycheck I earned, and praise God at my ability to still buy groceries and other things I need with what is left over. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much to you, but I have learned only too well how it feels to have to choose between food and a home.

I’m filling up my life again, with family, with new friends, and with things. I have enough stuff in my apartment now, I can honestly say, I would need a truck next time I decide to move. I have things I picked for myself, this time. It is always appreciated when something is given to you, but when all you own in the world is stuff people donated to you, it makes you feel worse than just poor. Over time, I’ve been getting to know myself as just me. Not a part of a marriage, or a team, or a club. I’ve found that I love the colors turquoise and yellow together, as well as gray and yellow. I like rap music…who knew?! I have become both more social as well as less. I’ll save that thought for another time. I wear different styles of clothes now, and even my hair is different. I’m kind of enjoying figuring out who I am these days.

Today, I bought a new laptop; and believe it or not, it was that purchase that made me feel so reflective about my new life today. It was expensive, and I was able to buy it without despairing over ….well, anything. I needed a new one, so I bought one. The minute I paid for it, I realized, the hard years trying to recover from such a terrible break-up are officially over. Yes, there are going to be lean times in the future. There always are. But those lean times won’t be connected to Chef, or drugs, or biker clubs, or Oklahoma. They’ll just be the way life goes sometimes, and I’m good with that. I”m finally home.

~ Bird