Day 18 - A song that you love but rarely listen to
My first marriage was a sham. I was emotionally blackmailed into a relationship I wanted no part of with threats, and attempts, of suicide and other forms of self-harm. I was young, ignorant of all the other ways I could have dealt with that situation, and buried beneath a mountain of guilt because someone would rather die than live without me.
One thing I loathe to do is pretend. One of my pet-peeves is fake people. People who front. People who act in a manner contrary to their true self. Yet I found myself in this very position for almost 9 years, pretending to love a woman I could barely stand just so she wouldn’t swallow another bottle of pills or carve up her leg again with a razor blade. My wedding day felt like self-torture. Like I was willingly dipping my hand into molten rock. Like I was going to prison for a crime I did not commit. I wanted nothing more than to run from that church screaming, and to leave skid marks in the parking lot from where I gunned the accelerator in my car and slammed the transmission into gear.
There wear many songs played that day at both the church and the reception hall, but only one has the distinction of being the first song to which my wife and I danced.
This song is both a reminder of my biggest mistake and my most rewarding sin. It was a mistake to knowingly enter a loveless marriage. It was a sin to promise in front of God, friends, and family to love and cherish her ’til death do us part when no such love existed. Despite it all I took my vow seriously and stayed in that mockery of a marriage as long as I could without a full-blown mental breakdown.
It was from the ashes of my seared nuptials that two of the greatest gifts ever bestowed to me were born. Literally. Mere months after entering a make-believe marriage my wife gave birth to a beautiful set of twin boys, finally making me a believer in “love at first sight.” For those two boys I would marry their mother a thousand times. I would make those same mistakes and suffer that same abuse over and over to ensure I ended up with them in my life. I have been given no greater joy than raising those boys for the past 14 and a half years.
Despite, or because of, the bittersweetness of this song, I have trouble listening to it because it represents a love I did not, and never will, feel. It reminds me that, though I had good intentions, I let another human being control me, manipulate me, and abuse me for almost a decade. This is a beautiful song and no song so exquisite should bring back such painful memories.