Bob Skrezyna

Writer | Editor

A Life In Pictures, Packed Away

You don't actually feel like you're moving from one place to another until you pack the junk drawer in the kitchen. This week I packed that drawer. And I'm here to tell you: shit got real, real fast.

It didn't take long to pack it. In fact, most of the contents were trash and the remnants ended up in a small box no bigger than a pack of tissues. But the damage was done. It was painfully clear that I am moving out of the house I bought with the intention of keeping forever. The house, it is important to point out, that I bought for her. Her. Who is no longer here. 

It's past "time to move on" and I know in the long run it's what's best for the kids and me. That said there are many little things I wasn't expecting as I began to pack. Things that stung. Things that made me question my decisions up to this point in my life. Things that made me want to stay and things that made me want to move on right then and there. And it wasn't the drawer that made me feel all these things, all at once.

It was the pictures in the hall.

At the risk of sounding cliché it was the damn photos we hung in the hall. Moments and times we never wanted to forget. Mommy kissing son. Brother and sister, arm in arm, on grandma's porch. Husband and wife, kissing and giving a side eye to the camera. All told there were nine of these pictures. I had taken them down quickly at first, dusting them and not actually giving them a second thought. After all, I had to dust them - how important could they possibly be if I had let such a layer of filth collect? I put them in a box. I taped the box and marked it "Hall Pics". I put the box in my car.

Then I went back in.

I looked up the staircase.

I had the second panic attack of my life.

Not since the death of my mother had I encountered such a sudden and real feeling of loss and...something else. Even now, almost a week later, I still can't put my finger on what it was exactly that ran through me at that moment. But it was harmful in a way that I am certain will last a lifetime.

I know full well (all too well) that some moments leave a mark on your life, who you are and who you will become. That moment left a scar. The difference? Marks can be cleaned away after they change you; forgotten with time. Scars stick. You can't ignore them. Instead, you have to build everything that you call "normal" from that moment on around that scar.

And scars are sneaky. They can remind you of their presence at the most random times. Like when you're at work, talking to a customer, and you look down at their feet and see the same kind of flip flops she wore when the two of you went to the Newberry Library and took that photo of your feet on the elaborate mosaic floor. You went there to research the old manuscripts of typewriter related materials. She went to try to see the book bound in human skin. Then you went to Hemingway's childhood home and then on to lunch. When you got home you made love in the living room, surrounded by bookshelves and all those dead authors you admire so much. And then you hear something for, what? the third time? It's the customer asking about how the same-day shipping works and suddenly you're back at work, back in reality, back in today. But wishing you were back in that library or restaurant or living room. But you're not. And neither is she.

And neither of you ever will be again.

Not A Home, or A Few Direct Notes On Resentment

Sure there are cracks in the walls. The floors are uneven to the point of being dangerous. The walls don’t meet at perfect angles with the leaky ceilings. The carpet is worn and woefully dingy. The paint outside is peeling and in desperate need of attention. The grass is overgrown and patchy and the shrubs are no better. The garage lists precariously to the right as though being blown by an undetectable wind. The gravel driveway is overrun with crabgrass and dandelion sprouts so much that the city has warned us several times that it is no longer considered a driveway. There is a musty scent that won’t dissipate no matter how many candles we burn. There is a hole in the roof over the entryway.

This is our house.

This is not our home.

It used to be our home. I bought it for you. You asked. You smiled. You made your eyes glimmer in that certain way. You made me fall in love with you all over again. And I said yes. I wasn’t ready and knew it was a bad idea. But I said yes. You kissed me and I kissed back. And we owned a house.

We made two more babies in this house. We loved them all and made this pile of imperfections into a home.

But you’re gone now. You made the decision that this was no longer your home and then confessed that, if you were to be honest, it was probably never really your home.

How is that even possible? How could this place not be your home?

You picked it out. You forged memories I can only hope still reside in your long term memory and will remain there and become more and more important as the years pass within the confines of this building. This was our fortress against the world and all its heartache and grief. Little did I know that the real heartache and grief was building, completely unseen, within your mind and heart. It just had to find a way and a time to escape. A time and a way I never thought would come.

But it did. And now I’m here. And you’re not. And these walls are just walls. The garage is a garage. The carpet is just dirty. The memories are tarnished and some have already begun to fade. The walls are crooked and the entire roof seems to be coming down on top of me and crushing the dreams I once had about you and me and us.

This was your house. I bought it for you. I thought we had made it a home. You made me believe that. All the while you had a differing point of view. You were waiting – biding your time. When the time was right you flew. You didn’t walk away or even run. You flew. As soon and as fast and as far as your little wings could carry you.

I am supposed to bid you farewell and wish you the best and be humble and say that everything will work out for the best. But every night I slip into pajamas you picked out for me, I climb the stairs we made love on, I tuck our children in and kiss them goodnight, and then I lay down in the bed we shared for so many years. And all of this underneath the roof of the house I bought for you.

You. The woman who tricked me into loving her. It doesn’t matter why you did. You did it. And I’m the silly boy who fell – hook, line and pretty blue eyes.

I’m never going to thank you for the time we shared. Not now. Not that I have discovered the truth about you and what we were and what we became in your mind. No. I will not thank you.

But I will wish you good luck. I hope you get everything you never knew you needed and everything you wanted but never asked me for. I wish you understanding from within before you seek it without. I wish you honesty and self knowledge. And most of all I wish you time. Time to know yourself. Time to know others. Time to be alone. Time to become what you aren’t yet.

I wish you time with the knowledge that you have already denied yourself the luxury. And I wish for myself the gift of acceptance – because this is your mistake to make. And I need to let you make it.

So here I sit at my keyboard instead of in front of you. Typing everything I want to say instead of screaming it from the rooftops. You made a mistake. But to be clear: the mistake wasn’t that you left. The mistake is that it took you so long to do so.

Goodbye to you, my dear. It was really something, wasn’t it? We aren't in love anymore and the odds are good we never really were. And this isn’t a home anymore. Hell, it’s barely a house. A collection of walls and carpet and windows and doors can be just those things and nothing more, as sad as that thought is. It’s the people who make it more than the sum of its parts.

The trick is that those people need to be genuine and honest from the word GO. Not after eight years. After that amount of time any tiny white lie has grown into a giant monster creeping around the corner of every word you say. And sooner or later that monster is going to spring on you and knock you down. And even, in the worst cases, kill a love that at least felt real.

I don’t like this house anymore. I don’t like that monster. I don’t like you.

Now if you would excuse me I have to go to sleep and do my best not to think about what could have been.

I Skipped A Week. The World Kept Turning.

I was supposed to write about mediation last week. I was supposed to write about being stuck between a boy and a man this week. Instead, life kind of threw everything it had at me in the last two weeks and I’m just now coming out the other side bruised but not dead yet!

Just as get you up to date…

We went to mediation with a pretty clear idea of what is going to happen and who was getting what. Within the first ten minutes – after the mention of her having to pay child support – everything was off the table. Without going into too much detail she wasn’t (and isn’t) happy that she’ll have to pay anything. I can’t blame her I suppose. I’ll have the kids for all but 5 hours a week. That said, they are OUR kids and she has a responsibility to pay for them.

Then the lady/roommate got hit by an overzealous teenager. The van took a good crunch in the front driver’s side fender and will need a new bumper, but no one was hurt. It wasn’t until after this happened that she all of a sudden needed to switch cars so she could trade in the SUV instead of the van. This also coincided with the realization that she didn’t have insurance on the van and thus no way to pay for the damage to be fixed. After a LOT of back and forth I agreed to swap out the cars so long as she got the damage fixed. She agreed and now I finally have the car I wanted in the first place – a van that will actually fit all of the kids at once!

This Sunday is the move out day. That’s right – more than 4 months after asking for the divorce she will finally be out of the house! I can’t wait for many reasons, not the least of which is my sanity. I’m most concerned with how confused the kids have become. They keep asking when mommy is moving and have all but stopped asking if or when she’ll be back to the house at night. They know she has a boyfriend and they know she won’t be seeing them much at all. But just her being there is enough to muddy the concept of divorce in their minds. I tell them divorce is when mommies and daddies don’t live together anymore, all the while she’s living in the room right above where I’m telling them this. Once she’s gone I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief – including her.

I made the mistake of doing math the other day. I figured out what I’ve spent in the last 8 weeks (as long as I’ve been keeping track) compared to what she’s given. My portion was $1,300 and her contribution was $120. Keep in mind that my $1,300 was only food, clothing and activities – I’m not including mortgage and utilities. If we figure all that into it, we’re closer to the $5,000 mark. This is something that will have be included in the paperwork we file. That $120 is all she’s given in more than 12 weeks. That’s just not acceptable.

I think that about brings you all up to date. I apologize for missing last week and being late this week. Who knew divorce would be so difficult!?

Tentatively Tentative

I thought I was done caring. I thought I was done crying. I thought I was done with emotion of all kind. I thought I had breathed a sigh of relief and moved on.

I was fucking wrong.

Today I had one of those great feeling, all out, ugly cry, panting, sobbing kind of breakdowns that can only come from real hurt. I didn’t expect it. I wasn’t doing anything particularly special. Hell, I was folding a blanket. The next thing I know I’m doubled over on the couch wondering how my life got to this point.

That isn’t the real question or the real reason I ended up on the couch. It wasn’t even the real reason I was crying. I was bawling because I suck at processing emotions. Always have. Always will, unless I seek professional help. Here’s the truth: I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m jealous. I’m afraid. I’m confused. I’m hopeful. I’m relieved. I’m tentative. Yeah. That’s the perfect word. Tentative.

Nothing is assured. Nothing is certain. Even past events have a way to come back at you with a new and surprising intensity and whack you in the back of the head until you see it in a totally new light. And that’s damn unfair. Why can’t the past just stay in the past? The future is scary enough to have to also worry about that person you used to be (or worse, that person you used to love). And that thing about the past is that its attack is always a surprise. It’s literally coming up from behind and odds are you will be caught unawares.

Looking back over the years which I have obviously been doing lately I have noticed a few things that really stand out. Small things mostly, like when I proposed or our wedding night. How can these be small things, you ask? Because I wasn’t present for either, really. I was detached. I was there, but I wasn’t. And it wasn’t that I HAD been there and then checked out mentally. Rather I just failed to show up. Why? I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got there. I had no idea I even wanted to go there at all. But there I was and I knew I had to react. So I proposed. And on my wedding night I fell asleep. Yup. I fell asleep. I didn't know what else to do. Sex just didn’t seem the right thing to do at the time and we couldn’t talk about anything. We had no money to go anywhere. So I slept. I was there but I wasn’t.

I could bore you with hundreds of these same moments over the last eight years but they all have that one thing in common: my failure to commit. Both to myself and to my situation. That is no way to live a life and I know that. Now. I doubt that this flash of brilliance would have changed anything in this particular case - sometimes relationships are just doomed, I suppose - but it couldn’t have hurt.

I’ve always said that I’m the most self aware asshole you’d ever want to meet and I guess I still am. I know I have my flaws and over the years I’ve more than accepted them, I’ve turned them into part of my personality. Like, hey, look! It’s Bob! And he’s being a dick today but at least he’s cracking jokes at someone else’s expense! That’s who I have become. Why? Because I wasn’t capable of making a change in me that I knew would have to be made. I would have to commit to something better than I was and something better than I am.

I know now that I need to shed that tentative label I’ve attached to every fiber of my being and embrace something new. Something scary. Something that will be more uncomfortable than anything I’ve ever done. I’m going to have to change.

I guess if this divorce forces me to face anything in a positive way it should me. Me. Who I actually am at my core. Of course, there’s only one problem with this. I have no idea who that is. But I do know one thing for certain: he isn’t going to tentative for long!

Interlude - Seriously?! What the actual fu€k?!

We're over. Obviously. That's the whole point of this blog, after all. But I need to say that as a means of self mental preservation at this point. I need to remind myself that every chance I get. I need to remember that because everything changed last night. And all I asked for was the truth.

She has a boyfriend. She's had one officially for about a week and unofficially for the better part of two months. It's someone I am familiar with and someone I assumed but was assured time and time again that nothing was happening. I never really believed it and I even caught her in some lies about him but I never thought this would happen.

The main issue for me is twofold. First, my wife who still lives under the same roof as I do and has yet to actually file for divorce now has a boyfriend. And secondly, and more importantly, she chose to focus on herself when she sought help with the aim of becoming a better mom. Instead she chose to focus on a romantic relationship and still not spend alone time with her kids, leaving me to ostensibly be a single parent. In other words she decided that a romantic relationship would help her more than being a mom. I don't care who you are or what your view on children is…that's just messed up.

I could go on for pages about how upset I am about the fact she has a boyfriend. In reality though that's my problem and as someone working an AA program I know it's up to me to figure a way to deal with it. But the issue that rages in me with the intensity of a thousand burning suns is that she expects to be married to me, live in the house for free, not pay attention to the kids AND have a boyfriend. And then she got upset because I became mad when she told me. There's a name for men who permit their wives to take lovers and let them flaunt it and I'm not that! You can't demand a divorce, stick around in a house rent free, overdraw bank accounts and refuse to pay for the car you're driving AND expect anyone to be okay with that. Well, actually, you can. So long as you're her.

As for the choice she made: I'm glad she is taking her program of recovery so seriously. At least I was until she started to change completely within the span of a few days - less than a week, really. She started hanging out with new friends and insisting on going to one place every day. She got all new clothes and makeup. She began ignoring everyone but those new friends. And I wasn't the only one who noticed, which was a relief so I knew I wasn't just imagining things due to the amount of sour grapes I had thus far consumed (more to come, I'm sure). Her justification for all these things was that she needed to focus on herself to make her the best mom she could be when it was all over. Relationships were off the table - as this was an AA program and relationships are frowned upon when jut starting or starting again. So I just accepted she was trying to get better and switched into single dad mode for what I thought was a small amount of time.

Then the boyfriend happens. The amount of time she has been alone with the kids in the last 4 weeks can be counted in hours and only on one hand…and you'd still have a thumb left over. The rest of time has been spent…not at the house. Out. Finding herself.

Well, I guess you got a little confused. In your search for yourself you found another person. Another man. Another life. No responsibility. No ties to bind.

Just go. Please. Don't look back. I doubt very much I'd have to twist your arm.

I'm fine. Everything is fine. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. 

I Don't Date - I Subscribe

Yeah, I knew it. I knew from the first time she stuck her tongue out at me. It was love. L. O. V. E. Cupid and arrows and saccharine and sappy songs. I knew I loved her.

Well, maybe.

I’ll do my best to lay this out without relying on hindsight, which would probably make it more real and visceral, but that’s not what you want when you talking about love, is it? You don’t need reality getting in the way of a good eventual heartache. So here we go. Again.

We went on our first date and we kissed and we went on a few more dates. She somewhat ditched me on New Years and I still allowed her in. She was more or less mine as she enrolled back at community college and attended support groups. I say more or less because there was always something there…or rather not there…that I could never put my finger on. Was it fear? Was it excitement that wasn’t manifesting itself quite right? Was it a knowledge that she had no idea what she was doing but knew she shouldn’t be doing it?

Yeah. It was probably that. I know for certain that was my issue.

See, I knew from the day I met her that she wasn’t quite like the other girls. She was fun and pretty with a great sense of humor. But she was also broken in a way I didn’t know. She was in need of guidance and love and I was honestly in no place to provide either of those things. Hell, I didn’t love myself at the time. I suppose she was more like the other girls I’ve dated than I give her credit for. After all, I tended to gravitate toward women who were in some way damaged. Daddy issues, codependent, addiction - whatever it was, I was down to help, though my assistance usually only served to make matters worse.

Let me put it this way: The women I tended to pursue had so many issues I didn’t actually date them: I subscribed.

(As promised in the first post on this topic I’m going to get real about myself as well. I know I’m flawed and I know I’m to blame in what’s happening now. This should be an interesting journey finding out exactly how…)

So where was my mind in all this, you may ask? Easy: not with me. Lost. Gone. Somewhere else. I tend to switch off common sense when beginning a new relationship. It always seems to add an air of fun mystery that always fades as the years pass. It also helps me ignore the large and small flaws in both the woman and myself - not to mention my pan of “happily ever after”. And by the time I regain my senses and see the reality of the situation years have gone by and we’re in really deep and something is going to happen and it’s not going to be good. Up to now it’s only been a tiny scar on a heart. This time the heart has been forcibly removed from my ribcage and dissected to see how it works. A kinder person would have tried to mend it and place it back when they were done but that isn’t going to happen now.

I don’t recall the first time it dawned on me that this particular relationship had turned out to be just like the rest but I know there were more than a few. It was only a little more than two years in that I slowly realized she wasn’t there - her head had gone somewhere else and didn’t seem to be returning any time soon. I took the opportunity to conduct some soul searching and, while not very deep, I did come to one conclusion: she didn’t love me. I mean, she liked me and all but the love wasn’t there.

Please note: I didn’t end that sentence with “anymore”. The love just wasn’t there. In total honesty I do not believe it ever was there. I still think I loved her in my own way though over the years even mine began to wane.

At the time she started to become distracted our son was not yet a year old and she was most likely battling postpartum depression, though neither of us knew that. She would yell and cry and I would tell her to grow up an “suck it up”, like that was something she could do if she wanted. Which she did. I failed to understand her plight. I actively ignored reality and my common sense never made an appearance. Hell, man! That’s your wife and she’s obviously in pain! Get in there and make her happy! But I didn’t. And that’s my mistake and something I’ll have to work on when I get to Step 5 with my AA sponsor.

There were a lot more instances like this. She crying and begging (if silently) for help. Me being too wrapped up in “being an adult” to help or even care. She would tell me she was happy but I could tell - anyone could tell - she wasn’t.

After the other children came she continued to withdraw into herself. Again, postpartum depression - but this time mixed with something more. Something that would turn out ending the marriage and our friendship. Depression has a starting point and if you’re lucky it can have an ending point as well. But you have to acknowledge there is a problem and work for a solution. She did. And now we’re here. And now the pain has become much more bittersweet than I had ever expected it to.

Here’s the deal: we both got trapped. She felt it more directly and intensely than I did but we shared that one thought. We got pregnant before she had a chance to go back to “real” college. I had already given her a promise ring at that point but her parents strongly suggested marriage. We told them we weren’t ready quite then but she took it to heart. She talked to me about it and we agreed to go ahead and do it. In Vegas. I really think we loved each other that day. But she cried that night. And on the way back to the hotel after the ceremony.

She had so many other places to go in this world and so many people to meet and inspire and love. And I had my future too, whatever that may have (or does) entail. But we got married because she felt her parents would want that.

And this was all fine by me. I’m fine. Everything is fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.

Episode One: Every Story Needs A Beginning

What the hell? I didn’t know that this is how it was going to happen. This isn’t how it was supposed to end and how it isn’t supposed to be in general. The whole relationship wasn’t really as it should have been in retrospect, I suppose. Maybe it was wrong from the word go. Maybe we really were toxic to one another.

But then again, no.

Eight years can’t just be wasted like that. It’s just not possible that one person can be so obtuse while the other lives a lie. Perhaps it wasn’t always a lie but it was at some point and that’s enough. Not every “I Love You” was genuine and that right there is grounds for never trusting again. Of course I will trust again and knowing me it’s going to be sooner than later. But this time around I’ll have a little more insight into not only who I am but how I am. And a hell of a lot more insight into who I want next to me.

So here’s how I got to here:

We met through a mutual friend named Dr. Bob. That’s enough detail there - either you know what that means or you don’t. We met in a room that was otherwise full of older people, older than us at any rate. She was eight years my junior though I didn’t know it then. We would make eye contact across the room and smile, look away, smile. She began to playfully stick her tongue out at me. I began to playfully pretend to have to talk to a friend outside whenever she went to smoke. Within a few weeks I had asked her out, though the act itself flew right past her. She hadn’t realized I had asked her out until hours later (which speaks more to my lack of ability than her attention to my efforts). But I asked again and a date was set.

She wore her sister’s shirt and tight jeans. I wore a blue sweater and ill fitting denim (most denim is ill fitting on my angular frame). In lieu of flowers I brought a brand new copy of The Catcher In The Rye. We ate salmon. She had water and lemon. I had a Coke. We had creme brûlée for dessert. Then I drove her home and she let me kiss her. It would be the first of so many.

But looking back now I can see that it wasn’t just a kiss. It was more than that. It was a promise waiting to be broken.

I introduced her karaoke. It seemed to help get her out of her shell, the one I noticed but also didn’t notice. It wasn’t an active ignorance on my part but I also did little to pay it any mind. She slept through New Years in my bed while I watched an old Billy Joel special on PBS. I tried to wake her as the clock struck twelve but she had just gotten back from an overnight at her old college and was too wiped out from…driving? That hour and a half drive. Yeah, that would wear even long-haul truckers down.

But I forgave it and forgot it.

Or rather, I Acted As If.

In the movie Boiler Room they say to make any problem seem like less of one you just have to Act As If. You’re a salesperson who can’t make a sale? Act as if you’re the best damn salesperson ever and you will. You an insecure codependent who just scored a girlfriend way out of your league on the looks scale? Act as if everything she does is fine and never question her about it.

In other words: Act As If you’re setting yourself up for failure.

She and I ostensibly hit it off once she was back in the state and out of inpatient care for a few issues. She was back on meds and I was back on the idea that I really liked this girl and for once - FOR ONCE! - I wouldn’t even have to fix her. This one came with her own team of doctors and support staff whose literal job it was to fix her. But the funny thing about codependents is we just can’t help but fix things, even when they don’t need fixing. After all who knows better how to fix someone? A highly skilled and trained professional with decades of experience or the logistics supervisor for a small motor parts company? Exactly. It’s the latter.

And this was the sand upon which I decided to build my house of cards, all the while ignoring the lightening fueled storm clouds gathering behind me. Or were they all around me? I’ll say this much: I had no idea you could actually begin anything in the middle of a hurricane. It's not exactly easy but you can. And it’s even more difficult when you realize that a hurricane is always swirling. It’s always moving. It’s always destroying. Even the eye is a kind of devastation. It shows the truth - the wreckage and the humanity and the hope and the loss and everything that life and love and relationships should be. But you won’t notice a damn thing if you keep your eyes clenched shut and your fingers in your ears.

But the worst part by far is the realization that you didn’t just happen into the eye: you got yourself there and didn’t even notice. Who was the storm that threw you there and why the hell did you immediately seek another puddle as soon as your feet had dried?

Alas, for me these puddles should have always come with a sign that reads: No Lifeguard On Duty. Jump At Your Own Risk.

I can probably write for the next year straight and never cover every single event which led the day she asked for a divorce. But really, who wants that? That would be tedious for you to read and frankly soul crushing for me to commit to the page, though purging such memories may prove cathartic. But I will save us both and instead focus on a few instances that may or may not have led to this but sure as hell didn’t slow down the timeline. (And for the record: there are going to be quite a few unflattering things here about her. But they are real and true to the best of my recollection. And plus there’s going to be a lot of crap about me and my insecure ways, too. So it’s really a wash. Just thought I should say that.)


The Time She Ditched Me On New Year's Eve (or, The Time She Was Going To Ditch Me On New Year's Eve And Either Her Plans Changed Or Her Mom Needed Her Car Back But She Told Me She Wanted To Spend The Night With Me But Spent It Instead Asleep In My Bed): Well, I guess the title sort of gives this one away. Plus I mentioned it already but it’s really that important. The relationship was still new and I had already gone through so much with her by that point. She wasn’t doing great when we met but was getting better. I was just over a year sober and feeling pretty good, though my codependency was still unchecked. Events transpired which caused her to have to re-enter inpatient care and I went and visited every day, playing the part of a caring boyfriend. Actually, she wasn’t labeling us yet at that point. It had been about six weeks and we had verbally confirmed our mutual devotion but she still refrained from calling it anything. I’m still unsure what the point was. Perhaps keeping the door open should she find someone else? As though the word boyfriend was in some way on par with husband. It really shouldn’t but as you’ll see later it needs to be said that those two labels are totally and completely different and should never be used interchangeably. The very concept of both are worlds apart and come with a completely different set of responsibilities from both sides of the relationship equation.

(Sorry - that was a tangent. I tend to go on those. I’m not going to apologize again for them but invite you to skip over them as they appear if you so choose. But they tend to be fun so it’ll be your loss!)

So she goes to inpatient for a bit and gets out and finishes her outpatient program. Then, to my surprise, she randomly hops in her mom’s car and goes to Wisconsin on December 30th. She calls me when she gets there to tell me she won’t be going on our date that night. (At least she called?) Then she refused to commit to an answer when asked about returning for the the following midnight. (At least she didn’t outright lie?) Then she hung up on me before I had a chance to actually say good night. (Um…maybe her battery went dead? …yeah, I know…)

The next day she texted to let me know she would be staying up there for New Years. I was disappointed but enough of me was expecting it that it didn’t sting too badly. But as usual I smiled and said, “Okay. Happy New Year and I’ll see you when you get back.” Resigning myself to a solo New Year I went and saw a movie and made plans to sing karaoke in the evening. Just as I was getting out of the movie she texted. It turned out that she “changed her mind” and she would be coming back in time for New Years with me. I would have to be at her mom’s house to get her around 9 and then we could go back to my place. Which we did. She almost fell asleep on the way there (a scant 20 minute drive) and totally fell asleep less than ten minutes after walking into my apartment.

The next morning we got up and went to a meeting. I dropped her off at her mom’s and then I didn’t see her again until the following morning.

And this was all fine by me. I’m fine. Everything is fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.

Welcome and Hold On Tight!

Divorce is a bitch. 

I never realized just how much of one before mine started. The kids, the money, the stress, the house, the work, the having to hold it all together - it's by far the most intense, scary and character building experience I've ever had to face. But that's why I'm here. 

Obviously I'm a writer..that's what this entire site is. However I'm also a guy who feels feelings and gets insecure and sometimes needs a few minutes to just freak out before regaining control over his mind. Fire Between The Words wasn't supposed to be about divorce, but that's what life has dictated. FBTW will be raw and real and probably not the most coherent prose I've ever produced.

But I'm a writer and a writer must...well, write. 

Before we go on, a quick note on the name. JD Salinger once said that no writing can be considered real or important unless there is something more than letters strung together. If there's no life there is no reader. He said there must be more to the writing - there must be 'fire between the words'. And if ever there was a topic begging for a spark to become a flame, it is heartache!


So read on and attend a journey I never meant to begin but one I have no choice but to finish. 

All content copyright Robert Skrezyna / Word Rebel Ink via Creative Commons license(s).