I know exactly what has brought me here, I can recall each of the choices I have made along my journey. Watching myself make these choices and doing these things has been like watching a bad soap opera. Despising the main protagonist but unable to stop watching, it's almost cathartic to invest in their failings.
This soap opera has all the main ingredients. A character that does not make any sense, with children that mean more to them than anything else ever could. An unhealthy long term relationship with their spouse, and a dangerous affair with a poisonous lover. An insulting job loss that has tarnished their reputation, and will stick like mud despite it being completely baseless and untrue. They have so much to be thankful for, but they can't see it because they are consumed by this journey of self destruction. As compelling as it is uncomfortable.
I am that protagonist. I have 2 wonderful children that I couldn't be more proud of. Yet I can't get past the feeling that I have failed them because I have been so wrapped up in my own shit that I have neglected them. Throwing money at them so that they can have material possessions and hobbies as a substitute for a useless father. My partner of 20 years is the only person who truly knows me. We have grown up together, she is the bones of me. Despite this it feels like she doesn't understand me any more. Because I have isolated myself so much that I am a completely different man to the one she fell in love with. She can't bring herself to tell me she loves me anymore, in fact I can't remember the last time she said so. The privilege of being loved is lost when you push the people who matter most away.
Enter the poisonous lover. A woman who I became inappropriately attracted to from the moment I met her. And she fuelled this by flirting with me, praising me, going out of her way to make me feel special. Openly stating that she wished she could have me, and then crossing the line by kissing me. I became hopelessly smitten, and I despise myself for letting myself get sucked into her games. I should have seen her for what she is so much sooner. She has a litany of men friends who have left their wives and girlfriends. This is no coincidence because her only words of wisdom for the men she befriends is for them to leave their spouses so that they can be happy. What is this happiness she talks of? because it is most certainly not a life with her. She likes the chase. Seducing men to make herself feel good, and using this to bolster her confidence so that she can create the image of a perfect woman, with the perfect children and the perfect life. It's phoney, and not unlike a siren. Luring men to their demise on the shores of her cul de sac.
That paragraph invests more in her than she is worth, she was merely the catalyst for me to fall back into the depression I felt as a child. But what really gets to me is that I still care about her. I wish I didn't. I don't like the word hate, it's so brutal, but I that is the only emotion I should feel towards her. I am just seeking someone or something to blame for my own failings though, so that I may justify this morbid desire that I harbour. I know I have so much to live for, so many people who care about me and love me. They need me, but this just makes it worse. I have openly asked for help from my spouse, I couldn't have been more forthright. "I know it's irrational, illogical and selfish, but I'm scared. I want to kill myself". I don't think I cold have been any clearer. Her response? "Fucking get over yourself. Don't you think I haven't thought about that almost every day? But I couldn't be so selfish. I only have to think of the boys. You should too, or don't you care?" Thanks for those supportive words my dear.
I don't blame her though. I have hurt her so much. We have been together for 20 years, and even during my poisonous game with the siren I knew that I would always choose her. There is nobody else I could have imaged growing old disgracefully with. Over the 20 years that we have been together I have told her everything, laid myself bare and let her read every page of my open book. She is the one from whom I seek my solace and support, I have told her all my hopes and fears, asking for her opinion and guidance. I have learned the hard way though that there are some things I shouldn't share.
Talking to her about the effects the siren was having on me was a big mistake. Why? Well it just so happens that this siren was her best friend. Some best friend! And to make it worse, it was such a hard thing to approach her with I did it all wrong. I knew what I was trying to say, but I said it all wrong. It hurt her so much I will never be able to forgive myself. And to make things worse I haven't been able to tell her the whole truth. Instead I decided to shoulder all of the blame. It was me who responded to the song of the siren, me who chose to act on it and me who chose to question everything because of the lyrics in her song. So it should be me to repent and take penance for my actions right? Wrong. Why did I choose to do so? because for some twisted reason I didn't want to slay the siren. For some weird reason their friendship is more important than the life we had built and the family we had created. What a fucking schmuck!
Oh yeah, and there's the loss of my career. I hated my job but I was good at it. I was invested in the business I worked for, and made many of the wrong sacrifices in order to be so invested. However, I learned another hard but valuable lesson. Individuals within organisations may hold value with other individuals, but a company holds no such values when it comes to their beliefs and behaviours. I was accused of theft. Not only theft, but fraud in order to steal! Despite my robust defence showing their tenuous evidence to be laughable, they still chose to dismiss me. Irretrievable breakdown in trust. That can be applied to many relationships failing, it looks like mine of 20 years with my spouse will fail for this reason. But for a company to do this is offensive. It's a construct they use to justify their actions. Regardless of truth or common sense, they chose to use this as their justification for disposing of a skilled and dedicated manager.
So where does this leave me? Right here. With no other way to make sense of this mess than to end leave everyone in peace. Yes it's a tale of bad decisions and unjust events that I could quite easily blame someone else for. But I only have to look at my family who I care about more than anything else. My spouse can't stand to be around me because I have become so withdrawn. My children would rather sit on the internet with their friends, playing computer games and YouTubeing like they are Jack Sceptic Eye or Yogscast rather than spend time with their mom and dad. Some may say this is normal for teenagers, and I agree. But I also see where this has come from. Neglect breeds neglect, misery breeds anger and familiarity most definitely breeds contempt.
My actions, my beliefs and my behaviours have caused all of this and led me to the only conclusion that everyone would be better off without me being around to radiate such misery. Of course they would hurt, they would have so much grief, pain, anger and confusion after I leave. But they would be free to rebuild their lives the way they want to. In time they would be able to move forward remember the good times instead of the pain. While I am still here I am holding them back.
I write this post in the hope that it gives me the release I need. Hope that laying it all out in words might give me the perspective I need to be more pragmatic and sensible about what I am feeling. Or maybe someone here will be able to say something that makes a difference, maybe. The Samaritans haven't helped, the charity MIND couldn't either. But I fail to see how any organisation or individual provide profound advice when feeling suicidal is so personal.
So it's just a matter of where, when and how. This is the first time in my life I have actually started to plan these things with any real volition. That really does scare me. I can't stop watching this soap opera. I know how it ends, and I am screaming at the protagonist to snap out of it, man up and sort his shit out. But equally I am compelled to see his demise, and will not be satisfied until he receives his just reward.