Friday, January 20, 2012

In a Room Full of People but Feeling All Alone

New Years Eve is a time I've generally spent acting a fool for family and friends. I vividly remember my favorite New Years Eve. There I was on State Street screaming New Years greetings and waving at honking motorists while wearing a fur hat with ear flaps. My fashion outfits usually involve clothing that comes from parts of my work uniforms. At the time I was working security for American Protective Services. I remember my brother Fatu, my cousin Josh, my cousin Penina, and her friend with the last name Katoa were all present. We were all laughing and I was attempting to impress this Katoa girl. I believe I was succeeding (while polishing finger nails on lapels).

Contrast that with a couple of my worst New Years. In December of 2006, I had been married for a year and six months. Things were going bad between me and my wife, at the time. In fact she had took a trip to Washington by herself in the beginning of December. When she came back, I was headed into surgery for a hernia. Something felt wrong about the whole situation. For a man going in for surgery, she really didn't seem like she cared. When I came out of surgery she was always looking for a chance to leave.

She would ask,"Is everything ok?"

I would respond,"Yeah, it's ok." While it wasn't.

She would say, "Ok well I'm gonna go. Be back later."

She left and there I was in the loneliness but even when she was there I felt somewhat of a loneliness.

Things had already begun to change in August but I was to dumb to notice. One day in October, I caught her going to the movies with a guy. I was so mad I asked for a separation. The reason I tell this story is that I had made her my all, my everything. She was up on a pedastool so high that I would have gotten two jobs, gone into debt in the tens of thousands of dollars, and done anything to make her happy. When you put your all and everything into something and then it gets cut off, it can feel like the most painful and lonely thing in the world. It felt like I gave apiece of my heart and it was ripped out and taken away from me.

When New Years came around I was working at my second job, cleaning theaters at the Gateway Mall. A job which I had gotten to help pay for her car. There I was picking up popcorn and mopping soda amongst a bunch of other workers. We all went to the break room and took time out to watch the clock hit midnight. That New Years, I was surrounded by people but felt painfully alone.

Fast forward to 2010. I had gotten used to being single. I began to put my everything and trust into myself. Putting all my trust into my own hands, I went to NY, San Diego, and all kinds of fun places. Then I lost my hands. Life again repeated itself and pulled the rug on me, in a way. My family and friends gave me support but the last family member, Fatu, had left on January 28, 2010. On that New Years Eve I was awake and the whole crew of nurses invited me to watch the fireworks in Denver, downtown from the conference room. The buildings blocked the view of most of the fireworks and we popped the Martinelli's but there I was amongst the crew of nurses but it felt painfully alone.

My brother returned to bring me home on January 4, 2011. When he arrived, I cried. It was more of a cry of relief. I had wandered through the desert of loneliness and survived. Something that while I was in it I didn't think of until the difficulty of it was done. Now that it was done I had realized the difficulty of what I had done and cried in disbelief that I had done it.

Both these occasions were extremely painful and more difficult than anything I have ever experienced but I'm glad I still wasn't married when the second happened. It would have been infinitely worse having someone by your side that you don't trust than just being alone. I guess I could relate divorce to my hand amputations. The hands, although very useful and one of my favorite creations God has given me, had to go or else I would suffer more. The ex-wife ,although a great person, was hurtiing me more than I knew and so I had to amputate her, 'so to speak', to enable me to become a stronger person.

Looking back I can see that I have become a stronger person from the divorce. I hope to say, someday, that I have become a stronger person from the amputations. In someways I have already become a stronger person.