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I'm a Perfect Square!



Well, I'm a perfect square today, seven times seven to be exact. It makes me want to write an autobiography of sevens:

0-7) The first seven years were occupied mostly with being little. We moved into the house that I ended up growing up in, when I was four. I flew in my first airplane at six, traveling to England and Scotland to meet relatives for the first time.

8-14) So much happens to a person in these years! At eight, we moved to Africa for two years, where I had to learn French just to function in school. I ended up doing as well academically as I had at home, which was a big boost to my confidence, in a one way, but it tilted me away from social interactions and confidence, at the same time.

Coming back home at age ten, it was almost as if nothing had changed. School continued, first crush, etc. "Typical teenage" stuff; in other words, lots of life-changing experiences you don't really remember later.

15-21) At seventeen I had my first major bout with depression. Suicidality was a relatively small part of it, but I nearly flunked out of my senior year of high school, despite taking three Advanced Placement classes. I ended up at a local university, living at home and commuting to class. Too socially withdrawn to manage a dorm. First date and first kiss at twenty-one.

22-28) I finally went into therapy by choice during my fifth year of college. Clearly, I wasn't in any hurry to graduate. I got my first real job in a drug store shortly after, where I learned more about my place in the social order than I had in all the years before. After another year, I dropped out of college to work there full-time. A year later, I went into a computer vocational school to switch careers to programming.

29-35) I really started to seem like an adult during this time. I got a good job in computers, I went back and finished my Biology degree, and I bought a townhouse and finally moved away from my parents. But I say "seem" because it was mostly on the outside. I was still pretty alone and childish inside my own head. I dated only occasionally, and avoided sex as if I might die from it.

36-42) Jobs came and went. I eventually went back into therapy, bought myself a red convertible, and thought I was coming out of my shell. Then I met a woman, divorced with a twelve-year-old son, and fell in love with the idea of being a husband and father. She was the first woman I slept with, so it made sense to marry her. {This still boggles my mind somewhat ...} Things were rocky from the start, but that's what I thought marriages were: work.

43-49) It took such a very long time for me to come to my senses ... I became more and more hopeless, because I couldn't face the idea of losing the "married man" identity, no matter how ridiculous it was, from the inside. We separated and got back together again literally dozens of times ... I reached a point when I was fantasizing suicide every day, and looking for the means. Eventually, though, she filed a preliminary protective order which was never made final, but it did get me out of the house. After the initial scramble to survive, though, I found life was in fact easier than death. Now, it has been eighteen months, and I'm starting to take the steps that will make the divorce final, eventually.

As someone else said, just recently, my journey will continue. :-)

Deep heartfelt thanks to all the friends whose lives have touched mine, and who have walked along with me from time to time.


Recommended Comments

Hi, Mark,

I'm sorry to say this here, it looks so very inappropriate, but... I have such a bad bad day today, so... I was wondering what to do for some "re-direction" of my thoughts... and so I came here to read your blog. This is such a good post for my bad day. Thank you. I still have all the problems, but... I felt a bit fine for some minutes thanks to you ;-)

I hope you have a good day.


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