Chapter 11: Twists and Heartbreak
My world was ending… Jake was in Denver performing a ballet. I was alone in our apartment with my newborn baby… My grandma came to stay with me while Jake was away, and she was sure to take care of me. No one knew my inner pain and I hid it well. At least I think I did? You would have to ask my family I guess. Anyway… As Jake was in Denver, he was one of two guys flown in to be guest artists in these shows. Jake was young, handsome and talented.. his friend, who we will call “DUSTIN”, was in his late 30’s, pretty fit, but really creepy. He acted like he was 20. Hit on all the girls - even the 15 year olds… Like he just gave off the dirty-old-pervert vibe… Kind of a has-been in the dance world, but men have longer careers than women do in ballet.
All the girls, young and old loved Jake. Why not, what's not to love? He was funny, talented, handsome, buff, kind and a whole lot of fun. He talked to everyone, even the 8 year old girls who played pranks on him and thought he was so funny. He was and IS a really nice guy who is nice to everyone. He was professional and made sure people wanted him back. The moms loved him, because he didn’t ignore their daughters or sons. He encouraged the boys and helped them on their technique, he did lifts with the little girls who weren’t quite old enough to get the good parts.. With the girls who were 15-17, he would coach and prep them for prima ballerina roles and let them try lifts and partnered turns. With the girls 18 and up… well he was a flirt as we all know..... I mean let's remember how we met. If they were of legal age, they were fair game for his flirt game. He didn’t push those boundaries, it was just flirting…. After all he was hooked on…should be “me” that I write here… but it’s not. He was hooked on Shauna. Our daughter made for great conversation and helped all the moms trust him more. He was married with a daughter… no harm there… Whereas Dustin… he was divorced long ago, single and just creepy to everyone… no one liked working with him… But they did because they had to.
I’m gonna back track a detail here… Jake’s sister had a baby about 5 months before Melody was
born… She was blessing her baby in her religion… The religion we both grew up in… out of the blue on our way to this baby blessing he turned to me and he said… “Alli, who is gonna bless OUR baby?” Taken aback I responded “Uh, Idk… I guess my dad or yours?” He was quite for about 4 seconds and he said “No… NO! You know what?!? I Wanna do it… yeah… I’m gonna bless our baby!” Even more shocked I said “Ha, uh babe… we don’t even go to church and you don’t have the right [permissions] to do it… how are you gonna bless our baby?” I thought I couldn’t get anymore garphumpled… but he then says “Let’s find our building and let’s talk to the Bishop and see what I have to do to make it happen!” With that, we rolled up to the baby blessing and that was all that was said until we got home and he started looking up where we would go and who we would talk to.. Woah, he was serious about this…
Okay- now to fast forward... He was on the right track, he was sober, he was going to church and meeting regularly with his Bishop and working towards being able to bless our daughter… When he had really started having feelings for Shauna, it was hard for him… he battled this.. Being divorced wouldn’t make him unable to perform the blessing, so that wasn’t a big deal.. He hadn’t acted on his feelings for Shauna physically, it wasn’t a secret from me… It was just in our private plans for the future when Shauna was done giving her husband “time to make it work”. Which she was certain wasn’t changing things. She was gonna leave.. So we fast forward to a couple months after Melody is born, Jake has been home, and we have been struggling with our schedules and how we were both going to work and go to school. We had enlisted Jake’s mom to watch Melody so she was going to be taken care of, and she wouldn’t nurse (Which is a topic I will get into another time on the struggles and shame people put on mothers regarding nursing or bottle feeding), so she didn’t NEED me. I had dried up and wasn’t producing so pumping wasn’t really an option which really disappointed me. But again, another topic for another time… One night as we were sitting at home, Shauna asked if she could drop by with her husband and talk with us…
I thought oh crap… here it is… It’s the end for me. We are meeting to determine the course of action for all of us. For all our lives.. Jake and I had a kid together, they had a 2 year old together… It was time to figure out our next steps.. My heart pounded harder but SLOWER than it ever had… I opened the door to let them in, and they sat down on our couch… Shauna started talking about how they had really been looking at life and the logistics of things and trying determine the best way to proceed. They had come to the decision it was time. My heart sunk… not just to my gut, but it was pushing down trying to reach the floor through my seat… I was pinned in utter terror, but I had to hear the words… I had to hear they were done and Jake and Shauna were to be together… So I waited, silent, breathless…. looking down at my hands, fighting tears.
“It’s time for us to….. make a big change. We are…………… moving to Dubai and fixing our family.”
…..my world was over… he was going to be gone in a matter of hours. How was I going to do this, it was real… it was over, it was really… WAIT!
Did I hear her, or was that one of my dreams playing out in my head trying to cover my pain?… No, she said she was moving across the world and not taking Jake with her. I shot my eyes over to Jake… He was hurt and confused. His hands were gripped so tight, his brown knuckles were pale and pink… I thought he was going to punch a wall the second he released… He calmly nodded his head up and down, pinching his lips tightly together. He sniffed, looked up at her and said “That’s really great Shauna, I’m happy for you guys. I hope you guys get to be happy. You deserve all the happiness the world can bring you.” He was sincere. She thanked him and her husband stood up to shake Jake’s hand and was respectful but triumphant… Shauna hugged me and whispered in my ear to “Hold on to him. He’s special.” If I weren’t so internally excited that she wasn’t taking him from me I might have lost it…. Like girl- who the hell do you think you are, telling me the man I chose to marry, spend my life with and had spent the past 5 years with was special and I should hold on to him… The only reason he was slipping out of my fingers was because of YOU! I have always wanted him and loved him with every fiber of my being! Who do you think you are? I was angry later, after I had time to process the whole thing. Instead I responded with “Thank you, I will.” Like she had given me HER blessing to have her man. Messed up is what that whole conversation was. But here is the kicker… I just couldn’t hate her… even to this day… I want to hate her.. But if she popped up one day and was like “Hey girl, it's been 8 years! How are you? I’ve missed you, how’s Jake? Do you talk anymore? Are you guys friends. How’s your beautiful daughter?” I’d open up and hug her and catch up. That’s some bull. Maybe I need more therapy, I don't know. Or maybe all my therapy has worked and this is me being a bigger person because my life is good, and she derailed me, but I’m on track and fine. You can decide ;)....
Ok so- I was thrilled right? But Jake was crushed! He couldn’t understand when or how things
changed so drastically. She was completely leaving. Across the WORLD! With her HUSBAND and not him. It was very devastating… eventually he decided we should make it work too. So we hyper focused on trying to fall in love again and work towards Jake’s goal to bless our daughter… Which he did.... and we were sealed together for eternity, which is something our religion believes in. It’s beautiful. You are sealed to your spouse and if you don’t have kids yet, every child you have is born into that sealing and sealed to you so the next life you can be a family still. For us, we were sealed to each other, and then to our daughter… any child after her would automatically be part of our family forever, even in the next life… It’s an amazing concept and I love knowing my daughter is with me forever. It was peace of mind, to me, knowing we would be a family forever, even if it was just in the next life…
A few months later we saw a social media post that Shauna was expecting a baby. This news sent Jake into a sort of spiral… he started to feel sad, then angry.. then he started to slip off the sobriety wagon and drink his pain and anger away. He would go to a friends house and be there two days of the weekend then be back to be Super Stay at Home dad while I worked all week. (Little minor detail to share- Jake’s mom was overwhelmed with her own kids and watching Melody and her other grand baby, so Jake and I decided to take a break from school, and MY job made more money and was able to pay our bills so, Jake quit his job to be Melody’s caregiver.) Anywho- He was gone and drunk all weekend and most nights when I had the next day off. It was frustrating and annoying….. If he was drunk at home, he was kind of a dick. He would criticize me for any little thing he saw fit, dote on his daughter and then ignore me. It was ridiculous and hurtful and I didn’t understand. We were doing so well, yet clearly he was still so hung up on Shauna.
He started spending more time with Dustin who lived 16 blocks North of us, and they continued to travel 4 or more times per year to perform in Denver… I would later learn that within the next two years, he had gotten so drunk that he would blackout, and when he came to- his friends would tell him of his escapades… He had cheated on me many times… 12 that he can recall or has been told about… There could be many more for all I know… Most of these were 15 minutes away from his wife and child waiting at home patiently, worriedly and loyally. Alone. Mentally, physically and emotionally alone. None of those times would prove to be more painful as what would happen next… But that’s for next week.
Stand tall mama, and know that if you have been cheated on that it is NOT your fault. YOU are not lacking in any way… The person who is cheating is in the wrong, is missing or lacking something and its completely on them to own their choices and actions, drunk or sober. I share these chapters with you, so that you can see even through hardship and trials- YOU CAN RISE! YOU CAN BE A PHOENIX, MAMA!Why? Because Mama, YOU are worth it! Together we will rise and be better than we ever were! Til next week. :)