Going back to that day, nothing seemed right when I got home from my business trip. I had that sick sense way down in my gut that there was something really wrong! Like I said earlier, I was heading out to my appointment and when I was backing out of the drive, there was my husband walking along the side of the road towards our house. I pulled over and my first questions was, “Why are you walking and where is your truck?” Right, then and there he told me that he had been arrested for drinking and driving and had just got out of jail. I was sick to my stomach, It was like someone knocked the breath right out of me.
I can’t imagine, what my ex-husband felt the day he was arrested, when he seen those red and blue lights twirling behind him, just like twinkling Christmas lights. That present under the tree wasn’t going to be a surprise because he knew that he had been drinking. I am sure he was hoping and praying that the officer wouldn’t notice he was intoxicated and hoping that he would get lucky once again, but that wasn’t the case. On March 15, 2001, he was arrested for a DUI.
So, as you can figure out by now, I did not find out about his arrested until I returned from my business trip. When he was arrested, they gave him his right to make one call…who did he call? No one, he didn’t call a soul and he waited his time out in the slammer until he seen the judge, who let him out on his own recognizance. Then he walked at least over 20 miles to get home, why? Think about it, he was overcome with shame and embarrassment and the thought of calling anyone paralyzed him, his ego would not allow anyone to help him, plus it was a form of self punishment.
His DUI arrest didn’t just affect him, it took it’s toll on me also. You can’t even imagine the feelings I had, embarrassment, shock, fear and a lot of anger. You hear about this stuff but you never think it will happen to you. I thought he would have learned his lesson when he got pulled over the first time and got away scotch free with that unofficial warning about two years prior.
Why is it, that we allow ourself to pay the penally for someone else’s actions? It wasn’t me that was driving under the influence, but I was sure as hell, going to pay the price for his actions. I would pay that debt, financially and emotionally.
I remember making up excuses to other people to hide the reason his truck was gone. His truck had been impounded for about a week. Then, I had to get up at the break of dawn and drive him to work and rearrange my schedule in the afternoon to pick him up. I was slap dab in the middle of my own huge coverup to “save face”. I created my own world that consisted of fear that someone would find out about the DUI. We were both paying the price for this DUI and not just financially.
Why did his debt and mistake become mine, is it because we were joined in holy matrimony? Because when two wed, they become one?
I don’t know why I was trying to hide this from the world, it was public record for anyone to find, plus his mugshot ran in the local newspaper. I was just praying that no one I knew read the newspaper that day. All I know is that his shame became my shame.
Looking back, I don’t know why I wrapped myself in his shame, I don’t know why I accepted his punishment like it was mine, but I paid the price emotionally by living trapped in my own fear of others finding out about my husband’s embarrassing mistake. If I only knew, what I know now… I would never have allowed myself to lock myself up in my own mental prison and throw away the key, just to be shackled to his punishment of making a bad choice.
The sad thing is, that people knew about his DUI, I just was just in denial. People are not going to approach you about a subject like that, it just became gossip behind our back. The crazy thing is… we gave permission for the gossip to occur because we were not honest with others and tried to hide it. How foolish we were to really think that we could keep this a secret? Insanely foolish, when in all reality did nothing but create our own mental turmoil that we lived everyday.
Keeping secrets never does anyone any good, it just creates a prison that surrounds your mind. You can’t escape your own mind and the saddest thing is that you created that prison of self torture.
You’re not alone, you are loved,
The Girl that was Abandon