My marriage had it’s great moments, as well as pretty bad ones.Just like anyone else.
I’ll spare my readers, by not getting into all the good, bad & ugly of my marriage. We had very good years, and we had some pretty shitty ones. Unfortunately, my marriage did end. It was a combination of my drinking, and ever growing anxiety, plus my berating of Dave. I was angry because we never spoke of children again. Even when I wanted to adopt.. He would always end the topic with “Absolutely Not!!”.. I literally felt inadequate, and saddened over what was happening to us, to him, to me. I would lash out in such a way that was hurtful, and that in itself took a toll on him. I was, in fact, turning into my father. However, he had been cheating on me as well. It was soon after 9/11, we announced to our family & friends that we were getting divorced. My family insisted on me getting my own attorney in order to fight for half of what was built during my 11-year marriage. But.. I simply couldn’t. The overwhelming guilt of what I put him through with my drinking & anxiety , added with threats from Dave. I just couldn’t do it. I was scared and ashamed. I begged to work things out, but he was not hearing any of it. I soon moved out, and by April 2002 our divorce was finalized as I was moving into my new apartment. It was then, Dave wanted to try to work things out. but, now I held the cards and replied with an “Absolutely Not!!”.
It was the Christmas holiday of 2001, that my sister & her husband announced they were pregnant. I was so excited for them but disgusted for myself. Failed marriage, not being able to have children. I just self-medicated myself with prescription Xanax & wine. This was my go to. My anxiety was so overwhelming, and the sadness was ever increasing. I was so jealous of my sister for having everything.The husband, children & house.
Spring of 2004, I left my job to move back to NJ to be closer to my family. My reasoning was, I wanted to be closer to my niece & nephew. Other than my job (One in which I did love), there was nothing on Long Island to keep me there. The reminders of failure were around every corner. So, I packed up and moved back. I stayed with my mom and my stepfather for a period of time in order for me to save money to eventually find a place of my own. However, living with them took a little longer being that any money I was making was going towards sneaking wine into the guest bedroom, and buying furniture for an apartment I didn’t quite have already. I was initially miserable the first couple of months, because I had missed my friends at work, and my job included. I was able to at least nail a job within a month of moving back to NJ. The bad thing about this job, however, was it was for a Fine Wine Importer Distributor..in other words, a great deal of perks such as free & discounted wine.
I thought things were going pretty good for the most part. Had my own place, my truck was being paid off by my ex-husband, and I was considering dating again. Yet, that thought process came to an end real quick.
June 8, 2005, I was inundated with phone calls from friends out on Long Island. “Beckie, please call me back as soon as possible!!!!”. I honestly didn’t know what the urgency could have been, but one message said to call before I turned on the local news channel. That’s when it hit me… Something was so wrong. It was on that date I learned that Dave Cutler was electrocuted on his job site. Dave was dead. He was only 37 years old..”How in the hell could this happen?” . My heart sunk, and my mind raced with every moment & memory of him. The good, bad and the ugly.. the laughter once shared, the tears that shed. The day we met, the day we moved into our second home. Our vacation to Disney. Every ounce of my being was shattered in a matter of a phone call. I could barely breathe with this news. I thought of his parents & sister. I thought of everything in a whirlwind of confusion. Before I knew it. I was standing in a funeral home. June 10th, my 39th birthday. A complete blur. Looking back to that day even now. All the family, and hundreds of friends & co-workers. People with whom came up to me, holding me, crying with me…. The single hardest day of my entire life. Although we divorced, and the bad memories of that were there, I just couldn’t get over the fact that Dave was gone. He had his entire life ahead of him. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t right.
In memory of David A. Cutler 09/02/1967 – 06/08/2005
Jan. 1999 Disney Trip
Months passed after and my drinking increased to daily. My anxiety and now panic attacks were more evident and affecting me in all phases of my life. The depression was something I simply could not shake off.
It was January of 2007, I left the wine company and started to work at a boat company with my mom. The money that was offered was fantastic, but the job itself was not rewarding at all. Most days, I was sat there bored to pieces, because the business itself was slower than a snail’s pace. It was also around this time, that my brother got himself into legal troubles because of his drinking. I then made the decision to help him as much as I could. He moved in with me, and the family united in assisting him with all his legal issues. And, because my brother had an issue with alcohol. I hid my own addiction from him by hiding the wine in my bedroom closet. I refused to let anyone in my family know that my drinking was out of control. I was lying to my family, but I was lying to myself which was even worse. I was trying to be the strong daughter and sister for my family but was failing them as well as myself by deceiving them all.
A couple of months had passed. It was at a family barbecue that friends as well as family suggested that I start dating again. I really wasn’t interested but at the same time.I knew I had to start getting out there in the world again. Everyone reminded me that I was a lot of fun to be with, and I should have fun again. “Beck, you’re a great girl, you have so much to offer”. So, with a bit of convincing, I went on line to a dating site. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to post a picture of myself, I honestly didn’t know how to even describe myself. I kind of just shot from the hip… Before I knew it, guys were responding to my post. Some were real assholes to be brutally honest, but others seemed like they would be fun to meet. I went out for coffee and walks here and there, but nothing spectacular. I really felt odd with this. Dave was dead, and I was living my life….But, was I? I was just going through the motions. One thing though did happen. I was not drinking as much. I needed to be coherent in order to email or speak to these guys I was meeting. Then one evening I came across a photo of this man sitting on the beach. This look about him intrigued me, so I sent a little message…
May of 2007, I started conversing with a man named Kevin S. I remember feeling that giddy feeling of anticipation when speaking to him. He seemed shy at first, and I naturally was hesitant because I had been out of the dating scene really since 1987. However, Kevin had this appealing calm to his voice. His voice alone was what drew me into wanting to meet him. Naturally, we described each other and chatted about family, hobbies, work, etc…. I had to meet this man that was causing me to feel again.
Kevin was down in Florida visiting his sister when we had started talking. One day he surprised me with news of him coming back earlier because he wanted to meet me as well. We planned on meeting at a local bar & grill outside of Princeton, NJ. I was a nervous wreck while getting ready. My brother insisted I looked good because he knew I was elated to meet this man.
Once I set eyes on Kevin, my nerves soon calmed down. His steady confidence was so attractive. Dark tan, with ocean blue eyes. The complete opposite of what I generally considered myself to be attracted to. We sat in the bar section of the restaurant. He ordered a beer, and I ordered a Sprite. I wanted to be on my best behavior, and I also needed to drive quite a ways back home. Playing it cool was how I ventured this first date of sorts. All about the first impressions. It was after dinner, we walked out to where our vehicles were parked. We spoke a little more, then before I knew it..we had our first kiss. I was so taken away. I was actually feeling alive for the first time in over six years. No words can describe that feeling of joy I had felt. It was the beginning of a relationship I didn’t plan on happening.
Kevin & I lived roughly an hour away from one another, so we didn’t see each other during the course of the week. However, on weekend’s we were inseparable. He taught me how to go crabbing off the land and on his boat. We ventured out shopping for food to cook, and we both enjoyed camping. He went as far as making shrimp one night and fed it to me. He was the most romantic man I could ever imagine meeting. But, then I started becoming complacent with just being me. I was relaxed enough around him that I enjoyed a couple glasses of wine when I stayed the weekend with him. Our relationship was a whirlwind before I knew it. It was around the beginning of June, especially the anniversary date of Daves death when I started feeling guilty again. Here I was enjoying life, and he didn’t have one. I don’t even know why.but it was this overwhelming feeling of guilt. I tried to work through it, and I didn’t know how to explain this to Kevin. Our relationship was fresh, and here I was feeling sad. I was also going through some family drama with my brother living with me, and tension was growing between my mother & I. I just felt very strained over things going on in my personal life outside of dating this wonderful man. Heck, Kevin had a great deal he was dealing with too. He was newly divorced from his ex-wife of 15 yrs. He had three girls. Two from his first marriage, and one from the most recent. He was so close to Hannah and now she was away living in North Carolina with her mother. He had bouts of sadness that he shared with me. I felt that my problems were not as bad as his, but I did have issues taking place within my family.
It was Labor Day weekend 2007, and Kevin & I went to Cape May to camp. We brought plenty of beer & wine, along with an enormous amount of food. We set up camp and enjoyed the site. The campgrounds surrounded a gorgeous lake, and the site had beautiful trails all throughout. One night, in particular, we got into a deep discussion about our relationship. This, however, it wasn’t a great happy go lucky conversation. For whatever reason, it brought up all the tension in which was developing in my family. He honestly didn’t see what was coming next. Heck, neither did I. My mood swung to pure nastiness. My patience level became nill as the conversation developed. I ended up storming away from Kevin and the campsite to catch my breath but ended up injuring myself in the process. As I walked closer to the lake, my knee dislocated, and I slid to the very edge of the lake. I sat there and cried to myself. Thoughts of my marriage flashing back to me. Feelings of anger, sadness and yes..guilt all over yet again. Hours had passed and Kevin couldn’t find me. I stumbled back to the site hungover, and ashamed. I didn’t want to speak to him… Hell, I didn’t know how to. We simply packed up and proceeded to go back home. The following weekend we broke off our whirlwind Summer romance.
To be continued in part 5