The last thing I want to do is go into 2012 talk about 2010, so I want to kind of jump to then end of the story. This story has been somewhat depressing, and I could spend HOURS going into details, but I'd rather get back to the sarcasm and yuk yuks.
On November 28th, 2010 my wife and I had a stupid contest and I won. There are those who think I have not “Paid enough,” for my stupidity. One of them being my step daughter who at times would prefer to not be in a room with me (or its a coincidence that family plans that involve me often don't involve her). In fact when she got accepted into college I asked my wife to hand me the phone so I could tell her how proud I was and she hung up before I could say a word. That was a new kind of pain. Its those kind of “Never saw that coming” moments that make this incident into my top 10 most painful experiences. As I adore all of my step-kids this is something that bothers me DEEPLY every day. In addition it makes my wife's life harder as well. At one point my wife was put into a position of choosing between her child and her husband. It was hard for me as one minute I was falling on my sword so she wouldn't have to choose, and then next I was hurt as I was cut off from my wife. I understand her feelings. She does not feel comfortable having a person who she does not trust live with her mother. She listened to us argue for years, so I understand what feeds her fears. For that I apologize. I had some fantasy that my step kids missed me as much as I missed them. Wow. I ‘m not sure what I was smoking. After pleading guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor one step above a traffic ticket), I thought I would be coming home. Instead I stayed with my sister until my step daughter went away to college.
While my step-daughter will tolerate my existence enough to eat a meal with me, my brother refuses to be in the same room with my wife. I am not exaggerating. I'm trying to follow the bible, and follow its advice on marriage (admittedly, I need LOTS of help), but it does say the two shall be one. When it came time to go to my niece's high school graduation I had to decline (which KILLED me), as my brother could not tolerate her long enough for us to make an appearance. This topic is a whole other podcast, but for now one might say I have lost my relationship with my brother who I love dearly.
When my wife told the church that where I was a minister in training what had happened, to make a long story short, they asked me to resign. I got upset, but in the end I did. At first I didn't understand why I didn't get a “Jimmy Swaggert” moment to apologize, but I now understand that one of the priorities of a shepherd is to guard the flock. If my little church would've had to vote, and we had 7 people leave over the results, that would've been 10% of the congregation. I understand their decision, and in talking with other pastors who now pastor the church they grew up in, ALL of them had to leave and come back. Jesus wasn't respected in his home town either.
I got 1 year probation, and ordered to get evaluated and take anger management classes (which I'll discuss in a future episode). The fun thing is in July I lost my job when I couldn't physically look at 17 screens in 10 seconds and remember what I saw with a 96% accuracy. I was fired. I was denied unemployment. When I looked for a job, I found some. I have now had five jobs that were very excited to have me come in for an interview until they asked, “Oh by the way have you ever been convicted of a felony (no) or misdemeanor (yes)?” When I answer honestly, I was told point-blank that this disqualified me for the job. This is a cruel joke. I had 5 head hunters on a Saturday morning call me with the same job offer, only to rescind it. Again, stay out of the legal system kiddies.
When my wife packed up her daughter and drove her to college, I volunteered to come and watch the dogs. As things went “OK” when she got back, I decided to stay. However, things are no “OK” at this point and we still struggle to keep our marriage together. We moved in December into an apartment. It will be my wife, myself, and the boy. However, it turned out that my wife had told my step son that I was not going to move into the new place. She told me two days before we moved, and in the end I got to move into the new place. However, my step son voiced his EXTREME displeasure about me sticking around. OUCH
In December of 2011, I was moved to “inactive” for good behavior and can now start the process of getting this thing off my record.