Picking up the narrative from the asylum …
When Robin picked me up from the mental hospital, I still was not sure where I would be sleeping that night. In my own home, in my own bed? In my own home, but on the couch? In another place entirely?
Not surprisingly, we argued about this on the drive back to the house. One thing was made abundantly clear: we would no longer be sharing the bed we had shared for thirteen years. If I wanted to sleep in it, she would sleep on the couch. She just was not comfortable sharing a bed with me anymore. This was a bitter pill for me to swallow, the first of many. I relented and said I would take the couch.
She wanted even the couch to be a temporary measure. She was still insistent that I move out. My first response was “Hell, no! It’s my house, too! And my name is on the deed!” So of course she said she would move out, then, and — not unexpectedly — wielded the most powerful weapon a woman can in a separating marriage: she said that she would take the kids with her.
My kids mean the world to me. I couldn’t make them move out of their home, nor did I want to make them the focus of a custody fight. We were tense right now, but Robin and I were still trying for an amicable divorce with mediation, not litigation. And honestly, with my recent depression and suicide attempt, along with my ongoing gender issues, I would be fighting a losing battle in court — men are ALWAYS on the losing side of child custody battles, even in the best of circumstances.
So I relented. I slept on the couch, and I made plans to move out, and by Friday of that week (three days from my release, for those keeping track) I was moving into an apartment seven miles from my kids. I was angry, and bitter, and sad, and defeated, but I wouldn’t turn my kids into a wedge.
There are details to the narrative of that week, but they’re not worth relating. The reality was that she got her wish: I left my kids. I left my house. I moved out.