The Seasoning of Mikel G Roberts
Welcome to Florida!
My Seasoning...My Growth
I want you to know my heart. I've been crazy over a woman for the last several years. A woman that caused me more pain than I thought I could stand. I found her irresistible, cute, clever, devastatingly beautiful, profoundly deep, courageous, smart, intelligent and she is the BIGGEST pain in the neck I have ever met. I fell in love with her, and oh how I hated her for it.
My life was a comfortable, normal, hollow, shallow, do as your told and stay in your place kind of life. I had a wife I didn't love, that I was married to for 18 or so years, that wasn't married to me.
I did and do have two very beautiful, courageous, smart, deep, intelligent kids. The only truly good things to have come from my marriage. I stayed in my marriage for 3 reasons, 1. I don't like to fail...at anything. The second and third reasons are Jessica and Nicholas.
My marriage finally got to a point where my choices were, divorce, or prison for murdering my children's mother. Out of kindness for my children I decided on divorce, besides the prison I looked into didn't have a very good swimming pool, and I so love the water.
All joking aside, somewhere deep down inside I knew, after just a few weeks of marriage, that I had made a mistake. Within just a few hours the words that I uttered more often than any others were, "Yes Dear". Actually they were "Si Cara" because I was married to an Italian and she and I had always conversed in Italian. I still find it very difficult to talk to her in anything but Italian, not that I talk to her anymore.
While I was deciding on prison or divorce, there was a major change in my employment, the plant I was working at had been sold and I was to be transferred to Florida.
The wife and I decided that I would go ahead and get us set up in the new state and she would stay behind and close out the house.
That gave her time to do those things that only a wife can do, like say good-bye to her boyfriend/s.
Florida is a beautiful place, lots to do and lots to see.
I wasn't the only person from the plant in Indiana to transfer to Florida. There were twenty something of us, none of them were people I had more than just a casual knowledge of.
I didn't have many friends in the plant in Indiana, in fact I have never had many friends, ever, friends is probably the thing I am the worst at.
There were people however that knew me or at least knew of me. A couple people that were in the same department as me or in departments that were close enough to have met them and recognize them by sight.
But that's about it, I had closed myself off even more than I had as a kid, in order to survive the life I had forced myself into, the life I had to endure, for my kids. Marriage, isn't it a great invention.
Well when I got to Florida, and was on my own, and able to breath. I started getting to know the people I had transferred with, people I had been working with for years and didn't really know at all.
In the weeks that followed some of them started making comments about how they didn't think I knew how to smile, or that they had never seen me smile in all the years they had known me. I thought, well that's just silly, of course I smile. I smile all the time, I'm a happy guy. I have a perfect life, great kids, good job, super nice bike and no real worries.
So I decided it was just them, they were weird and lazy. Lazy because I worked liked a team of Hebrew slaves, it was the way I had learned to vent my anger, the hatred and self loathing that I had for getting myself into the situation I was in, that didn't exist of course because I had a perfect life.
I have always been better than average in almost everything I did. Convincing myself I had a perfect life was no exception. I have never been one to be shunned by the ladies, and most of the time all I had to do was be there, smile and they would be drawn to me. My wit and self confidence would keep them interested, and I used this to maintain a sense of self worth during the marriage, because that was the only place I found anything resembling encouragement or admiration.
The arrival at the new plant wasn't everything I had hoped. The plant had several temporary employees that were vying for the jobs the company was filling, with us.
Most of these temporary people were the friends and or kids of the other people working in my new plant. What a great start. Needless to say they rolled out the red carpet for us and welcomed us into their lives.
They showed us how welcome we were and how very much they wanted us to be there. The good news, we only had a few fatalities, personally I only had to get fused from c4 to c7 after I broke my neck in a crash on my bike.
The crash I'm sure was engineered by what ever demon invented "marriage". My bike wreck took place on the way home from work the day before I was to take Amanda out for a day of sunshine and riding.
When three months later I returned to work things hadn't changed much, the people of the Florida plant still resented our being there, invading their world as we did, stealing the jobs they had intended for their kids.
One thing however had changed, well two things, my now ex had asked me to give it one more chance and I said I would, for my kids. The second was that Amanda wasn't talking to me. I took that as a sign that God wanted me to work out my marriage and left Amanda alone.
The ex came to Florida and within a day the people from Indiana started saying things like, "yep, that's the Mikel I remember", and "see I told you you never smile".
I finally got it, I was miserable... I hated my now ex and the life I pretended was perfect with her. I told her I wanted a divorce. We worked out an amicable settlement, promised to do our best to remain friends, and stay close enough together that we could both see our kids everyday.
In that way we would be able to make the transition easiest for our kids. I was elated, I told the ex that I would take all our marital debts with me and let her keep everything we had accumulated in the marriage. That way the kids would not be missing much of anything. I was unbelievably relieved at how easy this seemed like it was going to be.
Four days before Christmas the ex (who had called my family secretly and had them come down to Florida) packed up everything and took my kids back to Indiana. For the next 6 years I was not allowed to see my kids hardly ever, never was I on my own with them.
When it was my turn to have the kids for the summer "the Anti-Christ" took them to Italy so I could not spend time with them. Needless to say the kids felt abandoned by me, the ex made sure they knew it was because I didn't want to be with them...
... not because she was doing everything in her power to keep them from me.
I have been admitted to a mental facility twice in my life. The first time was after a year or so of not getting to see my kids. I took things into my own hands and went to Indiana to see them and found two confused, terrified, and deeply hurt kids. Two kids that blamed me for their fear, their situation, and for abandoning them.
The look in my children's eyes sent me to a place where murder was imminent. I shut down. Totally encased myself in an armour so deep and profound that from the outside I seemed to be a hollow cocoon, a body with no brain and no soul. It terrified my kids even more, which multiplied my recession.
I was admitted to the Anderson Center of St. John's Hospital, the very same hospital my son and I were born at. I was there for a few days found to be sane and released. I did everything I could to reassure my kids that I and everything else would be fine. They had nothing to worry about. I knew I had only a few days left with them before I had to return to Florida and go back to work. I have never felt so helpless in all my life.
Being the good soldier I am, I went back to work, and carried on. My health was declining, I had three herniated disks in my neck from the wreck, and was still being treated by the people from Florida with all the warmth and care they had initially shown us. Some, actually most of the people from Indiana had made friends and were settled into an uneasy peace.
I hadn't been so lucky. Since I was so weird, unfriendly, crazy, closed off and making everyone look bad because they weren't working as hard as I did. I got to be the one to carry the big target on my back. They were gunning for me and I knew it. With everything going on in my private life, you would think I would have given up, or simply moved on. I couldn't though the only thing I could give my kids was the money.
I made good money at this job, great money actually. Had I been healthy I could have brought home over 100k every year. In the condition I was in however overtime just wasn't an option. But even with just a 40 hour check I had the ability to do something, and so I vowed to fight, I would not let them take this away from my kids. I would not become a complete and total loser and allow them to trick me into getting fired. So let the games begin.
They did, and these people are pros, absolutely the best mind games I have ever seen. I worked in a prison before I worked there and in prison the inmates have nothing better to do than experiment with mind games. After 40 or 50 years they get quite proficient at it. The inmates were like children compared to these people. They pulled plays out of the book even Solomon would have missed.
But I survived, I kept my job and was very very good at it. I got awards and recognition to the point that upper management had an open door policy with me that included a standard operating procedure, if Mikel makes a suggestion, DO IT. Of course the people "working with me" resented me even more.
During these "games" somehow, I fell completely and totally in love with Amanda.
I have never been, nor do I think I will ever again be, so completely in love.
That is the problem, for Amanda it was just the game. She never liked me, her asking me out was part of the game. Her saying yes when I asked her out was her part of the game. Her going out dancing with me was just her playing the game.
For me it was something so completely different, It was an awakening, the coming out of my shell and admitting that I could feel alive and vibrant. That I could love and be loved. I thought she truthfully felt something for me, and was scared that if she let people know that she felt something for me she would be shunned, like me.
My fear was that the people working against me would go after her too. This was her best ploy, I bought into the whole protecting her scam. But I think I did do one smart thing, I stayed away from her, to distance them from her. Let them attack me and if they thought she wasn't on my side then they would leave her alone. Little did I know that in so doing I was actually protecting myself from the sexual harassment suit she was setting me up for.
So how did it end?
I got fired anyway.
Things cooled off or at least I thought they had, I was making friends with Lynette and was working my way to trusting her enough to ask her out. I had given her a couple gifts, little things nothing big. I talked to her and we had some laughs.
I didn't know that Tim, one of the supervisors, was actually having an affair with Lynette. When Tim threatened to kill me rather than write me up, I did think it weird, but not as weird as when I reported it to my union officials and they did nothing about it.
For those of you really paying attention, I did say that I have been put in a mental facility twice. The part of the story that I have left out until now is that during all this time, while in the biggest fight of my life, I was also coming to terms with God.
I was on 200 plus loritab 10s per month for my neck pain. Somewhere in the middle of all that I also lost my entire family, Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters everyone...they all decided that they liked the ex better than me.
All I was left with was God. God and I have had some great conversations, one of these conversations landed me in the happy home for observation (round two). I was released when found to be completely sane.
I was told to not ever walk around naked in public again and I said ok, I wouldn't do that anymore.
For the record the me "nakie" in public was a test of modern Christianity that God asked me to perform. The Christians say if they saw someone naked they would give them the shirt off their back.
Believe me they won't, they will laugh at you, point, call the cops and have you locked up.
Ok back to the me getting fired story, I have given and received several knives as gifts from co-workers during my time at the Florida plant. I had even given a gift of a sword and received a machete.
All this in plain view of management, knives and such were tools we used everyday to do our jobs. Well one of the gifts I gave Lynette, she didn't really care for, it was a Christian music cd. She said she was more of a bad girl. I thought about that and I bought a pocket knife off of a guy at work, and gave it to Lynette. I said something about it being for her daughter (which I knew she didn't have) so she would say. "but I don't have a daughter" and I could say "I know how to fix that".
Seven hours later Tim, the man who two weeks earlier threatened to kill me, fired me for work place violence.
The reason I'm writing this particular piece however isn't to lament my mis-treatment at the hands of my co-workers and supervisors.
It is because this particular chapter will ensure that no one think of me as other than a man, a human being. No better or worse than all the rest of us.
Well and also because two days ago I stumbled on Amanda's Facebook page. I have to say my reaction was intense, sweaty palms, dry mouth, inability to breath... all the classic symptoms of an encounter with Amanda.
I haven't seen her for over two years and still she takes my breath away. I have tried to simply move on, accept that she and I are not destined to be together. It works fine, until I see her, or even just a picture of her, then I'm back to square one.
If I still feel this way and can't seem to "not" feel this way after all this time, it has to mean something, doesn't it?
My Heart... My Guide
To your own heart be true...
I have always followed my instincts, followed my heart. My feelings and emotions are powerful and strong. I am one of those deep people, and I know myself well. I have examined my heart and what it tells me is true. I have learned to trust it and to listen.
I have also learned that there are times when what my heart desires is not what I must do. Respect for others is something my heart has taught me. The respect of the feelings of other hearts.
My heart tells me I am in love. My brain agrees. That she doesn't love me back hasn't lessened my feelings for her at all. Is this 'Undying Love' or is it obsession?
Unconditional love is the love that continues without asking for anything in return. Even without being loved in return.
I understand this concept, and I believe that I am capable of the act itself. In fact what I want more than anything is for her to be happy, even if that means without me.
Not knowing if she is happy, and doing well, is my biggest concern.
I have a romantic side, one that lead me on a path towards a grand gesture. A gesture and a huge statement. I wanted to show her the depth of my love. I wanted to create memories that the two of us could cherish for the rest of our lives.
The thought of sailing on an open ocean, the romance of deep sea voyages, the allure of sea... These things and the thoughts of the two of us being able to sail away from the world and all the stress that was there lead me to look for a sailboat. A ship that would be our magical, mystical escape and provide us with our place for just us.
I found the boat, it is on the Chesapeake, and now so am I.
Living on board my own sailboat, hasn't been the dream I had hoped. As I watch the time that passes, I feel my dream slipping further away. I feel my hope dwindle with each day and every click of the clock.
It was a slim chance to begin with a long shot at best. I know you cannot force someone to love you, and she has told me she doesn't. No means no.
Hope forced me to try...
The world keeps getting in my way, stopping me in the attempt.
The fear of being thought a stalker is what keeps me away. Preventing me from being where she is. Keeping miles between us. I don't really know all that much about her. She has never told me anything about herself, because we have never really talked. My fault, I know, every time she wanted to talk I ran away. Again, fear, and the inability to breath, think, talk, walk. All the other normal functions I thought I had mastered long ago in my life, seemed to vanish every time she was around.
She might even be married by now, she may have kids.
This must be an obsession... though for me it feels like a love that is real.
The inability to see two people kiss, and not wish to kiss her. The thoughts that are always with me, the wondering what she is doing. The plans I don't make, just in case I should turn around and find her standing there. The comparisons of every woman I meet to the one I want to be with, and how I find them all lacking... just because they aren't her.
The choosing to remain alone, instead of searching for someone who wants to be with me, someone that I could love, that isn't her. The thoughts of being faithful to the love that I feel, even knowing that it is a love that I will never fulfill. The dreams of children that I will never have with her. The meeting of someone that simply shares her name and nearly falling over from the pain in my chest.
The inability to live my life... the choice to not live, but to instead wait and hope.
Obsession or Undying Love... it no longer matters...
Being told that I am not loved by her, that she doesn't feel what I feel. Means that I must stay away, that I must respect the wishes of my love and what her heart tells her. To respect Love and what it stands for I am required to abide by her wishes to find my own way...
Someone told me once that love dies, it shrinks and it fades...
Why won't this one? ...Love stinks.
For every new begining is an old beginings end.
Anyone want to buy a sailboat?