Thursday, January 7, 2021

Why I'm Single

This'll probably be the hardest post to write, but I guess before I can go on and talk about life as it is now, I have to go back and explain how I got to where I am. I'm telling you now that I'm not proud of some of the things I've done, but here goes ...

In the mid-1980s I married my high school sweetheart and we stayed married for over 30 years and had some kids. As the years rolled on and we grew up, it came to be that we just didn't have that much in common. I tried a few times to talk to her about it, but she didn't take it seriously. There were some disagreements, especially when it came to the lifestyle of our oldest daughter, and things were pretty bleak. At least, they were to me. I got to feeling like I was just a source of income to the house. It got bad enough I was considering taking my own life so the family could have the life insurance. But then I met someone and one thing led to another and next thing I knew, I was having an affair. My wife found out about it and the marriage was over.

Not long after that, the woman I'd cheated with decided she couldn't be with me because she felt pretty sure her friends and family wouldn't approve of me, and so she left me, too. Looking back on it, she was pretty much self-absorbed and shallow and I was a fool to get mixed up with her, but there it is. At the time, I fell hard for her and I think she loved me for a while. The look in her eyes told me she did, but then that all dried up and her friends took up all her time.

So, yes, I am alone and single because I was weak and cheated. I've worked this over in my mind for years now. I was pretty serious about considering suicide. Did God or the universe or fate or some otherworldly force put that other woman in my life at that moment to keep me from killing myself? Is what I did better than what I was planning? I just don't know. Had there been other opportunities in my life that I just didn't see until I was at a point I was so low I jumped at the chance to be with someone else? I can tell you that I began the affair thinking it didn't matter because I would be dead before anybody found out about it.

But that isn't how it worked out. The marriage is over. The affair is over. I do not plan to kill myself, despite nights of crushing loneliness and days of deep depression. I have my kids and my grandkids -- they're all talking to me again and in some ways our relationships are even stronger -- and I have a couple of good dogs that probably get tired of me talking to them.

Okay. That's out of the way. There will be more posts about loneliness and depression and dating sites and doing things by myself, but it was necessary to get the origins story out of the way first. I was weak. I was wrong. But I'm trying to do better.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

An Introduction

 Hello. My name is J.M. Bailey. I'm an author. My first novel, The Teacher, will be coming soon from a small local company called MoonHowler Press. The publisher has been after me for a while to start a website to promote the book. I'm kind of a private person and resisted, but we finally compromised and decided I would do a blog.

"What do I write about?" I asked.

"Promote your books," he said.

"I don't want to be a cheap hack begging people to buy my books," I answered.

"Then write about your life," he said. "Write about the stuff that's in your books but make it personal. Tell the truth without the trappings of fiction."

That scared the hell out of me. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought the idea had merit. Especially if it would encourage discussion among other people -- especially men -- in a similar situation as myself. I'm still scared, but I'm going to do it. Maybe you'll think I'm a monster. Maybe you'll think I need to be institutionalized. Or maybe you'll realize that you're not alone in what you're feeling.

A little background about me ... I'm a retired teacher. High school history was my subject. No, I never coached, which made me an oddball among history/social studies teachers. I was really there for the history, not because I was an athlete who didn't make it to the pros. Sorry if that offends you, but over the years I saw too many people pass through my department with teaching degrees they got because they couldn't let go of their sports dreams.

I live on a modest acreage between Midwest City and Choctaw in central Oklahoma. I have my retirement, Social Security, and hopefully soon some book royalties to live on. I'm comfortable. I travel when I want to. I do love road trips.

As of this writing I have been separated or divorced for just over three years. We'll get into that more later. I have four kids and three grandsons and I love them all very much. I am not dating anyone, despite efforts in that direction. My ex-wife and I are on amicable terms at the moment, and she has been dating another man for almost two years.

That's probably enough background for now.

Why I'm Single

This'll probably be the hardest post to write, but I guess before I can go on and talk about life as it is now, I have to go back and ex...