That Dragon, Cancer Helped Me Deal With My Grief

That Dragon, Cancer is an indie video game developed by a mother and father who lost their child to cancer. Lately, video games haven’t been my thing, but I decided if I was going to play I was going to go towards more story driven games. While the game had its bugs and annoying mechanics the story is something that can knock you back on your feet especially if you have children of your own.

I remember when I was told I might have a tumor in my head. I was alone when I was told that and had no support around me to deal with it. The doctor was cold and blunt, telling me we will see for sure after some tests next week. When I went home I was emotionless. It didn’t help I was already like that due to my PTSD, but this made me fall apart a little. I didn’t pray to God or try to reach out to anyone really. When I look back at that and think of my situation now I wonder if my ex-wife would have wanted me to just die. Either way, I was somewhat okay if I died because it would be something I can’t control.

However, if it were my kids I would have prayed to every single God imaginable. I would have given my life and pleaded for anything to be done. Having to watch this family lose their child, even in a pixelated format, broke my heart from start to finish. It reminded me of The Last of Us when Joel was holding his dying daughter at the start. Well, extend that part for about an hour and you get That Dragon, Cancer.

This game helped me grieve even more than I thought I needed. You have to let go of somethings that are out of your control. They had to let go of their son and hope they would see them again, but you could hear the doubt in the father’s voice, which is understandable. I had to let go of someone I loved more than anyone. When I found out she wanted to leave and thought nothing of me as a cancer it broke me. I remember telling her I would love her forever and her saying it back to me, but now, she saw me as nothing but a disease.

The weird thing is I’m not even angry about it anymore. I’m sad, yes, but I knew I had to stop chasing someone that thought the worst of me even after I had changed so much. But my kids are so hurt by this. When I have to hold one of my kids because he is crying saying he may never see me again because of the divorce it breaks my heart. I know where he is getting those ideas. I reassure him that everything would be fine and we both loved his brothers and him. I don’t know what the future holds though. I hate making promises to them that I’m not sure I can keep.

They are the cure for everything that is bad in my life. I love it when I see them when it is my turn to have them. My youngest will laugh with me as we go around the house cleaning and playing games together. My middle child will tell me how much he loves me and how he misses me every day. I stay up late with my oldest as we talk about what he wants to be when he grows up.

I don’t want them to grow up. I can play these moments in my head for an eternity and never get sick of them. I know that when each day passes they are closer to starting their own lives and while I will be beyond proud of that day I also know it will be one of the saddest in my life. I don’t get to see them as much because I failed to keep our family together. That is a burden I will keep with me. It will not define me, but it will mostly certainly help me to grow.

I didn’t think I had any more grief to go over, but this game made it pour out of me and help me heal even more from it. As I said, as a game it is a bit annoying and not something I would want to play again, but the story alone is something so heartwarming and crushingly sad that I would suggest anyone to play it at least once.

I Loved Someone That Never Truly Loved Me

I had always thought my ex-wife had loved me. When we married each other I thought we were going to be together forever and nothing could ever change that. At the start of 2017 she left me to be with her boss she just met and I slowly pieced everything together everything that would tell me that my marriage may have been a lie. I struggled with this realization for months, but after she told me the truth I was finally able to let it go.

Let me first say that I know that she had some love for me. I’m not saying she was some type of monster. I mean, she married me, so she had some feelings for me. I don’t believe she had true love for me. Nothing that she would ever brag about or even something to remember in the future. I always wonder what I would have told my past self because of this. Would I tell him to run? Would I tell him how much he would at least love her and the children he would have? Best not to think of it.

I still remember my time in the military and one of my friends grabbing me telling me to divorce her. He had been to our house a few times and I can say there were problem with her at first. She wasn’t a good house wife and hardly did anything. He saw this and told me to get rid of her before we had children. I told him no because I loved her and she was depressed. She married a man right out of high school and moved across the country. I still don’t regret that decision.

But years later I became broken. Accidents would happen and terrible situations decided to fall on my lap. I wasn’t strong or brave enough to handle it then and I wouldn’t be able to face my PTSD until this year. I found out though that she hated me. At first I thought it was because of all the years of just dealing with my bullshit but she told me the truth. She stopped loving me before our second child was born when everything started to get bad. She told me she only stayed for the kids.

Through sickness and health. For better or worse. These are things I truly believed in when it came to the love I had for this woman. It wasn’t for her though. I found out she hated everything about me and my family. When she left me for her boss things started to come out in the open when people heard about it. They would tell me or my family what she thought of us. It was heart breaking for everyone.

When I had told her that I contemplated suicide and really thought about going through with it her response was calling me stupid. She would later try to explain it, but it was clear to me how she viewed me. After that she had never called to check up on me or to even see how I was doing.

But we can’t choose who we love. When I would read the emails, notes, see the pictures knowing full well of what she did and how she viewed me I still loved her. But it helped me to move on at the same time. While I will love her always and remember the girl I fell in love with I have to remember she isn’t that person anymore.

She threw me away. She said her life felt threatened over an argument we had where I said nothing or did anything that would have caused physical violence and I have no history or have done no harm to her ever. This man she ran to threatened my family and myself while saying things to me about my children.  She saw all of this and thought nothing of it. I knew right then how much she hated me. Twelve years together and only knowing him a few months and she already placed him above me when it came to our children.

She will say I’m looking for pity and talk about how pathetic I am to other people. That is fine. This has been happening for years, so it won’t make a difference to me what she will say or do. When things finally came out in the open and I finally saw and heard the truth it really did help me feel better. She has become a person that pushes my buttons to make me mad to justify her wrong doings.

I’m happy to say though that I know now that while this person will always have a place in my heart over time I will find someone that actually loves me. Am I still hung up on her? Of course, I have loved her since the day I laid eyes on her and still do. However, I am mad at her, myself and so many other things that broke our family apart. But writing helps. Doing this and posting has always done something to ease my pain. No one will read it, and it won’t matter if someone does because maybe our marriage never mattered.

My Worst Year, But A Hopeful Future

I guess 2017 may go down as the worst year possible for me. Yeah, there are plenty of good things that happened over the months, but overall I lost the love of my life. My wife at the time wanted a separation to help our marriage get back together. However, I knew something didn’t seem right and others in both our families had the same hunch. When I found out she was cheating on me with her boss and I can’t say I was surprised. I found all the evidence I needed and she honestly didn’t care at all about it and continued to lie to me until it just came out. It was a stab in the heart and a pain I know that will remain there forever. She has become hateful and bitter towards me. It is weird how only a year ago we told each other how much we loved each other and now she left me for another man. She now hates every bit of me as a person.

I found out the man she left me for has had a lot of addiction problems with drugs, alcohol and who knows what else. He has been divorced twice and had just ended his second when he met her. He also has charges on sexual assaulting someone and made threats towards my parents drunk. When I brought these things up to her she said I was just attacking his character. That I was jealous. No, I didn’t want this man near my children. However, she said to be with me was just settling and he was a better man than me. This man has texted me threats, told me my kids love him and don’t even miss me, and she thinks it is no big deal. For better for worse was not an option anymore.

A lot happened during those months though that I can say are a positive. I’ve gotten healthy and started to work out a lot to keep my body in shape to where I want it. I suffered through the last five years because of PTSD. It left me a hollow husk of my former self and I’m still sorry for so many friends and family members that had to witness that. I was toxic and no one deserved to be around that. Now, I can safely say that person is gone forever and I can move forward knowing that I’m a better person. My ex would tell me it was because of her, but it actually wasn’t. I did this on my own and I wanted her to be a part of it, but she hated me so much by then. I honestly can’t put the full blame on her. Yes, she pulled the trigger on the gun when she cheated on me, that is her fault even if she won’t admit it, but I did put the gun in her hands.

I have found God again, somehow. He was hiding behind my curtains. It is funny because one of the reasons why my ex hated me was because I left the church and I somehow found my way back. She doesn’t believe it and she never will, which is fine. Her and her boyfriend have even mocked me about it. I know many of my friends are cringing at the idea of me going back to church. No, they’ll say. Tony, please come back for science and reason! Well, that hasn’t left me either. I can safely say that I am right in the middle of where I want to be with this. Reason will always be my friend, but the spirit of something beyond me is inside of me as well. This balance has brought a lot of peace inside of me. I’m going to embrace it, but keep it within myself. I don’t want to judge people or try to act like I’m better than anyone. I think everyone should find something like this. It doesn’t have to be religion, but every one of us deserves to be happy.

Someone said to me,

“Ok. Honestly this may sound bad, but it doesn’t sound like she wanted a separation to try to fix things with you. She wanted a separation so she could do what she wanted to do. I don’t care what you did Tony! You were struggling with a mental illness. And she wasn’t going to support you through it. Instead she chose to feed her needs elsewhere with someone else. Someone that cares for you wouldn’t do that!

You can hate me for saying this, but she is being extremely selfish. Do you really want to take someone like that back?? Even if she did agree to change. She would still be her. Do you have enough love and respect for yourself to put your foot down and say you deserve better? I’m not saying you need to turn her away now. Go ahead and give her until the end of the year if you must. But what if it turns out this guy chases her away before then and she comes crawling back to you just because you’re all she has?”

I know she isn’t coming back. She has told me how much she doesn’t love me or even wants to look at me. There is some truth to what this person said to me, when I realized it is time to let her go. However, I don’t feel there really is a villain in this. She stuck by a man for years who had become toxic from his mental illness. We all want to say we would do the right thing when the time comes up, but we are all human. We all have a breaking point and we all will make mistakes. I never believe we aren’t capable of cheating, but I also believe we are capable of always changing for the better. However, some things are just character flaws as well that we can’t control.

I will always love my ex. I considered her my soulmate and I sadly still do. People would call me dumb, but I would gladly have a second chance with her to make things right. This isn’t the case though. She has clearly told me how much she dislikes me and how being with me isn’t even worth that second chance. Is it sad? Well, duh, of course it is. However, I can’t force another person to be with me, that would be wrong.

People will call me a liar and that I’m trying to get sympathy. No, I’m telling my side of the story. As I have said, I have evidence and I have brought up to her only to have her lie to me again and again. When she finally realized she was caught for good she didn’t care and instead told me how much she hated me.

Overall, I can say that I am happy with who I am as a person. Yes, I will be forever heartbroken. I won’t fully blame her, I had plenty of fault in our mistakes. She dealt with a selfish asshole for years who was to weak to get help. However, she may never admit her many mistakes and never seek the help that she needs. It truly makes me sad that it had to come to this. I really wanted our family to stay whole and for us to work out our problems, even after I found out she was cheating on me. Sadly, this chapter of my life will close and I’ll look back on it with regret, but learn from it all at the same time.

I wanted to use this blog for healing what I was going through this year. I believe that job is now complete. I have my three boys that love me so much and I would do anything for them. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best of luck in the future.