After only 12 hours I was sent home from the hospital and spent the next three weeks living with my girls at my parents house. I slept in a recliner in the family room and I couldn’t talk or eat. The surgery went into my spine through the front and I guess they had to move everything out-of-the-way and when they put it all back, it didn’t work all that well at first. Part of me believes that my friends and family had a hand in having the doctor make is so I couldn’t talk for a while. I guess it was better for everyone for me to just be quiet. I finally arrived back home and life began to take on its normal routine. 6 weeks later I was throwing a Memorial Day BBQ at my house and I couldn’t believe how great I was feeling. I continued physical therapy and was still collecting my disability since I had lost my job shortly after the meeting where I couldn’t sit. They didn’t get rid of me per say, but we agreed they needed a full-time body and since mine was breaking down, we parted ways amicably. One day during recovery my best friend and I were going through professions where I didn’t have to sit and she said “Why don’t we open our own business?” It made perfect sense, except for the fact that we had no money and couldn’t really decide which one of our talents to hone in on. During this time Friend Guy and I were going pretty strong and he was all for whatever I wanted to do. He spent more time at my house and the natural progression of things was that eventually he would move in. I had a rule about all my living arrangements. I never moved in with them. I always kept my house, my stuff, my money so that God Forbid it didn’t work out I would not be left stranded. I managed to keep that rule for most of my life. The business plan was underway, the kids had their mother back and the man and I were in a good place. Sometimes I think the moment I realize life is good is the exact moment that an airbag shoots open in my face. Causing bruises and instant shock, but no long-term damage. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized my neck hurt again. Pain, but not to the extent that it was before. I instantly got nervous and thought this was again the beginning of the end. It wasn’t and with some PT things subsided. That would happen a number of times over the course of the that year and one night it caused quite an argument. I was having lower back spasms and was extremely uncomfortable when Friend Guy was over and drinking quite a bit. He approached me for sex and if I hadn’t been incapable of moving my legs I would have gladly obliged, but I was in pain and the thought of it made me cringe. He accused me of using my back as a means to NOT have sex with him. An argument ensued and he walked out. WHAT? Are you kidding me? There are plenty of reasons for not having sex with you! I did not have to make one up! I let it go. He was drunk, I was in pain a lot, I’m sure it was annoying. Fine. Then it happened again, but this time on a night that my back went out totally. We had a fight and he slept in the living room. I woke up in the middle of the night and called and called his name to come help me get up. Nothing. I managed to drag myself to the bathroom and straighten up enough to walk into the living room. He was gone. This disappearing act was starting to get old. I sat in bed wide awake and thought to myself “I’m hurt, I can barely walk and you leave in the middle of the night without telling me?” That’s kind of a douche bag move. But again I had other things to worry about and when he returned the next day we operated as if nothing happened. Things settled down and life began again to show a glimmer of normalcy. In the back of my head, I knew there were warning signs. I knew there were big red flashing warning signs. But we had all the same friends, grew up in the same town, had the same religious upbringing, had families that knew each other…with all that this should be a whole lot easier no? I wanted it badly. I wanted it so badly I could taste it. I wanted to prove to my friends, my family that I could do it. I could be in a normal, functioning, loving relationship and I was willing to overlook a few signals to make it happen. And that is exactly what I did.