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The Broken Road – For Love or Money

I remember when I was about‭ ‬6‭ ‬months out of the hospital,‭ ‬I would stop in a church on the way to work to pray about‭ ‬4‭ ‬times a week.‭ ‬It felt like a good place to express my thankfulness of being given a second chance on life and to just‭ ‬“talk to God.‭”‬ I had so many questions about what I went through and why it happened.‭ ‬None of the answers I was getting in life seemed to make any sense.‭

pain of the pastPeople would tell me that God had great things for me in my future because of what I went through…all of those people seemed way off especially because‭ ‬I was still carrying around so much pain from Priscilla and pain from spending those‭ ‬3‭ ‬months in the hospital alone with sparse visitors.‭ ‬What lesson was this supposed to teach me‭? ‬To stop drinking and partying‭? ‬Okay,‭ ‬I got the memo and it has been internalized.‭ ‬I have a friendly reminder down the middle of my chest that I see in the mirror each and every day.‭

Since I had died on the‭ ‬operating table for several minutes,‭ ‬when I was‭ ‬inside the church‭ ‬I felt sometimes that I could hear the voice of God asking‭ ‬me questions and answering some of mine.‭ ‬Perhaps it was just my‭ ‬subconscious,‭ ‬but the‭ ‬biggest question I would hear was‭ ‬“Love with Priscilla or success and money from‭ ‬business‭? ‬You can have one or the other.‭”‬ Due to my strong feelings for her,‭ ‬I would respond in my head with‭ ‬“Love,‭ ‬because‭ ‬the other part is materialistic and did not‭ ‬really matter.‭”‬

What I did not realize is that without the money I never had any sort of chance with her.‭ ‬It does not matter how much love and‭ ‬passion you have in a relationship,‭ ‬without the ability to financially‭ ‬support a basic lifestyle‭ ‬for‭ ‬a woman and her child then she has one foot out the door.‭ ‬Women can get as pissed as they want about this statement and yes I know it does not apply to everyone,‭ ‬but there is‭ ‬a small portion‭ ‬of‭ ‬women that would stay with a man that has the‭ ‬inability to financially provide the kind of lifestyle that they want.‭ ‬Women that become professional and financially‭ ‬successful do not want to waste their hard earned money on a guy that does not have the same drive,‭ ‬ambition,‭ ‬success,‭ ‬or‭ ‬potential to become‭ ‬successful.‭

I think that even back in college this held true,‭ ‬but at a lower level.‭ ‬Women would see the‭ ‬“potential‭”‬ of someone to be able to provide for a family in the future.‭ ‬Did his parents have money‭? ‬Was he intelligent and get good grades in school‭? ‬What kind of car did he drive‭? ‬The list goes on and on.

When it comes to Costa Rica it is even harder for women to make it because the society is so machismo‭ ‬that‭ ‬it is hard for a woman to advance professionally without having to fight through‭ ‬the‭ ‬men‭ ‬that are‭ ‬trying to hold them back.‭ ‬It wounds a male Tico‭’‬s ego if a woman is chosen over him for work or‭ ‬anything for that matter.‭ ‬In many cases the male‭ ‬Tico will try to‭ ‬sabotage the woman to ensure she is not able to advance.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬women are paid less than men in Costa Rica.‭

There is nothing I admire more than a woman that has been born and raised in Costa Rica that has fought her way to become successful,‭ ‬be it‭ ‬through her‭ ‬business or advancement though‭ ‬hard work and determination.‭ ‬I know that both of those paths are usually lined with hardship,‭ ‬disappointment,‭ ‬continual fighting for what they want.‭ ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬many women along the way decide that the road is just too hard and look to marry someone that can support them or turn to prostitution.‭ ‬For me there is really no difference between the two.‭

marrying for moneySorry,‭ ‬went off on a tangent.‭ ‬For me,‭ ‬knowing that money trumped my‭ ‬love was painful.‭ ‬It was like everything that‭ ‬Priscilla and I had been through together meant nothing because I was unable to give her and her baby the lifestyle she wanted.‭ ‬It was not about love or emotional support.‭ ‬Her husband lived‭ ‬3000‭ ‬miles away and the only thing he provided was the cash each month and a vacation for her to the USA about every‭ ‬4‭ ‬months.‭ ‬It‭ ‬does not feel too good when you value your heart at about‭ ‬$1,500‭ ‬a month.‭

Although my mind continued to tell me to forget her and that she was not the right person for me,‭ ‬my heart was having trouble letting go.‭ ‬We still emailed about‭ ‬2‭ ‬to‭ ‬3‭ ‬times a week,‭ ‬but the‭ ‬correspondence had become cold and brought nothing but sadness when I read her words.‭ ‬Living in the‭ ‬same‭ ‬area‭ ‬that she‭ ‬was in also did not make moving on an easy task.‭ ‬Everything reminded me of her‭; ‬restaurants we went to,‭ ‬parks we walked in,‭ ‬yoga places we visited,‭ ‬and everything else.‭

Because her grandmother had been so wonderful to me during my recovery process,‭ ‬I wanted to visit her when I could.‭ ‬She had become my family and my support when I had been‭ ‬going through one of the most difficult times in my life.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the visits now were more painful than comforting.‭ ‬I could feel the eyes of Priscilla‭’‬s family upon me in a‭ ‬“poor Dan‭”‬ sort of way.‭

They all knew that she was not leaving her husband and that I was holding onto someone that had already let me go.‭ ‬The conversations would always end up‭ ‬turning at some point to‭ ‬Priscilla are her husband.‭ ‬I would leave feeling worse than when I came.‭ ‬But for some masochistic reason I felt that I needed to visit her‭ ‬grandmother to offer gratitude for everything she did for me.‭ ‬The pain that each visit caused would leave me unable to think properly for several hours.‭

After a while I just could not do it anymore.‭ ‬Having contact with her family,‭ ‬even her grandmother,‭ ‬had turned from‭ ‬a‭ ‬situation that was a loving environment‭ ‬to a situation‭ ‬where I‭ ‬felt like I was not good enough and would cause me pain.‭ ‬No matter how much I wanted to believe that Priscilla was a person that would never trade her dreams and life for money,‭ ‬the reality of the situation was‭ ‬that her husband had bought himself a wife.‭ ‬If I could just internalize that I could let her go,‭ ‬because that would allow me to have closure.‭

Instead of understanding that this was just one woman and that not‭ ‬all women are like this‭ (‬I hope‭)‬,‭ ‬I shut down my heart‭ ‬completely.‭ ‬Although I craved being with someone else,‭ ‬as that is a normal human need,‭ ‬no woman inlocked heart the world was going to be able to hurt me like that again.‭ ‬If I did not allow my heart to open then it could never go through this pain again.‭ ‬My only focus needed to be on myself and becoming‭ ‬successful in my professional life‭; ‬long hours behind the computer,‭ ‬very little interaction with the outside world,‭ ‬developing business contacts,‭ ‬and putting together a life where I could try to find my smile again.‭ ‬ But it is so‭ ‬difficult to move on when you are‭ ‬surrounded by things that make you‭ ‬remember that there was never any closure with someone.‭

Every time I‭ ‬finally‭ ‬did‭ ‬go out with someone I would compare her to Priscilla.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do not compare that person to the bad things about your‭ ‬ex‭;‬ you compare them to only the good things.‭ ‬No matter how‭ ‬wonderful‭ ‬a person might be‭ ‬they will never add up to this perfect fantasy image you have in your head of your ex.‭ ‬The key is remembering the lies,‭ ‬the bad times,‭ ‬the pain,‭ ‬and everything that caused the eventual termination of your relationship.‭ ‬If everything was perfect‭ ‬,‭ ‬then‭ ‬you would still be together.

As I‭ ‬focused on work I would still return to church to pray from time to time.‭ ‬The voice inside my head would shout out‭ ‬“I choose success and money over love with Priscilla‭.” However this time there was no response,‭ ‬just quiet.‭ ‬I guess God knew I was lying.‭

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