I just read an article about John Edwards, the former Presidential candidate and US Senator. Bunny Melon, a weatlhy donor to his campaign, died and the family refused him entry to the funeral. This man makes my skin crawl. Seriously, is there a bigger asshole in the entire world than him? The answer is yes (but I’ll get to that part in a bit). Let’s talk more about John first.
In case you missed it, John’s wife, Elizabeth, had breast cancer and eventually died from the disease. It came out prior to her death that he had an affair with Reille Hunter and had fathered a child. (No need to discuss this bitch who had an affair with a married man whose wife was sick.) John claimed the affair and pregnancy happened while Elizabeth was in remission. At least John stood by Elizabeth during her horrible treatments and supported her through the end, I guess. Does that make him a good guy? Of course not– pretty much everyone agrees that he’s a complete and total asshole.
But Rob the Great (Alcoholic) is worse
But my ex husband, Rob the Great (Alcoholic), can run circles around John Edwards when it comes to the asshole factor. When I was diagnosed with my illness, Rob did not stand by me. Actually, he threatened me that if I left him, he would cancel my health insurance. Let’s see… I have a life threatening illness. I am terrified (who wouldn’t be?). I needed to enter treatment immediately. And Rob wanted to cancel my health insurance so… what… I could not get treatment and die? And he repeated that threat for weeks until I filed for a legal separation in February 2012, which prevented him from canceling my insurance. Rob immediately switched the separation to a divorce. I got that news as I was at the clinic strapped to an IV getting blood transfusions, platelets, and chemo pumped into my veins.
I was officially diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer (Tom Brokaw has this), on January 6, 2012. The time leading up to that diagnosis was a Hell I can’t adequately describe. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I would have panic attacks at random times and couldn’t breathe. My parents were with me at that appointment. Dr. Raja, my diagnosing oncologist, came into the room and, full of positive energy, said that I was highly treatable but the treatments weren’t fun, would take a very long time (maybe the rest of my life), and I needed to enter treatment immediately. My parents and I cried.
After a few hours of grappling with this news, I realized that I was leaving Rob and taking with me our two daughters. I was going to move to Utah to heal and get well– physically and emotionally. After four years of being belittled and screamed at by Alcoholic Rob, there was no chance I could heal in his presence. I couldn’t even think divorce or anything else. All I could wrap my head around was: 1) I was sick. 2) I had to get away from Rob and his explosive temper tantrums. And Rob’s response? He screamed at me, called me a loser, lazy (because I went out on medical disability), stupid, a liar and a thief. Somehow, I doubt John Edwards said any of those things to Elizabeth.
When I received my official diagnosis and texted Rob to let him know, he wanted a letter from my doctor so he could use it to go out on FMLA from his job– NOT to help take care of me or the children, but to have time for HIMSELF. He said it was to go to treatment for his alcoholism. But after hearing his promises of getting alcohol treatment for four solid years (and knowing that he had promised his last wife to do the same), there was NO WAY I was going to let him use MY illness to get free vacation time so he could drink more, sleep more, watch movies, and fish. So I refused. After hearing his lies that he was at an AA meeting when in fact he was at the bars knocking back drinks, I just wasn’t going to participate anymore. Fuck him.
We moved from San Diego in January 2012. I packed up as many clothes as possible in trash bags and we drove to Utah. I entered treatment at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City just weeks later. My treatment plan would include two stem cell transplants and massive chemotherapy in the hopes of getting me into remission. Because of the aggressive nature of my particular disease, I had about a 35 percent chance of getting into remission, or even partial remission.
In addition to my diagnosis, I was in physical pain. Just weeks prior, Rob had grabbed me too hard around my waist and had broken one of my ribs. It hurt to do anything– stand, sleep, shower, walk, breathe… And I was dangerously anemic to the point that they wanted to hospitalize me. When one is that anemic, the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and one’s cognitive reasoning and retention skills are greatly compromised. Additionally, that’s when organs start shutting down. Typically, it’s the kidneys first, then the liver, then…? I was getting blood transfusions and platelets every few days in an attempt to keep me out of the hospital.
But that’s not all… I had two young children that I needed to get into new schools and get situated in a new state. Morgan, who was not quite 12 years old at the time, struggled the most. She missed her dad. Even though she knew Rob was mean and volatile, she still loved him. She missed her friends, her dogs, her room, San Diego… I mean, this was not a pretty move. I had no time to prep the girls for moving and having their entire lives disrupted. And they were so afraid for their mom. They saw me not feeling well and oftentimes I would have to reassure them that I wouldn’t die, that things would be OK, and they cried a lot. Looking back, the first many months of 2012 were a Hell like few can imagine. My parents were angels– they made room for three new tenants, helped pitch in with the caring of two young children, and made countless trips to Salt Lake to sit with me while I received treatment. I felt so inadequate, hopeless, scared, grateful… and ANGER at Rob– anger that he could not be a support system for me. In fact, just the opposite. The text messages I received from him got worse and worse as he called me every name under the sun and screamed at me whenever he called.
…And, he started dating again IMMEDIATELY after we moved. And he taunted me with one woman he met on Match. He immediately purchased a membership to the dating site within days of my cancer diagnosis. She was a former attorney, she had MONEY, she had MONEY MONEY MONEY. And she wasn’t lazy like me. WTF. Seriously, if he wanted me to feel horrible, I already was. I was fighting cancer and sick. No need to heap on more insults, but when you’re a raging alcoholic with the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, anything is “appropriate.”
Back to the John Edwards/Rob the Great (Alcoholic) comparison
So while John Edwards is a dick, Rob is worse because:
1. Rob made fun of me during my illness.
2. Rob promised me and his family that he would get treatment for alcoholism. He didn’t. Instead, he got a new girlfriend.
3. Rob called me a thief, liar, stupid and lazy. None of which was true but who cares about truth when you can go drink, right?
4. He dropped the kids entirely. He has no contact with them at all because they are “too stressful” for him.
5. Rob threatened to cancel my health insurance.
6. Rob screamed at me that if I didn’t send him money from my disability checks that he would throw all my belongings in the front yard.
At least John Edwards had the dignity to try and keep his affair with Elizabeth from her and he supported her through her cancer treatments.
Where was Rob? Screwing a new girlfriend, drinking, and screaming at me.