Friday the 13th
It just dawned on me that today would have been my 33rd Wedding Anniversary. No, please, do not feel sorry for me. I found that when I would tell people “I’m Divorced” the immediate response was usually “I’m sorry”. So I changed my sentence structure to “I’m happily divorced”, which usually always evokes a smile and explains so much.
We’ve only actually been divorced three years but it was 2003 when my girls and I kicked him out. Long story not going there now. Did you read my 3 part story I said was fiction but really wasn’t (except for the ending) called “The Shotgun? Yea, that’s pretty much the way it happened the day he moved out. How come they never talk about “drama kings”?
It had always been a bad marriage. It’s beginnings rooted in the far right Fundamentalist group we both belonged to in the early 70’s. We met because I travelled across the country from the East coast to the West in order to preach the Gospel. I can’t even fathom that today – it was a different life-time-ago. The Bible teaches that the Love of God (Agape love) is so much higher than (Eros) human love so compatibility really didn’t have much to do with It (red flag). Truth = We weren’t compatible.
After becoming somewhat immersed in the group, the people, its teachings (which did not believe in divorce…duh!) and being constantly led to believe that it was my fault (change your mind and all will be well) (you’re not believing God big enough – that’s why you’re having problems) yada! Yada! red flag! red flag! By then, this was my life. These were all the friends I had. It wasn’t “cool” to have friends outside the group. The only reason you would was to proselytize and if they didn’t believe “our brand” of religion, they were dropped like a hot potato. (I know, red flag!)
Fast forward 10 years when I got pregnant with my first child. Yes ten years and do you want to know why? Because I was still not sure of my marriage (call me a bit slow) (ok call me stupid) and there was also the matter of genetics (if you’ve read any of my past stories)
So, I’m 35 years old, contemplating having children. There’s not a lot of time for consideration. There’s not a lot of time for getting rid of the “wrong” man and finding the “right” man, which would also mean losing all my friends, my home, probably my job, you get the picture.
So, at 37 years old – the same age my mother was when she had her 6th child, I had my first. And oh, never in a million years could I anticipate the wonderfulness of that experience. Life was good. Husband was visibly changed by the experience and I was on a mission. I HAD to have another child – real quick – time – hormones – clocks – were all running out. And then there were three. Twenty-seven months later I gave birth to twin girls.
Like the honeymoon, the magic wore off and the day to day reality of taking care of 3 children under 3 set in. The marriage did not get better over the next 15 years, just worse. I can SO understand how women in abusive relationships stay. Mine (at the time) was verbally & mentally abusive. But I was home with three kids, not working – where would I go? How would I live? What would happen to my kids? In fact, towards the end my husband threatened to take custody if I left. In hind sight it wouldn’t have been possible but in the middle of the fear – you believe these things. And you wake up each morning and do it all over again.
For years I bided my time “knowing” that when the girls were out of High School, I was out the door. But when he physically hit me, it was like he woke me out of a deep “snow white” sleep. It was then that I realized that the verbal and mental abuse I had endured for years was now taking its toll on the girls – he was starting to treat them like he had treated me and it was obviously doing more harm than good to “stay together for the sake of the kids”.
I’ve never been happier in my life.
I’ve never been less religious in my life.
My girls, well they are dealing with stuff. The stuff of growing up with an abusive parent and yea, putting some of the blame on me for not protecting them enough but I’m confident that they will work through it and our relationships will be stronger even than it is now.
Just to be clear: I do take full responsibility for my actions. This is just my story.
And its Friday the 13th!
I’m going out to celebrate.