Friday, October 15, 2010

Marriage, the long story

I have given you the short story, but since it is all fresh it is time to come clean and be open with you about my marriage. I would love to tell you a story about birds singing, butterflies, happiness and happily ever after but this is where I am honest. The thing to remember is I am so blessed - I have Doodles and I have an inexplicable ability to forgive, that is my gift.

He walked in one Sunday afternoon shortly before closing and I asked if I could help him find anything. He wanted something new to listen to so I suggested a few new bands that had come out. He bought them and I kicked him out of the store, we were closing and I was nothing if not in a hurry to get home. I was 18. He came back a few weeks later and one of the guys asked if I was going to have another one (i had a stalker, it was bad but got taken care of). I shrugged and waited to see if he was going to come into the store with his friend. They did and he asked me to go out bowling with them, I was going to say no but they convinced me by telling me 2 of my friends from the mall I worked at were going.

We were seeing each other for a few weeks and I told him I needed to talk to him. I told him that I was a virgin and I was planning on staying that way until my wedding day. I would understand if that was not something he was interested in and if he didn't want to pursue a relationship knowing the limitations on the intimacy. He said he was ok with it and we continued to see each other. My birthday came and went. At the end of April he asked me to meet him at his place. I said ok; when I got there we sat to watch a movie. I asked where everyone was. He told me that they all canceled at the last minute, it was just the two of us. I was uncomfortable, but it was just a movie. He started messing with me and I told him I was not comfortable with that and asked him to stop. One thing lead to another and he did not stop. I kept saying no and he kept going. I was crying and pushing...he pushed back until my virginity was no more. He rolled away from me and I got up, pulled my clothes on and went home in shock.

He called me the next day and told me that I could be pregnant. He told me that he was sorry. He told me that my beliefs told me that I had to marry him now. I couldn't deny anything he said. Inside it was as if I had deflated...all I could think was he is right, if I do not stay with him I am a whore. Every time I found out I was not pregnant he pushed himself on me. For almost a year I lived this way. Until Feb when we had the accident.

I finally started to think in that hospital room. I almost lost my life...I am worth more than this! No one will think I am a whore because I was raped, no one needs to know I was raped...I had sex with one man! I am going to be fine. I need to break free of this. I was gaining strength inside. But, getting out of the hospital......that was another fine mess.

As soon as I started physical therapy he moved up to Wisconsin in with my parents. I stayed in Illinois to complete my therapy and to pack our stuff. We were moving. When I arrived in Wisconsin I was busy trying to find a job and get on my feet. June came and my mom and him sat me down and told me the wedding was planned and paid for all I had to do was go buy a dress. My mom was taking me that next weekend. Wait, I told you that I wanted to postpone this...possibly cancel. Why is this planned???? Paid for???? So, I was swept along from recovering from my accident (did I mention I almost died) to getting married in 6 months.

About a month after my little sister and I were talking and she told me about him and my older sister. What did they do? They had sex while we lived in Illinois? OMG!!!! I am married to him. I cannot do anything about this now.

He continued to force me to be with him. I was his wife and I did my wifely duty. It was not good. About a year into my marriage someone came into our apartment and forced himself on me. This man had a knife and it was so scary. Turned out that this was one of his "friends" from the bar. Oh, he was liking the big city life. Awhile after that traumatic incident, he forgot to pick me up at work. I was working in a little town about 8 miles from our town. The walk was down a country highway that was not at all busy in the middle of the night. I worked second shift. After work I tried to get in touch with him to no avail. Everyone was gone so I walked. About halfway home this car started creeping behind me. I walked faster, I ran. The man ran after me, tackled me in a corn field. He had his face covered so I do not know who it was. The next morning he asked me how my walk home was. I will never know if he was behind it, but I believe that he was in the car. After this I became very obsessed with STDs. I went everywhere to get tested. I paid out of pocket. It was insane! Until my doctor calmed me down and told me she would test me yearly.........I still get tested. I don't know if I will ever be comfortable knowing that this didn't do physical damage.

Anyway...I put him through college. I found a job that I enjoyed. When he got out it was supposed to be my turn to go back to school. When he noticed that I was starting to get friends, enjoying my job he announced that we were moving. I didn't have a choice!!!! He had already quit his job and found a new one. For years we moved every time I got comfortable in a place until we landed in the St Louis Metro area.

Here I got a good job. One I ended up loving. I was gaining courage and strength, friends. He noticed and that is when he told me it was ok for us to have a child. My one wish. After Doodles was born, he was the backbone I needed. There was only one more act of sexual abuse in our relationship and I put my foot down. There will be no more abuse in that household. As the days went by I became more and more frightened. When was he going to snap?

One day he came home and told me he would never touch me again, threw his wallet (at me or the table, you decide) and went to bed. I looked and inside was a receipt for a hotel room for the night before. He obviously didn't sleep. I put it on the table for when he woke up. Later that day I pointed to it and he said he was seeing someone else and he would never touch me again. He was not going to have me freaking out again. {for as crappy of a husband/man as he was he at least had enough respect for me to not touch me when he was with someone else}. I put up with it...he was respecting me and our child needed a father, even if it was only so so. I put up with it until he quit his job as an engineer and started working at the bar full time. I put up with it until I couldn't pay the bills any longer because he was not giving me his paychecks.

I told him that I was done. Adultery is the one reason that my faith gives me to divorce him. I had put up with it for almost 2 years and now I am done. I cannot pay our bills and that is ridiculous. He left and moved in with his girlfriend leaving me with a house payment, the car that was not paid off and all of the outstanding bills. The house was foreclosed on...I didn't even get all of our stuff moved out before they locked it up. I declared bankruptcy because it was impossible to pay for everything that was left sitting in my lap. That shames me...I am self-sufficient, but I just couldn't!

My marriage was not pretty, but for 12 years I put on a happy face for the public and I danced the dance of perfection. On my 15 year wedding anniversary I finally was able to file my divorce papers with the courts....yes, it took 2 almost 3 years for him to agree to sign the paperwork to legalize letting me go. And he only did once I agreed to move closer to him and away from where I was comfortable. Control until the very end....and beyond.

Yes, I forgave everything that happened and I can now see why I agreed to go on that first date. I can remember what a nice person he was He violated my body but he never really violated what really matters. I think that is one of the reasons that I have been able to forgive.

There is more...but 15 years is a lot of stuff. This covers most of the bad and the ugly.


M said...

It was difficult to read that. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to live with those memories... it couldn't have been easy to write it down. Thank God you have Doodles... the rainbow after the storm. I can completely understand why there are some things you truly want to forget. I can't imagine trying to cope with all of that.

I have to tell you... I was left with no choice but to file bankruptcy in 2005 after struggling for 2 years to try and get back on my feet financially and I think I can honestly say I am more ashamed of that than anything else I've done. I was always the girl who could take care of herself... and suddenly my whole world was unraveling and I was losing everything and starting over in a new city with one friend and less than $10 to my name. I was so ashamed because I felt like I failed at life and all of that hard work had been all for nothing. A lot of it happened due to circumstances that were beyond my control, but of course I was responsible for some of the damage, too... stupid choices I had made. I was so ashamed and embarrassed to be in that position, especially since at that time I was dating someone (my now husband) who was double majoring in accounting and finance... I was sure he would be disgusted with me and leave me.

kc said...

This was hard to live with at first, but I coped. I learned to deal and I learned the propensity of my ability to forgive even the worst in people without them having to say they were sorry. BUT, in everything I have gone through this was not the hardest or the worst in my opinion. It just was my life.

The bankruptcy was horrible. I was partly at fault. I chose the bigger house because I was going to settle when I found out I was never going to have a child. Then my miracle came. The more expensive house was harder, but we were ok. Alone there was no way. Bankruptcy rubs a person raw...and you can always tell the people who are just going to go out and get in trouble again. Those guys are the ones who are not ashamed to go into that court house.....its a disgusting site to sit in the proceedings and have people laughing and la de da when you are tore up with dread because you tried so hard! UGH.

Maybe I need to put a disclaimer on this blog...beyond that it is therapy. Maybe I should put a danger sign or something :)

M said...

In retrospect I probably should have filed for bankruptcy a year before I actually did... I just didn't want to give up! For a long time I had been living paycheck-to-paycheck and I was doing fine, but I ended up getting really sick and missing a month of work. That was enough to completely deplete what little savings I had. And on top of that, it was winter and our hours always got cut back at work in the fall/winter, so I was barely scraping by. I was eventually left with no choice but to move out of my apartment and back in with my parents which was absolutely humiliating after living on my own for three years. And from that point on it seemed like the harder I tried to catch up, the farther behind I fell. And then when I finally made the decision to move and start my life over (around two years later), I had only been working for a month when the neck injury happened and I missed ANOTHER month of work... and I finally had to accept that I just wasn't going to be able to dig myself out of the hole I was in. Even now the only people who know are my parents, my husband, my attorney, the court, and now you. I know I had no other option, but I am still so embarrassed and ashamed.

I think it's amazing that you're able to forgive people even after everything you've been through. That says a lot about your character. You've been so mistreated and abused but you haven't given up on people. You still want to believe that there are good people out there and that even bad people have some good in them. You've been through hell but they didn't break you... you're still fighting back and I do believe that you will be able to find your way through the dark and turn on the light. And I think you know that, too. I don't think you would be trying so hard to heal if you didn't think it could be done... you don't seem like the sort of person who would put so much time and energy into something if you didn't truly believe in it. I mean, you were told you wouldn't have children and you didn't give up... and now you have Doodles.

Hmmm... a blog warning... maybe you should use the warning they have on pop bottles... "contents under pressure" or something like that. =)

kc said...

and anyone who comes across this post and reads the comments...maybe we should delete. Of course no one will know who you are, but still. It's pretty public and it is a private thing. Your call!!!

Thank you. I do believe that there is good out there - maybe not around me so much, but its there. Even R-tard has good in him -- buried under all the self-centered, self-important BS...he still has a kind soul. I just really believe that. Just as I hold onto that thread of belief that he really will do the right thing someday.

My belief threads may be thin, but they are durable.....maybe that is called naivete.

"Contents Under Pressure" hmmm, may work. :-)

Rachel said...

I am so sorry for what you have been through. I am glad you've used it to strengthen you. I think it's easier to make big changes once we realize how it impacts our children. Thank you for sharing.

M said...

I think it's okay to leave it out there. Yes, I'm still embarrassed that I had to do what I had to do... but I've come a long, long way since then. And I definitely will never repeat the mistakes I made that contributed to the mess I was in! Not that I didn't already appreciate the things I had, but I appreciate what I have so much more now because I know how easily it can be lost.

No, I don't think its naivete... I think you are just programmed to find the good in everything and everyone... turn a negative into a positive.

Maybe you should start reading warning labels and disclaimers for inspiration so you can write your own.

kc said...

M - Once again, I think that is what separates the people who do bankruptcy as a last resort and the people who file for it just to get themselves out of debt to jump right back in.

I am an optimist by nature. I do see the good and not the bad. Sometimes to my detriment, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I would not want to be that person who needs others to be miserable so I can feel even the slightest bit good about myself.

Thank you Rachel. It is often our children that give us the strength to see what is before us and then to act appropriately.

Foursons said...

Wow, that is an almost impossible road to walk. I admire you ability to keep going.