In my previous post Unearthing What is Buried Within I started off describing my first marriage when I was 19 years old. And I gave a few descriptions of the chaos that was in our young tender marriage within the first year. If you read that post, then you can see I was rather volatile back then. And I didn’t know why.
The third year of our marriage our second child was born. She was born into a situation that was less than desirable – we were anything but the happy family. But, we were doing the best we could at the time. It was difficult, he was heavily into drugs, (Meth) not just doing them but also making them for profit. I was alone 3/4 of the time. The little ones kept me busy so I didn’t notice when I was busy how alone I was feeling. But by the time I got them to bed, and the house was silent, I would start to go through a feeling of extreme isolation and loneliness. By the time he would come home I would be a frazzled mess. I began to plot schemes to make him think I was in danger and tell him how fearful I was. I did this because I was desperate for some company and attention from my husband. We were living far away from my family for a while and way up in the mountains with no neighbors nearby.
Strength comes when you need it.
I remember one time I discovered how strong I could be when I had to be. I was about 5 months pregnant with our second baby, and there was a big snow storm, and I only had the El Camino to drive (because he took the Dodge van to go off and do his “thing”) and the El Camino was not a good vehicle for the icy roads, and being that I was not accustomed to driving in the snow or on ice, I opted to never drive in it. But one afternoon, my rambunctious little 2 year old wanted to help mommy after lunch and when I let him out of his highchair when he was done eating he decided to put his highchair away (which was against the back wall of the kitchen) and he slid the highchair across the hardwood floor and when the back legs of the highchair hit the wall it collapsed the legs which folded the legs of the chair like scissors, and his finger was smashed in between the the legs. He squealed really loud and went over to see and saw that his entire tip of his finger was crushed in the legs and opened the highchair up to remove his finger and the tip of it fell t the floor. He was standing there looking like he was really hurt and held up his finger to show me it was bleeding and I could see the bone on the end was exposed.
I had no phone at the time so I could not call an ambulance. There were no neighbors up there in the mountains, and so I had to dig the car out of the snow and clear a path in the driveway. I picked up the tip of his finger and put it in a cloth packed with snow. I wrapped his finger up with a clean t-shirt and I buckled him in the El Camino. I had to get down the mountain and the roads were icy and it was a winding downhill road all the way to town.
I was doing fantastic! I was keeping calm, my little brave boy was not even crying, he was acting so grown up. hen I went around a tight curve and I stepped on breaks in the wrong place. The car lost all traction, and I was out of control spinning around. And suddenly, down a ditch on the side of the road we went. And I could not get out of the ditch. Could not get traction. But luckily someone came along and had a rope and pulled us out. On the road again in a big hurry to the hospital… I went sliding into the emergency room parking. I grabbed up my boy and his finger in the cloth and ran him inside. All through this event I could have been panicking or crying or freaking out, but I didn’t. I was calm cool and collect. The doctor sewed the end of his finger back on and told me he would never grow a fingernail again because the nail-bed was too damaged. He also told me I did the right thing to pack it in the snow to keep it cold because it saved his finger. To my pleasure, 9 months later he started to grow his fingernail back. So thank God for that. He is 33 years old and the finger and the nail are perfect.
The point about that story was how strong I could be when I had to be. But after all that good stuff and how calm and cool I was through that very scary afternoon all alone, as soon as I saw my husband again which was about 2 days later, I fell completely apart telling him about what happened. I was crying and yelling at him for not being there for me and that I just could not stand to be alone anymore up there in the mountains covered with snow. I was begging him to spend time with the family. I would become needy and clingy. And he would shun me or just ignore my plea. Sometimes he would just laugh at me and walk away.
There was nothing I could do to get him to acknowledge me, or my love. I would wear the clothes he wanted me to wear, and wear my hair the way he liked it, the color he liked, the style he liked, I would not use makeup because he said he hated makeup. (As a former teen model that was hard for me, but I wanted to make him happy). I made the food he liked and designed the house the way he liked. There was nothing left of myself. In fact I didn’t even know what I liked because I was too consumed with pleasing him.
I was a player in HIS game, but I didn’t even know I was in a game. Not until after we moved back closer to my family. My Aunt lived about 2 hours away when we moved back to southern California just before the birth of my little shining star, our adorable daughter who could capture any heart with her big blue eyes.
My husband would never let me out of the house. I could not have a job, I could not have friends and I could only go to the grocery store as long as I took one child with me. He would disconnect the wires in my car and unhook the battery cables and remove the drivers seat to make my car inoperable (one time he even removed the steering wheel) in between grocery store shopping days. One day, when he had the car put together and so I could drive it on grocery store day – with one child, I took my baby girl with me, and I decided I would just go ahead and drive to my Aunts house – I had not seen my Aunt and Uncle and my cousin in a long time and they had not yet seen my new baby, so I drove down to see them and I called my husband when I arrived to let him know I was there with them and said I would be back later that evening.
That was a bold move on my part, but I felt it was fair. But it was the trigger that set him off and brought out the sleeping evil giant that lived inside of him. He told me in a very stern voice that I was to “Get home right now” and I told him I wanted to visit with my Aunt for a little while first. He started threatening me that he and my son would be gone when I got home and I would never see them again and put me on a two hour time limit before he would be gone. I hung up and told my Aunt. She called him back and tried to talk with him and he was mean to her and called her every name in the book. (My Aunt was the sweetest person in the world and she could not believe her ears). After she got off the phone she told me that husbands are not owners of their wife. And that he needed to be reminded that I was not property that he owned.
Well she planted the seed of inspiration that day, because I felt like I had some sort of grounds to stand on. Instead of crying and begging him to spend time with me, I would stop acting like his personal property. That did not go over so well.
When I got home he beat me to the floor and drug me down the hallway by my hair and was banging my head in the wall as hard as he could. Once he got me to the bedroom he picked me up and threw me (I was about 98 pounds at the time) and he threw me so hard onto our waterbed that head the big mirror and shelves along the back as a headboard was not very forgiving to my head as it cracked on the edge of the lower shelf and my head busted open and blood was gushing out everywhere. “How dare I disobey” him, he asked me shaking his finger at me. Not even acting as though the blood gushing from my head was a concern.
This would be too long of a blog post to go into all of what took place that evening, but to make a long story short, I managed to get away with the baby and he took off the our son. I got stitches in my head, and was taken to a battered woman’s shelter with my baby, where we lived for 30 days. He had dropped our son off with his sister and the cops arrested him and he went to jail.
That was the beginning of the end. But it took another year of mass chaos before I finally was willing to just leave with my kids and live in my car with them without any money (all I had was $50.00) and I hid from him up in the Joshua Tree National Monument for a couple of weeks while I figured out a plan and got a job and found a little place in the next town over. After 5 years of being married to someone who owned me I desperately wanted to be free. But I also wanted to be loved. I was now more hurt and more devastated. But I didn’t know that it just added to pain of my abandonment from my mother when I was years old. I just knew that it hurt so bad and I had a sick feeling inside me and loneliness was unbearable. And I could not cope with the emotions that would overwhelm me.
Anyone hearing or reading this story would think after all of that, then the last thing I would do is ever hook up with another man with issues. But about 8 months later I met Mr. Chaos #2 and married him! Oh yes, I thought he was different, I thought he would be the person he portrayed himself to be, but I was wrong again. Without going into that long story, just let me tell you that I was married to him for 5 years too. And it ended when I finally had enough. He cheated on me so many times I could not count. He never hit me – I will give him credit for that. He did put a fist and foot through the wall a couple of times, but never physically beat me.
What was wrong with me? Or was it them? Or both?
So at this point I was 30 years old my kids were 8 and 10 years old, and I had been married twice. Track record not so good. I was now living in Arizona and was even further away from my Aunt. I saw a counselor and she told me that I needed to not get into another relationship for at least one year. Yea, well counselors that give that advice might mean well, but they obviously have no idea what it is like to have no support system, no one to help, no one to change your flat tire or check your oil or no one to help out with the bills. I would work two and three jobs and would be so tired it would only add to my ball of emotions. I could not be at my sons Baseball game and my daughters soccer practice at the same time. I could not be both Mom and Dad to my children, but that is what I was trying to do, and it was incredibly hard. It takes two parents to raise children and their dad was spending more time in jail than he as out of jail. And when he was out he would hardly visit them and he certainly didn’t pay me any child support.
I wanted a social life but I worked too much and then the kids were a full plate for me keeping them in sports and making sure they had good grades and a social life.
I met Mr. Chaos #3
And that I will save for my next blog post. Follow me if you want to go through this as I write it out and I think you will be able to see how my theory of our early childhood experiences can actually cause us to meet the wrong person.