as Paul Harvey used to say
HERE IS THE REST OF THE STORY
Married at 18, divorced at 23, with two children
Reconciled at 27, no remarriage separated again at 31
Remarried at 33 third child at 34, divorced at 38.
Remarried at 40. Left after 30 days (actual divorce 6 years later)
Remarried at 50 left on first anniversary divorced at 51.
This Journey is my personal journey. It is the accounting in condensed version of my LIFE's Journey. The good , the bad, the ugly. It is a story of laughter of love of survival. It is My personal journey through this lifetime and it hasn't ended yet. Now that is not a pretty marital record is it? I thought when I was eighteen years old and getting married to my childhood friend that we would be married our entire lives as we worked to have a home and life with our children. We both now know we actually got married to get away from bad home lives. People that know my history have often said to me I bet you hate the word marriage. The true answer is no I do not. I truly believe marriage is a beautiful and sacred union of love and trust, of give and take, and of mutual respect. The problem in most cases is finding the person you actually have this connection with. I feel most marriages fall apart over money and sex. Those were never my issues as I am a very big proponent to the word communication. Until such time as I feel I am beating my head against a wall then my survival instincts kick in. Then I am formulating a plan one I normally have totally worked out in my head before anyone even gets wind I have an issue.
I rarely almost never ever until now as I shout it out to the world let people know how many times I have been married. The reason is my name is not Elizabeth Taylor. So many people automatically go to the 'Oh my, she must have done something bad or she must be really hard to live with', modes in their minds. They assume that I have or do have either an emotional, drug, or beverage problem. Of which none of this is the case. I do take full responsibilities for the failure of all my marriages. The fault lies within me. I made the decisions. I felt they were the right decisions at the time. In retrospect and looking backward if I had just waited a little longer I would never have married any of these men. I think in my head if I slept with them I felt so guilty that I felt I had to marry them to make it biblically alright so I wouldn’t burn in the fires of hell. It was many years ago and it was not like it is today. And of course a typical Alanon child I could enable or fix them all.
From the earlier piece you are already aware of the childhood abuse and the raising by alcoholic parents. Of whom I loved very very much. My mother also was a four time marital looser in the love game. Did this influence any of this who knows? I already could be a shrinks Christmas club plan lets not make me their retirement plan as well.
My first husband was and is still a nice man. He is just one of those men who has no business being married. He never did remarry unless he has done it in the last 8 years. His passions were his cars shooting pool and his friends. His home, children and wife were the low end of his totem pole list. There were no communication skills just demeaning verbal abuse that no matter how many times you say please stop saying things like that you watch your self esteem just continue to decrease. In his old age he has became a good grand father. Yet I raised the kids basically by myself. I knew it was time to go our separate ways when the house caught on fire from my daughter playing with matches and he was out with his friends. And of course I took care of everything. And when I found the changes of clothes carefully packed in his lunch box instead of food. I then knew without a doubt he was miserable too. And I felt if I was going to basically raise the kids alone I might as well be alone doing it. Typical young twenty-year-old mentality. Now looking back I probably would have stuck it out and saw my way through it all. But at twenty-three I thought I could change the world and whip it on the way.
I now realize as I look back it was actually the closest thing I ever had to what could be called a real marriage. Or what I believe marriage is supposed to be. I still like him and if he would get sick I would take care of him. I also often have past life dreams and he is in a lot of them. Usually as a husband, occasionally a friend or a child, and more often as not he is the aloof, detached person in them. I wish him nothing but peace love and happiness still.
For a very long time after that I preferred to not date. Preferred to go out to an occasional club with girls I worked with. But it just was never my scene. So he and I tried to make a go of it again for the children’s sake. That lasted a few years but we were never truly happy so we mutually separated again.
I went out with friends a few times. I loved the bands and loved to dance. But all those people just made my low self-esteem want to melt into the walls. I let my younger sister move in thinking we could help each other out. Help split the bills and just in general help us both out. Another of my bad decisions. She left my children alone when I thought they were safe with her several times. She moved out and left me with her bounced checks for her half of he bills. So I then bounced my checks and had to sell all my jewelry to make them all right. I could lie and say I didn’t but yes I had a couple of one-night stands. I was a person in my twenties with what I thought were needs. But instead all that happened was I lowered my self in my mind to the level of a streetwalker fulfilling my young needs. I then decided never again - it was like cold coffee to me anyway. I preferred to be able look myself in the mirror and feel good about it. Yeah right. Me the queen of almost no self esteem, who now added slut to her repertoire over two one night stand in a ten year span of time.
I met my second disastrous husband where I worked. He and another fellow came to do plumbing work. I was actually attracted to the other man but he was married and that was very sacred to me. I didn’t want it done to me and I would not do it to another either. A few weeks later a bunch of us girls do our twice a year girls night out and I ran into him again. And I fulfilled a need.
It was at this time I also experienced the second house fire. Once again my daughter caught the house on fire. This time the kitchen she gutted it with grease a week before Christmas. But yet no one was hurt and that is all that matters. Of course the first husband condemned me because after I visually saw my children were all right I went to see how bad the house was hurt. And of course from the exes standpoint the house meant more to me then the children. Not an ounce of truth anywhere in that but hey it is an ex thing to do. I saw the number two a few times after that and he started saying I love you. I did not love this man. I knew from the start. But alas I was pretty sure I was pregnant from our night after the bar. Here I am a single mother with too teenagers, and maybe pregnant. I could not embarrass my kids like that so I stupidly married this man knowing I did not love him at all. Had I not felt I was pregnant which I turned out to be I would never have seen him again at all.
That was the biggest mistake I have made in my life. Other then the child’s birth as he was and is a gift after all from the God of above. [This man would not work. He hid booze in the ceilings. He stole money from my purse and he wouldn’t even watch the baby while I worked. I paid sitters while I worked and I was working two and sometimes three jobs to cover the bills while he ran around all over only God knows where. He would get blasted on who knows what and then proceed to inform me he was going to kill me when I went to sleep. Then the next day swear I was making it up. But believe me I was formulating a plan. He thought he had me where he wanted me pinned against a wall. I smiled prettily and proceeded to plan. Where he made a mistake as I could and I did take all the crap he dished out. He grabbed hold of my child the wrong way. He jerked him and dragged him around the house. He thought I did not see what he had done on two different occasions but see I did.
This man stupidly didn't know the real me. You see it takes communication and talking to each other to know whom a person really is. He only knew the women who made everyone else happy who saw to every ones needs and who quietly sat in the car half way to work and cried when she could not bear anymore then placed her smile back on for the world to see and proceeded on with life once more. That was when the plan started to roll in my mind. I cashed in all my life insurance policies. Had seen the lawyer and put his stuff out on the curb, changed the locks and then he heard what I had to say. But this only was only the beginning I spent the next five years in court after court as he tried to get me to pay him support, or he wanted custody of our child, or the business I already had or the house or the grandparent rights. They would go from one county to another until finally the judges told them if they did not leave me alone he was going to throw the lot of them in jail.
But I am almost financially ruined from legal and lawyer fees at this point.
Okay I am at two fires two husbands. And still have my mind attached as I single-handed raise three kids with no child support not a dime. But a survivor I am and tough as nails when need be. I worked and raised those kids with all I had in me. But we no longer were walking around every second of our lives on eggshells waiting for the next oh my God surprise.
I then stupidly realize that I am lonely again and think maybe someone will finally help me and I got married again. I actually loved this man. He was a friend of my brothers and lived near my MOM. He could stop in and check on her for me from time to time, as it was almost an hour’s drive to her home. All of my brothers and sisters had moved away by this time all of the responsibility of looking in on her fell to me, the single mother who worked two jobs with three kids. So a godsend he seemed like tome at times. We dated for a couple of years. Mostly it was s one weekend a month or every two months. He was good to my kids and attentive to me. And I didn’t realize that he was loaded all the time till the day I saw him straight. So after one month of marriage he said he didn’t want to go out of town anymore. Of course these were not decisions for me to make. He quit his job came home and within two days our whole lives changed. Here I am again the sole support of family number three. But this was not the problem for me. I came home from work on a Friday afternoon. And to my surprise not a person around anywhere. My youngest was to spend the night with his grandparents, the oldest son was at work and by then my daughter is married and living elsewhere. No new husband anywhere. A few hours later he arrives home and I say where ya been in a nice tone. Not accusatory at all...in my view. Next thing I know I am the mop for the floor as I receive blow after blow to the side of my head I find out later he was stoned on cocaine and other things combined. He tries to even break both arms as he says You will never work again I'll see to that- I'll break your wrists and see if you do hair again. Okay color me had enough. I take this as whipping for a bit then my ethereal warrior self came to the front and fight back I did with the might of a warrior queen.. I hit oh hell no I have had enough from life and I am not taking this from you. I was worse for the wear as he was sent packing to the door but not before I look like I've been in the ring with Mike Tyson. I know I am not able to go to work or for my baby to see me like that so I go to a friends who actually worked for me and gave her the money to open the shop. She cried like a baby when she saw my face and head and we came up with a story about falling down the basement steps for the neighbors and big kids. Then I got scared afraid he would come back and went to my daughters as he had acted so crazy I was afraid in the house. My daughter never said a word just let me in. I felt more shame from the kids seeing me in that shape then I felt over the actually beating. It was almost like some inner part of me -the little abused girl inside deserved to be treated that badly. Yes I know it is not true but in my head at that time I surely must have said I deserved all this. It was the only way I could justify it to keep from losing my mind. Life had not been so kind to me as you can tell. But I take and took full blame for it all from day one.
This man went to rehab and did the thirty-day stint and I tried to make this marriage work. Okay stand in my shoes I am a three-time loser you have to try or look at what is wrong with your self that you are in such a life mess. So to go to work we relocate to another state because he has a job there. Well hell as they say. We get there after I give away my shop, the house back to the bank. Completely ruined my credit. And left my married pregnant daughter. My oldest son stays with his dad for a few months to finish the last of his school. I get to this new state and oh yes it never seemed to stop. He had no job it was all a ruse. I then have to instantly get a new license for that state and get a job to support two kids and us. But yet I am dealing with it all because I have been the one to make all these stupid mistake decisions until the day he came home carrying a six pack of beer, walked in the house turned the TV off on the kids and cranked the stereo up. I then became afraid once again I quietly told the kids to go to their rooms and pack them a bag with several changes of clothes.
We then slipped out of the house while he was into himself and left in the darkness to sleep in the car and never looked back. Here we are in a state not of our birth with no friends and nowhere to go. And I have no money to do anything. I was homeless with a job and two kids. I had an angel boss who had the boys and I spend a few days with her. As I pawned all my jewelry again and sold a few things I had the good sense to bring with me. We then found a home to live in and when he was gone a couple of days snuck to the house and got all our things or I should say my things. They were all mine except his clothes.
Then bless my soul I had another fire. While I was at work the boys called and the entire house had burned up in a fire. Okay this one just about done me in. I am alone in a strange state with almost no friends and nowhere to turn. A few church groups helped us out and I yard salad my *** off to get us a home atmosphere again.
I never saw husband three again. Six years later a lawyer client of mine for an Xmas present gave me a divorce decree that he had gone absentee using his address at his office as an address for me so I could not be found. Yes God had blessed me on that one. I dated one man in a six-year span that I loved more then life itself. But he was never going to make a life with my son or me. So I returned with youngest in tow to my birth state, as my oldest son had gotten married by then. And I had been gone for almost seven years so the grandparent of the youngest didn’t feel the need to play mind games any more.
So I am now back home with three fires and three husbands and three kids under my belt. And yes still have my sanity. I went out on a few dates but believe me if they breathed wrong you could color me gone. I had no tolerance for any of their mind games. I found it easier to just be left alone. I tried doing the online dating thing. Oh my nightmare online is a better name. There was one guy I talked to occasionally on line. He lived maybe an hour and half from me. We would talk occasionally and then maybe six months would go by and he would pop up on my screen. So we would chat a while and one day I said we should meet at a half way point between us and have coffee some day. I actually was just making small talk. But he said he would like that so we did just that. It was soon after that. Every weekend I would drive to see him or he would come to see me. Mostly I went to see him, as my car was the more reliable one. My child was seventeen by then so didn't need me to babysit him. He was also involved in church activities and was never at home with me anyway. Yes this is how I justified going away on the weekends to myself. I wish I had done it differently but that is always the way with hindsight after all.
After about five months he asks me to marry him. I think okay he doesn't drink or do drugs but the distance thing again. Do I really want to do this again? Being the eternal optimist I say yes and we get married. For the first three months I drive every weekend back and forth. I hated every second of it. Not once did my husband say we need to move your stuff or get rid of it or anything. I think he liked having a weekend cook, maid and laundry queen. Eventually I would find out that that was all I was to be. At this time my son is starting to give me problems. He does not want to, and is adamant he is not moving. I want to have a real marriage. Something I had never had and I cannot do it living in two different places. So my son says he wants to go live with his sister or his grandfather. I understand all his reasons and maybe even selfishly it is the answer to my problem so I agree to let him do this. And I once again close my business put my house up for sale and go to live with my new husband.
You will never believe it but a week later he loses his job. I almost croaked .. Four for four that is a record. But I smile as one must laugh and I get a job. H of course finds one and I then loose mine. It is a roller coaster ride of expenses. I’m still trying to pay bills at my house that is not selling, and he our house. My new husband is getting to where he goes to work and came home and never says a word to me. He would spend his time eating supper talking to his kids on the phone then he would go get on the computer. It was his escape as he was being torn between his wife and his kids. It was a big mistake. I am alone from daylight to dark. Not a soul to talk to except the woods. My children are actually acting standoffish. I realize I have a new husband but I am losing my children. I then have a car wreck and slid off an ice and snow covered mountain into a gully. I total my car and my husband acts like he gives a big crap. My children think I deserted them my husband wishes I would desert him and I am falling apart inside.
I am slowly finally coming apart at the seams as his children have very major emotional issues that I did not recognize at the start. The empath in me is absorbing too much and getting emotionally shattered from the inside out. His children were very serious bi-polar patients. So it was everyday and at times all day - non-stop whining, life treats me like shit, my mother doesn't understand me, my husband is an ***. On and on every single day. While my children and my husband slowly act like I have disappeared from the universe. I have a six-month marriage that is already sexless. A husband who does not talk to me at all ever other then to say what is for dinner. A stepdaughter that is driving me out of my skull, children who are obviously done with me altogether, and a lost job, closed business, and car wreck. All in a six-month span of time. Oh and at Xmas time I was informed when I said what do you want to do special for our first Xmas. I was informed that the tree was a private matter between him and his kids. Who were 18 and 25 by the way. Finally threw me over the edge. I tried to commit suicide with all the gusto I had I cleaned out the medicine cabinet and took every pill I could find. I almost succeeded and my beautiful husband instead of saying why did you do this said to me. You just acted like my ex wife. I said would you like to talk about what led me to that point. The answer was no.
The psychiatrist who worked with me only kept me for two days because I had messed up my cardiac enzymes. Normally the law in my state is a mandatory five-day stay in the psych ward for suicide attempts. He believed (and I know) it was a wonder I didn’t crack earlier. I am not suicidal by nature ever. That I had had too many changes in too close a time span and I felt like I had lost my reason for living - the loss of my kids. As far as I know they still to this day do not know what I tried to do. That was eight years ago. And he was right about it all I am a soul survivor. So I left the hospital on no medication of any kind. Just a multiple vitamin that I took all the time. I went straight to the store and got boxes and started to pack once more. My house had not sold so I came back to it. With no job in sight. I saw no purpose in staying in a marriage that was no marriage at all. If I am to be alone then I will be alone.
I then had my car repossessed and like to never found a job. Sold a lot of my worldly possessions to sty afloat. Almost lost my home as well. But I managed to find a few small jobs and worked it out with the creditors and it took me two full years to catch it all up. After a few years I went through a spiritual awakening in the midst of being between jobs. I think spirit once gain maneuvered it that way because after it was over I found this job I have now. I have been here almost five years. I then got my wages garnished over that damn car.
I then proceeded to gain almost I would say 50 or 60 pounds. I built a suit of amour to keep men away or me away from them. I hate what I look like in the mirror. I truly hate the new exterior me. The interior new me is an awesome chick. I still live in the same house and still do the Martha Stewart thing. And no my children still to this day do not give me the time of day. I have cried the tears that I swear I can cry no more over this when here they come once more.
I had to love my children enough to let them go. If it is meant to be some day they will return. If not I will watch them from the other side some day. But I am a changed person. I am no longer that strong. I can't handle stress and little things send me to bed to sleep away the emotions they cause like repairs that I cant have done because I can't pay for them on my income. If I get into a situation that starts to cause me stress I just simply back or walk away from the situation.
Why have I told all this? I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I made some pretty bad decisions that affected a lot of lives but they were the right ones at the time. I have told my story for others to see that it is okay to be a human with all of our fallacies. We don’t always agree or see eye to eye. Please learn to laugh as you make your mistakes. In your travels along life’s highway. It is even okay to make mistakes just try to learn from then and try not to make them over and over like I did. Learn quicker please for me. I had to learn to laugh. To make fun of myself. Yes my self-esteem is still at an all time low. I don’t think this is ever going to change. It is the one thing I have never gotten a handle on.
But through it all I found ME and I am a beautiful eclectic soul. It matters not to me if anyone else sees it or not I know that is all that counts.
So no matter what..please remember one thing. if this resonates with anyone at all .....I survived, whole and intact and so can YOU.