Friday, September 18, 2015

Part 2 about me, the middle years, part 1 is under the welcome post at the beginning of this blog

    After my sister's murder, i floated like a cork bobber from a fishing rod on the open sea.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  I made it  through LPN school and was a practicing nurse, but after that achievement i was lost at what to do next.  I had bought a cute 3 bedroom ranch home in Peru, IN.  I had it all, good steady job, nice little home, brand new 4x4 truck, thousands of dollars worth of clothing, jewelry, stereo equipment. Surrounded by friends, lots of them, and parties every week end.  Yet, I was the most lonely, miserable, unhappy 25 year old woman you ever met.  A smile seldom graced my face unless i was drunk.   I had recently broken up with the only good man i have ever gone with in my entire life.  If only I could have seen what I carelessly tossed aside, a diamond in the making for a mere lump of coal.  But i had no idea then.   It was around Halloween, 1991 that I first laid eyes on him, the man i will sarcastically refer to as "Mr. Wonderful".  I had lost some weight because I was "drinking" my supper and not eating in the evenings. So, i felt a bit more brave and secure than my usual self.    I had spotted a good looking fella up at the honky-tonk a few evenings before and I was kinda smitten.  He was different and I had never seen around town in the past. If only i could have realized his kind of different was the kind a woman should run from!

    I had spent a couple hours primping with hair, make-up, and some new tight fitting smaller sized clothing.  My friend came to pick me up around 9pm i think.  We made our rounds bar hopping for a couple hours.  Then i spotted him again.  I elbowed my friend and motioned with my head toward him.   He was tall and had long blondish brown hair, tatoo's, big biceps and that man could move!  He had this wild edgy feel about him.    As the night wore on he became aware I was watching him and he stood up at his table and  was dancing while sipping beer straight from a pitcher. It should be noted if I been in my right mind, I would not have been impressed.  In fact, I would not have bothered.  However I was quite charmed.   A spell was cast and I made my way over to his table after assuring myself he was not with any woman.   Sloppy drunk and slurring my words I invited this stranger to go home with me.  I had no shame and I was thinking it was better to have spent a night with this good looking man than to just wish I had.

I had little sense of morality in those days because I had no self esteem, no self respect, I was worthless to myself and could care less what happened to me.  I put myself in harms way time and again.  It's really a miracle I am alive.   I had a growing addiction to benzodiazepines and booze.  No beer for me, I liked the hard stuff.  Mostly Vodka.  My troubles and misery were temporarily set aside as I partied night after night. Only to wake up fuzzy headed each day and feel worse.  I did not know it then but i had severe social anxiety and  the drug/booze combo gave me just right amount of uninhibited dare i needed to walk in a packed room and feel all eyes were on me because i was "the star", and not because i was out of place. Eyes full of pity for a woman seen at the local bars trashed every weekend, suddenly turned into eyes of admiration.

Within 2 weeks of bringing Mr. Wonderful home with me, my life really began to spin out of control.   I had him move in with me.  He worked as a roofer at that time and made pretty good money.  He was always going to help pay for this or that, but something always came up.  I did not care as i was far from being needy.   We were the toast of the town.  Complete with our own entourage of boozing, drugging friends.  We began to make plans to move to Florida.   People smiled and congratulated me to my face on my new man and adventure coming up.  Behind my back they were gravely concerned, they did not like him, and they were fearful of my drinking and being with him so far from my family and friends.  Yet, no one said anything much.  By moving to FL all would be fresh and new.  I thought as if  none of the horrors of my sister's murder would be taken right along with me.    Before we could move however, the first big fight would happen and I would try to commit suicide by overdosing.  Not so much because of the fight and him walking out the door like everyone thought.  More because I had this plan for sometime.  I guess I knew when things reached a certain point I would end it all.   My brain had reached a boiling point that night.  It had been coming since my sister's murder in 1985.   The first abusive act had been committed that night, but I had been  too drunk to really know what happened.  The act of being hit and knocked around by someone I had pinned all my hopes and dreams on for  escaping my miserable life  was just too much.

    Of course, Mr. Wonderful came rushing to my side and gave his spin on my behavior that night.  I was the abusive one and all he did was push me away and leave. It was not his fault i stumbled over the wooden rocking chair and fell down.    I knew deep down inside this is not what happened but I swallowed his story and took him back.   At this point I was unable to work.  My brain was not functioning properly.  I felt like I had a stroke or something.  I could not recall things my friends had told me about this time period later.   I swore they all were lying to me.  I had to get out of this town before it killed me.  Florida will be different I told myself.

 January 1992, I put my home up for sale, sold off everything that would not fit into a trailer hitched to the back of my truck and left for Florida with my boyfriend of 3 months. I left my steady job of 4 years, left my poor mother who had buried her oldest child and was now raising her only grandchild.   I had a rental home waiting for me that i had not even seen a picture of yet and no job, but I was floating on cloud 9.

Paradise was not found.  Mr. Wonderful  wanted to go to the night clubs every night and I was going through my savings fast.  Neither of us had a job and no money was coming in.  He missed our group of friends and his family.  Once in Florida he let the cat out of the bag on me.  He was married still, not divorced as he had told me.  What would I do, 1250 miles from any familiar face?  I could not even drive across Fort Myers, FL on my own yet.  The little country town girl had come to the big city.  Terrified of him leaving me there all alone I went along with everything he said.  Then it happened.  He informed me he was going back to Indiana.  We had not even been there 2 months.   What about me i asked.  What about you?  He stated I was a big girl and I could figure it all out.   I sat stunned and crying.  Very afraid and unsure what my future would hold.  I had no idea at the time he planned to come back.   This was part of "grooming" me to be dependent on him.

I cant recall for sure how long he was gone.  He conned me out of some money and I even made arrangements for a friend of mine to drive from Peru down to Indy to pick him up and take him back to Peru.  She called afterwards and told me i should be glad he was gone and pull myself together and move on.  I told her to go to hell.   My former best friend told me to get a grip because I was losing it.  I cried bitterly all night.

For a few weeks I was totally alone in the world.  I knew not one single person.  I had no job.  I was down to about 200 dollars and my utility bills and rent were rolling in.  I decided to try this Saint prayer chain thing i saw in the newspaper than guaranteed your "miracle" would be granted if you said the prayer/novena everyday for a solid week.   I would stay awake and read all night every single night as I had no TV service.  I would wait until daylight to go to my bedroom and sleep.  I was terrified in this new big city.  I heard police sirens every single night multiple times.  The rental home was huge and had lights all around the home's  perimeter than i kept on all night.  I read my bible every night for the first time since my sister's death.  My daily highlights consisted of getting the mail and free newspaper and getting a call from my worried mother every evening.   I unpacked and organised my home like nothing was wrong.  I walked my dogs a little each afternoon.   I wrote a gooey love letter to Mr. Wonderful everyday and mailed it to his wife's address.  After about 3 weeks she mailed me a letter back saying to stop sending "those stupid letters to her home, he was not there, and she did not want him, he was mine".   I had this glimmer of hope.  He called a couple days later and wanted me to come to Indiana and get him.   I did just that.    It was the end of February or beginning of March 1992, my love was back and i would become pregnant shortly after his return.  But I would also become something else.  I became a battered woman.

Terrified of being left down there alone again I put with it.  I had no one to turn to for help or even to talk to about it.  I still had no job.  He got a job roofing and was the only one pulling in money.  He began calling all the shots.    He was seldom very nice let alone sweet to me anymore.   When I would say anything about it he would shut me up by saying he could just go back to Indiana if I wanted.   Of course i would become terrified and docile again.  I wanted to drink again.  I had not been drinking much because i had not been feeling that great and no idea I was pregnant yet.

Mr Wonderful decided we did not need that huge home and high rent.  He moved us to a dumpy trailer in a small trailer park way out in the country of North Fort Myers.  He quit roofing and started working on a fishing boat making really big money.  For my 26th birthday we had a huge fight, he ripped the phone out of the wall and left on the fishing boat for 10 days.   I had no money, only a quarter of a tank of gas, no food in the house.  I had to drive down to a pay phone and call my mother collect.  She wired me a little bit of money.  I was so angry at him and so afraid being stuck out in this crap trailer park with no phone and a back door i knew I could kick in.  I angrily spotted his 5 cans of beer in the fridge and slammed a can.  Then another.  Then i had to run and vomit.   I was not a puker when i drank so i realized right away, something was wrong.  I also noticed my feet were swollen and they had never been like that before.  I had lost some weight.  I did not feel sick but i did feel tired.   Scared I went and bought a cheap home pregnancy test the next day and sure enough it confirmed my fears.

I had never wanted children.  But the moment i realized this life was inside of me i was filled with joy.  I sent  my mom a card letting her know and telling her i was very happy and wanted to hear not that first negative thing.  Mr. Wonderful came home, found out and was so excited!  He fixed the phone, promised this and that and our love was rekindled.   I spoke with my mother, it was tense but she did not say anything negative beyond the she was not happy thing.  She knew I could not take care of myself at this point, let alone a baby.  We moved next door to a better trailer that had working air conditioning.  For a time things went smooth.  Mr. Wonderful quit the fishing boat, went back to roofing and we moved back into Fort Myers, to a duplex near the Lee Memorial Hospital.  A wonderful neighbor hood where gun shots could be heard at night and man digging in the dumpsters from house to house early each morning could be seen.

The abuse would get intense at this home.  November 1992 would hallmark two things; I would begin to call 911 for help and I would come to find out Mr. Wonderful was smoking crack.  The worst of fights had broke out just before Thanksgiving.  I was 8 months pregnant and for the first time actually afraid I might die.  I could not leave and even if he had let me I had no where to go.   Beaten and afraid i  was forced to sit in a chair and listen as he paced back and forth ranting about how I was ruining his life.  My thoughts were on surviving this night and getting him out of my life.  As i started to get up he yelled at me saying I was not going anywhere.  I said I had to use the bathroom.  He backed off knowing I had to go every 30 min practically.  I took a chance as I walked by the phone he had kicked out of my hand earlier and I set it back on it's base on the bookshelf.  When I came back out of the bathroom he was in the kitchen so I dialed 911 and sat the phone back exactly as it had been.  He resumed his yelling and when the police squad car pulled up he accused me of calling them.  I denied it.  He ran into the kitchen and began hitting his head against the cabinet, then let the officer in.   I just knew I would get some help then.  You can imagine how my heart sank as the cop told me  because I had scratched Mr. Wonderful if I wanted to press charges he would have to take me to jail too.  Terrified I did not want to press charges.  Mr Wonderful followed the cop back outside and kept running his mouth until he was told he would be arrested if he did not go back inside and shut up.  He informed that officer he was on his own property and would do whatever he wanted.  For some reason he followed the officer outside the fence to the driveway and kicked my truck.  That was all it took, he was arrested for battering my truck, but not me.  I would spend Thanksgiving alone.  His boss would later bail him out and convince me to drop the charges against my truck.   He had learned his lesson and he was very sorry.  Afraid of being alone and going into labor I dropped the charges.

It would take 2 more years of abuse and living with a crack addict before I would decide enough was enough.  As I look back now I can see exactly how the cycle of violence sucked me in.  I allowed myself to be swept up into it.   I took charge and terminated it myself.  The psychological abuse on me was much worse than the physical abuse.  But it did something to me.  It made me stronger and more independent than I had ever been.  But also filled me with even more anger and rage than ever.  My mind drifted into this dark place where I would let myself believe the only way out of this mess was to kill Mr. Wonderful.   This of course was not true but my need for revenge was great.  I could only get rid of him for a short time.  He always came back.   He would torment me until I would give him money to go buy crack.  Money i did not have to be losing.  He had sabotaged 2 jobs i had and was trying to sabotage my going back to college.   His own family wanted nothing to do with him.  They never called to check on him and they usually hung up on him when he called them.  He was staying in a sleazy motel with a group of other crack heads that shoplifted all day and smoked crack all night.   He was always showing up every time I had any money to drive me nuts.   The world would be better off without him and no one would miss him for at least 6 months or maybe even years.  I put my plan into action.  It was not a very good plan or well thought out.  I would have been caught most likely and my daughter would have had no parent to raise her.    I was not a very big woman and there was no way I could have managed to dispose of him.   My plan was to dump a stockpot of boiling water on him as he slept on my sofa.  This would disable him.  And be very painful him before I.....Oh my God I realized all at once.  I turned the stove off.  What was I doing?  What was I thinking?   I stood in my kitchen crying until my sobs got so loud he woke up.  He asked me what was wrong.   I merely said I could not do this anymore.   He never knew how close to danger he had come and I would never tell a sole for near 20 years of my wicked evil plan.  In fact, I think I would deny it to myself.

Why tell it now?  I am sure I am not the only woman survivor of domestic abuse that had such a thought.  Let alone a plan.  Why not just leave?   Only someone not caught up in such a cycle would have the audacity to say such a thing.  That psychological abuse kept me from just leaving.   I felt completely dependent on him and I also believed it was my fault and I deserved it.    An abuser cripples their victim mentally.  It's not as easy as just leaving.   My hope is if any woman out there sees this, she can see there's a light at the end of the tunnel. You can change your circumstances.  Easy?  No it's sure not.  I was shocked to learn I still had some feelings for this man last year when I finally forgave him, 20 years after leaving him.    Psychological scars are very,v very deep and hell to get rid of, but it can be done.  It can be done and you can become a better, more sensitive, loving, caring person.  Only i did not.  I was stronger for sure, but i was only loving to my 2 year old daughter.  That took effort sometimes.  I was dead inside.  Emotionally drained to the point i had very little left to give to anyone.  A fierce anger helped me get thru RN school.  But i would have to dance with the devil  one more time years later to learn i really had a drug/alcohol issue that would not just go away.  No matter how long or how many years i did not abuse, I would go right back to it and pick up where i left off before i had my daughter.  But that's for another time to tell.  

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