The hard part was at 11 my mom and dad told me they weren’t my mom and dad. I was adopted, but as far as they were concerned, I was theirs. Throughout the years they filled in blanks. Some of them anyway. Some things I’ll never know.
The next hard part was I was able to tell my boyfriend, at 16, I wanted out. Truth was, I met a boy who swore he’d lasso the moon for me. He was 20, I thought he was smarter and wiser. The summer of my 17th birthday he doted on me, called me beautiful, bought me things. That September I knew I was not just going into my senior year, I was also harboring a secret. I was pregnant. When it all came out to our prospective families, his kicked him out and mine took him in. Try building a healthy marriage…not hardly.
The next hard chapter came as my mom and dad stopped drinking. Mom was a mean drunk, when she wasn’t drinking she still had a vicious tongue. I couldn’t do anything right in her eyes. Ever. I was 5 months along when she finally agreed to give her permission for us to get married. I just thought she didn’t want to see me happy. I know now why she insisted we wait.
Shortly after our first anniversary, we moved out, to a trailer out in the middle of nowhere. He worked 3rd shift which meant he got home around 8:30 AM and would sleep until 10 PM. I hated him. He always got up in a bad mood. Wanted nothing to do with our baby or me. He hated me equally as I did him.
Come autumn, I drove to my sister’s in tears. She went with me to talk to mom. She allowed us to come back, said I needed to work. I was peeling back the layers on my man who lassoed the moon and as I confided in my friends; I made a mistake. Option A was him, Option B was my parents. I went with A.
Harder than living with a critical mom was living with an indifferent husband. God, did we fight. I learned to cover black eyes, bruises, let alone tell anyone I failed. More than physical stuff, he ignored me. Refused to help with anything.
10 years into our marriage, we qualified for a loan and began building a house. I saw blueprints and tweaked them, looking for my dad for guidance and suggestions. Our son soon got a puppy, I made our little house mine. Again, I cooked, shopped, paid bills, everything. He cared less.
We did have happy times but 3 times we separated. I couldn’t make it financially without him. I swallowed my pride. Little by little my self confidence eroded. I met a wonderful, kind man at work who said all the right things. We began taking lunch together. My self confidence soared. When I left that company for another, I added up our “lunches”. 10 years. I have no idea how many times, because not everytime was about sex. But the sex was mind blowing and I was grateful for every time. I’ve often wondered if I loved him. I’m sure I did, still do to this day.
No, my marriage never smoothed out. Physical fights ended with me getting stitches, a concussion and sorrow that our son grew up in it. Looking back, it was what I grew up in.
In 2012 I stopped speaking to my mom because I demanded respect she refused to give. She died that July, the day before my birthday. I have learned to forgive her, and myself. By cutting toxic people from my life, I felt a hundred times better about myself. People can’t treat you badly if you don’t let them.
One morning the fighting between my husband and me went beyond any other spat. I got very hurt and managed to have my phone nearby and called 911, he was arrested. That was 3 months ago. My family gathered around me. What I heard most was, “Why didn’t you say anything?” Or, “how did no one ever see it?”
Out son is grown and has been married almost 3 years. The cycle is broken. I spent last summer with them and saw their dynamics first hand. He is nothing like me, or his dad. Maybe some of that came from the Marines. Maybe some of that came from seeing what he did growing up. I couldn’t be prouder of him.
The hardest thing!?? Taking my 29 year old marriage to an attorney. I refuse to say I failed. Or that the last big fight was his fault, it takes 2 to be happy and 2 people to fight. But I’m ending this cycle. Does it hurt! Hell yes it hurts. Hardest thing I’ve ever done.