Friday, January 25, 2008


Part 4

I made it to the end of the spring semester, 1994. I didn’t go back for the fall.

I was tired. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I was spent. I had nothing left to give anyone. I was so pale. Sometimes I look at pictures of me from then and think, “I look like a ghost”. I’ve never had a really good tan or anything, but then? You could see right through me.

Like I wasn’t even there.

I started to if I was crazy. Seriously, like really crazy. Like, “do I need to be in a mental institution?” crazy. Everything was so, so wrong but I kept trying to convince myself it was okay.

It was not okay.

I talked to him about all my problems. I told him everything, even though I never got the sense that he cared.

I told him my fears, my worries, and that I wanted to marry him.

Surprisingly, he was somewhat amiable to marrying me.

I mean, he was what, like 18 or 19? Most guys at that age aren’t thinking about marriage, I think.

When I was 19 or so I went to a jewelry store and found a ring that he could afford. I told him where it was and what it looked like and how much it cost. I’m amazed I didn’t just buy it for him.

Yes. I know how lame that makes me sound. Or makes me. Or whatever.

It is what it is.

Even then, I knew. I look at my diaries and they are full of, “I don’t know why he does this. I love him so much and he won’t pay any attention to me. Why does he hurt me like this?”

He asked me to marry him in March, 1995. Well, he didn’t so much ask me to marry him as he sort of told me he had already bought the ring after I was already upset at him for something else. He didn’t ever ask me to marry him, now that I think about it. And he couldn’t tell his parents. He gave me the ring and then one day just held my hand up and showed his mom. He never said anything to his dad, that I am aware of.

His parents were not bad people. They were really different than me and really different than anything I was used to. I grew up poor. These people were Super Poor. They had NOTHING. They had HOLES in their floors.

The odd thing? They didn’t seem concerned by this. They were resigned to this, as their life. They lived in a shack on the side of a hill. I don’t even know how people could get into their house. You had to walk down a steep hill. It was horrible in the winter. His dad was disabled. I honestly have no idea how he didn’t plunge to his death time and time again, trying to get down that hill.

I am not saying I am better than them. I’ve never thought I was better than them, or anyone.

But I cared. I wanted out. I didn’t want to be poor. I wanted to have all these things that I had always dreamed of…and most of them weren’t expensive things. I wanted a house. Not a mansion. Just a house. I wanted a baby who would grow up and be my kid. I wanted a good job. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be a wife.

I wanted to be normal.

And I wanted this from someone who didn’t want to be normal. Someone who didn't have the ability or desire. Someone who had no idea what normal was.

I went back to school, enrolling in a two-year program. I just wanted some skill. Writing, as I was told a million times, wasn’t a REAL job, not a REAL career and not something I should ever pin my hopes and dreams on. I had to be able to make money. I worked full-time, but I didn’t make enough money. It was never enough money.

So I went to school and became a Dental Assistant.

It’s funny to me now. Not that there is anything wrong with that job, at all. It’s just not me.

My parents were moving away. My dad’s job was taking them to North Carolina. Although I was engaged to my boyfriend, he was in no hurry whatsoever to get married. I was living with my parents, so unless I went with them, I would be homeless.

I stayed behind.

Maybe I would have met Jason then. He was already in North Carolina, waiting on me.

I don’t know. I can’t speculate on what could have been. I don’t even want to.

I was my class speaker when I graduated in August, 1996. My fiancée didn’t come to my graduation.

A week later was my rehearsal dinner.

My fiancée didn’t come to that either.

To the rehearsal dinner. For our wedding.

He couldn’t be bothered.

I remember that night at the church. My aunt got into a fight with the preacher. His parents had bought barbeque for everyone. They all sat together, talking and laughing and I sat at a table, alone.

Alone at my wedding rehearsal.

It should have been a sign. But I was not ready to see it.


frannie said...

that is so heartbreakingly sad....

and parts of it painfully familiar.

Anonymous said...

As I sit here, tears streaming, I wish I could give you a hug!

Dreamer said...

That is heartbreaking. To be so alone, I just can't imagine it. I am crying for you, the young you, it's very sad. ((hugs))

Allie said...

Don't you wish you could talk to yourself then and tell yourself, "It doesn't have to be like this." I know I do, not for the same reasons but I just wish I cared more about myself when I was younger.

Alpha Dude said...

Events leading up to my first wedding, there were red flags and neon flashing "signs", but I didn't see them either.
You are not alone.
You never will be.

You are awesome Chick.

Thank you for telling your story.

I am "patiently" waiting for tomorrow.


Ry said...

oh. my. goodness.

Tricia said...

That beats my rehersal dinner hands down. Although, my ex-father-in-law decided that even thought it was our wedding and we requested it to be alcohol free (as ole groom-to-be is an alcoholic...which should have been a sign to me!), he would go against our wishes and order tons of booze. Why? Cause he too is an alcoholic. As are both brothers. One of which got incredibly drunk, declared his hatred for me, and then kissed my married cousin full on. It was good times.

But I look back, and find it very funny now. I have a feeling you don't find your story funny at all. I wish I could have been there. I would have sat with you. Actually, no. I would have dragged you out of there! But you know, if you had changed anything then you might not have been in the exact spot you met Jason at the right time. Though I hate the cliche, maybe things do happen for a reason.

J said...

I don't think we ever see the signs when they are there. Once someone asked me, after she had made the wrong mistake and married, "why didn't you stop me? Why didn't you tie me to a chair and not let me go?"

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

I await your next installment!!

Edie said...

Oh my goodness... I'm speechless.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It's amazing how, when all the signs are beating on our heads, we are blinded by what we so desperately want that we aren't able to SEE those signs. I'm so sorry.

Dawn~a~Bon said...


Angie said...

I haven't said a whole lot - because I have realized that without a little divine intervention, I would have gone down the exact same path.

I was involved in a relationship very similar to this about two years before I met Mark. But, meeting Mark meant that I had to completely remove myself from the situation geographically - and break away. It was the hardest, scariest thing I have ever done.

I realize now that I was spared a lot of heartbreak.

So, as I read this, I change (or add) names (lol) and see how this would have been my story, too. And as I do, my heart hurts. It doesn't break--but it HURTS to know that you endured this.

But, then my heart feels that warm, intense peace & calm when I realize that there is a good ending.

You are phenomenal, Chick!

Beckie said...

We never see the biggest signs, do we...

Anonymous said...

Right now? I wish I could go back in time to 1996 and give that girl you were a hug and take her for a nice long walk and talk.

I am so sorry. You did not deserve that. SOMEBODY should have told you that then.

BandK said...

OMG I did nearly the same thing with my first husband. I don't think he ever really asked me to marry him; I just kind of talked about it until we were "engaged." I think I bullied that poor guy into marriage. I took him to the store; I picked out the ring and told him to buy it. Oh I so get what you mean. I'm so glad there's someone else out there with a similar story!

Young and dumb and so afraid of being "not chosen." That was me. I had (and still struggle with) very low self-esteem. I was so rejected and teased by my peers, and I was so afraid no one would marry me, when that is all I wanted, was to be a wife and a mom. I just found someone I could manipulate into marrying me, and did it. Oh honey, I so understand what you went through.

And you know what I've heard? That if you think you're crazy, you probably aren't. If you never think you're crazy? You probably are. Heh

Thanks for helping me realize I'm not the only one; and that I'm not crazy, either.

BandK said...

And you know what's the coolest thing? You turned out to be an awesome wife and mom, despite everything. Good for you! You have not used your unfortunate circumstances as an excuse to be a bad parent. :-)

Captain Steve said...

That is why there always needs to be a bridesmaid willing to keep a car running outside the church.

Wish I'd been there. We'd have ditched, gotten a beer and had a long talk, because awesome Chicks like you don't need that sort of thing.

Mikey said...

I'm with Karen, Bill and Capt. Steve. Chick you turned out good! and so did your kids, and it's because of YOU!

What doesn't kill you...

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I feel like it's all been said but...thank you, for sharing this.

Mrs. Booms said...

I'm so heart heavy and sad.

Anonymous said...

this makes me want to scream. Parts of it are so familar to me. Loving someone so much and putting EVERYTHING into that love but getting nothing in return.
And just because you want more out of life, doesn't mean you think you're better then anyone else.
I can't believe everyone left you alone! But then again, it's happened to me so many times... :(

KiKi said...

DAMMIT!!!! All I can say is THAT SUCKS. I'm on edge, even though it's not the end of the story and life turned out so much better for you.

Jill said...

wow ever thought of writing a book on relationships?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Chick. I feel for young and alone and scared you. You so did not deserve that. He didn't come to your rehearsal? That's demented.

So, I keep thinking: you got the twins. You got the twins.

Emma in Canada said...

I'm with AFF. You got those kids, and you got Jason, and without this situation that may never happened. That's what I always tell myself anyway.

Sparkling Red said...

It's amazing how we can minimize and justify and ignore what's going on right in front of us. I blundered into a bad first marriage in a somewhat similar way. Hindsight is 20/20...

Anonymous said...

Wow, Chick. Just wow.
I hope you're not beating yourself up, and are just telling us your story. {{{{hugs}}}}

You ooze beauty from places others don't even know exist. xoxo

so tired said...

Just one question?


Oh my God, as I was reading this I was thinking "where the F*&# was her Mother?"

Your Mother should have been watching your path in life. She should have been guiding you to choose the right one. And if you insisted in choosing the wrong one she should have been by your side to support you.

The good news is you are now a good mother that will be there for your daughter to help her make good decisions and be aware of what is available to her in life.

Jenski said...

I don't want to keep repeating myself, except that I will. I'm still reading and still thinking of you and am still glad that you can share these painful memories and am glad you have a great relationship with your kids and husband.

katydidnot said...

everything up there. me too.

Jocelyn said...

Oh my God. I am so mad at so many people for you. And I see parts of myself in you (and those diary entries) and I hope you can forgive yourself--you did nothing wrong. People sucked, though.

Military Mom said...

I have been reading for awhile, and I am finally able to comment. I see a lot of myself in you, and I am so glad you came out of it ok in the end.

The good Lord gives us mountains, so we can learn how to climb.

And climb you did, and so shall you teach your children.

Betsy, short for Elizabeth, formally known as Esther said...

I love hearing your makes you who you are. It sucked then but you wouldn't be who you are now without it. You would ask your kids to move with you. You will be at your children's rehersal dinner. You will pay for the rehersal dinner. You and Jason, against the world.

SJINCO said...

My heart is breaking for sad that such a wonderful person as yourself was surronded by no one that cared. I don't get that.

EE said...

I was alone at my rehearsal dinner, too:(

my4kids said...

To bad you couldn't write a letter to your self from now so you could tell yourself to get out of that rehearsal dinner and go..