"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. " .... Ansel Adams
Thursday, February 20, 2014
CROSSROADS - Part One
At the age of 17 during a rougher than should have been teenage stage of being sexually abused, an airforce brat moving every couple of years...I was careless and thought I was in love and became pregnant with my now totally awesome daughter. It was a crossroad. It was scary but I was tough so I thought. But I didn't listen to one of my 'I will never' statements believing that i would not marry a guy that I got pregnant by before we were married. But...I did think it was a forever love...of course. I was young and naive. Seven years later after physical and more sexual abuse and seeing the toll it took on my daughter...I bravely, with the encouragement of a mentor at work...moved on.
My life then became my work and raising my daughter and flying glider planes for a social life and learning how to country and western dance. Do you know...wow...I think those next three years....that new crossroad time for me...was probably some of the happiest years of my life when everything seemed to be .....good.
Then...I felt I needed a dad for my daughter...and yes a companion but more so a dad for my daughter and someone that would help realize one of her wants at that time which was to have a sister. I don't know how many times she asked me for one of those...and unfortunately to this day...I have not given her a sister....but she did get two brothers. (sorry sweetie)
So I met a guy who came highly recommended by co workers and he seemed to have his head on straight. After 8 months of dating, we got engaged and not long after that we got married and had two sons. Yet, I should have seen the signs...I should have listened to the signs...I should have seen that I wasn't that 'perfect person' that he was looking for. Because you had to be flawless to be good enough to be trusted by him.
Another one that felt overly possessive of me...not even wanting to be part of 'my family'. not wanting to share me with them. Only his. I don't know what I do to make them feel that way...that they have to own me. I cried when I walked down the aisle. I remember that so clearly and I remember his best friend asking me if I was sure ...and that I smiled and said of course..and yet walking down the aisle I heard the question in my mind but these people had come so far...how could I not.
And so I moved forward and dealt with not seeing my family for years until I finally just started taking the kids with me by myself to travel to see my side of the family....until I felt I just could not do it anymore. I just couldn't go on living a life as someone that someone else wanted me to be...where it was always some type of negotiation to have support in some matter or another with little to no social life outside of activities with his family.
Slowly, the road started swerving again. It would straighten for a while and then a sharp curve would throw everything off kilter again. Until I couldn't find balance any longer.I couldn't handle the hills and valleys. I couldn't handle the dark times and the sunny times got to be fewer and fewer. After five years I thought about leaving but just couldn't do it to my kids. This time it wasn't physical or sexual abuse...it was mental abuse. It was lack of trust. It was downright smothering but I marched on for seven more...until I ran into a road block. I just couldn't go through that next curve.
the road goes left again. And it was a bumpy road of fighting to see my children. Trying to make them understand that where I was living was not a bad place and it was just his way of brainwashing them to not come see me. (well...I didn't verbalize that to them because I did everything I could to hold my tongue and not make their dad seem like a bad person. He wasn't bad. It just wasn't working.
The visits came less and less and I wandered down that road so alone and again lost myself in work.
Talk about a crossroad. Talk about a crossroad.
Then...I lost my dad to dementia. Six months later I lost my stepdad in a car accident.
Barely two years later...I lost my one of my sisters to suicide.
Brakes on...do a doughnut...360 and I put Texas in my rearview mirror and headed to the midwest to be with my mom.
From Texas...to the midwest. thousands of miles away from my children. Little to no communication. As much as I tried to get my ex to keep me up to date on the kids and communicate with me. It hurt...more and more and more.
My daughter and I slowly grew to be friends again. She is married now and has given me two beautiful granddaughters.
For seven years I had no relationship to speak of. Those roads all had caution signs on them. Then I met a guy through a friend that showed me fun and social life filled with friends and life on a lake in the woods and Harley rides and campfires and boat rides and festivals and.....his eyes that always wandered off to the 'younger things'....and bump....off track again.
Heartbroken again my most current beau of almost six years came in to my life. I lived in my house. He kept his house but would sleep here regularly while his children of 30 years old and more lived in his house rent free...buying cars, tractors, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles...boats...with cash or paying them off within a year. Barely...hardly ever did he help to pay my bills. we talked about living our lives together some day. we talked about getting into one house. I suggested renting his house to his kids. We talked about moving to Missouri for retirement. we talked several times about it. He make comments of being tired of carrying a little bag with him to come over with change of clothes even though he had many here already....
We talked. Six years almost. i hung on hoping the umbilical chord would be cut at some time and the talk would become reality.
He is a wonderful handy man. Romance was not always one of his better features. He was always taking care of handyman things for me...and his 30 year old children and his parents and my mom...and his 30 year old children...and....his 30 year old children....living in his house rent free.
So when statements like...'I can't give you a ring because I'm afraid you are going to move south and take half of everything I have....or 'It's okay if you move back to Texas to be closer to your children were indicated one too many times...I felt...I've wasted another six years.
Slam...right into a brick wall at the end of that road. The caution signs were there. I ignored them. He is a nice guy but....he didn't like to travel and was not honest about it when we met as he stated it was his ex that didn't like to travel and do things. He is a nice guy but it was always about the hunt and killing things.
He was a nice guy and even put up with my family but...he worked third shift and I first. we only saw each other two days a week and slowly those dwindled away or consisted of him on one couch and I on the other....never going out, only socializing with his family during holidays and birthdays.
He is a nice guy.
I wonder...am I selfish.
Am I at a selfish crossroad in my life? Is there not a crossroad with companionship waiting for me somewhere.
The road goes left then right.then stops..caution signs. Road blocks. pot holes. Red. Yellow. Green. Red. Red. Yellow. Right. Left.
Currently and maybe forever now....I'm stuck in the middle of the intersection totally lost and not quite understanding which way the arm is pointing..dodging apples....Hoping the oil can might some day....
Grease the heart and mend it back.
So...is seven the magic number?
Or maybe....I'll stay right here in the middle of the crossroad and build that wall back that protected me for many years...way back when...I crossed one of the first intersections.