I married a man who destroyed the people he was supposed to have cared the most about with his vitriolic hostility. He generated fear and anger in all of us. He ingrained a feeling of unworthiness in all of us. He planted the seed of mistrust in all of us. He made us all feel inferior.
He chastised us when we cried. He intimidated us with his aggressive, bullying behavior. He replaced praise and support with constant displays of disappointment and umbrage.
He taught me to question and ultimately despise anything that was portrayed as sincerity. He taught me how it felt to be a insignificant other. He turned love into hatred and bitterness. He spread misery and that misery exacted an immeasurable price from all of us.
He thought my forgiveness could be bought with presents and flowers when he was suddenly able to show what he considered to be the “required’ amount of attention. Of course, the attention included his usual impatient, harsh and critical admonitions. He was someone who would shoot you, wait for you to heal and then stab you twice.
When he finally realized that my forgiveness couldn’t be bought or forced, he walked into a bar and picked up his attachment.
She had obviously been looking for somebody like him for a long, long time and she spotted him coming a mile away. He had prestige, power, money….and he was so lonely, he would have fallen for anything…and he did.
He was too big a coward to tell me or wait until I divorced him to start screwing another woman but we all know this woman is perfect for him. We all know she’s “going to college.” We all know she uses coupons and takes advantage of BOGO items, yet she couldn’t afford to pay her taxes.
She obviously had enough money to buy cigarettes, beer and pay for pool games, but she had to ask Loser for money. If I had been Loser, I think it would have occurred to me to wonder who had paid her taxes before she latched onto me.
I was the disciplinarian. I would swat my children on the butt with my flip-flop but I would hear them down the hall, laughing at me. I would lose my patience with them, but I always tried to instill a sense of worth into them. There would be times when any two of them were not able to be in the same room at the same time but I tried to just deal with it, without making any of them feel useless. I tried to encourage them. I tried to protect them. There were times when I got between them and Loser when he was getting ready to slap them.
There were times when I yelled at them but having four children that you were essentially raising by yourself, sometimes got frustrating. I tried to teach them (mostly by asking them to help) how to put up walls, drive a nail, hang a curtain rod and other things that their daddy should have been showing them. I tried not to criticize them and wanted them to feel beautiful. I would have never introduced my youngest daughter as “the pretty one,” something she still remembers.
I wanted them to know that their birthday and Christmas was going to be special. Since I had never gotten to go on an Easter egg hunt, I wanted to make sure they did.
I never belittled them when they started crying. I never screamed at them if they asked me “if it was going to rain tomorrow.”
I don’t know if they remember any of these things but at least I tried to be there for them.
I don’t think they were afraid of me but I know they thought I was unreasonable. I was unreasonable because I wanted them to be safe.
When it was obvious to them that our marriage was over, I did not change my values, or my morality. I didn’t even consider the possibility of going to a bar and picking somebody up to ease MY “anathema.”
If I had been the kind of woman who did that and I met a man who had obviously been around the block more that three or four times, was in his late fifties, was in a bar every night drinking, smoking and playing pool and he asked me for a loan…my checkbook and I would be heading for the door.
But I would never try to buy companionship. I would never allow a man to act like he owned me. I would never allow a man to dictate who I could see or talk to. I would never allow a man to tell me who could and couldn’t come to a particular state.
I WOULD NEVER STAND FOR A MAN TO PUNISH ME FOR VISITING MY CHILDREN.
I would never actively pursue and then intentionally become involved with a married man. I would never try to influence a man into thinking that whatever past indiscretions he had committed or disease he had inflicted on his wife, meant that SHE was a tramp.
I would have never paraded another man around town while I was still married. I would have never taken a man home to meet my mama while I was still married.
If I had, she would have led the parade, carrying the banner that read “tramp,” instead of welcoming the man with open arms. I would have never lied to co-workers by telling them that I was divorced to excuse my adultery.
I would have NEVER done any of these things to my husband.