Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chapter One -- Discovery, continued

Please start reading my memoir from the beginning.

(All names are changed)

November 24, 2009

Things have been awkward here at the house since last week. We have to watch how we interact because we have someone living here with us. It’s Leah, my oldest daughter Kate’s friend. We’ve known her family since they moved into our ward when Kate was about twelve. I’m glad Leah’s here. She’s so happy all the time, and the way I’m feeling now, I need a little gaiety to brighten up my miserable days.

It seems that we aren’t meant to have an empty house. Word traveled that we had spare bedrooms, so back in February a physician’s assistant moved in with us on her last rotation. We got real close to her, like a daughter. She lived with us until May.

Then Derrick, a friend who lived in our ward previously, got a job back here again and lived with us from April into the summer, until he could buy a house and get his family back here after school let out.

I love having the house full. I hate to admit it’s because I don’t want to be alone with my husband.

I am the loneliest married woman in the world. I can’t talk to my husband because he takes everything I say the wrong way. For instance, I know he likes to ride his bike and he was upset one day because he heard it was going to rain.

“Oh, no, I heard it was going to be sunny,” I told him, smiling.

He yelled, “Do you have to disagree with everything I say?”

I thought it would make him happy to hear it wasn’t going to rain, but it didn’t.

I just try to keep neutral. I neither smile nor frown. When I’m around him, my face is frozen like it’s lost the ability to move a muscle.If he says something to me, I just say, “Uh-huh,” and say nothing more.

I forgot not to comment when I told him about the weather.

I’ve been married over thirty years and except for maybe the first two, I’ve been verbally abused. The first two were testing the waters for him. I failed miserably in the test. I actually had opinions about things. I found out quickly that wasn’t allowed.

When I married him, he was an alcoholic. I’d never been around men who drank, so I didn’t know anything about it. It’s not that he drank every day, which is probably what threw me off, but when he did, he couldn’t stop. I thought joining the LDS church, where alcohol—or any addictive substance—is unacceptable, would be the end of our problems. I didn’t know anything about the pathology of an addictive personality.

Jerry was a mean drunk. He would yell at me and tell me to leave the house and go live on the streets for all he cared. He called me names that, because of my naïveté, I had to look up in the dictionary to see what they meant. Those words were sordid, dirty; words you’d never say to your wife whom you’re supposed to love and cherish—and respect. But the next day he wouldn’t remember and I’d forgive him. Hurt, forgive, repeat. The cycle of my married life.

Being young and stupid, and having been raised in an abusive household, I took it as that’s how men treat their wives. My dad was mean to my mom. It’s how I grew up. I even tried to talk to my mother about it. I told her one time when Jerry was angry and had yelled at me. I was so miserable. She just said, “He’ll get happy again. You just have to wait.”

That’s what she did with my dad. She wore blinders and rose-colored glasses. I told her, “I don’t want to wait. It’s too hard. I get depressed and don’t want to live.”

I know now she lacks the ability to help me in this. Denial was her coping mechanism. She didn’t know how to help herself when dad was alive. I’m glad she’s married to a nice man now.

Leah is here to keep me company and I look forward to seeing her every day after she gets home from work. How can one person be so jubilant? I love to hear her singing in her bedroom and appreciate the chitchat when we’re together.

Jerry and I hardly interact, especially now, since he’s told me about her. I come home and am depressed to know my husband is carrying on with another woman.

“I’m not doing anything wrong. It’s innocent,” he said. “Why would I have told you about it if it wasn’t?”

He doesn’t know I’m lurking on Facebook. I see his comments to her. I read hers back to him.

Can you believe, he never friended me on Facebook? He has never commented on my Facebook page. Yet he’s been corresponding with her in this way for three months. He’s oblivious. I wonder if her husband knows about it.

November 30, 2009

Today I attended the funeral of a dear friend. He died in a motorcycle accident. It’s so sad. He’s about my age, maybe a little younger.

I love his wife, Tessa. Her children all came in for the funeral. It was poignant to see them all. I can’t imagine how Tessa felt. She and her husband were truly in love. I never heard an unkind word escape from their lips about each other—only loving and supportive words.

Tessa withstood the tender eulogies and, Lord help me, I wished . . . I wished I was her. Lord, help me.

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