This blog is a rant.
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This blog is a rant.
It’s not just another he said/she said, like in the book “Games People Play,” I think it was written in the ’70’s. This is not just another child custody case. My children are being subjected to the care and supervision of criminals during visitation; they come home, they have nightmares. But another agency in the system tells me again, this is a custody case, we can’t help or advocate for you. I just wanted someone to stand by me in court, while my heart pounds in fear, my hands shake, and sometimes I can’t breathe or talk. But there is nobody.
To quote Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.:
When it comes to your mind, trauma means the wounding of your emotions, your spirit, your will to live, your beliefs about your self and the world, your dignity and sense of security. Think of PTSD this way: No matter how strong your leg bones, if enough force is applied they will break. Given the proper care, they can also heal. And so can you.
Insight into Hindsight is not always helpful advice. Because I do not choose to ever repeat history. Did I say I was married for 22 years; we had been together for 24 years, one of those high school sweetheart type things. I was having a hard time with school; my mother who was a widow 2x had a hard time coping and there was never enough money. My sister used to babysit and give the money to mom to help with food; I didn’t know it at the time. But she got married and was out of the house at sixteen, and moved across the state. So it would be mom and me, and things were okay at home anyway, but when money would be short, she would allow my stepbrothers and their wives to move back in with their kids, always ending up in fights. So we didn’t fare so well. So when it was just mom and me, during the summers I went to work while 14 and still in school, telling my employers I was 16. They never asked for a work permit. Then, the money was still not enough because we had moved to a house, so I quit school at 16 and went to work full time and met my first husband, who worked across the street from me. We got married two years later, then had our first and only child. I was an emergency ceserean section in the days when the insurance companies paid the doctors more for cesearean births. It was a shock to me, after being told by the EMT’s that she was ready to be born, don’t worry, they had delivered babies before in the ambulance. But I got to the hospital, labored for 6 hours, then they took her by cutting me open from my belly button to down below, then ripping me sideways about 4 inches. Over the years, the scar disappeared, and the altered body image healed. And when she was grown, and almost out of the house, I found myself wanting more children. I had gone back to school, over the years, and gotten my diploma; went on to receive a bachelor’s degree. But, my husband, he had worked for thirteen years at the same job, and suffered injuries; torn achilles tendons and a back injury on top of scoliosis. He didn’t know it as a child, but they found that one leg was longer than the other which contributed to his injuries. So when I got out of school and went to work, it was right after he was injured and so he quit working, and didn’t work for ten years. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, because he became very depressed, sleeping all day, not bathing, etc. So I decided to separate from him. He went to live with his mother, got back in gear, went through voc. rehab and went to school to become a truck driver. But he had a hard time with the classes, so I helped him to study. He passed. But it was seven years after I had begun my career, and I was burnt out. So I decided since our daughter was out of the house, that I would go on the road, too. I went and got the CDL to drive. We were hired as a team by a failing company, didn’t know it then. He had tried to get local driving jobs, had one, but quit. So we were both headed for the road, driving long distance. Before I left my job, I hired a man who eventually became my second husband and abuser. My first husband and I went on the road, hired by a bad company. They stick you through more “training” upon hire, for six weeks. So I was teamed up with a woman driver, much older than me. She lived in her truck, had no permanent home. She was being paid by the company to train me. But that didn’t happen. By law, she shouldn’t have been driving. She had suffered several strokes, was taking a blood thinner to prevent further strokes, that required blood tests to keep her levels balanced, but she never went for her draws. I pushed her into doing it. Her bladder had been affected by the strokes, so she couldn’t hold her urine. So behind the driver’s seat in her truck she kept a portable toilet. She would be in the driver seat, going down the highway, would turn to me and say, “it’s on cruise control, take the wheel, and have me climb over into the drivers seat so she could get up and go!! Imagine, you’ve got 80,000 lbs. on the trailer behind you that you’re carrying, and she does this. Then she would climb into the bunk in back, go to sleep, and not watch or teach me about driving. She was getting extra money to train me, and money for us to get a room between loads, but that didn’t happen. Since she had no home, she had 3 grown kids in various states. So she was stopping in to see them between loads. We went first to her married son’s house, his wife had just had a baby. They had no money for food, so I bought food for the dinner. Then her son came on to me, saying his wife would not give him any, since she just had a baby. I was shocked, and went to the truck, and locked the doors. The trainer stayed in the house and went to sleep again. In the morning we left. We went to the next son’s house after picking up a load. It was the middle of the night. The trainer got out and told me that if there was a knock on the window, it might be the neighbor, whom she said she tried to help out now and then because he was a heroin addict, and would ask her for money. So I stayed in the truck while she went in, locked the doors, and couldn’t sleep. I dozed, and in the morning she got into the truck with her son and a german shepherd dog. She said he had a fight with his wife, who kicked him out, and she would take him and the dog to a friend she had in another state and drop them off. But when we got there, the friend would only take her son, not the dog. And it turned out that the dog was sick, started throwing up the next day all over the truck, and had diarrhea all over me. We had stopped at a truck stop and she went in briefly, and I tried to sleep in the bunk, but was awakened covered in diarrhea from the dog and his vomit all over the floor and the stick shift boot. I had it, and told her the dog was going. She said when we hit Denver, our next stop, she would drop him at her daughter’s. So we were driving through Vail Co. area, me in the driver seat, when the engine check light came on. I woke her up and told her, but she said we would have it checked when we got in. But it got worse, so I made her get in the driver’s seat. She then said, I’m having to muscle this truck because I have no power steering, and if I pull over, we might get stuck, so you better start praying. I already was. It was snowing, snowing so hard that it was like a white out and we couldn’t see. But we made it into Vail, and she had it checked; it turns out that there was no more power steering fluid, which would have prevented the problem had she ever done what we were taught in school, that you check things out, you’re not just a robot behind the wheel. That was enough for me; when we got to Denver I contacted the company, and they had me drive on in to Oklahoma City. They put me up in a hotel, and I went to the “yard” daily to finish my training, doing day trips with another driver from OK to TX. Then at the end of the training time, I was supposed to link up with my husband and we were to drive as a team. We did link up, but they gave us a truck they had purchased in a lot, originally designed for the east coast, not a lot of grades to do there. The truck had no hydralic brakes, no Jake brakes, but they were sending us back and forth across the U.S., down steep grades like grapevine hill. They even sent us to Long Island N.Y.; nobody takes a big truck over there anymore, they only send the day trucks up into the city. We weren’t getting reimbursed correctly either. My husband had enough of it; we were in Utah, and he decided to get out of the truck, leave all our stuff in the truck, and head for home on a bus. I went with him, cried all the way home. He did get a local driving job for a short time when we got back, but he quit the job because he thought they were getting ready to fire him. I in the meantime, decided to go back to my former occupation; I was denied unemployment because I had quit the driving job. So I started searching, and when applying for jobs, they would check my references, and my former employer found out I was looking for a job, called me and asked me back, so I did. My husband at that point was not making an effort in my mind to look for work; so I decided to separate from him again, and he left. (He did okay for himself for about 10 years; he owned his own truck, but lost it when it broke down, and couldn’t afford to have it fixed; the high cost of fuel contributed to his loss if you are reading this and aware of what happened to independant drivers in the last few years.) But back to my story; my mom lived nearby and I felt the need to move; she lived in a little old dumpy trailer court, and was managing it. There was a trailer for rent, so I moved there; when I moved in, it was still under renovation, had no carpet on the floors, no cupboard doors in the kitchen and the bathroom sink cabinet was not usable. The owners were two brothers, one married, one not. But he had a girlfriend who lived there. He had my mom convinced that he worked for the phone company; his girlfriend told me different-he was a male dancer. Had even had a tummy tuck done. But he was after me, and would come over to fix things, then make passes at me. I told my mom, but she didn’t believe it, or couldn’t. He had tried to pressure me by saying that he had plans to sell the property and put up condos, but didn’t because he just knew that it would kill my mom, (who was aging and her health was bad)
if she had to move. So I had to get out again, found a place close to work, put down a deposit, rented a truck, and got ready to move. My mom had tried to encourage that relationship with the owner, too. And that shocked me; so maybe to protect myself, I ended up with my abuser. I had hired him at work; when I went back to work there, he said if he had known at the time I left that I was going to go drive, he would have came and got me. I was vulnerable and gullible. I invited him to a dance. He always reminded me after we were married that I invited him out first. On the weekend that I was due to move to my new apt. he convinced me, (and yes, I let him at the time) to move instead, out of state, across the river to his place. So I got back my deposit, and that’s what I did. I had been to his place, a nice trailer compared to mine at the time, but very little. So I had to put all my stuff in storage there. And that’s another story. But the abuse began at that time, I just didn’t know it. I was still in shock from the driving, the separation, the male dancer, and my mom. I didn’t have enough esteem and had never been self-reliant, didn’t know how. I guess what attracted me to him was that I thought that he had represented stability; he had a college degree from the same school as mine, and valued education (yeah, enough to be a career student, now with six degrees, and hasn’t worked for the last year after getting the last one.) He started by tearing me down emotionally; then physically over the years, then the second family we started, he physically and emotionally abused them, and continues to do so because the system failed me when I got out. Can you see why I stayed for nine years, because I just wanted it to work out, since my first marriage failed. And I kept trying, but it just kept getting worse.
I’ve decided it would be helpful to ME to help somebody else. So, I figure if I e-mail everybody I know, tell my story and plead my cause, and ask each one to donate $1.00 then I might get the 5-6k to start out with that I would need to defend myself and the kids in court from our abuser. Then as I am healing from all this, I will write someone else’s biography related to domestic abuse, and ask for $1.00 donations again so I can help them out.
The hardest thing for me to do is forgive myself, especially when the memories keep rushing in. We worked together; I hired him. I was still married, and left the job to take care of my marriage by going on the road with my husband. But it didn’t work out; we separated when we came back. I started looking for a job, and when my employer heard I was looking from reference checks, he asked me to come back. Once back, my soon to be abuser told me that if he knew what I was going to do, by going on the road, he would have come and got me. Like a savior, the knight in shining armor. How naive I was. I had a small office space, and we worked night shift with one other person, who was not always around. He had a habit of coming into my small space when I had my back turned; I never heard him until he said something or I would turn around and he would be within my 3 foot human boundary. It scared me, and he would justify it with saying he had a question, or concern. I never saw it coming. He was sinister, sneaky, like a stalker.
The retelling of my story feels sometimes fragmented; I try to retell what seems to be foremost on my mind, so it’s not sequential. When I first moved in with him, it was not too long after that, maybe 2mos. that a woman appeared at the front door. I came down the hallway, he had already answered the door. I saw her, then walked back down the hall. He got mad at me for walking away; I didn’t understand it at the time. He told me that she was a former girlfriend that he had gone out with; that was the first story. But then she started calling and leaving messages, would he like to come to (name witheld) 12th birthday party? I asked him about this, and he stated that she had a daughter who referred to him as “uncle.” He stated he didn’t have any reason to go. He told me he had met her when he was 19; that she had lived across the street from his mom and always came to visit him. She was 13 years older than him. She had a military past of some sort, and had been married several times. He said that they had never married. She had 2 sons from previous marriages. He told me that she hired an attorney in texas and had adopted her son out; later on I found the paperwork that it was 50,000 she received. But what I didn’t know then and found out later when I was cleaning out the shed was that they had been married, and he had gone to texas with her. I also found the divorce papers in the shed. Not too long after that, she sent him paperwork for paternity testing, which proved postive for the 12 yr. old child that had been calling him uncle. She took him to court and got a child support award, and back child support, as well as medical coverage for her. SO, he made less money than I did at the time, and most of his wages went to pay for support and medical for her, plus medical for him, and medical for our 3 kids. My wages went for everything else during that time; it was about six years. And I worked my butt off at work and at home. But I was in shock and denial. And I couldn’t pay my own bills because of his. I would get paid and he would tell me how much he needed. It didn’t leave me with hardly anything. And I had to shop at a liquidator store for food all the time, you know, one of those dented cans places. Yet, he had his credit cards, and was charging the hell out of them. We had two refrigerators in that little bitty kitchen, he bought the new one stating in case the old one went out. And he bought a trash compactor so he wouldn’t have to take out the trash everyday. And we had a washer and dryer, and one of them started to go on the fritz; instead of getting it repaired, he bought a brand new set- one of those H2 jobs. And I had the diamond ring, 2.5ct., and he bought two sets of diamond earrings and a tennis bracelet. I AM NOT A JEWELRY PERSON. And I trusted him, and thought everything was under control. We were supposed to get a house down the line, then the child support happened. We were just managing to get by, but I didn’t know it at that time because he was very effective in keeping me out of the finances. One time I asked him how come he needed so much money from me, so he did write down the bills he was paying at that time; I noticed he was making double payments on the credit cards, and asked him why. He told me it was none of my business. I was also paying out the nose for nursery care for the kids so I could work. At first, we worked opposite shifts and days, not always, but most of the time, so the nursery time was offset. But then he applied for a promotion working the same shifts as me, and the nursery bill skyrocketed to 62.oo per day. When I could no longer afford this, I changed shifts and got another job closer to home. (During this time the sexual abuse had already started). But little did I know that my new place of work was in trouble, and being sued, and lost to the tune of 2 million dollars for wrongful death lawsuit. I didn’t want to be a part of their crumbling infrastructure and was afraid to lose my own license, so I found another job, but it was another long commute. I stayed there for over a year, then management changes began to happen, and people’s lives were in danger. I tried to work with management, but it was a family affair, with the boss’s daughter running the show. And also, I was so stressed out at home. The transmission had gone out in the car; again, instead of having it repaired, he went out and got a new car, not one suitable for kids-it had light colored suede upholstery and the payments were over 500.00 per month. SO, I had him go with me to take it back; he said we couldn’t get the other one fixed right away, so I picked out a vehicle on sale, with washable leather seats, and lower monthly payments. He claimed that it was my fault the tranny went out of the car, but it had a lot of miles on it; I was putting about 80 miles a day round trip to work. AND, when I was out of work, he threatened me that he wouldn’t help me and that they were going to come and get it, and that he wouldn’t pay for the storage unit (THAT’S ANOTHER CHAPTER). Well, about 4 mos. later he did get the other car fixed. And, anyway, I couldn’t fit all three kids in the back of that car with car seats, or even with one booster seat and two car seats. So I guess it was meant to be at that time. He had his king cab truck, all paid for with my wages during the time that he had been paying child support. AND, he told the court that day that he didn’t care to have any visitation rights, and waived them. The year before I left, his mother had gotten a call from her son that she had adopted out, wanting to know where she was. But, back to that money thing. We had separate accounts, so I had to get a separate check from my account each payday made payable to him. And one time, I got the amount wrong that he needed, and the kids were in the car; he started yelling at me until I was in tears; then ripped up the check and threw it all over the floorboard.