Let me tell you a bit about this day. While most Americans are celebrating their freedoms as a country and honoring those who serve or have served to protect our country, I add just a little more to this day. Let this be a lesson…
Independence is freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like of others.
Freedom from control. That’s the big one. On July 4, 1994 I married a man who I knew I shouldn’t marry. He was thirteen years my senior, average looking, not well-educated, and wasn’t working. I swept all of that under the rug. Sometimes my heart is stronger than my head. What I didn’t sweep under the rug, at least at first, was his controlling and jealous nature. As we were fighting about the way I looked at someone three days prior to the wedding, I had major doubts. We weren’t having a big wedding, just a simple ceremony at a park in front of a magistrate. Only a few guests were invited. I could have easily called it off, but my stubbornness and desire to always follow through took over. Not only that but I had been fighting with my mother non stop and the words, “If you leave this house you are not allowed back” rang in my ears.
The ceremony was short followed by a short lunch. My mother was angry the whole time. Now you have to understand, though I am stubborn and strong-willed, I am also very passive. I am the “hippie chick” as my circles of friends have always called me. I’m all about no drama, love, no stress. I just want to cuddle and be happy. It actually angers some people when I am able to let things roll off of me that should anger me. It was very hard to be in the situation I was in.
We had no plan. That night we actually slept in his van in his parents driveway because they weren’t happy about the marriage either. As a matter of fact, I didn’t meet them until at least a month later. The next day, a friend of his offered to allow us to move into the loft of his condo. I’ll shorten this up just a bit. From there, we moved into a studio apartment where we stayed for seven years. He never worked though he did try his hand in painting houses. he was not good at “The Customer is Always Right”. He was a Musician and shouldn’t have to do anything but play in the band. For seven years I worked and supported him. I did my best to always do right by us and deal with his manic-depressive tendencies.
We fought almost daily. We were the neighbors you love to hate, the scream at the top of your lungs fighters…well at least he was. For the most part, I kept an even tone which angered him more. We didn’t have cell phones so if I was stuck in traffic, there was no way to call. If I was late there was a fight. If I wore something a bit too revealing of my shape there was a fight. If a guy started talking to me at a store there was a fight. He was verbally abusive. The only way to pacify him was to let him get extremely stoned so he would just eat and watch movies or play his music. Of course, it was my money buying the pot.
As I grew older I realized that the innocent hippie chick I used to be had turned into a sinister bitch always ready to jump or fight back. I also realized that no matter how hard I tried not to end my marriage in divorce like my parents did, it was going to be the only way to bring happiness back into my life. I started working on building my credit. I got a couple of credit cards, got a newer vehicle in my name, and made sure I was always working to pay the bills. One day I got a late notice on one of my credit cards and I went ballistic. Sweet little me…blew my lid. He had control of the money but I was the one bringing it in and that meant my bills got paid on time. It was almost a violent fight. He threatened to throw me and my stuff out and when I went for a walk to get away from the fighting, I was locked out. I quickly learned to have an additional set of keys for such an occasion at least so I could get in my vehicle and drive away.
The day came when I again got home late from work and there he was, leaning in the door jamb, one hand over his head…the hand with the gun in it. He threatened to kill me and then himself. I didn’t go in. He accused me of cheating on him, of being a whore, and many other vulgarities which had become the norm. I didn’t stand there long. I took my chance, turned my back on him, and walked back to the parking lot where my truck was. I drove to my mother’s and told her most of what was going on. I told her I was divorcing him and it had gotten very bad. that had been the first time I had seen her in months because I wasn’t allowed to see her.
I spent months getting threatened and stalked at my mum’s and at work. When the divorce finally went through, I left in the middle of the night. I moved across country to start a new life.
So on this Independence Day not only am I celebrating the freedoms of our country but my own freedoms. I have been in my new state for eleven years now. Yes, I have found myself in other dramatic relationships but I hope I’ve learned. I know 100% that I will never be with anyone who abuses me, I will never be with anyone who has jealousy that drives them to rage, and I will never be with anyone who wants to change the person I am or makes me feel like a lesser person. I am almost back to my roots, and I know one thing…
I am not anger. I am Love.