PoeticaL
cluttering the net since 2001

you don't know me, but you have to open the door...

Sunday, May. 30, 2004
When I was 20 I got married. I didn’t have to. I just did. I thought it was love. I moved to Dallas with him with no job to go to, no money saved and no reason other than to get away from my family who had disowned me and was making my life hell. We packed my car (MY CAR..he had nothing) and left.

Two years after being in Dallas, I had my son. I was there alone and without family and he was working from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at a TELEMARKETING job making nothing. He couldn’t pay the bills, and yet he lied to me about it all. Eventually they turned off the phone and repossessed the car. Then within two days of those events he got arrested for having a busted tail light in his car. A stranger came to my door and told me to come with him to go to the local county prison to speak to my then husband. I picked a 4 month old sleeping baby out of his crib and climbed into a car with a stranger, his wife and their rather big chow chow dog to go to the prison to speak to then husband. I got there and the cop didn’t want to let me speak to him and I took a major female fit and within five minutes of my hysterics the cop let me in. When I got in front of my then husband I stated, “whatever this is about it’s ok I’ll help you and stick by you and we’ll make it but you HAVE GOT TO tell me the truth.” He gave me a story about having a busted tail light and that there was money in the car’s glove compartment box and I should go to the impound and get it somehow. (I did go and try to do that....guess what....there was no money because he had LIED about it all with no explanation about why he would LIE about such things when they were a waste of time.)

Then I went back out and spoke to the cop and he pulled me aside and said, “c’mere Ms..W******” He then pulled out a rap sheet about ten feet long and told me “Do you know who you’re married to, who the father of that beautiful baby is?” He had been arrested for car theft 7 years earlier in Texas and had never faced the charges. He had recently gotten 11 speeding tickets across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They were going to make him go to each county and serve out his time on each speeding ticket because he simply did not have $3,500 to pay off all the speeding tickets and fines.

That night I went home with strangers taking me. I laid in bed and thought, “If I had a family I’d grab a plane and be gone.” Instead my only friends in Dallas helped me. Kent. Kent and Kim. They were a couple. She didn’t want to help and was rather bitchy about Kent’s insistence upon helping me out. He was born and bred in Missouri in a small town. His parents owned a pig farm and he was raised with morals and he insisted on helping me the poor left girl with a baby to care for. He came over to my apartment and drove my son and I to his apartment. That night we put my son in their bathtub lined with blankets and comforters so that it was soft and comfy. A few hours later when my son woke up I stumbled into the bathroom to get him and feed him and change his diaper and he wasn’t in there. I peeked around the corner into Kim and Kent’s bedroom and Kent was feeding my son a bottle and cooing and speaking in a low voice to my son. I remember tears coming to my eyes. I remember watching him for a few minutes in awe that a stranger could so such a thing for me. He waved me away saying he was fine and go get some sleep. I went and passed out so quick it was insane. It was one of the first times I felt safe and unafraid of my life. That night.

The next day I was awakened by breakfast on a plate. Kent was a good cook. He handed me a plate and some coffee and said “the baby’s been fed and everything’s cool, I gotta go to work later. He asked me what kind of formula and cereal my son was eating and stated he was going to the store to get food. He asked for my keys to the apartment stating he was going to go check on my dog. Two hours later he came back with my son’s crib, clothes and food for him. He set up the crib without directions and proceeded to make formula and tell me not to move a muscle and just sit and watch his TV. I was amazed but exhausted and so emotionally wrecked I just did as he said.

His girlfriend Kim had a big fight with him in the other room about why he was helping me and how she didn’t want anything to do with a thief (my then husband) and she wanted me out. He laid down the law. He literally told her she was a bitch and she didn’t know wrong from right in life and told her to deal with it, it was his apartment and if she didn’t’ like it she could get out because he wasn’t going to watch a little baby and an innocent girl go homeless because of some dickhead guy’s mistakes. He came out of that room and I recall he hugged me and told me “don’t worry about a thing, it’ll all be ok, someday you’ll laugh about this mess…ok maybe not laugh but it will feel like a lifetime ago.”

Every day I called the prison system and found out that my then husband’s bail was reduced by hundreds daily until one day it was so low that he himself could bail himself out with the last $21 he had in his own pocket. So he did He called from the street and Kent went and picked him up. I only remember that when he showed up I smacked him across the face and told him his son deserved more than that mess and that if he was out getting speeding tickets why the hell didn’t he tell me so that we could have paid them or I could have went out and gotten a job. He just stood there silent. I ended up laying on the floor with him on top of me making love to me while I stared at the ceiling wondering if this was what love was supposed to be. Kim and Kent had cats and the loft where we were that night had the cat litter in it and all I could smell was cat piss and sweat and old baby diapers. I remember hating him and loving him and wanting to leave him and wanting to show him what pain was and what he had done to his family. I remember the way he made love to me like a hungry man having his first meal and I thought that meant that he surely loved me. I remember hearing my son rolling around in his crib, his small body making lovely little noises across the plastic moisture protection layer over the mattress in his perfect little white crib.

I had already decided I couldn’t be in Dallas away from everyone I knew and everyone whenever he could so easily bail out and leave me in a mess. I told him I was moving back to PA and I had already packed things up in the apartment before he ever got his ass out of jail. He had of course lost his job because he didn’t report to work and they found out about his prior. The judge told him he had to face the old auto theft charges and he was to call in and wait for a court date. He never did. We left the state of Texas at my insistence. Driving for hours and hours. Leaving 88 degree weather to arrive in PA in March and drive through snow drifts with a baby that owned no coat, gloves or hat. I remember my former mother in law waking the baby just to see him for the first time and I wanted to poke her eyes out with hot stakes for doing that to him. When she found out what her son did to me she stated “I can’t believe he is doing this to me again.” ME? Meaning herself.

We spent the next 6 months sleeping on a floor with a baby in a crib in a small room in their house. He worked odd jobs, couldn’t find a job and my son was shuffled between peoples arms like he was a pawn. I hated every day of that time. I hated him. I didn’t let him touch me again for 7 months. I literally told him I hated him daily. I should have left him. I just got all hung up on the fact that I took vows. It was all so hugely disappointing. When I think about that time in my life, I wonder why I stayed. Why I was too stupid, too young to realize that it would never change.

Today I got an email from a friend and this part of my life came rushing back to me. When I tell b.f. or anyone else for that matter that I have lived through one disappointment after another, they really don’t get it. There were few months that things were normal, good or safe and secure. There was always some charges, some bad check written, some utility turned off, some car repossessed, some house foreclosed upon…something lost. Something gone again.

Mostly looking back on this….I remember a few months after getting to PA I found out that Kent and Kim got a divorce and he moved back to Missouri and met a smalltown girl and was happy. I think about Kent and what he did often. It’s rare that I forget a person who so selflessly has helped me. I wonder where those kind of guys are and why they are always with some bitch of a girl so unlike them.

I don’t know why I wrote all of this down today. It was mostly that email I got from my friend Joyce who has also gone through similar shit with her man. Things I relate to. I want to scream at her “just leave him, even if you have to cut off your left arm and go blind in one eye for the rest of your life, it will be better than the nightmare you are currently living.” Just leave… And yet I don’t’. Because I know all too well why we don’t. I remember that catpiss smell and his hands making marks on my flesh and my son in his crib and I just wanted that. I wanted family and I didn’t care how much pain I had to endure. I’d probably still take all of that pain to have family…..something for me so elusive.

I know that someone will come along and tell me I’m the stupid one for having a child with a man with a criminal record. I can only say this…. I didn’t know. After I found out I was already on the train. We were in movement already. I just wanted my child to have what I never did. Two parents. His own parents never told me. His mother told me 3 months prior to the final split that she assumed he would tell me and that it was none of her business. (side note to parents out there…..don’t assume that your child will be honest about who or what he or she is to their prospective partner…ask questions..be involved….your grandchildren could suffer for your non-involvement!!)

I could line up incidents like this one in my life with him and go on and on and on about the time this or that…… I often wonder how many of these incidents his new wife will withstand. I know that he still is that person. He still lies, and unless someone sends her his rapsheet ten pages long, she’s as oblivious as I was. He’s a good con-artist. Besides, she doesn’t deserve anything but what she’ll get. Someday a stranger will come knocking on her door to tell her exactly WHO and WHAT she married.

-PoeticaL
2:01 p.m. ::
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