I’ve been married and divorced three times. Now I live in a pretty much dead end relationship. We care about each other but have no plans for anything more than that. I had a great family growing up but I wasn’t taught the things I need to know when dealing with relationships. I had the typical growing up in the ‘70’s Dad, rough and tough, no emotions (that we knew of in those teenage years). My Mom stayed at home and ran the household. She did a great job teaching me to cook, clean and take care of the household but she never taught me how to handle conflict, to have a voice or to not be taking advantage of. Probably she wasn’t taught those things either no fault of her own. I remember being told by my Grandfather to grow up and marry a nice man to take care of me. I didn’t think much of it, then?! I remember high school, while in the guidance counselor’s office being asked what I wanted to do when I graduated. I said I didn’t know, because I didn’t know what my options were. He never offered any suggestions, never looked at any of my grades to see where my strengths lied, never mentioned college, NOTHING. He just said, “Okay”, and told me to go back to class.
I think that what my parent’s didn’t teach me has led me to the bad relationships I’ve been in. When you’re not taught what it is like for a man to treat a woman the right way you never learn what is the wrong way either. When your parents don’t participate in your life (like supporting the sports they play, attend games, meetings, etc.) that teaches their kids that the things they do or like in life aren’t important. So why bother, right? Then when they grow up (are adults) and the person they’re with isn’t treating them right they know nothing different because that’s what their parents did. Or why I have nothing that is important to me because I don’t know how to make it important. Or when someone else has an issue or needs something I just jump right in and help them at what cost to me? I don’t know because I’m not important. So I’ve been hurt, ignored and neglected in all my relationships. I know what’s “wrong” with me now but I don’t know how to fix me. So I pretty much close myself off because it’s safe.
I graduated high school, got a job, partied, partied some more, moved out, got married to a man from England and all hell broke loose! He cheated, he introduced me to sex that I never knew anything about (not a bad thing), and he ruled my life. He kept me away from family and friends as much as he could. I never saw what was going on until it was too late. His need for control over me, distrusted me for no reason at all, it was too much for me and I finally left. I hid most of the next year from him because I knew I would get sucked in if I saw him. My next relationship didn’t end in marriage but I did have a child. I never regretted my child just my bad choice of a Father for him. After that relationship ended (again my choice), I met someone else. He moved into my house, we had a child and then got married. 2 days before the wedding I accidently found pics from the bachelor party. They literally fell into my lap! I was using his truck to pick up wedding stuff and I put the visor down to block the sun, and down fell the pics into my lap. I could have ruined a few marriages by whom and what they were doing in those pics but I chose not to (pre internet, Facebook, social media days, lucky for them). Too late to call off the wedding so I blamed the alcohol…big mistake. That marriage ended with him cheating (with his best friend’s wife). Classy, is all I have to say about that!!! After a few more years, I left the state for a different life. I loved where I moved and stayed for almost 20 years before returning to my “home” state. I married again (in case you lost count “3rd”), we lived together, already had kids, bought a house, dealt with ex’s bullshit, loved, fought, got back together…repeat, repeat, and repeat again. I thought that through all the crap we could have made it work but I was wrong. I found out that he is a sociopath (cheers to counseling). He lived a life of lies. He was scary at times because he could flip out and then immediately be calm and peaceful (like after the cops arrived). He could lie to most people and they never knew he was lying. A few close family members and friends know the truth and can tell when he lies. Most have detached their lives from him as much as they can. I actually reversed his gift on him for a while. I have to say that it was an interesting view into the life of a sociopath. Now I live with someone (we knew each other in high school but never dated then), I can say we love each other but that is pretty much it. No plans for the future because both of us have demons. My demons are under control. I feel very lonely at times and isolated so I write. Writing is nothing new I’ve done it since high school. If you read through the years the pain is all over the pages…at least I do something well.