Even though he often told me that moving back up north would “fix things between” the two of us, the real reason that my ex-husband wanted to move back up north was because he was never comfortable if he was too far away from his family. I never really understood his insane need to be near his family, considering all of the things they had put him through. The worst part was that it was because of me that they had any real relationship to begin with. If I hadn’t come along and explained to him the importance of family, then I can only imagine how horrific things could have or would have degenerated between him and his family. I find it very ironic that because of me, he fixed the issues he had with his mother… and that made him her perfect little angel again… which made him ten times more resistant to the idea of living in Texas for the rest of our lives.
The problem with moving back up north, in my eyes, was the fact that I had a lot of PTSD that I was not over because of high school. This isn’t the story for those things, though they will come up sooner or later. The thing is that my mother told me moving back up north was a “bad idea.” She did that, again, with me this last time I moved back up here, but her reasoning has entirely been the same. “It’s bad for you; you can’t survive up there.” She was right about that the first time, with the ex-husband. I couldn’t survive up there, but not for the reasons she was harping about.
The real reasons why I couldn’t adequately survive up north are enumerated in a few little ticks. The ex husband; his mother; his family. I think if I hadn’t been nearly as close to them as we were, we may have been all right. But, there is the fact that my ex-husband very really went pretty damn close to insane towards the end. So, he is also included in the entirety of why, by the end, I was going to run away to my mother in Texas without a note, without even a slight comment in his direction.
When we moved back up north, I had a set of blinders on from the beginning. In looking back now, years later, I can see all the things that I had been fearing that were happening. We got married; immediately, he starts harping about moving back up north. I always worried that he had married me for the express permission of trying to… force my hand… into moving back up north. If we hadn’t gotten married, it would have been the final straw between us. And there are days when I just go, “Man, I really wish I had stuck to my guns before he married me and things turned really bad.” But, I made the mistake. I moved back up north and I suffer the guilt from that every day.
The worst part was that, by this time, I knew who he was and what he was able to do. He could sell hay to a farmer. He could make you do and believe anything he wanted you to do or believe as long as he was right beside you. I cannot begin to convey how manipulative he could be or how his charisma made it easier for him to get what he wanted – thus why, I think, he was the favorite of the family. His charisma made him instantly liked and adored, but it only really worked when you were around him. If you had a few moments alone, as I had when he had gone up north to visit his family just before we got married, you began to see the holes in the story. But he had to get near you in order to make you forget about those holes. So, even though I say that I “wish” I had stuck to my guns, I don’t really think I had much of a choice in this. He would have made me see his way and been very convincing or compelling or what have you about it. He had already decided that we would be together “forever” by that point and I couldn’t just so easily walk away.
It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s going great
I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped
One of the biggest lies of our marriage, besides our marriage itself, was in how the ex-husband got me to move back up north. He constantly harped and enumerated on all of the “great things just waiting” for us to move back up there. And then, really, he forced the issue by beginning to job hunt up there in the paramedic field. The problem, really, was that he was mostly looking for fire fighting specific jobs since he hadn’t finished his paramedic training. He could easily pass the national registry tests mandated by Massachusetts, but he never finished his clinical training. So, on that one little sticking point, he began looking for both paramedic jobs and fire fighting jobs. And he “found one.” In fact, there was no job but he applied for it and “got it.” However, when we made the 2,000 mile move up north, of a sudden, there was no “funding” for the position he had been “hired for.” And now, he was jobless and I had been ripped away from my comfort zone on a lie.
But I had forced him into swearing that when we moved back up north, I would go back to school. I had been itching to go back to school, but with the working hours I required at my base rate of pay to help us pay for our car, I couldn’t afford to go to school. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it with the few hours of sleep I managed while working full-time. So, I told him that I would go back to school to get my history degree and he would support me while I did that. I was very specific with what I required out of this deal. I should have, probably, made more demands, but I am one of those people who are very much forced into blinders when something important rears its head. I wanted a degree and that’s the only bargaining chip I threw in there. I go to school; he works full-time and pays for all the bills. I should have been more specific… maybe he wouldn’t have stopped paying on my credit cards and the cell phone in my name. But, then, he was supposed to have had a job when we moved back up north to pay those bills, so… the horrible credit I currently suffer probably would have happened anyway.
The thing is that if you start off a “whole new life together” on a pack of lies then that’s what you get for the rest of it.
Who’s that dude? I don’t even know his name
I laid hands on her, I’ll never stoop so low again
I guess I don’t know my own strength
We moved in with his parents because we didn’t have any start up capital to live in our own. That wasn’t really so bad at first. I hadn’t had to live with his parents before, however, and living with his younger brother would take some getting used to. His little brother had a lot of issues, but the biggest was the fact that he was severely ADHD and suffered from severe Asberger’s syndrome. We were also bringing our three dogs into their four-dog established household. It was going to take a bit of getting used to, especially since we were all moving into a three-bedroom ranch where privacy was not really a big thing on the builder’s to-do list back in the 50s. After having had an entire half a house to ourselves, more or less… there were a lot of changes.
I tried very diligently to just focus on going back to school… and finding someone to talk to.
This is actually how I met the Sister. She was dating or living with VB by this time. And of course, one of the “best” things about moving up north [for the ex-husband] was that he would get to be with all of his little friends again. I had no real friends remaining up north. I had spurned most, if not all of them, when I had started dating my ex-husband. I will admit that I didn’t really want to get to know the Sister. The boys kept going on about how we would get along great because she was “a pagan.” (Amazing how if two people profess to be pagan, then they must be besties according to outsiders.) But really, the whole reason why I didn’t want to get to know her was that I didn’t want to have to like her and then have to get rid of her when VB finally did his usual thing of breaking her heart. Considering how much my ex-husband had been screwing around with my friendship with my [now ex-] Christian friend, it seemed like this could be the ultimate result. So I decided to hold her at arm’s length.
There are a lot of things that I should, at least, mention as being grateful that I was able to take away from my relationship with my ex-husband. My friendship with the Sister is the only thing that really bears any weight when I measure it up against the other things: owning my first car; my dog, Jasmine. The Sister was there throughout the rest of this story and she’s still around. I have a friend who will not judge me for my religion. I have a friend who knows the horror of my relationship with my ex-husband and will let me rant about it when I need to. I’ve parceled it all out to different people over the years, but never explained the entire story to anybody and that includes TH. While he may have heard things from the Sister or possibly in passing during our conversations about things, but even he doesn’t know how horrific it really was towards the end there. But the Sister was there… and that relationship, I thought all those years ago, would dissipate or fall away as the rest of them had.
So for that, I should admit, at least, that I am grateful.
While living with his parents, the Sister would take me out once a week so that I “got out of the house.” In case no one has been paying attention the last three years, I’m an insane home-body. You have to literally drag me out of the house to get me to go anywhere that is not a room in my house. This was unacceptable to the very sociable people who were my ex-husband’s family. So, she would take me out and we would go swimming at her grandfather’s or have rituals at her house or just generally not be in our different living situations for a while. The one time I tried to do this on my own, I learned a very valuable lesson: don’t do it.
I reached out to a few friends I had left over up here. I didn’t have many left over from high school because of my ex-husband and our relationship. But there were a few left that didn’t judge me so heinously or harshly. I reached out to that one and hung out with him a few times. According to MEH, he was fine with this even though the guy in question was a boy who I had been in unrequited love with for years before I got together with my ex-husband. I’m not sure if this was an act or if he parlayed his fears of what “could have” happened into his little brother’s ear. Either way, the one time I brought that friend to the house for a barbecue, MEH’s little brother was very verbally abusive towards us until I was forced to bring my friend home.
Later, MEH’s little brother both physically and verbally attacked me.
Whatever fractured peace the two of us had been living was shattered by that. The comfort of living in that home, of which there was little, was completely gone by that point. The ex-husband had all but admitted that he had lied to me to get me to move up north. The ex-husband had been behaving like a foolish child. His mother had been having literal temper tantrums (the kind that would make a five-year-old blush) about us living there. And everything else was looking like I would not only be able to go to school, but have to pay for part of it as well as have to get a job because the ex-husband was big on breaking his promises: I wasn’t allowed to just go to school, I had to help out financially if I “wanted to move out of his parents’ house.”
Even though the situation there had become incredibly uncomfortable for me because of his family members.
Even though the situation there had become horrifically awful because I had been brought there on false pretenses.
It didn’t matter.
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
Since the Sister was being thrown out of her house with VB because, as I had predicted he got tired of her, the ex-husband and I decided to have her live with us. The ex-husband and I wanted to move back to Easthampton because it was a nice, quiet, and friendly place. He had friends in that area and the job he really wanted was in that city. He felt it would reflect positively on his ability to get the job with the fire station if he was already established in the city. The job I had acquired – because of my ex-husband’s friends, actually – was nearby. So, the Sister and I began looking for apartments there. We found a townhouse within our price range in the very building the ex-husband and I had lived in before. And we could bring the dogs with us.
It was supposed to be perfect.
To be continued…