All right. So here I am in New York City. I'm surviving, but I am feeling oh, so alone. In time, I meet some guy who...as I thought of all of my boyfriends...was the one I had been searching for all of my life...and he is just like all the others. He's a drinker and a playboy. Needless to say, we weren't together very long. I just had to share this one with you, though. On Christmas, he gave me a pair of earrings, my only Christmas gift that year. I had a wee little fake tree that sat on my dresser that year, and I placed the earrings under the tree. The next morning rose early, and after he left to go to work, I went over the the tree and lo and behold....the creep had taken the earrings with him. He'd given me a gift and then stole it back. Is that sick or what? It was very easy to break up with him...there really wasn't anything to begin with...but there I was...alone again.
A short time afterward I met my abusive ex-husband. Gosh, before we married, he treated me so special. We went all over together. He even got me out of my wee little room by marrying me and settled me into his parents' home. Big mistake. His parents from day one let me know that I didn't fit in. I was an Irish girl, and we all know that Irish girls like to drink; they can't help it; it's part of their culture. So, I wasn't good enough for their Italian son, and much as I tried, I never could sway them. I bent over backwards...cleaned their house, cooked, tried so hard to be loving, but they were always so cold...and sometimes I could hear them talking about me.
Now that I look back on it, I wonder if I should have known back then how he was going to be...and even if I did, would it have made any difference? I think not. So, by now I am pregnant with my son, and we've gotten our own place. He is a want-to-be actor and a bouncer in a bar two nights a week. He has no steady work. It's basically all up to me. I'm going to school and working in catering and do so right up until two weeks before the baby is born. He's not even there for the birth. His bouncer job is more important.
Three weeks after I get out of the hospital, I have to go back to work. He won't do anything else...why, he's got his acting career to think about. So, my mother-in-law gets me a job at an answering service where she used to work. I'm working 5 days a week from 4 to 12 pm. I drop my son off before I go to work, race over there after work, and pick him up...taking a cab home. Meanwhile, hubby is sitting around doing nothing...and by now, the name calling has started...the dirty, filthy names he called me. He's even pushed me around and pulled clumps of my hair out on occasion. Why did I stay? Because he was always sorry, and it would never happen again. And, the one time I did pack my bags and take my son to a battered women's shelter, I found myself living amongst drug dealers, prostitutes, rats, mice, and cockroaches. I was running back and forth to the welfare office who was putting me through a round of torture just to see how badly I wanted my benefits. My son got sick; he got very sick and wasn't getting any better. I went back home.
Fast forward. Seven years later. Still being abused verbally and physically. Difference is, now I have two sons...two children to worry about. I also have a bald spot (thankfully hidden) in back of my head and a knot in my leg from being hit by a chair which remains to this day. I've got a halfway decent job now, but he's been telling me it's nothing, that I am nobody, that I'm lucky to have him, that nobody would ever want me, that I am ugly, stupid, worthless...that he is a star and he is who is important. He's still nothing more than a bouncer with several extra roles and a few small parts. And when he gets one of his parts on a Friday and has to miss his bouncer job, I have to pay him the $50 from my salary...AND LIKE A DUMMY, I DO IT. That's how beaten down I was.
Then one day, I began fighting back. When he was approaching me to attack, I picked up the phone to dial 911. He reached out to grab the phone, and I don't know where I got the power, but I let him have it in the head with the receiver. He backed off...holding his head and crying...his precious head..what would he do if it were scarred? From then on, he was afraid of me, and he even told me so. The physical cruelty was over, but it was still a few years before I got out.
To be continued....