Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chapter 27

Gary was becoming more paranoid all the time, to the point where he didn't want Elizabeth going to the Youth Group gatherings at the parsonage after church Sunday evenings!  He didn't trust that she would be safe there.  I argued with him to no avail.  The only way he would agree to let her go was if I went with her!  I just looked at him.  How could I do that?  I would be mortified to admit to anyone that he didn't think the Pastor's house was a safe place for his daughter!  I wanted her to be able to go and be with her friends so he finally agreed to a compromise.  She could go and I would stay in the van over at the church and wait for her.  That way she wouldn't be embarrassed that mom had to be there with her.

That worked for a few weeks until it was discovered that I was out there for a couple of hours each week waiting for her.  I was told to come in to the parsonage and join in the fun.  I appreciated the invitation but I felt stupid and out of place, but what could I do, I wanted Elizabeth to be able to be with the other young people.

Cathy had started talking to me and was beginning to realize bit by bit that I was not able to leave the house very much.  One Sunday morning after church we talked for quite a while and she found out a little more.  This resulted in my being asked if I would take over the filing job in the church office.  It would get me out of the house for a few afternoons a week and give me a break!  I was thrilled.  I had always loved office work and was anxious to get started.  Gary didn't dare say to much because it wouldn't look good if he said that I couldn't help out at the church!  However for the first few weeks he insisted on coming with me until he got tired of just sitting for a couple of hours watching me.  Then I was free to go and work when I wanted!  I was so very appreciative of Cathy coming up with this idea.  But what alot of filing!  Nobody had been doing it for quite a while and there were bags and bags of papers that needed to be sorted and organized before they could even be filed.  Just when I thought the end was in sight Pastor would arrive with yet more bags that he had found at the house.  It took a few months to get the filing caught up.  I was disappointed when I did eventually get to the end because it meant that there was no need to come in as often and I enjoyed the work so much.

Cathy told me one day that the church was there any time that I needed to get away, that it could be a haven for me on bad days.  So one day I decided to do just that.  Gary thought I was doing office work so didn't try to stop me.  I didn't think anyone would be there.  For a while I just sat in the dark in a room referred to as the "Situation Room", because it was used by mothers who needed to leave the service with their children.  Since it was located at the back of the auditorium, they could still hear the service.  I settled into a rocking chair and just tried to chill.  It had been a particularly hard few days with Gary.  I hadn't been there long when Pastor and another man from the church arrived to do some painting upstairs.  I thought if I was quiet maybe I could stay where I was and not bother anyone.  I forgot that they would know I was there because of the van parked outside.

After a while Pastor came looking and found me in the room.  He turned on the light and asked me if I was OK.  Wrong question!  I blurted out that all Gary did was was complain about this and that; and on I went.  After a couple of minutes he looked at me and said, "Just like you're doing?"  I was shocked into silence and just stared at him.  He didn't say anything else.  He left and I burst into tears.  I calmed down and told myself to "Buck-up" and that I needed to stay at home.  Even though I had no intentions of every leaving Gary again I was in a sense still running, even if it was to a church.  The Pastor hadn't said that I couldn't be there, but my insecurities told me that I was somewhere I shouldn't be.  Even though there were days I wanted to, I never "ran" to the church again.

Wednesday nights after the midweek meeting there was what was called Bible Institute.  It was studies on various books of the Bible and topics.  Gary and I had both been going.  There were workbooks and if you wanted you could do the assignments and hand them in.  Eventually when enough courses were completed you could get a diploma.  I enjoyed it very much and started doing the assignments trying to catch up to the others in the class.

This however did not go over well with Gary.  He started making remarks about the time I was spending doing the assignments, he didn't like me doing anything that took my attention off him.  After a while he said that I was embarrassing him because I was doing the assignments and he had trouble writing because of the Parkinson's.  So I offered to do his writing for him.  This worked for a while, but then I started having a hard time getting him to even tell me what he wanted me to write.  Finally what I knew all along would happen did.  He forbid me to hand in any more papers.  He said that it made him look bad and he wouldn't stand for it anymore.  I was so disappointed, I had enjoyed the work very much.  So I just started auditing the classes.  Soon he didn't want me doing that.  There was nothing I could do about it, it was just the way it was.

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