Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chapter's 4 and 5

Not long after we became engaged we went to visit my mom.  I was nervous about the two of them meeting, they were the exact opposites.  My mom is a very outgoing, life of the party kind of person.  I grew up in a home where laughter, jokes and fun were the norm.  Gary on the other hand was a very quiet, intense, introverted and serious person.  He grew up in a home where fighting, yelling and back-biting was the norm.

We left on a Friday after work with plans to spend the whole weekend.  Saturday morning started off with a water fight between mom and I.  Here we were in our bathrobes chasing each other around the house with cups of water.  We were laughing and just plain having a riot of a time.  Mom eventually won, pushing me out onto the front step and locking the door.  I sat there laughing my head off...but Gary wasn't impressed.

He was soon in a yelling match with mom accusing her of child abuse!  I stood between them crying and begging them both to stop.  Mom finally told him to get out of her house.  Looking back now I wish with all of my heart that I had stayed with mom that day, my life would have turned out so differently.  But I didn't.  I packed my things and left with Gary.

It was a quiet drive home.  I couldn't defend mom to him, he just wouldn't listen, so I gave up.  That day set the scene for what life would be like between the two of them...tense, with me always caught in the middle trying to smooth things out.

It was also the start of me pulling inward, changing who I really was in order to please Gary.  I stopped laughing and joking as much and became quieter, always guaging my actions to suit whatever mood he was in.  I learned to always check what I was going to say and do before I said it and did it;  its a hard way to live.

Gary was very possessive of me.  This quickly became apparent to others, but not so much to me.  As I earlier stated, he would call every night and expect me to be there.  Sometimes it would be an hour or more, or if there were people in the school like with parent/teacher interview nights, it might be just for a few minutes;  but I was expected to answer when he called.  I remember one evening Pam and I went to visit Lisa a friend from church.  I had not told Gary because it was a spur of the moment decision to go.  I guess he kept calling during the evening and by the time I got home he was furious with me.  He accused me of choosing Pam over him.  I spent most of the call in tears apoligizing and promising not to do it again.  This was another step into the pit.  It set the stage for a lifetime of having to ask permission to go and do anything.

Slowly I backed off from my friends to make sure I was always available to him.  I became skilled at explaining why I couldn't go places or do things that I had always enjoyed.  Pam started making remarks about me not having time for her anymore.  I became an expert at hiding my true feelings behind my smile and learned to always appear happy.  I had to make this work.  Doubts were from the devil, I had to make God's will work...right?

Not only did he take control of who I saw and when, but he became increasingly jealous of David, to the point that if I even looked in David's general direction at church I would be accused of cheating on him!  So I became even more zealous at checking what I said or did.  It is amazing the twists that he could put on even the most innocent of statements.

My heart broke at losing one of my dearest and best friends.  Deep down I knew I had been horribly short-changed but it was just another loss that I had to accept.  I did what I was becoming very good at doing...I buried the hurt, smiled and pretended that all was right in my world.

                                                                  Chapter 5

One Saturday Gary called and told me to come over to his place.  He had the basement apartment in his parents home in Dartmouth.  It took me two buses and a 15 minute walk.  When I got there he and his parents were in the yard trying to put together a double bed that he had bought.  I never understood why it was being put together outside instead of inside the apartment!

One of the bed rails turned out to be a different length than the other one.  Gary's mother kept insisting that it didn't matter, no one would be able to tell when it was made up!

I never said anything, I just stood in shocked silence while Gary exploded in rage at his mom screaming at her that she was an idiot!  I was horrified.  I had been raised to honor your father and mother.  Even though I disagreed with what she had said, I started to defend her.  Gary turned on me then, telling me to shut-up that I was just as useless as his mother.  I turned and left the yard in tears.  Halfway up the street I felt a hand take my arm.  It was Gary's dad.  He calmed me down and told me to just ignore him, that he was just upset and would get over it.  He explained that Gary and his mother always fought like this, but that it would blow over and be like it never happened.

The red flags went up in my mind again, but I ignored them and let him take me back to the house.  Gary never did apologize to me or his mother, and I soon came to realize that this was normal in this family!  The saying, "How a man treats his mother is how he will treat his wife" came to me and it honestly scared me;  but I felt trapped and just prayed that we would be the exception to that rule.

Gary soon started to share the things his mom thought about me.  The one thing that she was most critical about was my weight.  I weighed between 150 and 160 lbs at the time.  Gary started nagging me about it telling me that he was embarrassed at times to be seen with me.  So I went on a crash diet of only carrots and onion chip dip!  I ate so many bags of carrots over the next few weeks that my skin took on an orange hue!  I lost 10 lbs but to this day I hate carrots!  The criticism continued however from both Gary and his mother.  I was never good enough.

The more I got to know his family the more I realized just how much Gary took after his mother.  My overly sensitive nature took many blows in the months prior to the wedding.

1 comment:

  1. Physical abuse is one thing. Add on emotional abuse and that can cause such destruction. I can't wait to read the bits about how you conquered