Category Archives: memoir

Dear Armin, we’re moving on…

Armin,

 

I have a lot to say to you and I need to do it in the way I do best, words on paper. This is not for you, but this is for me and for our kids. Writing this to you may bring you some sense of closure and reflection too, and if it does that is great, but that is not my main intention. I’m not writing this to anger you. I’m not writing this to reminisce on our time together though it may feel like that at times while reading this. I need to release all the resentment I have towards you and that may feel like hate at times, and perhaps right now it is a bit of hate. I hope writing this will close off all this and I can finally put you to rest like I finally put my dad to rest. This might not make any sense to you and it doesn’t need too. Perhaps you will not read this all the way through and that is perfectly fine too. All I know is, I need to say these things, and I am going to say them.

When we decided to get together we were young. I came to you partly broken. I had been abused as a child, and I had been abused from a previous marriage. I thought I had scrutinized your personality so well that I would be safe with giving you my heart and giving you my bullets. For some time, I guess I was safe. You were a funny, charming, military man who seemed to have goals and dreams to have a good life in the future, and I was a funny, futuristic, creative girl who also aspired of turning her life around and building something for her future. I saw my dad in you, and my dad was the best man I had ever known, and how could I go wrong with that I had thought? I never thought you would damage me in the ways that you did over the decades that I had invested in you. In those first few years I never envisioned that I would have put my dreams on hold to build you up while I grew older not attaining any of my aspirations. I never thought in those first years that I would have given up complete control over my life to raise our children while you lived a bachelor life drinking with your friends leaving me home alone over and over. I know you view things differently and you have excuses about babysitters, and you want to use excuses about money. Those do not matter now. You invalidated my feelings for decades. When I tried to explain to you how those many nights made me feel jealous, insecure, lonely, and unimportant to you, you invalidated me over and over. Years of this emotional abuse made me into someone I didn’t recognize Armin.

Then I ended up sick with my back tumor and still you continued to invalidate my feelings and you continued your behavior of drinking and going out with your friends. You may never admit to emotionally abusing me, and you may never admit publicly to the control you took over my life for the 19 years we spent together but we both know the truth. We both know I rolled over for you to go on your fishing trips, drinking escapades, and weekend camping trips while you complained about me buying $5 coffee or buying desserts at the grocery stores, or complaining if I bought an outfit once in a while for myself. We both know that you never put me seeing my family on the priority list, but we were sure seeing your family once a year or once every two years. We both know when I finally stood up and wanted to put my goals on the table you didn’t even want to discuss them. Those words still echo in my ears like a siren going off through town warning us for a tornado. “You can’t even clean my house the way I like what makes you think you can go back to school?”

I still wonder to myself, what kind of person says that to his wife, when she tells him she is contemplating suicide and needs more in life? Have you even reflected on that?

I have also reflected on the day you and I sat in the Pasat at my mum’s, in her driveway, when you told me you wanted to marry me and take care of me. Remember that day? You had drove over from Chicago to visit Courtney while we were separated. Remember why we separated? You were out all the time drinking with your friends and we were fighting over YOU invalidating my feelings. I was standing up for myself and you didn’t think I had a justification for that. I did have justification for fighting you then. I’m not saying I handled that time in the proper way. I’m not perfect. I shouldn’t have thrown things. I shouldn’t have shouted the way I shouted, but you brought that crazy out. That is what YOU need to see. Your narcissistic abuse brought that crazy out in me. Make no mistake about it Armin, that is exactly WHAT IT WAS! NARCISSISTIC ABUSE! The projection, the invalidation, the gas lighting, and the stonewalling was narcissistic abuse. I left though, like any normal person should have done in that situation. The mistake was believing you when you came to Ohio. The mistake was taking you back and believing that you would have kept up your end of the bargain the second time.

You showed up in Ohio and you used your charm in the driveway at my mums telling me that you wanted to marry me and take care of me. It was a load of bullshit that I bought into. You never kept your end of the bargain Armin. It was that same year while I was planning out wedding you were laid out night after night drinking, leaving me home alone again, wondering who you were with and what you were doing. Again, when I questioned you, you would invalidate my feelings and tell me that I was crazy. Then, long behold you come home with another woman’s pants on! I still married your dumbass. I was the dumbass, and we had a second child. The two things I do not regret with you are our children, but they have paid a high price. I will get to them later in this revolution I’m having. Regarding Erica’s pants, you again invalidated my feelings again for months as I walked around paranoid about you cheating. The most hilarious thing as I reflect on our time together is that you ACCUSED ME OF CHEATING and TALKING TO MEN ONLINE the entire time you were pulling this bullshit ON ME!

I built you up. I supported ANY decision you ever fucking made. I was LOYAL TO YOU with all your fucking bullshit. I tolerated your womanizing, flirtatious friends and I’m a great fucking mum IN SPITE of the fucking life I have had from being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and live with a physical disability…and when I made the decision to finally leave your emotionally abusive ass…

You wanted to kick me out of the town home when I told you I wanted to divorce you knowing I had spent the last 19 years building your credit up while mine went nowhere, and you fought over paying me minimum child support and I’m on limited income with disability. I wasn’t even asking for alimony. You knew I couldn’t rent anywhere due to my credit, but you were willing to push me out of the town home if I had let you. What kind of person does this to someone they claimed to love for 19 years? What kind of person does this to the mother of their children? Have you reflected on this at all? I have. I have reflected a lot over these past few months. I am not trying to keep your kids from you. I’m trying to stay civil IN SPITE OF ALL this anger I have inside for your fucking ass…I honestly wish I didn’t need child support from your ass. I don’t want anything from you to be quite honest but unfortunately, I need it for the kids. I wish I didn’t have to look at your face ever again. Life doesn’t work that way, and well I’m stuck with you until Kylie is 18.

You have NO IDEA Armin…you have no fucking idea!

I am trying to be whole. I am trying to heal. I am trying to be an example for my two beautiful daughters’. I will be whole, and I will heal. I am an example for our daughters to be. I have shown them not to tolerate abuse, and I’ve been an example that even when things are difficult in life to not give up. I have also been an example that as a woman, when they are grown, they can work hard to be who they want, and no man can break them completely. Our children have paid a high price in many ways though from you as well. Our children, who, by the way need to heal from damage with your bullshit too. Let’s discuss them now…

You were not only a tyrant towards me with your verbal abuse, but you were a tyrant towards them. Not only did you feel the need to try to control every aspect of my life through emotional manipulation, but you used the same tactics on them. You still attempt to use these tactics now but thank God you only get to attempt to use these tactics part time now instead of being in our home using them nonstop. Again, you will not readily admit to any of this and you will make excuses about your behavior and that doesn’t even matter to me anymore. Everyone can think you are this charming and fantastic father in the outside world, but I KNOW the truth. Our kids know the truth about who you really are under pressure. We know how you are when you do not get your way.

The kids and I will always remember the times you called them idiots, yelled curse words at them simply because you didn’t get your way. I know right now you want to go defensive and try to turn something around on me and try to bring up a time I would have cursed at Courtney in my anger. The difference between you and I is I used curse words in anger at the situation. I never used curse words aimed at her and the one time I did I addressed it immediately and corrected my parenting. Let’s take a trip back to 7th avenue when you were downstairs with Courtney yelling at her, “Are you fucking stupid or something?” I was upstairs, and I yelled downstairs and said, “This isn’t your mum and dads house and you will NOT speak to her like that. Your dad may talk to Eric like that, but YOU WILL NOT SPEAK TO HER LIKE THAT!” You never even apologized to her for that. Those moments happened over and over for her, and she was only 8 years old then. I could write out so many moments for her it is pathetic, but I won’t. I’m happy she will never have to live through that shit ever again. I’m sorry it took me so long to leave your ass. I’m glad Kylie only received a limited amount of abuse. I should have done better as a mum and left when she was a baby actually.

You told me once before you moved out of the town home that I would never find someone who would do what you do for me…you said I would never find another you…I have reflected on that over these past few months too…

You were right Armin. I will not find another like you who will do what you did for me. I will not be with another man who verbally beats me down, who invalidates my feelings, who doesn’t support me going to school to better my life financially. I will not be with a man who controls me. I will not be with a man who verbally abuses my children. I will not be with a man who lays out all night with friends while I’m home lonely and depressed wondering what is wrong with me. I will not be with a man who doesn’t lift me up. I will not be with a man who doesn’t see my potential. I will not be with a man who doesn’t allow me to express my creative side. I will not be with a man who doesn’t work with me as a partner in the goals I have for my life and the life I see with him by my side. I will not be with a man who doesn’t bring peace to my life. You were right. I will not find another man like you. I will find a man who loves me for who I am and I will love him the way I tried to love you and when I do it will crush you seeing me and our children loving him and him loving us in peace and harmony because the fact of the matter is you are broken, and you have been broken since age 4. I hope you find a way to repair your damage. It isn’t my place to do that. It isn’t our children’s’ place to do that. Stop expecting us to. We’re moving on.

Rachel Ann

The Closing Chapter

Most of my readers know I have not had an easy life. Some of you may not. I’ve been molested, sexually assaulted, raped, beaten, and I just recently left a verbally/emotionally abusive marriage of 19 years. (together 19, married for 15). I’m not here intending to complain about the life I’ve lived. I believe that everything that happens to us, happens to us for a reason. The trauma I’ve lived through has helped shaped me. The scars I bare on my heart has made me the open minded, loving, understanding and strong woman that I’ve grown into. I’m still growing. What I intend to do tonight is reflect the last 19 years.

I guess I should start at the beginning…sit back…this might take a while…

I had left my home state that year to live with my older brother. I left my home state to clean my life up from some previous trauma and to get off drugs. While living with my brother I met him. We met online, American Online to be exact. We chatted for about a year and we got to know each other. We had decided to meet outside of chat. He was a military guy. He was kind of shy. He had a sense of humor and we both loved music. Things at my brothers’ place was becoming chaotic. Things were strained in his marriage and I needed to go. He moved me back to my home state, Ohio. He was from Wisconsin. He knew my hometown wasn’t a great place for me and my past drug use, so he offered to move to Wisconsin. We decided to move in together. Off to Wisconsin I went.

What could go wrong? He knew me!  I loved him. Wasn’t it love? I knew what love was! I adored him. I was his best friend. He knew almost every secret I had. We laughed, I loved, we argued, I made up, there was sex, promises, I trusted, and things were great! I spent MY time TOGETHER! My world revolved around him. Nothing could tear us apart! The first two years flew by! The only problem that approached during these two years was I was slowly becoming sick as a tumor grew slowly in my back along with a tarlov cyst.

I can’t be pregnant! There is no way! Doctors told me I couldn’t conceive. He didn’t want to tell his parents. I called back home to tell my mom and she asked if I was happy about it. I told her I was scared and shocked, but I was happy. My family knew about the pregnancy a week before he finally got courage up to tell his parents about it. We finally told his parents…they tried to push us to get married. I refused for several reasons. The first was I had not divorced from the first marriage I fled from (they didn’t know I was married at this point yet), and the second was I didn’t want to marry him just because I was pregnant. I felt like his parents was pushing the idea that we should be married simply because we were having a kid and not because we were in love. When I reached 12 weeks I miscarried that pregnancy. I was pretty upset because I had accepted that I wasn’t going to ever have children, and then I conceived a child and built my hopes up about motherhood then it was ripped from me. His dad bought me flowers and a card. His brothers said sorry about the loss.

Some time passed. I can’t be sure how long. We had one night of not using protection. I ended up pregnant again. This was the beginning of the end…

(more to come…tomorrow)

Worthless Girl

This is a new song I wrote. It’s a working collaboration with my daughter. A new video will be coming very soon for you to enjoy.  -JustOrdinary

worthless girl

 

I’m digging my way out

Of this hole you tried to bury me in

I’m reaching for the light

I will put myself together again

Piece by piece

Hear me when I say

I’m not the worthless girl

Hear me when I say

I’m not the one at fault

The world will see what you’ve done

In my flawed reflection of you

My blank stare of destitution

They will see me weeping

Though tears will not flow

Hear me when I say

I’m not the worthless girl

Hear me when I say

Hear me….(background vocal lightly echoing)

Hear me…(background vocal lightly echoing)

I’m the flawed reflection of you

The reflection in your eyes

And it’s the battle within that you never win

Because it’s you, that you’ve been up against

Hear me when I say

You were not the worthless boy

You were never at fault

Piece by piece

Piece by piece (background vocal)

Hear me…(background vocal)

Hear me…(background vocal)

My minds made up

Hear me when I say

I’m not the worthless girl

I’m not at fault

And my minds made up

There’s no going back this time

Please hear me (low whisper singing)

Please hear me (low whisper singing)

All the damage that’s been done

Is locked inside my head

But piece by piece (increase vocal sound)

I’ll be whole again (increase vocal sound a little more)

But hear me when I say (Increase vocal sound even more)

I’m not the worthless girl (End with a soulful loud vocal line)

Life in the Rear View Mirror

(This is my first draft of a memoir essay I am turning into my Freshman Composition class. The names have been changed, some things have been changed to protect identities and locations…some of this is from real life events. The essay assignment has to be a minimum of 1,000 words and I chose to use a memory of a day from my past to write about. The day I decided to leave my hometown to get clean.)

rearviewmirror

It was hot. It was the kind of hot that made it very difficult to breathe. The sweat was running down my neck leaving a huge wet spot on my turquoise t-shirt as I walked the street alone. People could wonder if I just left a wet t-shirt contest I was covered in so much sweat. Where was I going? I had no idea. I just knew I had to go somewhere so I just started walking. It was just the road and I with the woods to my right and side streets to the neighborhood to my left as I trucked my way up Hahn Rd. Those woods to my right I spent majority of my childhood exploring, pretending I was some extraordinary scientist on another planet looking for another form of life. I climbed those trees and I fell out of those trees. I rode my bike on the trails there and I have many scars today from those trails located there. I built forts in those woods. I sat in the shade and wrote some of my best poetry and short stories there under the huge oaks. How did I become this pill popping, opium using, drop out, walking to God knows where, and in search of who the hell knows what? Who am I? WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING? HOW AM I GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS ONE!? I am going to be dope sick in about an hour so I better figure something out…

The top of Hahn road on the right sat a quaint little convenience store named Phans Grocery. Really it was just a hole in the wall that consisted of three isles of groceries, a deli that gave the neighborhood four options of bologna, ham, salami, and what looked like bologna with pickles in it and a corner cold section with milk, soda, and beer. The store had been there for generations. Mr. Phan watched my brothers and I grow up in the neighborhood. He knew us by name and when I stumbled in covered in sweat gripping the door way for dear life he knew I needed more than just a purchase of simple grocery supplies.

“R, hi there, what can I do for you kiddo…”

Even though I was an adult now by at least thirty days he insisted on still calling me kiddo. Mr. Phan was a kind man, who looked aged. His wrinkles told stories of worries and stress and his gray hair told stories of loss. He walked over and helped me to the stool that held his stores door propped open.

“Mr. Phan can I use your phone? I have to make a call to my brother in Indiana? I will pay you for the long distance I promise?”

He had a look of concern on his face as he shook his head yes. I stood up slowly obviously weak from walking in the blazing sun for the last half hour, probably dehydrated too. Not to mention I am getting closer and closer to the deadline of becoming sick if I don’t get some drugs into my body soon.

“Your brother in Indiana…didn’t J move over there? How is he doing anyway? I haven’t seen him around here since your dad’s passing…again I’m so sorry for your loss…your dad was a good man R…neighborhood isn’t the same without Dan around.”

Mr. Phan handed me his phone across the cashier counter.

“J is doing well Mr. Phan. He hasn’t been there long actually. He moved there a few months ago from Louisiana. I’m having him come and get me out of here actually. Thanks for letting me use your phone.”

I didn’t even want to focus on thoughts of my dad. It hurt too much. Hell, my dad dying is what got me into this fucked up life I was living. It was the last thing I wanted to think about it, talk about, or especially comfort anyone else about. I couldn’t even comfort myself let alone a man who watched me grow up running the local grocery store for the neighborhood.

The phone starts to ring. I’m still sweating profusely. The phone is hard to hold onto I keep switching it from one hand to the other, one ear to the other. Come on, answer the phone. Answer the phone J. I need you to answer the phone man. My stomach is churning and I’m hoping my drug dealing partner doesn’t figure out where I am and come to get me.

My partner, Dick, was probably roaming the streets looking for me without a doubt. We will name him Dick here for purposes that fill me with joy. I wish I could say he was a knight in shining armor who swept me off my feet after my dad died and helped me grieve for the man who my world surrounded but I can’t sadly. He is a complete douche bag actually. An obese, smelly, drug dealing, abusive asshole is what he is. I ran off and decided to marry him in a Kentucky courthouse on this spectacular high I was on the day my dad died. Yes, that is what I said, on the day my dad died. If that wasn’t a sign this guy was bad news there were plenty more I ignored simply because Dick was my door to the drugs. I got what I wanted when I wanted them for free. Hey drugs skew your reasoning, your logic, and they do help you make very bad decisions.

“Hello.”

Excitement came across me as I hear my brother J’s voice on the other end of the telephone.

“J! You are there, thank God!”

“R…what’s going on? Is everything OK? Where are you calling from?”

“I’m in trouble J…the worst kind…I need your help man…you gotta get me outta here…”

I start to sob.

“Hey…what do you mean you’re in trouble? Where are you?”

“I’m at Phans. He let me use his phone. I walked here from moms. J you have to come get me man or I am going to die…please…”

“R…what have you gotten yourself into? Are you staying at moms now? Did you leave that douche bag Dick?”

“I need to get out of here…you are the only one who can help me…I can help you too…I want to leave everything here J…I got mixed up with drugs…the worst ones…I want to get clean…”

“You’re doing smack!!? …what the fuck..”

“J…I’m not on the needle…I smoke opium…pop pills…snort them…smoke weed…I gotta get outta here man…there are everywhere and I’m hooked…I can get clean if I leave and I can help take care of your kids while you and Jean work…”

“Where are you staying? You are moms?”

“I am at moms yes…but I know Dick will be there trying to get me to go back to him…I have to get the fuck outta here J…please help me..”

“I have two days off work…I will be there in three hours…be ready.”

The phone hung up. I was so overcome with happiness the thought of becoming sick from not having drugs was the farthest thing from my mind in this moment. I wiped the phone receiver off from the sweat deposits I had left and turned to thank Mr. Phan.

“Mr. Phan thank you so much for letting me use your phone, you might not understand this now but you just saved my life. My brother is coming to pick me up and taking me to Indiana. I will stop by before we head out to pay you for the phone call.”
I gave him a hug.

“You don’t worry about that phone call R and I know I saved your life with that call. That is why I let you make it. You go and get well. Be the girl I thought you would grow up to be and the girl your dad thought you would grow up to be.”
I started walking down Hahn Rd. back the way I came headed towards my mom’s house and Mr. Phan yelled from his store door entrance.

“R when you are tempted to look in the rear view mirror at life, keep going, it isn’t a sign to turn around and come back…you remember that!”