Somewhere in high school, I decided I wanted to do things my way and made some very poor choices. I know mom worried about me a lot. I had some great friends who tried to look out for me, but I basically refused to listen.
My senior year I started dating. I also started drinking some. I started getting serious about a guy the last half of senior year. Most, if not all, of my friends/family were not excited about him. But I wanted to do things my way and date who I wanted to date. As I look back on it, it had everything to do with the fact that he paid attention to me and not many guys did that. In fact, prior to him only 2 guys paid me any kind of interest and they were short lived. Though I can see it now as God protecting me from worse things happening. Because my state of mind was on getting a man.
I graduated high school and started college in the town I lived in as an English education major. I moved in with a couple of friends. I got my first job at a convenience store. I got my first vehicle, a black Chevy S10 with a red and silver stripe.
Life was good in my opinion at the time. We had a lot of parties at our apartment. I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend. I also, got my first tattoo about this time.
During this time, I decided sleeping with my boyfriend was ok.
About a year later, I lost my first job, because I thought it was so important to go on a trip with my boyfriend that I no call no showed, when no one would cover for me. I never no call no showed at any other job again.
I then got a job at a fast food place. That one was short lived and I got fired because someone told the boss I was at the rodeo when I was actually at home sick. To this day I don’t know who told him that or why.
But I then got a new job at a factory assembling disposable cameras. I worked there for quite a while.
I moved in with my boyfriend and his mom/stepdad. We dated off and on. I stayed living there even in the off times. He even moved out during a short time. I felt like I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I dated a couple of different guys in our off times as he dated another girl or 2. But we always seemed to come back together.
Then about 3 weeks prior to my 20th birthday, I went into labor at home and had a baby girl. The ambulance came and took us to the hospital. I didn’t know I was even pregnant until I was giving birth. Though I may have been in denial.
We talked about it and decided it was best to give her up for adoption. We did a closed adoption. We knew some details about the couple. We felt that was the best also. I still believe it was the right decision to give her a better home. Some family did want her, but we felt it was better to go this route.
There were quite a few people who didn’t understand. His mom kicked us out. We moved in with my parents for a while. My dad had moved back home after I graduated and moved out.
I was numb for quite a while. I didn’t even know what to think or feel for a while. I just kind of went through the motions.
At one point, my boyfriend looked at me and said he thought we should get married. I was so numb I just went with it. We ran to Las Vegas and got married. Somewhere around that time we went and stayed with some of his family in another part of Oklahoma about 3-4 hours way. That may have been before going to Vegas.
We did end up moving back to a small house near my parents.
I also found out about that time that my new husband had given me an STD (Chlamydia). Thankfully it was one that goes away with an antibiotic. We went to the health department and got treatment and it went away.
Before I could start another semester of school, he gave me an ultimatum. He said I could no longer go to college. He said I could stay home or go out on the road with him. He had decided to become an over the road truck driver. I chose to go out on the road with him. When I turned 21, I also went to truck driving school and we drove team together.
We had 2 dogs. One was a pit bull mix and the other was a German shepherd, rottweiler, blue heeler mix. They were our children. These 2 dogs were a blessing to me. Especially the blue heeler mix, she was definitely my dog. They brought me comfort many times.
We traveled the country. We even went to Canada a couple of times. When we were home, which wasn’t often, we stayed with my parents and stopped renting.
Our marriage was not a happy one though. He seemed to always find a way to belittle me or tear me down. It seemed like he was finding a way that everything was my fault. My opinion didn’t matter, because it was his way or the highway. There was no grace in this marriage. I felt worthless. And I didn’t have a backbone or much sense of self worth at the time, so I just took it. He never hit me, but he might as well have.
About 5 years or so into the marriage, he asked for a divorce. I was devastated, but just went along with it like I did everything else. We still drove together for a while. Then I jackknifed the truck on black ice. That got us off the road because the company fired me because of the wreck, even though I drove 4-5 years with a spotless record. I didn’t like driving that much. It was just something I felt I had to do. So I wasn’t heartbroken about the job. I was anxious, because I though he would get real angry, surprisingly he didn’t. Maybe it was because we had already separated really.
We stayed with his grandma for a while. Then we moved into a house together in separate bedrooms. He moved in a girlfriend.
I started working at a meat packing plant. That place closed down after about a month or so of me working there. I was on unemployment briefly. Then I started working at Walmart.
He went somewhere for a week. While he was gone I found a place of my own in a nearby town and moved out. I took very little. I took my personal belongings, my pickup, and my dog (the blue heeler mix) and left. I didn’t want anything he had. At that point I was just mad and tired of him.
He kept dragging his feet about the divorce. I finally went to an attorney and filed. He signed the papers. We didn’t fight over anything. We just went our own way. Not long after that I also filed for bankruptcy. We had too much debt & I needed a fresh start.
After 7 years, I was now single again. I will leave off there for the next chapter.