Oct 14, 2006

old hurts, dark relfections

I've had a fairly unusual life, I think as a product of Mormon culture.

Can I just vent for a paragraph or Seven?

My life right now is so wonderful. So much better than it has been for several years. I mean, I've always been happy, I've always felt the support of friends and family and God lifting me and adding to what I can do, so that I don't make any heinous mistakes or neglect anyone really, really important.

But these last two years, life has become, well, just about as amazing as I always thought it should be. This is due in large part to Skywalker's coming into my life.

Let me back up.

I got married at 19, to a man I had known for a couple of years, dated for 8 months, and had been engaged to for another 8 months. He was a wonderful person. As far as I know, he always has been and always will be a wonderful person-- a wonderful person with a sickness known as an addiction.

From the time he was very young, (let's call him Onionboy, that's a name that he has applied to himself before), Onionboy has been struggling with an addiction. Yes, pornography-- that's one of the addictions that he battled. But I mean, younger than that.

When he was seven, he first started playing video games. He spent all of his free time, as far as I know from what he has told me of his childhood, involved in the world of defying dragons and rescuing princess and typing just the right phrase in that yellow colored analog typing to get the right thing to happen to the heroes of his digital world.

His friends-- they were video game fanatics as well. The time they spent together was all eating, sleeping, and video games. His cousin, who was his closest and most enduring friend growing up, was also a video game fanatic. In addition, he collected action figures. He still adores power rangers, X-men, etcetera. I mean, it's a harmless habit, right?

Sometimes it's harmless, and sometimes it's not. I know of three specific cases where families have split up over videogames.

Mine is not one of them-- I would have tried to make things work if he hadn't tried to do away with me while I was pregnant with Loli. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not being overdramatic, no I'm not lying to you. The situation still seems so absurd to me. We were living a normal life (as far as I knew), were fairly happy except for the odd outburst he would have on occasion where he would act really wierd... And that fact that sometimes he was controlling, bordering on emotionally abusive, and all.

Three Octobers ago, when our lives came apart, Onionboy not only admitted to having had a long-standing porn addiction (and when I say addiction, I'm not being trite-- we're talking several times a day, interfering with his life, neglecting our daughter for hours-on-end, lying desperately about our finances, addiction), he also told me that he had tried to kill me several times while I was pregnant with Loli, because he wanted to "live a different lifestyle" than the one he had with me.

Does that sound a little like a video game to you? Something's in your way. The logical solution? Kill it.

The aftermath is still hazy to me. I spent hours and hours driving around listening to that cheesy set of hymns on tape that is recorded for chapels that have no piano. I drove up to a certain peak on several occasions and just looked out over the city, thinking. I spent time in the temple, just letting the comfort wash over me.

I was numb, just plain emotionally gone, for several months. And then it slowly started creeping back, one excruciating memory, feeling, hurt, at a time. I had a therapist who thought I was being a baby because I was devastated to have to put Loli in childcare-- I don't know why I couldn't help her understand what I was feeling, how scared I was to trust someone after my absolute trust had been so blatantly violated.

In the midst of all this, I had good friends who stuck by me, who let me be eccentric and emotionally broken, even unreasonable. They saved me, along with Christ and the comfort of the Spirit, of course.

But then, I ran up against some less tolerant people, too... These are the ones I'm still struggling with sometimes.

My bishop at the time was a new bishop. When I told him I felt I had received an answer from Heavenly Father that I needed to pursue a course of divorce instead of reconciliation, he told me he thought I should think about it more. At the same time, my mom was telling me (as any good mom would) that she would NOT let me get back with Onionboy, if she could do anything to prevent it.

My bishop also told me that I was not following the Spirit when I began to pursue the termination of parental rights, even though Onionboy seemed just fine with it. He said that "[Onionboy] would have every right to be really angry later because you've denied him his daughter." This at the same time my mom is telling me, "[nosurfgirl]-- let's face it. He's torn up his daddy card."

There's a lot involved in the story of Loli and her natural father that I still don't have the answers to-- all I know is that I went ahead with the termination, and my bishop later apologized for his behavior.

But I had (and to some degree, still have) a patent distrust of preisthood leaders; bishops, more specifically.

Ironically, it was a singles-ward bishop who helped me find the courage to date again, and who moved mountains to help Skywalker and I along when we decided to get married.

It's a long story, why I began attending a singles ward instead of the family ward that I tried for 8 months. Too long for this already long and convoluted post.

That singles ward was another excruciating experience-- not all because of those in the ward. Some of it was definitely because of me. I just didn't fit in with them, at all. I was a mom, who had to watch her hyper child run up and down aisles, who didn't have time to primp in the morning beyond a little makeup and a hairdryer. I didn't flirt-- it felt ridiculous under the circumstances.

I didn't trust the girl or two who would try and buddy up with me-- because it was after Skywalker and I started dating. From some girls, I felt rays of "you don't belong here, you've already had your chance," or, "you're damaged goods, stop lookin' at our boys," or even "your poor daughter. Too bad her mom is so messed up."

let me stand on my mile-high soap box and say it, here and now:





my husband was smarter than all y'all combined. I mean, there are a few exceptions. In fact, a lot of exceptions. I'm sure that a lot of the people didn't know what to do with me, just as much as I didn't know what to do with them... and some were friendly with me in the face of my odd situation and sometimes-defensiveness.

I was so scared that people would think I was a predatory female out to find a daddy for her half-orphaned child that I kept myself at arms-length from everyone. Even some of my family, which I partly regret, and partly don't-- because let's face it.

nobody understands.

Except Christ. And maybe other women who've been through the same thing.

But love is amazing, you know? I think that Skywalker is an amazing person-- he broke through that mile-high defense. He wasn't discouraged by the barbed-wire. Heck, he was even pricked a couple of times, but he kept on, and, well, I hope I've made it up to him.

I think I have. If I know anything about myself, now, it's that I'm a very emotionally stable person, who is capable of making those around her happy, even in the worst of situations.

And so now, that is my continuing, lifelong goal-- to be the one willing to get pricked. To risk myself again, now that I have a safe place to return to. Skywalker, you are my inspiration-- thank you for all that you have done for me.


noelle feather said...

Wow. Totally, and utterly wow.

Lucy Stern said...

So sorry you had to meet "onionhead" first, but if you hadn't you wouldn't have your beautiful daughter now. I know you have heard it before, but we are all on this earth to be tested. Some of the tests are pretty lousey, some can be down right nasty. You might wonder, "Why did I have to go thru that?" Who knows? But you did and you survived. I am so glad that your singles ward bishop took the time to help you find Skywalker.

Please don't have a mistrust in the priesthood leaders. Your Bishop, the one that counseled you the first time around, is not a social worker. He is a human being just like you and me. We all hope that he listens to the spirit when he is counseling others. He learned some lessons and he did appologize to you. The main thing is that YOU listend to the spirit, and with the help of your mother, you followed it's prompting.

I hope your ex-husband is getting some kind of counseling and he eventually gets his life straightened out. Some day your little girl may want to know more about her biological father and you will have to explain what happened to her. You are blessed that you found Skywalker. Some women let the hurt keep them down for years and they don't give happiness another chance. You were lucky it find it so soon. Good luck!

NoSurfGirl said...

Thanks Lucy.


I agree with everything you have said.

Maren said...

Where to start. You have been through the war. I relate to many of the things you said, having been married at 18 and divorced by 22. There was also some pornography involved (on his end) among many other things. I have had Priesthood leaders in the past who were less than helpful. This time, though, I had both my mother and my Bishop saying good riddance. I was lucky.

Jeff and I have now been married for 8 years and we have 4 year old Reilly. I was fairly wounded when we met and for the first few years of our marriage. He stuck by me through that. Things are really good now. Really good. I am so grateful for second chances. I am glad that you found your skywalker.

bon said...

Ack! Your Skywalker sounds like my Mr. Dadguy... I know SOME of what you speak of in regards to attending a singles ward after divorce... I didn't have a kid. I DID have a "friend" tell me in a hush hush sort of way that it would probably be better for me if I just didn't mention to guys that I had been married before... probly shouldn't mention it at all. That made me so mad I couldn't even laugh in her face, which is what I shoulda done!

Poor, poor Onionhead. What a loser. Loser in the eternities... capital "L"!

NoSurfGirl said...

It's amazing how many people you find out there who have been through what you have, when you get the courage to tell your story.

Thanks for your comments, guys.

Garry said...

Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt, personal story. And thank goodness there's never been an "Oniongirl" in my life!

texasblu said...

I am truly sorry you went through all that. I have a sister that we've been supportive of who has been trying to find a decent guy after 3 yrs. of PHYSICAL, emotional, and spiritual abuse. Because she was so abused, none of us knew the extent of the abuse until after she decided to get a divorce - we just knew that things weren't "quite right" and we were ready for her to leave him LONG before she was.

I am sorry Bishops aren't perfect - I wish they were... so many people I love have been hurt by them - and we moved from an area because of one (he tried to tell me I should put my kids in school instead of asking to be released because I was stressed out - never mind that it was the CALLING stressing me out - not the kids!)

Anyways... my sister has finally found a guy that she is "unoffically" engaged to - and is on cloud 9. And I am so glad for her - she's had to deal with alot... first she had to learn not to attract the same sort as before, and then she had to find someone that would love her two boys as well as her, etc. It's been a long 6 yr. process... I'm so happy for her.

So when I read stories like yours, even though I've never been there, I have an emotional attachment... how happy I am for you that you have Skywalker! As for onionboy... thank HEAVENS he's out of your baby's life! I wish my sister's onionhead was... it just hurts the kids in the long run.