Sunday, September 4, 2016

Invention and Destruction

On my last blog I said I never graduated. That's  true. Before getting married, my fiance told me I could go to college and get my GED, the night we were married he turned evil and tore up the paperwork and "put me in my place" biblically. So we fought a lot over the years.

Ten years later we're in Texas. He's in the military and I'm still a housewife. But I see in the paper an advertisement for getting your GED, so I get determined to go for it. But when I brought it up, I got a NO. 

So I went on strike. No laundry, no cooking, no cleaning for him, and especially, NO SEX. Period. He wasn't going to let me get my GED, why should I give him anything?

We fought. Boy, did we fight. But I stood my ground and he finally gave in. I had a friend who was a 5th grade teacher who taught me what I needed to know and some pre-algebra so I could pass math, and she was the first to tell me I had a severe learning disorder in math too. But she was patient, I cried a lot but I got enough down to take the tests. But my husband still fought me on it, right up to the day of. He threatened to take the only car we had so I wouldn't have it, so in the night I got up and took his sets of keys and kept them with me, sleeping on the couch, protecting the keys. We had a physical altercation - he lost because I knew more tai kwan doe than he did - and I drove him to work where he limped all day and I went and took my test.

I was nervous, scared and on the verge of tears, but I bullied myself through the tests. Then came a week of waiting... the letter came... I had PASSED! Math was low, but I had passed! There was a ceremony planned and though I didn't want to go, just go collect my paper, but now my husband got nasty. He knew I had a problem with crowds, so lo, we were attending the ceremony! So we went, we graduates too our "walk" and were given our GED diploma and hands shook or hugs given. I was shaking and panicking the whole time. And when my husband went to kiss me congratulations, I had the balls to shove him off snarling "no way, asshole! I had to fight to get this, you didn't want me to get it, you don't get to kiss me!" to which several mouths dropped in astonishment and all of a sudden no one wanted to mingle with him anymore, but crowded me (oh, godz help me!) and gave me kudos. So I got my GED ten years into my marriage. 

My mind continued to churn with stories, though. But I did nothing about it, for I was busy with home, children, church (ugh), pets and all sorts of other chores. A lot of times when someone would be talking to me I'd manage to get by with "uh huh, yes, sure, that's right," while really not listening, my mind a million miles away. 

We moved to Alaska, his "overseas" assignment because our daughter needed a good neurologist and at that time there were no doctors of that kind overseas. We had quite the adventures driving to AK, mostly fun. Some not, but mostly good. And all adventurous. Once moved in, though, I thought it was time I started doing some writing, so I got a notebook and pencils and tried to write that way. But my brain ran too fast for my fingers and everything was jumbled and mixed up. I took to writing short notes to remind me of what i was thinking about and left it.

But I had to hide it from my husband. I didn't think he'd like me writing, so to protect it, I hid it very carefully, I hoped. And I bought a manual typewriter and a ream of paper and set to writing while he was at work, putting it away in the hidey hole before he got home.

It worked! The story began to come out. It was about a married woman, an orphan, who took frequent trips out looking for her family, she told her husband. But what it really was, was that she was a Super Hero. I had the plot for the movie "The Tuxedo" starring Jackie Chan, way ahead of when they did. My woman pulled on a special suit and lo, she was far more than a human could ever dream of being. The suit connected all over her body and took it over when needed. She could perform every type of martial arts, absorb the impact of everything from bullets to stinger missiles - although they would toss her a ways on impact, she wouldn't be hurt - she could think faster, react quicker and run faster than a cheetah. No one knew who she was as the suit was black all over, including a facial mask, but if she rolled off the head piece to a collar, she could have the suit assume the look of other type of clothing at her thoughts and still be armored and connected. It was a good story line, I loved it, it was pouring out.

I had 5 books written. It had taken a couple years of hiding my project, but I was doing it. I hid my latest writing and the typewriter and went grocery shopping. I was feeling good, pumped. My stories were coming out! I was loving my writing. 

Getting home, I noticed my husband had the BBQ out and was doing something on it. Was he actually taking initiative and cooking supper? That would be nice for a change, and I pulled into the garage and took two of the paper bags of groceries and headed into the house.

And dropped the groceries on the sidewalk. The asshole had my stories! And he was burning them! I promptly started snatching at my work to be palmed in the face, which knocked me on my ass, and he tore the papers in half and fed them to the flames. "Why?" I screamed at him, to get a nasty smile. "No wife of mine is going to do anything I don't tell them to do," he answered. "You obey me, I do what god tells me to do and you do what I tell you. Writing books isn't part of it." He kept feeding sheaths of pages to the fire until all my writing was gone, gone. And I never saw the typewriter again either. The fight carried on into the house and for the first time, I told my husband "fuck you!"

Standing at the top of the first half of the stairs he screamed "I will have respect in my own house! You all will respect me!" I screamed back "respect is earned, not given, and you will never have my respect! You had no right to destroy my stories!"

"I will do what I want in my house," he bellowed back, "and you will obey me like god says you should!"

"I want a divorce," I yelled back, and suddenly silence fell. We stared at each other for a long minute, then he went upstairs. I sat down on the couch and bawled. My stories were gone, my mind was shattered. Whatever I had of the stories was gone, all gone. Three years ago I managed to put together one of the books in the middle of  the series, but that's all I've been able to reconstruct. 

We did go on and divorce in 1993. It was convoluted, it was nasty. The Pastor of our church negotiated the divorce but there was one thing he didn't know - my husband told me that if I said there was physical abuse in the marriage,  he'd get a lawyer and take away the children from me. And at the time, he could do it. The Air Force would provide him with a lawyer. I couldn't get one and I didn't know about any place that could help me. So I agreed and kept my kids.

I didn't write again for many years. More to come later. I think I need to cry some, sorry. 

Love you all, HUGS

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