Saturday, June 9, 2012

Intervening years and Intertwined Lives

Until I started seeing a therapist, I had kind of seen my life as somewhat charmed.  My parents had met as teens...they started dating when my mom was 15 and they got married when she was 19 and a sophomore in college.  Both were from poor families.  My father had the extra stigma of being the child of a divorced family.  His father was an abusive alcoholic.  He and my uncle beat the shit out of my grandfather and threw him out.  My grandfather was the kind of man that raped my grandmother in front of my uncle and father.  He was a gem.

My paternal grandmother was a nervous sort.  She could never handle getting a driver's license.  However, she fought hard to make sure that her boys were always taken care of, including wearing clean clothes, making education a priority, having backyard ponies, and being their boy scout leader.  The other boys in the troop would try to scare her with snakes, bugs, frogs and such.  She would laugh and say that she loved "critters."  So, she could handle things that crawled around in the dirt, but she was afraid of piloting a car.

Grandma was staunchly pro-civil rights.  In the 1950's and 1960's, she would march with the protesters.  At some point, she was moved to a house within walking distance to her job at a library, but she would also ride the bus all over town.  As with all of her grandkids, I learned to love animals along her side but also, that litterers were on par with some of the most terrible criminals.  At her funeral, my cousins and I joked about "litter bugs."  To this day, I pick up other people's trash and I have passed that on to my daughter.  When we go to the playground, she picks up food bags, cans, etc.  At the farm, she joyously digs up any glass or rock buried in the pasture.

My mom's family were also poor, but my maternal grandparents stayed together until my grandfather died at an old age.  I was lucky because both families pushed education.  My mom was smart enough to get a scholarship and my dad's mother ensured college funds via a personal gift via a local wealthy family.  It was expected that my sister and I would go to college.  My dad never saw me graduate from college as he died suddenly when I was 16.  By that time, we had gone from food stamps to a 5 bedroom house.  And I felt that I was expected to take my "seed money," get my education, and exceed my parents' wealth.

Despite graduating with an advanced degree (both my sister and I have doctorate degrees) we are unlikely to surpass my parents' seed money.  My mom remarried, but retains some of her own property along with shared property.  I am learning the ropes of dealing with my folks' property management.  Yes, I am cleaning toilets and picking gardens to earn my way.

My husband is an amazing man.  He was diagnosed with ADD, but I think that there was likely some anxiety there.  He was the oops son of a military chaplain, being dragged all over the world.  Not really the perfect thing for a dude with anxiety.  I met him when his dad retired and they moved to our city and the dad became one of our ministers.  So, our parents were in Sunday school together, our dads played golf together, and my dad provided the lumber and design help for his skate board half pipe.

We had friends in common, had looked a little too closely at each other, and we were both looking to break out of the "normal."

My husband left high school after 10th grade and got his GED.  He did go to college, but did not feel like finishing with a degree in lit would help him.  He is well spoken, a musical genius, and physically fit.  When we re-met, it was right after I had moved back home.  We knew so many of the same people.  We listened to so much of the same music.  We liked the same art, film, books, etc.  And I could use the word "fantastical" and he would understand.  He had worked at a vet clinic for 4 years, the same one I worked as a tech, and he understood what I did at work.  And after a class in medical terminology, he speaks my language.

I thought that he was perfect for me.  Our families knew and liked each other.  We had the same friends.  It was like an arranged marriage.  If our families could have put us together, they would have.  So now I feel like a fool.  I am left sitting in the center of this storm....and I can almost see my life being whisked away by a tornado.  I feel like a fool for believing someone that can so easily put me aside.  And today was the first time I left my daughter with my husband after moving out.  I dropped her off before an appointment.  Then I went back to get a mattress cover.  My daughter begged me not to leave her.  She did not want to stay with him or to go on vacation with my in-laws.  It might be petty, but I was happy for my husband to see that his actions affect not only me, but also his daughter.  It might be petty, but I hope he hurts.

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