The Wrongs that led to Mr. Right – Husband #1 – Part 4

Recap – lost all my clothes on the highway and finished my term paper in handwriting with a patch on my eye. .  Dropped out of school and married the FT in a borrowed dress in a little country church with a gift motif of chickens for some reason.  Dropped out of college and took on his debt I found out about once we were married.

As I had mentioned, I was working at the aircraft overhaul shop 40 hours/week, teaching 10 hours of Jazzercise/week, and taking 6-9 credit hours per semester of classes.  I was taking classes at the junior college which was down the street from the aircraft shop.  My goal of going to medical school meant I eventually had to go to a 4 year college.  The closest one was a private college and unaffordable.  The next closest one was a state college, and the one I attended, and was 1 hour and 15 mins away.  The same boss who was responsible for getting me back into school also let me arrange my work schedule around my school schedule.  I would take all my classes either M-W-F or T-Th and work the other days.  This meant waking up very early to drive to school and staying up late to study.  Often I would record my notes or lectures on a tape recorder and then listen to them in the car for efficient studying.  Eventually, I needed to take labs in the evenings and classes every day so I was no longer able to work at the aircraft shop.  However, I was still married to FT and staying away at a college town all week was completely out of the question.  Luckily, my sister-in-law’s family lived in this college town.  Her father was a professor at the college and her mother owned a business there.  Their kids were grown and out of the house.  It was just the two of them, grandfather, and six cats.  They were kind enough to let me stay with them on the nights I had labs.   So, I would drive to school, attend classes, study until my lab in the evening, and then go to my sister-in-law’s parents’ after lab for dinner and to sleep.  The next morning I would attend classes and then drive back to my house….and FT.

I had my own room and bathroom when I stayed there.  Those rooms weren’t used much except when their kids came home to visit.  The cats weren’t allowed upstairs.  The first morning I went to use my own bathroom, I was greeted by a few fiddle back’s (aka brown recluse spiders) scurrying away when the light was turned on.   For those of you who don’t know, these spiders are very poisonous.  They didn’t want to have an exterminator come and spray chemicals because of the cats.  So, they did something even better!  They bought 4 geckos (the little lizards) and let them loose in the bathroom where most of the spiders had been seen.  By my next night there, there were no more spiders.  Apparently, the geckos will eat spiders and other insects and when the food supply is depleted, they will find their way out of the house or die.  You might find their little dried carcass in your closet.  Anyway, spider problem – SOLVED.

assorted color spider plastic toy collection
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Besides learning how to eliminate a spider problem while staying with them, I also experienced the freedom of being away from FT, even if it was just two nights a week.  Freedom didn’t mean going out drinking or anything like that.   My free nights consisted of having dinner with my sister-in-law’s parents and grandfather, eating some popcorn while watching an old black and white movie, and then studying before bed, it was sanctuary.

I had applied to medical school while doing this crazy back and forth schedule with school.  On the nights that I stayed with my host family I would call FT to see if I had any mail, ie my acceptance letter to medical school.   I remember the night the letter arrived very vividly.  I was in embryology lab and during the break  I ran to the next building to use the payphone to call home.  {This was when cell phones were as big as a brick and you were charged for every minute used} 

IMG_0593

When FT answered, I asked like usual “Did I get any mail today?”  This time he said yes.  “Well?  What is it?  Who is it from?”  I could tell he was in no hurry to easy my curiosity.  “It is from the XYZ* school of medicine” he replied as if he were reciting a laundry list.  “Okay, is it a big envelope or a little envelope???” {Big envelope meant I was accepted, little envelope meant rejection}  I was dying.  “It’s a big envelope” he responded.  I told him to open it and read it.  It was my acceptance letter!  I was so excited!  He was silent.  He didn’t even congratulate me.  I was staying that night with my sister-in-law’s family.  When I arrived I told her father that I had been accepted to medical school.  He picked me up and hugged me and heated up the dinner he had saved for me, and we sat and had some chocolate pie together and talked about my future.

Over the next few months I prepared to attend medical school which was about 2 hours from where FT and I lived.  There was no way I could commute 4 hours everyday or even every other day.  For this next chapter in my life I would have to live near the school.  FT had no desire to quit his job and move with me.  I would have to live there alone during the week and come home on weekends.  I had found a roommate to share a place with, or actually rent a room as her parents had bought her a house.

I wanted to move my things there the week before school started just to have everything in place.  The weekend had been set for moving for a long time, I had the key to the house, knew which room was mine, had borrowed a friend’s pick up truck to move the furniture and clothes.  The day before, FT informs me that he and his friend (the one who owned the truck) were going to play in a softball tournament (in the same city where I was moving) and would not be able to move my things.  Luckily the friend’s wife said that she and I would be able to do it ourselves and she would help me.

We loaded the truck, tied everything down, and drove to my new temporary home.  We tried calling the guys several times, but no answer.  We had finished unloading and unpacking everything.  We tried contacting the guys one last time before driving back home.  No answer, but then again, this was during the time when cell phones were JUST for emergency.  She brought me back to her house to wait as FT would have to drop her husband off and could pick me up.  They finally showed up at 1 am.  We suspected they had won the tournament since they arrived so late.  Nope.  They had been beaten out very early and went to Hooters to drink.  Not once did they (FT – since he was driving) think about coming to help us with my furniture, unpacking, seeing where I would be living, etc.  It wasn’t like the furniture was heavy.  I had a twin bed that had no real frame…the mattress and box springs were supported by a makeshift frame of 8-track tapes (yes some of you may not even know what those are) taped together for the four legs.  The only other furniture I had was a dresser, made of cardboard, and a little side chair.  It just would have been nice if my husband would have shown the slightest interest or concern for how or where I would be living while attending medical school.

School started, the classes were more intense than college had been and, for me, studying couldn’t be put off until the last minute.  New friendships were being made amongst the students who would likely be spending more time with each other than their families for the next four years.  On Friday, after the final class of the week, I went to my rented room and packed up my books and things for the weekend and drove 2 hours back home to spend the weekend with FT.  It had been my first week of medical school.  My first week living away from him.  How was I greeted on my arrival?  I entered the house to find a pile of dirt around dirty softball cleats and bats and ball bags in the entryway, fast food wrappers and bags on the end table and coffee table, a pile of dirty laundry next to the washing machine, a sink full of dirty dishes, and various other things in disarray.  After seeing our home in a state of filth I was then quizzed, questioned, and interrogated as to why it took me so long to get home when my last class finishes at 3pm, who was I talking to, who sat next to me in class,  what did I do each evening, did everyone know I was married, etc.

Oddly enough, the very first day of class, the lecture hall was very cold (it was August and the air conditioning was full blast), so I had slid my hands underneath my legs to get them warm and …”clink” the minuscule  diamond on my wedding ring had broken off and hit the metal of the chair as it fell to the floor.  I found the diamond (without a magnifying glass) and I presented the ring and diamond to FT during the inquisition and asked that he have it repaired for me.

After that first weekend home, I started packing my car Friday mornings before school so that as soon as class was out I could start my drive home.  It was easier to just comply than to deal with the arguments that always followed.  I still came home to the same mess every Friday.  Many times upon arriving home I was informed that FT was going to play in a softball tournament all weekend.  I would have the weekend to clean the house, do all the laundry, and study.  If he happened to be home during the weekend, most of it was spent fighting.  Also, I didn’t leave on Sunday evenings to get a good night’s sleep before another week of school.  Oh no!!!  I had to wait until Monday morning, so that we could have another night together…if he was even home…and it would always be another night of fighting.  So, I would leave at 5 am to get to school on time fighting rush hour traffic.

This schedule went on for my entire first year…and also contributed to my nearly failing out of school that year.  The school showed me mercy and allowed me to remediate one of my courses over the summer.  I had to pass another exam before the next school year started, which I did, and then I was on academic probation for that next year meaning there would be no third chance.

The roommate situation was another distraction I did not need as she became super competitive, so I found my own apartment for the second year.  Again, FT was busy on moving day..SHOCKING.  A friend from school helped me move everything to my very first apartment that was all mine!  It was a little studio that had horizontal blinds that dropped down from the ceiling to separate the living area from the sleeping area.  It was also infested with spiders…this time grand-daddy long legs.  The complex took care of extermination…I just had to vacuum their corpses from my closet and empty them out of the light fixtures.

Part way through second year I found myself struggling with one of my classes.  I knew if I didn’t have a passing grade, I would be out of medical school, for good.  I decided that I needed to stay at school, at my apartment and study over the weekend to prepare for the next exams.  I knew this was not going to go over well with FT.  And, as expected, a huge fight ensued over the phone.  I stood my ground though because I had worked too hard to get where I was to let it all go.  He tried calling and calling to fight over the phone.  I eventually would go study at school where I couldn’t be bothered with the phone ringing.  In true FT fashion, he decided if I wouldn’t fight on the phone, he would just come fight with me face to face.  However, I had moved into a gated complex and he had never bothered to help me move or to visit, so he did not have the code.  That bought me a little time as he had called and called telling me he was on his way, then he was there and what was the code?  All these messages were on my answering machine – back before caller ID and voicemail.  I knew he was at the gate, and it was just a matter of time before he talked someone into letting him in.  I couldn’t get out at this point, so I turned all the lights off and hid in my closet with a flashlight.  I heard him banging on the door.  I called one of my friends who told me to come to her place.  But I couldn’t leave.  I knew he would be waiting, maybe all night, until he had to be at work the next day.  I stayed in my closet until I was sure he was gone.

I met with two of my friends the next day and I finally said the word I had been avoiding saying for the entire marriage – DIVORCE.  I wanted a divorce.  I needed a divorce.  I needed it for my safety, my sanity, and for any future I wanted.  However, I still had two sets of exams to get through over the next 4 months, plus my first set of board exams.  I knew if I told FT I was planning to get a divorce then, it would mean the war would be on.  So, I waited.  I told him that I needed to concentrate on my studies so that I wouldn’t fail out of school, that OUR livelihoods depended on it, that I was doing it for OUR future, and so I wouldn’t be coming home over the next several months.  I asked him to pack up some things that I would need (ie things I didn’t want him to get rid of in case things turned ugly) and had my mother pick them up.  This seemed to appease him and he even had my wedding ring repaired….almost two years later.

I had studied and studied and studied and the last day of the second year was the exam in the class I was barely passing.  This exam would decide my fate.  We could keep a copy of our answer grid (A, B, C, D) but not copies of actual questions or answers.  After the exam an answer key would be posted so you could see how you scored.  I was too nervous to grade my exam, so my friends did it for me.  I passed!  I did well enough on the exam that there was no doubt that I passed the class!  I went to my apartment to get a nap before going out to celebrate that night.  My phone rang just as I was laying down.  Thinking it was one of my friends, I answered.  It was FT.  “How did your exams go?” he asked.  “Great!!!  I passed everything!  All the extra studying paid off as I made my best scores of the year!” I replied.  There was a bit of silence and then a less than enthusiastic “that’s great”.  “Why are you calling right now?  Aren’t you at work?” I asked.  “I took half the day off.  I wanted to be here for you in case you needed me.” he stated.  I was exhausted from studying each night that whole week for a different exam each day.  It took me a minute to comprehend what he was saying.  “So, you took the time off to ‘BE THERE’ for me…..in case I failed?” I asked.   “Well, yes….”   I cut him off “so you expected me to fail!  You were banking on me failing!”  I told him not to call me again, I would be preparing for my board exam and needed to not be bothered.

He didn’t bother me….until the day before Step 1 of my board exams.  He called me and asked if he could drive up to have me sign some papers.  What papers?  He had bought a brand new….wait for it….Camaro!  He wanted me to sign the papers as co-owner because my credit was way better than his.  I couldn’t get into a fight with him, I didn’t have time and I needed to keep my head clear for my exam.  I simply told him he was on his own and I wanted nothing to do with his car.  Then I simply said ” I have to study now” and hung up, and unplugged the phone.

I think you can see where this was heading.  The next part is like nothing you’ve ever heard of….or maybe you have!   How long do you put up with a miserable situation?  What was your breaking point?  Or point of enlightenment?  Did you have support of family or friends?  Write me and tell me how you dealt with difficult relationships.

I promise, next post will be the end of Husband #1.   As I’ve been writing about it, I’ve been remembering things that I suppose I repressed.  Now it’s cathartic and I’m proud of myself for getting through it all.

Stay tuned for the last chapter of Husband #1.

XOXO

KKatch

9 thoughts on “The Wrongs that led to Mr. Right – Husband #1 – Part 4

    1. You’re so right! When you are in it you lose sight of just how horrible a situation is, especially if you have nothing to compare it to. There’s always this moment of clarity where you ask yourself “what am I doing?” Or “why am i doing this?” and that’s when you decide to make a change.

      Liked by 1 person

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