Ignorance is bless but knowledge is power. Unfortunately I am not ignorant, yet very knowledgeable. How do I achieve bliss, how do I release some power. With power comes responsibility, with ignorance comes regret. As much as I would love to be ignorant, my past has given me too much power, too much knowledge. Trust comes from where, the ignorance of what could, would, or did happen. Or does trust come from the knowledge that you can trust honestly even with the knowledge of the past. I choose knowledge over ignorance. Trust through knowledge not through ignorance.
Some people think the generational difference in my marriage may be a challenge. While other’s might think that race may be a factor in my marriage. Or some may believe our economic family backgrounds could be an obstacle in my marriage. But none of these issues are hard for me, or even a thought for me or my husband. I have fun when he tells me I have stuff in common with his mother, since I am older than him, I laugh, I don’t take offense. I don’t even think of being in an interracial marriage, I truly don’t see the color, never have and never will. Having my husband come from a background where poverty, abuse and life struggles are commonplace versus my middle class upbringing, offers us a different point of view of each and of live in general. But when I am married to a man who is broken, who is deep down insecure, who doesn’t know how to overcome life obstacles because of his insufficient emotional development.
I have stayed through cheating, lying, drinking, and verbal abuse, not because I am weak but because I am strong. I am stronger than he is, I have a healthy emotional foundation that does not shake easily. My biggest fault may be that I am unconditionally loyal. My strength within is something I have had to pull on in order to be there for a man that is not strong, he is broken.
For those who love a broken person, you will understand. From the outside, we look weak, we look like we are being walked over or taken advantage of but on the inside, I know this man holds onto me for salvation. He has messed up, he has hurt me, he has lost my trust. I still continue to be his light, his strength, his saving grace. This is loving a broken man.
Not having any more than two sexual partners in my entire life, I may be old-fashioned. I have only slept with my first husband and then my second husband. Because of this, I can’t begin to fathom the intimate act of infidelity. I have only slept with someone I loved. I did not wait on marriage for sex but I did wait on love. Is this a rare occasion? Am I to take sex lightly simply because the man I love slept with another woman? How do I tell my heart that it meant nothing to him? How do I tell my mind that it’s more normal than not. The connection through the intimacy is something to be cherished and nurtured. I have been intimate with my husband after his affair but it took many years to not cry after, alone in the bathroom, wondering how and why he would connect with another on that level. Now I no longer cry but I hold back my heart. It hurts to do both. I only exchanged one vice for another.
I once read that you shouldn’t judge someone on their actions or choices if you are unaware of their resources. That’s how I feel about my husband’s verbal abuse. He has no resources, he has no options, he has no way out. When being involved in an upbringing that provides limited resources, it offers no options for individual’s choices. Is he just out of resources, out of better options? Does he abuse verbally because he knows no better, because he feels trapped, unsure, limited, etc? Maybe…
It doesn’t excuse it, doesn’t justify it, does’t make it better but maybe to a small degree it explains it. I am not broken but I am married to a man that is broken. He is limited on his ability to do better, to know better, to feel better. Is it my responsibility to understand this and support or is it my job to stand up and defend myself?
So I already have a six year old step son in my eight year long relationship with my husband, not that hard to do the math. I wear this on my sleeve for everyone to see. We made it through, with rough waves and murky waters, but made it through none the less. When the first fidelity happened, because there was a child produced as a result, everyone had been in the know. Not just me to handle and grieve alone but now my children knew, my friends knew, my first husband and his wife knew, my parents knew and my older brothers knew. Not an easy sell to the family when you explain that you will now become a stepmom after two years into a relationship. But we made it through. Although I felt in my heart that my husband viewed our relationship different now that we were married, I would still asked….would you ever do that to me again now that we are married. His answer was always the same…”I would never do that to you, it’s different now that we’re married”. And so I thought. I trusted, I believed, I thought it was true. Strike two…I suffered in silence. Now with no baby as a result from the affair this time, no one needed to know, not my kids, not my friends, not my parents, definitely not my brothers…only me. Not sure if it was harder or easier to suffer in silence.
I spend my life reassuring, comforting, confirming and providing security. I don’t go anywhere unaccounted for, I don’t have any hours untraceable, I don’t make trips unaccompanied. Where I am is always announced, how I spend each minute tracked, who I go with is planned. Only to make sure I create a security, build trust, relieve any doubt. Constantly reassuring, constantly explaining, constantly building security. Not because I was unfaithful, not because I lied, not because I betrayed, but because he did.
Last thing I heard was the doctor telling me I was going to get a DNC to vacuum out pieces of the placenta that are causing excessive bleeding…or so they thought. Three days later, I woke up. Thinking it had only been hours, it had been days, three to be exact. Not understanding why everyone was so happy to see me, exited that I was awake. I figured I was just coming to after a few hours of a DNC procedure…I had no idea it had been nine hours of surgery, six blood transfusions and three days later with my husband being told to say his goodbyes. I was not looking at recovery, I was not even pulling through the surgery half way through, when the doctors told my husband to call the family to let them know I am not going to make it. Three days gone, gone from my memory, gone from my conscious, but never forgotten. I am grateful for my three days, three days I lived, three days I recovered, three days I fought. Three days may be gone but three days helped me live.
He kept saying, “I’ll be right back”, “I’ll be right back”, I didn’t understand why. I thought I was coherent, I thought I was responding, I thought I was awake and recovering, but I wasn’t. It was a dreamlike state, remembering bits and pieces, I remember my husband standing in the door way saying, “I’ll be right back, I’m just gonna move the car”. Why did this seem crucial, why did he need to stress that he’d be right back? It was fine, I was just recovering from a DNC after birth, wasn’t I? But I wasn’t, I wasn’t coherent, I wasn’t responding, I wasn’t awake and recovering. I was non-responsive, and unaware. I had begun to bleeding out after childbirth, I had not been expected to live, it had been three days.
I have never been in the hospital to go under or have surgery done for anything, until this moment. I was bleeding out…after childbirth. Last thing I remember was the doctor saying they would perform a DNC to get the extra pieces of the placenta that are still in the uterus in order to stop all the excess bleeding. Assuming this is a routine procedure, I glanced over at my husband, my newborn son and back at the doctor. “Will it hurt?” was my only question. After giving birth, and delivering my son, the last thing I wanted was more pain. After my question escaped my lips, I blacked out and remember nothing for hours, even days. Nine hours of surgery, six blood transfusions, I was given a fifty/fifty chance to live.
When medical students are studying to get their Doctor of Medicine degree…they are given a patient scenario where everything goes wrong, when nothing should, no explanation. I was told, that was me. Four previous easy, healthy, quick labors and births, made it seem that this one would follow suit. It did not, not in any way. I suffered from placenta accreta. My placenta was too attached to my uterus and with delivery, the uterus tore. We knew none of this, not before, not during, not immediately after.