1991 to 1999 I’m going to sum up the next nine years here in this chapter. These were some of the hardest years of my whole life. I had transitioned from a child, young girl, teen, now to an adult, and I was still being abused. As I sit here and write this though, I’m so glad that the thought of suicide never entered my mind. I believe Father protected me from that.
By this time I was still crying out to Jesusand praying that I’d find Him. I was making attempts to go to church, but it still was just not working for me. I started talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I learned a lot from them. I didn’t realize that I’d soon have to un-learn a lot from them. I realized that something was weird with them though. They didn’t think about Jesus the way that I knew Him. And I wasn’t about to let them tell me otherwise. So I left them and started seeking Him through His Word. I started reading it and reading it. I started to seek him more and more. I felt as if I was always stuck though. Always right at the door of a breakthrough with Him but never getting through it.
When I married “serpent” I truly was in love with him. Don’t ask me how…or why, but I really was. I prayed that he’d change. I wanted him to be a nice guy. I wanted him to love me. I wanted him to be the man that “I” wanted him to be. Way down deep inside, where I was keeping it hidden from myself, I knew he didn’t love me. And I knew that he never would. But I couldn’t, no, I wouldn’t accept that. I was actually refusing to accept that. We had come this far and he just had to love me. I mean, he was marrying me right? He must love me! But he didn’t and he wouldn’t. He never did. Ever.
The days went on and the verbal abuse grew worse and more evil every day. We lived in a first floor apartment, directly underneath his family, who also hated me. From day one, they hated me. So did he though. Oh why didn’t I learn? Why did I subject myself to this torture? Why was I putting myself through this?
Within the first few years I found out that he was having an affair with one of my friends. That was devastating, yet I continued to stay with him. I tried to find work but he wouldn’t let me. He wouldn’t let me out of the house. Time went by and there was no “happy birthdays” or “merry christmas’s” or anything. No “I love you’s”. No kisses hello or kisses good bye. Only 2 minute sex sessions and when he was done that was it. No affection or love from him of any kind. No kind words. (Was this because I couldn’t give my mom even one kind word??) I look back on this time and I wonder what in the world was I thinking? Was I a glutton for punishment? No, I don’t think it was that. I believe it was because of the life that I had up till that point, and the abuse and the lack of love, and the lack of proper teaching and upbringing, that I truly didn’t know or realize that I should not be holding on this guy like I was. I just did not realize. I was holding on to him in desperation. So desperate for someone to love me.
One time, I had to drive “serpent” to work, about a half hour drive away. It was about 3 am, a freezing dark night in the dead of winter, in the middle of a North Eastern winter storm. It was freezing rain and the roads were covered with black ice. We were borrowing a cousin’s car, a bigger one that I’d ever driven. He drove up there; I drove the car back home. He drove the long straight 30 minute two lane road through town. I thought I knew better and attempted to drive the freeway back home. I was still a new driver at that time, and did not realize that the freeway onramps most likely would not be salted at 3:30 in the morning. The onramp was an upside down L shape with the bend in the bottom of the L that led to the freeway pointing out to the left. At the bend there was a railing with a ravine on the other side. I made sure to drive real slow on this road because it was so dark and icy. But the unthinkable still happened. I started to slide. This wasn’t just a short quick slide where you slid then gained control either. I was sliding forward and toward the right. I was sliding and straight toward the silver guardrail in the front of me and the car was turning toward the right, away from the direction of the freeway. I thought I’d stop by then because I was pretty far from the turn when I started sliding, but I actually started picking up speed. When that happened I freaked, and I heard myself screaming at the top of my lungs, “Jesus STOP THIS CAR”!!!! As soon as I screamed that, my car STOPPED! Suddenly. And was shaking from the suddenness of the stop. I was facing the opposite direction of the freeway and I was about six inches from the guardrail. I peeked out my window and could see down the hill, to the bottom of that ditch. I sat there and cried. He had saved me that day. I slowly backed out and turned around and went home, praying and thanking Him the whole way.
All through the years I was married to “serpent”, though, I prayed and cried out to Jesusand asked Him to please send me the Christian husband that He had planned for me. The one that He had for me before I made the awful decision to marry “serpent”. I prayed that each and every year throughout that entire 15 year marriage.
During these ten years, between 1991 and 2001, my relationship with Jesus did grow though, and I really didn’t realize it was. “Serpent” and I would be struggling financially and a bill would be late, and I’d pray and ask Him for His help to pay it, and so faithfully He provided money, one way or another. It always came, when I prayed. I remember this happening many times. Car payments would be late and I’d cry and pray and ask Jesusto meet our needs and send money to cover it, and sure enough, money would come from somewhere. I remember being late on our gas bill so often, and every time they would threaten to come and shut it off, and every time, I’d pray and seek Him and ask Him for His help. And sure enough, every time I prayed He was there for me. This happened over and over again. Gas bill. Electric. Rent. Car payments. All of them, at one point or another. A real relationship was forming with my Jesus. I was trusting Him now. It took a long time but it was happening. And I’m really glad that it was, finally. Because I needed him so bad. Especially now. After so many years of abuse, and so many years of my heart being torn to shreds, there was nothing left in it any longer. There was no love left in it at all. No love left in it for “serpent” either. It was stone cold. And now all I wanted to do was get out. Get away from him. But I had thought about that through the years and I knew there just was just no way of getting out. No way of getting free. He’d find me. He told me he would. And my strength was too far gone to fight to get free.