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A letter to my husband
I want to thank you for all the love and support you have given me over the years.
We met 20 years ago in July 1984; you were at your mum’s on leave from the RAF. You walked into the pub where I was happily getting a bit plastered with my mates. My older brother brought you over to our table telling you he knew someone who would like to meet you again. When you saw me you didn’t even recognize me did you Jim. I had changed so much, the first time we had met was 8 years before when I was at your family’s house at New Year, you were on leave then as well, we were introduced and I had my first ever kiss albeit a New Year one. I was rather plump then, but now I was a size 8 and looked completely different. We talked and chatted for ages and you asked me out to dinner the next evening.
At dinner you told me you were married but that your then wife had walked out on you and your 2 little boys when they were 1½ and 3½, you had interim custody of the boys and were awaiting a ruling from the court to say if you had final custody. We decided that neither of us wanted anymore than a friendly relationship, I had been hurt very badly in the past and didn’t want anything serious so just good friends it was to be. We saw a lot of each other over the next 2 weeks and then you went back up north to your home and RAF base. We were always on the phone to each other; your self esteem was so low, I wanted you to know you had support and make you laugh. You arranged other leave passes and came to your mums at weekends but you were always at my flat. In the October you turned to me one night ‘Carol’ you said ‘after this custody battle is all sorted out will you please marry me’, I didn’t even have to think about it did I ‘of course I will’ I replied. So much for staying just good friends!!
My job since I left school was looking for people to take voluntary redundancies, after a lot of discussions we decided I would take it and move up north to be with you and help with the boys. The final court decision was to be in the January of 1985. Two weeks prior to the court hearing we got word that the judge who had heard your case had died without giving a decision on your case. We were devastated but looked on the bright side and hoped that everything would workout. Later we found out that everything had to go to court again and be heard in front of another judge. Two years later finally we got word to go back and a new judge heard all, 1 week later he gave his verdict and although full of praise for you and the way you had looked after your sons in the very last paragraph he said he felt children so young should be with their natural mother and not a substitute mother. We were reeling literally and could not believe what he had said; the boys had to be given to their mother within a week. By this time the boys were 5 and 7 years old. More shocks were to come when we found out 3 weeks later your ex had sold the house her, her boyfriend, their son and your 2 boys were living in and
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moved back to England, with no forwarding address. It took the lawyer and private detectives 2 years to find them, after going back to court again you were to get residential access at the Christmas and New Year period. We drove down to your Mum’s, where I stayed and let you and your Mum go down to collect them. You only got to see them briefly as they turned and said to you they didn’t ever want to see you again. I couldn’t believe the state of you when you got back you were a broken devastated man, it was all I could do not to break down in tears in front of you, but you needed my strength to help you get through this horrible time. Later after writing and sending cards, which were returned unopened, you said that you loved them to much to keep pulling them back and fro, you decided that when the youngest reached his 16th birthday you would look for them and hopefully have them back in your life when they were old enough to make their own decisions. With the help of the Salvation army the three off you met again last July and will hopefully build the missing years.
In June 1987 we got married; it was the happiest day off my life, after the ceremony everybody was laughing as they said the floor was shaking underneath them as I was trembling so much. We went to Gretna Green for our honeymoon and got married a second time over the anvil. It was so special and private just you and I and our love for each other.
I hadn’t had periods for a few years, the doctors put it down to my being so thin and the amount of stress we had been through. When they did come back it was a very painful experience, one that would have me doubled up for almost a week with cramps and pain. Then the bleeding became much worse where in that most months I was only not bleeding for a couple of days a month. We were on IVF treatment as well at this time, but every month I went along to the hospital I hadn’t produced an egg again. I was so drained, always tired and then I started passing out during or after going to the toilet and would come round many times in your arms. You came to the doctors with me and they decided they needed to look into things. An appointment was set up for the hospital and I was to have a laparoscopy, where a tiny camera is put through a small incision under my belly button. The next day the doctor came to see us and said that I had endometriosis and a blocked fallopian tube, but they wanted to try and clear it up with drugs. I was given some nasal spray that was supposed to stop the bleeding, however it did the opposite and I bled more along with now having nasal bleeds. Another appointment was set up for me at the hospital, 13th Feb 1990. When we arrived at the doctor’s office he immediately went on the telephone some 5 minutes later he put the receiver down turned to us and said he was admitting me and that I would be operated on the following morning, Valentines Day, we were both in a state of shock and tried to reason with him. No he said you need a hysterectomy and the sooner the better. Again devastation and depression followed. You took some time of work when I came out of hospital and we tried too comfort one another but we were both so lost in our own thoughts, your mum came up to help and she was such a tower of strength to both of us, helping us both in so many ways.
In 1992 you decided we both deserved a good holiday, I was stronger, working again and we made arrangements to go to Florida in September. Things were strained with my parent’s marriage, but you said for once think about yourself and let them take care of themselves. We went on holiday, had an exhausting wonderful time and returned to UK. When we landed at London the first thing I did was call my parents home as we were flying straight up to Inverness and not stopping in Fife. My father told me my mother was in hospital suffering with her nerves and that he wanted to move out before she got out. This was just what I needed to bring me back down to earth with a thud. There wasn’t much I could do as we couldn’t change our tickets and thought it better to go home drop our suitcases and drive to Fife the next day. My older brother called that evening and said that he felt I should know what my mother had been going outside and saying to people before she admitted herself to hospital. What he told me knocked me for six; I couldn’t speak to you as you knew nothing about a horrific part of my childhood. There was only one person I could talk to and that was ‘J’ my best friend since we were both 15. I went upstairs to call her as I didn’t want you to hear, but ‘J’ told me I had to tell you as it was the only hold my mother still had over me, she also said it would ruin us if I didn’t. She suggested I poured 2 stiff drinks, sat down with you and tell you the whole story.
Of course Jim you knew that neither of my brothers or myself had a particularly happy childhood, you knew that we were beaten a lot by both my parents but now I had to tell you the awful things my father had done to me since I was about 5 and how at 11 I tried to tell a doctor what was happening and they put me in a mental hospital saying that I was a naughty little girl trying to get attention. I got out of there when I was 12 but the abuse continued and when I was 15 I took an overdose as I thought dying was the only way to stop him. I then went on to ask you not to be mad at him as in my eyes I believed god had paid him back. 6 months after I took the overdose he was at work, he was a dustman and one of the big rubbish bins for the shops wasn’t attached properly and fell on him landing on his back. Since then he has had to walk with crutches and wear a support on his lower back all the time. He was never able to abuse me sexually again and although things were never great I coped until I left home at 17 and got my own flat. Then I had to tell you that while we were on holiday my mother had been going round telling all my fathers friends that I had an affair with my father when I was younger, this is the part that disgusted you the most I could see the hatred in your eyes, I could see you shaking with the temper that was building inside of you. What seemed like hours later I eventually went to bed I kissed you on the cheek as you wouldn’t look at me and I said to you that I would quite understand if you weren’t there in the morning. I lay in bed weeping sure that you would not want anything more to do with me and that our marriage would be over.
But you were there the next morning. We traveled back home and went straight to my parents home where my father let us in. It was distressing and hard but I knew I had to face him and ask him why. He wouldn’t say anything at first; all I could do was shout, cry and shake after sometime he admitted it in front of you. I walked out at this point leaving you staring at him in disgust. You came out to the car, asked where to next and drove us to my sister-in-laws, by the time we got there, about 5 minutes; my father had called her and said that he only admitted it to get us out of the house as he was frightened we were going to cause trouble. We could not believe what we were hearing; it was just one lie after another. We left her to make her own mind up and you drove to the hospital where my mother was, before going in you put your arms round me giving me a much needed hug, I started shaking again but your reassurance was there to give me strength. We went to see her doctor first, to explain to him that what I had to say to my mother would probably upset her; the doctor gave us permission to go to her room. When we got there she looked at me with such hatred saying that I had caused so much disgrace and shame to them by what I was going about saying. When I tried to say, but I didn’t bring it up she pushed me out the room closing the door, keeping you inside with her. Within a few moments you came out without a backward glance.
We never saw either of them again until 14th Feb 1997, the day we buried my dear little brother who had died on the 5th Feb 1997 after a freak accident where he was working. It was an awful day, but you ‘J’ and ‘M’, our best friends, were by my side giving me the protection and strength to get through it.
I will never understand my parents, I have written to them, telephoned them and always my mother blames me for what happened. I can’t and will never be able to understand why they hate me so much, even after years of counseling I strived to show them that what happened, happened and we should all leave it in the past and move on, nothing will change the fact that it did. I believe in my heart they would be much happier if they could do as I have done.
Jim without you and your family’s help I do not believe I would be the person I am today, you believed in me, trusted me unconditionally and most of all you loved and protected me when I needed it the most. With tears in my eyes and lump in my throat I want to thank you Jim from the bottom of my heart for being my Husband, my friend, my confidant and most of all for being you.
With all my love always Carol .x.
I am rating 5 stars but if I could I would give him millions more.
This is really touching and must have been immensly painful to write. I wish I could be as brave as you. x
tracy_3princesses 30.09.2006 05:16
Very heart warming to be able to write such a personal review, good luck for the future
jesi 02.05.2006 12:08
Words fail me. It is so difficult to imagine how your mother could be aware (ie tell people that there had been an affair) and yet disbelieve that it was his fault ~ I don't believe my husband would be like your dad ~ but then who really knows another person fully ~ I hope things are improved between Jim and his boys now (has it been two years?) ~ my heart goes out to you both ~ and my blessings! ~ ~ .................................................................................................... ~ ♥ ~ jes ~ ♥♥