Purity Publications

The Truth of Alissa Lynne

The Marriages

Chapter 3

by Alissa Lynne - Purple Butterfly of Christ

Christianity Oasis Ministry

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

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The Truth of Alissa Lynne

Purple Butterfly

by Alissa Lynne - Purple Butterfly of Christ

Chapter 3 - The Marriages

Now at this point in my life, after countless men, I had changed my way of thinking. I was becoming harder and harder towards men. As mentioned in the last chapter, I did not care for sex; to me it was a tool to get what I wanted. If I needed a couple of dollars, if I need groceries, if I wanted to go see a movie, if I wanted to go out to dinner, I would call up whoever was the flavor of the month and just tell him what I needed and waited for him to come over. I would lay there feeling nothing but all along faking it. At this point, I realized the effect of oral sex on a man and what kind of POWER it gave me. I knew that if I would do that, hummm I could get whatever I wanted. I was truly using that for my good. I was way beyond stealing my girlfriends' men; I was way beyond getting drunk and just having sex with a guy I just met. I was way beyond loving and caring about what they truly thought. On occasion, I would meet a guy who actually wanted to get to know me, we would date but at some point, I would kick him to the curb, the first time he tried to get close to me. I would just tell him "see ya" for the smallest offense. I would not take no for answer. I used to change boyfriends like I changed my underwear. I would also take each of them around my family, as I wanted to prove that I was "normal" that there was nothing wrong with me. I had got to the point of not caring at all.

By the time my first husband came along, I was tired, scared of being alone for the rest of my life and just wanting to truly be "normal". I was still seeing Josh as a friend with benefits, when I was not seeing some one at the time, I would call him to "fill in". He was always there, I made the mistake of thinking that it was because he truly cared for me, there was still so much more to come.

I have to laugh when I look back on my first husband. The only reason my first husband was even able to get the time of day with me was that I was beyond desperation. I had low self-esteem, I had tons of mistrust for men, I did not want to be alone, and I wanted to be loved. So why not have a crack head alcoholic for a husband. I tell you what, all my sisters out there who are 28 years old, getting ready to turn 30 in few years and might be in a frenzy that you are not married and losing your mind...STOP IT RIGHT NOW...or you might make the mistake that I did.

I married him because he asked and I needed to feel like I had my own family, I wanted children and I wanted love. I do not think he expected me to say yes and then I do not think he expected me to show up. I was 28 years old when I first met him; D is what I will call him. I should have never hooked up with him in the first place let alone marry him. He was smooth when he was high and mean when he was not. My family did not want me to marry him at all, but as we always are, we are supportive of each other. I knew that he was a crack head and an alcoholic but I thought I could "save" him, if I loved him enough, he would be grateful to me and stay with me forever and always. I thought that my love would be good enough finally for someone, as he really needed love. I did not know then that what he needed was Jesus.

During this time, my sister had a baby and I was so beside myself that she would be pregnant before I was. It was so hard to watch her be pregnant and see the attention that she was getting that I wanted so desperately. I figured that since she was an unwed mother and I would be a married mom, the attention I would get would be so much more than what she received. I wanted to be a mommy so bad. I was having tons of unprotected sex, just waiting to get pregnant. How dare she have a baby before me, I was the oldest and supposed to do everything first!

D would work when he could get a job but since his work history was not that great, he would go to the "same day" job places, wait in a long line to go to work and get money for his drug habit. When I met him, he was living in a shelter and I moved him in immediately for I wanted to be supportive and with him. In 1996 – we got married in May; I actually forget what the date was. We got married in May of 1996 to get divorced in May of 1998. Short-lived marriage, I kicked him out of my house in February 1998. He was abusive to me, he would beat me when things were bad for him, He was strung out on drugs and I was trying to get him help. We kept separating all the time only to end up fighting again and never getting it to work right. I would go to his job on paydays to get his check before he went to the bank. He actually got wise to that and would leave the job before I got there and go get high. He was/is a talented plumber and knew the trade inside and out. I used to tell him all the time that he should be a Master Plumber but the drugs held him back so much. I remember being at work and he was supposed to come pick me up in our car and as always he was late, as he was all the time, but this time he never showed. I called his mother and asked her to come get me. She dropped me off at home, and when I went to walk into my house, the chain was on the door. I started banging on the door, and eventually he let me in. As I come into my house, I noticed something was out of line. I first noticed that he was naked with a towel wrapped around him. I noticed next that my finger nail polish and polish remover was in the living room and I never did that in my living room. We did not have living room furniture at the time and I spent most of my time in my bedroom. I saw the bathroom door shut and went to open the door and could not because SHE was holding it shut. I threatened to call the police if she did not open the door. I was so hurt that I could not speak, shocked and hurt. After all, I was doing to keep us living with food and all that I sacrificed to get things straight to have him cheating on me. She was also bigger than I was, I was a size 14 at the time, and not fat at all, but I thought I was and heard from him repeatedly that I was. She was about a size 20 or so, I was devastated and so hurt. I actually looked at him and told him that I was done, that I did not want him any more and when I got back, he was to be gone. I went and knocked on my neighbor's door, and wanted to go for a ride. I asked her to go with me, and we get in my car and as I go to drive, my brakes were grinding. My rotors were bad. We went back to my apartment and I went into my place, he was gone and she was gone. I laid there and cried my eyes out, wondering what I did to deserve this. Well he came home the next day saying how sorry he was and how he needed to get help, that he was getting high with her and that is why they were there. He told me that she meant nothing and he loved me. It was the first time he went into rehab. He stayed in rehab for about 3 days and came home. We went through this for most of our marriage, women in my home, getting beat when he was coming off a high or needing a fix. He was in rehab three times during our marriage, which always came after a huge major fight.

The last time he beat me – I knew it was time as I fought back. He knew how to hit me so that no one could see the marks of the abuse. As I was lying on the couch and he was hitting me, all I could think of was my mom and what she went through all her life with my stepfather abusing her; I knew that I did not want that life. I called the police and left. The next morning I filed a PFA (Protection from Abuse order) on him and it was over. He filed for divorce and we were divorced in May 1998. While we were separated, he went back to rehab and called me to tell me that he was sorry, that he should have never married me and it was the biggest mistake he had ever made. I was truly hurt behind his words, as I wanted to believe that he did love me, and the drugs stopped us. I have no idea where he is and what he is doing, I had heard that he got married again and was clean for a year, that was over four years ago and praying that he is still clean and happy in his life.

On February 17, 1998 – I turned 30 years old, I was so depressed, and I knew my marriage was over, no babies even though we tried during that time. Here I am about to be divorced, the one thing that I did not want to say about being 30 years old. I had an ex husband who had informed me yet again that my love was not enough for him and that I was not his type of woman. He actually told me yet again that he was never physically attracted to me and which is why he had to get high to have sex with me. Therefore, what did I do, as I was not happy? I decided to throw the biggest party I had ever had. I was the party queen and I made sure it was the best, not sure, if anyone else had fun but in the "worldly" ways, I had a ball. Shame on me, but when I was in the world, I was in the world. The actual day of my 30th birthday, I sat in my house and cried all day long. I was thinking what is wrong with me no one loves me. I felt worthless, used and unloved.

At this point, Josh appeared again after I called him. He was there and I actually started trying to "date" him. We were headed there or so I thought. I was giving all I could to him, once again trying to buy his love, shower him with affection. Well, I found out things about him that I never let myself see before. His lifestyle was not what I wanted. He was into the drug scene, not on the point of using it but selling it. I was not a saved girl but I seen enough movies to know that was not good. We had one disagreement about this and I walked away. After 15 years of being "special friends", I walked away from him and never looked back. At this point, I do not know what is going on with him, I pray that he has come to know the Lord and or at least some of his past is gone from his life.

Well then life slowed down for me, I started dating a guy and that did not work out, I moved into another apartment that I could afford, and just going through my life the best I could. I actually just wrote off men, got me a "toy" for my own pleasures and said forget men. I ended up meeting my second husband on June 19, 1999.

He had noticed me prior to our official meeting; he was the brother of my neighbor's boyfriend. The first time we spoke to each other, he was going into the apartment building where I lived to visit his brother – he had his 3 year old daughter with him, she was just the cutest little thing. He looked at me and said, "Hi Dear, You are looking mighty lovely today!" I did not know at the time that was his signature pick up line. He was already thinking of me but I was currently going through my divorce with my first husband. I did not pay much attention to him then as my mind was a million miles away, but I remembered his daughter, as she was just the cutest little girl ever. She was very dainty and bossy, as she demanded her daddy to give to her the sunglasses in his hands. I smiled and said thank you and headed on my way. I had the opportunity to see him on several occasions after that and hold small conversations, with him always telling me how lovely I looked.

I had been divorced for about a year when his brother and my best friend thought it would be wonderful to hook us up. On June 19, 1999 at 7 PM – I am rushing to the bar to hang out. I did not plan to stay long and I sure did not plan to drink as much as I did. I do not drink and drive EVER, so to get drunk was not a good thing that night. I did enjoy the conversation and attention that I was receiving from him as I thought he was really cute and charming. We were all sitting there and I decided to stop drinking as I felt that I was getting a little too tipsy and wanted to leave with my senses about me, his brother and he proceed to tell me not to worry, and he will drive me home. Since I did not get out much then, I took him up on his offer and had a couple more drinks, never once thinking, he is drinking too. We talked the night away at the bar, laughing joking and listening to music.

During that time of my life, I smoked, drank, wore extensions in my hair, wore long fake nails, was a size 16 but looked like a size 12, had a body that was just all that, I was just cute! He was attracted to the hair, nails, and was a man unwise to the fact that they were not real. I have always been honest about those things so when he complimented me on my hair and nails, I informed him that they were not natural. He laughed and asked me was at least my boobs and butt real, I laughed and told him that was as natural as natural could get. He said cool, then we are good.

Well then, it was time to leave, well he drove me home in my huge 1980 Bonneville, and came upstairs to my apartment. We did not have sex that night, as I was not going to kick it to him; I was attracted to him and wanted him to stick around so I denied him; he was a gentleman about it and went to sleep. In the morning, we got up and went with his brother and my best friend at the time to breakfast. After that, he dropped me off at my house and we made plans for later, I had to go to a fundraiser that evening and we made plans for him to pick me up. I really did not want him to go so I gave him keys to my apartment and told him to hang out there, as at the time he was staying at his mother's house, as he was divorced in Feb of that same year and paying child support for four children at that time. My heart went out to him as my heart normally does for people who are down on their luck and still does. Well, he went to my place and I went to the function, funny how life is when you look back on it, I just knew that he would be around for awhile. I was so fascinated in the fact that a man I thought was so attractive was interested in me, that is because I did not love myself enough to realize that I was something special. We ended up living together and on Christmas Day, 1999 – he asked me to marry him. We had already been through an episode of him cheating on me, but I forgave him. Therefore, to satisfy me, he asked me to marry him, I ignored the warning signs, and I should have listened to the warning signs! What I did not know then, was his brother was setting us up as sex partners; we were not to be married. His brother did not want to lose his hanging partner, but he did not have anything to worry about that.

Our marriage was doomed for neither one of us were ready to deal with the emotional baggage that we each carried with us. I cannot speak for him but my past was about to explode all over our marriage. I had issues with intimacy and he had issues with commitment and being faithful.

My past life, low self-esteem issues and unbelieving life was headed down a road of discovery that I was unaware I was headed down. I had the desire to be loved, I wanted a family, I wanted to be loved so much but I did not love myself. I loved to be held, to be kissed, to "make-out" but the actual act of intimacy was too much for me, it was not something I enjoyed at all. It reminded me too much of the past pain, the past hurt, and the images of my stepfather haunting me long after the abuse stopped. I became the queen of "fake-it". As I realize that the hugs and kisses were good, I had to deal with the intimacy too for that was always right behind the kisses...plus in my mind that is how I knew if a man loved me. So I turned it over to a control type of situation, I was in control of my body and no one could enter my heart. I was hurting, every man I met never loved me enough, why, why, why, why? I did not know then, but I know now, I did not love me, and not loving me ruined any chance of my marriage surviving.

We went through the motions, I forced him to into adopting my son – at least that is what he says, of course I say differently. The happiest day of my life was the day I held my son in my arms. He was the most precious baby to me. Jonathan's dad spent more time away from home, he would play with Jonathan, but our interaction with each other lessened more each day. At that time, I loved my husband, the best way that I knew how. I used to beg him to talk to me, I knew that for our marriage to survive we needed to talk. We went through the motions of marriage but never really connected, as we should have. He was more like a friend or partner, not a marriage partner but someone you tolerated because of the situation. Right about the time I thought things could not get worse, they did!

In 2002, I started feeling tired all the time I had no energy. The doctor could not find anything wrong with me. Now remember I only went to the doctor's office when I was hurting in the past...I was going to the doctor all the time now. They could not find anything wrong with me. I was tired all the time, I was putting weight on again...I was emotional and a wreck. I did not want to do anything at all...I thought it was my thyroid but the tests were coming back positive and okay. I know now that it was the beginning of depression. A deep depression would last for three years.

He was starting to be verbally abusive, when anyone was around; he portrayed the perfect husband, but when it was just us, he would tell me how ashamed of me he was, how much weight I had put on, why not take better care of myself. I would take it all, it was constant and it was damaging. During this time, I had heard about a new kind of surgery, it would take my ileostomy and change the way that is was done. It would take the exterior bag/appliance and place it inside, which would give me much more control. I started talking to him about the surgery and he really started hammering me, he started talking about how much of a pain I was and how he wished I would find a new man and move on in my life for I was no longer an asset but a liability. It was the beginning of his relationship with the woman he left me for and the more time he spent with her, the crueler the words where that came out of his mouth. It was said to me almost every day of our marriage. Now let me say that he is a man of material things. We had a prosperous year in 2000, until we added a child into our home. His job did some monetary cutbacks that made money tighter for us. He started telling me all kinds of things that just were so demeaning to my very spirit...how unattractive I was, how no other man will ever want me and that he would be stuck with me forever! Mind you in my mind, this is the man that is to love me for all eternity.

I started mentioning to him about wanting another child...well that did not go over well and he spend more time away from home then. I begged him to allow me to have the new surgery. So in 2004, I traveled to Florida to have the surgery done...he came and stayed for the surgery and then went home to watch Jonathan. I found out later that he did not have Jonathan a lot, my family did. Here is the thing though, I was in Florida ready to have the BCIR surgery, and the doctor wanted me to have some ex rays because my stomach area was too hard, he wanted to see what it was before he opened me up. I am sitting in my hospital room and in come a gynecologist. I am thinking okay what is this. She introduces herself and saying I am your other surgeon. I was like "what for". She did not know that I had no idea what she was talking about. She said well there is a hardening in your uterus where you are full of cysts and it/they need to be removed. You could have just pushed me over with a feather...she proceeds to inform me that they appear to be cancerous cells which does not surprise me at all. Come on with everything else in my life...cancer no longer scares me. I sit there and ask her the options, she said they could scrape and watch it or they could take it out. He yells out without hesitation - take it out. I was still trying to save my marriage so after talking to him; I listened to him and believed that it would help our marriage. I allowed them to take my uterus from me. I cried that night before the surgery, I was hurting for I did not want to do it but I wanted to save my marriage. He was right there insisting that I do it and unto this day, I pray to God that I let it go and forgive myself for that act. I know that God has already forgiven me, and at this point need to forgive myself. While they gave me the new internal pouch for my bowels, they took my uterus. I did feel better and that was part of the issues with being sleepy all the time as I was losing a lot of iron in my system. I went home 4 weeks later, with a little more strength and hopeful that my marriage would work out. WRONG! The day after I came home, he went out and even though I was not to do moving around and heavy lifting, he left me alone with our son. I could have called my family but I was ashamed that I was in these circumstances with him. I did the best I could but fell deeper in depression and denied it to all that asked me. My mom kept going on and on about getting help and seeing a therapist and I just ignored her and everyone else. I did not go for therapy, as she would have liked, and I sunk even deeper into depression.

He spent more and more time away from home, I went into deeper and deeper depression. I was hearing from him that I was not good enough, just to find another man so that he could leave me. He was telling me that he did not want to be a dad in the first place and that this was worse than his other marriages. He told me that I was fat and just needed to get off my butt. Well our sex life went to almost nothing at all, when we did "do it" as it was not love making, it was the same old routine. He did not do anything to spice it up and neither did I. I felt even more like a piece of meat and less of a woman. I was becoming a lump of a woman. My son was still a happy child as we were going through things. The ending was coming and I tried to get him to talk to me to get us to work it out, but he was too far into the relationship with his girlfriend, whom he believed had money, as she was buying him all kind of things. He was coming home with new clothes, new cologne, and even new glasses. He lied to me thinking that I was dumb and did not know that he was lying. I knew he was lying but was hoping it would pass just like the other women whom come and go in his life. He actually had his girlfriend buy him a cell phone and I allowed him to give me a sorry excuse as to why it was in someone else's name, a woman's name. He started taking Jonathan with him when he went out to see her, just to prove to me that he was not seeing her. My son knew her as a different name than the name on the cell phone but I knew something was not right. We argued about everything, we never talked; all we did was argue all the time. I smoked too much and he drank too much. We were in a lost situation.

On February 18, 2005 – we had a huge argument. I had received a bonus at work and wanted to spend the money on me, not the bills. He did not have a problem with that until he realized that I was not giving him any of the money. We had fall so far apart, I really did not think he expected it, but he did. We got in a huge argument as we always did. I told him that I would give him $1,000 to leave me, if that is all it took and that was all I meant to him. He said sure, give me a $1,000 and I am out of here. Well I thought that it was just an act for money, but if it got me a weekend free from him, that was good for me. He was in the habit of starting arguments so he could stay the weekend with her, he would say he was working late and his paycheck did not reflect the over time at all. He was trying to be sneaky but was not good at it at all. I was just waiting it all out, but little did I know that there was no waiting this out. It was my birthday weekend, so I went to have a full day spa treatment to celebrate my birthday weekend. I had started to try to fix up appearance to save my marriage and was exercising and losing weight. I wanted to treat myself for my birthday and my sister and I went to the spa for the day. He had Jonathan and I did not expect to come home to all his stuff moved out, but it was. I truly thought it was dumb of him to do that, as he would be back in a week and have to move all that back with him. I was not even upset at first. Well that following Tuesday, he calls me to see if I am ready to work out our marriage and I said if he was willing to give up the girlfriend. He went on and on about not having a girlfriend and he was staying with a friend of his. I told him he was full of crap and told him when he was ready to deal with the truth he could call me back.

Well, this was the beginning of an emotional roller-coaster for me. We would talk but he would not spend a lot of time with Jonathan, he was not coming around the house or answering his cell phone in the evenings. So of course, this just confirms what I believed. My son was starting to sink into a shell as he was thinking that daddy left because of him. He was playing in his room and playing with a lighter and lit his football on fire and it exploded. As Jonathan ran downstairs, I went to investigate what was wrong. I thought he broke his light in his room but when I saw the smoke coming from the house, I grabbed my son, grabbed my phone and ran out the house. I was so scared as flashbacks from my childhood fire came back to me. I went to my neighbors and the fire department came. I was watching them bust all the windows on the second floor and I just cried and cried. It was so hard to watch. I was thinking to myself what else – what else! I called Jonathan's dad to tell him, since I was still praying that we would work out our marriage and his name was on the house too. We went to stay at my aunt's house until the repairs were completed on our house. It would take 6 months for this to happen.

Here we are at my aunt's house due to the fire in my house. As I sit here, I remember Jonathan's dad calling all the time, trying to come home, but never once telling me the real deal about his girl friend. Well I am about to hit rock bottom, for we sometimes need to be careful for what we wish for. I wanted to know who this woman was...I had her name...so I went internet searching. I paid a service to give me information about her address and phone numbers. I load my son into my car, drive to her house and there he was. He was in the back yard...he said he was doing work for her...yeah right. I swear sometimes when you are caught just give it up. She was hiding in her house; she went running into the house when she saw me there. Well I demanded him to come with me. He wanted to follow me in the van – I said sure. We drove to the local park so that my son can play and we can "talk". We go to the park and I listen to my husband say how unhappy he was with me and how happy he was with her. I listened to the same man who just that morning begs me to allow him to come home, tell me that this woman was the best thing that ever happened to him. I LOST MY MIND PEOPLE. I did not hit him or anything like that....I leaned over and said to him calmly "fine". I went to get Jonathan and put him in my car and drove off. I never said a word to anyone. I was so hurt I could not speak. I went home, let my son play outside and I just sat there. I was so hurt. Nothing would come out of my mouth. I started to retreat within myself; the depression had hit the low of all lows. I sent my son to bed, I went into the room we were sleeping in...I had tons of sleeping pills. I sat there with that bottle of sleeping pills, stared at them, and stared at them. My son and I were sharing a room at my aunt's house. I sat there and I was looking at him and the bottle. A little voice said...he is not worth your life and your son needs you. Let it go, but it was neither the first nor the last time that I thought about ending my life. I did not take my life, but I could not sleep. I did not trust myself to take a couple pills, so I threw them away. I did not know what to do, I could not cry, I could not think. I was so numb. Things from my life just kept coming at me and I could not stop thinking about it, I could not even cry out of pain or anything. I was so deep in depression that I had no idea how I looked to others. I almost lost my job, I was called into the office on several occasions and let me tell you...my work history before that was so clean that it is not even funny. Everyone wanted me to work for him or her; everyone wanted me to be his or her employee. I was so deep in depression that I was not even taking care of my son. My family was so worried about me but I did not hear them nor care to hear what they had to say. When you have someone, who is so deeply depressed – they are not going to listen to you...pray for them and never stop. My mother and aunt were some praying women this I know for I believe their prayers help me to hear God's word. Well, I was walking around in a daze. I did not fix my hair, called off work, and just all around did not care anymore. My son ate so much McDonalds, that he gained so much weight people started telling me that he was getting too big. I wanted to talk to him, so I used my son to call him so that I could hear his voice. I got into several fights with his woman. I started to threaten him with child support if he did not come home. I was driving past the house at all weird hours to see what was going on, I was past obsessed with what was going on with him. I took a glass container and smashed it in the back of her driveway to make noise to wake them up. I knew they were in the house sleeping and went to the van and took his keys just to show him that I could do it. I would call him, yelling, and crying, screaming, or just plain begging him. I was telling him how sorry I was, how much I needed him. I would try everything, sex conversation and money. Our wedding anniversary was on June 17. He sent me for our wedding anniversary, a dozen roses with a card professing undying love for me and may we have 10 more anniversaries, he gave me a pampering basket and said that we would go out to dinner and he was coming home soon. He was always saying he was coming home soon; just let him work it out. He lied. He spent our fifth anniversary with her and ignored all my calls. I took the presents and placed them on their porch wanting her to see them. I found out later that he found them and hid them from her. The Sunday after our wedding anniversary, I was lying in my bed and heard a song that my aunt was playing and it just touched my heart...Speak to My Heart... I started moving around and decided to go to church. I did not have a dress to wear; I grew up believing that women were to wear dresses to church at least. I did not have one; I went to church in a pair of jeans. I felt so much better when I walked in the door. I felt so much relief. I did not go every single Sunday but I did go a couple more times. On July 17, 2005 – I dedicated my life to the Lord and decided that I could not do this alone. On July 24, 2005 – I was baptized in the name of Jesus.

On July 25, my husband moved into the house with us at my aunt's house. Well, I was the perfect wife...I did everything I thought I should do...I was cooking cleaning, giving him all the lovin' that he could think of, being aggressive as he wanted me to be...I did it all. During our separation, I noticed that I was breaking out in hives all the time. The whole time I was being the "perfect wife" I was covered in hives. It was worse during that week, the worst it had ever been. So on July 30, 2005 – when we were at the park with our son spending quality family time, when he decided to tell me that he was leaving yet again and going back to his girlfriend. Let me tell you...this time I lost it physically. I was told that things did not feel right with me and that he wanted to be with her. I had already known that he was talking to her every day as he was using my cell phone to do it. I waited until we were in the car...I am driving and I lost it...I reached over and started hitting him with my free hand. I was so gone...he asked me to stop...my son was in the back seat crying...my mind was gone. I pulled over and could barely walk around the car to allow him to drive...I started hitting him again as he was driving. He threatened me that he would leave me right there if I did not stop. My mouth was going...you have to know me to know that my mouth can go...you think I write a lot be in my presence and let me be angry. I have to say that the stereotype of a sista who does not quit is true with me in that situation. We get back to the house, Jonathan is outside, and we are inside of the house. I go off on him...I just start to beat the crap out of him. I am not joking; I am hitting him with my fist. He takes it never once hitting me back. I cry, I scream and I just yell. He wanted to take his stuff; I refused to let him take anything. Mind you when he came home, he wanted 125.00 from me to give to her to pay her back some money that he owed her or so they said. I refused to do anything at all for him. I sat there crying, thinking about how confused I was, I did all that I was supposed to do. I could not imagine why he would leave me. I could not imagine it at all. I started thinking of all the things that I had been doing...we were getting insurance checks for replacing the things in the house, I never once did not give him money when he needed it. I continued to do the things I thought I should, always trying to be right because I blamed myself for the mess up in the marriage. I kept looking at what I did wrong, why could he not see that I was trying. I went through so much pain – I kept trying. I believe that the only reason he came that one week in July was because they had an argument. When I finally allowed him to come get his times, he was still saying he was going to eventually come home and I wanted to believe him. I did not want yet another person to say they loved me and did not mean it. I started dating and that did not work, first the guy was not really my type, Jonathan's dad saw us together and had a fit. I stopped seeing the guy in hopes of working on my marriage.

I was so happy that he had such a fit in front of his girlfriend that I had hoped that she would kick him to the curb. Up until July-2005, we were having sex regularly and I would let her know that we did, in hopes that she would kick him to the curb. Well guess what, it did not work, she was not letting go and he did not want her to either. I found out that he was lying to her too. I was just once again a doormat for someone. Well after he left in July, I would not admit to him that I still cared for him.

Well after all of this, Jonathan and I move back into the house in September – Labor Day weekend. I got a check for 5,000 from the insurance company the last one from them. I put the check in my account after I had Jonathan's dad sign it for it was in both our names. He asked for 1,000, I told him that I was not sure for I had so much to do to get us in the house. Since we got the second floor redone by the insurance company, there were new windows on the second floor and I got the windows on the first floor done and I wanted to get those paid off, that was 2,500 of the money already gone. We had nothing, we had to get new everything for everything in the house was either water or smoke damaged. I still needed to get a bunch of little things. By the time I was done, I only had 100.00 left over. He was pissed. I did not know at the time, that he had called the insurance company and told them that we did not get the check even though he already knew that we did. They sent a new check but to the address, he gave them. So guess what, they canceled the check I deposited and that 5,000 check bounced on my account that had no money in it for I spent the money already. I made tons of calls; no one could help me with the situation. He knew what he was doing. I decided okay, enough. I figured that he could do his thing and I would do mine.

Let me say this, where was my faith in all of this? I was going to church when I felt like it; I was still depressed and not listening to the Lord in my life. I could not believe that God would allow all of this to happen to me even though I was going to church and trying to live for the Lord. Well when you do not listen to God, He will get your attention when He wants you to listen to Him. He wanted me to hear Him and boy did I end up listening to Him.

My mother had been sick for a long time and we knew that she was ill. Well on November 2, I got a phone call saying that my mom was admitted to the emergency room, normally one of my siblings goes and those of us with kids stay home. Well I went; I had a friend stay with Jonathan while I went to the hospital. I went into the room and was one of the first ones there; I lived the closest to the hospital. When I got there she was still awake, and I will never forget that time I spent with her.

I told her about Jonathan and what was going on with him and we were talking about God and His goodness. I will never forget her telling me that she was tired and so ready to go home. She used to say that all the time and I told her that she could not leave she had to watch her grandchildren graduate from high school and college. You have to understand, her grandchildren meant the world to her. I swear sometime she loved them more than us...of course I know better than that but sometimes it felt that way. Well, that night I left the hospital and never knew that would be the last time I spoke with my mom!

When she was admitted to the hospital the last time, none of us was surprised as she was being admitted more often but we did not think anything major of it. We thought she did not eat right or something. We found out most times she did not have food and did not want to ask anyone because of her situation with her husband. At the time of her last admittance to the hospital, her husband had a girlfriend and doing drugs again after about 4 years clean. We were all concerned for her well-being, as she was getting worse in her health. We knew the extra stress was not helping her situation either. I will never forget when my sister calls me to tell me that she called the hospital to find out my mom was in the CCU-ICU.

We had no idea what was going on, but they told us that they put her in a medical coma – they told us that she was having problems breathing on her own. We started calling family members and talking via email to get as much information as we could. She had what is called ARDS - Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. We did all kinds of research on it and found out that some people do come out of it but it is a very long process. We started getting ourselves together for that and praying and thinking positive.

We all went to visit and made sure that someone at some point was at the hospital with her, we did not want her alone long in that state. It was the hardest thing in the world to see. My mommy lying there, but I knew she could hear us, for she would respond with her heartbeat and blood pressure. There were a couple of times she was fighting the medication and trying to come out of the coma....the nurses always made us leave then. We would talk to her and tell her what was going on. We tried to be up beat for each other. I know that we all would go home and fall apart in our private homes. We lived at the hospital...mind you I have a son, my sister has three kids...we had worked out a schedule so the kids did not have to be at the hospital.

I was visiting her one day and the doctor's were talking about how bad it was getting. We were having issues with her husband acting like an idiot and that is the nicest word I can think of to express how he was acting. We had a meeting with the social worker and the doctors to go over things with them. I sat in that meeting numb...I was listening to what the doctors where saying and I could not believe it. There was so much wrong with her that I was unaware of. There was not a healthy organ in her body; the only organ that was still functioning properly was her brain. I could not believe it. My aunts, uncle, my sisters and brother were there for the meeting. I have been the "strong" one all my life, so as I sat there I could not cry...I would not allow myself to cry. I sat there and listened. Everyone wanted to go out to have breakfast. I did not want to be around anyone...I called my job and told them that I was not coming in.

I went home and still did not let it out. I started to pray and asked God to not let my mom suffer like this anymore...I said to Him that I could not just let her go, He was going to have to take her from me. I prayed that it was a peaceful ending to her life and please end her suffering. I had no idea that everyone else in my family was going through their own "letting" her go stage. The next day we received such positive news, they reduced her reliability on the oxygen, that she was breathing more on her own. We were all so positive and so happy about that news after a few weeks of negative stuff.

Well, one day later – Wednesday, November 16, my aunt had visited earlier that day, and my sister and I took a break that day for my other sister was going to go that evening. On my way home from dropping my sister off and headed home, I get a frantic phone call from my mother's husband telling me that the hospital called and said she would not make it through the night. I tried to call my sister that I just dropped off, but she did not answer her phone. I called my aunt who lives two minutes from me to let her know so that someone would get to the hospital, for I had to drive back to New Kensington to get my sister, which is 20 minutes away from me, which means I am 1 hr from getting to the hospital. I get home and start snapping orders at my son and brother about getting ready to go to the hospital, mind you, they had no idea what was going on. I was a lot like my mom that night taking charge as I am telling what is going on and saying ask no questions. My brother was kind enough to wait until we got in the van before fussing at me about how I told him...I yelled it at him. I noticed that Jonathan's dad girlfriends SUV is in front of the house but no sight of him...I tried to call him but he did not answer his cell phone. I was hurting. I wanted my husband. He came to visit Jonathan for 5 minutes and then went to the neighbor's house but because his girlfriend was with him, he did not want the neighbors to tell me that he was there.

My son, my brother and I go to get my sister and her kids. My other sister picks up my grandfather, my mother's father and off to the hospital everyone goes. When we get there – my aunt is there, she has already been informed of what is going on. Once the doctor realizes that we are all there, her children are taken into a room where they give us the news of her condition. All of her organs are shutting down, just shutting down. They proceed to tell us that there are no options; she was dying. They wanted to take her off the medication and let her leave. I asked about pain and other things. They assured us that she feels no pain at this time. As I listened to this man, I could no longer take it, I cried, I cried, and as I type this right now, I still cry. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do; I had to really let her go. I went to the room and talked to her. I went back to the waiting area. We waited on my mother's sister and brother from Ohio and for her husband to get there before we told them what we wanted done. My aunt and uncle drove from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA – which is at least one hour and 45 minutes and with the way my uncle drives it was probably more like an hour drive, they made it to the hospital before my mother's husband who lives in Pittsburgh, 20 minutes away from the hospital made it to the hospital. We were getting ready to tell the doctors what to do when her husband came strolling in there.

The doctors asked who wanted to be in the room with her...I wish I could say that I was there...I was not there, I could not be there. My sister, my mom's one sister, my mom's husband, and her brother were there with her. My other sister and I had to tell our children who where there that their Mema was no longer going to be with us. We had to explain it and then hold them as they all cried for the loss of their Mema. It was the hardest thing I had to tell my son, who was still trying to get passed the fact that his dad was no longer around. It was so hard to do. I will say that Jonathan's dad was kind enough to get Jonathan some dress shoes because Jonathan did not have any for the funeral. He did not come to the house for visitation nor did he come to the funeral. Since she was being cremated, we did visitation at my aunt's house instead of at the funeral home, and we did the memorial, as my mother wanted us to do.

She made all the arrangements prior to her death so we just had to plan the memorial. I will say that emotionally I was holding up, crying only when someone else was crying around me. I will never forget being in my aunt's bedroom on the day of the memorial folding the memorial handouts with my sisters. We started talking and crying but it was bittersweet, we were relying on each other comforting each other during our pain. It was beautiful. I had never really cared for my sister's husband prior to this as I just really did not know him even though they had been together for 6 years and married for 5 years, I was never more impressed with him and how he was with my sister. I was so pleased to see that she had the support of him while she was going through the loss of our mother.

Being the oldest sibling, I was large and in charge, but that is how my mom wanted it because she knew how I was. My aunt was right there with me every step of the way, not allowing me to do anything alone when making arrangements. My aunt is the queen of organization and she is wonderful at that during these kinds of situations. I wanted something personal for the funeral...so I read a poem I wrote about her, my aunt spoke about her, my stepsister spoke about her, and her husband spoke about her. The cards were read and the preacher preached. It was so peaceful. God is so good to us. If you are blessed with your parents, appreciate them for who they are and what they have given you regardless of the situation of the relationship for if it was not for them, you would have not been born!

Well we are now up to the month of December. This is normally a magically month for my life and me. I am the Queen of Christmas...trust me you do not experience Christmas until you are part of my Christmas celebration. The yard is like the Griswold's in the National Lampoon movies. My family teases me but they love coming to my house on Christmas Eve. Well this was the first Christmas holiday without Jonathan's dad and my mom. It was nice though, we had a nice time. It was a reflecting time for all of us but it was nice. I still had daily contact with Jonathan's dad because of my choosing, he showed up on Christmas day to see Jonathan for a whole five minutes...I am not joking...his girlfriend was in the car. He gave me a gift that I did not open...I left it on the table. Jonathan showed him everything I got him for Christmas...well what Santa got him, as we were still doing the Santa Claus thing at that time. Well he was not giving up any money except what child support gave and that was 60.00 a week, so of course he figured he paid for Christmas. Well, he leaves and then calls me the next day saying how sorry he was for not being there with us. He starts telling me that he wants to come home, that he wants to be with us. He tells me that he will be home soon; he just needs to talk to her. I believed him because at this point, I just wanted my old life back, who cared I was miserable in it. I had promised myself if he came home, I would be different. I had just lost my mother and felt as though I could not allow someone else leave me too. At this point most, if not all the contact was initiated by me and not him.

Here we go again...on December 29, 2005 – Jonathan's dad comes pass the house on his way home from work; it is about 11:00 PM because he left work early. He comes to the house because he said he wanted to talk to me. We talk until about midnight and he does all the talking which is a first...he tells me how much he loves me and how much he wants to come home. I tell him that I love him...this is the first time since he left in July. It was hard for me to admit this because at this point I am protecting my heart from him. So I admit to it. I let him kiss me and off he goes to get his stuff and come back to the house.

I lie across the bed and end up drifting off to sleep, it was between 2 AM and 2:30 AM when I wake up and realize that he is not there. I am instantly pissed off. I could not even see straight...there was a rage inside of me that was so maddening that I was so angry, I jumped up put on some clothes. I jump in my van with the baseball bat and gun in my possession. I head to her house. I walk up to the door and start banging on the door with the bat. I start screaming like a crazy person, I am screaming at him at the top of my lungs. I am just going off on him and on her, begging and tormenting them to come out. Thank God they did not...the first person out that door would have been beaten to a pulp with that bat. I went to my van to get the gun and there was a touch on my shoulder as if someone was there – GO HOME AND STOP IT. I heard this and jump. I listen and get in my van and as I am pulling off from the curb, here comes the police.

As they stop the van...for the first time...I thought about my son...sleeping at home in his bed and I am here. I started praying – God do not let them send me to jail. They did not send me; they did not find the gun but saw the bat. Because there was no damage to her property and because he was my husband the police felt sorry for me and allowed me to go home. He tried to tell me that he pleaded with the police to not take me in, but he did not know that I could hear the police on their walkie-talkies and that they were threatening to arrest him for lying to them about who I was. I found out later by a cop in the area that Jonathan dad's girlfriend was known by the area police because of issues that have arise there and police were called on occasions.

When the police allowed me to leave, I have no idea how I drove home. All the pain I had felt came flying out of me...I drove off and I know I was not driving that van that night. God was driving! I get home and check on Jonathan. I call my sister but she did not answer her phone. I call my aunt and at this point, it is about 3 AM in the morning. I call her and she could not understand a word I was saying...you know when someone is crying so hard that you cannot understand him or her and then they get to the point that all they are doing is crying and cannot speak. I had started letting it all out. I was crying, crying, crying, and crying. I could not stop crying. I could not talk...I do remember telling her that I did not want to be here anymore, I did not want to live any more. I told her about what I did and I just kept crying. I cried for ½ hour straight. You have to understand, I am not a crier. I would be the person who just deals with it and move on. I cried for ½ hour. She was giving me ½ hour to calm down before she jumped in her van to come to my house to take me to the hospital. I was off the hook. I just cried. I started to calm down and talk to her. I was starting to feel a little better and let her go as I felt bad enough to have her up that late. I lay in the bed and started praying to God about my life and where it was. I cried more that night than I have every cried before in my life. I let it all out. I felt as if someone was holding me as I cried, I cannot explain it but the more I cried the better I felt and the stronger I felt. It was the beginning of the healing. I decided that day, which was December 30 that if he was not home by December 31 at 11:59 PM – I would let go and move on. I spent New Year's Eve with my sister, her hubby, and their friends. I was the only one without someone but the group was a lot of fun. I was just feeling so laid back and so relaxed. I was not still worshiping or loving the Lord as I do now but I was beginning to heal and beginning to walk closer to Him.

So with the beginning of the New Year, came an ending of the old and in with a new beginning. The last chapter in the book explains the ending and a new beginning. The next chapter is about my mother's influence on me that has helped shape me into the woman that I am today. It is necessary to see this aspect before continuing with my story. After that chapter is the words, that God has blessed me to write in different phrases of my growth in Him.

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