2015 has gone and we still keep on going..

I have been meaning to write this for awhile now. The words have been dancing around in my head. 2015 had been a whirl wind of adventure. We got to do some traveling. We visited my sister and her kids. We also saw my parents and grandparents. They all live near each other. We saw the grand canyon. Last fall we got to go to Disneyland for Epilepsy awareness day thanks to the help of a great charity for epilepsy. We got Seaworld passes from a friend for Christmas. It has been really amazing! We had been really be trying to make the most of life as we are we are financially able. I have learned that life is unpredictable. So I make the most of our memories Since finding out my 6 year old had epilepsy as well as sensitivity issues our life has changed but it hasn’t held us back.

We are going on our second semester of home schooling. As I mentioned before public school wasn’t working for him. He was miserable.  School felt like a prison for him. When we started home schooling I was really expecting it to be a total nightmare. I had no faith in myself as a teacher. The home school online program we were using was confusing and overwhelming. I soon realized this is a LOT of work that I really didn’t want to do. As a mother you often find yourself doing things you don’t really want to do. I have to say 1 semester down and it has really been worth it. We have had our ups and downs-really more ups than down. It helps that he is a very intelligent child. He is doing a lot of his work independently. With my him ( my oldest child) I have learned breaks are essential. He works better the more breaks he gets. When he starts to have focus issues or becomes restless, a moment or two to stretch is really successful way to help get him back on track. He also gets breaks between each class. It makes a huge difference. He is doing so well. He is getting very high grades and tested above grade level is many subjects on his own merit. I am not pushing him to be a super genius. He just really enjoys science, history, and reading.

The interesting thing about home school verses regular public school is that you can accomplish in half a day what takes all day for them.  And you get more breaks in home school.

My youngest son just turned 5. I have been doing preschool at home. I get him involved in all the science experiments and art project my oldest is doing. We have also been playing letter games and we have been playing with number and shapes.  He is picking up things very well. He can already read basic words. I am very proud of him as well. My husband and I have been looking at kindergartens for him to attend. I wasn’t at all happy with the care the kids got at our local public school. My youngest is pretty well adjusted and enjoys building and creating – particularly contraption that do things and booby traps. I rather him go to a school that can support his interest. Next week he has an appt with a speech therapist. He is a really hard time saying certain sounds. So we will see how that goes.

So whats new with me? I am learning to drive. I know its really weird that I am 28 years old and I have never had a drivers license. I never had a need to drive. I never went anywhere as a teenager without my sister. I had only friend at church. I didn’t party or go on dates. Ive been married 8 years now so I figured now was a good time.

I am hoping to have my license by July. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Sage

 

 

Abuse at home

My husband and I have been talking a lotabout our past since we started this blog and he asked me why I didn’t talk more about the bad choices my parents made and he also asked me why I left out certain details in my life? Partly, it was because I do still love my family and I don’t want to hurt them mainly my sister Olivia and partly because part it I felt like wasn’t my story to tell. But Jack is right. If I am going to talk about this stuff I need to talk about it ALL. So I am going back once again to when we started going to the cult church.
I have to admit I feel sick to my stomach right now thinking about it. I don’t think abuse should ever be covered up and brushed over. So ok I’m going to say it. The man I talked about in my post (click here to read post) He was actually related to us and lived with us were we lived for a very long time. No, It wasn’t my dad. One of my sisters was one of his victims. I knew he was a pervert but I was a child. I didn’t know what to do about it. My parents suspected he was into children too by the way he acted. But they didn’t know how bad it was until many years later. My sister stayed away from him as much as she could to avoid his encounters and he backed off eventually but tried to make her feel guilty about “not being fun anymore”. Taunted her. After my parents found out my sister moved out. My parents didn’t do anything about it. They thought because it had been awhile we’d just keep it quiet and pretend it didn’t happen. They also seemed upset with my sister for not wanting to live in the same house as him anymore. I once heard my mom say, ” You lived with him this long I don’t see why its a problem since he hasn’t done anything in a long time.” I think what hurts the most about it is that my dad is still there for him. When he says anything to my dad, my dad drops everything to go help him. He feels sorry for him because he has no one. Whose fault is that? He treats my dad horrible. Like my dad owes him something just because they are related. My aunt is not a christian but is living in complete denial. She thinks it was a one time thing. She defends him. But it he has so many victims and doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong.Why do people want to protect such evil monsters?
When I was young I had a lot of health problems. To be honest I still do. Mostly lung related. Before everything came out about this man, Charles, my parents would leave me home with him while I was sick. For people in our religion, the church always came first. You didn’t miss it for anything. You didn’t call in you crawled in. Though my mom and dad did take me to the dr and I do feel like my mom and dad did love me I often felt like church came first. One time particularly I almost died for an asthma/lung infection, when I came home, my parents left me in Charles care. Of course they didn’t know the how evil of a man he was but I also think they didn’t want to know. We were a good christian home. This would bring shame upon our name. As I told you before Charles asked if he could touch me but I said no. But I am sickened to think what he could have done to me while I slept and we were alone. I was on some pretty strong medication and I slept the whole time I was in his care. I want to vomit just thinking about it. He is now a registered sex offender for later offenses because of statutes of limitation were up by the time he got caught. One of my biggest regrets was not saying anything to police after I found out but I was a child. My whole world was “church” and school (they were the same thing). I should also add in a small defense of my parents, they did ask my sister what she wanted done. If she wanted him reported. But she was afraid and wanted it to be over with so she said, “nothing” but again she was a child.
I can’t express enough GROWN UPS, PLEASE, I beg you. Handle this stuff. If your children/ child or someone you know is being sexually assaulted call the police. Child predators don’t just have one victim and they don’t just stop. They may move on but they don’t stop.
Like I said before our whole lives were the ‘church.” I spend more time at church then I did my own house. I resented it. I was bored and tired. We often missed meals because we were at church. I once was fed a jumbo bag of m &ms for dinner because my mom was busy redecorating the church until late. I was hungry and my stomach ached. I complained about it and my mom was so embarrassed by it because the “leader” was there. I got an ear full the whole drive home about God’s service and not complaining. She did get me a burger on the way home which I ended up throwing up because I ate too fast, That on top of the m & ms, it just made me sick. It was dark by the time I got to eat real food and I didn’t have much lunch that day. Candy seems like a dream dinner for most kids but I didn’t have a huge sweet tooth. The rest of the week several adults in the “church” took their turns in lecturing me for complaining and not always putting God first. I even got a Sunday school lesson. I was so ashamed of myself. But the thing is I was a preteen. I was a growing kid. We never had dinner on Sundays. My mom had a lot on her plate. I understand that. But I wish my parents cared more about our family then others. She wanted to feel appreciated. The church praised her when she dropped everything for it.
If I had it and the pastor’s daughter wanted it, I had to give it up, joyfully. Needless to say we did not get along. I hated it. She never asked me for anything. She went straight to my mom because my mom would give it to her. We were poor. We didn’t have much. I hated it.
My parents often preferred to sacrifice for the church and pretend uncomfortable things went away. I love them dearly. Mom did often go to bat for me against the leader. But she was bad handling serious things until there was a gaping wound.
I remember when I was young she was so happy and awesome. I often wonder if she didn’t get postpartum depression after having my youngest sibling. That was right around the time we started going to the “church” and she really changed then. She was taking care of our house and Charles and home schooling me and my sisters while caring for a new baby. We all ended up moving into the same house. That is also when we stopped home school. My mother just had too much to juggle. Depression isn’t something Christians are supposed to have. I wonder what would have happened if that was acceptable?

My mom has expressed a lot of regret about how she handle a lot of things and I do forgive her. It’s too late to change anything but I did learn somethings. I will always put my families needs first. I know God is supposed to be first in one’s life but isn’t your family supposed to be your first ministry? Don’t their needs come first? Something to think about

Until next time, Sage

Forgiveness

My husband and I were discussing my blog yesterday. (He read it through for the first time recently). He has been very supportive of my writing. One of the things we discussed was forgiveness.

My husband said that one thing he appreciates most about our freedom was that he can properly deal with his issues. We were taught to forgive everything right away and move on. Bury it deep and pretend like everything is ok. The bad thing about that is that holding things in isn’t healthy. To properly forgive one must work through it. Other wise it can have unhealthy side effects. My husband suffered from depression for many years before we married. He even had a spout of depression after we had our first son. He was afraid of our son having to live a life the way we did. It was sobering. Obviously, we have chosen a different path. It was something he really needed to work through. While our lives are not perfect now we have a lot more happiness. We are able to enjoy life now. I can honestly say depression doesn’t plaque my husband like it did before. It is a process.

I feel like distance and time really helped me. I used to not be able to say the “leader” of our old cults name without feeling sick to my core. I saw the same name written on a business card awhile back and for the first time I laughed about it. I took it as God saying “be free little bird”. A reminder she has no hold over me.

How do you forgive some one who keep pulling you down? This is a tricky one. My mom seems to have come to terms with my new life. So while she doesn’t agree with it and I get a lot of comments here and there, we are able to interact. However my husband mom, Tina has a much harder time letting go.

Tina, had cut herself off from every family member she had except for my husband, Jack. She did this when jack was a boy. Starting this his father which is a whole big sad story on its own.  She once told my mom she was going to live with Jack forever and have a room in his house when he gets married. She shot herself in the foot so to speak, when she wouldn’t help him when he needed her after he lost his job. That was before we were married. He had taken on all her debt and had to file for bankruptcy. That is how he ended up on his own. He spent his whole life taking care of her. He supported her as soon as he could work. He also did all the house hold chores. When he bought his first car she took it and he took the bus to work. He was pretty much her slave. I saw this first hand when they lived in our guest house/hostel. (I feel the need to clarify. Our houses didn’t really belong to us. All that belonged to another family member. We just lived there and kept it up.)

Here we are almost 8 years later from when Jack and I got married, Tina hasn’t kept a job longer then 2 or MAYBE 3 years. She has moved more time them I can count. The last time I counted she was at 13 places. And she now currently out of work and on the verge of being homeless.  She wants to stay with us. She has been laying the guilt trips down thick on poor Jack. I feel bad for her. I pity her even some. She used people her whole life like a black hole and never learned to take care of herself. But we can’t go back to taking care of her. It’s not fair to Jack. She took away his childhood and part of his adulhood. She drug him down for her own selfish gain. So we aren’t sure what to do or how to cope with this. Is a few short months she is moving here and planning on staying in her car or so she says.

Supportive manipulation is that a thing? I think so. Jack joined a support group online. It wasn’t long before Tina found it.

Word of advice before I continue: When joining an internet forum that you are writing personal stuff you don’t want you nosey mother reading don’t use your real email address. Chances are she goggles your email address regularly.

He wrote some personal things in there about his search to find God.  He talked about mixed feeling and struggles with being a christian or not. Tina called him after reading this to express her “support”. She told him that when she was young she went through this too and she would help him find his way back. This was upsetting for many reasons. 1. She was googling his name and email address to snoop on him. Or at least that is what we think. The internet is a huge place. Why else would she be snooping in a ex-religious support group when she is still very religious? 2. He didn’t ask for her help. Pray for him but don’t push him. 3. It’s not really support if your just trying to “support” him so you can get him back to doing/ feeling the way you want him to feel.

So started her campaign to being him back to God. She sent movies “God is not dead”, she sent music  christian music CDs, and there wanted to have long discussions on the subject. I always reminded him he will find his way back.  The funny thing is Jack isn’t anti God. We go to church. we are finding our path. We just need to find it without the pressures. It’s hard to believe her anyways. She used religion to control him and manipulate him. It’s a miracle he has any faith at all.

I guess I said all that to get to this. forgiveness is a process. You can take life in many ways. You can let it make you hard and angry or you can roll with the punches and work through it. Taking it one step at a time really helps.  There is no shame in getting help from the proper people. Find a way that helps to face and deal with your issues such as writing, or talking to someone. Face your feelings. That one was a hard one me. Ok this post is longer then I intended so I’ll leave you here.

Until next time, Sage

New experiences

After my new-found liberation trying new things was both exciting and scary. Have you ever seen the Disney animated movie Rapunzel? I often made decisions like she did when she left mother Gothel. I had already decided to wear pants and go to the movies. The next big thing was to get my ears pierce.

Ear rings were permitted by the churches we had attended as long as it was on a female. They could be no more than 1 ear-ring on each ear and nowhere else on the body. But in our home it was not permitted ever. I must have changed my mind a million times before I got them done. I kept hearing my dad’s voice in my head saying that he was going to rip them out of my ears if he saw me with them. I finally got brave enough and did it. I loved them! Picking out ear rings was so fun.

Another “Wild” choice I made was to change my hair. About a year into our marriage I decided  I wanted to do something crazy. My hair went down a little further then the middle of my back. I cut it right above my shoulders. Then I colored it kinda  brownish burgundy.  Length wasn’t an issues for my parents as long as it was not shorter than my shoulders but coloring was. Both had been issues at the “church”. We had to have long hair and it had to be pulled back away from the face in an approve manner. There were some way that were unacceptable because they were too popular and therefore of the world. My hair often was a source of trouble for me there.

One Sunday morning when I was a teenager the “Leader” grabbed a handful of my hair which I hadn’t pulled back that day like I was supposed too. She demanded to know what was in my hair. I was confused. She pointed out blonde streaks in my otherwise dark brown hair. I hadn’t colored my hair. I had what hair stylist call “virgin hair”. No color, no dye, no perms, and no treatments or products like that. My hair  naturally was high-lighted after spending long hours out in the sun. She finally let go of me and we moved on. I found it pretty ironic that years later her teenage daughter started going gray early and ended up dying her hair. Maybe its Karma?!? I only colored my hair once just for the experience of doing it.

Wearing a swim suit to the beach was another new experience for me. Girls never swam with anything other than girls. Swim suits were never allowed.Girls wore pleated full culottes. They were only allowed if they looked like a skirt. We also had to wear a t-shirt. This really covered nothing while in the water but it was all we were allowed. I got my first swim suit not long after were married and I wore it to the beach. I felt naked and weird. After that I always wore shorts with it.

Church was probably the biggest confusing experience for me. Coming from a very strict extremely hard-core church background I was ready to make changes but afraid of angering God. I always had this picture of God sitting up in the clouds waiting for me to make a mistake so that he could strike me down. I was afraid to miss church even 1 day because it was a the first step to drugs and my impending doom. I was also afraid my parents would think I ran off to another state to live like the devil and not because I was in love and wanted to make a life for myself.

We found a pretty conservative church but not as conservative as I had gone to before I was really afraid to tell my parents the name of the church in case the googled it. Though in appearance the church was very down the line but some of the woman wore *gasp* pants. Another big issues was that even though the pastor taught from the king James version of the Bible the accepted the NIV. Some of the teachers taught from it. I had always been taught the NIV was straight from hell itself.

My mom later visited after my first child was born. We brought her to church with us a couple of times. I prayed she wouldn’t see anything objectionable but she found more wrong with it than I even thought she would. My mom decided not to go back to church with us again.

We ended up venturing out into the pool of churches in the area. We were finding that most of the churches in our area that were conservative all had ties with the Pearls philosophy of breaking a child. Many were also aligned with the Gothard’s ministry.  If you don’t know who they are do some reasearch. They have a pretty extreme way of doing things in a religious matter. Neither of these were groups we wanted to raise our own children in. While we wanted our children to be good member of society, we didn’t want to break them to get them there. It wasnt right for us.

So we left and went on a year-long mission of finding what was.  I had no idea there were so many different kinds of churches.  I saw new things like speaking in tongues, worship bands, people putting their hands out in the air, and dancing in church, and other varying things.  I have to admit I was a little freaked out and overwhelmed. I was used to a very stiff style of worship.

We did finally settled on a church for the time being. We have been attending there for the past year. I have had a very hard time trusting people especially people in authority of the church. So we’ve kinda tried to be in the back ground for now. I feel like I’m just an observer and I’m happy there for now.

Until next time, Sage

Copyright Sage © 2015  Starting over and Breaking Free. Do not use without my permission.

Part 9: One last leap to freedom

A few days ago I let my husband in on my blogging secret. Even though I am doing this anonymously, this is his life too. I am sharing our lives with the whole world. So I told him about it. He was awesome and so supportive. Even went so far to say he was glad I had an outlet to work through things.

I have a few readers now or at least views. It feels very weird sharing personal detail of my life that I never told anyone else aside from my husband. I second guessed myself a million times about writing things because of judgement. But this is my story and even the things less than ideal are a part of it so I will continue.

A month pasted since Jack and I had our rendezvous. Jack and I were living in different states. We talked on the phone every single day. . I had only months left in school. He was doing much better.We were talking about marriage but no plans were set just yet.We were happy together.

I woke up one morning feeling horribly sick. I though it might have been a bug or something but after several days it didn’t pass. The smell of things made me sick to my stomach. I was exhausted.Yes, I’m sure you see where is going. I was late… I had never been late before.  While Jack and I knew about the basics of birth control from various pop culture, I was not on birth control. My parents would NEVER let me use it even if it was medical reasons. I closes thing I had to “the talk” was when the “Leader” from our former church had told only dirty girls have sex before marriage. They also get STDs. I had never seen a condom in real life nor did I really know how to use one. I was too was afraid that if we bought contraception, we would get caught.Plus, our night together waaasnt really planned. So we tried to just well… without going into the gritty details “be careful” naturally. This was not such a good idea. While I don’t really regret being with Jack, I did wish it were under better circumstances. Or that we had been better prepared. Meeting at night wasn’t the best idea. The temptation to indulge was strong. But meeting during the day was not an option. My parents would never approve. How silly is it that two adults needed their parents approval?

Jack wanted to come and get me as soon as I told him. I hadn’t even taken a pregnancy test yet. I told him to wait until I was sure. I wasn’t allowed to go to the store alone so I had no idea how I was even going to get a test without getting in trouble. I tried to pretend this wasn’t happening but my nausea wasn’t helping any.

One morning a few weeks later I woke up feeling weak and achy. I went on like usual. I had a really hard time focusing in class. I went back to my dorm room at lunch time to rest before I had to go to work. I was in horrible pain now.  Pain like I hadn’t felt before. If I had been pregnant I wasn’t anymore. I felt sad and scared. I didn’t know for sure what was happening. But I won’t lie I wonder if it wasn’t God’s judgement on me.  Miscarriages ran in my family. My mom and my sister, Olivia both had lost their first babies. Olivia also lost her second at 6 weeks along. I tried to shake the thoughts out of my head. I popped a few Advil and suffered through it. That time was a blur. I am pretty sure I took some sick days but I can’t remember how many or how long. When I did go back to work I remember trying to pretend I was alright. I ended up with dish duty at the restaurant where I was working. It made it easier because I was alone and I didn’t have to force myself to hide the pain I was in.  It lasted for nearly 2 weeks. I did my best to pretend I was ok but I wasn’t. Jack tried his best to be there for me from a far but there wasn’t much he could do. My parents told the college to look at for him so we couldn’t see each other. I went through it alone and silently. I told no one at the college about it. If anyone asked if I was ok I blamed it on the flu. Soon I recovered and pushed my thoughts and emotions deep down and moved on.

By the time I finished my year of college, Jack had already moved away to another state. I transferred my job back to the area where my family lived. Jack was doing well. He continued to rent from his friend and we decided he would continue until after I joined him so we could find an apartment together. The summer passed and Jack was more than ready to marry me but I wasnt quite ready yet. He was the amazingly patient with me. I wanted be 100% this was right. His mother had called me and fed me lies about how he was going to beat me after we were married because he was abusive to her. While I didn’t believe her since she was a known liar, I was afraid. If it didn’t work out I’d have to come home with my tail between my legs.

Nearly 2 years after Jack walked through my door I finally told him I was ready. He got a plane ticket because I didn’t want to make the trip to an unknow place by myself.  I gave my 2 weeks notice at work. I didn’t want to ruin the last few months with my family so I didn’t tell anyone except for Olivia and another close friend.  I gave them one last holiday-Thanksgiving. A couple of days before I left I told my mom I was going. She didn’t take it well. She called the pastor of our church but he told her to let me go. I was 20 years old. I had to make my own choice. I was very surprised. (Shout out to Pastor P. for granted me my freedom). The “church” we used to go to probably would have told them to lock me in the basement.

My mom didn’t let go without a fight. There were tears and “fasting”( Going with out food in hopes that God will grant your prayers), loud praying and guilt trips poured down on me. Of course yelling and warnings too.

The night before Jack arrived I got cold feet. I felt like I had betrayed my family.  Even my sister Kolbie was crying. I called Jack and told him how I felt. He said I’m coming anyways either way but not to worry. I dont think I slept at all.

That morning I packed what I could fit in suit case and a pillow case which wasn’t much. I left my bags at home and for the first time I met Jack down the street in day light. I was shaking and full of  uncertainty. I wanted him so bad but could I leave everything I’ve known?

Jack hugged me tightly. I hugged him back and took in his smell. He was warm and familiar. We sat together. He told me he loved me and wanted me to come with him but he would understand if I didn’t. I appreciated so much how he treated me like a person. He was the first person who let me decide my fate instead of telling m what to think or do. It was my choice to make and he never pressured me or amde me feel guilty for getting cold feet or feeling uncertain.

I called Rob, my friend, who had played a mediator between my parents, Jack and I before. I needed some outside advice. He said something that put everything in perspective. He said, “Do you love him?” I replied that I did. ” He said ” Sage, the only one stopping you is you now.”  He was right! I let the guilt and fear hold me down.  I needed to simply walk away. I kissed jack and went back and got my stuff that I packed and left the rest behind. I told my mom I loved her, dad, and Kolbie. Then I left with Jack.

That was the day I truly found freedom.  That was the day my new life started

Until next time, Sage

Copyright Sage © 2015  Starting over and Breaking Free. Do not use without my permission.

Part 8: A little light in a dark place

Jack and I kept in contact secretly. We met when we could. It wasnt easy because our parents kept close taps on us. A week before I was supposed to go away to Christian college, Jack asked to meet me. He hinted that he had something for me. We often talked about a future together. He asked me if I saw him in my future. I did.  He boldly asked if I would accept if he asked me to marry him. I knew would and I told him so. Though I was in no hurry to marry just yet. I knew one day I could see us together and happy.  So an engagment now would be ok. Asking my parents permission was not on the table anymore. We both knew this was so. We were on the same page. Our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. We planned a meeting down the street as we usually did.  I slipped out the back door. No matter how many times I did it, walking down the street frightened me. This time as different from the others. This time we got in his car and we drove to a near by empty parking lot. I knew he was going to propose. His not-so-subtle questions implied it clearly. But it still left me feeling surprised for some reason. It felt like a dream. He pulled out a small ring-sized box. To be honest I have no idea what he said to me. His words floated in the air but never reached my ears. I was beaming. The next thing I knew he had stopped talking. I sat there smiling like a Cheshire cat. “Well, are you going to answer me?” I finally heard him. I nodded “yes” like a mute idiot. He whispered, “can I hear you say it?” I had lost all words. My mind was screaming “yes” but I was unable to get the words off my lips. So instead I kissed him deeply. When I pulled back he asked if he could take that as a yes? I finally blurted the words out. “YES! YES!” Looking back I am surprised I left that night with my virginity in tacked.I was completely his mentally and he was mine. I obviously had to hide my little engagement trinket. That didn’t stop me from showing if off to my sister, Olivia. My one trusted confident. She was happy for me and I took joy in this. She was now married herself and she knew what a battled I had ahead of me. Going off to college put Jack and I in different states. Long distances are usually quite difficult for normal people. For us it allowed us to freely talk with out worry of repercussions. It also spared my of my mother’s constant jabs or complaints about my love for Jack. I never talked about him in front of her but that didn’t stop her from taking digs at me. School did have many disadvantages. The rules were much like that of my former “church” we had left just a year or so before. Some of the rules were worse. Every moment of my time was accounted for by the school. We had to get permission for everything we did, who we were with and where we went. It was like being in jail. We had to wear our Sunday morning best pretty much all the time. Everything had to be covered up for the girls from our necks down below the knees aside from our hands. Short sleeves were allowed as long as the complete shoulders were covered. Not even the tiniest slit in our skirts were permitted. Yes, this meant if our skirt buttoned up it had to be sewed or pinned shut under the last butten all the way to the end of the skirt. Otherwise it was considered immodest. No matter how long the skirt or “slit”. Pantyhose were a a huge deal. If we were caught without them and we were in big trouble! I often wore long skirts and boots to get around having to wear them. We also had a bedtime. Lights had to be out before 11.There was no internet access for students and men and woman were NOT allowed at the public library at the same time. Doing research papers with not an easy task.  I hated it but I was relieved to be away from home so I got through it. I focused on work, school and the highlight of my day-my phone calls with Jack. During the time I was a school Jack and I got to know each other more and more. We spend hours on the phone and texting during the week.  We knew each other’s schedules by heart. My co-workers hung on to our story like it was the “it” soap opera. Soon we had known each other for about a year. Jack and I had a rare opportunity to see each other. I had a particular rough week. I had just lost someone close to me and was feeling a lot of grief.  We meet in the cover of night as we used to do. I climbed into his car and we went and parked in an old empty parking lot. I fought back tears. I had missed him. I was overwhelmed with sadness. He told me it was ok to cry. I was too embarrassed to let go. I also afraid if I cried I wouldn’t be able to stop. He held me in his arms comforting me. He gently kissed my fore head. He sang to me my favorite Elvis song I couldn’t control myself any more. He ran his fingers through my hair. After some time I regained my composure. We talked and he comforted me. I told him I was ready to be his completely. At this point all bets were off. We had tried so hard to be good. We tried to follow the rules and things weren’t getting any better. I hadn’t planned it. It was just what I wanted. We were married in our hearts. He said no at first because I was in a vulnerable state and he didn’t to take advantage of me. I asked again and he he agreed. It was a first for both of us. We had many first together but this was the biggest. I expected to feel guilt, regret, and maybe even dirty after I lost my virginity. I had been taught my whole life sex before married made you dirty. Like an old rag God didn’t want anymore. But to be honest it was somewhat freeing. We were married in our hearts. Just waiting for the best opportunity to make it so on paper. We both had to be freed. He needed freedom from his mother and I needed freedom from my promise of 1 year of college. SO I could at least say I tried.  I went to bed that night feeling good. Neither of us had ever had the “sex ” talk with our parents or anyone for that matter. We never even got the” period” talk. Most of what we knew about sex had been secretly read from library books. It was awkward for sure but it was beautiful. It was us. It was real. Jack got laid off from his job and he had to go off his antidepressants because he now had no job or insurance to cover them. Tina, his mother decided that he wasn’t working hard enough to get another job. She refused to pay any of the bills to help him until he got a new job. He couldn’t go on like this. Soon they would lose their place of residence. Jack had to file for bankruptcy. He had a lot of debt from Tina that he had taken on in the past and was still paying off on top of  bills and other living expenses. It was crushing him. This was terribly hard for Jack. He was very responsible guy by nature. He was used to taking care of himself and his mom from an early age and this put him in a tight spot. He decided to start applying for job in other states. He got a job interview a place across the country with the first application. The first thing he did was call me. He asked my opinion on it. He didn’t want to move anywhere that I wasn’t willing to go with go him. After much thought and discussion, we decided it was the best thing. It could be best for both of us to get away. College was coming to an end for me we were getting close now. Tina, however took it personally. She felt like Jack was just trying to get away from her. He wasn’t really do it for that reason but it was an excellent chance to make a clean break with out leaving her high and dry since he did have an income. Giving his current situation he had no choice but to take the chance regardless. So he went. This state was a place he had lived before with his mom. He called ahead to church that he attended and found old class mate from his christian school, who agreed let him rent a room for a while. This is one of the best things to happen for him. There was no room for his mom. The old class mate was part of the Mackenzie family. They were brothers who lived together and they had one room available. They knew Jack and his mother in the past. They agreed that he could stay as long as he liked but Tina couldn’t live there too. Tina, of course, followed Jack as soon as she could get a job transfer. But had to find somewhere else to stay. She rented from a room from another church member.( It didn’t last long though over the next 3 years she moved a totally of 13). This was really the clean break he needed. This was his first step to freedom. So here I leave you again.

Until next time, Sage

Copyright Sage © 2015  Starting over and Breaking Free. Do not use without my permission.

Part 7: Where do we go from here?

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This little cartoon applies to the way I feel writing about this stuff.

Over the next few days… weeks even, I felt numb. I was dead inside. I had no idea how to process my pain and worry about Jack. I had no way of knowing if he was ok or not. When him was admitted to the hospita,l they took his cell phone and he now had no internet access. He had reached the point of clinical depression. He was in a regular hospital not a mental hospital like my mom had said. I wanted to visit him but I had no way of getting there. I was stuck.

What drove him to this? Jack felt trapped and hopeless. His mom had a job but he was still supporting her financially. She only paid her car payments. Aside from his work, she went everywhere with him. If he wanted to go anywhere alone, she would start a fight about how she was his mother and god-giving authority. If that didn’t work she would cried about how he didn’t want to be around her. Eventually, he gave in. She was telling my mother that he was turning away from God. She used his enjoyment of “wicked” rock music and mine as well as mine as proof of his corruption of me. Nevermind the fact that I enjoyed it before he came along. Tina, also told my mom he was abusive toward her.  My mom bought it all. He was a very kind man. He put up with a lot of crap. Now there was no hope of  my parent’s approval.

His mom controlled everything he did. She even controlled the way he dressed. He wasn’t allow to wear casual clothes. Only collared shirts and khaki pants. She picked his hair cut. She even controlled where he went to college after graduating high school. Of Course it was nearby so he wouldn’t be able to leave her. After a year she decided that God no longer wanted him there because she wanted to move to another state and she wouldn’t allow him to go back. Of course he had never been allowed to go to any school that would allow for him to have a proper career.

Our lack of communication added to the pile. He wanted to be free. He wanted to have a family with me. He had heard I moved on. He lost all hope. He slashed his wrist. Thankfully, his attempt failed.

After he had healed and was giving antidepressants.  He was sent home. He started attending another church with Tina. It was too far too painful to face people after what he had done. We were able to sneak a few phone calls while I was at work. We worked it out between us. We were both still willing to give it a shot even though both our parents were both actively trying to pull us apart. I was hurt and angry about what he did. But at the same time I have harbored thoughts of killing myself in my past so I sympathized. We talked about it and I said they only way I would still fight for him is if he never tried that again. He promised. We both agreed not to listen to the things our parents said in attempt to break us up. It was mostly lies anyways. We were ready to move on. Our parents were not.

One day Tina called my mom. I answered the phone first but didn’t hang up when my mom answered. (We had two phones. One each in different sides of the house)She told my mom that she was checking the phone bill and that we were still in communication. After that Jack bought me a cell phone. Now he had to get it too me.

We arranged to meet down the street after everyone had gone to sleep. It had been a good month or so I think since we saw each other. I missed him so much. I creeped out the back door as quietly as I could.. It was dark. The only light around was a street light at the end of the driveway. I tried to avoid it so no one would see me. I walked rapidly down the street My hard pounded. What if someone saw me? What if there were drunks or kidnappers out there? I saw a shadow and jumped. Was that Jack? I whispered his name. I heard his voice responded. I’m not sure what he said but it was him! I could hardly make out his face but that didn’t stop me from jumping into his arms. I somehow managed to pull it off with out too much trouble. We hugged and emotions flooded around us. He led me back to his car so we could have some light. He gave me a cell phone and we cuddled and talked. I promised me one again to never try to end his life and apologies for his selfishness. I felt at home in his arms. I will admit it,we kissed..a lot…a whole lot. I kissed him first. He asked me if I was sure I was ok with kissing. He wanted to make sure I didn’t feel like I was being taken advantage of by him. and that I still loved him.  I never did. He was also very careful to be respectful even when I was the one pursuing him.  This was the first time I felt happiness since he moved out of our little hostel.

We still had a long way to go.  I loved him dearly but I wasn’t sure how we were going to make this work. I was nearly 19 and I had only a short time before I would go off to Christian college. I wasn’t just yet ready to marry a man. Let alone one I had only met 7 or 8 months ago. But I certainly wasn’t letting go! We needed each other. I walked home slowly. I had no idea what to feel. I wanted to feel happy but was that possible? Was I meant to ever be happy?

I suppose this is enough for now. Writing the last two posts affecting me more than I expected. It is often hard to reflect on difficult parts of our past but it makes us stronger when we learn from our mistakes or grow from our experiences.

Until next time, Sage