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Friday, March 18, 2011
The Emergence of Frank: Three Times A Rescuer
The Other Girl had often been taken by impulse. Never one to think things through, on any level, her impulses had always created excitement in her life; it had also created great trials and tribulation.
One day, shortly before she moved to a new State, she woke up to go into the kitchen, only to nearly slip on the ice thinly covering the floor; she had had enough. Following that, in a fit of anger over her job, The Other Girl walked out on lunch break from her Factory Job, and never went back. Needing to escape the life she was stuck in, in a geographical location with poor job prospects; and living in a house, in the dead of winter that had no heat, she felt the urge of change and followed her impulse.
She had started seeing a widower with three children, who she had met on a vacation in New Mexico over The Holidays. He had moved to the Northwest of the United States shortly after they met and after The Other Girl had went home. She thought that Northwest sounded interesting. In less than a week She and her roommate, Ducky, packed it all up and moved.
So, with her two cats, her dog, and her friend, they embarked on an adventure to The Northwest to begin the rest of their life. Not surprisingly, the relationship with The Widower ended shortly upon her arrival; she was just happy to get the hell out of where she had been. She was 18 and this was her first big move from the Midwest.
The Other Girl had met a man online, a couple months after moving to the new State. She really enjoyed him, they had a lot of fun, he was her first love. But, being The Other Girl, she played with fire, and she got scorched. She ruined this relationship by finding another, and getting taken in by his charm. We really don’t know what the charm was.
While working at a .com as a security guard, somehow she became interested in a man much her senior. So much her senior, in fact, that he was a year older that both of her parents. For whatever she saw in him, to this day, we don’t know; The Other Girl was never able to explain it to us in the aftermath that was their relationship, once we had all got together again. He was a despicable human being.
The Other Girl began smoking, having quit for a brief period, so she could take breaks with him, and talk to him. He was a very smart man. With a genius IQ, who spoke often of Einstein, a man he admired. He poured over books, and while he was very intelligent, his skills at actually being a decent human stopped short of having a brain. Before she knew what happened she was living with him.
Having been persuaded to quit her job very early on, and move in with him, she became a full time housewife; which at her young age of 20, was all she had ever wanted. The Other Girl found herself living with a man who was an alcoholic, a workaholic, a drug addict; though at this point in his life it was only marijuana of which he partook. He was also a pedophile of sorts - no matter what anyone tells us, young Traci Lords videos (she was 15), his inability to destroy them, and his seething anger at his partners destruction of them, means he had a problem.
After a couple of months of living with him she found paperwork regarding abuse charges involving his last two wives; yes he had been married twice before meeting The Other Girl. She also found out that he had been lying about his age by 6 years.
We never quite understood why she stayed with him. We know it had something to do with “daddy issues”. It was also the comfort of having a partner who was well off financially, and while it was not a lot of money, it was more than her life had ever known or seen. The Other Girl married for the hope of love and the desire of financial comfort; and in our opinion there is never enough money to validate such an action – it’s akin to selling your soul.
It didn’t take long for The Other Girl to begin drinking at home after having lost the friendship she had had with her roommate, and being forced into isolation by a controlling partner who wanted to know of her whereabouts at all times, and was suspicious of her every action. She spent much of her day drinking, napping, and occasionally talking on the phone with Bananarama, a friend back in the Midwest, while they watched Golden Girls together, thousands of miles apart.
When it had been months since he had touched her and after being woken up several, uncountable nights, to find him masturbating to pornography in the living room, and sometimes in the office, while she slept; she expressed her concern over the fact that he had not made love to her in months. His response to this was to buy her a vibrator, instead of physically loving her in a way that a husband is supposed to love his wife. It took years, and years, before The Other Girl could even consider enjoying porn again. The damage had been done to her.
Every time The Other Girl left the house she became convinced that her partner was having her followed, she became paranoid and “depressed” – she began smoking pot all day to mask the pain, the negative thoughts; eventually she began sleeping all day, because she was paranoid of his porn use while she slept. She would go weeks without showering with no notice from her partner, who was more interested in making sure she picked him up from work on time, and had dinner prepared, so he could sit at the table and drink, and smoke pot, and watch the History channel.
One day, while at home alone, as she usually was, she tried to overdose with pills and a bottle of Vodka. Ultimately it was a failure, but it landed her in an adult day program at a psych ward; because god forbid she not be home at night to make him dinner.
It was at this point in her life that The Other Girl got diagnosed with Manic Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder, and general depression. Her psychiatrist used her as a guinea pig, changing up medications frequently over a short period of time. They pumped her full of an assortment of drugs – Lithium, Celexa, Zyrexa, Lexapro, Serequel, Paxil, Sezone, Wellbutrin and when she couldn’t sleep anymore, they gave her Ambien. Some of the medication made The Other Girls hair fall out, some made her feel worse than she had before. When she as on Lithium The Other Girl was required to take blood and urine tests to monitor liver and kidney function. She saw psychiatrist, and therapists, and doctors; all the while unbeknownst to The Family. The Mother was aware, we think. The Other Girl never mentioned it. Too sedated to know or remember.
She had low self esteem to begin with; and now faced with a life of mental illness she couldn’t resist the promise of a future as a wife, and the possibility of being a mother – something she had always wanted.
He started saying things like, "When we get married" and "When you are my wife"; he never really proposed. After nine short months of dating, she stood at the altar in front of strangers, The Ex Husbands employees; and with no friends and no family as witness, she said “I do”. She cried when the words came out of her mouth, not because of happiness, but because she knew she was making a mistake.
The fact that he had been two hours late for their own wedding rippled through her mind and tore at her heart, which had already been riddled with doubt. She remembered sitting, waiting, and contemplating running. In the end what made her stay was entrapment. You see, if her desire to be loved, she left behind her roommate, the only friend she had locally; she had no job, no money, had a drinking problem, had tried to commit suicide, was on expensive medications, and was smoking lots of pot to escape the reality that was the already terrible situation.
The Other Girl thought if he married her, that meant he loved her – despite the glaring contradictory examples of her own parents marriage; and the glaring examples laid out before her in the actuality of this relationship – but she thought: at least he didn’t want to physically abuse her.
It should be noted here, that The Ex Husband, while he was married to The Other Girl, was also married to Another Woman. They have been going through divorce procedure, and instead of waiting for that to complete The Ex Husband married The Other Girl – making her The Third Wife. The finalization of the divorce of The Ex Husband and The Other Girl came before that of The Ex Husband and The Second Wife. We don’t know if she was privy to this before hand, or after it was too late.
A couple months after they were married, The Ex Husband changed jobs and they moved to Chicago. It was there he decided to get “clean”, to quit drinking, and to quit smoking pot. He began attending AA and was successful at his endeavour. The Other Girl went off her medication, not wanting to try to find new doctors and not wanting to be sedated any longer.
He was still as controlling, The Ex Husband. The Other Girl was not allowed to leave the house but for errands and shopping. She joined a screenwriting club, only to withdraw shortly after because she could no longer bear the badgering and accusations from her husband, and his insecurity over having a young wife. He even started accusing her of philandering with the man who lived on the second floor of the duplex in which they lived. The Other Girl, while she had been a bit of a floozy in recent times, had never been one to be a cheater, she did it once years and years later, and that ended badly, but she had always been faithful, in every bad relationship she had.
About five months after they moved to Chicago, much clearer of head without medications, we became a team of three once again. Alert, and without the numbness of meds was able to get my attention, to let me know that The Other Girl was in trouble, again.
We devised a plan, we opened our own bank account, secretly, and began skimming money off the accounts we shared with The Ex Husband. Just a little here and there, making sure to be the one to get the mail when we knew the statements were coming in (this was before online banking). We rented a storage unit and began packing up, slowly, all the things in the house. We made plans with the mother, booked a flight to The Midwest. This took roughly 4-5 months. The skimming of the account took the most time. In the end we managed to collect $3000 to use so we could escape. We remember laying in bed, listening to him breath, wishing it would stop.
The day before we planned to leave, the ex husband, who by the way had not noticed the empty house and the disappearance of most of the items, came to us with a question about a travel plan that he noticed was scratched off of our calendar for the following week. Not being able to lie fast enough, because we suck at lying, we came clean.
“I’m leaving you tomorrow” we said to him.
He was shocked and upset. He tried to talk us out of it all night. He called us from work all morning the next day, crying, asking us to reconsider, and begging us to stay. We left that day, went to live with The Mother for a couple months before we relocated the Mountain States. There is another story that follows this…of how we became separated because of drugs and did some strange things before we got yet another diagnoses.
This is a prose we wrote in 2001, about our married life in Chicago:
Speaking with grumbles and harsh gestures, slamming glasses, plates, each other. No words.
That summer in the heat of Chicago I’d sit on the front steps and blow bubbles into the thick air, to the sky, waiting for the rain to come to wash away the garbage. Planes would fly by and I would dream of travel to far away places, to lands uncharted, to sanity. Escape. The neighbor whistling signaling me to dance in my panties to Madonna while supper cooked on the stove and I cherished the few stolen moments left. Pulling down the shades and closing the windows tight so that crazy lady next door with all the cats and birds couldn’t talk to me or peek in my windows.
Edge of the bed, nowhere to go but in. Hating his smell, his breathing, wishing it would all stop. Up to make coffee in the wee hours of the morning, while hateful words fly on the drive into the city..
Hail a cab, get on a plane, blow bubbles into the air and hope one comes back with a pink lady in it to take me and my dog to the next cliché rainbow to find an empty pot of gold, no trimmings please.
The rain never washed the garbage away, from the inside it couldn’t be reached. Kids walked by with their dogs, leashed like me. An uncommon pet kept common. Like so many leashes being pulled and yanked, it’ll all snap. So that in the end I no longer blow soap bubbles into the sky hoping for clean rain. I’ll just wash the garbage myself.
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