Sunday, August 5, 2012

Never Feed the Rats

    I have heard it said that a man will leave a woman when he finds someone else to love and that a woman leaves a man when she has had enough.  For me, this was true. I had had enough. And I was doing it. I was really doing it. Making my own choices and decisions. My Mother would try and butt in with her sage advice; it fell on deaf ears. I took parenting classes and went back to counseling. I wanted to be the best mother ever. I remember the first time my parents said they loved us. There was some family meeting and we were getting a talking to. I have no idea why. Usually, my Mother screamed and my Father what brought about an actual discussion with us is beyond my memory. But, it happened and my Father said it like he meant it, expecting us to believe it. He said "don't you know we love you?". No, I most certainly did not. It was a lie and I knew it. I must have been ten. Before I told. Before the isolation and my Mother's jealousy took over my life. But I already knew. Sometimes children just do. I wanted to make sure Amber felt she was loved. I said it everyday. Many times a day and tried to make sure that she knew I meant it. David was still overseas and I asked for a divorce. He sent more gifts and money and ignored my request. I went to see someone in the JAG office, at the time the Navy would actually help you get divorced. They said that as long as he was out of country I could not serve him with papers. We were at a stalemate, I bided my time.

     My new counselor didn't last long. He stared a lot and only seemed interested in talking about my sex life. It didn't feel like he was making sure that I had a healthy outlook on sex, but rather he wanted any salacious details I could provide. What I liked, how often had my husband and I been intimate. He reminded me of a rat searching for table scraps, foraging around for dropped crumbs and I let him starve.  He sent me away with a book. I don't remember the Author off hand, but it's main message was that all fathers were sexually attracted to their daughters and the feelings were mutual. That mothers and sons felt the same. He believed that it was only our social mores that made it wrong. It was all about a societal view on sexuality...Yeah, that was about as far as I got with that one. I didn't bother to return the book or even to schedule another appointment. I decided that I wasn't screwed up enough for counseling and just set about living.

    My friends and I ventured out once or twice more.  We went to dinner and then dancing. Men would try to buy us drinks. I would just brush them off, avoid them. We were out on the dance floor, shaking all we had. Listening to a cover band play "Talk dirty to me" and "Money for nothing". We were not there for the men. We were there for the music and the dancing and each other.  He caught my arm as I was leaving the dance floor, he said his friend wanted to buy me a drink and because I was laughing and happy with my guard down and my mood up, I said fine. I was heading to the bar to get something anyway. His friend appeared with my drink and asked for a dance. I said yes and afterwards he came back to our table. Now, we had rules, strangers at the table was a no no. We all looked at each other and at this blonde, blue-eyed, handsome man smiling back at us. He stuck around, we were polite but not friendly. I danced when others asked me. That was usually the best way to get interlopers to hit the road. But, he didn't. He ordered me another drink and tucked himself in like he had known us all his life. He joined us for breakfast. He asked for my number, which I never gave out. Never. As I passed it over on a napkin, I questioned my decision making skills. I was sure I really shouldn't have been in charge of myself just then and yet I was. So, I rolled with it.

  He called the next day. I marveled that I had actually given him my home and work numbers. I mean really, what the hell was I thinking. He was funny and charming. I told him I couldn't see him. I explained that I was still married and that I had a child and that I wasn't looking to get into anything. He came out to see me at work. Yes, just to make sure I got stalked, I had put the NAME of were I worked on that little scrap of treason. WHO did that? Apparently, I did. I had never been one to take a compliment. I don't trust them. That was part of the allure of my husband. There was safety in his cold demeanor. There was a sameness to it.  I didn't have worry about displeasing him, he by nature already was. But, I took in this man's kind words. They rained down on the desert of my heart. I knew  early on I was in trouble with this one.

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