As I look back over things now, this was one of the most painful times for me. Through my childhood and failed first marriage and even my Father's trial, coming home and continuing on was one of the most difficult things I faced. I expected something more, I had often daydreamed what it would be like to have my Father pay for what he had done. I imagined it far differently than it was. I thought the DA would be nice, kind, understanding. Someone who wanted to fight injustice... the Clark Kent of the courtroom. I didn't expect everything to be a battle. I thought that the jury would gather around and present the key to my freedom, but that didn't happen and I came home more hurt and confused than when I left. I did bully my Sister, I shamed her and I pushed, and even though she gave in, she resented me for it. There would always be this thing between us. The one thing I could not refute, I could not "will" away.... he was My Father. I could not divorce myself from that fact, no matter how I tried.
I delved into genealogy. Looking past him, trying to find something good. It would take me years to realize I was looking in the wrong direction. But in my usual logic I could not see how I played any part in anything, and I could not attach a label like "good" onto myself. Through that search for redemption, someone to look back on with pride, I got in touch with a Cousin and his Wife. She was searching too. My Great Grandfather was a mystery and there were several relatives trying to discover what lay past him. We wrote back and forth. First emails and letters, then phone calls. She had more information than I and she was willing to share. They came to visit. We connected our family through memories and facts. We traded paper and pictures and marveled at what we had and at the roadblock one man could throw up. She asked me three times, this Wife of my Cousin. Once was over the line. I don't know what she was thinking. How she thought my answer would change, from the first unwelcome inquiry to the third. Or what she hoped to gain by asking. She wanted to know if I felt bad. Embarrassing the family like that. The first time she asked, sitting there in my dining room, eating a meal I had made, I couldn't believe she said it. What planet was she from? I slowly and firmly made it be known that I bore no shame. I had done nothing wrong and that lest she forget there were three girls to protect. She said nothing. Just went back to her plate. I grew cool towards her. Polite, but distant. She was one of those. That group of people who believe talking about the crime was more egregious then the crime itself. I had nothing for her. having met plenty of this kind before, I had no interest in further discussion. That mindset was deadly to my wellbeing. I couldn't wait for them to leave. My search turned up nothing in the end, and the Great Grandfather who erased his past so completely so long ago, is still a half ghost even now.
My faith, which had brought me so far became a weapon to be used against me. I believed in God and what he had to say. I liked the rules of religion. There was security in it all. When everything else was in turmoil, this was certain. I needed that. Chuck and his Wife Cindy, reminded me constantly. I had stood before God and given my word. Until death do we part. I retorted that I hadn't said who's death. I was frustrated in my marriage. Anyone who has dealt with bipolar issues knows, it is not easy. I knew nothing about the disease when my Husband was diagnosed. There is a wonderful book 'The Unquiet Mind' which does a lot to explain it. I read it and reread it. I am a big believer in reading and in using it to get through hard times. There are good things my parents instilled in me and this was one of them. Just as they gave me so much to overcome, they gave me the desire to find the tools to do it. I read about marriage and the special trials that come with it. "The Five Love Languages" taught me things I hadn't known. And there were dozens of others, all about making a marriage stronger and how to build a better relationship. They all held out hope, gave new techniques in achieving marital bliss. There was just one problem, I was the only one reading. My Husband banked on the fact that I would fix it all. He was just fine. And he was, in his eyes. His kids were taken care of, his house was clean. There was dinner on the table when he came home. He did not bother with wether I was happy or not. I was miserable. I tried different Churches, different denominations anything to ease my pain. Nothing helped. The theme was alway the same. Trust in the Lord....I trusted. I did. But my discontent was not with the Lord. And no satisfaction could be gained through my prayer. I was lost. The more lost I felt the more I turned to faith and that, is something he counted on, my Husband. He knew he had won, by doing nothing. The text is clear, the burden was mine. I would spend years, many of them stuck in that spot. Neutral is not a direction and I ground the gears in my head looking for a solution. I needed that key. The one I thought the jury had. The one that would unlock my perfect life. Where the hell was that key?