Saturday, May 24, 2014

Epiphanies ~ Chapter One

 

This is a rather long and boring story. It's personal and maybe TMI for some. Yes, I've published it, there are a couple people who need to see this. And I also realize there are those people who read my blog, even though they swear they don't because I am nothing to them, who are going to have a good laugh over this post and a what the hell is she thinking. To those few I have this to say. Go fuck yourself!

Chapter One


Do you know what it is like to live something you are not? I did. But at the time I wasn't aware it was a lie. For most of my life I lived as others wanted me to. Even though I thought I was a strong person, I really wasn't. I lived first as my parents chose, then as my husbands (yes plural) decreed. Most of the time I went along with the flow because I really didn't know any better. I kept falling into the same pit and each time I clawed my way out. I'd be strong for a while, then would lose myself once again. This was a regular cycle for me.

In 1988 I married husband number 4 after I SWORE to myself I wasn't making that mistake yet again. None of my friends liked him, and my family despised him. But I thought I knew it all and no one could convince me otherwise. Even my children had problems with him, that should have been the sign that made a difference. It didn't. For 14 years I let someone else be the master of my life. Eventually I grew tired of the constant bickering and whining. I became distant and uncaring. I wanted nothing to do with someone who only wanted to spend time with his mother. Yes, he is a Momma's boy and I should have known from the beginning to run as fast and as far as I could.

I felt more than alone, I had no one to talk to, we had moved to Mesa Arizona in 1998, my family were all full of the I told you so's. And I spent a lot of time on road trips all by myself, without the husband because the only place he wanted to go was to his parents house in Tucson. San Diego became my solace, my peace my sanity. Every three weeks like clockwork I would take my 3 days off and drive to San Diego and Catalina Island. I was finding me, finding peace and most of all finding strength.

Sometime around the middle of March 2001, I was working as a dispatcher for the company my then husband drove for. There were over 100 trucks I was accountable for on any given day. Some days were better than others, quite a few of the drivers felt a trucking company was no place for a woman. Hell they even gave the 2 female drivers so much shit they eventually quit. Didn't matter how good the women did their jobs, they were women and had no place driving an 18 wheel dump truck hauling asphalt or construction materials. Many of the other drivers were happy to hear a light hearted voice on the other end of their radio. Among these drivers I made a few friends, most of them were even invited to our home, bring your wife, girlfriend, let's BBQ and use the hot tub.

There was one though who saw how miserable I was even though I hid it well. We became friends both at work and at home. He and his wife became our traveling buds. The four of us would take road trips almost every weekend, go places they had never been. And since I'd lived in Arizona most of my life, I knew LOTS of places to show people that weren't the typical tourist locations. When we weren't road tripping we were at one or the other's house, playing cards, drinking beer, swimming, BBQing and living life.

One day I had a particularly bad day at work, a fight (serious yelling and disrespect) with the one driver I could never win over. He hated me being in that office and he made it known he was out to get me fired. He brought his paper work into the office and commenced to telling me he was tired of my favoritism and him not getting any loads. (Side note here: he drove a completely different type of truck and often times the contractors didn't want his type of truck on their job site. In those instances I sent the regular dump trucks.) Anyway, the owner of the company went into his office and closed the door and let this driver crawl all over me (not literally) without stepping up even one foot.

This tirade resulted in me breaking down, losing my composure and bawling like a baby. Yeah, I was a woman, couldn't handle the shit and I had no business working in a construction office. So I walked out in the middle of the day. Before I even made it to my car, my cell phone was blowing up with drivers calling me wanting to know why I wasn't on the other end of the microphone giving them their dispatch. I simply said I had left for the day and I'd get back to them tomorrow. And when I did get back to them the next day 56 drivers walked out when I quit my job. I never asked any of them to do that, never expected any of them to do so. In the middle of the day on a Wednesday, 56 drivers left the job they were on in various locations across the Phoenix valley, parked their trucks in the yard, gathered their personal belongings and walked ... right into a better job with a higher paying company that I had negotiated their employment for. What began as me lobbying for a place to work for myself became the place of employment for the friends I had made over the course of just a few months.

During all this time, all the anger, unhappiness, crying and general feeling sorry for myself, all my husband could say was "see I told you not to go to work there", and he wasn't even one of the drivers who walked out. My own husband couldn't support me. And do not get me started on the reaction of his parents. By now, I knew without a doubt this relationship was over. I just didn't have a clue as to how I was going to leave or ask him to leave. At the time I wasn't good at long term planning. Also, it didn't take me long to find a different job, no I didn't go back to dispatching. I was hired as an assistant manager and leasing consultant for what was considered at that time luxury apartments. The pay was great, the benefits were even better, and part of my salary package was a 2bed/2bath condo in Gilbert Arizona. So we pack up and moved, amidst much grumbling and complaining from the husband who hated change almost as much as I was beginning to hate him.

The new condo was amazing, in each bedroom there was a huge walk-in closet and when I chose which condo I wanted to live in I had decided to designate the master bathroom as *mine*. It had a over sized garden soaking tub which I proceeded to decorate all froofy with candles and ribbons and lace, with tchotckies everywhere. In the other bathroom which was still quite large, with a huge stand up shower (no tub), I decorated it more neutral as it was just off the living room and would be used for guests. Adjacent to this bathroom was the second bedroom, same size with a much larger walk in closet. Actually this closet could have been used for an additional bedroom, it was that big. I designated this closet to be the husbands. It would hold all his clothes (he had almost as many as I did), his cowboy boots, his cowboy hats would sit perfectly on the shelf with no chance of touching one another (yes, he was THAT picky about his hats) and there was even a separate rack for his work clothes and uniform shirts.  Little did I know he didn't like the separate closets. We still slept in the same bed, our clothes no longer cohabited...

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