We have been taught as very young kids that giving of our hearts is the best thing that one can do for not just yourself, but to the heart of others. It can give you a sense of feeling good, feeling complete, and it also builds character within ourselves. Giving unselfishly can and will be the best gift that one can give. It creates a strength within us that is irreplaceable. Or one would think that it is irreplaceable!
I was always taught from my dad, "when someone slaps you in your face it the only place on one's body that is their identity, it is the face that is the picture to the soul of their body."
I have been invited to speak at many conventions regarding my "Life's Stepping Stones" which ultimately lead me to "Finding my Path" of life. I have always believed and will continue to always believe that we create our own path of life. Everyone has choices, we make those choices and often we live with the consequences that can harbor the worst feelings in our very soul. Yet, how we come out of it and take a negative and turn it around to a positive, is the ultimate reward.
So what am I speaking of...? TRUST!
During nineteen eighty seven, I was faced with many challenges, challenges I would never give to my worst enemy. I learned that my FIRST new husband (the one that was late by two hours to my wedding) just came home from work with a red-headed lady in tow holding a new born baby girl. When they both entered OUR home, he asked where the luggage was. The same luggage we used on our honeymoon. I told him it was in the bedroom closets and with one swift movement he was in the bedroom leaving me standing before this strange woman.
For some reason I was never able to connect the dots, it never dawned on me that this was the same woman he stood next to in the labor and delivery room coaching this strange woman before me awaiting for his child to be born. There was a huge wave of silence in the room and I could tell she was uncomfortable to be in the same room with me. She could never look at me. She just kept looking down at her baby swaying side-to-side.
When my new husband of six weeks re-entered the living room he was carrying the luggage in tow and then he spoke.
"This is Erin, and the baby that she is holding is mine. I no longer want to be married to you. The marriage is over so draw up the divorce papers and I will sign them."
I remember it was as if someone came along and turned on life's vacuum and just sucked my last breath right out of my body. All I remember is just standing there watching him leave with this strange woman and baby. He never looked back he just kept walking heading towards the big gate opening it then letting it slam behind him. For some reason I wanted to believe it was a joke, a bad joke, but a joke. I stood vigilantly by the front window watching the sunny warm day turned from dusk to night hopelessly expecting him to come back but he never did.
The entire night I just paced and paced our small one bedroom apartment my head racing with thoughts. Tears flooding my face as if a damn had burst now flowing uncontrollably. My body shaking violently never tiring out the pacing. I never rested, I never sat down, I never thought of resting my exhausted body, no, I just continued to pace going through multiple packs of cigarettes one after another.
When morning came, my panic now turned to anger and I knew I had to jump into action. We had received a large sum of money on the day of our wedding I was not about to let that slip through his hands. I had to protect what was mine and mine alone now. I headed down to the bank and immediately shut down our joint checking accounts (it was much easier during those days to close a joint checking account) I withdrew the ten thousand dollars and reopened a new checking account in my name. Later that day, he actually had the nerve to call me and ask me where the money was? I remember laughing on the phone, I laughed so hard I almost peed.
Once I was down laughing and he then hanging up in anger I then headed to the court and gathered the papers for my divorce. I was filled with rage because he actually had the nerve to ask me where the money was. He actually thought he deserved that money, OH HELL NO! With every step to took towards the steps to the court house I had revitalized feeling that I was actually doing the right thing.
He actually wanted to take that money and feed HER AND HER BABY oh hell no. He cheated on me with her, let his wallet support her. I was battling so many things within my head the failure of my marriage, the tears, the frustration and numbness which was desperately trying to take over my mind and body.
The heavy unkind woman behind the counter could sense my anger and confusion. All she asked me was how long I was married and if I wanted a divorce. Her words echoed deeply into my head causing such pain. I remember telling her six weeks and the shock on her face said it all "WELL, AREN'T YOU A NICE LITTLE FAILURE" was it that obvious? Was there a beaming red neon sign flashing over my forehead screaming "FAILURE STANDING HERE, YES FOLKS, SHE IS A FAILURE"
The unkind woman took a handful of papers and loudly stamped them then writing something on them. She told me I had six months to complete the papers and turn them in and then without a kind word to say she just screamed, "NEXT PLEASE." I felt dismissed like a bad habit right then and there.
Once I came home and began to fill out the papers, for some reason I kept thinking he would pop out of the bedroom screaming "SURPRISE I'M HOME" the memories of my sham marriage was all over the tiny one bedroom apartment. My wedding dress now hung in the corner of the living room, unopened wedding gifts were still coming to the apartment and many had yet to be opened.
Still I had not yet told my parents that my husband of six weeks left me for someone else, someone with a baby to boot. My mom told me before this complete mess of my life how she was now bragging to so many of her friends that her daughter finally got married to the greatest man I had ever brought home. How do you begin a conversation with someone thinking you have the best husband to the biggest jerk ever?
Once I was done filling out the papers, I headed down to his work finding him than slamming then down. He just looked at me as if he could see right through me. For four years when he looked at me I could see in his eyes, now it was just empty and cold. He told me to leave the papers and he would sign them and then drop them off. He said it so cold so uncaring, he said it as if I was the worst thing that ever happened to him. I could feel my mouth wanting to extract my fangs followed by my venom. I wanted to strike at his neck taking a bite then slowly watch him die.
"You know, divorcing me is the stupidest thing you can ever do, but being with her, well you both deserve each other. What am I supposed to tell my parents, my parents who spent a fortune on our wedding. A wedding that is now a shame marriage right?"
He just stood there uncaring to my feelings or worries. He just shrugged his shoulders without a care in the world. My gut was just wrenching at the thought of breaking my mom and dad's heart. Failure and loneliness was now knocking on my heart once again. I felt stupid. weak, and my mind was playing tricks on me making me feel like it was my fault. I was wondering if I never loved him enough, if I loved him to much, did I not give him the attention he needed is that why he cheated on me? Was it my fault he was bored?
Those are all things that we as women begin to ask ourselves when we find that our husbands or boyfriends have now cheated on us. Those thoughts play over and over like a broken record and no matter where we place the needle of the record player, it just plays the same thoughts over and over.
But I had bigger fish to fry, I had other things I needed to take care of, other people I had to talk to and I was dreading this phone call more than anyone ever could. I respected my mom and dad to much for a phone call like this. I decided going to their home would be easier to talk to them.
Once I was outside their door knocking, my mom answered. My safe place within her arms frightened me that they would not be safe any longer once
"Mom, we need to talk"
And in one breath, I had changed my mom and dad's life forever...AGAIN!