Dwelling on the past isn't something I do often these days. It was a decision I made after removing the ex-as...., er, ex-husband from my life. I remember well that when I finally did get a great-paying job, I used my first check to skip the rent and buy him a plane ticket back across the country and out of my life. I didn't stay in that apartment long after that so rent didn't matter.
It was a trying time for me then. I was between homes so I slept in my small Honda which I would park in church parking lots and hope I wouldn't be bothered. I carried a weapon, ate from church pantries and did the best I could. Many nights of cold, bitter reflection met up with me in the streets of Atlanta - having guns pointed at my heart (he said it wasn't loaded but I'll never forget the click as he pulled the trigger), having my throat cut (the scars are healed completely), enduring the dealers that the ex used to hang out with who would come by the apartment, peck on my window at night and make noises. Scared the crap out of me when one of them came by as I was planting flowers.
He had 2 big, burly bodyguards. I gave him the phone number where he could find the ex and explained about the divorce. He didn't believe me until I showed him the papers but left me with a threat that he'd better have his money. I told him I'd call the police if he showed up again.
That neighborhood, once a nice place to live, was getting rough. The week I moved out, someone was breaking into another apartment and I was asked to try and identify him from the back of a police car. The "line-up" was at the back of another police car. The car I was in shined the lights on 5 young men and I was asked to pick one out. I kept telling the nice officers that it was night and I wasn't sure which one it was but they really wanted to arrest someone that night. I was just glad it wasn't me.
The day I moved out, a gunfight several doors down. I swear, I don't know how I made it out of that one.
I'm just an average woman with average dreams. I didn't do anything special in my life for myself except joining the Army @ 21 and marrying my 2nd husband. Both have been the best time of my life.
I was impressionable after getting out of the Army so when the ex-
talked me into getting out and joining him across country, I did.
I was a fool.
The only good that came out of that situation was meeting his mother. I still tear up when I think about her. She is a special woman.
That life seems like a really bad B-Movie now and there are aspects that I still have problems remembering. Someone can show me a picture from teenage or childhood years or even when I was in the Army and I'll be damned if I can remember being there.
Sometimes, a memory will sneak up on me and throw me to the dogs. Loud, sudden sounds never used to startle me. They made me duck or dodge but startle? No.
Nowadays, I nearly faint when I hear a really loud sudden noise (like thunder, for example).
It's all a matter of perspective, though. I have someone to catch me when I start to fall now. He never lets me hit the ground. If I'm scared, he puts a weapon in my hand and says "All you have to do is point it in their general direction and I guarantee you'll never have to shoot it. People are funny about things like that." Then we laugh and all is well again in my world.