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Monday, May 30, 2011

Soul Searching

The past couple of weeks have been emotionally difficult for me. A lot of old, deeply buried emotions have bubbled over the surface and for the first time in about 10 years I am feeling again. I have a couple of really good friends to thank for this as I really need to feel this junk that I bottled up. The 1990s was a decade that could only be described as hell for me. This is where a lot of these emotions stem from. The things that happened to me during that decade. If I were into drugs or alcohol, I might have made it through differently. Alas, I did not resort to either vice. Instead, I buried my feelings and began the long process of isolation in 1998.

Pete and Julie - July 1992Beginning with the early part of the decade, I graduated high school in 1990. About a year later, I found myself moving to southern California and getting married to someone I barely knew. We only corresponded through letters and telephone conversations, but we connected. I was trying to runaway from the place I was in at the time. I think I saw him as my way out! Anyway, we had a really rocky first year and we were very lucky to make it as long as we did. We found ourselves arguing over anything and everything. There was a 9 year age difference, but that didn’t matter too much. We were both extremely head strong people – yet I loved him and still hold a place in my heart for him. Well, during these arguments he would tell me “It’s the Navy or your mother”. I decided to go ahead and join up. Hell, at least I would have a regular paycheck, LOL! So, in 1992, shortly before our 1 year anniversary, I found myself heading to Orlando for Boot Camp and what would turn out to be an interesting four years of my life.Boot Camp pic 1992

I loved the Navy! I loved the way of life, the camaraderie, the work, and above all the pay. However, I slowly found myself opening up to a world of possibilities and my heart began to stray. I wasn’t a perfect wife. I didn’t really know how to cook, didn’t much care to clean (although I could and did a good job at that as I like a clean home), and found myself hating the way he spent money. I resented that above all else. I grew up with a parent who struggled to take care of us and another who we only saw during the summer and holidays. Anytime a bill was paid off, he would go and rack up the credit again with unnecessary purchases. He even conned my mom into buying him a computer (after our divorce, I wound up paying her back all the money he borrowed). We had good times too. We had our monthly, or twice monthly, D & D game weekends, friends over to watch the wrestling matches or other sports, or just hung out. Life was good, but I still wanted to experience other people. I found myself in an affair with a man and the chemistry between us was electric.

1995 saw a lot of changes in my marriage. We found ourselves pregnant after trying unsuccessfully for several years. We were elated, that is until the miscarriage. I hit a downward spiral at that point. I started sleeping around, not paying attention to him, wanting to get out. I was in the flight mode of “fight or flight”. I find myself in that mode when things get too tough for me to handle and that really was a tough spot. That Fall, he wound up going to what the Navy calls the “Fat Boy Farm”. No, he wasn’t fat, he just was out of standards and needed help. My running around didn’t help him any either. I moved out of our home during Thanksgiving and in with a man that I was sleeping with. Not the same one that I had the affair with, even though we too kept things going on and off for years. Eventually, my first marriage ended and my new life was beginning. I truly thought I found the man I could and would spend the rest of my life with. That was not to be.

I left the Navy in 1996 and married again in 1997. We had a strong, what I thought to be solid, relationship. We attended church together, he was still in the Navy, we were trying to build a business together. Then he deployed. My whole world came crashing in on me again. My mother came out to help me while he was gone (I was injured while on active duty and had issues with heavy lifting and being around some chemicals). About a month after he left, I began to spiral again. This was really bad! I wasn’t able to keep anything down, I was losing weight – FAST, I wouldn’t stop crying. I wound up having to go to a psychiatrist and they got him home from the Middle East within days. He was gone 4 of the 6 months, but it seemed like an eternity. I didn’t realise just how much I depended on him until he was gone and it just drained me emotionally and physically.

He received a discharge to take care of me, we moved to Las Vegas to live with my dad until we could get on our feet. What was supposed to be a wonderful new adventure together wound up putting me in the bowels of HELL! Within months of moving there, he began doing things that can only be described as disgusting – and that’s putting it mildly! I wound up spending 9 days at Nellis AF Base Hospital in the psych ward to get it together. I wanted to die. I didn’t want anything to do with this world anymore. The last straw was when my dad came home early from a camping trip to find him in my bed with a teenager wearing my lingerie. And then he only denied everything. (I wonder if he took his cue from the President at that time?) This was 1998 and I was finding myself going through my second divorce. I was in flight mode again and looking to get out! I wound up moving in with someone in Flagstaff (a co-worker) and we were together until 2001 when I went back to Michigan to start my college education and he went to Colorado to start his new career. I began shutting off emotionally in 1998 and only recently have allowed myself to feel anything again. Oh, I have had good times since leaving Arizona. I have had truly wonderful times, but I haven’t had the courage to open my heart to the possibility of love and having someone in my life.

So, the past few weeks have found me searching for answers. Shutting down a little bit, and opening up emotionally. I have cried and cried and cried. I cried for my dad’s illness and what we are going through right now. I have cried for my daughter, Brinea. I have even cried for my marriages and their failures. I turned 39 recently and found myself thinking “My life wasn’t supposed to be like this at this age”. But, maybe it was. Maybe it is exactly what God wanted me to go through to get to where I am today. I know there is someone for me and I really want to move on with my life and with that someone. Who he is, only God knows. But I sure hope He tells me soon, because I have never felt so alone in my life until these emotions welled up and spilled over. Words can’t describe how I feel at this moment in my life, but there are several verses that keep running through my head: Psalm 23 and I Corinthians 13:4. I also think on Job and his trials and tribulations.

With God, ALL things are possible, so I must give and let God. He knows my heart. He knows what I seek. And only He has the answer I need.

jesus praying

Thanks for reading this post! I don’t expect comments. I just needed to express myself and try to clear some of this from my mind, if only for today.

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