If you thought the last blog was ugly, hold onto your seats, kids. It gets uglier. I never had to watch Jerry Springer, because I lived it – and it was a lot more white trash than you probably would ever expect.
Daisy and I were both pregnant at this point, and we all lived in a trailer. Yes. A trailer. By this time I pretty much resented everything about Daisy because she had JP and he wasn’t likely to ever leave her given she was going to have his son. When it all came to a head is when she finally told me that JP had confided in her that I wanted him, but he did not return my feelings.
This was while he was telling me he loved me and he *had* to stay with her.
Needless to say I confronted him about it and by this time didn’t even care if Dan knew, even though I was fairly certain he’d kill me for my indiscretion. And when I say kill I mean literally with his own two hands kill me. JP and Daisy left town that night, and I was left with Dan to try and figure out how to pick up the pieces.
Surprisingly he did not flip out the way I suspected. He actually accepted a lot of the blame for the situation we found ourselves in. This was especially true after he was jailed because of an incident with our son (which really had been more my fault than his), and I had to move back out to California with my mom, 8 and a half months pregnant with Brandon with two other young kids in tow.
Strangely, this was the time when we found out all his violent behavior could be attributed to mental illness, and so I rededicated my life back to my husband determined to make up for the terrible mess I had made with everything.
This was even more true after Brandon was born and died without ever seeing his daddy. The first time Daniel saw his last son was in a casket.
And of course I felt that I was being cursed for all the horrible things I had done. I rededicated my life back to God and was determined to right all the things that had gone wrong.
This lasted for about three years.
Life was not done with me yet.
Dan had begun a medicinal treatment that took away his violent tendencies but left him physically impaired in other ways. There were days this beautiful strong man couldn’t tie his own shoes or even turn over in bed. He was so out of it that when I had to work and he’d watch the kids, they could virtually leave the house without his even knowing about it.
They ended up walking a mile to the nearby K-Mart before getting stopped by police and returned back to the house. Within months they were in foster care and I felt my entire reason for living (especially after losing Brandon) was gone.
Any intimacy between Dan and I, which had been sketchy at best, was extinct. We could sit in a car and drive half way across Los Angeles to go to court sessions and therapy and doctor’s appointment without saying a word. We could sleep in the same bed but never touch.
We were both lost in our own private hell.
The state of California didn’t make it any easier. They were pretty emphatic that as long as I was married to Dan the children would not be in my care.
Knowing how much he needed me I couldn’t bear the thought of just abandoning him. Where would he go? How would he live? He was as much my child to care for as my own kids.
So I did what I always do – I buried my head in the sand.
Or more appropriately, in the Internet.
On the Internet I could be whatever I wanted to be and men would pay attention to me. Lots of attention. I once more became an emotional pinball that pinged around trying to find someone else to be my hero.
When we met neither one of us wanted anything more than just a casual fling to escape the bitter reality of our day to day lives. But he made me laugh and treated me like I was beautiful, so I didn’t take long until my heart decided it had a new home in sight.
Of course to do anything about it I had to untangle my “real” life, and that would be the start of me taking the reigns in my own hands, stop doing what I was obligated to do and start living life on my own terms.
At the time we were living with my mom (bad idea) and I was running in circles trying to keep my sister happy (worse idea), I worked for a horrible person who was all too happy to take the abusive reigns from Dan and run with them – at least emotionally so. That year (1999) would find me the most precariously close to suicide as almost any other, except maybe 1984 when Jeff made that divinely inspired phone call that would save my life.
When I think back on it, Steven wasn’t technically my hero… he was my co-pilot. He was unafraid to tell me when I was acting like an idiot but also very supportive when I would branch out and try to fix what felt like an un-fixable life.
By October I had moved in with him in our own place, I had found Dan a place he could learn how to live on his own again and within a few months I’d even get my kids back.
Best of all, even though leaving Dan was so hard for me, our friendship strengthened without the failed expectations of a marriage.
No one understood how Steven and I could remain so close to Dan, but to us it made perfect sense. He was the kids’ father and they loved him, and of course I never stopped loving him even though I was completely and thoroughly fucked up through most of our relationship.
We even moved back to Texas together eventually, and even though Steven and I would go on to marry in 2001, Dan was our biggest supporter.
He knew that Steven could be the husband and father he just wasn’t, and he loved us enough to let us go.
And we loved him enough to always hold on to him.
That would last until September 13, 2003.