All my life, I’ve “felt” things. I’ve never spoken (or in this case, written) these words out loud except to two people, but on the day I got married, my intuition was screaming that I shouldn’t go through with it. I got married at 2 PM on October 23, 1993, and I left the house at 10 AM to get pantyhose. I took one of the backroads to the store and on the way back, something inside said, “Keep going!” I heard that thing at least four times. In fact, I pulled over at one point because I was so shaken by that voice. Something kept saying, “Keep going!!” Clearly, I didn’t listen because the little ceremony took place at 2 PM with my Uncle Bud (Brantley) officiating.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
There is a picture of my mom and my ex-husband from that day that causes me to smirk every time I look at it. My Mama is giving him “that” look and you can see that she was talking to him. I asked, “What was she saying to you?” He said, “She told me whatever I do, don’t ever lie to you. She said you will always be able to tell.” Isn’t that funny?? Those of you who know me know that lying to me is the one thing that will cause me to lose faith, trust, and respect for you immediately. He laughed after he told me what Mama had told him. I said to him, “It’s true. I have always been able to feel when someone is not being truthful. Just don’t ever lie to me and let me find out.” His response: “Tre, I won’t.” Hell, he was lying when he said that, but remember when I said I kept hearing that thing say to keep going? You have no idea how many times I wondered if I just should have kept going.
Just Don’t Lie!
Let me explain what I meant when I said he was lying to me when he said that he wouldn’t lie. See, in my book, lying is not only stating the opposite of the truth or the facts; I also consider it a lie, if you omit certain facts that you know, will likely cause the other party to react in a different manner than you would like them to. He was omitting something HUGE. I’m not ready to disclose it because…well…I’m just not. We argued the entire drive to Denver, and that in itself should have made me turn my ass around and go home, but I didn’t take my vows lightly. What I found out a week after I got there left me stunned and unable to make rational decisions for quite some time after that point. I knew, in my heart, before I got to Denver, that something was wrong because I just felt it. The heart doesn’t lie. I knew, but the love I had for that man overshadowed common sense.
The Woman This Mess Created
When I said that there were times when I wondered if I should have kept going, what I’ve concluded is this: every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, and every year that I was in that abusive setting led me to be the stronger woman that I am today. I went into that thing standing. During those years, I was flattened mentally and emotionally, and finally physically when I was struck down with that hemorrhage, but I came out carrying a big stick. Those years gave me the most wonderful thing I will ever, ever, ever have in this life and that’s my son. Over that time, my purpose was solidified. I’ve said it a million times before but I fully believe that I’m a bridge for other women to cross over on. While my heart screamed at me to turn around, I needed to travel that road in order to live the story.
The Cold Hard Facts
Don’t misunderstand, cold hard facts are just that — COLD, HARD FACTS! They don’t lie. They’re proven. They’re tested. The fact is, you’ll die if you jump out a plane without a parachute. The fact is, if you can’t swim, you’re going to drown if you jump in Lake Bisteneau without a life jacket. Trust that. On the other hand, the heart will lead and guide you when those facts aren’t available. Facts won’t always present themselves in a timely manner. Listen to your heart. Mine has never led me wrong.