Everyone has a story. Everyone. This is my story. I do not want sympathy. Or "I feel so sorry for you" That is not the reason why I am telling this. I won't accept them. It's just the way it is. Just the way the cards were dealt. And I damn well won't listen to or accept, "you should have known better", "why did you let go on so long". The telling of this is for me. Me only. So I can move on. Now.
Right this very moment, I am at rock bottom. I am at the bottom of the ironing basket looking up. Because of a ten year marriage I let go on for far too long, and then the death of my husband just two years ago. I am, first off, in financial ruin. Medical bills and the IRS. I am in the process of declaring bankruptcy. At the same time, I am trying to pay off the debt to the IRS. In six months, I hope, the bankruptcy will be done and over with, and I then can move on, move away, do something. I'll still be paying the IRS, but I can live with that.
What's the wors that can happen now. I can find that I still don't have enough to pay rent, utilities, food, etc. In that case, a major move will be needed. To live with my brother for a spell. As I write this, if that is the worst that can happen right now, I can live with it.
If fate throws in the twist of becoming ill again. I'm not sure what I will do. But I can live with it. This is more of a concern to me than anything else. You see, and not many people know this, I have been extremely ill, twice. Twice I almost died. Twice I survived. Would I even get a third chance.
I was twenty-five the first time. I was diagnosed with Leukemia (some very long words come before that that I am not going to attempt). I went in to the emergency room, bleeding profusely. I had lost so much blood that the Dr's told my parents, that they did not think that I would make it through the night. That they should call the family to come to the hospital. I was in the ICU five days. On the sixth day, they told us what was wrong and transferred me to KU Med Ctr. There I spent, one whole year in the hospital. One whole year. In isolation. The chemo drugs they gave me. Were strong, Very strong they said. Some even experimental. They weren't sure they would work. I was a very sick girl they told me. And because of these drugs. and the length that I was on them - one year- they told me, if I survived, I would never be able to have children. I survived. I could not have children. But to me that was not the end of the world. I survived, that's all that mattered.
It was a slow recovery. So much chemo has left my immune system not very good. At first, I caught every cold, flu, everything. But slowly it built back up. It is not near what it should be, and I still have to take care about colds and flu.- they will knock me flat. Once I reached the ten year mark, I thought, this good. I really am going to make it. I really am a survivor.
It was at age thirty-five when I really took up the camera and the paintbrush. Writing was there, but not so prevelent. I began to, really live my life then. I was happy, content, secure in my future.
At age forty-four, 9-11-2001,I met my soon-to-be husband. For the first time, I found someone that I could sit down with and really talk to. Not the shy mumblings. But chatter. About everything. Anything. RG had a sharp mind. And I loved that about him. He liked being outdoors. I liked being outdoors. He loved animals. I loved animals. He was into math, science, engineering. I was into art, histoy and music. So many things that seemed to fit together. By November I had moved in with him. By December 15, 2001 we were married. Whirwind romance. Yes. Would I do anything different. No.
The fist five years were the best. The last five years. Not so good. In the six year of our marriage he lost his job. From that day forward, I was. on many occations, the sole provider in our household. He worked here and there. But never a steady job. It was left soley up to me to make ends meet. To pay bills. Put food on the table. Keep a roof over our head. At this point in our marriage, he became emotionally and mentally abusive. He kept telling me over and over again that I wasn't doing enough. I need to work two jobs, three jobs. All the while at the job I had, I was working 10 hour days, 5 days a week. He just shut down, completely. He would not discuss anything with me. This is really a gloss over of what I endured on a day to day basis for five years. I really can't not write everything, it is too painful, I find to put into words. Why did I stay? Because I thought things would get better. And at time they did. And then they would take a turn for the worse again. But I kept hoping. I kept praying.
Through all of this I kept worrying, and overworking, and worrying until I finally realized I was making myself physically sick. I just didn't know how sick. The summer of 2009 I had decided to pack up and leave. We argued for days about it. Months. The emotional abuse, verbal abuse increased. I could not take anymore.The man never raised a hand to me. He did, at the end, when all we did was argue, reach and grab my arm so tight that it left bruises. I walked out that night, October 2009. And moved in with my parents. I washed my hands of him. And our life together. I could not take it anymore.
But fate had other plans. Just after I moved in with my parents, my mother passed away, November 2009. That left me to take care of my father, who was blind, diabetic. and had a pacemaker. I was dealing with the loss of my mother and trying to take care of my father and trying to work. I becoming ill but trying not give in to it.. At Christmas 2009, my car complete broke down. And my father, at that time, was getting sicker and spending quite a bit of time in the hospital. I need help. And I needed it fast. This is when RG stepped in. We made a deal. He needed a place to stay. And I needed help. I needed to work. But someone needed to be there with my father. RG moved in with us. He was there for my father and we had a vehicle to get around in. At the time it worked. I don't know what I would have done otherwise.
But we still clashed. Still argued. I looked forward each day to getting out of the house and going to work. Just so I could find peace from all the tension. But through all of this I was not taking care of myself. I was getting sicker and not realizing it.
April, 2010. I became so ill, I ended up in the emergency room. I had acute renal failure. I was placed in the acute care ward, where I got round the clock treatment. They were not sure if I would come back from this. My kidneys had not completely shut down yet. But they were close. Round the clock meds. For one week. With the meds, things started to improve. But I was again close to not making. So close that my brother was on standby at work in case he had to leave suddenly. So close that RG had my father prepared for the worse. And ready to bring him, wheel chair and all to the hospital. But here I am. I again survived.
I will, at this point say, that at this time it was not all doom and gloom. There was a time of delicious happiness here too. So don't be all sad. I did have a chance to see some happiness too, Out of deep respect and an even deeper love for this person, I will not tell this part of the story. The only reason I can give for not putting down here is that - it is mine and no one else's. When I stand in front of St Peter and he asks why, then and only then will I tell this story.
July, 2010 my father passed away. And yes I still let RG stay with me. All of these things, one right after the other, I just wasn't strong enough to fight anymore. We lived separate lives. We had been for some time. I just didn't have the strength to fight, to argue, to figure out a solutio.
October, 2010 RG passed away from a massive blood clot to the brain that caused a stroke. He has the stroke on Saturday. By Tuesday, I had to make the decision to turn off the ventilator. I still struggle with that even today.
And in the end I am left fighting medical bills, IRS, etc. Everything I ever saved was used to keep us afloat all those years ago. I had to sell most of my camera equipment to help pay for his cremation. There are days when my strength is not there. There are days when I think will I ever see and end to this. There are days when I am just numb and have no feelings. But I have survived. And I am moving forward. Slowly, ever so slowly, but I am moving forward.
This is my story - my story of the last ten years. I just needed to tell this. I needed to tell this so I can move forward.