Breaking out of the historical ramble, a funny thing happened to me.
It was mid morning March 25 and I became extremely weak and dizzy. I kinda felt like vomiting but could not. I checked my blood pressure which was unusually high, and pulse rate very unusually low. I could only lay down and I started to get cold. I went to bed under all the covers, and long underwear, and still got colder. After some time I fell asleep and when I woke up I could feel my hands, face and feet tingling, as if they had all been asleep. But also I could feel them getting warmer. So it passed.
I wondered if that is what it can feel like to die. You just get cold.
I was surely old enough by now to accept responsibility for my actions. I did not think about it at the time, obviously. I can imagine it might be hard to live with someone who has their head in the clouds as far as I did. I was doing everything I could to restore what I had imagined had been- which of course never was. I think that is a fair assessment of how messed up I was.
But it did not and could not exist. I could not and would not ever trust her again. I found I cared little about the marriage itself- only the image of the marriage. I could not let go of this. So it kept on keeping on. There is no one to blame but myself.
I was stunned into silence again when after some time she announced that she wanted to have a kid. I remember a degree of rage bubbling up inside me at this point- how much of it I expressed I do not recall. I just went along with the program. At least the necessary act would return a little of the original basis for the relationship. Until the end the gift of intimacy was only doled out to me for good behavior, not from mutual desire. Like two people who loved each other might have felt. I don’t know. I immersed myself into studies at Iowas State University and enjoyed that part of my life exceedingly.
Self imposed. A person more clever than I might have been able to take an objective view of the situation. I refused to let myself accept the new reality. I kept hoping for her return. This is all my fault. I did it to myself.
I was lonely on the farm. Nights were particularly unpleasant. One does not fall into a gentle sleep in this situation no matter how well deserved. I continued at my work. That was falling apart too. The nice old guy, Jim Nehring, of Owasa, Iowa was retiring and leaving the business to his son who had grand ambitions. The business beforehand had been nice old Jim, and me. Going around the countryside doing small and large carpentry jobs for farmers. The son wanted to take on big big projects. This did not appeal to me.
Out of desperation I finally did reach out to an old girlfriend, who was not that far away- in Des Moines. She came for a visit. Not a conjugal visit- the visit of a supporting friend. This was very kind of her. I also called a mutual friend of my ex-wife and me. She invited me to her place in Eastern Iowa for a chance to get away from the misery. Otherwise I kept mum about the whole deal.
These were brief distractions in a dismal dreary. There I was again, after, alone on the farm. It did finally dawn on me that I had to leave. I sold the calf, packed up my things in the truck, and went home. Meanwhile she had also moved back with her parents and was still seeing the creepy bastard.
You might think it could have dawned on me at some point this would not be a great relationship. I told you I hang onto my version of how things should be far far too long- to hell with reality. You will be surprised that it did happen. One night I was with her (she was still seeing you know who) and I got up and said I was finished with it. It was over. At this point she broke down and said she did not want to lose me and she would agree to not seeing him. This is not the point in the story where the hero stays strong. I caved.
Looking back on my life I think something I may have done was to deny reality. I had very strong feelings of how I wanted things to be and I did not like to let anything interfere with this dream. I would just block it out of my reality. Thus, when she told me she wanted to separate I did just that- blocked it out. Erased it. That doesn’t work when someone else has the power to change your reality.
It was later that summer when going to bed one night she starts crying and tells me she has been sleeping with that friend of mine. Once again I had no support or defense except silence. And running. I ran out into the pasture… Everything had just changed and I had no idea what to do. There was no one to call. No one to confide in. There was no place to go. In a desperate attempt to restore my imaginary reality, I thought, maybe it was just once, maybe she will stop, maybe it is over, maybe things will be ok. I went back to the house and placed this possible reality in front of her. Her response was no, that it was not over with him, and that it would continue.
Eventually I went back to bed, and like that first night after we had left home and our relationship had changed so dramatically I lay there next to her and she was far away.
I would not allow myself to realize at this point that the marriage was over. An acute observer would have said it never existed. There were a few observers- but they were only relieved that the marriage had gone ahead because it absolved everyone involved from doing nothing to stop the original crime. You see, by marrying her it made it ok that an adult had taken out a 14 year old and got him drunk and had sex with him, given him the means to leave his home, his school, his friends, taken away the last 4 years of childhood. It made it ok for that adult. It made it ok for the other adults who did not put an end to it when it was within their power to do it.
It was not more than a week or so and I was watching her drive away with him. I was alone on the farm. Me and the dog.
I would say I got around a year of marriage. I was happy, working, fixing the old house on the farm, rebuilding the old VW under the giant oak.
I finished the VW and thought we should take a vacation. We drove to the East- Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and back again. Camping by a lake in upstate New York one night hangs in my memory. The first time in my life I could remember experiencing complete silence. Nothing to entertain the ears. It was an eerie night and hard to get to sleep. Had a crab sandwich in a little cafe on the easternmost part of the USA in Maine. Trouble had already started, but I had been oblivious to it. Camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire she told me she was thinking we should split up. Again I was shocked into silence. Not knowing what to do I did nothing and thought she might change her mind. I guess I just tried to forget about it. I certainly said nothing to anybody about it… the pattern of my life since I had taken up with her.
Although it may seem otherwise, this is not a lay-the-blame elsewhere history. I am simply telling what happened to me.
So I had had a warning and I ignored it. Next post- Phase two.
When I first heard of Macron, the new president of France, I knew he could not be a leader. He had been in a similar situation, and adult woman having sex with him as a minor. But he had never gotten free of his abuser. He was still with her. I suppose that unless one is in this position they will not understand. He is under the thumb of his wife. I feel sorry for him. It took me a long time, but I made it out. I credit that to getting my first Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. I think that gave me the self confidence to know I did not have to live under this thumb any more. It was shortly after this that I filed for divorce.
You will need about 3 cubic meters of firewood for a winter. Of course it depends on the wood. I generally have about 30% apple wood, which is the best you can get. If there is more alder or willow, you better add at least one cubic meter. 40 cm long is the absolute limit in length. 16″. 20 cm, 8″, is the limit in diameter. If you decide to buy firewood, then get birch or black alder, 4 cubic meters. Get it in the spring.
Cut the trees down in February and just let them lay until the ground firms up and you can drive the tractor and trailer to collect the firewood cut to length. This will make certain the tree has the smallest amount of sap in it, and that it will not collect more if the ground firms up late. The wood, if it will be burned the following fall/winter- must be either split or a portion of it skinned. I use the small carving axe for this, it works well. Keep it very very sharp. Just skin the full length of the piece- it only needs to be a full inch wide, or so. Otherwise it will not dry out for two years.
A five inch apple log, with the right settings on the stove, will last all night, easily.
Shocked into silence was becoming a regular theme. The first time was at the Hotel the night after leaving home at age 16- when the entire basis of the relationship to date-sex- was cancelled. Instead of responding with shocked silence I should have gone home, back to friends and family. Kids don’t know what to do. Some kids may, this one did not. The next was the third abortion. I should have expected that, I guess. I spoke to no one about it, ever. The next was her leaving me for Arnold Blattel, whom I supposed was a friend. I wasn’t learning about love. Again I should have abandoned her at this point and I feel certain I did not pursue her out of love, but out of a sense of ownership, perhaps. Like property had been stolen from me. But I did not talk about it to friends or family. I don’t know why. I foolishly faced these issues alone. I do not think I handled it well. Without her the farm was a horrible place and I left it not long after. I moved back with the folks. She moved in with hers. In my desire to be with her I would sleep with her even though she did not hide the fact she was sleeping with Arnold still. SO this is what marriage is like. One night I almost did the right thing, and said I was leaving, but I was weak and when she became afraid and promised to stop seeing Arnold I gave in. We got back together, rented a house on the SE side of Cedar Rapids, and got jobs downtown. She at a swanky place that dresses the waitresses sexy and I got a job as a Limo driver for the Five Season’s hotel.
Skipping over some territory, I want to dispense with the third abortion, about three years after the second. We married. We were living on my grandfather’s farm in central Iowa. I was working as a carpenter, she as a waitress in a Pizza Hut. I had acquired some farm animals, and a dog, I was rebuilding a 1959 VW beetle under the tremendous Burr Oak tree in the yard. I guess I was pretty well happy. She got pregnant again, and I thought that since now we were married an all it looks like we might be having a child. The next day I brought home flowers. That was when she told me she wasn’t having a baby. It was now legal to get an abortion in Iowa so she did not need to fly to New York. I guess I was a little stunned. It made no sense. So I did not think about it. Regardless of the more practical reasons that one could assign, I guess, to the earlier abortions, namely my being a minor I think this may have had another reason. I think, though I do not know, that she may have been unsure of the parentage. A clue that might leave one to believe this was not long after she informed me that she had been having sex with a person I considered a friend, that she intended on continuing this, and that she was leaving me. The farm suddenly became a very lonely place.