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He Just Wasn't That Into Me

I think that every woman who has ever been in an abusive relationship and finally left the situation, did so because one day, her partner did something so mean, so thoughtless, that she could no longer deny that this person just did not love her. That's the day she stopped making excuses for his actions and started making plans to leave. Once this happens, the blinders fall off and she is able to see just how inexcusable all the rest of the person's actions have been all along.

I had that moment with my 2ND husband. A day that his actions were so heinous, I expected a camera crew to pop around the corner any second, telling me to smile 'cause I was on Candid Camera. As is usual with my mosaic past ( big pieces of hell, little pieces of happiness ), I try to look back on this with a sense of humor. I can manage to do that because I am no longer in that situation and I am so happy to be out. So here goes...

It was 1999 and we had just moved back to NC. I was so miserable up in northern VA, where Jerk (his name for the duration of this post)had insisted we move to be near his father, Jerk Sr.and his annoying new wife, that I was moving back with or without him. Not for petty reasons, but for a list of very good reasons. Among them were that our neighbors in VA were drug dealers, the house he had found for such a steal had tree roots growing into the sewer lines and by the time we realized this, our basement was filling up with raw sewage, and the house only had a 110 current for the electricity ( forgive me if I have that wrong, I am not an electrician). At any rate, I couldn't even use my electric clothes dryer. One thing that really bothered me there was the lack of friendliness. Hey, having watched the movie "The Money Pit", I knew it was time to get the hell out of Dodge...

Folks didn't wave at you when you passed them on the road, like they do here. The store clerks didn't smile and ask," Hey, how are y'all doing today?" I was surprised to meet one very friendly clerk at the local dollar store. It made sense after she told me she had just moved there from northwestern NC. But she was the only one. Maybe not a big deal to some, but to me it was like being in the Twilight Zone. So we rented a U-haul truck, had his mother drive our car down and take the kids to her house while we got everything moved back into the old place.

Luckily, we had not sold our mobile home here in NC. I loved my trailer! It was the first truly new thing I had ever owned. It was set up in a nice park, close to the best elementary school that any mother could ever ask for. I had waited a lot of tables to help make the monthly payments on this place. I was so happy to be going home! Our first night back, I slept better than I had in months.

Well, fast forward a couple of weeks, there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was freezing out. The kids had gone with my MIL the night before as she wanted to take them all to Chuck E Cheese's in Roanoke, VA that day. I did not have phone service yet and Jerk was at work. I was all alone cleaning house, wearing a tank top, shorts, and no shoes. I turned on the hot water at the kitchen sink and heard a loud GUSH!. Suddenly, hot water is spilling from everywhere! I turned off the faucet but the water kept gushing out from under the sink, filling the floor of the kitchen. In my panic, I did not think to look for a shut off valve under the sink. I just kept thinking about how much this was going to add to our water bill, how it was ruining my kitchen floor, I had to save the house! lol So I sprang into action and headed for the back door, planning to shut off the water beneath the trailer at the main valve. I opened the door and ran out, all in one swift motion...

I will freeze myself in mid-air right now to tell you that Jerk was a notorious procrastinator. Even though we had been there for 2 weeks and even though I had reminded him constantly, Jerk had never bothered to move the back steps back into their proper place. He had moved them in order to back the U-haul closer to the trailer and hadn't put them back. Although he was kind enough to leave some nice, soft, cinder blocks strewn about. Now is also a good time to tell you that my back door was somewhere between 6.5 to 7 feet off the ground. Even when standing on the very top step, one had to take a huge step up into the house. Okay, back to my free fall...

Imagine running at top speed out a door, expecting your foot to touch a step, and one not being there. I'm pretty sure I remained suspended in mid-air for a few seconds, like Road Runner, then I dropped to the ground. I heard a huge POP! and felt a searing pain in my left leg. I paused for a second to look at the thumb of my left hand, was it supposed to be twisted like that? THE WATER! It was too painful to stand so I crawled/dragged my way though the ice and snow, to the end of the trailer. Jerk had literally Bedazzled the underpinning with sheet metal screws. I finally found a crevice between two pieces and clawed and pulled with all my might, finally tearing it loose. My hands were bleeding at this point. I felt around for the water doodad and turned it off. Yayyyyyyyy!

I made my way, still crawling/dragging myself, back to the spot under the door. I was alone, hurt, freezing, and had no idea how I was going to get myself back into the house. No use crawling around to the front as the door was locked. I assessed my injuries, there was a huge knot protruding from my left leg, just below the knee and the entire lower half of my leg was turning funny colors. My left thumb was twice it's normal size and also changing colors. Everything was starting to hurt. I heard a whimper from above my head. I looked up to see Yogi, my beloved Pekingese, staring down at me with deep concern. " Hey Yogi! Hey boy! Are you trying to help Mama?" Lassie had nothing on my dog. Or so I thought... Yogi jumped out the door, rolled a bit when he hit the ground, righted himself and ran! That little turd wouldn't be back for 2 days! Hanging out with the neighbors dog and eating Snausages was apparently more pressing than his mommy dying in the snow. I kept replaying my fall in my mind. I could hear that song," I Believe I Can Fly", my brain was creating it's own comedy for me to watch. I started laughing hysterically at the vision.

Laughing and crying, crying and laughing, I crawled around, positioning cinder blocks under the door. Without the use of one leg and one hand, I couldn't pull myself in front ways. Respect your thumbs, they're more important than you'll ever realize. I figured if I could get just enough added height under me, I could stand on my good leg in the tip-toe position with by back facing the trailer, lift my arms behind my back, hook my elbows into the threshold and lift my rear into the doorway. It took me several tried and a lot bad words but I did it! Props to whomever I inherited my super-bony elbows from.

I was so happy to be back inside! I stayed there on the floor for a few minutes, letting my eyes adjust from snow blindness and thinking about what an idiot I was. I finally made my way to a recliner and sat there in agony. I couldn't even find so much as a Tylenol and the pain kept getting worse. I eased my mind by reminding myself that in a few hours, my husband would be home to take me to the hospital. I was overjoyed to finally hear his car in the drive. When he made his way inside, I burst into tears, showed him my wounds, and told told him the whole story.

He stared at my mutant leg for a bit and then he said," Gee Honey, that leg looks like you may need surgery. I hate that my insurance hasn't kicked in yet, if I take you to the hospital now, that will make it preexisting and the surgery wouldn't be covered." I was so stunned, I couldn't speak. This was surreal. I kept examining his face, hoping he would crack a smile and tell me he was kidding, he never did. It gets worse...

Apparently, this was the day that a video game he wanted to rent would be arriving at the store. Because he was such a slacker at returning movies and never paid his late fees, the only way he could get the game was if I rented it on my account. God as my witness, this S.O.B. dressed me, loaded me into the car, and drove to the video store. He stopped the car at the curb in front of the store, lifted me out of my seat, carried me inside, and propped me against the wall on my good leg, while he found the game he wanted. Then, he carried me to the counter and I handed the guy there my membership card. At this point, I was literally sweating and feeling faint from the pain. He was trying to act casual, as if nobody would notice the grown ass woman he was holding in his arms. The man looks at him and says," Dude, you need to get her to a hospital!" Jerk replied, " Yeah, I know, we're headed there now."

Well, he never took me to the hospital. Instead he took me back home to my chair, handed me a glass of soda and a Goody's headache powder, and commenced to playing his video game. I stared at the back of his head, trying to mentally make his brain explode.When that failed, I started planning my departure... I never did make it to a hospital, my leg healed funny and now I have a visible knot on the side of it and it is a bit shorter than my other one. I have a slight limp to my walk. By the way, 2 weeks later, Jerk twisted his ankle and was in so much pain that he went to the ER, with no insurance.

A few months later when I told him I was leaving, he actually cried. He said he loved me and didn't want me to go. He didn't love me, he was really crying at the thought of having to lose weight, practice basic hygiene, and pretend to be a nice person, long enough to reel some other poor sucker into his web. I'm sure of it. After all, he just wasn't that into me.

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