I Was Married Once

It will help to know some background. I know, you’re shocked.

I grew up in an über small town. We’re talking full-on “Leave it To Beaver” shit complete with tree lined streets, playing unsupervised in the neighborhood until the street lights came on, lemonade stands, and the Mom who stayed home and made Campbell’s Chicken & Stars soup ‘n grilled cheese for lunch. Unsurprisingly, we were full of “Aw shucks, Y’all” values, church – not one, not two, but three – times a week (and to be honest, while a little excessive, I have nothing but happy memories from our church. I think the reason why I haven’t been happy with a church since then is due to the death of my beloved childhood preacher.). Honestly, my theory is that I became my Liberal, non-conformist, tattoo-lovin’, artistic self less from innate instinct and more about sheer rebellion. (Mom said, nearly daily, “Kimberly, you have SUCH a rebellious spirit!”)

She still says that.

As usual, I digress.

When I was 20 I met my ex-husband. In reality, he has brought me nothing but sheer misery for the last 15 years and I haven’t even seen the S.O.B. for 8, but I’m going to focus not on the pain he’s caused me but on the humorous, albeit ironic, side of his attributes.

He had huntin’ dogs. Lots of huntin’ dogs. Huntin’ dogs that lived outside chained to doghouses made of paneling, PVC, twine, stolen road signs, and that were filled with hay. Huntin’ dogs who had names like Montana, Flip, and Buck and who only had value if they could tree a coon and had a soft mouth (whatever that means). Bonus if they had lots of “ticks” which were not, as I initially thought, blood-sucking bugs, but the spots on the hound. The more the better, apparently.  He had no less than 5 dogs at any given time and spent more time filling plastic buckets with water, driving to the local feed store for bulk dog food, and fixing chains than any human being in their right mind should. It was a major source of contempt. The expense, the fact that they lived outside, the fact that I not only had to support his worthless ass but his dogs on top of it. The night I held the beautiful Brittney Spaniel with parvovirus in my lap while he struggled for his life nearly sent me over the edge. I will never forget the smell of that dog’s vomit and of lingering death, how sweet he was as he wouldn’t let me move out from underneath him and laid his head in my hands, and how happy I was when he stood up in the light of dawn and shakily went for a drink of water. He lived.

Yes, a major source of contempt.

But he had a bad back, dontcha know? Huntin’ dogs don’t need immunizations, either! (grrr)

He also fished. A lot. In the summer he spent most of his days – while I was at work – on the lake in the dinghy he stole and jimmy-rigged with a boat motor he found in a field. It had fake registration numbers which he bought from the local hardware. He didn’t have a boat trailer so he would just pick it up, toss it in, and haul it in the back of the truck. Come to think of it, his boat was named “Montana”, too… At least every once in awhile he brought home some fish to provide a meal.

He also hunted. A lot. He lived in Carhartts. He would leave at night in the fall and winter months with a light on his head mounted to a construction hat. He’d load his best dog of the moment into the dog box in the back of his rusted out Ford Ranger (because if it ain’t a Ford, it ain’t worth it) and head off to the woods in search of a poor unsuspecting papa coon, tree it and blast it from the branches. And, let me tell you, my pacifist animal loving self was THRILLED to have carcasses and skins in the shed out back all winter. He’d put in a 50 hour hunt week and pull in a whopping twelve bucks. Good times.

I have one thing for which to thank him: Living in that farm house in the middle of a corn field helped me to realize who I am as a person. The sheer hell I experienced supporting his worthless ass (I think I said that once already, didn’t I? It bears repeating.) while he whined about his back and neck 24/7 and made excuses about how he couldn’t keep a job because he wasn’t physically able to:  

1) perform repetitive tasks,

2) stand on his feet (but he could run around the woods for 10 hours a night),

3) bend, walk, sit (but he could sit in a boat for 10 hours), basically anything that was redeeamable.

Don’t get me wrong; I loved my town growing up and had the best childhood anyone could ever ask for, but I also knew that life, that small town existence wasn’t me. I also loved growing up with grandparents who had a farm. Some of my happiest memories are rooted in small town life.

It took living with that redneck cliche to bitch slap me to my senses. I realized that I didn’t have to settle. I was worth receiving everything I dreamed about and all I had to do was take some action. I found my personal power, a strength and resolve I never knew I had.

Did I mention he’d grow pot in the corn fields and sell it to support his activities? He swore that peeing on it made it better. He also lived by Wake ‘n Bake. I never really liked the feeling that it gave me – paranoia and me don’t mix – but I think he kept me passive by surrounding me in a cloud of second hand smoke and a contact high.

One night (after an event that will have to be a tale for another day) I snapped. I’d finally had enough. It took me 8 years but I’d finally gotten there. So how did I get out? I secretly filed for divorce, bought 4 tickets to Lynard Skynard in a city 2 hours away, faked a work emergency at the last minute, convinced him to go without me, and 30 minutes after he left loaded a U-Haul trailer with everything that was mine and hauled ass outta there, never looking back – almost to the day of our first anniversary (We were together 7 years before marrying.). The papers were delivered to him as I  traveled 6 states south.  I had to start over from scratch, build a life from nothing, start completely over, but I have never regretted it for a minute.

Lessons learned by my time with Bart (His real name; the bastard doesn’t deserve anonymity.):

* Abusive relationships only get worse over time.
* Promises mean far less than action, and are only good for a limited amount of years, I mean hours.
* Dog food mixed with hot water and bread goes twice as far but if you leave it longer than a few hours the stench will singe your nosehairs.
* Size does matter when it’s less than 5 inches.
* If a metal boat falls from the back of the truck onto a country road going over 40 mph will throw sparks roughly 5 ft in the air.
* Supporting yourself is hard enough but when you add a husband, 5 dogs, 47 breeding barn cats and a bird, it’s damned near impossible. Add his Dad who lives in a trailer 40 miles north and who is JUST LIKE HIM (ever hear Floyd on Bob & Tom? Identical. It freaks me out.) you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
* Being a powerful and strong woman is far superior to settling for THAT.

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~ by cinderellawasdelusional on June 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “I Was Married Once”

  1. I am super enjoying these ‘getting to know you’ posts… even if the people in them sometimes suck. And, holy hell, that is THE BEST divorce story ever.

  2. […] have posted before about my ex-husband, the low-life scumbag that he is. I tried to be rather flippant about the whole […]

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