The Check Please

Thank you for your patience and tolerance of my absence from this blog. I have begun traveling out of state for an abuse recovery and healing bible study and support group. While sharing with you; my readers of my life’s journey, this opportunity is one which I view as an incredible blessing and opportunity. My blogs may not be as timely as I desire, but please know I will continue to share this voyage of sorrow, pain and ultimately, healing.

Jalene’s sorrow increased as her days as a new bride passed without the love, affection and attention from her husband. Nonetheless, she heeded her pastor’s words that she must remain in the marriage. “If only” Jalene could have looked into the future, she would realize the grief at times would become almost intolerable.

She was young and hopeful that things would improve. Chuck returned to his college classes while Jalene worked full-time, as an accounting clerk for a large oil company. She loathed her job environment. It was not conductive to high productivity with the harsh criticism and policies of the company, department and supervisor. The work was not a career, but merely income. At times she was resentful Chuck mandated she quit college to work full-time for his benefit.

Also because they owed only one automobile, Chuck commanded that he have use of the car. Jalene was obligated to locate a carpool to and from her job 20 miles from their home. Jalene was cognizant she had no freedoms. Chuck and her employer were extremely controlling.

Now she was at the mercy of a carpool as to when she departed for work and when she returned home. Routine “after work” errands could not be fulfilled as if she had her own automobile. Years later when she had the use of an automobile to commute to work, she would appreciate the freedom of performing her household errands before returning home.

Jalene’s chronic headaches and anxiety began shortly after becoming Mrs. Chuck Wood. However, being reared in the conservative religion instructing the wife to be submissive to her husband in all his petitions, she believed she had no options but to oblige. Chuck’s control and maltreatment began a cycle of physiological maladies.

Approximately a year into their marriage, Jalene became extremely ill requiring major surgery which necessitated a 15 day hospital stay. The 1960’s was not an era of compassion for employees enduring health or family obstacles. Jalene’s employer mandated she return to work prior to her physician’s medical release.

The forced early return to work caused a medical set-back for Jalene, which upset Chuck. He was fearful she would lose her job, thus pushing her harder to do anything her employer demanded. Jalene looked toward the future. She vowed that in spite of Chuck’s mandates someday she would return to college which would provide an opportunity for a career she chose.

Life continued. Chuck worked part-time to supplement Jalene’s full-time income. Their modest one bed room apartment was leased fully furnished. Jalene longed for a “home” which had her personal touches, and  for a “family”, but most of all for the love from the man she called, husband. Chuck’s aloofness toward her only increased as his college degree drew closer in his sight. His desire was not for a wife, but for a “check” and a “house keeper”.

Jalene was frequently mandated to work week-ends for monthly, departmental audits. This permitted Chuck to live as a “single man”; doing as he pleased. Years later Jalene would realize he was building a foundation of dishonesty and mistrust early in their marriage. He was secretive in his actions and always in his thoughts and emotions toward her.

When Jalene’s week-ends were free from employment, she and Chuck would frequently attend the university football games with the student season tickets.Because Chuck had no interest in friendships or socialization, Jalene’s interaction with others was limited to colleagues and fellow church members.

Sunday was the weekly church service, frequently followed with a visit to Chuck’s parents whom resided nearby. Jalene’s family pushed her further from their lives as they continued to admonish her for having values different from theirs. She never understood how determination to improve her life’s status from her upbringing was to be viewed in an inverse manner. Nonetheless, she continued to reach out to each of her family on all special occasions. She always remembered Glenn and Jayne with cards, gifts and visits or telephone calls.

As Chuck’s college graduation approached, he became more apprehensive of his future in the military, as the Vietnam war intensified. He realized when he became an R.O.T. C. (Reserved Officer Training Corp) cadet his commitment to the Army would be repayment for the college scholarship and stipend which they had provided him during his undergraduate degree.

Jalene was frequently awakened with Chuck’s nightmares of Vietnam. Even though he had not received his military assignment, he presumed the worst. Chuck’s assumptions in spending the next few years overseas, prompted bursts of fear and visions. Jalene’s attempts to console Chuck were not received with the warmth and love she desired. She wanted to be a loving and supportive wife. However, when one is overcome with distress it may not always be possible to accept endearment from those closest to them.

Please continue on Jalene’s journey as Chuck graduates college and they begin the next chapter of their life.







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