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.
My sorrow increased as my days as a new bride passed without the love, affection and attention from my husband. Nonetheless, I heeded our pastor’s words that I must remain in the marriage. “If only” I could have looked into the future, I would realize the grief at times would become almost intolerable.
I was young and hopeful that things would improve. Chuck returned to his college classes while I worked full-time, as an accounting clerk for a large oil company. I loathed my 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 I was resentful Chuck mandated I quit college to work full-time for his benefit.
Also because we owed only one automobile, Chuck commanded that he have use of the car. I was obligated to locate a carpool to and from my job 20 miles from our home. I was cognizant I had no freedoms. Chuck and my employer were extremely controlling.
Now I was at the mercy of a carpool as to when I departed for work and returned home. Routine “after work” errands could not be fulfilled as if I had my own automobile. Years later when I had the use of an automobile to commute to work, appreciated the freedom of performing household errands before returning home.
My 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, I believed I had no options but to oblige. Chuck’s control and maltreatment began a cycle of physiological maladies.
One of first of many tremendous heartaches began on April 21, 1969; our first month wedding anniversary. Some of the other young women I worked with had special anniversary gifts and meals for their new husbands, so I chose to do the same. As Chuck arrived home from work that evening, I had a candle light dinner and a custom gift wrapped package for him.
Instead of joy and happiness, Chuck was angry and lashed out at me. “What is all this?” he quipped? “It’s for our first month anniversary.” He was not pleased. He even mandated that I turn on the lights as eating in candlelight was not something he desired. In spite of his anger, he accepted the gift, but without a word of thanks in return.
Approximately a year into their marriage, I 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. My employer mandated I return to work prior to my physician’s medical release.
The forced early return to work caused me a medical set-back, which upset Chuck. He was fearful I would lose my job, thus he pushed me harder to do anything my employer demanded. I looked toward the future. I vowed that in spite of Chuck’s mandates someday I would return to college which would provide an opportunity for a career I chose.
Life continued. Chuck worked part-time to supplement my full-time income. Our modest one bed room apartment was leased fully furnished. I longed for a “home” which had our personal touches, and for a “family”, but most of all for the love from the man I called, husband. Chuck’s aloofness toward me 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”.
I 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 I realized he was building a foundation of dishonesty and mistrust early in our marriage. He was secretive in his actions and always in his thoughts and emotions toward me.
When my week-ends were free from employment, Chuck and I would frequently attend the university football games with the student season tickets.Because Chuck had no interest in friendships or socialization, my 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. My family pushed me further from their lives as they continued to admonish me for having values different from theirs. I never understood how determination to improve my life’s status from my upbringing was to be viewed in an adverse manner. Nonetheless,I continued to reach out to each of my family on all special occasions. I 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.
Prior to receiving his orders, I 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. My attempts to console Chuck were not received with the warmth and love I desired. I 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, as it was with Chuck.
Please continue my journey as Chuck graduates college and we begin the next chapter of our lives. This blog began in April 2016.