Our Family Is Growing

By the end of 1996, our lives were settling into a routine back in Edmond, OK, the town we initially moved to twenty years prior. We had the impending December wedding of our son and soon to be “daughter”. After less than 2 months of being unemployed, Charles had been offered a new career position as the Tax Director for Deloitte Touche in Oklahoma City. I had begun my own dietetic consulting practice while still doing adjunct teaching for a couple of the local universities.

I was optimistic once again that “perhaps” Charles would come to love me. He had what he desired now; a prestigious career. I learned within days of our wedding in 1969 that when Chuck was discontent in his career, he was discontent with me. It seemed I was the one to blame for anything negative in his life, as I was the one whom was the closest to him.

As I have previously shared, there were indeed good days, but more often than not, days of much disappointment and sorrow that our marriage and family were not what God intended. My desire for intimacy from Charles was ever present, as such times were infrequent. When intimacy was a component of Charles’ calendar, it was brief and rote. He displayed no true feelings of love or concern for me. Unlike many empty nest couples, our marriage was not one that was experiencing the freedom of time and money to enjoy interests of life together.

Charles continued to work unnecessarily long hours at the office, while I fulfilled my tasks as an employee, wife, chef, maid and gardener. I now wore an additional hat; that of a designer and planner for our new home. Charles requested that I select paint colors, hardware, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, appliances, etc., all the required essentials for building a house.

Even though a new house would be nice, I knew it would never offer what I so greatly desired; a man that loved me. The previous pleas from me toward Charles of healing our relationship fell upon deaf and uncaring ears. He was content with the dysfunction, while I remained steadfastly heart broken. I cared nothing about a new house, if only I could have had a husband whom cherished me as greatly as I did him.

Andrea and Timothy continued with their careers and were as content as any young married couple. Soon Christopher and Kristina would join the ranks of newlyweds as he began law school. The December wedding was lovely and each of us welcomed a new year; 1997 with anticipation of delightful jubilation.

1997 also held wonders and lamentations. I had a large and joyous 50th birthday celebration for Charles in February, only days after we learned that we would be grandparents later that year. Chris and Kristina were rather shocked to learn of their unexpected blessing, but also elated. They realized this would complicate Chris’ time and finances to complete his juris doctorate, but both Chris and Kristina realized children are one of God’s greatest gifts.

By late spring we learned we would have another grandchild in early 1998. Andrea and Timothy were also expecting their first child. I was thrilled with the news of two additions to our Woods’ family, but also hopeful this too would bring a greater desire to Charles’ heart to not only love me, but to embrace our family.

Sadness gripped our hearts in July when Kristina suffered from pre-eclampsia and gave birth to a tiny, precious, stillborn baby boy. It was a sorrowful day for all of us. This precious child would have been both Charles’ and Christopher’s namesake, but he was now with the Lord.

By late summer of 1997 we moved into our new house. A new house can never negate the “old” battles. Just weeks upon moving into our home the physical abuse from Charles intensified. He returned to shoving me into closets, pinning me against walls and slamming me onto the floor. He had now added another element; dragging me from bed while sound asleep.

I would cry out to him in deep sorrow and agony. Why Charles why are you doing this to me? His answers never changed. “I want you to listen to me.” I would always repeat the same reply, I can hear just fine. My ears work well, but why push me and shove me to make me listen to you?” I would also continue to call him, Clyde Hamer, which enraged him more greatly. Charles understand exactly what I meant as my father had been extremely, physically abusive. Charles didn’t wish to be compared to my dad, but his abuse was a constant reminder of the many years I had suffered at the hands of my father.

The holidays were difficult as Chris and Kristina chose not to spend any of their holiday with us. Andrea and Timothy’s holiday commitments were now with Timothy’s large family, as well as with just Charles and me. Given the fact our family was small and distant toward one another, Andrea’s preference was to spend most of her holiday with the Maltz’s.

My Hamer family didn’t celebrate Christmas as a family. Charles’ Mom resided in a long-term care facility after the loss of his father the previous year. Thus, the holidays were a reminder to me of the continued demise of our family.

Please continue to follow my on my autobiographical journey, which I began blogging in April 2016. It’s my life filled with the emotional and physical pain of abuse and betrayal, but also of God’s healing.

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