Not Again

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your patience in following me, even though it’s been over 4 months since I last posted in my blog. Life continues to be challenging. With illnesses and a couple of trips, time didn’t permit me to blog. However, I’m now back and will attempt to be as consistent as possible with my postings. Thank you for continuing with me on my journey.

1981 would bring more changes to the lives of the Wood family. Jalene remained involved with Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, teaching Sunday School and working several part-time jobs while becoming closer to completing her Bachelor of Science degree. By March, Chuck was ancy to make another move. Jalene grappled with Chuck’s chronic yearning to appear more successful. A more expensive home only signaled more stress for Jalene; not success.

The brand-new home in the newly developed neighborhood was cherished by Jalene. It not only met all their family’s size requirements, but it was a lovely home. Having purchased the house when the construction had just begun, it was akin to a custom-built home. Chuck and Jalene completed the construction with their personal choices of colors, flooring, fixtures, etc.  The children loved their rooms and Jalene cherished the extremely large kitchen. She hosted countless community events, family and church parties there and it held some memorable times from the short 4 years of their residency.

To exacerbate Jalene’s frustration with the desired move, Chuck wanted to move to a neighborhood approximately the same age as the one where they currently resided. The house was almost identical in size, but for a cost of over $30,000 more. The increase in mortgage payments would put a strain on Chuck’s modest income. However, he reminded Jalene often of his mandate she find a full-time job as soon as she competed her college degree. Chuck cited the degree was not to be wasted as a stay-at-home mother.

Jalene reminded Chuck the degree was an insurance policy for if she must return to a full-time career, but that she never desired a career. This was not a topic for discussion. Chuck mandated Jalene would indeed become a career wife. Jalene’s stomach tightened at the thought of leaving home daily to work full time, but return to all the responsibilities of a  wife and mother. She also understood many women had to earn a living for survival. When Jalene realized her work ruling was for Chuck to purchase more expensive cars and larger homes, she felt his edict was not justifiable.

Nonetheless, Chuck was the ruler of his home and he insisted they move across the street to the more prestigious neighborhood.  When Jalene said no, he became aggressive with the realtor, requesting she telephone Jalene urging her to sign the contract on the home which Chuck desired. Jalene didn’t like the home. It was the same age as the one they owned, but it was someone else’s home; not theirs, not the one they had chosen together.

Jalene’s pleas to remain in their house failed. The battle was fought and Chuck once again was the victor. The owners of their second house would not budge. They were having a home custom built and informed Chuck and Jalene they would not move until their new home was totally completed. There were no negotiations on this. Jalene became even more remorseful when their house sold quickly and they were compelled to move into an apartment over 25 miles away from their community and new home.

Why oh why was Chuck so selfish? Jalene spent countless, sleepless nights pondering her desire to marry a man whom cared nothing about his wife or children. His interests were the only ones which mattered.

In less than 24 hours after moving into the roach infested, ramshackled 2 bedroom apartment the children’s legs were red with welts and severe itching. The apartment was flea infested. When complaining to the apartment manager, Jalene was accused of being dishonest. Jalene purchased white knee high socks for each of the children to wear. When they stepped out of their beds and onto the carept the white socks quickly became dotted with hundreds of fleas.

Jalene marched to the apartment office urging the manager to hastily return to their apartment.  Upon inspection of the children’s red, swollen legs with dozens of bites, the manager ordered the extermination of the fleas.

Jalene was hopeful the worst of the problem was behind them, even though she constantly battled the excessive roach problem. As she laid in bed at night sobbing about the living conditions of her family, Chuck had no sympathy. He knew only that when they moved into their next home, he could tout he lived in a more prestigious neighborhood.

Shortly after the fleas had vanished, the rains came. Due to the extreme dis-repair of the apartment, the room where the children were sleeping was flooded. They awakened one morning to not only a soggy carpet, but stepped in several inches of water. When oh when would their lives have any normalcy? Jalene didn’t realize in the summer of 1981, there would never again be normalcy to her life. When she married Chuck, any aspirations for a normal life as many families knew, would not be for the Wood family.

Please follow Jalene as she continues her journey with Chuck and their children. This blog began in April 2016 with her childhood journey.

A Safe Haven

“Sir, I’m a student here and thought this would be a safe place to sleep”. Jalene had been awakened with a rapid knocking on her car window, as she slept in the university parking lot.  The evening held another volatile and physical confrontation with Chuck. As was becoming Chuck’s routine, after the children were put to bed, he would then attack Jalene verbally, emotionally and/or physically.

Jalene explained to the officer she was fleeing an abusive husband, but had no money to go to a hotel. The understanding officer calmly stated, “I understand. You will be safe here. I will patrol the area during the night to be certain you are secure.” After several hours Jalene returned home as she was unable to comfortably sleep in her automobile. She dreaded returning home to the wrath of Chuck, but she longed for a comfortable bed for the few hours of sleep she hoped to have.

Chuck’s assaults that night were typical of countless others. As he had done in 1967, he  wanted her to drop out of college and work full-time, so she could bring in more income. He was a Certified Public Accountant; the Tax Director for an oil company, with an adequate income to provide for his family. Why did he insist that she drop out of college to work full time?

She worked three part-time jobs to supplement the family income, so  she could earn her college degree. Jalene believed a degree would not only provide her a greater income, but also allow her to work a job she enjoyed; not one she was forced to take to meet the demands of a controlling husband.

As Jalene walked back into the house, she was greeted with Chuck’s brusque tone, “where have you been?” Passively Jalene replied, “I drove over to the university.” Chuck continue to interrogate her. She maintained short and honest answers, not wanting to divulge her safe haven, should she need to go there again. In their entire marriage, Jalene never lied nor was dishonest to Chuck.

Jalene learned early in their marriage, Chuck had been dishonest to her numerous times prior to and during their marriage.  With all  the lies she had endured from her parents, lying and dishonesty were some of Jalene’s greatest obstacles in trusting others. Her integrity and conscience would not allow her to do so.  She also knew she had nothing to hide. Thus, to Jalene deceit gained nothing.

As the weeks and months passed, seldom where there moments of closeness or kindness from Chuck. The children’s ages brought more responsibilities for her with their studies and activities. She was now carrying a full load of college coursework, but continued to focus on being the best wife and mother she could be. She realized she was not perfect, but she always hoped her best would outweigh the mistakes she made along life’s path.

Christmas Eve 1980 became one which would not only linger in Jalene’s heart, but would bring much sorrow each time she reflected upon it. She had hosted countless parties for church, Chuck’s family and office staff, as well as the children’s school and community groups. This left little time for preparing for her own small family’s holiday festivities.

Cutout, decorated Christmas cookies had been a Christmas tradition for as long as Jalene could recall. These were the last of the holiday treats which she needed to complete before Chuck’s brother, Mike and sister-in-law, Linda were going to join them for their Christmas Eve celebration.

When Jalene heard the kitchen door open, she sighed, “Chuck, I’m so glad you are home. Can you help me get the treats ready, since Mike and Linda will be here soon and I need to finish decorating these cookies?” Chuck didn’t hesitate with his gruff reply, “no, you should have managed your schedule better to have everything done.” Jalene burst into uncontrollable sobs. “Chuck, you know how much I’ve had to do with all the parties, college class finals, holiday shopping and gift wrapping. These cookies are the last goodies I’m finishing up.”

Jalene reminded him that with Christmas being the next day, his parents were coming and she had more food to prepare for that holiday meal.  For Chuck, this was another way to remind Jalene that he had no interest in her emotional needs. He didn’t care that she was exhausted. It was her problem not his. He changed his clothes and awaited the arrival of Mike and Linda.

Jalene’s tears became loud sobs. Her pleas for assistance became emotional hysteria. Why did Chuck turn his back on her time and again? She was not baking cookies for herself. She wanted to have a special holiday treat for their children and Chuck’s family. Shortly before Mike’s arrival, Jalene had become physically ill from the tremendous emotional fatigue.

She didn’t want Mike and Linda to be aware of another explosive encounter between her and Chuck. She got in her car and began driving. She felt she had no option except to get away from the intense psychological abuse from Chuck. The longer she drove, the more hysterical she became. She prayed and cried for the next four hours.

She returned home long after Mike and Linda had arrived and departed. Jalene was again reminded that her life with Chuck would never be one of joy and contentment. She was also reminded of her Dad’s words which he cited numerous times when things were difficult with Chuck, “you made your bed. Now you must lie in it”. Glenn had no sympathy nor compassion for the abuse Jalene endured from Chuck. Also, because Glenn had been extremely abusive toward Jalene, he believed she was a woman whom deserved such treatment.

Please follow Jalene as she continues to survive the sorrow of a loveless marriage. Will it improve or only worsen?  This blog began with her childhood journey in April 2016.

The 30 Year Old College Student

As Jalene approached her 30th birthday, her desire to complete her college education increased.  She realized that with Chuck’s mandate for her to earn an income, she preferred to perform a job she enjoyed rather than merely bringing home a paycheck. She would attend classes while Marie was in school and Christian was in pre-school three days a week.

Chuck balked at Jaelene’s plans. He had required she drop out of college 10 years earlier. Jalene was determined.  Chuck was not going to prevent her now from returning to college. She quietly stashed away some of her meager earnings, so with the upcoming semester she could enroll in one or two classes. When Chuck understood he could not dissuade Jalene from returning to college, he seceded.

Jalene’s days were long, but she endured. She awakened early to prepare her children for their day, awaited for the other youngsters to arrive and drove all of them to school. On the days Christian attended pre-school, she delivered him to his awaiting teachers and quickly dashed to her own classes. She departed from the university in enough time to pick up Christian, return home and await the arrival of Marie and her after school charges.

Once a week she co-led the Camp Fire Girls and often hosted school parties. Additionally, there were other school and church events which Jalene was involved with. By the time she tended to the evening routine of preparing dinner, assisting the children with schoolwork and their nightly baths and preparation for them to head off to bed, it was a long, full day.

Because Chuck seldom assisted Jalene or interacted with her or the children, her own college studies were during the early hours of the morning. She sometimes remained up until 2-3:00 a.m. to complete her studies after she had fulfilled her duties as mom and homemaker.

Jalene endured tremendous stress working part-time jobs to earn additional income for the family, being involved in the children’s school activities, maintaining all the duties of mother and homemaker and now the role of a college student. Nonetheless, Jalene knew the end results would be of great benefit to her, if she could just “get through this difficult time. Chuck became more abusive toward Jalene as he realized she was gaining a new understanding of independence.

Her scope of life was broadened with not only her college classes, but the opportunity of interacting with a diverse group of individuals. Frequently, Chuck would disagree with Jalene during casual conversation about current events or happenings in the community. It greatly angered Chuck when Jalene could validate what she had noted was true.

She was disquieted when the children would “chime in”, “Daddy is right”, even though often times he was not. Jalene quickly realized Chuck’s determination to make her appear inferior to him would always be the victor over the truth.

When the children were young toddlers Chuck informed Jalene that he had no desire to discipline the children. She was with them all day. Therefore, she could address any concerns she had with them. The children learned rapidly that they could speak to Jalene rudely or treat her with great disrespect and there was no one who whom punish them. Jalene was deemed  the “mean parent” very early in the chidlren’s lives. She attempted to instill morals and Godly principles in the children, but she had no back up from Chuck.

At age three, Marie put her hands on her hips and said, “I will tell my Daddy when he comes home.” She did and it remained for the duration of Marie’s life. Well into her 40’s and beyond, anytime Jalene said anything which Marie disagreed with, she “ran to Daddy”. Each of the children knew that whatever the situation and no matter the reality, Chuck would “side” with them.

Not having a husband whom loved, supported or cared about her always compounded her anxiety. Chuck was becoming more abusive with each passing year. Another young mother in the community, Sarah was aware of Jalene’s problematic marriage and the strain she endured. Sarah recommended that Jalene seek counseling.

As the sorrow of Jalene’s life cascaded onto the ears of the counselor, Jalene realized the past 30 years of her life were indeed atypical. She was born into a family of poverty to extremely abusive parents. She naively left home to marry an abusive, gay man. When attempting to have her marriage annulled, her parents and pastor informed her she must remain as she took vows before God and that is what was expected of her.

Now without physical or emotional love from her husband, she realized she must learn to live with the circumstances she was facing. Additionally, the more the counselor learned of the abuse from Charles, the more he became aware of the serious abuse of her youth and young adult life. Jalene was absolutely on a surreal life’s path.

If you have not followed Jalene’s journey, her story  began in April 2016 when she was a child in OH.

We Just Wanted To See You

Jalene was cognizant that Chuck truly didn’t have the devotion to her, as she did toward him.  Each week-end she would eagerly anticipate his visits, but he seldom came home to be with his family. He spent his week-ends with his parents or his brother. Jalene had flashbacks of their honeymoon when Chuck chose to spend it with his brother, Mike instead of her. Now, he was repeating his actions by refusing to come home to his wife and two young children, ages two and four.

Chuck and Jalene fought harshly and frequently when they were together, but one of their most combative arguments was on a week-end when Jalene had loaded the car with the two children and headed to OK for a week-end. She wanted to see her husband and desired that the children could see their Daddy. She was in absolute dismay when she arrived at her in-law’s home and was greeted with intense anger from Chuck.

He didn’t want Jalene there. He told her he would see her in several weeks, so why had she chosen to make a trip from TX to OK?  As she sobbed uncontrollably her chest heaved, “I just wanted to see you. I love and miss you.” Chuck was abrupt and harsh, “I said I would be home in a few weeks. I don’t want you here.”

Chuck instructed Jalene to “get in the car” as he didn’t want them arguing in his parents’ small home. Jalene had experienced Chuck’s abuse previously, but once again when they were in the car, Chuck’s rage increased. Repeatedly he queried her as to why she had come. Her reply never changed as she told of her love and devotion for him. She reminded him that she and the children missed him.

While driving down the street, the car door opened and Jalene jumped out, walking in the cold, dark night air. She prayed aloud as she walked, salty tears stung her eyes. Why did the husband she loved so deeply, have such disdain for her? As she walked, it was quite some time before Chuck came to look for her. If she could have known what the future held for her that would have been the very last time such a conflict occurred. However, it would be one of hundreds over the next years of their marriage.

While the children played with their grandparents during the week-end, Chuck’s wrath remained with jalene. She quietly cried as she returned home to TX; alone with only her children and void of the love of her husband.

Months passed and the TX home eventually sold. While seeking a home in OK, Chuck and Jalene located a new home under construction. They were able to make selections to complete the house with their personal tastes and influence. This necessitated moving temporarily  into another apartment. Jalene was hopeful the apartment residency would be worth the wait for the new home.

Within hours of moving into the apartment, the children had been severely bitten by fleas. Jalene’s little family didn’t posses a pet, but it was apparent the previous occupants of the apartment had. Also evident was the fact the apartment corporation had not properly cleaned and fumigated the apartment. The flea bites required a physician’s visit for the children.  The severe infestation in the children’s  bedroom appeared to be where the pet had been housed.  If the parasites were not enough of a problem, the apartment flooded during a strong rain storm.

Jalene was at her wits’ ends. Would her life ever be normal? Chuck’s chronic career relocations and residing in apartments was becoming a challenge. Jalene reminded herself that her pastor and parents noted she took a vow and must remain in the marriage; for better or worse. The enduring abuse and control from Chuck compounded with his inability to remain “rooted and secure” in his career caused Jalene to ponder often her decision to marry Chuck.

When the day arrived for the Wood family to move into their new home, the elation was experienced by all the family. The children were free from dwelling together in one room in a small, dirty apartment. They each had rooms of their own, which they had selected. Jalene had a huge, new kitchen to enjoy not only preparing meals for the family, but much space to entertain famiy and future friends.

Chuck and Jalene were the first residents of not only a new house, but a brand new neighborhood in Edmond, OK, a college surburb of Oklahoma City. Edmond of the 1970’s consisted primarily of long-term residents; families whom were business owners and professionals. Edmond didn’t readily accept newcomers. Nonetheless, Jalene rapidly became involved in the community, becoming a home-room mother, Camp Fire leader and Sunday School teacher, as well as contributing countless hours to other volunteer work.

Even though Marie and Christian were young and Jalene desired to be a full-time mother to them, Chuck mandated that she look for employment to assist with the family budget. She became a care-giver for children before and after school, as well as catering and cake decorating from her home.

Jalene resented the circumstances of Chuck moving from career to career for his personal desires, but always mandated that Jalene seek part-time employment. Additional income was not required from her. Nonetheless it was an opportunity for Chuck to control Jalene. With each passing month, the abuse from Chuck became more severe.

Please continue to join Jalene as she struggles to cope with Chuck and the abusive marriage.












A Commentary on Domestic Violence

Dear Readers,

Even though my blog is very early in my life’s journey, as the years passed and presently where I am in life (now in my 60’s), the tremendous sorrow and heartache of remaining in such a volatile and abusive marriage all those years has taken a toll on me emotionally.

I have maintained a close walk and strong faith in the Lord, but it has never diminished the heartbreak over the domestic violence and eventual estrangement of my children. I attended a faith based domestic violence workshop last week-end in Chicago. I learned then that it isn’t unusual for abusers to not only control their spouses, but also their children.

This has certainly been the situation for me. Additionally, my ex of 44 years has a very affluent career which will leave each of my two children and their families  wealthy when he passes. I was left with very little following the divorce, so all I can offer is my love, dedication and support.

For children whom are seeking financial security as they age, they feel it is the better choice to join their father’s camp, than to remain with me. Even though it doesn’t lessen the sadness, I have a better understanding of abusers like my ex, after attending the workshop. They control and manipulate any/all persons they can until the day they die. It is their nature; their personality.  As we learned during the workshop last week “ABUSE HAS NO PLACE IN LOVE.”

Thank you readers for following me on my journey.


Is It Merely a Hole In The Floor?

With two toddlers in tow and a few meager, possessions, Chuck and Jalene settled into their new, temporary home in Arlington, TX.  Chuck’s ego escalated when he realized he would manage the tax department at Champlin Petroleum Company in Ft. Worth, TX.  For a short interim his increase in salary would allow Jalene to realize one of her greatest desires; to be a full time wife and mother.

The rapid sale and price of their small 1,100 square foot home in Enid, OK, allowed them to have enough equity to have a new home custom built in TX.  Upon arrival in Arlngton, because the house would not be completed for several months, it was necessary to move into an apartment. Now in their fifth apartment in less than six years of marriage, jalene was always hopeful it would be their last. The challenge of the unpacking and re-packing was assigned to Jalene. She had to anticipate what items were necessary for the short-term residence and which they could place in storage. Inevitably there were stored items which were desired or needed. Occasionally, this required a trip to the storage unit to unpack boxes until the item was located.

Shortly before Christmas 1975, they moved into the new house. With delight and jubilation, they were eager to host their family in their home, new city and state.  Because most of their family had resided in OK for much of their lives, this was not only a new experience for Chuck, Jalene, Marie and Christian, but also for the Maher’s and the Wood’s.  Due to the strained relationship between the families, the visits were staggered during the holiday season.

Little did Jalene realize at the time, that Christmas of 1975 was the very last which she would celebrate with her Maher family and her own little family of four. Jalene’s parents, her brother, Clyde and his family of four, as well as her sister Sharon and their family of four was a full house. The holiday would be memorable in several ways.  The exultation of the new house and the family holiday was dispirited when Sharon deliberately dropped a burning cigarette onto the kitchen, laminate tile floor, leaving a considerable hole in the flooring.

Sharon, five years younger than Jalene had been envious of Jalene for most of their lives, even when children. By the time Sharon was 20 years old, she had been married, divorced and the mother of a young child. Now at the age of 22 with another husband and child, Sharon’s life’s decisions were significantly different from Jalene’s. Months following the cigarette incident, Sharon proudly admitted she had brought the damage to Jalene’s new home because of her jealously against Jalene.

Jalene would later realize this was a minute frustration, as the conflicts within the family became far greater than a cigarette burn in the flooring of a new home. The financial division between the Maher’s, a family on government commodities and poverty and Jalene’s new little family would remain for the duration of their lives.

Jalene had attended college in an effort to better herself. Even though Chuck had mandated Jalene “drop out of college” to provide for the young couple while he earned his BBA degree, Jalene knew she would eventually return to college to also complete her degree. Jalene also understood she and Chuck would have a better financial status than either of their families.  Now Sharon’s pleasure in accomplishing damage to Jalene’s home, validated the “divide.”

Time passed swiftly over the next few months as the Wood family settled into their home, community and church.  However, less than a year after their move to Arlington, Chuck once again wanted to move back to OK. This time he wanted to return to Oklahoma City; the city of his birth and family.

Jalene would come to realize his frequent career and home moves would be the “normal” for their family. They would never be able to “root” anywhere they “called home” for Chuck was always too eager to obtain what he always believed would be greater success. Jalene was devastated. She loved their church and the friendships they were making. Arlington was also an excellent family community.

When Chuck accepted the job, he left Jalene and the children alone to sell the home in Arlington, while he moved to Oklahoma City to live with his parents. Please continue on the journey with Jalene as she and the children are uprooted again for the pleasure of Chuck.

It is Normal for Men to Control

Jalene settled into her routine while the weeks and months passed, as a mother of two under the age of two. Jalene was now realizing the impact of living with a controlling and angry man.

Shortly after Chuck fulfilled his full-time military obligation he had accepted his first career position as a staff accountant for a small oil company in Enid, OK.  The pay was not as he had anticipated. However, he understood this when obtaining the job.   Because Chuck was not receiving the salary he anticipated he blamed Jalene, citing he had not accepted the job he expected.

Exasperated at Chuck’s chronic complaints she queried, “you were not offered the job. How can you blame me for not accepting a job you anticipated when it was not offered to you?”  Chuck’s reply to these queries never faltered, “I couldn’t accept that job because you were pregnant and you expected me to help care for the baby”.  This fabricated response was distressing Jalene, because she knew if Chuck had been offered the job, he would have accepted. Money was the paramount decision for all his actions.

They owned only one automobile as Chuck demanded a brand new, custom ordered vehicle. Other young couples purchased used vehicles they could afford. Chuck’s façade of being a prosperous and successful man began early in their marriage. Jalene had been too naïve to discern Chuck’s immense desire for the appearance of success accomplishment and affluence.  For their entire marriage Chuck expected Jalene to work outside the home to provide him with money for an abundant life-style.

The verbal confrontations between Chuck and Jalene were frequent and intense.   Chuck’s chronic complaints of the finances caused the stress in Jalene’s life to seem insurmountable at times.

She maintained her small in-home sewing business and also sold Avon to help with the family finances, but they were still unable to provide the basic necessities for their family.

Jalene reminded Chuck of their conversations prior to and during their marriage of her desire to be a full-time mother to their children.  She also had to frequently remind Chuck of his mandate for her to drop out of college to work full-time while he completed his college education.

Even though Jalene enjoyed sewing, the pleasure was negated as the income for her custom sewing was extremely negligible given the extensive amount of time spent on the sewing projects.  Additionally the meager income from selling Avon was more stressful than productive. If she were being required to earn an income she had a desire to perform a job which paid for the time committed to the project.  She realized if Chuck had allowed her to compete her college education, she could earn an appropriate income.

Jalene had flashbacks of her childhood and going bed hungry.  The family of her youth existing on government commodities echoed in her mind often as she struggled now to have enough money to purchase groceries and prepare the meager meals for her own little family.

From the time Christian was a few weeks old, he had been a sick baby with frequent physician appointments.  His hospitalization when he was less than five months of age not only deeply concerned Jalene, but compounded the stress. Jalene understood that Chuck’s exasperation over the lack of income intensified each time Christian was ill.

In the early years of marriage Chuck began displaying his frustrations toward Jalene physically and emotionally. However, because of the severe abuse she had endured at the hands of her father, she accepted Chuck’s behavior toward her as normal. It appeared to Jalene that men were controlling and abusive when they desired to have women do as directed.

Jalene had been diagnosed with migraine headaches when Marie was five months old. However, she could not tolerate the medications available for migraines in the 1970’s. With Chuck’s frequent outbursts of anger and his perpetual complaints of the lack of income, sustaining a harmonious home became impossible and her headaches worsened.  Nonetheless, Jalene was diligent in her attempt to make her home a happy one for her two precious children and the husband she deeply loved.

Jalene was exuberant when they received a significant tax refund following Christian’s first birthday.   She realized the burden of “scraping by” financially to make ends meet might be lightened.  Bills could be paid and money set aside for some of those “rainy day” emergencies which seemed to happen far too often. Medical bills had taken a toll on their monthly budget.

Furthermore, for over three years, Chuck and Jalene had never dined out for even a holiday or special event. Chuck would not allow even a 19 cent icy drink from the local 7-11 store. He dictated that Jalene bring in an income and deliver the entire amount to him. When she went to the grocery store, she was mandated to bring all receipts to him; accompanied with any change received from the money allocated by Chuck.

Chuck began this procedure within days of their marriage and he would not deviate from his control. Jalene was mandated to work and she would adhere to what he allowed her to do. Now, as the check sat on the coffee table from the tax refund, Jalene was excited. “Chuck, we have the money to go out for a meal as a family to celebrate that we have a little extra money.”

The smile quickly subsided from Jalene’s face. Chuck was harsh. “No”, he retorted. “I have plans for this money and it doesn’t include going out to dine.” He reminded Jalene she would cook. There was no need for a frivolous meal of dining out. Because Chuck had not allowed a “meal out” in three years, Jalene didn’t feel this was excessive. Also, dining in Enid, OK in the 1970’s consisted of inexpensive diners, not “five star” quality restaurants as would boasted in the large cities.

Please continue with me on this journey as we leave Enid and start “anew” in another city and state. If you are joining me for the first time, you may wish to read my blog from April 2016, the early days of my childhood to this time in the 1970’s.

A Belated Mother’s Day Reflection

EGreetings dear readers! A happy belated Mother’s Day to each of you ladies. Whether or not you are a mother if you have loved, supported, encouraged and/or mentored a child, you are indeed a “mom”, a figure of influence and position.

Mother’s Day is sincerely the most sorrowful day of the year for me. Even though I’m alone on all holidays and my birthday, Mother’s Day ranks as the “worst day of the year for me”. After a 23 year estrangement from my son and his family, I’m reminded that he has discarded me as much as my parents did and also my husband of 44 years.

All persons have some value. We are certainly esteemed to the God whom created us. Each of us possess strengths and weaknesses. We embolden some individuals, while it may appear we dishearten others. All personalities will not interweave with others. Yet, there is value in almost all of mankind.

As I have shared in my previous blogs, my parents were extremely abusive toward me; yet I always honored them for the position they held in my life. They were my parents. When I read The Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren, I sobbed uncontrollably at his words on page 25 as follows:

“This poem by Russell Kelfer sums it up:

You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.

You’re a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You’re just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,

And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,

And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into his likeness you’d grow

You are who you are for a reason,

You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.

You are who you are, beloved,

Because there is a God “


How my heart ached as I read those words, for I didn’t then, nor do I now understand why God chose such unloving, unkind and abusive parents. Yet they were my parents and I honored each of them until the day they died. I never failed to honor them on a holiday, their birthdays and especially on the day we honor our parents; Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Because of the deep lamentation I endured with my parents, I unequivocally provided a home of love, support and encouragement for my own two children. My daughter, now the mother of four is beginning to learn more with each passing day that being a parent doesn’t instill in us a sense of perfection. Even with my imperfections,  her love toward me is a gift I deeply cherish.

As persons first and parents second, we attempt to do our very best. Nonetheless, our best is not always what others may desire. Their yearnings may be different from ours. Yet I can say with the utmost sincerity that my devotion and love for my family has always been foremost in my thoughts and actions.

Thus, I’m perplexed at the depths of hatred and anger Christopher displays toward me. Yet, it’s now the majority of the past 23 years that I never receive even a word from Christopher on any day; certainly not on a special day. The sacrifices Charles and I made for him to be the successful attorney he is today were made without hesitation.  The sorrow I now endure to know that we deprived our entire family of so many things in order to “give” our utmost to Chris is unrivaled.

Please continue with me as I return to the journey which brought me to my present life. If you wish to begin my journey with me, please read the blog from April 2016 which transpires through my abusive and difficult childhood. The journaling of my life has been slow due to the reality of coping with life as a single, senior. The challenges of living totally alone void of family and friends is arduous. In time, my life’s journal will be completed. Along, the way, I desire only to bless others whom have experienced similar obstacles.  Happy belated Mother’s Day!


Dear Readers

Thank you for your patience with my return. Life can certainly present obstacles, which preclude us from fulfilling our goals and desires. Hopefully, for now, I will be able to resume my routine blogs on my life’s odyssey.

As a refresher from the previous blog, Jalene was now expecting their 3rd baby in less than 2 years. When their daughter was only a few months old, Jalene lost a second baby in a miscarriage.

Whereas, their small cozy apartment was comfortable for a family of 3, Chuck and Jalene comprehended it would not suffice for a family of 4. They had recently purchased an older home in ill repair in the northern OK community of Enid, where Chuck had accepted his first career position following his military commitment.

We will now proceed with the next chapter of Jalene’s life. Because Jalene’s previous two pregnancies had been atypical, she chose to maintain her relationship with Dr. Perry whom had delivered Marie. This involved a commute to Oklahoma City from Enid for each of her appointments.  The Dr. requested Jalene be closer to the hospital during her last few weeks of pregnancy. He reiterated to Jalene that should there be a problem the 100 mile commute to the hospital would offer a challenge for a safe and healthy delivery.

Jalene dreaded staying with the Wood’s while awaiting the arrival of their new blessing.  She realized there were no other options, as Chuck was required to remain in Enid for his job. Jalene also knew Jayne and Glenn had no desire for her and Marie to stay with them. Ben became the father she never had, but with each passing year, Lorraine despised Jalene more than when she initially met her.

Relatives and friends of Lorraine’s rationalized her disdain of Jalene was because she took Lorraine’s beloved “Chuck” from her. As years passed, Jalene understood that Lorraine had always viewed Chuck as a substitute husband for his Dad. Ben and Lorraine had an extremely dysfunctional marriage, but Chuck was always there for all of Lorraine’s requests and demands. Chuck never divulged this information until years later as his own marriage was crumbling.

As Jalene completed her first week of staying with the Wood’s, while awaiting the birth of baby Wood, she began having stomach cramps. Unlike the labor pains with Marie, she felt it was nothing significant. However, because Chuck had come to visit over the week-end, he insisted she telephone Dr. Perry before returning home to Enid, to be certain the cramps were not a medical concern. Jalene was somewhat dubious of her doctor’s orders to go immediately to the hospital. She did not believe she was in labor, so was perplexed that Dr. Perry was concerned.

Upon her arrival to the hospital and the examination, she and Chuck were informed they would be parents to their new baby before the night was over. Jalene’s labor increased more rapidly than with Marie. At 11:59, January 13, 1974 Christian Wood completed their family of 4.  As with Marie, Chuck and Jalene were unaware of the gender of their precious baby until he or she entered the world. They were thrilled to hear, it’s a boy. Jalene now had her prayers answered; a daughter and a son. Would this change Chuck’s cold and aloof attitude toward her? She knew most men desired a son to not only bond with, but also to carry on the legacy of the family.

She remained as hopeful as she did when their daughter was born that Chuck would feel as blessed as she did. They were now parents to a toddler and new infant. Jalene was thrilled, but she also knew that if only Chuck loved her, the family she now had would bring an “almost” perfection to her life.

As Jalene had done less than two years prior with Marie, she held Christian on her lap for the 100 mile voyage to their home in Enid. Jalene believed Christian was as handsome as Marie had been beautiful. She was blessed! Her family was complete. Now what could she do so that her husband would love her?

Please continue Jalene’s journey as a wife and mother. If you are new to the blog, you may desire to begin the journey from Jalene’s early life. Jalene began this timeline in April 2016 from her childhood through today Thank you for following. May you be blessed as you share Jalene’s challenges of life.

Our Family Is Complete

After several weeks of the illness which Jalene had experienced with the two previous pregnancies, she made an appointment to see her gynecologist. He confirmed what she suspected, but nonetheless she was perplexed. Jalene and Chuck had taken not one, but several precautions against a pregnancy for at least another year.

Jalene had been pregnant for two consecutive years and with the frequent and intense migraine headaches, she realized her body needed a little more time to heal. Hysterically, Jalene said “Dr. Perry, how can I be pregnant when we were using not one, but two contraceptives?” Before, Dr. Perry could answer, Jalene spoke in broken sentences between the sobs, “I desperately want another baby, but had planned on waiting until next year to become pregnant”.

Dr. Perry explained that due to their infrequent sexual intimacy, contraceptives had a great challenge in fulfilling their task. As he cited, “physiologically the human body and its’ functions are stronger than man-made contraceptives”. Jalene left her Physician’s office with great joy in her heart, but fearful of the outcome when she informed Chuck she was pregnant again for the 3rd time in less than 1.5 years.

As the weeks passed, Jalene’s nausea and vomiting increased. Her ability to care for Marie and her full time responsibilities of the home while providing excellent customer service to her sewing clientele were a challenge.

Because they would now be a family of 4, the urgency to move into a house was more of a priority than ever before. Living in a small community, the offerings for homes were limited. Most of the homes were more expensive than Chuck and Jalene could afford. This didn’t dissuade her from weekly visits to homes for sale. One day while driving through an older neighborhood of small post WWII homes, Jalene noticed a ramshackled home with peeling paint which was for sale by owner. Excitedly, she informed Chuck of the house in a quiet neighborhood, which she believed might be affordable for them.

They telephoned the home owners to set up an appointment to tour the home.  Prior to entering the house Chuck and Jalene noticed the drive and sidewalk were abundant with healthy and vibrant weeds among the broken pieces of chipped concrete. Jalene’s heart sank when she walked through the front door of the house. The exterior was merely the inauguration to a lengthy list of required repairs and updates for the house.  There was no foyer, but the walls of the small living area greeted them with stained, peeling paint and holes throughout the room.   Jalene jokingly said “it appears these walls were used for dart boards”. The owner proudly shared she was correct. He had not worked for several months and throwing darts at the walls had been his pass time. Even though a young couple currently owned the home, it appeared it had been beaten and battered for decades. The carpet reeked with pet odors, while also bearing tattered holes and frays.

The kitchen floors and counter tops were not sporting the trends of the 1970’s, but possessed the characteristics of the vivid and flashy days of the 1950’s; turquoise and pink.  The linoleum floors were peeling from their foundation and the speckled Formica countertop banded with metal trim were obviously in vogue when the house was built, but had never been updated.  The kitchen lacked any modern appliances. There was no dishwasher or microwave; the only appliance in the kitchen was an old, dysfunctional free standing range.

The miniscule bathroom mirrored the kitchen with the linoleum and countertops. Each room of the house had its’ problems, but Chuck and Jalene could see a bright and joyful house shining through the depression of neglect and abuse.

Not much larger than the 900 square foot homes which Chuck and Jalene had called “home” when living with their families of origin, this small house with 1,100 feet boasted  3 beds, 1 bath, 1 living room and a tiny kitchen.  However, the single car garage with a washer hook up provided them the necessities for their young family. There was not a space or hook up for a dryer, but homes of the 1950’s always provided the luxury of a clothes line. Sunshine and nature would be the family clothes dryer for the duration of their residency should this home become theirs.

Aside from all the work which Chuck and Jalene would be required to do to make this house habitable for their family; the greatest obstacle was obtaining money for a down payment.  As mentioned earlier, Chuck’s assignment to a local Army Reserve unit provided them a meager supplemental income to assist with their needs. There was never money for “luxuries or extras”, but with Jalene’s sewing, Chuck’s full-time employment and his small check from Uncle Sam, they managed to survive.

Where could they locate the money for a down payment? Chuck and Jalene visited their local bank. As Jalene would cite countless times over her lifetime; God was in the details. The banker was in the Army Reserve with Chuck. He agreed to loan them the down payment and the mortgage.  Now finances would be even tighter than while residing in the small apartment. In addition to the payment for their single car and other miscellaneous expenses, they would have both a monthly down payment obligation and a mortgage payment.

Life for the Wood family was changing once again. A new baby was on the way. They were purchasing a ramshackled home which was almost unfit for residency, but with much time, love and dedication, Chuck and Jalene believed this little house could be a “home” for their soon to be family of 4.

Please continue Jalene’s journey as a wife and mother. If you are new to the blog, you may desire to begin the journey from Jalene’s early life. Jalene began this timeline in April 2016, from her childhood through today. Thank you for following. May you be blessed as you share Jalene’s challenges of life.