It was one week from the day of our wedding when my husband first disappeared. Gone. Three full days. With him my bank card. Crazy thing was I didn’t find out about it until I attempted to pay my son’s medical bill. Insufficient funds. My heart dropped into my stomach and my palms sweated rivers. I was angry, Confused. Deflated. I made a huge mistake. Marrying someone straight out of prison and not giving him at least two years to fully adjust to being out in the free world.
Why didn’t I take heed to the voice inside my head that warned me we were moving too fast? But I wanted to take a leap of faith and I landed right on my face. For three days I called my husband’s cell and it went straight to voicemail. I cried myself to sleep each night wondering what did I do to deserve this. November’s mortgage payment was gone. What I was making on a paraprofessional salary wouldn’t be enough. I was in awe that my husband could be so stupid and selfish to take what he had not earned and spent it within a day or two. Close to one thousand dollars gone from both my checking and savings accounts. With him not working, it would put a humongous strain on our finances.
My mom suggested I annul our marriage. It was my first marriage and I had taken my vows to heart. I couldn’t throw in the towel after one week of marriage. Could I? Should I? When my husband finally came home, he looked pitiful and disheveled. He reminded of the homeless men standing on the expressway exit ramps in Atlanta holding “I will work for food” signs. Should I turn my back on him now and walk away before things got any more complicated or should I stay and embrace the marriage vows I believed in “for better or for worse?” Images of so many marriages ending before the first year flashed before me and I knew then I couldn’t give up without first giving it everything I had. Unfortunately, I did not know just how obstreperous the journey was going to be.
It wasn’t until a few months later when I learned about my husband’s drug addiction. By this time, he was working and contributing to the bills and household. But it was only a front because his drug addiction cycle hit in waves. Two months was the longest he could stay clean before he takes his paycheck and disappears for three-four days at a time. Once he finished blowing his paycheck, he would come back home (when he knows I am at work) and take anything of value to sell or trade it in drugs. He would work hard for two months, relapse, work hard for two months and relapse again. At first, my husband staged break-ins. He would purposefully leave the back entrance unlocked and the alarm system unarmed. So when we would get home that evening everything I’ve worked so hard for would be gone. Printer, laptops, kids’ tablets, Dr. Infrared heaters (value over $200 a piece), a deep fryer, and jewelry. The harder I prayed to God to deliver my husband of his drug addiction; the worst my husband became. How much more of this could I take? Even the tears stopped falling. It was as if God was telling me that my husband wasn’t worth the tears and to bail out of my marriage as soon as possible. But if God refused to give up on me, why would He want me to give up on my husband?
Dancing on Broken Bones Part 1: