My Darkness was a downward spiral.
I survived Basic Training and in the Spring of 1986, was stationed in Austin, TX. That "28 yr old manager", "G", was now living in San Antonio, only an hour away. I had clung to him, he was older, interested in me, made me feel wanted, I thought that was love. Our relationship developed, and I eventually moved in with him. One Friday, when I was 19, we went downtown, got married and headed back to the apartment. No engagement ring or bended knee, no parties, gifts or satin dresses, and no parents blessings or honeymoon, no counseling, no pastor. Just a piece of paper that said we were married. A few days later on my lunch hour, I bought myself a ring (it was an engagement ring, but I wanted a diamond so that's what I bought). So there we were, two people who had no idea what they were doing together, but "decided" to enjoy the ride while it lasted.
In my attempt to keep this short, I am going to have to try to condense the next 6 years...
We had big problems going into this relationship. Neither of us had a clue about marriage, relationships, selflessness, or committment. Our age differences and work hours allowed for very different lifestyles. Mine included my Air Force friends, dancing and drinking filled my weekends. "G" had his friends, golf, "Gentlemens Clubs", and getting high. The inside of our home was filled with ugly secrets: His pornography addiction and the rejecting pain that it created, and my feelings of being unwanted and unloved, which led me on an ugly whirlwind of unfaithfulness in search of "love", or at least attention.
Two years into our marriage, we found out we were going to be parents. We were both thrilled, and I wondered if this would make things "better", a bond to bring us closer. In June of 1989, I gave birth to my beautiful, perfectly healthy little boy, and I was elated to be a Mom.
However, neither "G" nor I changed our selfish behaviors, and 5 years into our marriage we began a year long "process" of divorce - we "decided" the ride was over...When a divorce involves children, it's never "over".
My life began to crawl into a deeper ugly darkness that I hesitate to even share, but if you're still reading this "story", I owe it you. So, for the sake of truth, I'll throw my heart on the operating table and let you see the ugly inside.
I was young and free to do whatever I wanted,...and that's exactly what I did. Between working at a fitness center and taking college classes, I was struggling to make ends meet. A girlfriend suggested I get a job at the "club" where she worked. It was "easy" money, lots of it, and I was perfect for the job...young, pretty, fit, and friendly,...not to mention, desperate. I told friends and family that I was "waiting tables", but never told them where. At first I felt powerful and beautiful, desired, wanted, and in control. Within a years time I felt disgusted, tired, dirty and ugly. The seediness and filth of this "job" that took men away from their wives and destroyed families began to eat away at my very soul until I realized this wasn't something I could continue to do. Satan laughs at our destruction.
I look back now, and I see God's hand of protection on my life. Even though I had put myself into dangerous situations, He sheltered me. Most of the girls I worked with were alcoholics, drug addicts, in abusive relationships, or worse. I am blessed that God kept me from all of that. I worked this job, and went home each night to be Mommy to a little boy who had no clue.
At this time, I'd been talking with a "friend" about becoming a live-in Nanny. His wife had recently died of cancer and he needed someone to take care of his house and children. I had met him at the club. He was a well-to-do lawyer with a good reputation, and for some reason I trusted him. My little man and I moved into his house, into the "Nanny's room". I cooked, cleaned, did yard work, took care of the kids, the homework, the shopping, the dogs, the errands, the appointments,... you name it, I did it. It was a bit like being a paid housewife...only a bit too much. This "friend" was a powerful man at work, and that power seeped into his home as well...the boundaries of my "room" were violated on many drunken nights, after arguments with his girlfriend. Once again, I felt used, lost, hurt and confused. I was still searching for love and not understanding at all what it was supposed to feel like.
After another job (this time I really was waiting tables) and yet another dead-end relationship (or two), I needed a change. I wanted to get out of the town I felt "stuck" in, I thought that would make things better. I had a sister living in Florida who owned a Deli, so I packed up what little I had and hopped on a plane with my 5 year old boy to make sandwiches in the Deli (remember this part) and start a new life.
The thing is, Florida didn't change my life. My heart was still ugly and lost. I met a guy...yes, another dead-end relationship, only this time it involved something I had never experienced before. This guy was an alcoholic, violent angry and destructive. Several times I came home to my belongings broken and tossed off the balcony, holes in walls and doors, and a drunk passed out on the couch. Only on one occassion did that violence turn to me... I look back now, and I KNOW that the hand of God intervened, there was no reason why the fist that had been pulled back, ready to release it's anger on my face never came forward, it just didn't. I could see the look in his eyes, his intentions were to cause pain, but the fist never came. I believe God was protecting me, even before I would give myself to Him. I find it hard even today to forgive myself for putting my child through that, but I was a fool and fools do foolish things.
I began to see light at the end of the dark tunnel I lived in, and soon I would step out from the Darkness and begin walking in the Light of Christ!
...Meanwhile in Germany Capt. Mike was making his way through his own dark tunnel...