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My Regrets (Part 2)

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Lying aside, he came down off the spool. We walked back towards the house. I think there were some four or five feet between us. I rounded the corner of the garage shortly before he did. I was surprised to see a county sheriff’s car parked next to the house. I had not heard it. I learned later they saw me standing at the edge of the fence and pulled in to obscure the view of the car. They assumed I was not in any harm. Joel, for his part, yelled at me. He said I tricked him. The female officer told me to go in the house while they spoke to my father. The male officer walked up to Joel. Both officers were near him when I turned to look, as I closed the door.

About fifteen minutes later one of the officers informed us that they had spoken to Joel and that they were going to take him with them for evaluation. I looked out the porch window and saw him already in the back seat. Both officers got in the car and backed out rather than drive the circle of the drive. I felt a sense of relief as I watched the car travel up the road away from the house.

Al night we were rather quiet. I remember that. I don’t remember if I talked to my mother much. I must have said something, because it is not in my nature to be quiet, but I cannot recall. I wondered if it would help, if he would come back and be different, better?

I was shocked and dismayed when he came home the next day. They couldn’t keep him. He was not going to stay. He made mention that the problems were not his anyway. It was at fault for the way I had always treated him. I am thinking he called his folks to borrow money. All I know, is that Joel handed me the phone, informing me that my grandmother wanted to talk to me. I was totally unprepared for what came next. I was blamed by my grandmother for being ungrateful, unkind, and a trouble maker. She blamed me for causing my parents to pay a huge bill to the facility to keep my father over night. She told me I totally handled the situation wrong. That it was not my business to get involved with my parents and that I fail to mind my own business on a regular basis.

I was crushed at heart and was absolutely furious. I told my grandmother that she had no right to blame me for what her son did. She was the one that failed to raise him properly and that had they done a better job, I would not have been forced to deal with a situation that was not my problem. I hung up on her.

Al these years later my siblings still blame me for the way I handled the situation. It is one of the “proofs” that I caused all the problems in our family. Sheryl, my mother, of course doesn’t remember any of it, except that he said he was going to hang himself. I did make a mistake. I didn’t mind my own business. He was probably too selfish to complete the task anyway. How can I know. Everything he did, was intended to garner attention.

Interestingly my body tried to tell me that getting married to the first two wives was not in my best interest. I didn’t listen. Why would I? My experience was that I did not matter. Nobody that I regularly attended, cared about my needs and feelings so I, in turn, followed suit. I had to betray myself to keep people in my life. If I pushed, I would be rejected by my parents. It was never about doing what was best for the largest number of people. It was about catering to Joel’s selfish need to be the center of the universe. Sheryl saw it, and often complained, but played into it, nonetheless.

I could not disappoint others or hurt them if I could help it. I had spoken to my mother about my doubts in following through with marrying Marnie, that she seemed emotionally unhealthy. My mother urged me to ignore my feelings. She said that I was always so good about dealing with all the stuff Joel put on me, that if anyone could help Marnie, it would be me. Marnie and I were married less than eight hours when I knew I had made a huge mistake. I tried to make the best of it. I tried harder. I was worried when we signed the marriage license when, as soon as Marnie signed her name she said, “I don’t have to pretend anymore.” Had I not signed before she did, I would have refrained. I think Earl Digman did that on purpose. He knew she was emotionally bereft. He told me after the we split that he probably should have told me about her history, it would have been a lot less painful for me.

Doesn’t matter. I didn’t learn enough from that pain. I was sick and in physical pain the week leading up to the wedding with my second wife. I did hear the message my body was telling me. “DON’T DO IT.” I didn’t pay nay heed. I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint Andrea. She held so much fear attached to not having a child before turning 30. Her family had a history of breast cancer. I knew inside me that as physically unattractive as she was, that her options were few and that her intellect intrigued me. She was the first person that I held intelligent conversations with. I didn’t realize then, that I was intelligent, go figure. I also didn’t have any idea that a person could use her intelligence to hurt others. I never imagined that she would sexually abuse her own children and manipulate the system to turn it all back on me.

The pain of losing children and having my wives turn people against me was very real and I have yet to completely recover from the extensive losses that I endured. That turns me back to the regret of remaining in touch with my parents when I was disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I was in my early 20’s. Since my mother remained a Witness I was not have anything to do with her. In fact she was threatened with disfellowshipping if she continued to have anything to do with me. It would have been such an easy out. I could have made my excuses to Sheryl. I could have told her that I didn’t want her to suffer from the congregation for talking to me. I had NO desire to have a relationship with Joel. Looking back now I was so stupid. I spent a lot of time running with Joel and drinking with him. I drank whisky like kool-aide.

Part of the reason that I was disfellowshipped was at Joel’s hand too. He went to Galen Neher, the self appointed judge, and told him that I was gay and that I had no business being a member of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I don’t know what his reasoning was, but I do know that he did it. Galen told me that Joel spoke to him and filled him in on who I “really” was. Joel took Marnie’s side against me when the marriage dissolved.

It didn’t matter that I finally had enough, when my unborn child died, as a result of an overdose. An overdose that was intended to take the child’s life. Galen said if he had anything to say about it no fag was going to be a member of his religion. It mattered not that I had never been sexual with a man.

The final regret was that I had wanted to acquire information about my family history. Mostly I wanted to know more about where I came from. I am sincerely grateful to have Cherokee in my heritage, even IF it meant I had to have a genuine ass as my father. I have a deep affinity for the Cherokee. Maybe that is where my religious bent comes from. I think that my stop off as a Jehovah’s Witness was so that I could get an accurate view of the Bible. I don’t see how the self effacing nature of the Witnesses keeps any of them there. They are severely judgmental and unforgiving. They fail to live the truth that they so readily teach.


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