Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.
I had graduated high school near the top of my class and immediately started working a full-time job at CVS. One of my duties was to take the daily deposit to the bank. After a few weeks, one of my friends at the bank introduced me to a loan officer. A very nice looking man with a sports car. Broch had a streak of sadness that I picked up shortly after we met and he was drinking wine to the point of intoxication almost nightly.
I discovered that he was raised in an alcoholic home and would have screaming matches with his mother. He enlisted as soon as he graduated and was stationed in Germany for the next four years. During his last year in the Army, the Red Cross came and picked him up when his father passed of bone cancer. Broch was expecting it, but it still was most painful. Six months later, the Red Cross came again–Broch thinking it had to be a mistake. But, it was not; his mother passed unexpectedly. He felt a ton of guilt over his mother and she laid dead for three days before she was found.
We dated for several months, and I got locked out of the house one night because I was five minutes late on my curfew. I had no place to go except to Brochs’. We had been discussing me moving in with him to get out of the house and we were in love. We lived together for a few months and then we married.
After several months of marriage; I was ready to start our family. Broch was not quite as sure about it as I was, but I figured he’d be fine once I was pregnant. And he appeared to be happy. Joshua was born at 4:00 a.m. one July morning. I heard from my sister that Broch was elated when he first laid eyes on his son. It was necessary for me to have a C-section because Joshua had a slow heart rate.
It turned out that Joshua had a rare, congenital heart disease. The day after we left the hospital we took him to a university hospital and was told they would be following him. His heart-rate was still too low. At age 5, he received his first pacemaker. The first of many surgeries for his pacer.
He was a darling little guy with his big root beer brown eyes and was the spitting image of his Dad. He had a very difficult time with his heart and overall health. I became his nurse, listening to his heart all the time and taking his pulse. I got pretty good at it, but there was such a huge black cloud over me. I was missing out on all the joy of a child. I had to be responsible and know when he was in trouble with his heart, or pacemaker.
(To be continued)