Saturday, March 14, 2015
"Meeting and Marrying Marty,": from KIDNAPPED TWICE
Within a few weeks after I returned to live with my father and Ann, I met my the man who was to become my first husband, at my third full-time job, American Felt Company in Newburgh, NY. I was working as the billing clerk for this large company. I would have to go out to the shipping department to get the shipping invoices so I could bill them. One day I walked out to get an invoice, and a tall, very handsome man was standing at the shipping desk waiting for the paperwork for the product he had just picked up.
He smiled at me, and we soon started dating. He was very charming and someone I thought I could have a future with. It was during a very challenging time for me, as I had just moved back to my father's house. The fire had taken place, and I was trying to survive having Ann again in my life. I knew I would not mind living somewhere else.
What I was seeing in Marty is what I wanted to see. He had a lot of friends, and I was flattered that someone that good-looking would want to go out with me. I never saw what I should have seen.
Within about a half a year, we got married. It took only a couple of weeks after that before I knew there were problems. He lost his job, and it was up to me to pay the bills, as I was the only one working.
Soon I was pregnant with my son, and I was sick every day. It was rough. We were living in a three-family house when I gave birth.
Approximately a year later, I was looking for a mobile home. My grandfather helped me purchase one, which we moved into. That mobile home would be my son's and my home for many years, and I was able to purchase land to move it to.
WEDDING GIFT MONEY
When I got married, my father was counting money as I was getting ready to go away. He looked at me and said that it was the money left over from money that my grandfather had given him to pay for the wedding. He said he was keeping it, as he needed it. He said he could not give me anything for a gift. How about a card, Dad?
MATERNITY, MARTY, MARTY, AND ME
We lived in a three-story house. A husband and wife were on the first floor. The sister of that wife lived with her husband on the second floor. My husband and I lived on the third floor.
There was very little privacy. The people on the floors below us could see whoever came or went from our apartment.
I went into labor with our baby, a son, also named Marty. When the day came to leave the hospital and go home with my baby, my husband sent one of his friends to pick me up from the hospital to bring me home.
I had never met this friend before, and his coming to get me was a shock. A few years later, my husband admitted to me that he did not come himself because he had to clean up our apartment. He and his friend had entertained other women there while I was in the hospital.
I was hurt and embarrassed. Not only had he been disloyal to me while I was giving birth, but also the living situation with the other families was such that all the people who were living in that house knew what had gone on while I was in the hospital.
Many years later, that friend of my husband sat me down and confessed that he was very sorry for what they had done.
Quickly, my life centered around my son and no one else!
AFFAIRS TO FORGET
My first marriage was hell right from the very beginning– so much pain.
My husband had many affairs: with next-door neighbors, babysitters, and women on the road when he traveled, even my friends, at least I had thought they were my friends. Once I received a telephone call from a girl who said that I used to baby-sit for her when I was younger. She told me that my husband was leaving me for her.
I remember asking my husband once if he loved me. He said he did not, but that if he ever did, I would be the first one to know.
One of our neighbors’ homes burned down. The husband sent his wife and son to stay with relatives, and we took him in so that he would be able to get to work in the town where we lived. This was to be until they could make other plans, as all of this happened unexpectedly. The man slept on our pull-out couch.
One night my husband came home. I was asleep in my room, my son in his, and my neighbor in the living room. I had taken a bath before I went to bed, as I always did. My husband could not get in the house; he had forgotten his key. When I finally heard him knocking, I got up and unlocked the door. He wanted to know what I was doing. I told him I had taken a bath and was sleeping. He went to the bathroom, felt the bathtub, said it was dry, so that I must’ve been fooling around with the neighbor, which was shocking not only to me but also to the neighbor.
After my husband stopped yelling, he went to a friend’s house and told them I was having an affair with the neighbor. That spread like wildfire, so this neighbor left and stayed with another friend!
Actually, when I finally broke up the marriage, my husband started writing letters to me and calling me, telling me how much he loved me. How totally insane it all was! After a few years went by, my husband and I became civil– friends even– and I could say I actually liked him…as long as I was not married to him.
My son did exactly what I had done, in his own life: everything that his father did or did not do my son did the opposite. My son is a wonderful father to his three daughters.
For many years I was unaware that my son’s father and grandmother, my mother-in-law, were saying bad things about me to him. I really do not know if I would have done anything differently if I had known this. I do know my son and I had a few tough years when he was in high school. Was this because of what he was being told? His father never paid child support, which was only $25 a week. I came up with that figure, as I felt it would be enough, given that I had a job. That was what the judge then ordered.
Each one of these affairs– or I’ll call them “incidents”– the neighbors, friends, babysitters I walked in on, and all the others I either found out about or he told me about later, after a few years had passed. Why he told me, I do not know.
One night my son was sick and his medication was at a drugstore. My husband, Marty, said he would pick up the meds. I waited and waited, yet no Marty, no meds. I had a Corvair at the time. I bundled my son up and put him in a blanket. I got in the car and started down the road and smoke came into the car so badly that I had to pull over and get my son out. The night was one of those very dark nights with no streetlights on the road. I could not see anything, as it was pitch black. Trying to carry my son and walking in the dark was very frightening. My son kept sliding down in the wrapping. It was very slippery. I finally made it home and started calling for my husband at different places where I thought he might be. There were no cell phones in those days. He was at a bar in town. I never got over this, as the meds were for our son, not for me!
There was an accident while I was still married to my son’s father. He had a large truck. I was working, and he took our son for a ride in the truck, then left him in the truck while he stopped somewhere to visit someone. I came home from work to find there was no one at home, but the truck was there. I walked over to my neighbor’s house, only to see that my son’s finger was wrapped in many layers of bandages. I asked what had happened and was told that my son had stuck his finger in a fan. I undid the wrapping on the finger to inspect it. It looked very, very bad. His finger was mangled. I took him to the hospital, the beginning of many trips to the surgeon who operated on the finger.
I’m not saying that my son never got hurt on my watch, but it never happened due to leaving him alone in a vehicle!
My son’s father’s mother and father were very good to my son. They were good grandparents. His grandfather died many years ago. His grandmother is still living. My son is making arrangements to have his grandmother live next to him and his family. He’s a wonderful son and grandson. We both agree it’s the right thing to do. I know it will be hard at times for him, but he will handle it.
We are serializing Kidnapped Twice: Then Betrayed and Abandoned, by Mary E. Seaman and myself. The memoir tells of a terrible childhood followed by decades of slow recovery from it. Outskirts Press published it, and it can be obtained through them and through amazon.com and other on-line booksellers, in paperback or ebook format.
My writing-editing-coaching site is http://writeyourbookwithme.com.