When Family Interferes
Little did I know the trouble that I was going to encounter when I met my future husband, who is now my ex-husband.
Little did I know the trouble that I was going to encounter when I met my future husband, who is now my ex-husband. We met as courtesy clerks in December 1994 when I started at Smith's Food & Drug in Phoenix, Arizona. I was 28 and he was 26. I had an immediate attraction to him when I first saw him, but thought he was way out of my league. So I just tried to forget my attraction to him.
One day, as I was bringing in shopping carts from the parking lot, I was trying to put them away in the front of the building when my future husband, Tristan, came out of the building screaming at me because I had put the carts away wrong. He liked to claim that he was head courtesy clerk, even though there was no such position. For the next few months, Tristan and I had a love/hate relationship and because of this episode with the shopping carts. And for the next few months, I would hear him whine and cry about how his ex-fiancee had cheated on him with another man.
About April 1995, it was the night of the store party at Castles N Coasters. I had spent the evening with my mother and sister and her daughter, who also worked for Smith's. We spent the evening playing miniature golf and such. By the time it started getting dark, my mother, sister and I were just leaving, when Tristan and some of his friends walked into Castles N Coasters. He asked if I would stay a little longer, and I said no. My sister encouraged me to stay, but I still declined.
It wasn't until I was sitting out in my Nissan Pickup on my break one day a week or two later, that Tristan noticed me while he was scouring the parking lot for shopping carts. He came over to me and discovered that I like country music. I believe this fact was the reason that attracted me to him. He asked how I was doing and chatted with me for a few minutes. He asked me to dinner and a movie and I reluctantly agreed.
I picked him up at McDonald's across from the store from where we both worked. We ate at McDonald's and then went to the movie theater where we saw the movie, "Heavyweights." I remember thinking back then that maybe he took me to see that movie because he was making fun of my weight, but might have been my paranoia running away from me. While we were waiting to go into see the movie, we played the arcade game, Mortal Kombat, which of course, he beat me. After the movie, I dropped him off at his mother's apartment that was a few blocks down from the store we both worked at.
I can remember everyone at the store telling Tristan not to get involved with me because they all thought I was weird and he deserved better. But I guess Tristan never listened to them, because after a couple days were were spending time together at his mother's apartment or my mother's apartment. I thought Tristan was a real gentleman because he didn't even kiss me for at least a month after we started spending time together. We usually spent time watching movies at my mother's apartment.
One day I went to see Tristan at his mother's apartment when I was on my break from work, and it was during this visit that he kissed me for the first time. Since this was my first kiss ever from a guy, I was nervous as to how he what he would think of me. I felt like such a freak being almost 30 years old and never been kissed by anyone, let alone even dating a guy. This was my first experience with guys. Before Tristan, I had always had high school crushes, but they didn't ever lead to anything romantic, much less a relationship.
After Tristan and I were seeing each other for about a month and after that first awkward kiss, came the much more passionate part of our courtship. But being a virgin, I was scared to let myself experience anything more than just caressing. I did my best to please him in the way that he should be, but Tristan was patient and gave me my space and seemed to understand my situation. Tristan and I took road trips to see places like the Grand Canyon, and in June 1995, Tristan asked me to marry him, and said that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I said yes.
My sister and mother each gave Tristan and I a gift for our birthdays (they were both in June), money to go to Magic Mountain in California. We decided to go to Disneyland instead as Tristan had never been there before. (I had been previously in 1989 with my mom and sister.) We drove the six or seven hours from Phoenix to the Los Angeles suburb, Anaheim, where Disneyland was located. We spent the day riding rides like Space Mountain, The Matterhorn, Indiana Jones ride, Splash Mountain, etc. After we had spent a long day riding rides at Disneyland, we got a motel nearby to get some sleep.
This night was of special importance to me as this was one moment when I finally was able to totally give myself to Tristan and I gave up my virginity to him. As confused and scared as I was, I didn't really feel anything. I suppose it is supposed to be a beautiful experience when you finally commit yourself to the person you're going to marry, but I was too scared and nervous to show any emotion. I don't know if it was because I didn't know what to expect, or what. But I felt like Tristan was disappointed in my performance, even though he never mentioned. He acted as if he enjoyed it and was happy.
Tristan caused some problems one day when we were having breakfast at International House of Pancakes (IHOP) with my mother. My mother was trying to help with getting the two of us to set aside money to save for a wedding, but Tristan got an attitude and walked out of the restaurant and left me with my mother. I had to listen to a lecture about the importance of saving for a wedding so we could get married.
In the end, I didn't listen to my mother, and Tristan found an apartment for the two of us. I moved into the apartment with him and two days later, August 4, 1995, were married at the courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona. Due to the fight, my mother was not there to see me get married that day. All that was there was Tristan's mother, his father and step-mother, and two brothers and my sister and her husband and their daughter.
We took a few pictures outside the courthouse for the wedding album, then had a wedding dinner at Stuart Anderson's Black Angus restaurant. After we had eaten dinner, my sister and her family went back home, but Tristan's family all came back to our apartment and instead of having a wedding night, had to endure the evening watching recorded videos of T.D. Jakes and Rod Parsley that Tristan's brother had recorded. Needless to say, I was not too happy that they had stayed all night long. How I wished they would just go home so I could be with my new husband. This was not what I had anticipated doing on my wedding night.
About September, Tristan and I went camping in the Big Mountains at Eager and Springerville, Arizona. The Big Lake was really pretty at the campsite we chose. We went fishing, set up a tent, built a campfire, plus other stuff I don't wish to mention. I believe it was on this camp-out that our son was conceived. I do remember coming back one day, and while Tristan and I were shopping at Smith's, as we were leaving and walking to the pickup, I had apparently passed out in the parking lot.
During this few minutes of unconsciousness, I could hear what I thought was Tristan talking to God about about what had happened to me. He sounded pretty agitated that God would allow this to happen. I was taken to the hospital and everything was apparently fine with me. But a few weeks later, I was late getting my menstrual period, so we bought a pregnancy test for me to take and it came back positive for pregnancy.
So, Tristan made an appointment for me with the ob-gyn to get a doctor's test and the doctor gave us positive proof that I was pregnant.
As I was coming home from that doctor's appointment, I saw all kinds of police cars in the parking lot of our apartment complex and wondered what was going on. Turns out, a neighbor had been murdered in her apartment and they were investigating. Now the weird thing about this was that the neighbor who had been murdered was a co-worker of mine who I had just worked with the previous night. I was in shock when I learned who it was. When the investigation was done, it turned out to be her boyfriend's friend who she allegedly was sleeping with, had apparently did it. She sadly left behind an eleventh-month old daughter who her boyfriend apparently went back to his family with the little girl.
After this all happened, Tristan got scared and found another apartment for us and moved the two of us about fifteen miles south of that apartment complex. This was the first glimpse into his paranoia and mental illness. So we moved out of that apartment and into another one. This new apartment was the one to which we brought our new son home to when he was born.
When I first found out I was pregnant with my son, I did deny it at first; but only because I was still unsure as to whether or not I wanted to be a mother. But as each day of my pregnancy progressed, I grew to accept it more and more. I enjoyed the feeling of this little, tiny person growing inside me; nurturing him and feeding him until he was ready to come into this world.
What I didn't care for was my mother-in-law's constant interference over my pregnancy. She monitored everything I did, ate or drank the entire time I was pregnant. She made sure I ate and drank what I was supposed to so I wouldn't hurt her FIRST grandchild. She even had the audacity to tell me not to smoke; and I didn't even smoke! There was one day that I did drink caffeine during my pregnancy when I was on a break from work. I had bought a Barq's Root beer and for some reason, I was reading the ingredients on the can, and it said it contained caffeine. I did not know that it had caffeine as I assumed all Root beer didn't have caffeine in it. Who knows what my mother-in-law would have done had she known about that.
But the one thing that made me angry was when she told me that I had to quit my job at Smith's Food & Drug as a courtesy clerk because pushing in shopping carts would hurt her grandchild. And after that, the entire store, except management, was on the bandwagon, telling me the same thing. Management had the attitude that if I couldn't do the job, then I shouldn't be working there. Sometimes, I wonder if my mother-in-law was behind what everyone at the store thought, but that may be my paranoia. I even asked my obstetrician about pushing in shopping carts while pregnant and he said that as long as I didn't overdue it, it should be alright. But of course, my mother-in-law didn't care about what the doctor said. She was still adamant that pushing in shopping carts would hurt the baby. And this one episode has set a series of events that has caused her to see me as an unfit mother.
Aside from my mother-in-law's constant interference in the decisions me and my husband made in my pregnancy, I had a rather eventful pregnancy. When I was due to give birth to my son, was the a little scary. I opted for an epidural because I couldn't handle the contractions and the nurses kept telling me to slow down my breathing or I was going to hyperventilate. I must have came to the hospital at least twice before actually being admitted when my water broke. It was a small trickle, so I didn't think it actually broke, just thought I wet my pants. (I thought the water was supposed to gush out, which it didn't.)
Despite my water having broken, it was still several hours before my son was born on June 30, 1996. The events that led up to my son's birth was unnerving. My mother had an argument with my brother-in-law over about him needing to move out of his mother's place and getting himself self-sufficient, not too mention my mother-in-law acting like it was her day and let everyone know it. She was even the first one to hold my son after he was born, a fact she rubs in my face to this day. In fact, I never even got to hold my son until he came back from the nursery after the usual newborn check.
After my son was born, the nurse and my husband went to the nursery to check our son over and do the routine checks on newborns. My mother-in-law kept pounding on the glass of the newborn nursery yelling at the nurses to be careful with her grandson. Everyone was wondering about the cut on my son's head after his birth. This was due to an episiotomy, a small cut on the vaginal lips to prevent the baby from tearing the vagina during birth. Apparently, my obstetrician nicked my son's head during this procedure. There doesn't appear to be any lasting damage, but a scar on the top of his head. But after I brought him home, I got the strangest looks whenever I was out on the town with him. Everyone looked at me like I did it.
My husband and I let everyone know that we wanted to be alone for the first day when we brought our son home the first day. Everyone was cool with it, except, you guessed it, his mother. She acted like I was trying to keep her from her grandson--and to this day, she still accuses me of keeping her from her grandson. She honored our request, but she wasn't very happy about it.
After that, she would call everyday to "check" on her grandson and if she heard him cry over the phone, she would accuse my husband and I of abuse by asking us why he was crying. And then she had the audacity to accuse us of hitting him or something. She also got quite ugly if I didn't answer the phone right away. She didn't care if I was bathing my son and couldn't leave him to answer the phone. She expected me to answer the phone no matter what I was doing.She even told me that she was to be the first one I asked for babysitting duty, but it's funny how every I asked she was always busy. So when I asked my mother to watch him, she got mad that I asked my mother, it didn't matter that I had already asked her and she said that she couldn't do it.
When my son's first Christmas arrive in December 1996, I thought we would be a happy family and share in his first holiday, but this was the first time that my husband was separate from us. This was the first time that I learned that my husband was unfaithful with an ex-girlfriend of his. I was angry and took our son and went to stay with my mother. My son and I spent his first Christmas at my mother's. A few days later, my husband came by mother's home and begged for forgiveness for what he had did and I blindly forgave him and went back to him. I should have known better because he still continued to be friends with her for years after, even going so far as to also have an affair with her sister too.
In August 1997, my husband and I got tired of the family interference, so we packed up our son and drove north in search of a new home, hoping for a new start away from family. Little did I know that distance wouldn't matter as his mother still managed to interfere by phone. Well, we drove all over Idaho and Montana and finally found a home in Helena, Montana. With a loan of $2,000 from his father, we went back to Phoenix and loaded up a U-Haul and move our family to Helena, Montana.
Too bad that lasted two months, where we packed up and managed to move to Darby, Montana for about a month. Somehow, my husband and I put our stuff in storage and drove to Keene, Texas to visit my grandmother and my aunt. We got the bright idea that we would look for a home in Texas. Well after two days, and finding nothing, we drove back to Phoenix, where he stayed with his mother and me and our son stayed with my mother.
Then my husband got some bright idea that he was going to go to Cottonwood Arizona and get work and send for me and our son to live up there. But sadly, that didn't work out and my husband ended up in Las Vegas with some bogus story about how he got robbed. But somehow he got himself to Idaho Falls, Idaho and two days later, Butte, Montana. It was their that my husband had yet another affair with a woman who would later become the death of our relationship. My husband said that he wanted a divorce, so I went to the courthouse and filed for divorce. I had him served in his apartment in Butte, Montana. After being served and spending Thanksgiving alone, my husband whined and bawled that he wanted to come back to me and our son. So, again, blindly, I believed him and paid for a bus ticket for him to come back to Phoenix.