title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Look-Back ponderings of a woman approaching a birthday.......

If you live long enough, you will experience more hurt and pain than you ever could imagine.  Unless, of course, you are one of the lucky ones that married well, have enough money so you don't have to worry, never been abused, never lost it all.

I know of a few people like that.  Fortunate.  They wouldn't understand the other 50%'s story.  They couldn't fathom it.

I'm in the other 50%, or is it 60?  80%?

I was born into a wonderful family, at a perfect time.  The first girl baby in three generations!  Now, don't you think I was the best gift they ever got?  Yes--I was!  My great grandparents, who had two sons, lived just down the road a 1/8th mile away.  One son never married, the other--my grandparents, who had one son, lived 1/2 mile away.  I was loved by all.  My Mother thought I was just the cutest thing ever invented, my grandma, widowed at an early age, thought I was her gift from God.  My great grandma, thought I was a charming, well mannered child.  My great grandpa and grandpa, smiled every time they looked at my pretty blond ringlets and sunny disposition.  I was such a lucky girl.

Somewhere along the way, I came to realize that my Daddy, didn't think I was all that marvelous.  He had done his "duty" and had the child--the girl child that everyone in the family wanted.  He sure didn't want anymore, which became more and more apparent as the years went by and no new babies arrived.

I learned many years later, from an Aunt, that he was jealous of the time I took my mother's attention away from him.  He, an only child, raised by over-loving parents, called "The Little Prince", by his Aunts, adored by my mother, was shocked when their attention settled on his little daughter.

Not that he was abusive all the time, but I was whipped for reasons I didn't understand, and told I was a "fool" and "stupid".  That does something to a young child.  Still, I look back and think I had an idyllic childhood.

But.............I wonder.  I know how important it is for a girl to have a loving and supportive relationship with her Dad.  She is less likely to settle for a man who treats her less lovingly than her Dad.  Her Daddy is her example on how any man in her life should relate to her.

Of course, now as I approach seventy-eight years of completed life--this kind of pondering comes to my mind.

I found a sure fire way to get away from my Daddy's physical and emotional abuse.  I purposefully got pregnant--the first time we had sex, a month before I graduated.  I say purposefully, well, I knew what time it was in my cycle, and he had been begging for a year, so----------let's just see what happens.  I married the boy I had dated for three years in high school, just one week after I graduated.  As a joke, on my wedding day, my Daddy said, "Beat her thrice a day and you should have no problems."  Hah--too funny.

This solved all my problems.  I didn't have to go to college, which at the time scared me.  I didn't have to stay at home.  I had my own home, a husband that was handsome and hard working and honest and a baby on the way.  Life was perfect.

Until it wasn't.

I got nothing in the divorce, except a big house I couldn't afford.  He walked away with his $80,000 a year salary, his pension (that I had to sign off to keep the house that had been in my family for 60 years).

Then a second marriage, because he was so sweet to me, thought I hung the moon.  Because my youngest was going off to college, I couldn't afford the big house and I was lonely.  I thought I was his 2nd wife, I was his 4th and he is on #7 now.

His abuse started the day we were married.  Now--I was too open minded.  Too stupid.  I couldn't do anything right, except keep my job and support him, because two weeks after we married, he quit his.  He tried to kill me twice in those horrible three years.  He beat me regularly.  It was my fault!  If I just didn't do things to make him so mad!  Kind of like the way my Daddy felt about me.

So, another divorce.  Now I had really lost everything.  No home.  Only my job, that paid hardly anything, not even enough to pay rent on an apartment.  I moved in with an  old friend.  He was a wonderful man, he loved me, but, as he affirmed from time to time, he wasn't "in" love with me.  So, I settled.  I had always settled.  I was in love with him, had been years ago.  It was fine.

Then I lost my job, but found another one in the city I lived in, for half what I had been making.  I had to stay where I was--there was no where else I could go.

Twelve years of goodness.  At least I wasn't getting beat.  We traveled.  We had fun.  Then....an old girlfriend of his, divorced and came back to town and notified him she was back.  He decided he wanted to sell his house and move to Alabama.  I was told I would have to find a place to live.

Then, I lost my job there.  Thankfully, only six months away from the time I could collect Social Security.

He did help me.  He "lent" me the money to buy this place.  My lawyer daughter said he should have "given" me the money as a settlement, for twelve years of cooking, cleaning, doing his laundry, mowing his lawn, painting and wall papering the interior of his cottage, and sharing his bed.

It was 3 months later that I found out he didn't sell his house or move--he just wanted me out of the picture to pursue his old love, who treated him like he was nothing to her.  Oh well, we won't go there.  He and I remained good friends until he died.

A month after I moved in here I met a guy.  I had to have a "guy".  Someone who would help me, be kind to me.  Someone to share things with, laugh and have fun.  He never treated me badly, physically, but it was a strange life style he lived.  He had always worked 3rd shift, and after he retired, he didn't change his hours.  He'd go to bed around 4:00 am and get up at 2:00 pm.  From 2:00 until 11:00 he sat at his computer.  I spent weekends at his house, either sitting behind him crocheting, or cleaning his house, mowing his lawn.  The weekends he had his daughter, I'd spend them entertaining her, because she got up early and he slept until 2:00pm.  

I did everything I could for him--to make him happy--just like every man I had known.  If I could get them to love me and think I was worth-while, that would prove my Daddy was wrong about me.  All I ever did, was prove my Daddy right.  I wasn't worth-while or loveable to any of them.

Two years later, that relationship was over.  


Over the next few months, with talk therapy and a lot of pondering on my part, I started to feel confident, for the first time in my life.  I didn't need a man!  I was perfectly smart and capable of handling anything on my own.  I started also realizing then, something I had always known, but never really KNEW--that God had a part in keeping me going all those years.  I could look back and remember coincidences when something always came through to save me.  There was no real explanation for the "saving moments", other than God sending me help.

I really "got it" for the first time in my life.  I knew right from wrong and I knew that many times, instead of "listening" to my conscience, I had just gone ahead and did something that didn't quite feel right--just to take care of a fear or anxiety I had, at that moment.  A need for financial security.  A need to stop the loneliness.

Certainly God could have stopped me from all my mistakes, but He doesn't work that way.  He has given us free choice and will present us with tests.  I failed a lot of those tests, but God stayed right there, saving me and waiting for me to sit still and wait and ponder on what would be right.

I must have gotten it, because that is when He sent Fred into my life.  There is no human way Fred and I would have met--no way.  Oh you could say it was Fate, or the stars were aligned in just the right way, or it was Karma, but after a month of talking via e-mail and several long phone calls and then an 8 hour first date, although neither one of us said it, later on we both told of how we knew, at the end of that first date, that God had brought us together.

He had gone through many hurts.  Two divorces.  An affair.  Years of too much drinking.  Two of his children not wanting anything to do with him.  Dating too many women.  Then he lost it all, through a business failure.  He decided to give it all up and go back to his Christian up-bringing and started to become involved in his church and praying hard and long before any major decision.

We used to laugh--picturing God shaking His head as he watched us lead our separate lives and then the one day, when He saw us both, finally able to stand on our own, smiling and saying in His booming voice, "It's about time!  I think you finally got it.  I think you two are perfect for each other."

.....and we were.  

Fred poured out his love on me and I on him.  My Daddy thought he was the most wonderful guy he had ever met, and was finally proud of me.  There was a conversation Fred told me, my Daddy, in his joking(?) way said, "Well you gotta cuff her up every now and then, let her know who's boss."  Fred replied, very seriously, "Oh...I would never hurt Judy.  She is the kindest, most loving and wonderful woman I have ever known!  And smart?  Oh my gosh, she is the smartest person I have ever known, man or woman!"  Fred's mother said to him, "I think you finally found a good one."  

Life has been good ever since.  

I have forgiven and asked God to forgive the people that have hurt me along the way.  I mean true forgiveness--the kind where you forgive and forget!  I had to do it so that all those past memories and nightmares would quit torturing me.  The Devil loves to keep those kinds of things coming back into your mind, as if they had just happened and you have a panic attack or can't sleep for all the remembrance's.

Yeah, Fred died.  God didn't take his life.  Fred's choices in life style from 20-60 years old, took his life.  When he changed that life style, he was given another 10 years.  His kids came back into his life. and we got to really enjoy, seven of those last years.  I am so grateful, that I've never been sad......that we only had a short time together.  Thank God we had them because, those years changed us both, for the better.

I don't know why I'm still here.  I think maybe I have finally found my "gift" and maybe, in some way, the family histories I do for people, helps them in some way?  I am devoted now to making everyone I meet happier.  Clerks at the store.  Customer service reps on the phone.  Everyone I meet is greeted with my great big smile and a kind manner and good word.  

Another gift God gave me--at an early age, which probably made me more susceptible to "go along to get along", but the best gift I have.   I am slow to anger.  I give everyone as many chances as they need, until I just can't give anymore.  I've always been a smiley, happy person, no matter what.  

Now I don't worry and fret, I refuse to allow myself to get anxious.  I am no longer afraid of storms--which have been a torment all my life.  I'm not really afraid of anything.    

Just like 50% of people wouldn't know what it's like to suffer abuse, pain and lose it all.  50% won't understand how I can forgive AND forget.  50% will never have that happy reassurance that know, as I now know, that I know, for sure---God will take care of me.

No!  I am not a Pollyanna!  I know hard times will come.  Illness, physical pain.  Death.  Whatever will be, will be, and I'll be just fine, no matter what. I guess that's not to bad a way to live.  Eh? 

Still........I wonder.  I wonder how differently my life would have been if my Daddy had adored and loved me.  My young adult choices would have been soooo much different.


  1. Wow, that was a long accounting of your relationships with men. I'm glad you and Fred finally found each other.

  2. "What ifs" could drive us all crazy, but they do have a way of flitting through our minds sometimes. Guess we're still in this life 'cause we manage to learn a few things along the way, enabling us to survive -- some lessons take us longer to learn than others. Glad life has mellowed out for you. Wasn't I lucky, finding you to prepare my genealogy!

    1. I was the lucky one on your genealogy! It was fascinating to do.

  3. You add more more proof to what I've always believed--women marry men like their fathers, and if they don't have a father, they are always looking for a man who could be one.

    1. My hubs didn't appear to be like my father at all--at first. I stayed in the marriages because I thought that was all I was worthy of--learned from my father. The friend I lived with had a very demanding Mother, who oft told him she wished she'd never gotten pregnant. He did everything for her, trying just once to get a thank you. He had many relationships, always with manipulative women, hoping to gain their approval. His best friend told me that the reason we didn't work out was because I demanded nothing from him--thus, I was no challenge. We are all sick puppies in one form or another, I guess.

  4. I didn't marry a man like my dad, unfortunately. But, never have been through any of what you speak. Judy, you've had it mighty rough, but have come out the winner. And, knowing God has you in His hands. Such a blessing to be sure.

    P.S. I'm going to send you an email.

    1. You have that same feeling about God's love and care Ms. Sally.

  5. I am happy for you, that you find yourself, in a good place. You certainly deserve it!!!!!!

    I grew up with an alcoholic father. Took care of his family and was never abusive to me. But.... My growing up was like trying to stand, on the constantly rolling deck of a ship. Never being sure, what shape he would be in. Never being sure, was a constant feeling. Etc. Etc.

    I am so, so, so lucky, that I did not do, as so many children of alcoholics do... Marry one. I married a good, good, good man. Wow was I lucky!!!!

    Sorry for adding the above. Should just say, I am happy for you.

    Gentle hugs, Luna Crone

    1. Hey--you can say or ask anything you want on here. At least no one in my family ever drank, so I didn't have that to contend with.

  6. Just wow. What a survivor. I don't think I'm that tough!! My Dad was not touchy feely (words or actions) until we were grown up. But I could feel that he loved me. Lucky me!

    And two good marriages! One good and one great ... and motherhood (the reason the first one ended ... he didn't want kids ... in the beginning, I didn't either but then that little clock started ticking ....)

    I thank my lucky stars.

    1. You have had a great life and continue to have a great life. The strength you have comes from that long line of ancestor's back to the 1500's. :-)

  7. Best blog post I've read here, bar none, Judy.

    I don't know if there are 50% who grew up great and just went on to live wonderful lives. I wasn't in the "wonderful 50% myself, but that is story for another night---and on my own blog! :)

    1. The important thing is Trudy--we made it and continue on to find what wonderfulness there is in our tiny spaces.

  8. You have had quite a life. So glad you have found peace.

    1. Over all, I've had a really good life and the best part--I'm still standing!!

  9. Judy you also have a gift of communication. I am sure in person you are just as good as you are at writing. Your life story pulls one in. Thank you for sharing it. I too am glad you found Fred. I remember when he was still with you, and was so sad to know he passed. I've just gone through a divorce after nearly 30 years and I'm trying to find a new way.

    1. You'd think after 27 years of marriage for me or nearly 30 for you, divorce wouldn't enter the picture. That we'd be used to the way it is and settle for it being that way forever. Life just throws us into situations we never could have imagined, when we were younger. You'll be fine!! life is going to be different for you from now on, but you might find out that you enjoy it more because you can do whatever YOU want, whenever YOU want. :-)

  10. Replies
    1. What a beautiful testimony. Like I've always said, we all have a story. Thank you Judy for sharing yours.

  11. And THIS - THis post is why you are still here -God is using you to minister to us. Thanks for reminding me how far we've all come - and to rejoice in today.
    Love you, Friend!!

  12. I am 62 and so wish I would meet a Fred sometime. Thank you for sharing your story.