Only days after my whole world unravelled, I forgave my fiancée for lying. He promised to get his marriage annulled in the Catholic church and, after explaining that this would mean he had never really been married, I agreed to it. It all seemed right, and made sense, just like my religious beliefs had made sense. Somehow this would ‘undo’ his wrong against me. If the marriage had never happened, that would make the lie non-existent.
One of my greatest strengths had become my greatest weaknesses. As a child I wasn’t often angry and didn’t hold grudges. Forgiving by nature, I believe the best in people. As soon as my fiancée apologized, said he should have told me the truth, claiming he only tried to protect me, and promised to annul the marriage, it was in the past. A master at suppressing pain and living in denial, I determined life would be good again.
But God had heard me and He knew something about me that I had quickly forgotten—that I was lost and needed Him.
In no time at all my fiancée was driving truck, doing international runs. I travelled with him, to get out of my little room. To Chicago, Windsor, Sarnia and random places. And then it happened…. He had a run to Kitchener Ontario.
“I’ll go with you. I lived about two streets over from where you have to go,” I offered. Having forgiven him, I had no agenda, no intent to escape. He agreed.
When we arrived in Kitchener, I discovered that I had been over-confident. Wellington Street was very confusing and I had never been to this area, and my directions did more harm than good. I felt horrible. It didn’t help that my fiancée became quite angry with me.
There is a silver lining in every cloud. His anger brought reality, with all its negative, ugly feelings to the surface. This threw me back into the fear and oppression of childhood, bringing with it incredible loneliness, and reminding me that all was not well. In that loneliness I whispered a little prayer, “God, I want to stay in Canada. I don’t want to go back.”
We pulled in to a Short Stop at Fairway Road and Weber Street. It was all too familiar. I had lived two blocks one direction, and worked for Sears a few blocks the other direction. For a brief moment I contemplated making a run for it, but where would I go without money? It was December 4, and not the kind of weather to survive the streets with no experience. I resigned myself to my lot.
It was a cold night to spend in the truck, but financially it was the only option. Saturday morning, December 5, we got our load and headed for the Detroit border, where we had crossed countless times without any issues. That morning was different.
The officer was barely five feet tall, but, what she lacked in height, she made up for in authority. A stern little woman, she looked up at me, and spoke with a pronounced southern accent, “ID please Ma’am.”
“I don’t have any ID, Ma’am,” I said. She looked up at me, beady eyes cutting through me. I smiled. (That always worked with the male officers.) She glared.
“You don’t have any ID?”
“No. I cross the border all the time without it,” I said cheerfully.
“Ma’am, could I have your purse?”
Weird, I thought, but yes… I handed her my purse.
She took my large beige purse, undid the little flap, pulled the top open as wide as she could, turned it over and unceremoniously shook it until every crumb was on her counter. One item at a time, she picked through my stuff, saying little to nothing.
She held up a little piece of paper. “Who is this?” She turned it over for me to read.
“An ex-boyfriend. I forgot I had that.” Whatever she was looking for, or thinking, she was wrong about me. She continued searching and sorting. At last she finished, finding nothing of consequence. She walked to the computer.
“Ma’am, your home address, please, including the Lot and Concession? And your father’s name.” With that information she did a search. “Ma’am, that address does not exist in our records. Are you sure you have it right?”
“Do your parents own the property or rent it?”
She did one more search. “Ma’am, you cannot cross this border without ID, or a deed to that property. Can you have a copy?”
“Ma’am, then you can’t cross this border today. I’m sorry.”
My fiancée spoke up for the first time. “But we’re getting married in two months. she’s my fiancée! I can’t just leave her here.”
“Sir, do you have fiancée papers proving that she is your fiancée?”
“No. I didn’t know there was such a thing.”
“Sir, then you will need to get fiancée papers and bring them to get her across the border.”
Small but mighty, she was. It was useless to negotiate, debate or argue. She had shown no emotion and no connection. Just my luck, I thought, to have a cranky little lady throw her weight around and mess up my plans.
My fiancée had a seventeen hour drive ahead of him and only sixteen hours left to get there. He had no choice but to keep going, and leave me alone in Detroit.
I had reached a crossroad, and neither way was clear. Both came with risks.
I paced the dock for a while, debating my next move. I could try to cross the border with a total stranger and make my way back to Indiana. It was high risk, but it was an option. Alternatively I could make a collect call home and see if my family would consider picking me up.
I weighed the pros and cons, and then made my decision…..
….To Be Continued….
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/