Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I Become a Single Dad, Part Eight...
In my last post in the Divorce Chronicle series I described the first meeting of Susan and I. Hopefully you were able to see how very happy we both were to finally meet one another. Again allow me to mention that if you are a first time visitor and wish to read the previous seven entries in this series, you can go to the upper left hand side of the page and click on the link.
I returned home to Alabama to find things were pretty much status quo at home. My soon to be ex wife, FA, was still spending much of her time away from the house. She would be gone all day working out, or visiting with her lawyer or her P.I. boyfriend Gabe. In the evenings she would go out and leave me and the kids here alone. Once the children were in bed I would spend much of my time alone, in my office/bedroom, talking with Susan on the phone or computer, or just reading. I read many books during this time and discovered some favorite new authors.
I also continued to tape the conversations FA and I would have either those we would have in person or those over the phone. It was during one of those face to face talks that I suddenly realized I could possibly have the ability to kill her. We were having some kind of argument; I can’t now remember what it was over, when she dropped a bombshell on me.
We had known a couple in a previous town we had lived in, and the four of us had become good friends. The wife in the couple was actually a college friend of FA and mine. We all had gone to church together and our kids were right about the same age. During the above mentioned argument FA informed me that she had given these folks, as well as her family, the impression I was dabbling in homosexuality. This immediately rocked my world. What made it worse was when she told me that our couple friends had suggested that if I was that perverse it may be possible that I could sexually abuse my kids as well. That had me fuming. FA of course laughed it off, saying she knew it certainly wasn’t the case, and that made me madder. Here she was slandering me to everyone I knew. Luckily she never, to my knowledge, told our other mutual friend, Bo Snagley, any of these tall tales. As time went by I decided that I really didn’t care what these people thought. I knew the truth, so what did I care what they were thinking.
There were many more instances like this with her. Over the next weeks I kept track of everything that happened. I kept a journal of when she would be gone and when she would return. I listed the ways she would neglect the kids, and I taped as many conversations as I could where she would describe to me the wild happenings of her life. As I have mentioned in other posts, I felt I would need all the ammunition I could get. I thought this was going to be a battle in court, and I wanted to do everything possible to keep my kids. Plus I still didn’t know what all she and the investigation service might have on me. They had yet to return my computer to me. All this extra work would prove to be in vain though. Some things occurred on a March evening, not too long after St. Patrick’s Day, that would change the future for all of us.
During the weeks after I first learned I was heading to divorce I developed no desire to eat. Going on a strictly zero carb diet I had quickly dropped thirty pounds and two pants sizes. It had also become habit for me to take two mile walks in the evenings. On occasion my daughter would join me and we would both get exercise while talking about events, school, etc. It was on one of these evenings when life took an abrupt change.
My habit of always locking the dead bolt to my office door began to get FA worried. Some how she was convinced I was keeping things hidden in my office files, or company computer, which could be used as evidence against her in the divorce. Of course she was exactly right in her assumptions, but she didn’t know that for certain. On March 20th I left the house to go on a walk with my daughter and locked my door as usual. When we returned forty-five minutes later FA was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. When I came into the kitchen she offered me a cup sitting on the counter saying it was the last of the sugar free kool aide. She told me she had wanted to wash the pitcher and didn’t know if I would want the remaining drink. I thanked her and took the drink and went in the living room to watch Sponge Bob with the kids. Sitting there on the couch next to my daughter I contemplated offering the drink to her, thinking I might rather have ice water instead. Thank God I never did.
Thirty minutes later I got up from the couch to go pee and I instantly knew something wasn’t right. I was dizzy and light headed. I could barely walk. Something definitely was wrong. I made it to the hall bathroom and managed to close the door, lock it, and sit down fully clothed on the toilet. As I sat there trying to think through the haze my cell phone rang. I always kept it attached to my belt because I didn’t want FA to be able to look through it at the numbers I had saved. I answered the phone and it was my Dad calling as usual to check in. I told him how I was feeling and he immediately told me to call an ambulance. He said he thought I might be having a stroke. I told him I would see how things go and let him know.
I somehow managed to leave the bathroom and make my way to the master bedroom. FA was there in the bathroom doing something at the mirror and I collapsed backwards across the bed. She looked out at me laying there and said,
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I don’t know…I feel weird, sick.”
Suddenly she got a worried look on her face and practically shouted,
“Get in here right now and make yourself throw up!”
I told her I didn’t feel nauseous sick, only weird, like I was high or drunk or something. I asked her to help me up from the bed and she refused saying,
“I’m not touching you! Come on, get up and come throw up.”
I struggled to roll myself over on my hands and slid my body off the bed and onto the floor. Using the television for leverage I pulled myself up on my wobbly feet. It then occurred to me that I should probably call 911. I removed my phone from my belt, and as I walked like a man who has had way too much to drink, I dialed the phone. She was right behind me.
“Who are you calling? Give me that phone!” She yelled.
With slurred words I said, “Calling…911…think I am dying.”
“NO! I will do it. Give me the fucking phone!”
She wrestled with me all the way through the living room. She pounded on my back with her fists as we made our way to the foyer. As I ascended the stairs, hanging onto the banister, she continued yelling and telling me to stop. Using the banister as support, practically hanging over it, I got to the fourth or fifth step, and then she took action. She reached up and grabbed me by the back of my shirt pulling me over and I fell, face down, onto the hardwood floor of the foyer. That was the last thing I remembered until I woke up with a paramedic over me.
Somehow I had made it to the kitchen and was sitting at the table. The house was full of police, firemen and paramedics. Evidently my call to 911 had gone through and, hearing the struggle, the operator had sent out help. Isn’t caller ID a wonderful thing? FA was sitting on the sofa being interviewed by a cop. I heard her telling someone she didn’t know what was wrong with me, but she assumed I was drunk. Another cop told me I could consider pressing charges later, and they whisked me away in an ambulance. The next thing I remember I woke up in a bed in the ER.
Once the flog cleared I managed to call my Dad and told him what had happened. He was in Atlanta on business and informed me he was on his way and would be there in four hours. By one in the morning I was feeling much better and begged the attending doctor to let me leave. I was frantic with worry about my kids. I remembered looking up, right before I passed out on the foyer floor, and seeing my daughter watching and crying. If FA could do whatever it was she had done to me, there was no telling what she might do to the kids. Some how my Father had managed to call Snagley and good old Bo drove down, in the middle of the night, to pick me up.
When he and I got back to my house FA was sitting in her car in the drive way. I walked over to the driver side window and she began to apologize. I interrupted her and asked where the kids were.
“They are asleep up stairs. Chuck, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was scared. I wanted you to pass out into a deep sleep so I could get your keys and get into your office. I never meant for this to get carried away so bad.” She went on to explain what she had done to me, and how she had carried it out.
“Where are you going?” I asked, not listening to her ramble on.
“To visit my sister in Georgia. I am not sure when I will be back.”
“Well, I can’t deal with this now. We’ll talk later.”
I turned and left her sitting there, engine idling, and went inside with Snag.
It turned out that she had taken at least four pills of the very strong prescription drug Ambien and crushed them up then mixed them in my kool-aide. What she didn’t consider was that I had barely eaten in days and had just come in from vigorous exercise. All this set the stage for me to have a terrible reaction from the over dose. Had I given the drink to my daughter, like I considered, the dosage may have killed her. I was a 6′5″, 250 pound man. Obviously she is much smaller. My Dad arrived an hour later and he, Snag and I sat discussing all that had happened into the wee hours of the morning.
The next day I called Susan and told her what had happened. She was obviously shocked. We both knew FA was crazy, but we never imagined she would do something this dumb. She told me that she had had a feeling that something may have happened since I never called her the night before. I told her I would be in touch then Dad and I headed to the police station.
The lieutenant at our small, local P.D. told me that I did indeed have a case against my wife. He said it could be considered attempted murder, or at the least assault, and that he would present it to the grand jury for their decision. He gave me a week to try to use it all to my advantage, (ending the divorce) then he would have no choice but to release it to the grand jury. We left there and headed back to the house. My daughter was at school and my son was with us. I put the boy down for a nap and called FA.
At some point in the hours that had passed since our drive way conversation FA had changed. She was no longer humble and seeking forgiveness. She told me that her attorney had assured her that what she had done wasn’t that serious. Having already talked with my lawyer, as well as the police, I knew she was wrong and I told her so. She scoffed and told me that she wasn’t worried, and then I laid it all out for her. I said,
“FA you have two choices. You can fire your attorney and the two of us work up an agreement for this divorce together, or you can attend our first hearing on April fourteenth wearing an orange Shelby County Corrections jump suit. It’s your call.”
“That will never happen. I didn’t try to kill you, I only gave you one pill, and there is nothing they can do to me. If there were, they would have arrested me last night.”
“FA there was five Ambien pill in the bottle, the last time I checked, and there is only one there this morning. Once pill wouldn’t cause the kind of reaction I had.”
“Oh bull, you were faking it. Everybody could tell. After you left in the ambulance the lady across the street was laughing about how you didn’t look sick at all.”
“Whatever. Listen closely to me now. You have five days to make up your mind. Either you do as I suggest or it ain’t gonna be easy for you.”
As soon as I got the last word out she hung up on me.
Two days later she returned home. I refused to let her enter and she called the cops on me. When the officer arrived, one of the ones who had been there the night it all happened, he informed me that she was legally allowed to enter the house. Without any papers or legal judgments I could not refuse her. Oh well, I had to try.
Later that day I again instigated the conversation about the easy way to end the divorce. She again refused to listen, but I kept talking…making sure she at least heard everything again. She informed me that she was not going to fire her attorney, and that she was convinced what she had done wasn’t such a big deal. She felt certain that the divorce would still go her way. She then said she was going to CVS and would be back later. I just shrugged and walked out of the room.
Fifteen minutes later my cell rings. It was her. I answered and could hear the sound of a train in the back ground.
“I have been stuck here by these damn trains for ten minutes now and I have been thinking.” She said. “I guess we can do it the way you suggested, but I want to help write up the divorce agreement.”
I tried to keep myself from laughing and replied, “Okay, we’ll sit down and work on it as soon as you get back.”
A little over a week later, on April 2, 2003, the judge signed the papers and I was officially a single man. What could have been a wicked divorce battle turned out to be not so bad. Thanks to stupid steps by FA it ended very quickly. She had originally filed the papers on February 20th, and it was all over forty two days later. Pretty damn quick for a divorce. That night I took the kids to dinner and she went out and ended up having her first bi sexual experience, but that is a story for another day.
There is still more to tell in my divorce story so I reckon there will be another entry or two. I have yet to relate to you Susan and my first time having sex. Boy howdy, that is one exciting story, I tell you what! Then of course there is Bo’s alligator story. I have to tell that one so he will stop pestering me about it. So until next time I leave you with the words you have become used to reading;
To be continued….