Friday, March 28, 2014
Making an Entrance
Why is it we learn so much in hindsight?
I would like to ask you to view this video that a friend shared with me this morning. It brought tears to my eyes. My reaction was due to my past, my present, and the future. After taking 2 minutes to watch the video linked below, I'll tell you more about my association with it.
On February 16, 1980, I entered a room without my parents, without my sister, without my grandparents....without any family...and faced an audience with a Rabbi whom I had just met, and the young man with whom I was to marry - standing under a chuppah.
My parents would not acknowledge nor approve of my wedding (I did always believe they would finally show up - but they didn't), my grandparents were afraid to go against their daughter (my mother), and my sister...well, she was 21 and could have been my maid of honor. I had purchased a dress for her, which hung wrapped in plastic in a dressing room - paid for and never touched. Until the very last moment, I had hoped she would show up. She never did.
But not even the Rabbi I knew since childhood would approve and officiate at this marriage. He contacted a friend of his from California who was in town for the week, who officiated. I should have known better. I didn't even register all this back then.
When it came time to walk into the ceremonial room of the Fountainhead in New Rochelle, New York, I had already had 2 glasses of wine. The young man who was to be my husband was high on cocaine. As was his groomsmen. Did anyone notice? Only moments after the ceremony, the "best man" passed out cold, in a plate of food.
And as the music started, signalling the bridal entrance, I stood outside that huge wooden door, with my future husband's family on the other side, and I wanted to run. Not down the aisle to a man I was to marry - but run away! I wanted to escape. The hall's manager gave me the cue to walk into the room as his hand was on that door's handle. I then said I didn't want to. He opened the door, and literally gave my back a little push - a shove. And there I was - a single young woman, 24 years young, who had already been raped and beaten by the young man waiting on the other end of that aisle....walking into a life that would be nothing less than hell on earth.
By the time of my wedding day, I already had the mindset of victim mentality. My future husband had given me many first experiences, like having a gun held to my head in order to coerce me into doing something I didn't want to do.
Well, I made my entrance. Nothing like the bride in that video as viewed above. I don't remember wanting to sing, I don't remember love in my heart - I'm sorry but I don't. I felt branded. I remember regret and sorrow. Fear and humility. Sheer panic. If I ran, and embarassed him - I thought for sure he would kill me. How I wished I could have run away.
And if I had, what were the possibilities that could have lay ahead? I stayed in that marriage for almost 20 years, and it was ugly. The only light I had in my life was giving birth to two sons. They kept me going. All the luxuries I appeared to have - a beautiful home in Bedford, New York, fantastic automobiles, going to the best restaurants and hotels, only designer clothing, high end jewelry - it all was paid for with my life. With broken blood vessels, bruises and emotional torment. If only I had never made that entrance.
It was all about taking the one step beyond the door's threshold. And giving up all my childhood dreams. I didn't trust my gut. I never believed in myself. Now, I'm getting there. And the second I feel an usettling feeling in my core about anything - I listen to my body, and contemplate with my brain.
At 7PM on that February 16th, of 1980, I made my grand entrance, wearing an $83 sample wedding gown that I purchased off the rack of a White Plains bridal store. I made the entrance which led me to who I am today.
I survived those wedded 20 years - barely at times. I made a final exit in filing for divorce from my abuser.
When I saw the video of this bride's entrance, I cried. Not only for how wonderful her heart must feel. Thinking they sure look too young! to make such a commitment....
But because of what was taken away from me when I made my own entrance in 1980.
(I'm also quite in tuned to weddings these days....my younger son's wedding is coming up on June 21...I hope the bride's entrance is a grand one, with only love and peace in her heart. I'm not sure that will be possible, considering how I am being treated. As of this time, neither the bride nor my son have included me in their lives/wedding plans - and I am the mother of the groom.)