I got married four days after my 16th birthday.

Four days before said birthday, I was at home with my Mother.  She said to me, “You shouldn’t wear those shorts, they make you look pregnant.”  A few minutes later she asked me if I had something I needed to tell her.  Oh boy did I ever…

I never told her I had actually already taken a pregnancy test about a week before so I knew what the doctor would tell us. I was terrified that my parents would be furious with me.  I was terrified because I was too young to be a mom.  I was terrified because the guy I was seeing was proving to be a real jerk and I wanted to break up with him, and now I’m carrying his child. I was TERRIFIED that my dad was going to find out in just a few hours.

My dad had a business partner with two “perfect” daughters.  They got great grades in school, attended church every Sunday and certainly didn’t get pregnant at 15! As a matter of fact, the older daughter was planning her wedding at this time.  My dad was ashamed of me.  I saw it in his eyes.  He hated the fact he would have to own that his daughter got herself knocked up at 15.

So, dad got home and heard the news.  The three of us sat down to talk while we waited for my boyfriend Greg to arrive.  My dad wasn’t talking to me, just sitting there with his head down. My Mother on the other hand, she had some things to say.

She told me that even though I was a kid, the adult decision I made had an adult outcome I had to deal with. She was so wonderful to me.  She didn’t make me feel like a bad person.  She didn’t make me feel like my life was over.  She told me I had decisions to make though. She told me I could have the baby and stay home, I could get married if I chose to do that as well.  She said I could have an abortion, but she told me she felt I would regret that if I did.  She told me she hoped I didn’t chose adoption, because it would kill her to not know her grandchild.

I knew what I wanted.  I wanted to do whatever my parents told me I should do.  I just didn’t want them to be mad at me.  My Mother would not make that choice for me.  But my Dad did.

So Greg arrives. My dad said to him, “You will either marry her or you won’t see her anymore.  I won’t have my daughter sleeping with someone she isn’t married to.”

Greg responded with, “Oh I’m going to marry her!”

That was my marriage proposal. Of course, if that meant my parents wouldn’t be mad at me, I was all about it.  It was ridiculous but that’s what happens when a kid tries to adult.

So, a few days later I was at work during the busy lunch hour when I got a call from my mother.  She informed me she had got a ring and something for me to wear.  She was picking me up in a few minutes and we were headed to Texas where a 16 year old can get married without any problems.  A few hours later I was a married little girl.

I was abused almost every day for the four years we were together. I hid it from my parents and just dealt with it, but I still have emotional scars from the things that happened.  We had two children together.  Once I reached the maturity to realize that although I believed in “till death do us part”, I couldn’t stay and let my kids see me get abused.

I had tried to leave him when he gave me VD.  I found out I had it during my six week check up after I had my first child.  But he convinced me that the test was bullshit. He got tested and told me his was negative.  He actually really convinced me of that!! What a stupid child I was.

He had never hit me. He verbally abused me. I’ve never been hit by a man and I hope I can always state that as a fact.  But I’m telling you, the verbal and emotional abuse this man put me through was very painful.

I left him the day after Thanksgiving.  It was also the day after he put his fist in my face acting like he was going to hit me.  I felt very scared and I knew physical abuse was going to happen if I didn’t leave.

I went to my parents house and explained.  My dad and two brothers went to my house with 3 baseball bats.  I know they wanted him to try something so they could punish him for what he put me through.  They have no idea what that man put me through… But Greg just sat there while they packed all my belongings and brought them back for me.

He tried to kidnap the kids once.  He tried to run me off the road with the kids in the car once.  I hid from him and didn’t go anywhere alone after that.

He eventually moved out of state.  He spent quite a bit of time in prison after that.  He had been diagnose with paranoid schizophrenia after we broke up.  He was and still is a drug addict and alcoholic.  I haven’t talked to him thirty years and I don’t plan to.

Oh yeah, my dads business partner had a big fancy wedding for his daughter.  He spent a crazy amount of money on it.  He didn’t know she was pregnant until the day after the wedding.  He went home, turned every picture of her in the house around to face the wall, and banned her from the family.  He didn’t see his grandchild for years. What an asshole.  But maybe dad didn’t feel quite as embarrassed after that.  At least I didn’t cost him for a big wedding.  The justice of the peace was pretty cheap….


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