Continuing the story of me and Keith. We left off back together after being apart after an incident with cheating, and we were in college up North.
We had a good thing going at one point. We were attending classes, I had a job and then another, better job. He got a better job. We had rented our own house, and it had land and it was small but beautiful. We had a roommate, a girl named July (pronounced like Julie). And then another girl moved in, because her boyfriend kicked her out onto the street. Her name was Chel. She was in the play with me, and the younger sister of one of my best friends, and I thought, we have room. We have a couch she can sleep on. She and July are friends, she and I are friends. So I took her in.
At this time, Keith and I were not in great condition. We were okay sometimes, but he still had anger issues and I was starting to realize that I was worth something, that I could be free if I wanted to. I didn’t really want to–I wanted Keith. But things were difficult, we argued, but we also did really well together in some ways. However, my health declined, and Keith wasn’t that understanding, and July and Chel were convinced he was awful, and kept encouraging me to leave him. I got carried away by their opinions, and forgot about Keith’s struggles. I was just learning at this time what had happened to him over in his deployment in Iraq. But we were college students, partying and drinking and smoking and having bonfires in our backyard and goofing off, and everything. Life went on.
In June of 2011, I got my IUD taken out (I had had it since my abortion). It was wrecking my cycle, and uncomfortable, and I didn’t want it anymore. Plus…we were thinking about kids. We should NOT have been, at all, because we were so unsteady (I had just left my job due to poor health). Our friendships with July and Chel were falling apart (Chel had bad friends that were influencing her, and they stole from us while we were gone–my pain pills, which I needed). And July was moving back to Hawai’i, which is where she lived before college. She left a bunch of stuff and fell off the grid and didn’t leave on great terms with Keith, even though those two had been a lot closer than July and I. That had changed by the end.
Well…we were without jobs. We were looking for a new place to live, hopefully a house. We took a short break to go on vacation to Disneyworld, and were told that it would be all expenses paid by my mother-in-law. See, Keith could get everyone in on a HUGE discount because of his veteran status. He was fresh out of the Marines, early, honorably discharged. So we decided to go, and then…things got tense. They gave us a tiny bit of spending money, but got mad at us when we spent it? We saved them $1500 on tickets and they didn’t have to spend extra on rooms for us because they were renting a villa apartment thing anyway (it had 5 bedrooms) and they gave us like $200 and got upset when we spent it on Keith’s younger siblings getting lunch at Disneyworld and stuff like that. The trip was great, because Disneyworld, but I was in a wheelchair for it because of my pain.
And…Keith’s mentor/big brother in the military, a man named Kurt, was killed in a shooting. He got the news while we were sitting outside chilling on the back porch of the little villa. He was devastated, and I think that was when he decided he wanted a child. Because after that, he asked and we talked and we decided we’d just let things happen. If it happens, it happens. I think he realized how short life is then.
We went back up to NY, after visiting my cousin Frank and his wife Olivia (she and I are very very very close) and their little daughter Rose, who was turning 1. We made the trip back, and then…we lost the house. The landlord wanted us out, ASAP. Get out, get out, get out, basically. And we had nowhere to go. So my mother-in-law took us in and we stayed in her basement.
I hated that time there. I literally hid downstairs and didn’t even go upstairs to pee because she was such a tyrant. I’d hear her screaming all hours of the day. So I’d pee in a cup and dump it in the sink downstairs rather than go upstairs at all. I hid in my room, with the cats, and played Elder Scrolls: Oblivion for hours and hours. I almost 100%-ed the game, actually. Which is hard to do, on an Elder Scrolls game. But I did it. And I started reading fanfiction again, to escape. I had discovered the show Glee and was reading about it online, though I hadn’t joined its fandom yet. I was just drawn to its characters and the writers online sharing their stories in that community. I didn’t know then that I would find my home and life-changing friendships among these people.
But then…well, I got pregnant. Fact is, when I was in the ultrasound, it turns out that I had been pregnant while STILL on the IUD. And that’s like a 0.001% chance of happening, and yet the little fetus hung on for dear life. I thought…well, we’re in a bad situation right now, but this little thing clearly wants to be alive more than anything. I decided to keep it.
But then…well, things were very, very bad with my mother-in-law. She’s a difficult person at the best of times, she talks a lot and is kind of aggressive. She has poor opinions of a lot of people and isn’t afraid to talk about it or share it with people. She never really liked me, until later, when I’d proven myself, but the thing is, I was hurt in her house. I slipped on a battery that happened to be left on the stairs into the basement and fell down the stairs while pregnant. I was upset and worried. She wasn’t. And then I was without my medication for several days, and was withdrawing, and I got locked out of the house while they were gone.
Oh, the drama. I asked the upstairs tenant if they had a spare key or anything, and they said no. So I, being completely insane at this point because I was having a panic attack about not having my meds and being in the middle of severe withdrawal, joked that I wished I could call the police and have them knock the door down. Apparently it came across as, “I’m gonna do it!” Not “Haha wouldn’t that be nice?” And the neighbor emailed my mother-in-law to tattle on me and warn her I was gonna break in? Which I wasn’t. I went into the backyard and sat down and was on the phone with my friend Amanda’s mother (who is also a friend and like a second mother) and chatting, and my mother-in-law came home.
She stormed up to me and started screaming while I was on the phone. She threatened me in detail–about how she was going to take me by the hair and throw me down the stairs and make sure I snap my neck. While I was pregnant with her grandchild, which she knew. She told me to take my stuff and get out.
My friend’s mother Barb rose to the occasion. She immediately came over with her car and got us all packed up and took us to her house. Keith was at work at the time. We were officially homeless. We went to stay with Barb, but we couldn’t stay for long. We had to find a place to live fast.
We went to the county building and asked for aid from the state. They called all of our family members and asked who could take us in rather than sending us to a government housing situation. Keith’s mom said she’d take Keith back in, but I was not welcome, and she wanted Keith to separate with me. And my grandma, back home in Central NY, said she’d take us both. The state said, well, separate and go to separate homes, or we could sell our car and they could garnish Keith’s wages entirely and put us up in a roach motel slum.
We decided to go home and live with my grandma back in my hometown, leaving his family and the life we lived up North behind us. Together.
I will continue this later.