Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eric & Lori

       I met Eric around Halloween in1993 at a small bar where                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        where
my older sister Cathy and I frequented in downtown Greensburg, PA called the Point. It was really kind of a dive where bikers, real hard-core women, drug pushers and their clientele, drunks, whores, and every form of the city’s underbelly imaginable hung out; just the kind of place where we liked do our drinking and hell-raising. And although certainly not the type of establishment that comes to mind when one thinks about looking for a lifetime partner, that’s exactly where  Eric first laid eyes on me, where a month later I picked HIM up and ended up at his Gram’s house sleeping with him the first night we met. I told him I’d been hurt so many times and so badly that I’d NEVER fall in love again. But found myself anxiously waiting for his call for three long days.
Little socially repressed me, made fun of all through my school years, emotionally and physically abused by my father and first husband, and controlled by guilt and shame by a working mother who had to raise three children of her own and two of her grandchildren alone.
Then along came Eric and slowly but steadily my inhibitions, my hang ups, things I had repressed, and things which had become obsessions began to alleviate. After years of knowing his family and watching how a healthy marriage works, how proper parenting nurtures successful adults and there really was such a thing called “unconditional love” because I witnessed it. I knew that God himself put Eric in my life. Of course I still had my demons, so deeply ingrained they were part of my fiber. But I cared so deeply about my relationship with Eric, loved him so dearly and through therapy and rehabilitation for alcoholism, which I put myself in, I even had begun to care about myself and some of these innate feelings of shame, humiliation, disdain, embarrassment and guilt began to disappear. I learned that the more I accomplished the better I felt about myself. Sure, I still had moments of weakness when I would base my self esteem for the day on the way Eric was interacting with me. It certainly takes a lot for a leopard to change his spots.
But I absolutely, positively must give credit where credit is due. Before my injury Eric stuck by me through mental hospital stays, alcohol rehabs, and a prescription drug addiction which ultimately took my freedom. Now I’m not saying our first 11 years together was fraught with nothing but my bad behavior, far from it. However, our engagement became only that, an engagement, when I know in my heart had my behavior been different I’d be a married woman. Nevertheless, six years post injury he’s still taking care of me long after I lost his family’s support. This is a huge regret of mine because I love them like they were my own. 

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