I don’t hate many places, but I will probably always hate Houston, Texas.

I don’t hate many places, but I will probably always hate Houston, Texas. It is not the people that reside there. It is not the buildings. It is not the culture. It is simply what occurred within my life while I resided in Houston.

We were sitting in the living room of our small apartment in a small-town in upstate, Western New York when Eric, my first husband, and I were discussing his job. He worked at a cardboard factory and despised it. I asked him what he would like to do.

“What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?” “What do you think you would love doing?”

He responded, “I would be a diver”.

“So let’s get you trained to be a diver then”, I replied.

I researched diving programs. I made numerous phone calls and located the Ocean Corporation in Houston, Texas. I paid for his schooling and prepaid our apartment rent. Upon the birth of our second child, we packed up a U-Haul and headed to Texas.

He had a cousin that resided in Houston. The first week of our arrival, his cousin offered to take him out and show him around.

He returned around 4 in the morning with his wedding ring in his back pocket and belligerently drunk. It was a prelude of things to come and all that Houston represented.

As the weeks progressed, so did Eric’s drinking. To say he was a different person when he drank would be an understatement. It became a contest to see how many women he could bed. He used his words as weapons. And occasionally, he used excessive force. This was not Houston’s fault. I had known this long before Houston. But there was something different about Houston. There were bolder actions and less concern for guarding these secrets.

I called my stepmom while in Houston. She advised me to love him. I did the opposite. I left.

I know that Eric’s parents were upset with me when I left Houston. I never called them. I never told them I was leaving, but truthfully, there were many things I never told them; I kept many secrets for Eric.

Many of us have a fine line within ourselves – a breaking point; a leaving point. It can happen in an instant; by words, an action, or a revelation.

There was a night he came home late, liquored and revved up. The children and I had been asleep for hours. I knew he was home because he threw me out of the bed. I hit the wall hard. I stood up and confronted him. He grabbed my arm, dragged me through the apartment, opened the front door and threw me into the yard. It was the words he spoke next that crossed that line, “I don’t care if you end up raped, your body beaten and you are left in a ditch on the side of the road!” and with that, he slammed and locked the door.

I suddenly became aware of a new dilemma: a see-thru nightgown that I was wearing in an apartment complex lawn in the middle of Houston, Texas. I banged on the door to no avail. He had passed out in an alcohol induced deep-sleep.

Many of the other diver students resided in our apartment complex. I ran to the last building where three or four of his fellow classmates resided. Sometime in the wee morning hours, I knocked on their door. They all awoke. They gave me clothing and shelter.

The following day I left Houston with our two children.

I drove our car to a local car dealership and sold it while he was at school. I got a ride to the closest U-Haul and rented a truck with a one-way destination. The students that gave me clothing and shelter met me at the apartment; they brought back-up. They helped me load the U-Haul. By 3 pm that day, I was ready to leave. As I was packing up the babies, Eric arrived. He saw the U-Haul and knew the line was crossed. Immediately he cried and apologized. There is no apology that can undo the damage that was done. I said goodbye and we drove away.

I don’t hate many places, but I will probably always hate Houston, Texas. It is not the people that reside there. It is not the buildings. It is not the culture. It is simply what occurred within my life while I resided in Houston.

© LifeasChristine, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to LifeasChristine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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