During that time my parents refused to speak about me because they were so ashamed of what I did for a living. But I bought my own house at the age of 22 and I had a new car every couple of years.
They came back to Ontario on a buying trip once - and my father sat out in the car while my mother came into the bar looking for me as he absolutely refused to set foot in that den of inequity. I looked up and saw her standing just inside the door and I thought - 'Hmmm...I should know that person'. I was so grateful that it was in between strippers - so that she didn't have to go through that embarrassment....
As a rule I didn't date the patrons. My belief was and still is - if you meet them in a bar then you know where you're going to find him when he isn't home...
For some silly reason - I started dating a customer. Six months later I was still dating him and he spent a lot of nights at my house. He was always a very happy person - always smiling - always laughing.
Every time my mother called she would say "We know something is going on there - we know it!" or "Are you living in sin?" and she would always try to get me to read certain chapters of the Bible.....Her guilt trip finally wore me down and we got married in my living room with my brother as my bridesmaid and his partner standing up for my husband. I called my mother after the ceremony and I have a picture of the shock on her face when I told her.
The marriage lasted almost three years and some days I've forgotten his name. I think it's a mental block I've thrown up to forget how everything turned out. We were doing alright as a couple until I discovered that his happiness came from drugs. Now as a rule I could pick out the druggies at the bar quite easily. But for some reason I just didn't see it. Desperation or the crown of guilt I wore for my mother's sake? I don't know. But - he worked in a tobacco factory and made an incredible amount of money for that day and age. What I didn't know until sometime in the middle of the third year was that a lot of the money he made went into drugs at work - or to start his day - whenever. To me he was just happy.
The beginning of the end came on the day he decided to take his own holiday without me. When he called me from South Carolina ten days later - I didn't know who was on the phone. It quickly became evident that something was drastically wrong and I hopped on a plane to go down south and drive him home.
What I found when I got there was not the person I had married. He had been spending his time with two girls while he was there - and had mixed a number of drugs together. The result was that his twosome abandoned him because he had fried his brains....and I was called.
To make a long story somewhat shorter - he tried to kill me three times on that trip home. Twice by strangulation and once by drowning.
When we got to the border they hauled us in because he was acting so erratic...but they soon asked me to take him off their hands - they didn't want the responsibility for a lunatic. I drove him straight to his parent's and they took him to a psychiatric hospital in Guelph where he was committed over and over again. He was finally transferred to a major psyche hospital in London where he had to earn his clothing and cigarettes with good behaviour.
The doctors never spoke to me - nor did his family. On the day our divorce went to court he punched my lawyer (a personal friend of ours) in the face - even though he had started the proceedings. When the final papers were put into my hands - I opened them and read that I was granted a divorce on the grounds of my mental cruelty and abuse towards my husband. I remember thinking that if that was what he needed to believe - then that was alright with me. As long as he was at peace.