Friday, September 24, 2010

What the hell were you thinking?.......

The military had come and packed up all of our stuff for us, which was a great thing. They moved it straight to his parents house in Illinois. Which was a bad thing. Which was also were I was going to stay until I found a place of my own. (a very bad thing)
After the wedding, we drove through Tennessse, were my parents had been living now for a few months. We stayed the night, but we couldn't stay long, T was on a tight schedule. (little did I know at that time, how tight his schedule really was)
After T left us in Illinois, I didn't waste any time before I packed up my little minivan with all that I could, and me and my boys took off. I wasn't going to stay with them. It just didn't feel right. I didn't feel comfortable. I didn't exaclty get that litte warm fuzzy feeling and I wasn't going to tolerate that uneasy feeling from them. So, I left and didn't say a word. I was moving to Tennessee with my parents.
It didn't take long for me to find an affordable place for me in Tennessee. I moved us into a nice little duplex and once again made it a home. Even with all my stuff in boxes in his parents garage in Illinois.
We only needed the basics. Besides, I was expecting T to be home with in a few months anyway, and we could just go get our stuff. I wasn't going to move back to Illinois. I was going to make it work in Tennessee, and he would either be in or out.
By May, I was anxious for him to come home on leave. I was expecting him to come the weekend of Memorial Day. But he said that he wasn't able to take leave being that it was so close to his release date. I thought that was a little odd. But again, didn't think much of it. What did I know about the rules of the military. Later, I would find out, that during Memorial Day weekend, he did take leave. He went to New York City. But I never found out with who. Thing just kept gettting better.
After I found out about his little trip to NYC, I kept asking him about his release date. He never had an answer for me. Just that they haven't started his paperwork yet. I let that go for a little while.
By August 1, 1996 I was gettting very frustrated, especially after his story had changed the last few times I had talked to him. He was now telling me, that he was a “witness” to a fight that broke out when he was on “24 hour” duty back on February 11. He had made up some elaborate story that how he had to stay and testify for the guys as a witness. By this time, I had a larger set of balls then he did, and I wasn't buying any of this crap. After I got off the phone with him one day, I called his commanding officer. Yep, the big guy! I wasn't quiet prepared for what I was about to hear.
I explained to him what T had been telling me. I could hear the anger in his voice, and then out of the blue, he said to me “Mrs. Collins, your husband hasn't told you anything that has been going on?” I said “no, what is going on.” At this point, he had yelled at another officer in the room for him to go get Corproal Collins ass now! He apologized to me, for screaming in my ear...I could deal with a DUI, I could deal with drugs. But what he told me, I will never forget. He said, “Mrs. Collins, your husband has been arressted for rape.” “He was arressted for what?” I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
He went on to say that that not only was he in trouble for that accusation, but he is being court martialed as well for leaving his post while on duty. He called is duraliction of duty.
He had an attorney and his court date was just a few days away. I was speechless. Frozen. My heart fell out of my chest. I was devistated. He told me that he was going to talk to T himself, and that as soon as he was finished with him, T would call me and tell me everthing.
While I waited for his call. I made a few calls myself. The first one was to his dad. Who, surprisingly told me that if I needed anything not to hesitate to ask. He would do whatever he neede too. I was so thankful for his comforting words. He was schocked just as I was. He said “what the hell was he thinking?” I didn't know how to answer that. I did'nt know myself.
The 2nd call was to his mother. She wasn't as compasionnate as his dad was. As a matter of fact, she said to me with an evil little laugh, “this marriage was made in hell anyway. I figured it would've been you to pull something like this.” Excuse me? Oh no she didn't! Bitch! We hung up the phone.
I was now on a mission to make this damn marriage work, even after this little episode. I was determined to prove her wrong. How dare she tell me this marriage was made in hell! I'll show her!
When T finally called me, I didn't want to hear anything he had to say to me. All I need to know from him was when was the court date? I got on the next flight to NC to bail “his sorry cheaten for the second time ass out of trouble.”
When I arrived in NC I had our friend pick me up. Unfortunalty T rode with him. He brought me a rose. Too late buddy, this isn't a social visit, or a booty call either. The night before the hearing, I wanted to meet with the attorney that was handling his case. It didn't look good. But, I was there to tell the judge what an outstanding guy he was, and that he has a family to take care of. That's all I cared about. He needed to be home with us to work.
I stayed the night with our friends, that we had meet when we lived there. It was nice to see them. They made me feel very welcome.
The day had arrived. We would be in court for ½ of the day. By the end of it all, I had found out that the young lady that accused him of rape hadn't actually been examined right after it happened. So they ended up throwing that out. He did admit to having sex with her. They had been drinking in her room, which was a huge no no while on duty. (see, I said that married men don't need to babysit the barracks. It's not a place for a married man to be) I made sure that once I was able to be on the witness stand, I was going to share my feelings about that. And I did. Not that it did any good, but at least it is something for them to think about. Maybe something like this won't happen again. Ya right!
Anyway, after it was all said and done. He as dishonorably discharged, was demoted to “private” and lost all of his VA benefits. Basically he got a slap on the wrist for rape. Nice!
My day was only getting better. After we spent all moring in court. We went to a company battalon picnic on the base. I had ran into a girl that I had met, she was also a marine. She was a tough gal. But nice. As she and I talked, she just so happen to point out the “young lady” that accused T of rapeing her. I was stunned. She was not a very good looking girl at all. I could understand if she was like drop dead gorgeous barbie doll type, but she wasn't. I would give him the benefit of the doubt, and totally understand if he wanted to tap that ass, (not really) but she wasn't exactly what I would call a pretty girl. She was a dog. Im not just saying this cause I hated her at the time, she was bad. Trashy. “what the hell were you thinking?” Ok, he was drunk, and it was night time...I'm sure the lights were out.
Ok, ok …!!!!

I finally made back to Tennessee, with the hopes that he wouldn't be far behind me. But, once again, I was wrong. But this time, I was on a one on one with his attorney, and his commanding officer.
After about 2 weeks of his dicharge papers not being filled out. I had called is CO and demanded that T be put on the next flight to Nashville or I would go the my congressman about this runaround.
He was on the next flight out of Jacksonville within one day. “Darn right. Don't mess with a women scorned!” I was a mix of emotions during this time. Trust me, I knew that divorce was an option. But, I wasn't working and I knew that getting a job that only paid minumum wage in this small little town wasn't going to cut it for me and my boys. So I needed T to work and provide for us. And besides that, I wanted to prove his mother wrong. I didn't really “love” him anymore, I just needed him.
After he arrived in Tennessee, I kept tight tabs on that boy. While he was still in North Carolina facing possible jail time, I was in Tennessee trying to line up work for him for when he came home.
I had lined him up with a local heating and a/c company. He started that as soon as he stepped foot in town. He had the training from the military for this industry, so it worked out great.
I would take him to and from work. He wasn't going to be able to have much freedom for a while.
Things were going great. We started going to church, and he was even thinking about switching to another local company that was going to pay him more, which was good. But we still need something else, and I didn't exactly know what at that time. But we carried on.
Then in February of 1997 I found out I was pregnant, again. It was unexpected, but cleary something we didn't anticipate, but what are ya gonna do? Around that same time, things just didn't seem to be working out for us in this small little town in Tennessee. The job just wasn't paying the bills, and with another baby on the way, we just needed to make some major changes. We moved out of our duplex and into my parents house with them to save some money, then we planned on moving back to Illinois.
In May of that year, we packed up our life in Tennessee and moved to Illinios. T was suppose to have called and talked to his parents about this, but like always, he couldn't face them. He didn't decide to tell me this until we were in there driveway. It wasn't good. Here were are, in a moving truck, sitting in their driveway...what next?
Well, things didn't go exactly as planned for about a month. They didn't know I was pregnant, now just wasn't the time to pop that surprise on them. We stayed in a hotel the first few nights, and then finally they realized that staying in a hotel just wanted to go last long, so they offered to let us stay with them until we found a place of our own. Well, before we did that T would have to find a job.
It didn't take long before he was working with another local heating and a/c company. He was really hoping for his old job back with the park district. But that wasn't going to happen right at that very moment. So he started working for a company in Elgin. I would drive him back and forth to his job, and during the day I was out looking for apartments to rent. It wasn't easy living with parents. I hated it.
They didn't exactly make it easy for us either. Even though they had a 3 bedroom home, they made us sleep in the breezeway. Not exactly a 5 star rating, but I wasn't going to complain. But I did to T every day.
Finally, I had found an apartment to rent. It was in Elgin, and it was close to his work, so it worked out well. We finally told his parents that I was prenant again. They were so excited....NOT!!!
We setteled into our apartment, and once again I made it a home. I established a Dr. and started making my regular appointments. I was really hoping this baby was going to be a girl. I had made an appointment for a visit and and ultrasound and brought a friend with me, so that when I was told it was a girl, she was there as my witness. Well, the day of my visit, I wasn't expecting what I was about to hear. As the lights went down in the ultrasound room, my friend, held Brandon, and Cody stood next to her and we all looked up at the monitor. The Dr. said, well do you want to know what your having and I said yes....he said, well it looks like your having another boy. Really? Well, I wasn't to disappionted, boys were great and I was blessed with two great little guys already, one more couldn't be so bad.
Then as the Dr. was still checking out the size of the baby, he said “oh my God.” Ok, you just don't say that during and ultrasound...I said “oh my God what?” What's wrong? He said, nothings wrong, it looks like your having two.....your having twins! “WHAT, SHUT UP!!” Please tell me this ones a girl....I laughed, with shock....he laughed, and said well, no, no its another boy! OH MY GOD, I was having twin boys. That was better then having a girl.....I was having twin boys. I was excited.
I explained to him what had happened to me when I was pregnant with Brandon, and I wanted to make sure that everything was going to be ok during this pregnancy. I instantly became a high rigsk pregnancy again, but since I was already 5 months along, he said that I didn't need to worry about really loosing one at this time. He was more worried about birth weight, and keeping them in as long as possible. Every week I had to drive to Rockford hospital for and ultrasound. I guess this was just a litte more invassive then the ones in Elgin. Really? But I did what I had to, to ensure that me and the babies were doing well. The Dr. gave me a due date of November 22. He was hoping that I would make it at least to 32 weeks.
As soon as I left the Dr.'s office, I went straight over to a pay phone and called my mom. She knew I was going to the Dr. and knew I was going to be finding out what I was going to be having. When I told her, I said, are you sitting? She said, oh my God, its a girl.....I said, well not having twins. “What?” That's all I needed to say. She was excited, and promised to share the news with my sister and my dad. T's parents were another story.
My pregnangy progressed well, and things once again were going great. I stayed home with the boys. As I got bigger, my trips out became less and less. I would sit outside with the boys while they played, and I would walk to McDonalds with them from time to time. But one time, was one to many.
After walking to and from McDonalds one day, I felt wet. I called my Dr. and he told me to go the the ER right away. So, T drove me straight there. They placed me on the monitors and check to see if I had dilated, and to see why I was leaking. Come to find out, one bag of water had broken and I was loosing fluid. They said if that didn't stop, they would have to deliver “baby A” and since “baby B” was still fine he would stay in until he was ready to be born. All of this was just to much. They did an amnio to check for lung maturity, they gave me steriods, and now, all I had to do was wait. After a week in the hospital, I was gettting restless. I was only 30 weeks and they said I could be induced at 32 as long as everthing looked great.
T brought the boys in just once to see me. He took them to his parents house every night for dinner. And I even asked him to bring them up so I could see them and he didn't. One time I even remember him saying something to me about being to demanding and bla bla bla...he only said that stuff because he was with his parents, and he needed to act tuff.....I just didn't understand why he was keeping the boys from me. Something just wasn't right with the way he was acting. (red flag) but I thought nothing of it. But I was devistated, I missed my boys and I wanted to see them. During the day, I would keep myself busy doing small projects. I made welcome signs for the twins, and I decided on names while I was in the hospital.
So I sat in a hospital for another week, and finally after knowing that all was good, the fluid was replenishing and the babies looked good, I checked myself out and went home. I was given restrictions...bedrest! Ya right...I had 2 kids at home....! Needless to say, I didn't stay in bed.
When I finally made it home, I was in pure utter shock at what I saw. The apartment that was clean when I left, was now it was a garbage dump. Cereal, clothes, toys and food everywhere. I was livid. I was so mad, that I started cleaning as soon as I walked in the door. So much for those restrictions.
Call it nesting, call it compulsive, call it whatever you want, but this was unexceptable living conditions. 2 weeks and he had the kids living in filth. It was back to normal by the next day. But it wasn't without a fight. Im sure I said a few choice words to him. If I wouldv'e thought about it, I would have taken pictures....ya know, just in case!!!
On Halloween, T and I took the boys to our church for a Halloween party. When I arrievd, T took the boys downstairs, and my cousin pulled me aside and told me that my grandpa had an accident and he was in a coma. I was devistated. I had just seen him. We just had lunch together. He and my grandma had been driving back and forth from Indiana, to Illinois to be with my aunt, who was also experiencing a tragedy in her life. Her son, my cousin of 16 months was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was only a baby. Our family was dealing with the news of baby Ryan, and now we were facing the loss of our grandpa. On November 1, 1997 my grandpa died. It was so sad for all of us. And it was so unexpected. The sadness was just the beginning. Since I was due anyday with the twins, I was unable to make the trip to Tennessee for his funeral. He was buried on November 5. Which was the same day that my sister gave birth to her first daughter. Life and death....! But my sister alomost died during the delivery....they called my parents and told them that she may not make it. This was all happening in the same day. But thankfully, my sister pulled through. She was going to be ok. She had a beautiful baby girl.
On November 12 we celebrated Cody's 5th birhtday. Then 2 days later we would be celebrating the birth of our twin boys. On November 14 , 1997 Austin Jeffery was born at 2:50. He weighed 6 lbs 12oz. Then a short few minutes later, at 3:10 Dalton Jon joined his brother and our family. He weighed 6 lbs 14oz. Both of them perfectly healthy babies. Both of them absolutely perfect. It was the most awesome experience ever. It was such and easy delivery. No drugs, no was all natural.
I planned on getting my tubes tide, but that had to wait for another 6 months.
2 days befor Thanksgiving, we burried my cousin. He had lost his fight with cancer. That was the saddest moment I had ever faced. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen.
November had been a very trying time for our family. Life and death all I one month for our family.
Before we knew it, it was Christmas and with the new year aproaching, we needed to make some changes. Our apartment was going to start getting smaller the more mobile the twins became.
And T was anticipateing the start of a new job. He had finally got the position with the park district.
We had 4 beautiful little boys, his parents finally were coming around, and T and I would be celebrating 5 years of marriage in the new year.
What could possibly go wrong?

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