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The Sins of the Parents Haunt the Children
The patterns of abuse and abandonment that have been a part of Lawrence's life since his birth continue in his third marriage to Hettie.
As Lawrence got to know her, he realized she had no friends and trusted no one but him. "She trusted me, I assume, because I had been her mortgage loan officer.
"I watched her emotional stress tear her apart physically. She had damaged vertebras in her neck from her dad hitting her. She couldn't stand being away from me. It was sucking the life out of me. She developed bad allergies. She could hardly eat anything without a reaction. Chemicals in most of the outdoor or inside air would cause reactions.
"We sold our home and moved to a community of 10,000 with no industry or auto traffic so she could breath. More and more she would provoke arguments over the smallest things. Everything had to be her way. Toward the end of a two-week vacation when the weather turned grey and rainy, we ended up in a small argument, and she demanded we go home.
"Later that evening, she came into the living room and attacked me. She just came right at me, with her hands reaching for my face. I could hardly believe the look in her eyes. Just two nights before, she was telling me how much she loved me. I kept pushing her away. She ended up with a bruised butt where she landed on the floor and a sprained wrist. Two days later, two deputies showed up and arrested me for domestic abuse. There I was 70 years old and in jail for the first time in my life.
Lawrence is now 73, and he says he's with "the most amazing woman of my life. She's non-controlling, independent, sexy, honest and open. Within two weeks, I knew everything about her."
Unfortunately, Lawrence's girlfriend is bi-polar. Two years into their relationship, she asked him to think about moving in with her. He said he would, although he was a little nervous about it.
This was around Christmas.
"She had really over-committed, and it took her over the edge. She went manic. She broke up with me. She said she liked me but didn't love me anymore. I told her I still loved her."
A few weeks later, she was back. Lawrence says, "The relationship is better than ever."
Still, Lawrence says, "I will never marry again. All these women, except for the last one, presented a dishonest front. They were all good Christian women. None were trampy. I've been picky about the women I've been with. That's why it amazes me how messed up so many of them are.
"I've lost just about everything that I ever had in divorce court. Now I'm just interested in taking care of myself. I find more and more people like that. Only one of my three sons has married. The other two will probably stay single. They make lots of money and are afraid of it being taken away. The one that's married — his wife had two affairs while he was in school."
Have patterns of abuse and abandonment haunted you? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Cheryl Lavin, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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