As I said in My Life With An Abuser – The Beginning , My Life With An Abuser – The Courtship, and My Life With An Abuser – The Marriage – Years 1 and 2, and My Life With An Abuser – The Marriage – The End Of The ‘Honeymoon’ Period, and My Life With An Abuser – The Year My Grandmother Died, this is my story of meeting a predator; marrying the predator; living with the predator turned abuser; and my escape from the abuser.
I discovered I was pregnant again in October 1988. Baby Number 1 had gotten a hold of my birth control pills and was using them as a rattle. The puppy we had decided it would make a nice chew toy. I had intended on waiting until my next period to start the new pack of pills. I did not think I would get pregnant. I forgot how fertile my family is!
Anyway, the Navy Doctor sent me to the local hospital to have an ultrasound. She wanted to see how far along I was. I remember being excited. I had been there previously because it is where Baby Number 1 was born. I was with a group of other wives. My excitement had rubbed off on them. They were excited for me. I remember going into the room. I remember the Japanese doctor directing me to this little curtained area. He said I needed to have a vaginal ultrasound. Once it was finished, I was told to get dressed. When I met him back at his desk, as he was pointing to the ultrasound picture he said, “Gestational sac. No baby. D and C necessary.”
That was it. Very cold. Very matter of fact. No emotion. No compassion. I remember walking out and seeing all the happy and excited faces. I lost it. I sat down and started crying. The ladies were so kind. They calmed me down. I knew I had to get myself together because I was scaring some of the younger ladies. I was a Marine, damn it. Marines do not fall apart. After everyone was finished, we went back to the Air Station. Unfortunately, my resolve did not last.
My doctor took me into her office. She said she was going to send me home for bedrest. She wanted to do blood draws every other day to see if my HCG levels would rise. This was one week before Christmas. Christmas was on a Sunday. I went in for my last blood draw on Friday, 23 December 1988. I had an appointment on Monday, 26 December 1988 to get the results. At that appointment, she revealed the HCG levels had been steadily decreasing. My body was slowly absorbing everything back into itself. She said she had not wanted to ruin my Christmas which is why she waited to tell me what was happening. There was no denying the fact I needed a D and C.
The day I had to go in for my dilation and curettage procedure (D&C), my sister gave birth to her first daughter. It was 28 December 1988. I remember Staff Sergeant Potato Head being with me throughout the whole process. He was very supportive. He stepped in when this asshole Navy Doctor wanted to perform a pelvic exam before officially releasing me to my home. I tried to tell the idiot it was not necessary as I had literally just had one not 20 minutes before arriving at the Navy Clinic. The doctor kept insisting. Staff Sergeant Potato Head told the doctor it was unnecessary. I had an appointment with my doctor the next day. He said he was taking me home and that was it. I was very thankful.
I was heartbroken. I went into auto-pilot mode. It seemed like everywhere I looked there were pregnant women. I hated them on sight. For as much of an asshole as he is, Staff Sergeant Potato Head was actually very understanding and supportive during this time.
In February 1989, I discovered I was pregnant again. I was shocked but happy. I was trying not to get too excited. Unfortunately, I could not help myself. I was going to have another baby! Unfortunately, disaster struck.
In March of 1989, I had another miscarriage. I woke up around 0300 because I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. There was blood. I woke up Staff Sergeant Potato Head. He stayed with Baby Number 1 while I drove myself to the Navy Clinic. I remember laying on the exam table trying not to panic. The doctor on duty happened to be my doctor. She admonished me for coming in when I knew there was nothing to be done until morning.
I remember laying there, listening to her and trying not to cry. My world was crashing around me again and I was being chastised for something beyond my control. She got called out of the room. While she was gone, I got dressed. I had to wait until she returned before I could be officially released to go back home. When she returned, she apologized profusely. She had grabbed my medical record. During her review, she realized there had been no bleeding before. There had been no indication I was in the process of losing my baby. This pregnancy was different. There was bleeding. There was pain.
She sent me home with instructions for strict bedrest. I was to only get out of bed to use the toilet. Unfortunately, it was to no avail. I suffered through my third miscarriage. Through it all, Staff Sergeant Potato Head was helpful and attentive. His mental and emotional games were on hiatus. I was grateful.
All good things must come to an end. His helpfulness and supportiveness lasted about one month. As with all abusers, he fell back to his old ways. It forced me to wear one face publicly and one face when around him.
In the summer of 1989 a breath of fresh air had walked into my life. He was like some Puerto Rican God, he was that breathtakingly beautiful. He was temporarily assigned to my unit to be the Administrative Officer. He was a Harrier Pilot. His ultimate goal was to be an astronaut. He was a widower. His wife had died six months prior to his arrival. His smile lit up the room. And the personality! OH MY! I had never met a more personable Marine Corps Officer – before or since! The day he walked into my office, my heart was lost. He never knew it, though.
Captain Rivera absolutely adored Baby Number 1. He enjoyed being around her. He never seemed to mind when I would bring her into the office with me. I would have her with me because I never wanted Staff Sergeant Potato Head to have cause to create trouble where there was none. (He was notorious for that.) If I did not have my daughter with me, I ensured there were others around/nearby. I kept my feelings hidden from everyone except my best friend, C.
Anyway, for the six months Captain Rivera was with my unit, I was able to forget about the nightmare of my world at home. I was able to face each day with renewed strength. I had hope. During his time with us, my mother had come to Japan for a visit. When she met him, she asked me why I couldn’t have met a man like him. I told her I wished I had. She said she would have loved to have had him for a son-in-law.
MoM returned to the States and so did Captain Rivera along with his parent command. Two months after that, my best friend rotated to the States. My world had returned to shit. I no longer had my adult lifelines. The only thing keeping me going was my daughter. In her, I knew there was hope. With her, I saw light and joy. Because of her, I knew I had the strength to continue.