Part Two of Scottie’s and my story. Feel free to ask questions…I feel like I didn’t capture everything I was trying to express.
February of 2010 â€” right before Valentine’s Day â€” Scottie broke up with his girlfriend. Â (His car broke down around the same time!) Â He told me (and her) it wasn’t because of me, but because of other reasons…but by that time he had figured out he was, in fact, in love with me. We figured that if we had been through all we had put each other through in the last few years without leaving each other, we would probably do well in a marriage.
Also by this time, I had basically given up on life besides existing and talking to Scottie. Stuff in my family was crazy, and too much for me to take. I was nearing the breaking point. It became apparent that I would move out sooner or later, the question was just WHEN. On Scottie’s advice, I made a checklist of sorts as to what I would need to get should I move out and be too mentally overwhelmed to think of what I should bring.
April 20th, Scottie texted me while waiting for a bus after work saying “We should get married.â€ I was like “…are you proposing to me??â€ (still texting!) He answered back “Maybe…â€ Then later when we talked on Skype, he confirmed that yes, it was a proposal. We were pretty much on top of the world! (I often wonder what my family thought of my intense mood swings in those months. He said I was super hyper for a week; my whole family could have been killed with the bubonic plague and I still probably would have been smiling!) We also discussed how we would work it out if Scottie came up to visit in secret, and were planning for him to drive up in May sometime (a 24 hour drive!) after he got his car fixed.
My brother was having difficulties (regarding our dad) in his courtship and we kind of started talking a bit more about stuff…kind of commiserating about stuff, and I told him I was secretly engaged to Scottie. I don’t think he was ever particularly fond of Scottie, but he supported me and respected my choice. He told Katie (which was ok), who told her parents (which was also ok), but he didn’t tell dad (which was more than ok).
May 7th (Friday), mom looked at the phone records and found a lot of calls between me and an Oklahoma number, then confronted me about it. She asked me if it was Scottie’s number, and I said yes. I left the room, panicking inside, and called Joe’s mother in law to ask her what to do. While on the phone with her (and texting Joe and Scottie), mom came in my room. She asked if I was talking to Scottie. I debated a bit, then said “Actually, I’m engaged to him.â€ “No you’re not,â€ she said immediately. “Why?â€ I asked. “Because…your dad hasn’t given his blessing!â€ I was like “wha…?â€ but I think I just looked at her. “Give me your phone,â€ she said. I remember exactly the feeling when I said to her, “Noâ€.
It was probably the first time I had said that to her since I was two or something. “It’s my phone, give it to me,â€ she said. (In actuality, I had been paying the phone bill for my phone for the last few months…I hated asking her if there was money for it.) I still refused (and was freaking out inside; I had just hung up on Joe’s mother in law — something I NEVER did was hang up on people, not even telemarketers — and I knew Joe and Scottie were texting me wondering what was going on and if I was ok, because I had told them mom found out). She called for Eric, and told him to get the phone. He climbed up on my bed where I was sitting, and if I hadn’t given the phone to him he probably would have broken my hands. (Not that he is bad; that’s the extent he would do what she said. My opinion on how he would act, but I think it’s true.) Mom took the phone into her bedroom, telling me I could leave right then with the clothes I had on my back, or stay in my room until she could call dad and he would come home.
In a panic, I slipped on some shoes and ran outside. I ran to the closest neighbor’s house. They weren’t home, but two teenage boys were housesitting, and one of them let me use their phone. I called Joe’s mother in law and talked to her, asking her what to do. She told me to go back for now, and that everything would work out. Then I called Scottie, and talked to him for a while, which calmed me down more. He said to go back, and after work on Saturday he would fill up with gas and come get me (he had Sundays and Mondays off. This was also Mother’s Day Sunday). So I went back.
Ben intercepted me (mom called him to come home from work), and to this day I wonder what he meant by what he said, which was “You don’t have to run awayâ€. (He also said “You can get your stuffâ€. I didn’t know what he meant by saying both of those things together, because it didn’t make any sense.) He was crying, I was crying. I thought maybe I could talk to him about feeling stuck. I felt hopeless, staying there, and told him so…that all I was made to do was be an obedient daughter, then an obedient wife, popping out obedient children by the dozen, conforming my will to my husband’s, losing myself in service to him. The way he explained the Bible made me feel even more stuck, like I had no choice but to obey my father, even as an adult woman. At one point, I said “so I really am stuck?â€ (I don’t remember his answer, but talking to him didn’t help at all). Finally I was like “I want to think about this myselfâ€. He said that was fine, but also that I couldn’t come in the house until I had decided whether I was going to stay or leave.
We had some camper trailers, so I went in one of those and snuggled up in dad’s arctic sleeping bag (it was starting to get chilly). I was going to wait until Joe got home at 5 or so, and talk to him. 5 came and went, and still no Joe. When it was getting really late, I remembered it must have been his Bible study night, and he wouldn’t be home until 10. I walked across the field between our house and another neighbor, and asked to borrow a phone and I called Scottie again. I told him what happened and stuff, and he said it was all going to be ok; he would drive up and take me away, skipping his plans at his folks’ for Mother’s Day even. Reassured, I walked back across the field and holed up in the trailer again. No food, but there were leftover waterbottles from when we had been hunting.
Ben came in sometime, and asked how I was doing and stuff. Evidently, he had told mom or dad what I had talked to him about, and they told him what they thought of Scottie, so he was putting down Scottie as being a “wimpâ€ because he didn’t talk to dad before having a relationship with me, and I forget what else he called him. While talking to him, Joe came home. I told Ben I wanted to talk to Joe, and he asked if he could come with. I said “No, I want to talk to Joe by myselfâ€. So I went out and got in Joe’s car. Well, dad had called him and pretty much chewed him out the whole way home about stuff…I’m not exactly sure what. I started telling him what had happened, and I kid you not, five minutes later, mom and Ben came out and invited themselves in, effectively (which I’m sure is what they intended to do) shutting up private conversation with Joe. (I think they think I was influencing him or something.) Mom said I could come in and eat something and go to bed; I didn’t have to stay outside until I’d decided. She told me she had called dad, and he was on his way home, but wouldn’t be there until the next morning.
The next day, I lollygagged in my room. I woke up, but didn’t go out. I heard dad and the rest talking out there. I didn’t want to go out and face them. Eventually, dad called for me though. He explained to everyone what had gone on (the kids didn’t know), and talked about how awful Scottie was. He decided to make this public in the family, because it was supposedly a family matter or something. It’s still kind of a blur…somehow I told them kind of what went on…about Scottie planning to visit, and a few other things. He would ask me questions, personal questions about my thoughts and feelings about Scottie and stuff, and I HAD to answer. It felt very violating. Somehow he knew Joe knew about Scottie and I…maybe because of saved texts on my phone, I’m not sure. I think dad lectured a bit (on why I should stay, of course), then told me to go into my room, and I had to have an answer by 5, when Joe was supposed to be home. (No indication as to why that was.)
I looked over the verses dad read to me, and yeah, those specific verses sure made a great case that I had to stay there. I was still really undecided though…it was killing me to be there, but I was deathly afraid of going to hell (which they said would happen if I left). So I got these little pieces of paper, and wrote “dadâ€ on one, and “Scottieâ€ on the other. I folded them up, shook them in my hand, and drew the one closest to me. Well, I happened to draw “dadâ€ three times in a row. Unconvinced, I flipped a coin…the first was to go, but then the next three were to stay. I’d never had a coin so consistent. So I told them it was a sign, and I was going to stay. You’d think they would have been happy/relieved, but they didn’t really show it.
Dad also made me promise to tell him if I was considering moving out again.
So then I had to call Scottie and tell him not to come. I think dad had said it would be three years or something before he would consider Scottie. We were both crying when I told him what happened and that I was staying after all, and it would be three years before I could talk to him again. We wouldn’t be able to talk online either; they were going to get rid of the internet. (As far as I know, they haven’t yet. They also took away the phone I had.) I told him I loved him and I would wait. (After all, we WERE still engaged. Dad quoted that Numbers passage at me though, about if a young woman makes a vow, if her father hears of it and says something, she is released from it…but I still considered myself engaged.)
I don’t remember if dad wanted to talk to him or if he asked to talk to dad, but they ended up on the phone together. I don’t remember all of what dad said to him (he talked at Scottie for like 40 minutes), but I remember how it made me feel, and I remember a few things dad said. He didn’t bother trying to get to know Scottie or anything. Oh no. He told Scottie stuff like, “You have no emotional attachment to Anneâ€, “it’ll be easy to forget herâ€, “you’re not a Christianâ€, and stuff like that. I tried to tell him that wasn’t right, but he wouldn’t listen. Â (Scottie’s car broke down again soon after he got off the phone, so maybe it was a good thing he didn’t try to start driving across the country that night!)
So anyway, Joe got home. Dad was angry at him, and in front of everyone, went on about how “disloyalâ€ and “dishonoringâ€ he was to mom and dad, because he preferred talking to his inlaws (whom he could actually carry on a conversation with) rather than dad, and he knew about Scottie and I and told his inlaws and not dad. Since they were so dishonored and stuff, they weren’t going to stand up at Joe’s wedding (instead of traditional attendants, Joe and Katie were going to have their parents stand up next to them), and they couldn’t stand to have him in the house any longer, so they said he had to pack up his stuff and go. They kept the external hard drive though, that Joe and Eric shared. It had all of the photography work Joe had done in the last few years. Mom gave him like $60 and said “OK, the hard drive is ours.”
Sunday morning, dad’s “bible studyâ€ was basically on how disrespectful, disloyal, and dishonoring Joe and I were. But at this point, I felt like things were going to look up. They had to.