Frank and I had a good time together in the beginning of our relationship. He was an accepting, loving and understanding man. His only issue was he had a drinking problem. I knew I was getting myself into trouble. I broke up with him early on and all it took was a mushy card with a sweet note to find my way back to him.
I have always had these two sides to me. One was the escape artist and the other was the real me that spoke very quietly and secretly to me. That voice was such a whisper but it spoke to me saying, this is not who you are and you know it. It was clear, deep down on what was right and what was wrong. I knew this relationship was a mistake but also, as mentioned in Growing Up Sandy, Part 3, I had no idea how to say no and stick to it. Has anyone else ever experience that?
January 1,1984 we got engaged. A few months later I told my mom I didn’t think I should do it. She didn’t know that the real reason was because I didn’t want to walk down the aisle with my dad. It felt awful to admit that to myself and I definitely wasn’t able to say it out loud. I also knew I was in for eventual trouble…..and, sadly I was right.
Frank and I had a wonderful honeymoon at Las Brisas in Acapulco. We came home and finished buying our home; a handyman special in Smithtown NY. We bought the worst house on a wonderful street and we were very excited and terrified as well. While fixing it up so that it was fit for habitation, we stayed at a friends house. We actually lived in their basement for a couple of months. Right from the beginning I saw signs and proof that I was in trouble. His drinking was a constant. I also was getting high a lot but somehow in my twisted mind, smoking pot was okay and drinking was not. Good ole rationalization with a very healthy dose of self righteousness justified my habit which also included coke and anything else that came my way.
Once we moved into our home, our lives developed a kind of split personality. The pendulum swung fiercely from good times to wondering what I had gotten myself into. Frank would go out and get lost at a bar until all hours of the morning and I was home worrying and distraught. He would come home drunk and I would go nuts. Life was either calm and fine or chaotic and falling apart. I used to say Frank was MIA when he would disappear for an evening and it was terrifying as I wondered if a cop would knock on the door or I would get a dreaded call as I waited for his return.
I suppose the next part of the story I’ll leave for next time but let me say this..…things got worse and so did I……