Fields Of Life. Ch. 6.
When I look back upon the sequence of events which led me to this point, I find myself turning back the pages a little further.
Yet, as I attempt to erase this episode from my memory – one can’t help but simply hoped this was just a soap-opera or serial drama!
However, as I reason backward through the course of events, this was no serialized program dealing with sentimental family matters!
This, was reality.
But, painful as it was, I will try to convey to you my anguish.
It was 20 February 1987 – and we – Judith and me, were on the top floor of a multi-storey car park in one of the largest towns in South Wales.
On this day – I was about to discover that the life of the woman I loved was marked by deliberate deceptiveness.
Full of excitement – we had just picked up some wedding attire from the outfit shop, as it was the eve to our wedding day.
The day, cool and calm, was a little warmer to what we’d been use to, as only a few days before – the region where we lived had been covered with snow.
Looking back on those sequence of events – the information which I was about to be presented with came quickly and without warning.
Unsuspecting of what lay ahead – I was about to come face to face with something that would return to haunt me for the rest of my married life.
As we stood on the perimeter of the multi-storey, leaning against the barricade, we gazed out over the hills and houses way out to the horizon.
There, as Judith revealed to me her hidden secret, it may have seemed that I was unaffected by the news – but this was not necessarily so.
Being unaware of the possibility of any adverse reactions, I dealt with the news in my own way.
Somehow – though, there and then, it didn’t really matter anyhow.
Ok – the breaking news that Judith really did have a family was quite a surprise, but the more astonishing news that her parents lived in America came rather late in the day.
Talk about short notice!
This was certainly unexpected!
By now it was a little late to send out a wedding invitation!
So, why didn’t it really matter?
Don’t get me wrong – it would have been great if her folks could have been there on our special day, but it seemed that Judith had no intention of inviting them anyway!
Little did I realise at the time, but this story which she poured out to me, one which had undoubtedly been rehearsed, was indeed as I’ve already indicated, just a story!
Starting from the time we initially met, and throughout our mutual promise to marry, Judith had always given the impression that she was born an orphan – and living in a foster home had been the back-bone of her tale.
And interestingly, for the first few months in our marriage, we never talked about Judith’s roots.
Not then, anyway.
Then, within the first year of our marriage – she returned to the story by introducing a social-worker into the plot, suggesting that he had been the inspiration behind the reason why she had changed her maiden name by deed-poll – apparently to create a new identity – and to give her a new chance in life!
Since the beginning of our first encounter, Judith had rolled off story after story of how she had allegedly lived in a foster home – been a punk-rocker, cat-burglar, worked for some utility companies, been a nanny, and even gained some experience when training to be a nurse – and so the list goes on and on!
As I look back now, there seems to be little evidence to suggest that she had done all, if any of these things.
One can’t help but be eager to investigate, and learn more.
One can’t help but wonder!
But hey! It wasn’t a matter of raking up the past, it was a matter of truth and integrity!
One thing is certain, when I first met her she was the assistant to the assistant accountant at Birmingham International Airport – and that’s about it!
Anyhow – five months after loosing my eye-sight, if that wasn’t enough to cope with, suddenly Judith’s history came knocking at the door.
Well, I don’t even think it stopped to knock!!
To my shock and horror, I found that her story was just about to fold like a house of cards!
But even as the secrets were revealed, her real story was very much something that baffled understanding and could not be fully explained!
Such is the mystery, that years later her story is still quite hard to comprehend.
Nevertheless – interwoven into the deceit, I was confronted with feelings of despair when I eventually discovered that Judith’s estranged family actually lived in the United Kingdom – and not in America after-all!
What made things even harder to bear, was the knowledge that her parents only lived a short distance from the place I originally came from!
Yet – even though this came to light, Judith was determined to disregard the facts, by choosing not to accept the truth.
As you can imagine – the content of this news not only brought me heart-ache, but also arouse hostility and indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, and friendliness between me, my family and friends.
Judith had an uncontrollable impulse to choreograph and fabricate the truth about nearly everything to do with her past.
The state of affairs got worse when she became so accustomed to her deception – and sadly, because this behaviour was practiced so long, she convinced not only herself, but others too!
At times, it seemed like a never-ending cycle.
Yes, I wanted to believe what Judith told me, but many things seemed unclear.
As a result, I really didn’t know!
For this reason – there were many times when I would question my own sanity!
Had I completely lost all sense and sound judgment?
Had I gone mad?
Was I delirious?
No, I don’t think so!
But it was hard trying to keep a clear perspective.
Merely living with someone with this compulsive nature was bad enough, but living with the threat of divorce was even worse!
Yep, that’s right, divorce!
If I challenged her about what was right or wrong, or tried to find moral or emotional support and strength from my family, suddenly the threat of divorce would arise!
Judith knew I would never divorce, but she also knew how to use this to her own advantage!
She knew how I valued my relationship with her.
But as a blind man, and registered disabled, she also knew my susceptibility to being vulnerable, and no matter how much she cared about me, when she feared my thoughts or actions wouldn’t go her way, she used this to shape the threats that gave her the result she wanted.
Her paranoia, along with her need to control became a routine attack on my confidence, self-esteem, and identity.
Her behaviour appeared to be ingrained.
Yet – even through all of this, my love for her remained strong, but my head was a whirl!
For better, for worse, eh?
In any event – who and what she was running from, will never be known.
Her efforts to change her version of the past seemed crazy!
For Judith, the fictitious stories she concocted appeared to be her answer, but her problem was the inability to accept the truth.
As I tried to understand the nature of these events, I couldn’t help but wonder if the complication with the abnormal artery growing from the hypothalamus in her brain, leading to the pituitary gland had something to do with her behaviour.
Could it be possible that the tumour stemming from her Hypothalamus was the cause for so many complex emotions?
Initially it was thought, perhaps not!
Likely it was something much deeper than that!
However, in retrospect we discovered her mental and behavioural changes such as changes in her personality were in truth a condition of her illness.
Consequently, the hours of trying to reason became immeasurable, and our time together became overshadowed by other disappointments, dashed hopes and broken dreams!
Many nights just ended in tears!
The horizon seemed bleak!
Feeling disheartened – I often prayed, “O God, let this be a genuine mistake. Let me wake from this dreadful nightmare. Please!”
All the same, Jesus came to repair our brokenness.
Despite our failures and short-comings – He will reach out to all who are hurting.
What a comfort!
He is the healer of the brokenhearted.
He is the one who bandages their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 GWT