Since tomorrow is our 25 yr anniversary I’m going to share a bit about our early years. We have given you a glimpse into the amazing relationship we have shared over 25 years but now we will share a bit of our foundation.
When we first met, I lived with my parents who were in a loveless marriage, in a well to do neighborhood with just them and my older, mentally unstable brother. We had a huge cold home, which seldom had visitors, country club memberships, vacation properties and I had been set up for success with college tuition, cars and all the love my parents thought they could give me through materialism. But no real love, affection or happiness. It was actually dark and depressing.
Damian, who’s parents were recently separated, stayed in his aunt and uncles tiny 2 bedroom home a few cities away, with his mom, whom was now forced onto welfare, 2 siblings, 3 cousins and multiple relatives constantly coming and going. Clearly no finances for college, cars, or even housing. But a situation truly filled with love and joy. I loved spending time over at his aunts because I had never experienced such a pure love, pouring through out a family unit like his. A huge, loud, loving, Spanish family, with laughter, care, concern for anyone and everyone! And always food, lots of delicious home cooked, authentic Mexican food.
We knew we wanted married early on, but my parents were not about it. We spent a lot of time in the beginning at my home because my dad was always working and my mom was oblivious to anything not in a pill bottle. Plus, Damians home was a bit crowded and we never had a chance to just be alone and get to know each other. After some time my dad, who left everything up to my mom, who generally swept everything under the rug, made a comment about this “little boy” staying in my room so frequently, and that she had to make him leave as it “wasn’t appropriate.” He was just more concerned about what people might think if I ended up pregnant! How dare we stain their perfect reputation. I remember her knocking on my bedroom door and telling me “party’s over, send the little boy home!”
At the time I was 22 and Damian 18, so yes a little boy but also an adult, and 22 is not that grown either. Especially with my delayed maturity due to a lifetime of trauma and abuse. So I told her “NO!” “We are in love and getting married!” I don’t think I ever heard my mom laugh so loud at something other then a comedy show, but she did! She laughed in my face! She reminded me of the 3 year relationship I had just ended, which was just as dysfunctional as my family, before telling me “he’s a rebound, let him go so you don’t break his heart.” Wow. So I told her “fine, he will go, and so will I.” At that moment we packed as many things as I could in my tiny little car and I moved into Damians aunts, already overly crowded home. I would rather live on a couch in squalor with him, then spend another minute with my own parents.
Damians family accepted me right in from the beginning! They never judged me or made me feel like I wasn’t apart of their hearts. His mom assigned us a utility bill and a closet to store my items in and we remained there, sleeping on a pullout couch in the middle of the living room, happily for some time. Eventually we knew we would need a place of our own, but for now we just wanted to spend all of our time together! And me only working part time, made enough to support us on a couch, and that was good enough because it gave us all the time we needed to be together, learning about each other and build the strongest bond I’d ever felt. We were truly young and free at this point! Not a care in the world, except each other.