…”where’s your suit?” I shouted to Damian as I hurriedly stuffed my white Doc Martin boots into our duffel bag.
It was Friday afternoon, and we were a bit rushed to head out the door as our secret elopement had been leaked. I had called ahead, to make sure there would be an available chapel to perform our marriage, and without even thinking, I left my parents home number, so when the chapel called to verify our reservation, my mother was on the receiving end! My pager went off with her number and a signal of 911. “Ugh what now?” I groaned as I grabbed the phone to make the call.
My mother seemed so frantic when she answered! “Where are you?” She asked me with a great concern in her voice. “I’m at home! What’s the emergency?” I asked. She went crazy…”you can’t just run away and elope!” She began crying now. “Please don’t do this!” She pleaded. “Who told you?” I snapped back. At this point only 3 people were aware of our plan. Damians best friend Doug who happen to be his cousin, and my dear friend Kim who actually introduced us. They were accompanying us. And my brother, who promised he wouldn’t tell. “Damnit Greg” I thought to myself. “The chapel just called to verify your reservation! Please don’t go, don’t do this to us! We will give you a huge, expensive, proper wedding later on, after you know each other longer! I told them it had to be a mistake and I cancelled!”
Wow! Really? How dare she cancel my reservation, that she knew damn well was not a mistake! And then try to buy me with promises of a huge expensive wedding! No thank you! My mother neglected me my entire childhood. She turned a blind eye to all kinds of physical, emotional and sexual abuse inflicted from siblings, her friends kids, neighbors. Then as I became a troubled teen she tried to control me and acted as if I had any choice in how I acted out from the trauma. Manipulating me to feel sorry for her own guilt!
I slammed down the phone and yelled for Damian! Frantically I told him the conversation and all he said was one word. “and?” As he held my hands and shrugged his shoulders! “It’s Vegas baby! We can get married in a drive through and get a free burger with it!” I didn’t even know how to respond to that profound and amazing response! I grabbed him and hugged him, my rock and world. My happy, healing, soulmate. Just then my pager started going off and the phone started ringing. He answered it and it was my mom. Damian told her I was upset and went for a walk and she announced she was coming over! He asked her to please wait, that was not a great idea right now and that he had convinced me to hold off on getting married. He then told her that he would have me call as soon as i returned and calmed down. She agreed, but that didn’t mean anything coming from her!
“Pack your shit!!!” He said “we are out of here!” I began grabbing and stuffing our items in a duffle bag while he called his cousin to get here! “We’re leaving now!” Then called my friend and said be ready in 20 minutes. “Where’s your suit?” I shouted to Damian as I hurriedly stuffed my white Doc Martin boots into our duffel bag. “It’s all together in the closet.” He shouted from the bathroom, grabbing all of our toiletries. His mom walked In and asked what was happening and I instantly froze! “We’re going down to Newport beach for the night!” He told his mom, handing me our toiletry bag. “There’s a restaurant I want to take her too that requires suit and tie!” “Oh fancy! Be safe and have fun!” She hugged us both and told us she loved us. Something I wasn’t use to, but loved to hear her say.
His confidence and quick responses made me feel so at ease. Something he has carried through our entire marriage and to this day! Even now as I write this, discussing my past stirs up my anxiety, but just his presence calms me down. I’m not gonna lie I just popped a Xanax but without him I don’t think I could write this. And I feel it’s important for you to know the severity of what odds were stacked against us and how trust and communication alone can get you through so much! Love is super important, but it is a choice and there were times when it seemed like the love was lost. We will share those times as well later on.
We loaded everything into Dougs car, said our goodbyes and drove to get Kim. It was a total of 16 minutes from the phone call to getting on the road. As we hit the highway my pager went off. “It’s my mom.” Damian took my pager and threw it out the window. “Now it’s not!” He took my hand and kissed it. I was free. In just a few hours we would be husband and wife.