I SHOULD NEVER HAVE MARRIED HIM
MY FIRST MARRIAGE ENDED IN DISASTER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
THE EARLY DAYS
I had just turned 19 when I met Phillip. He was just what I had dreamed about as a young girl, a tall, dark and handsome man. Yes, he had all those qualities and he was everything that a young woman would love to meet, fall in love with and marry. We were both in the RAAF, I had just completed my Rookies Training and also had done my training at the Point Cook Institute of Aviation Medicine, to train as a Nurses Aide. I had been posted to Richmond 3RAAF Hospital for six months after I had completed my course to get some additional training.
I had only been on the Base three days and one of the girls at the hospital had invited me for drinks at the Airman's Club to welcome me. She was going out with one of the men who worked on the planes, he was called an airframe fitter and he had brought a buddy with him, so that there would be four of us. I was introduced to Phillip and we immediately hit it off so well that he walked me back to the quarters after we had had something to eat and drink at the club.
We started dating and going out more and more. Sometimes to the pictures or a sporting event. A lot of times we just went for a drive and got a burger. Phillip and I were starting to talk more and more about what it would be like spending more time with each other. Until one day, while we were out at one of our favourite places, Phillip decided that the time was right, and he proposed to me. I was over the moon because I felt like the time was right for me to settle down and hae a life with him. We had even talked about starting a family soon afterwards because he knew that deep down I had always wanted to be a mum and we both agreed that we would try and start a family after we had been married about a year.
However, my marriage to Phillip wasn't what I thought my first marriage was going to be like. If I had known about Phillip a bit more than I did, I would never have let myself be married to him. Our marriage day did go well. We had a lovely day for it and I had a beautiful wedding gown, that I had made for me by a friend of my mother's. In fact, you could say that everything about my wedding day was perfect,it was what happened after my wedding day that sent things into a spiralling cascade, which all but destroyed me.
SIGNS OF TROUBLE
Phillip and I had only been married 13 months, when the first signs that I had made a big mistake in saying I would marry him, started to show. He had become very possessive about anything to do with me. In my first job, for example, which I really loved doing as a secretary in a big Sports Club, working for the person in charge, he insulted several of the people who worked there, which caused me to lose my job. It took me a long time to get another job, and when I did, he was always checking up on me by turning up before I finished work as though he was trying to catch me out doing something he wasn't happy with.
However, one day, when we were having a discussion about something so trivial, I can't even remember now what it was, he started to go on and on about me singing in the choir, which was something that I loved to do because I had been singing since I was about three and just loved singing with a passion. He said he did not want me going back to that place because I belonged to him and he was "not happy sharing me with anybody" I quickly turned to him and said, "excuse me, but I am not your property, I am your wife, and I don't like your tone. After my comment, he very quickly gave me a swift slap across my left cheek, which sent me flying across the floor, hitting my head against the wall causing a gash which starting bleeding. Instead of helping me up, he stamped his foot and said "there that's what you get when you speak back to me, so let that be a lesson to you, and then he walked out the front door, got in the car and drove off leaving me bleeding from my head wound on the dining room floor.He had never shown signs of this kind of behaviour before now.He left the room slamming the door.
When he still had not returned home by 11.00 pm I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. I was terrified that he would start off again when he got home. However, when I woke up at 2am, there was still no sign of him. When he had still not returned by 6.00 am the next morning, I started to wonder where he could have gone when he left the house and where he was now. I decided to ring the base to see if anyone there knew where he was. I was connected to the Commanding Officer' phone of the Unit where he worked immediately. He informed me that Phillip was in lock up under house arrest, because he had been in a brawl with another airman. He told me that he had become drunk very fast after arriving at the club. He then starting a fight with two other men and had given one of them a black eye. If that wasn't enough, he then smashed a chair over the head of another man.
Looking at the gash above my eye, he said "did he do that to you", I nodded my head and he said I must have done something to upset him, to which he replied, no I don't think you did he said. I have been observing changes in Phillips behaviour for a few months he told me. He said he has been insubordinate to his superior Officers so much so that we have placed him on detention on a number of occasions. He said this has been going on for some months now.I told him that Phillip told me he was doing overtime to save money for the baby we were expecting. As I had only just found out, we hadn't told anyone I told him because I had been having some problems and had already had a scare. He asked me would I like to see the Padre and I agreed that this would be a good idea. I saw the Padre and he told me that he would talk with Phillip and try and work out what was going on with him and if he could do anything at all to help him.
CAUSE FOR PHILLIP'S BEHAVIOUR
How could I have missed the signs that something was very wrong with him. I went to see my GP and told him and he sent me for some counselling. I saw a psychiatrist and he told me that it was Phillip who should be seeing him, not me. He said he sounds like he is very troubled and disturbed and probably should be under treatment right now, which started to scare me. The next thing he said scared me even more because he told me that Phillip could have Schizophrenia. I immediately looked up at him because I knew about this disease, I had learned about it when we had covered mental illnesses when I did my nursing course. He informed me that Phillip's symptoms of severe mood changes, becoming withdrawn at times and of course becoming violent without provocation, could point toward this illness, and if it is not treated, it will become worse. With treatment, patients can lead normal lives. He warned me that if it is this illness and he won't consent to have treatment, then we have a very big problem.
WHAT HAPPEND NEXT
When I got home I did what my GP had advised and had a little sleep. Only it turned out I was more tired than I thought, and I slept for a longer time than I had planned. I awoke to Phillip's boots thumping down the hallway and as we didn't have a carpet runner along there, it was very loud indeed. When he entered into the room, he pushed me to see if I was awake. I jumped at his touch and he very rudely inquired " where is my dinner, and why are you in bed at this time of the afternoon?" I told him what the GP had said about my BP. He replied by saying " well, you've had your nap, now get up and get me my dinner? As I tried to get up off the bed, I began to feel a bit dizzy, which he noticed and then he pushed me back saying, "don't bother. I fell back missing the bed and landing on the floor. Without a word to inquire if I was okay and possibly even forgetting that I was pregnant, he flew in a rage out of the door. I staggered a little bit getting up and sat down on the bed feeling a twinge in my lower abdomen. However, I dismissed this and joined Phillip. He said I don't need your help, go and rest like you have been told, so I went back to bed. I woke up about two hours later with quite a lot of pain in my lower right side and when I went to the toilet I discovered to my horror that I was spotting. I began to worry and told Phillip. He dismissed it as a little bleeding and said, you'll be fine woman, quit complaining. On that note, I went back to bed praying that the bleeding would stop and that I wouldn't lose the baby as this was the second time I had spotted.
I was very tired and fell asleep. When I woke the next morning, Phillip had already left for work. I looked at the clock which said it was 7am, so he had been gone about an hour. I discovered that I was still bleeding only more heavily now. As we didn't have a phone, I was just able to drag myself to the bedroom window which luckly was opposite to my neightbour,s bathroom. She was there and when she saw me she said am coming right over, go back and lie down. I will call your mother-in-law. Give me your Obstetrician also, what is his number. I gave her both numbers. Phillip's mother arrived and the both of them took me to the hospital, where we met my Obstetrician, but there was no sign of Phillip. Chris had left a message for him at the Base so he should have been there, but it didn't surprise me that he wasn't
I LOST MY LITTLE ANGEL
My Obstetrician informed me that unless the bleeding became a lot less and stopped altogether, that I was in danger of losing my baby. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and at 7.15pm, when everything they tried had failed, my Obstetrician said that he didn't think there was any chance. I just nearly the end of my fourth month and the baby was fully formed now. I had started to have contractions and they had continued and I knew that babies at this time in a pregnancy just don't have any chance of surviving. I subsequently delivered my little stillborn baby girl in a room with my doctor and two nurses, but again without Phillip being anywhere in sight. I held her in my arms and looked into her perfect little face. "Hello, I said to her, your my little angel, you will be in heaven and I will never forget you. It isn't fair that you didn't make it into this world, but you will be with God now in heaven. I gave her a kiss and handed her to the nurse, who then took her away. That night there was still no show of Phillip and I cried most of the night. I was given a sedative to help me settle and I finally fell asleep. My Obstetrician arrived very early the next morning at 7.30am, just before breakfast. He examined me and said things were progressing and that I would be going for a D&C sometime this afternoon, so there wouldn't be breakfast as I had to fast. He said the D&C is just a precaution to make sure there isn't any chance of infection from retained products. He inquired if Phillip had shown up, when I said no he said it was probably for the best.
HOW IT FELT TO LOSE MY BABY
Any mother-to-be who has lost her baby will know exactly what this feels like. Since I was a little girl, my biggest wish in life was when I grew up I wanted to get married, but most of all I wanted more than anything to have a baby and be a MUM. In fact, when I did Mothercraft at school, I got the highest marked in my class. My mother was so proud of me and said I would make a wonderful mother one day.
However, as you now know, this was not to be the case. The night I lost my dear little baby girl (my daughter) I felt like I had lost a part of myself, a big part that would never be healed. Like most mothers to be who have lost their child, I wanted to share this with Phillip, but he was nowhere to be found. In fact he didn't turn up until two days later, stating that he had to work on the base. I told him that he could stop his lying because I knew the truth. As I hadn't let one until this time that I knew about what was really happening with his life at the base, he was stunned when I said this. He denied it of course and said I was lying. I felt it was useless trying to reason with him because the Psychiatrist told me that he probably would say this when I eventually confronted him with reality and that he wouldn't like it. In fact, when I tried to discuss about how I felt when I lost "our daughter", his reply was "it was just a baby, we'll have another one". The nurse in the ward heard this and ordered him to leave. He refused and she called security.
Of course when I got home things hadn't changed, in fact, they were worse. I remembered what everyone had said to me, so I waited for my chance to leave him. My chance came when he told me that he had a camp coming up the following week and would be gone about two weeks.I was working for a law firm at this time and my boss and his wife helped me pack and drove me to the airport. When I arrived home I was a mess both physically and psychologically.I eventually divorced Phillip and had my marriage annulled. It took a long time to recover, seven years in fact, when I met Richard,who I later married. I will tell the story of my recovery and how I met my second husband in another hub.