July 3rd 2011 Standing in my hotel room surrounded by every one I love fussing over me, making sure I look and feel like a princess for this one special day I had dreamed about since I was old enough to pretend I was part of a fairy tale, the reflection staring back at me was beaming I had never felt so beautiful.
2009 Christmas day, my dad and I were the only ones on the road heading to Heathrow airport to pick up a man I had only met over the Internet. Let’s face it we all have those lonely spells and have all had that curiosity of those ‘’dating websites’’ mine led me to ‘him’ he was deployed at the time in Iraq so we chatted for the duration of his deployment, he had always promised he would come and see me when he returned but I never took it seriously, until 2 nights before Christmas when I received a phone call to say he was on his way. I think I had a mini heart attack, my parents didn’t know I was even chatting with a man from America.. oops!
So here I was standing in arrivals, not really knowing what he even looked like and then I felt hand lay gently on my shoulder turning me around to be met with a very romantic kiss. That evening we ate around my parent’s dinner table with my brothers and their spouses laughing and joking in all our English humor, swapping gifts and drinking brandy. His stay with us was over too soon for my liking but this was the beginning of the journey I was about to embark on.
2010 became a whirlwind, I travelled to America by myself, now let me tell you this is a huge deal for a little English girl that had never driven over 2 hours in either direction from where she lived. America was huge and over whelming, California dazzled me, the beaches, the high life style, university studios, Rhodeo drive, luxury cars, mansions, stepping on side walk stars other celebrities had touched, I loved every minuet of it all. In the May ‘he’ was given orders to deploy again so one last visit to England was in order, we walked Kensington gardens and sat under a huge shady oak tree where he took my hand and asked me to marry him placing a very elegant 2 carat diamond on my finger, and then he was gone. The next 6 months planning a move to America a place to live and a wedding kept me very busy maybe a little too busy, only now weighing 100lbs barely eating and obsessively exercising I collapsed, I couldn’t breath. I remember the panic one parent holding me on the floor the other on the phone to 911 and I remember thinking, this is it, this is how I die. The fear and anxiety that one moment caused me will stay with me for the rest of my life; unfortunately I had developed a panic disorder right before move day. When he arrived to do the move with me he was different the sparkle had gone from his eyes he was almost heartless he didn’t give me a chance to say goodbye to any one, I was ushered into a taxi with all my things and the door was shut behind me, as the taxi was pulling away I spotted my cat out on the lawn I didn’t even get a chance to hold her one last time, My family and friends were still waving and hugging each other as they faded into the distance. My heart hurt more than I could bare, but I knew I would see them all again soon.
March, April, May and June was filled with building our new life together, something about him was still off but I just thought it was me as I was having a lot of anxiety and bed ridden with frightening panic attacks. I wasn’t going to let it stop me though, I wanted this, THIS was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
July 3rd 2011 The cliff top was breezy my vale wouldn’t behave my curls were coming loose and sticking to my lip gloss my heart raced and the faint sound of ‘songbird’ began to play, that was our queue, I clung to my dad my best friend the man that no one else in the whole entire world can compare to, I am his little girl and always will be, so when I felt him take my hand and place it into the hand of the man I was marring I had to fight back a few tears. He didn’t look at me like I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in fact he just looked uncomfortable and sped through everything to just ‘get it done’. The evening was spent on a cruise ship that circled San Diego bay he was no where to be seen, drunk wedding guests pulled apart my wedding cake and my wedding evening was spent alone in the honeymoon suite. He was very distant not wanting much interaction with me, of course I thought he was having an affair.
I got news one morning my Grandmother had passed and all I wanted was to be held but he couldn’t even bare to wrap his arms around me. Only 8 months later I decided to leave after finding enough evidence to confirm my fears of an affair. Unfortunately my leaving would cost me everything, he threatened me, he turned violent putting me through glass shower doors, stalked me then filed for divorce and fraud claiming all I wanted was a green card. As you can imagine I was left homeless with no money spending nights sleeping alone on the beach with my two small dogs. I couldn’t leave the country due to the fraud allegations, I didn’t have a social yet so I had no bank account for my parents to send any money to and he had switched off my cell phone.
Luckily a family friend took me in, I was so broken down by this point I felt as though I had nothing left in me. But just when I had that thought something in me said ‘you can lay down and die or you can fight’ I chose to fight, I did all my back ground research and filed all my own paper work representing myself the whole way right to the end. I didn’t want anything other than my name and my dignity, I walked away from court that day a free woman empowered by my own strength. I packed up what I had and rented a vehicle, I drove from San Diego to Texas in 2 days, making stops along the way, when night fell in phoenix it was just me and the desert I pulled my car onto the side of the road and sat on the roof to gaze at the stars that fell around me, I remember thanking god for the strength he had put in me to keep on keeping on.
4 Years later here I am working for the Widner Law Group driven by my own experience to help those that are facing hard times, I want to make a difference, I want to take the pain I have felt and turn it into something positive to guide others through their difficult times.