YOU SEE THE HAT AND ...I SEE THE HURT.
In this photo, I'm modeling for the Society Section of Arkansas’s largest newspaper. The photographer staged the photos inside the Civic Center in my hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I estimate the date to be 1971 or 1972.
Interesting that I remember exactly what was on-my-mind as I modeled for the camera that afternoon. My Divorce was eminent; I'd reached my limit. I'd had enough of a destructive, one-sided marriage. Facing the unknown and an un-predictable future--- I knew my children and I had no way to go but "away". Our lives in Pine Bluff were over. The over-all picture exposed nothing but dead-end streets.
Looking back on my past, I have many regrets but... divorce is not one of them. I only regret having to endure the endless mental abuse from my ex, his new wife, and all his family—both before and after the divorce. The Marriage should never have happened.
Knowing what I know now....I should have sold anything and everything...to pay for restraining orders, lawsuits, even someone to help them “disappear”. I should have made "believers" out of them---once and for all.
Over the years, I figured out why many of us would rather be alone--- than married to selfish,classless trash; surrounded by in-laws from Hell; and ultimately-abandoned by our very-own, unloving, flesh and blood.
Despite all those years of stress, hurt, and abuse--- I never-once lost my ability to love and care for others. Yes, my heart is still the same heart. It's simply no longer available to those who were once-dear to my heart.
Over the years, I've become an EXPERT at protecting my safety, living frugally, and hiding my emotions. Very few people are---or will-ever be---close enough to know the real ME.