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Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

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Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!
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Sorry I've been such a lame blogger lately.  We have had so much going on in our life, and  I'll write about it when I get a chance to breath again, but in the meantime, prayers would be greatly appreciated.  We are going through our own mini messy story, just feeling assaulted on every side, and again, in the grand scheme of life, many people have it much worse but it is our story right now.  I'm still accepting messy stories from people, stories about the pain of life and whatever that may look like in your personal situation.  Just send me a message at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In the meantime I hope you enjoy this messy story, it's a long one, and I'll cover the whole thing over the course of two days.

 My life started out as any other with a mom and dad who loved each other enough to make me.  By the time I was 2 years old my parents got divorced and both of them remarried.  I don’t know the full story and don’t care too.  My dad got full custody of my brother and I.  Growing up my step mother was not so nice.  I remember during potty training, my wet pants were safety pinned onto the front of my shirt if I had an accident.  I had long hair and couldn’t get it brushed all the way and she would be very rough with it. My Uncle John and his girlfriend were killed in a tragic accident and it was so traumatic for me that I shut out most of the things that had happened in my life before that. It was a very devastating experience for me. When I was in second grade my brother started exploring with his sexuality and started using me as his experiment.  He would use Chap Stick tubes and force them inside of me.  He wanted to know how things fit together.  Then he started finding bigger things and forced me to let him use those on me to.  Then my baby cousin died. Growing up we moved around a lot because of my dad’s job with the natural gas pipeline.  We were always in church and very involved in all aspects.  I accepted Jesus as my personal savior at the age of 7 and knew Jesus would always be there for me no matter what happened.

 In 6th grade we moved to another state and I was beginning to make friends.  We had good friends at church.  I met someone that would eventually be my husband.  Our families were really close.  His mother died of cancer after a few years.  That was a very difficult time understanding why it had happened. His family moved away. During the summers my brother and I would go to visitation with our mom and spend 6 weeks with her.  While we were there our 2 step brothers would come and visit their dad too. So the 4 of us would have friends over all the time while our parents were at work.  My brothers would have their friends over and one of my step brothers and their friend started coming into my room and forcing themselves on me and touching me in inappropriate ways.  The friend would also make me give him blow jobs and touch him all over and do nasty things to him.  I could not tell anyone.  I didn’t think my brothers would believe me either because it was their friend.  I was also scared of my step brother.  I thank God for watching over me and I was never fully raped.  Something always happened and they would have to stop before penetration.  There was also a neighbor who I was friends with who started touching and exploring on me.  Since I had already been used and abused by my brother and friend I just let her.  I didn’t know what to do to stop it.

 When I was a sophomore in high school I got in a fight with my step mother and hit her.  My dad gave me a choice to live peaceable with her or move to my mom’s.  I moved. My step mother always took my younger step brothers side on everything and I couldn’t handle being in trouble for the things he did but blamed me for.  The abuse continued once I moved to my mom and step dad’s except it was more often since I lived there.  My cousin was killed in a train versus truck accident, my Grandmother died of cancer, my Grandpa died of a heart attack.

 Life continued on and I graduated.  Then I moved to OKC, OK with my mom and stepdad. I got reconnected with the family who had moved away after the mom had died of cancer. We became prayer partners and best friends.  We did everything together. On Valentine’s 1993 he proposed to me.  We married in June of 1993 and moved to AK.  I had only had one boyfriend up to this point. And that guy went on a mission’s trip and came home with a new girlfriend after we had been dating for 3 years. It was difficult to deal with. So when he proposed I was very excited because I truly loved him with all my heart.  I was and had been part of his family for years.

 Our marriage story is as follows:

 The time we spent together singing and praying before we were engaged was an awesome time.  We had Jesus in the center of our friendship.  We talked about everything and were very open and honest with each other.

 When we got engaged we were excited and looking forward to moving to Alaska and helping out with the youth. We had a vision together and something to look forward to. He was very caring and compassionate about things of God and helping make sure teens knew about Jesus and that He loved them.

 After we got married he was very timid and quiet. He was also very young. On the honeymoon trip up the Alcan there were times he turned mean and hateful. He was very controlling and everything on the trip had to go the way he wanted it to…even down to my driving.  One time when we stopped and were observing the view and talking about how beautiful it was I tried to kiss him and tell him that I loved him. He told me he never wanted me to kiss him again.  At that point is when I knew things would be hard and that I would always be walking on eggshells around him. I also knew that I would have to hide any feelings I might ever have. One minute he was nice and cuddly and the next he was hateful and mean.  He was very bipolar but never diagnosed.

 Once we got to Alaska and I didn’t know anyone he relaxed a little.  Things went well for the first couple of months.

 When we were counselors at camp things went well and I opened up to him about some of my past and the abuse I had endured. He seemed genuinely caring at that time.  I felt we got closer.

 Then he started demanding things and telling me that it was his way or no way. I went and talked to his Uncle and Aunt because they were the only ones I somewhat had gotten to know and I figured they could help since he spent so much time with them when he was there before.

 When he found out he got mad and then we found out I was pregnant.  I still believed he didn’t really want John. He was so angry that we were already having a child and he didn’t want one for a good 5 years.

 Once we had our first baby things were good for a while.  I even believed he truly missed us when we flew to OK with his sister. He would call and we would talk for a long time.  I even came home early because we missed him and he missed us. When I got back I only worked for a few months and then we decided I could stay home with our baby.

 Then it was that I couldn’t do anything right.  Neither one of us knew much about raising a baby so we had to learn as we went.  I asked advice from others who had and he always got mad at me for doing it and putting me down because I didn’t do it “right” (or the way he thought it should be done).

 He was at work during the day and didn’t know what went on at the house but when he came home he always accused me of not doing anything and being lazy.  I didn’t cook food the way he wanted me to, I didn’t take care of our baby the way he thought I should, and I was never pretty enough for him or dressed up enough for him.

 It didn’t matter to him that I had gained so much weight with the pregnancy and because of medical issues I couldn’t lose it.  He just believed I was lazy and didn’t care what he wanted.  He would never listen to what was really going on.

 Then I found the porn on the computer and he said it was a onetime thing and that he would get help for it.

 I tried to have us do couples devotions and have our family centered on God but he just thought I was controlling things.  I was trying to keep our family from going down a wrong path.

 I got pregnant with our second baby and things were ok for a while.  Then when my mom got sick he seemed like he cared and worked with me going down to OK. He was willing to take our first baby to the Palins so they could watch him during the day while he worked.  He even let me pick out her name that night when we were talking on the phone right before my mom died.  Our second was your girl as soon as she was born. She has always been a Daddy’s girl.  I enjoyed watching it.

 When I found out that I was pregnant at the ladies retreat not to long after that I think we were both in shock.  He started getting mean again and started with all the put downs when he was at home and nothing I did was right.  House wasn’t clean enough; food wasn’t cooked like he wanted it, etc.  It didn’t matter that I had a toddler, newborn baby and was pregnant.  I tried giving him the bills to do but then he wasn’t paying them and the electric got shut off on me when I was at home with our 2 babies and pregnant with our third.

 Fighting really began then. I was just trying to make sure the kids had what they needed and electricity was part of it. He just thought I wanted to control everything but I was making sure that our kids were warm and fed.

 Our third came along and we decided to build a house. He wanted it to look the way he wanted and he asked what I wanted but never really listened to my choices so I just started agreeing with whatever he wanted. He wanted to live in the tent to save money so I agreed, then it was the camper and I agreed.

 When my parents came to visit we didn’t even have a place for them to stay. He was at work during the day and when he came home and I was with them he was mad.  The emotional abuse was horrific. I felt I couldn’t do anything with anyone because he would always be mad.

 He would help with bedtime with the kids but not with anything else.  Then get mad at me when things weren’t done.

 When things went bad at the church he blamed me.  All I did was tell someone who asked the facts.  But the board didn’t like that because they were in the wrong and didn’t want anyone to know about it. He always blamed me and never forgave me.

 He wanted to go to school so I agreed. We moved out of our new house with me leaving before him and the kids so I could start a job.  Once we moved I hardly got any sleep and my body started having medical issues because of it.  I worked graveyard shifts and was on call whenever someone needed help (including him). I couldn’t really sleep during the day when he was at school because the kids needed me. When he got home I would try to sleep but he would be mad because things around the house were not how he wanted them.

 We had some great family vacation times and weekend times.  He was amazing when he was away from everything and everyone and it was just our family out doing something together (camping, four-wheeling, sledding, etc).

 Glennallen was hard because you he was either at school or working and I was working graveyards and still trying to take care of the kids and house and help him with homework the rest of the time. We had to move so many times and that stressed us all out. When he got fired from the school district for looking at porn on the computer we had to sweep that under the rug so no one would know about it. But when I almost died because of an incident at the hotel he got mad at me for getting fired!  He had no forgiveness in him at all.

 When someone sent us for counseling he was never really interested in it.  It was easier for him to just blame me for everything and not have to deal with himself.  The time he was so mad and pulled the truck over and got out the kids and I had no idea what his problem was.  He kept saying I wasn’t supporting him and I didn’t know what he were talking about.  When I told him what the kids said he said I was giving into them when all I was doing was trying to help them convey to him what was going on with them.

 The kids and I always had to be quiet and walk on egg shells around him.  The kids endured a lot of verbal abuse. We never knew what would make him mad and start yelling.  Yes I yelled too but they knew when I was going to yell.  When they didn’t listen and I couldn’t get their attention any other way.  Not be lovey dovey one minute and yell the next!

 When we got home from the counselor he would never let us practice what he told us to do.  He didn’t want us praying together or reading the bible together or doing devotions together.  But he was always a leader in the church and teaching. It always had to be his way or no way. I had to do what he wanted when he wanted or I was nothing to him.  I would dress up for him and do things he wanted me to but it was never good enough or I didn’t do it just the way he wanted so he would get mad and shut me out completely.

 When we went visiting family most everyone want to know why I was the one who always did everything and he just sat around (mine and his).  They also wanted to know why I answered to his every beck and call.  I told them I loved him and that is what wives were supposed to do.

 He never supported me or my view on anything.  He never encouraged me or praised me. He never let me know when I looked good or did anything good.  He sure did know how to put me down all the time and discourage me.  Even when I was doing what he wanted me to and when I was supporting him.

 When got got laid off and decided to go south for truck driving I agreed. Stupid me even agreed to taking care of all the details in Glennallen so he could leave early, I was not comfortable driving with a trailer but agreed to drive it and move all our things with the kids and dog in the dead of winter in a foreign country,  How was that me controlling thins?  I never could understand how he could say I was controlling when everything I did was what he wanted.  I gave up all my dreams so that he could have yours. I worked my butt off at 2 or 4 jobs so he could go to school 3 different times and go have all the fun he wanted.

 Once we moved to OK I traveled everywhere with the kids just so we could see him for a few minutes.  I tried to keep everything afloat when he was gone.  Thankfully I had family support and support from his family. I didn’t have the support from him which is what I needed. Once he was done with the semi he came back and started demanding everything be his way or no way again. The kids and I were just trying to survive since the semi didn’t make any money. We were doing the best we could with what we had and he came home demanding and mean.

 I worked 4 jobs and helped him with college again. I never saw the kids when we were in OK except when I would help them with the paper route before my next job.

 Any medical issues that came up he didn’t care about.  He told our son he was just lazy when in fact he can’t tell when he has to go to the bathroom.  He was never around when I took the kids to the Dr. so he never heard what they said. Except for the Dr. at OU Children’s who said Buddy’s diagnoses of 2 years earlier wasn’t right.  And he was  not there when we moved back to AK and the Dr said it was right and there was something else too.

 I don’t get how he can be in the medical field and the past 20 years haven’t cared anything about medical issues in his family! When I had my allergic reaction to Tylenol and my throat swelled shut and my tongue swelled up and I couldn’t really breathe and I slept for 4 days he did nothing to help at all.  No Dr., no one to look at me, nothing!  I had to stop even mentioning medical things to him.  That is why even now I don’t let him know about the kids and medical things because he has proven that he hasn’t cared over the past 21 years.

 When we all agreed to come back to Alaska things were good for a while. Even with the house being uninhabitable and us having to stay with the Johnson’s he was nice because he was back in Alaska.  Until I got fired from MSSCA for doing what a parent told me to do.  He did not stick by me for that either.  He just blamed me for everything that happened and didn’t even care to hear my side of what happened.  He was  never there to stand by my side or to stand up for me. He just blamed me for everything and held it against me.  Whether something was my fault or not he would believe everyone else and not even want to listen to me.  And that was the way it was throughout our entire marriage.

 When we had to move in to his grandparent’s house to help them we never discussed any of it.  Then when we moved into their other house things got worse.  We discussed foster care but what was not discussed was the fact that he would end up never being around to help with any of it.

 Once we started foster care he was never around.  He didn’t go to any of the meetings, counseling, visitations, Dr. Appointments or anything that had to do with the kids.  He said he stayed away so he wouldn’t get too close to them but then when something happened he blamed me for it. He had no clue as to what being a foster parent was really like. I am the one who did all the work and ran them to every place they needed to be and homeschooled our kids while he sat back and griped and complained about all of it.  I never had his support at all.  Our kids did not have his support at all either.  With everything I had to do with 8 kids and homeschooling and keeping up with the house, some things didn’t get done to his satisfaction and then he would just put me down for it and the verbal abuse really started.  I would want to be just with him after he would come home from work because I was with kids all day but he thought I was mad.  He never really understood me or what I wanted or needed.  I was desperate for interaction with him and never got it.  He would always go back to work to work out, leaving me with all the kids again.

Just keep livin...

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