NOTE: This part of my story will be the hardest to tell. The years before Cowboy were , as I look back, all leading up to this period of my life. The years I spent with Cowboy were growth years of a portion I could have never imagined. All the men in my life including my father were just stepping stones leading to this man. He embodied parts of all of them-the parts I had been desperately trying to reach. In him I looked for & found much of the acknowledgment I had craved from them. Finding that entailed a very heavy cost. It also entailed great rewards. Cowboy was, as you will see, the great love of my life. You will probably also find that he is still that. He was also the worst part of my life. The most painful of my relationships. Through him I learned so much about myself-the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad, the forlorn. I learned just exactly that of which I am capable both in my darkest moments & in my brightest. If I saw him tomorrow I am afraid I just might fall under the spell again for he is never far from my thoughts. I have been on the run from him for 15 yrs-I have put thousands of miles between us & changed my name. I keep an unlisted phone number. I am careful, always watching over my shoulder & at least once a year I do an internet search for him so that I know exactly where he is residing.
I have gotten over, gotten past, gotten through with everyone else in my past (including someone that I thought I would never give up-that will be another part of my story & one that my dear heart-sister Butterflies knows well) but with Cowboy while the chapter is closed I am hoping that with this writing the story will also be finished. At least in this life.
She meet him through mutual friends one night in a small bar listening to Country Music in her hometown. The town where she & Bubba Bear had fled. She was working, settling in, & running into friends from high school. It was new friends who introduced them. She asked who he was & he just happened to work with the new friends. He had dark almost black curly hair, piercing blue eyes, & a well-trimmed beard & mustache. He was about 6 ft. with dimples & a cleft chin. Looked alot like Warren Beatty. Beautiful deep voice & beautiful manners. They danced, they talked. He called & they went out a few times. He had been seeing someone else & Waitress Woman was one of those "trashy" women. Just a bit on the rough side. Waitress Woman did not take kindly to him seeing someone else. So that was a problem for awhile. In the end, after commenting many times that he had never met anyone like OK Farmgirl & seeking reassurances the she would never change, they became a couple. He promised her that no one would ever hurt her again. He was good with Bubba Bear, he was twice divorced with a daughter & son he never saw. The son was just a baby & the daughter a few years older than Bubba Bear. This set off some alarms in her head, but she brushed them aside. After all the grim picture he painted of his exes she could understand. She had ex problems herself. So instead of checking out the alarms she felt sorry for him & vowed to make his life better.
Cowboy was sexy, sensual, & showed her things about herself she had never known. It was intoxicating. He had a colorful past that unfolded a little at a time. Sometimes through the stories he told her, sometimes through his friends who had come to OK with him to sell land, & sometimes through his actions.
Land sales in that part of OK dried up, the tracts were all sold. There was a project opening up in Utah on the Nevada border. A resort where the Hollywood stars of the 40's used to go. It was an "opportunity" & he was going. He asked her to go with him. She really did not want to be in OK so she said she would go. He made it perfectly clear that he loved her but would never marry her. She did wear a wedding ring he had given her, she used his last name-at his insistance, even got her drivers license & all id changed. A very nice lady at DMV noticed them all lovey dovey in line & kindly changed the name without a marriage license. Watching a couple in love will do that to some people.
So they packed up all her stuff & headed to Nevada where they would live. They lived in a small farming community that was predominatly inhabited by polygamists. Everyone else in the town worked at the truckstop/casino. Well, to make a long story short, the land deal fell through & they ran out of money. Cowboy became quite depressed. He went back to his former occupation--professional gambler. He was a Texas Holdem player & had made his living that way for several years in WA State. He had been holding illegal gin games & dealing a little pot in OK to supplement his income as well as detailing & selling cars. So he went back to the card rooms in Vegas.
Still gambling was not a steady income & they had bills to pay. Cowboy thought she would be really good at being a cocktail waitress. This was a pretty weird career change for a very naive girl from OK. But to the casino she went & a cocktail waitress she became. It was so hard at first. But the money was very good. So she cocktailed, learned to tend bar, & he played cards. Then he lost the Christmas money. She was so upset. Christmas was late that year. Then Cowboy decided Vegas was where they should be. Better opportunities, closer to the action. So off they went to Vegas.
Once again, the money ran out. She didn't even have the money to bake Bubba Bear a birthday cake. But he did get a Hostess Cupcake with a candle. It sucked! She was such a failure.
The day they moved to Vegas one of Cowboy's buddies from WA won the World Series of Poker at Binyons. That just about did Cowboy in. He just knew he was a better player. He didn't celebrate his friend's win, he became bitter.
She beat the streets for days looking for a job. She was told so many times she was not the "Vegas" type. But she kept looking 'cause she had a child to support. Many times she thought about packing it in & going back home, but she just could not stomach the failure of it all. She just could not go home & have her family tell her I told you so. So she stayed, she found a job, she eventually became the Director of Food & Beverage at a small local hotel. She began to drink fairly frequently. She wrote her own past as she wished it had been. Everyone thought she & Cowboy had been married for many years & that he was Bubba Bear's dad. She never told anyone about her family in OK. She invented a person who could live the life she was living. Then she was introduced to Meth. It, along with pot & tequila, took the edge off. The noise in her head stopped. She was someone else. That person was the Evil Twin & she did not like her. For several years she & ET struggled for power. Then one day something so minor set Cowboy off. Oh, he had always yelled & been verbally abusive to her (her dad did that stuff so what the hell). Then he slapped her. He was immediately apologetic. Sorry, never happen again, ya da ya da. The next time he shoved her & she landed on the small of her back on the solid wood frame of a waterbed. For a moment she could not move. Again, sorry! The drinking & the drugs took over her reality. Cowboy used more than her, but she was catching up fast. She became ET. ET was in charge. ET was a trashy woman. She dressed trashy, she talked trashy. Then OK Farmgirl tried to get control. She stopped everything. Cowboy's temper got worse, he was depressed, he just quit living. He was an ex-boxer who had always been in shape, but he balooned up to over 200 lbs. Cowboy got even nastier. When he was good he was very good, but when he was bad he was worse. Nothing she did was right, she did not make enough money, she did not appreciate him. Just on & on.
Then her dad died. She made it back to OK to see him-she was the last person he spoke to . She went back to Vegas & he died several days later after being taken off life support (that is all another story). She did not go to his funeral. She was just so mad that he died before she got to say all that she needed to say. Cowboy began cutting her off from her family more & more. She & her brother had had an argument at the hospital about her being there so she stopped talking to him for many years-funny thing was he never noticed.
They had been together for 3 yrs when he asked her to marry him. She should have run, but she did not have the confidence that she could take care of herself & Bubba Bear. Geez, what did she think she had been doing?? She was supporting 3 people by herself. But she was thrilled, after all she could never figure out why he had ever wanted her. Even her mother asked "How did you get someone like him?" when she first met him (Mom was very superficial, had always been a beauty - it is very hard when you perceive yourself to be the plain daughter of a beautiful woman). So she cried tears of gratitude & said yes. They got married in Vegas, just the two of them. Things got so very much worse once she said I do. She should have realized how it was going to be when he took the money she was saving to buy him a wedding ring & spent on buying silver coins as an investment (never saw any profit from those).
Then came the days when he was losing so very badly on the tables, things were going from bad to worse. He finally confessed, when she noted that he had never had a bad streak for so long, that he was actually winning on the tables then putting it all in a poker machine that he just knew he could beat. Hello! you don't have to live in Vegas long to know those casinos are not built on winners. BTW, she did not gamble. She worked too hard for the money to risk it.
That was when she said it was over. Seven yrs into the relationship, & while it broke her heart, she consulted with an attorney. She did not mention the abuse (her friends were starting to comment on how afraid of Cowboy she seemed). One friend, an ex-LA policeman, asked Cowboy if he wanted to go out target shooting. It seemed so innocent but for some reason she got a really bad vibe off this. She told Cowboy not to go. Who knows how that might have turned out. She had known Cops, Mafia, gun runners, bikers, bounty hunters, dealers, etc to date, but she knew this ex-Cop liked her & that he was just a little bit crazy (had been shot by a gang member in LA, got drummed off the force on a psyc & was on the run even though the guy was in prison-he carried A LOT of guns in his car). She was not about to take a chance of having a killing on her conscience. The attorney got the papers ready to file.
Cowboy decided he just could not face Vegas anymore, it was killing him there, he said he knew he was in deep trouble, so he contacted his best friend in Portland. BFF told Cowboy to come back to OR & get his head straight. She put him on a plane & promptly paniced. What would she & Bubba Bear do in Vegas alone. How would this work out?? Two days later she quit her job, packed up Bubba Bear & drove straight through to Portland only stopping for gas.
**************to be continued******************