It took me off guard one evening, when my then-soon-to-be-sister-in-law’s boyfriend and I were alone, and he started to ask me about my background, my family, my former life.
“You know, Trudy, you don’t belong here. You should go home. This life isn’t for you.” He was high on who knows what all, as usual, but spoke with conviction. It wasn’t rejection—he genuinely believed that there was a better life waiting for me.
“No. You don’t understand,” I said, “It was hell back there too. It’s no different, no better. There’s nothing there for me.”
He went on to tell me how awful life was for them, and how messed up everything was in the world of drugs. “You’d be better off there. We have nothing to offer you.”
I thanked him and chalked it up to too much marijuana, and whatever he all sniffed and snorted or injected. The guy had issues—what did he know?
I would learn later from my mom, that he was not the only one trying to influence my return to Ontario. Though she never said anything directly to me, my soon-to-be- sister-in-law had taken it upon herself to track down my family and call them. She told mom that I was not in a safe place, that her brother was not capable of relationship, and that my life was built around his lies. She asked if my family could come get me. But there was nothing they could or would do. And it was better that way. I was not ready to have family and their religious culture involved.
Weary of having to support her brother and myself, my fiancée’s sister had kicked us out and that had landed us a tiny room at his dad and girlfriend Christa’s home. Never in my life had I seen a house more trashed. Boxes piled up. Unwashed dishes everywhere, stacked to high heaven, with old food dried on. Stuff. Everywhere. Old. Broken. Musty. It was overwhelming.
As their spiritual darkness surfaced, and the demonic and satanic things they dabbled in were revealed, I understood the chaos to be a reflection of that spiritual state. Who would have thought that there God would reach me, through a woman who was a self-proclaimed ‘daughter of the devil’?
Christa liked me instantly. I wasn’t sure about her, and all her demonic stuff, but was kind and cautiously friendly. I had long feared that I was vulnerable to the occult and demonic realm, due to whatever generational sin lay hidden. For this reason I was especially cautious.
I spent Thursday, November 26, 1987 with Christa while our fiancées worked on a vehicle. That time alone with her changed the course of my life.
It was Thanksgiving Day in USA, and the turkey was cooking. While the turkey cooked, Christa and I decided to do the ‘sister thing’ and get dressed up. I did her hair and her make-up, and helped her pick out a cute outfit. My potential future mother-in-law, with whom we were to share a wedding day for a double wedding, was only 9 years older than I, and more like a sister than a mom.
I was putting the finishing touches on her hair and makeup when she stopped me. “Trudy, you don’t belong here. This life isn’t for you. Why don’t you go back home? We have nothing to offer you.”
Déjà vu! If she had knocked the wind out of me with a punch, it would have been no more shocking. Was God speaking through these people? This was getting creepy.
Life would be better for me back home, she said. “And you should know that your fiancée has been lying to you. He’s not who you think he is.” She went on to tell me about the divorce and, after making me vow I would not say anything, showed the papers to me. She had been warned that if she ever exposed the truth, she would pay with her life.
Reality sank in slowly.
Christa offered me a joint and some booze. I accepted. What was I to do with this new reality? I still had no way home, no way out, no way through.
By the end of that day, in fearless Joan-of-Arc—though-none-too-wise—style, I confronted my fiancée. When his father discovered it, he went on a war path, and started to curse, threaten and yell at me. I had endured enough violence and death threats at home. I was not taking this silently from a virtual stranger. I marched past him, chin up, told him if he ever had anything to say to me, he would say it respectfully, and with that I walked into the cool November night, slamming the door behind me.
My fiancée followed, knowing that I was on a mission. And he was right. Once out of danger, the hopelessness hit me like never before. I ran through the residential area, looking for a busier street. A vowed that my pain would end. I was finished. I could take no more.
I ran until I could run no more, before falling to my knees, sobbing, vomiting and heaving, beside the street. There was nothing left to live for. God truly had abandoned me. My prayers for help had not been heard.
My fiancée caught up to me, talked some sense into me, and took me to a coffee shop. We wandered through the night, with no place to go, moving from coffee shop to coffee shop. His sister had kicked us out, his father was threatening to kill us, and neither of us had much money. We were at the end of our rope.
In the morning he called his sister, and she allowed us back one more time, but with boundaries. He would have to help out financially. He had a job when we previously we lived there but he never helped out financially, yet he never had money. Eventually it registered that all the stops at random houses had been for drugs, and I was too naïve to clue in. The hallucinations were drug induced, not an uncontrollable mental disorder as a result of being a soldier, as I was led to believe. This time he would have to take ownership and pay his share.
He worked in a blood lab until he was fired for beating up a black man. I was angry! Racism went against everything I believed and violence was what I was running from. How had I landed in the very world I tried so desperately to escape?
Little did I know that God was going to use these events to orchestrate my return home and, ultimately, to draw me back into relationship with Him. My desperate cries, the prayers I had prayed, and the prayers others had prayed on my behalf were being answered.
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: