The strangest thing happened. I was sorting and cleaning to get ready for a visit from my kids, and there, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, was an envelope addressed to one of my sisters, in my handwriting. It was still sealed, with no stamp. I opened it and found a letter that I’d written in February of 1978. It was less than two weeks later that I became engaged to marry my husband. At the time, I’d just moved to Minneapolis, and was living in an old hotel converted to small studio apartments with a girlfriend. I’d just turned twenty. I had no understanding of warning signs, or what it meant to be the recipient of love bombing.
Finding this letter was like finding a time capsule item. I have no idea how this letter traveled with me unknown for over three decades, and how it suddenly just appeared in stuff I was cleaning up.
Here are some excerpts. In the letter, I referenced my husband and the guy I dated before I met my husband (some of that story is in this post):
2-13-78 “We’re always broke, but we make the most important ends meet. The jobs we got sent to are smelly, dirty factories. As you can see by this letter, I’ve survived so far. Somehow this week, I’m going to try to snag a steady job.
I’m happy here. Days go by so quickly, and even though life is more than complicated – it’s better than nothing happening. Here I meet someone new every day, and I’m in a not so good neighborhood, so life is never dull. The guy in the apt. next to us is really loony. He tries to tell people that Carter doesn’t run the country, he does. ha But I don’t take any chances or get myself in bad situations, so it’s okay.
… If I hadn’t been seeing so much of [husband] and [boyfriend from high school], I’d probably be going out with a lot of different people. I’ve been asked out quite a bit, and the majority are normal, nice guys.
…[husband] took me to a formal [military officer] dance. (He is about six feet, buzz hairdo, dishwater color, hazel eyes, 21 years old, baby face, will be a fighter pilot, was cousin’s college roommate last year) I wore one of my long dresses, pinned my hair up in curls on top of my head, and entwined 25 cents of baby’s breath in it. He kept telling me how nice I looked, so I’m glad he liked it. He bought me a beautiful orchid corsage. Out of the 26 days I’ve been here (doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long!), I’ve seen him 13 days. Believe it or not, I think I’m in love again. But it scares the you know what out of me. He says that he knows he loves me. But he’s ROTC and leaves this summer… that’s a big barrier in my mind because even though I have a pretty good hunch that he’ll want me to move to wherever he is, I won’t do it. I can’t. I just can’t commit myself. So I foresee many problems.
A little over a week ago or so, I told [boyfriend from high school] that I didn’t want to see him until he was divorced. But then a few days later we were together again. But then I did the same thing almost. So, we were supposed to get together this weekend, I was supposed to call him, but I was with [husband] – and I guess I just didn’t do it.
[husband] and I are going to church together every Sunday. (we’ve gone twice so far) It’s a really beautiful Presbyterian church about four blocks from where I live. You know I still think about [boyfriend from high school] – how could he not be a part of me? But everything is screwed up. When I try to sort out my feelings about the two of them, I come up with mass confusion. So I’m just letting things happen, and not getting committed to anyone until my head is all together.
…Hope your Valentine’s Day is good – mine could be touchy – it’s an old anniversary with [boyfriend from high school] and me, but I bet [husband] will want to come over. Well, que sera sera?