Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jack and Jill: The Perfect Couple…. From the Beginning

Peter’s older brother, Jack, began dating the perfect girl, Jill. She was the youngest of six children. She came from a wealthy family and was so refined and beautiful she could, even now, be both a “wife-candidate” for the Royal Family and on the cover of Vogue. I was overwhelmed by her: I loathed my pregnancy body (wearing mostly Peter’s shirts and stretched out sweat pants by this time); my overall self-esteem continued to plummet, we were poor and I endured in a loveless, empty, affectionless, cold marriage. Jill was free, had disposable money, drove a very nice sporty car and was the most confident woman I had ever met. She was also incredibly loving, kind, warm, and generous. The Walton’s adored her while they despised me. They compared me to her, bought her gifts, gave them to her in front of me, were attentive to her; Sundays now centered on Jack and Jill (Jill was Canadian so she came in for the weekends to see Jack). Jill would save the Walton’s reputation; Jack and Jill would be the perfect couple and would finally overshadow the scandal I had brought to the family name.
They courted for a couple of years and when I say courted that is exactly what I mean. They were perfect. They married when my daughter was about three months old. Their wedding was extravagant with the reception in one of the nicest hotels in Toronto. After about a year in Toronto, they moved to Ottawa.  Jill left her family and a blossoming career so Jack could begin his political career. She later told me that, without proof, this is when she thought the infidelities began.
Years later they moved back to Toronto so Jack could begin law school and start a family. Jill’s father supported them financially during this time. Jack and Jill had a son, with special needs and when he was two, Jill became pregnant with their second son. The first son died weeks before she was due with the second son, Jill’s father died a week after the son died and Jill gave birth a week later. Jack began an affair with a “younger version” of Jill. Sociopaths always have a great and dramatic reason for any fault and Jack’s reason was that Jill had not given him enough attention surrounding their son’s death. She was emotionally unavailable to him during this time so he was entitled. There should be no doubt in your mind at this point that, yes, Jack is also a sociopath. And true to sociopath behavior, Jill became pregnant again fairly quickly (they want to tie their primary victim down as much as possible in order to behave outside boundaries and in a state of perpetual self-gratification).
Shortly after the birth of the third son, Peter and I came for a visit. I will never forget the way Jack looked at Jill during this visit. They were sitting on the couch together and Peter and I across the room. Jill was talking about baby things and all the while Jack was looking at her with an undeniable look of disgust. It was the same look I received, the same look between John and Elaine and the same look I would observe a decade later between Peter’s younger brother and his second wife.
Jill confided in me that she knew in her heart and gut that Jack was having an affair and knew who it was. She said she felt as though she was losing her mind because he was so convincing in his admonishing her of her distrust. And, remember that cycle? That was also their cycle. Jill, in her invalidated escalating self, had become “mentally ill.” So Jack became further entitled to have not only the one affair, but become an overall heavy drinking promiscuous person. Finally, Jill called a private investigator and set up a phone taping system in their house. She taped him having sexual conversations with several women. She confronted him and he confessed. The Waltons then turned on Jill so she shared the tapes with them. It was still her fault. She tried to make it work…..in the end they divorced. Jill, and her family, became the topic of discussion to the point of obsession. Soon “the story” developed of why they divorced and it was Jill’s fault. Jack had tried to win her back, but she had moved on to another man. The Waltons "had determined" the new man was a domestic abuser and feared that he was beating the two boys (far far from the truth). They even sunk so low as to mock his physical appearance and commented on how much better looking Jack was, implying Jack was always better than Jill. Jack Walton, a successful politician today, was so handsome, suave and persuasive nearly all of Jack and Jill’s friends turned on her. Even Jack’s feminist cousins, who were in their wedding and long time friends of Jill and her family, turned on her. Over the years, she and I had become like sisters and I was also very close with her family. We looked forward to spending the rest of our lives in this way, appreciating the fact that it is a gift when sisters-in-law get along so well. I was forced to cut off from her following the divorce. It was despicable the way the Walton’s publically besmirched both Jill and her family. In their mutual circles they hurt her so much and said such awful things, when I tried to get in touch with her secretly, she, understandably, would not even talk to me. I was still a Walton.
Nearly a decade later, when I was in crisis over infidelity and physical abuse, and determining if I should leave, she answered one of my attempts to communicate. Had Jack ever apologized? He came to her door, shortly after she had begun dating her new husband, with roses. He asked her to let him back and was shocked when she said no (notice the difference in realities). That was the closest to an apology she ever got. We began talking frequently and our stories were disturbingly similar. She became a touchstone during my divorce and advised me that I had to get away, with or without my daughters. She knew, first hand, that the Walton’s were alienating my girls from me.
There are both similarities and differences between our stories, the most apparent difference is where my mistakes were many and obvious, she was truly an innocent victim. She is a beautiful and honorable person who married the wrong person. She will bear the scars from Jack for the rest of her life. This book is, in part, to clear her name. I love you “Jill.”   

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Thank you for your comment. Positive feedback and helping those that have experienced the same tragedies are what keeps me going.