A long…long time ago…
(OK, Not that long. I am not that old)
I was an 18 year old girl who lived in the mid west, Minnesota to be exact. I was not happy with my life. I had just graduated High School that June and I was working 2nd shift full-time in a candy factory. I have and have always had a difficult relationship with my Mom. At this particular time in my life it was at its worst. We both had our faults and were each to stubborn to work on our many difficult issues. I had been suffering with an eating disorder throughout my last year of school & that was quickly continuing to wither me away. I was not in any way healthy in body or spirit. I was depressed and didn’t even know it. I was feeling lost, feeling like I didn’t belong and couldn’t find a way outta my home town fast enough.
This was the time when the internet was just beginning to blossom. There were many people who didn’t even have internet yet. Like my parents. But I did have a close cousin who was like a big brother to me and we spent a lot of time together. He did have the internet. He worked a lot of weekends. But I would still go to his house almost every weekend. I would just hang out there till he got home from work.
One random night I decided to go check out that fancy schmancy internet and see what I could find. Yes, I was young and naïve. But I found my way into a live chat room. A chat room that I didn’t know at the time would change my life forever. Literally.
I do not even remember the name of the chatroom any more. I just started chatting with the people. It was innocent really. I had no intentions really other than to keep myself entertained until my cousin got home. Eventually I found a guy who I’ll call T to chat with and we created out own private chatroom… LOL…So It was just him and I in the chatroom typing away together.
We chatted in that private chat room for over 2 hours that night. Telling each other a bit about ourselves, being silly, telling jokes. I even asked him at one point “When are we going to get married?” Totally just being a silly, young & naïve. We exchanged phone numbers that night as well because my parents didn’t have internet at the time. From that point on we talked on the phone nightly. About anything and everything. Sometimes even falling asleep while on the phone together. I am not sure how or why but we clicked. These phone calls quickly grew into a long distance relationship & way more than just a friendship. We were telling each other we loved each other before we ever met.
I honestly never really thought about any of the bad things you hear about meeting people online. I feel like the internet seemed more innocent back then. I never thought he was scamming me, plotting to come to kill me, or thought he could be a creep.
It just felt real. It felt like love. It was definitely lust since we hadn’t even met face to face at this point yet. But it didn’t matter to us. We just kept chatting and falling more in love with each passing day. Cliché but true!!
One random night about 4 months after that first night we chatted in the chatroom. He told me over the phone he decided he was going to drive to Minnesota to meet me in person. I can’t even put in to words the excitement I had to meet him.
It was about 2 months later when the weekend finally came that he was suppose to drive to my home town to meet me. It was a 24 hour drive for him. I got myself a new outfit, I had got a few of my things packed just incase we worked out as well in person as we did on the phone. Again, you may be thinking I was naïve but I had a intuition that this was the one. The man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
My friends didn’t believe he would show up and if he did they thought he was going to be a creep and/or scary. Maybe even try to hurt me.
I had it in my heart and soul that none of that was true and that moment we had waited for so long couldn’t come fast enough. He got a hotel room and told me he’d call me when he got to the hotel.
I got up that Friday morning, showered, got on my new outfit and waited. It felt like an eternity till he called. But he did. He called me from the hotel in my hometown. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t drive fast enough to the hotel. I was so dang excited. Then when I got there he had forgotten to tell me his room number so I asked the front desk. They wouldn’t tell me because I had forgotten his last name in all my excitement. But after a moment or two I remember and they called him to let him know I was in the lobby.
I waited impatiently like bouncing hyena for what seemed like hours but I am sure it was only like 5 minutes. Then I saw him, He walked down the stairs. In his hockey jersey smiling ear to ear. We hugged awkwardly and said “Hi” and just starred at each other for a moment. Then we had a really long, loving hug. It felt like home in his arms. His hug felt like the best place to be on earth. We decided we were hungry so we went to the local diner to eat. We smiled, hugged, giggled and eventually ate our food. It was the sweetest most romantic date. We spent the next 3 days together traveling around sight seeing things around my hometown. We were happy, in love and finally together. Time flew by so fast. It was just pure bliss. We had so much fun that weekend.
Then Sunday came, the day he had to return to his home state on the east coast. We barely even talked about it but we both knew that I was coming with him. We wanted nothing more than to be together. We were now together and neither one of us wanted to let go. We weren’t going our separate ways after such an amazing weekend. I grabbed my stuff that I had pre-packed and threw it in the back of his car. I parked my car in the mall parking lot where my parents could find it. Then we went back to my house and left a note on the kitchen table say I was moving to the east coast.
I ran away from home with a guy I met on the internet.
My parents had no idea.
It was the craziest thing I have ever done.
It was also best decision I ever made for myself.
T and I have been together 18 years. We have been married 16 years. We have four children together. We have been through hell and back! We’ve came through it all stronger and closer than ever. Our firstborn baby girl died, we lost our 1st house, he has lost his job twice and we have moved over 5 times. It has been a crazy ride but I am glad to still be by his side and to be his wife. He is my rock, my best friend, the love of my life and I love him more each day. Even more than I can put into words. The only thing I would change is to have our firstborn daughter Anna, here with us sharing this life with us.