OK, so I've decided to just dive into 1995! Once you read this part of the story, I hope you will understand why it's taken me so long to write it! I'm going to take it a little at a time. Small chunks, right? So, here is the first half of the year;
This year started off good for my art business, or at least that was my impression at the time. In February, I moved the shop location again. This time into a store front building owned by my stepdad. The plan was to open a store front and also offer custom framing services. The business name stayed the same; Paula Beck Prints. My hope was that the frame shop would bring in enough business that my husband wouldn't have to travel the road anymore for sales. This was my last ditch effort to save my family. I knew it wouldn't last if he continued to go out on the road. Deep down I also knew he would never give it up. He was having way too much fun staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and being AWAY from me and the kids.
I didn't complete much artwork during the first half of 1995. Four more pottery drawings were all I finished during this time. The two Mata Ortiz (Casas Grandes) drawings, a Mimbres pottery design and a Chaco pottery mug in the black on white style.
Most of my time was spent painting the walls of my new shop. I painted a southwest border design all around the top of the store and on all my wall mounted print bins that surrounded the perimeter of the store. I was also busy supervising two employees who cut mats and put together all the prints for sale.
March 17th was the day I made a final decision to leave my husband. He had been on the road as usual, so I made plans to go out with a girlfriend for St. Patrick's day. I guess he didn't like that idea because he came home that evening and found me dancing with my group of girlfriends at a local club. For some reason he thought I was flirting with a guy (projection of his own guilt perhaps?) and started a huge fight that lasted until the next morning. He broke my nose with his elbow while we were driving home and I decided then that this would be the last time I would take his abuse!
My biggest problem was feeling like there was nothing I could do. How would I possibly be able to support three boys by myself? I knew that if I left I would never get any help from him, court ordered or otherwise. After trying to come up with a plan for my escape for over a month, I finally broke down and asked my mom for help. I knew he wouldn't let me leave easily so it took some planning ahead of time. I had told him that I wanted to leave before and he had taken my car keys and money from me, forcefully of course. I knew I would have to leave while he was gone on the road. This also meant I had to pretend like everything was great so he wouldn't leave me stranded with no money or car. It had gotten to the point where I had to have one of my employees come pick me up if I wanted to go to the shop while he was out of town.
So, finally on June 7th, my stepdad came over to the house with a couple of his workers and helped me move all my things out of the house. My husband had left on the road the night before. We ended up in a fight before he left and I couldn't hold it in anymore. I told him that I was planning to leave him the next day and there was nothing he could do to change that. He played the hurt husband, crying and threatening to kill himself. Finally, he said he would disappear and the boys would never see him again and then left. I could only hope to never see him again, but I knew that was just an empty threat. Anyway, I moved all of my things out and into storage. I then moved with my three boys into my mom and stepdad home. I was so greatful for the help it didn't even occur to me that there would be strings attached for their help......
So, this is the first part of 1995, I will try to continue with the story tomorrow. If you think this was the hard part of the year.....this was only the beginning of my trials and tribulations in 1995. Check back to read the continuation!
Read the previous years of my art story:
Next up: 1995; The Second Half