"Once my husband pushed me out of a moving car": how marriage with an American turned Russian life into hell
Marriage with an American for Muscovite Elena Johnson (the name was changed at the request of the heroine) was a test of strength. After moving to the United States, she had to go through seven circles of conjugal hell. However, in the second attempt, she still managed to find her happiness in America. ForumDaily tells her story.
At the beginning of 90, 18-year-old Lena was surprisingly successful for her age. After completing English courses, she worked in a rapidly growing company, negotiated with foreigners and earned good money. Once, swimming in the pool after work, she met a funny foreigner. It turned out that at one time Brian studied Russian, served in the army, and then, having retired, decided to take a look at Russia with his own eyes. He studied at MSU, returned home, and then came to Moscow a second time and found a job as an accountant in an auditing company.
“He spoke several languages, traveled the world, was 15 older than me. Of course, I was very interesting with him. We met for about a year, and I didn’t see any warning signs, except that once he had climbed up with someone to fight. Then it jarred me, but more such things did not happen again, ”Lena recalls.
To build a successful career, Brian lacked a master's degree, which he decided to receive in the United States. The American persuaded Elena to go with him to San Francisco. They flew to California in June 1996 of the year, hoping that they would spend only half a year in America until Brian finished his university program. However, with the end of education he did not work out. Instead, Brian was unexpectedly offered a job in San Francisco. Then he offered Lena to marry him and stay in America.
“Our wedding was very modest, and even she was late for her. But then I thought that there was nothing wrong with that. At first we lived in a bad area, rented a small room in which there was not even a kitchen. Brian rather unceremoniously stated that I should look for a job, but this prospect did not frighten me at all - in any case I was not going to sit on his neck. Then I found not even one, but three works. Morning and evening shifts, I worked in one restaurant, during lunch - in another, and on weekends - in the tourist center. I really wanted to work in this center, and went there every day until they gave me a job, ”says Elena.
Then the indefatigable Lena found another side job - a model. Slender blonde, she starred in television series and was photographed in a bikini. Once, when she was making sandwiches at her workplace, in a cafe, Lena met two Russians. They told that they are arranging government conferences for high-level delegations from Russia, and are looking for a coordinator. So Elena found her new job.
“Presidents of many companies, government officials who tried to establish business and trade relations with the Americans came here. Even the mayor of San Francisco came to one of the conferences, and then I met him personally. Bill Clinton came to one of the events - then he was still the president of the United States, and I managed to shake hands with him. Once I was offered to be a stripper. Of course, I refused, and, indignant, I informed Brian about this. He answered only: "And what, it was necessary to agree." It jarred me very much, and then I seriously thought about our relationship, ”she recalls.
This phrase was only the first bell. Brian began to drink frequently, make scandals, and even give up.
“Once he pushed me out of a moving car. I was very modest then and did not know how to stand up for myself. I just felt very bad, ”says Lena.
Suddenly, Elena had a fan. At first he sent her flowers, and then he appeared himself. Lena immediately said that she was married, but agreed to have a friendly relationship with a new acquaintance. She saw him only a few times and sometimes she was friendly on the phone, because, according to her, her husband behaved in isolation, and she simply had no contact with anyone. However, Brian began studying her phone calls and found an unfamiliar number.
“On my birthday, when I was going to go to work, he went into the room, tore off my dress, tore it to pieces and made a scandal. Then I packed up and left him. Stopped at a friend. It was in 1998, ”says Lena.
After that, Brian quit his job in the United States and came to Moscow, to Elena's parents, where he began to complain to his daughter. When Lena arrived in Moscow, both her husband and parents convinced her to give him a second chance. However, the second attempt was even worse than the first.
“Brian began again to roll up scenes of jealousy, to recall that I was leaving him. He began to drink again, and then serious assault began, right up to the bruises. He constantly shouted at me. However, I tried to build relationships. He developed a sense of guilt in me, and I began to blame myself for everything. Sometimes he could grab me, hit me on the doorjamb. At this time my mom showed cancer, she was dying. I was so depressed that I didn’t even want to run away from him. It was a feeling like: "That will, that bondage is all the same." After mom's death, Brian again tried to mend relations, even bought us Hawaii tickets, ”says Lena.
After the holidays, the couple returned to San Francisco, where Brian got drunk again, and this time not only beat Lena, but tried to strangle her. In horror, she broke away and ran into the night. It would seem that after such a life together there could be no question, but the matter suddenly took an unexpected turn - while resting in Hawaii, Lena became pregnant.
“Of course, I couldn’t forget what he was capable of, but after each trick Brian apologized, and I tried to focus on the good and think about the child,” she explains.
Helen with a newborn baby was in San Francisco when Brian worked in Moscow. Then the woman understood - her husband has a lover.
“I then was just not up to it - I was engaged in a child. I could no longer work with the baby in my arms, I lived with his parents, and my husband gave me 300 dollars a month, which were enough only for diapers. But I went to study, because I understood that I would have to leave him sooner or later. He worked in Moscow and came here quite rarely. We are distant from each other, ”says Elena.
For an excellent study, a student from Russia received a grant - the possibility of a two-month internship in Prague. Her husband insisted that she not live in a hostel, but in a house he had rented. It turned out that even before her arrival in the Czech Republic, Brian lived in this house and had fun there with prostitutes.
“He spent thousands of dollars on them while he and I gave us only 300 dollars a month with a child! - Lena is outraged. “It hurt me not so much for myself as for the child.”
Then, finally, she decided to leave her husband: with two suitcases and with a three-year-old son, into the unknown. For a month she lived with friends, found a job and began to rent a small studio.
“For half a week the child lived with his grandmother, and the rest of the time he was with me. The ex-husband never paid me alimony and did not even get a formal job so that I could not demand anything from the court. But it was easier for me to make money myself than to mess with him. I took nothing from him at the divorce. I was not yet a citizen of the United States and was very afraid of the courts and the fact that they could take the child away from me. I did not know about any assistance programs, I just tried to look for additional side jobs. Meanwhile, Brian said that due to the death of his father, he is postponing the court session related to the divorce to another date. However, when I came to the court at the appointed time, it turned out that the consideration had already ended without me. Brian left the courtroom and happily announced: "You owe me 60 thousand dollars." I cried, realizing that I would never collect such money, and not understanding why I owe them, ”says Lena.
A single mother beat the thresholds of law offices, but in vain - for her help, lawyers demanded several thousand dollars, which she did not have.
“Desperate, I agreed to work in some kind of lingerie show, something like an escort. I had no choice - I had to feed the child. A new chef informed me in the evening that the first order had appeared. I didn’t even know what to do, but I hoped that it’s not about sex. My client was Charles. It seems that he did not want to call anyone, but he was lonely, and a friend persuaded him to invite a girl. We sat down and began to talk: about life, about politics, about culture. I read to him "Eugene Onegin" in English, and we talked all night. There was nothing between us, not even a kiss, but we immediately felt that we were soul mates. I told him my situation, and he offered help - just like that, although he didn’t have much money, ”recalls Lena.
Charlie helped find a lawyer, and it turned out that Elena Bryan shouldn't have any sixty thousand. On the contrary, according to the results of the last trial, it turned out that he owed her that. True, Lena never achieved a debt from her ex-husband. All subsequent years, Brian tried to poison Elena to live, filed new lawsuits and even complained to the police. These attempts did not end with anything but nerve damage. And all this time her new husband, Charles, was near and supported Lena and his adopted son.
“We immediately realized that we were surprisingly close to each other. The day after the first meeting, Charles came to me. We again talked deep into the night, and he stayed overnight at my place. We spent the next day together, and still could not stop talking. As a result, he remained again - and forever, ”she admitted.
Charles Johnson made an offer to Elena six weeks after they met. He said that he immediately felt: she was precisely his man.
“After Brian, I was very afraid of marriage and offered to get engaged first, rather than sign off immediately. He introduced me to his mother and immediately introduced me as his bride. His mother did not even know that he was going to marry, ”recalls Lena.
Elena Johnson lives with her second husband in a happy marriage for 13 years already. Her son has recently come of age. Lena assures: the soul mate can be found anywhere in the world, and the difference in mentalities does not interfere with genuine intimacy. Americans, like Russians, are very different people, and one experience may be diametrically different from another.
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