A Tale of Three Husbands

V Pendragon
6 min readApr 3, 2024
The Author pre-senior year of high-school

It was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.” Macbeth

The above quote are the words I chose to place next to my photograph on my yearbook page in the year that I graduated high school. It was well chosen. It was, essentially, the summation of the nature of the responses I received when I had attempted, as a child, to relate to my mother the details of what her father was doing to me and to my closest sister when we were left in his — and his equally complicit wife’s — “care” as children.
My mother, a ‘certified’ genius, and Ripley’s Believe-It-or-Not star had married a Cuban. It was a marriage that would never have occurred had the Cuban’s family not been one of the wealthiest families in Cuba. My mother’s father had once been one of the wealthiest people in this country, but his dream-come-true had been shattered by The Great Depression. Stunned by the loss of so much, he determined that such a thing would never happen to his offspring. Thus it was that he determined that his children would all become medical doctors so that such a horror would never touch their lives. Two of his children did as they were told; the other fled.

My closest sister and I had inherited our father’s coloration, a shade my mother liked to call “olive.” Bottom line: we were brownish. Our mother was as white as she could be, as white as her parents were. My mother’s parents saw my sister and I as “other.” My sister and I were, as far as my mothers’ parents were concerned, dispensable. Thus it was that they determined to market our little bodies to their business associates and friends for a fee.

So that happened.

And we both “forgot” it… because we had to. Or else.

Needless to say, we were — quite literally — as the parlance goes — “fucked up.”

Our individual responses, however, were quite different.

My sister, in her teens, was convinced that men were after her, following her, plotting to rape her. She drove the local police to their wits end and was, ultimately committed to a mental institution where she resided until our mother sprung her and brought her home. Ultimately she joined the Hare Krishna cult, married, had the one child the sect allowed, left her husband and fled.

Me… I went a whole ‘nother direction and, after years of rampant promiscuity, “settled down” and got married except I kind didn’t get the “settle down” part right. I did manage, thanks to an exceedingly patient and exceptionally forgiving husband, to stay married for fourteen years. I had two children for him, two children that he blackmailed me into keeping when I divorced him to marry the man who would become my second husband. (The blackmail threat was that he would tell the children “what kind of person I was,” and I knew full well that I was pretty far from a “good” person, so… I figured it was better to spare the kids from that particular knowledge.)

It was a smart move on his part. I was, ultimately, glad he’d done it. My second husband was not a good man. He was, however, probably just what I deserved after the behavior I’d exhibited in my previous marriage. He felt that he owned me… and whatever money I made. During the course of our marriage I contracted a “fatal, incurable” (and disfiguring) disease… and that wasn’t good. I couldn’t make money. But at least, because there was no cure, I was ultimately able to become a guinea pig in an experimental program that was seeking a cure and so, at least, there were no doctors’ bills to pay.

Hooray! Right?

Well… kinda.

As it turned out, the ‘experimental treatment’ had only worked on one of the numerous guinea pigs so funding was terminated and the one guinea pig left — me — was removed from the treatment and sent home, ostensibly, to die.

But I didn’t die. Instead, I had a vision… yeah, that’s what I said: a vision. That very day.

I was doing yoga, and I was in I-forget-what position. The next thing I knew I saw something… unidentifiable. It seemed to sort of ‘come out of me’. It was brownish and about the size of a beaver. It sort of slithered across the room, went up the wall, and out the window.

Then there was a voice… a really big voice. And a light so bright and huge that it was all I could see and from the light came a voice: “I am an embodiment of the light. Now you have to do for others what has been done for you.”

And that was that.

The light disappeared.

I was stunned… and apparently I had a task to perform.

Long story, short, after doing some research into what — or who — “an embodiment of the light” was, (Saint Michael, as it turns out) I surmized that I was being ‘called’ to become a healer. I’d worked with a lot of alternative healers during the course of my ‘incurable’ illness, sooooo I set about doing whatever I’d need to do, learning whatever I’d need to learn, in order to help others in the way that I’d been helped.

My then-husband immediately saw in me the money he’d always felt sure he deserved to have. I set up a healing practice and he ‘handled the money,’ losing most of it speculating on the stock market. Innocent that I was, I had trusted him to set up a savings account. He’d said he would. He didn’t. And when, one day, I needed a check and he wasn’t home, I went to the checkbook to obtain one. To my surprise, the ‘name’ of the recipient of the previous check caught my eye: Hot Teenage Girl Action. Hmmmmmm.

I did a little more exploration. What I found astounded me. And there went marriage #2… this was what I had left a very good man and my wonderful children for… whatever kind of man this was.

I filed for divorce, saw that through, and moved far away. I moved closer to my daughter whom I adore. She lived in New England. And then the stock market went to hell in a handbasket, the job market dried up, and the only work I could find was half-way down the east coast, so back I went, dispirited and broken-hearted.

After some dreadfully hectic and ultimately unfortunate apartment hunting I ended up living very comfortably in the basement apartment of a woman I’d once worked with and with whom I’d stayed friends. We watched TV together every night after work and I’d occasionally read cards for folks. It was lovely… and very comforting after all I’d been through.

After quite some time I began to feel more relaxed and once I’d saved up a little money I determined to give myself a vacation and visit a clothing-optional resort that my second husband had taken me to a few times. I’d made friends with a delightful couple — the wife loved to dance; the husband didn’t… and neither had mine. So I called up my dancing friend, told her that I needed her — because a lone female dancer was gonna get waaaay too much attention — and she was tickled to acquiesce.

We met at the dance. Her husband was delighted to “just watch”. At one point, as we were all talking between slow dances, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A very nice looking man, not too much taller than I, asked me, very politely, if I would like to dance with him. I, very politely, declined, and he returned to the elderly couple he’d been talking with.

A slow song or two went by and then came something fast. The nice-looking man tapped me on the shoulder again, pointing out, as I turned to face him, that this was a fast dance… so maybe?

When I very politely turned him down again, he acquiesced, saying, “I understand. But, if you’re interested in sharing a cup of coffee in the morning, I live in the house at the end of the road on the street that bears your name.” He smiled, nodded gently, bade his friends farewell and left.

The next morning was bright and beautiful and I awoke feeling like I could use a walk and a cup of coffee.

He still makes me coffee every morning, 14 years later… and will, I hope, for quite a few more years. We’re both 77 now and this life together is our greatest treasure. (Third time’s the charm! So they say.)

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V Pendragon

Artist; Author of self-help books on healing with Ozark Mt. Publishers; survivor of two 'fatal, incurable' diseases and a healthy dose of CSA