Leesa and her husband J have been married for almost 6 years, and have been together for 7 years. They married 1 year from the day that they met online from 320 miles apart. Their journey was not an easy one. Leesa chose to move the 320 miles to marry J, however, her teenage daughter chose to stay behind with her biological father. The move was bittersweet, but she felt her ex deserved a chance to be a father. He failed miserably, and eventually, her daughter joined her and her new husband.
There was a great deal of turmoil in the young marriage. Most of which was caused by a Mexican hurricane that was constantly brewing 20 feet away. Leesa’s new mother n law despised her and took every opportunity possible to let her know just how much she was despised. The stress of this constant uneasiness made for an even worse emotionally upsetting situation than her first marriage (or they ran a close race at least).
Leesa knew early on that J had some psychological problems. She suspected Autism from the beginning, having been a special needs mom and nanny, she was very familiar and thought she could handle whatever came up. Her wonderful husband struggled in many areas of life, and as the couple began to try to make a family of their own, the fertility issues paired with multiple miscarriages seemed to make reality too difficult for J.
He spiralled into behaving like an irresponsible teenager. Having already had a past from making a terrible judgment call and doing prison time, Leesa was terrified for the safety of her husband and her daughter who was also wrapped up in the “fun” of a group known as “The Circle”. With drugs, drinking, and sex being the main topics of interest, Leesa trusted wholeheartedly that though her husband was struggling, surely he would never cross that* line.
However, not being allowed to be in his children’s lives, the rejection of his stepdaughter, the strain of a second-trimester miscarriage, and the two of them witnessing a police officer shoot and kill a man 10 feet from them (on their car) caused J (who also suffers from Bipolar Disorder and Severe Depression) to drift into an “I don’t care” mode. He made the decision to have a baby with a college student. In his mind, he thought he was making a child that he and his wife could help raise because the “college student” didn’t want full custody of the child she agreed to carry.
A child was conceived. If the affair was not enough to destroy Leesa, what followed surely would have been – you would think. The mother of his child was not a college student or the age of a college student. J’s past mistake paired with yet another wrong decision quickly landed him in jail.
Leesa and J had 3 wonderful weeks to reconcile their marriage. Leesa knew that J was not himself and was heavily self-medicating at the time he made his decisions. As she gained power of attorney, she uncovered dozens of psyche records which proved and stated that her husband had been diagnosed with NOS Autism (and or) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome when he was in his 20’s, Personality Disorders, Borderline Intelligence Disorder, and more. He was classified as criminally incompetent and unable to distinguish right from wrong. Unfortunately, she was fighting separate battles and could not afford a lawyer for him.
While her husband was locked away and left to the fate of one of the worst court-appointed attorneys available (due to the fact that the accuser had done this to multiple men in the past and all the attorneys knew her), Leesa’s daughter came forward to tell her that what he was saying, crazy as it sounded, was, in fact, the truth. Leesa’s daughter made it clear that she hated her stepdad for cheating on her mom, but as she put it “right is right and wrong is wrong and she (the accuser) was lying”. She pointed out all of the wrong statements in the newspaper article and said: “I don’t agree with what he did but you have a right to know the man you love is telling the truth.”
So, his “Superman” attempt to solve a fertility issue blew up in his face and now he has 3 children he doesn’t know (the youngest being abandoned by his mother and homeless with his grandparents who blame Leesa for everything and refuse to accept help from her) and when a man who is too mentally disabled to handle his own disability check is sent by his shady lawyer to face the judge and plead guilty, that man is handed a 15 year prison sentence.
Shortly after Leesa told her husband’s family that she was supporting him, she was given 3 days to leave the rental property. Everything that wasn’t lost to the trash was put in storage and lost later through pawning for truck repairs or when she could no longer afford the cost of a storage unit. She lived in a truck during the coldest Winter weeks of December. (Merry Christmas to you too husband’s fake family.)
Leesa and J have lost everything!
Except for their faith, hope, and love.
Leesa is the only person in the world who loves and supports J aside from friends he’s met along the way who knows he can’t defend himself so they look out for him.
It is Leesa and J’s hope that by sharing their story, they can somehow inspire, encourage, if not warn someone not to make the same wrong choices. Their message is powerful and stands strong – Love is the Answer.
The night before J’s arrest, he turned to God and said: “Lord, show me how to love my wife.”
It isn’t the method they would have chosen, but God is answering that prayer.
Please join Leesa and J as they journey through the ups and downs of a long and quite unfair incarceration. Each day they battle through emotions that most couples get to work through in counseling. They are forced to face them in 15-minute increments over the phone and express them through poetry. They haven’t seen each other face to face since he left the county jail and went to prison, December 2016 due to Leesa losing her job and car in the midst of the trauma of his sentencing.
Thank you for reading
J & Leesa Love