Sunday, December 20, 2009
You don't know how good you have it. I cook, clean and care for you. I drive you to the doctor's, I pay for your insurance, your life. For over 2 years now you have been actively seeking out women to cheat on me with. I am not sure if and how many times you have actually succeeded in this. I know why I stay but I don't know if you know why I am still here.
I am here because you are disabled and I promised "in sickness and in health". While I don't think anyone would blame me for leaving you, I don't know if I can be that woman - the one who leaves the physically and mentally disabled man.
And yet I wonder what you tell these women you email. I wonder if every time I go out of town for a day or a few days if you are meeting someone for a tryst? I wonder if I should start having my OB/GYN check me for STD's? I wonder how you can sit in church on Sunday morning without the guilt eating you alive?
If you were not disabled I would have divorced you in 2007 when this first came to light. If it were not for you I would not have left the job I liked to take the one I didn't but paid more. If it were not for me spending far too much time on personal things (like your disability applications) at work I wouldn't have lost the job I hated.
The thing that kills me is I met someone else, someone who is kind, caring, sweet, someone who I have an almost electric attraction with. We both feel it, one night in a moment of weakness I spent some time alone with him, he held my hand, he stroked my knee, he told me I did not deserve what was happening to me. I resisted temptation. I will not be THAT WOMAN. I will not be the one to cheat. And yet I think when I find out more and more about your ridiculous sex site accounts and the things you say you want from these women - I think if only you were gone maybe just maybe I could develop a relationship with a man that knows what it means to be faithful.
I have to remind myself frequently that your disability is not just physical. That mentally you are incapable of making logical decisions. And I'm so sad that I am tied to you by vows I guess I never thought I'd have to keep even though I know you are not keeping up your end of the bargain.
It sucks. I cook, clean, care for you, and yes I still love you. And day in and day out you betray me in the worst possible way while I have to pretend I know nothing about it. I'm 39 years old and feel trapped by all of this responsibility and duty. Trapped is no way to live.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I'm angry. I've been angry for three years, five months and ten days. That was the day you called me in the middle of the night (afternoon in your time zone) to tell me that you are an alcoholic and suicidal and you needed my help to come home. We spent so long on the phone and for the first time in my life I used my social work skills on a family member to make a contract with you that you would not kill yourself that night. When I hung up with you, and then with our parents, I collapsed into bed and sobbed into my husband's arms for hours. And the entire time there was a little voice nudging me from the far corners of my consciousness saying "what is all this stress doing to the baby?" You see, this was my first child, and I was new at this, and I was worried that all this stress on that poor little five-month-old fetus might cause some negative effects.
A few weeks later you arrived home. Against my advice (and all my training), you chose to stop drinking cold turkey. I warned you about the side effects, but you thought you would be fine. At 6 months pregnant I found myself trying to roll your stiff body onto your side so you wouldn't choke on any potential vomit while you were in the middle of a seizure (recommendation of the 911 operator). I was the one who tearfully convinced you to ride to the hospital in the ambulance instead of me driving you (terrified that you might seize again on the way). The entire time, that little voice in my head kept worrying "what about the baby?"
My second and third trimesters were filled with phone calls and planning sessions with you and our parents. Despite the fact that I had worked with countless families over the years with very similar situations, my suggestions were rarely heard or followed. I always knew when you had a particularly bad spell because the daily emails from our mother would stop. Then, a few days later I would hear about how you tried to slit your wrists in the shower, or how you were arrested for a DWI - twice (the second time after sideswiping a tractor trailer truck).
I'm angry that my entire pregnancy - my first child, our parent's very first grandchild, was overshadowed with your illness. I'm angry that our mother began to get hives every day when leaving work because she never knew what to expect when she arrived home. I'm angry that you showed up to my son's birth drunk (and you drove there!) I'm angry that our grandmother used her fixed income to pay your DWI fines. I'm angry that I start to worry when three days go by without hearing from our mother because that almost always means you've relapsed again. I'm angry that you've mooched off our parents for over three years now, giving little if anything in return. I'm angry that you were sober for so long, and I trusted you to watch our son for an afternoon, and you got drunk. I'm indescribably grateful that a friend happened to stop by and notice something off with you and call us so that we could race home to find our 8 month old scared and upset but not injured. You irrevocably damaged our relationship that day. Nearly two years later, I still haven't been able to forgive you for that incident. I have of course never trusted you to be alone with my children again either.
I'm angry that three years into your "recovery" you're still having relapses. You (finally!) found a part-time job, and with your very first paycheck you bought alcohol, hid it and drank for weeks. Now you want to get your license back and somehow I'm supposed to believe that your very first trip out of the house won't be to the liquor store.
I'm angry that you were often treated differently by our parents. You were the one who could crawl into bed with them after a bad dream while I was sent back to my room. You were the one who got a kitten for your birthday where my pleas fell on deaf ears for years. I didn't get a car until you were old enough to drive and "share" it with me. In high school and college I always worked 2-3 jobs. You just started your first part time job at the age of 26. Our parents always paid your rent and food and tuition bills. I still hear about the one month when I was a junior that I didn't have quite enough money for rent (despite working 30 hours a week and maintaining a full course load). Did our parents somehow always suspect that you were the "weaker" sibling? Did their special treatment help to contribute to your addictive personality?
I can't tell anyone in our family that I'm angry at you, because I'll sound mean and unsympathetic. They won't understand my anger and frustration. I have no where else to go with these feelings, so I write them here (yes, I know about ALANON. I've been before, but it feels like I'm sacrificing my already scarce free time to address your disease, and that just makes me more frustrated). I know that alcoholism is a disease. I know that you don't have control over this disease, that it controls you (and the family around you). I know that you don't want to be this way. Despite all of that, I'm still angry. I'm angry at the disease, and at what it's done to you. I'm angry that we've talked about this exact hazard for years. You've known and understood that our mother is an alcoholic since you were in middle school. I know you were a little lost when I left for college - you were stuck in the house with the drunk mother with very few opportunities to talk, but I tried to make myself available to you - I called often, and we emailed when we could and I visited regularly. You know and understand the genetics and the science, and you knew the risks involved when you started to drink in college. We were so very close for so very long. I'm angry that you didn't come to me, didn't talk to me, didn't ask for help before it was too late.
I'm angry that I've lost my sister. I don't think I'll ever see her again.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I suffer an involuntary pang of jealously at every pregnant woman I see. Of course I’m jealous of the stay at home wife with a six-figure earning husband who has an decorator design the baby room and gets mommy massages and has her prenatal yoga class before her appointment with the midwife at the private birthing center, not that I know any of those in real life. I’m also jealous of the young unwed mothers in the grocery store with their pimply baby-daddies dragging sullenly behind, of the cute girl I used to like until she married some ugly “godly” dude and went crazy and moved to the Middle East to live in a mud hut, and of the friend who can’t afford the two kids she has with her good-for-nothing husband and who deliberately got pregnant again on welfare. I don’t envy these people’s lifestyles, I am really grateful for my own husband over any of theirs, and I don’t want to be them, but why do they get to have kids and I don’t? Don’t bother telling me the problems and stress that their ill-timed pregnancies will bring, don’t tell me how smart it is to wait until you are financially stable to have children, don’t give me statistics about how waiting a few years can make all the difference. I want babies. I am really getting obsessed with this, experiencing feelings of longing and anger several times a day as I think about or see pregnant women or moms with young kids.
My husband wants to have children, and more than just one or two, or I wouldn’t have married him. But he wants to wait until we are more financially secure (i.e. have a house, not just renting) before we do. I understand the wisdom in that. He wants to have some time to ourselves (we’ve been married a year and a half), to be free to sleep in on weekends, to be able to buy tools and furniture and such, and have two incomes. I understand the wisdom in that. These are good things, and a lot of that does stop or at least slow down when you have kids. His thoughts make sense and his plan is designed to bring us and our children the best. But I don’t care, because I want them now. In addition, my PCOS could make getting pregnant take longer, so I worry that waiting even a few years will impair my fertility and reduce our chances of having our own. If that happens, I will be mad. Like marriage counseling mad. I’ve told him all this.
Bottom line, I don’t trust my husband and I don’t trust God to give me good things. I’m so selfish, but if I don’t try to fulfill my desires, who will?
Monday, December 14, 2009
Posted by Anonymous.
I’m so sad.
I’m scared. I’m scared that in this instance hindsight has totally burned me.
In the summer of 2007 I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I made the decision to terminate that pregnancy. That decision was the hardest decision that I have had to make in my life so far. This was not a decision that was made lightly. We talked and talked and when we thought we couldn’t talk anymore about it we talked some more. In those talks he told me that of course he wanted to have another child with me but that at that time in our lives it was not a good time for us to have another baby. I agreed with him. I still agree with him. At that point in our life it was really not a good time to have another baby.
Here I am today a little over two years after the termination that I was and still am ok with it. My husband has made up his mind that he doesn’t want anymore children. We have one child that I love with so much completeness it makes me ache. But I never pictured myself as someone that would have only one child. In a perfect world I would have a lot of children but the reality is that I definitely wanted two. I feel like we talked about this all through our marriage and before we had kids but maybe we didn’t agree then either. I don’t know.
The point is, here I am wanting, like the kind of wanting that oozes through every cell of your body type of wanting, another child. My husband does not want another child. He’s done. What hurts is not just this impass. We will work through this; we’ve worked through much larger things than this. What is breaking my heart is that at the time when we were faced with one of the most difficult decisions ever, I was under the impression that he did want to have more children. At the time that was a very comforting thought. Because to me it meant that it was ok to think that it wasn’t the right time, that we would in fact have another child at some point and that the decision (we) I was making was really going to be ok.
Now it just feels like he lied to me to get his way.
I don’t know how much of that I truly believe. He was very much torn up over all of this. As was I, obviously. I just feel betrayed.
Yes we’ve talked about this since the termination and his response is that he was not lying to me then but that he’s just happy with the way things are now and doesn’t want to change that. I can respect that. I really can. It doesn’t make the hurt go away or make it feel any less painful.
So here I am now wondering if I knew then what I know now would I have made the same decision. I just don’t know.
What I do know is that I’m hurt. I’m sad. I feel betrayed. I feel like a part of me is missing and unfulfilled. I also know that in order to stay as the family unit of three that we currently are I will feel these things for a lifetime.
I refuse to guilt him into having another child with me. That notion is just too far away from who I am for me to be ok with.
I will continue to cry silently at night when I know he’s asleep. I will continue to wonder at all the what ifs. I will continue to be scared of the questions that will come from our child when she gets older.
For now I will put on my brave face and go forward. For now that’s all I can think to do.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I have an autistic son who is truly a bit of God broken off and fallen to this earth. I am fortunate in a a million ways that he is oh... let's say autism-lite. He has none of the most challenging behavioral and cognitive elements of the disorder and his therapy is moving faster than anyone could have imagined. I am in no way brave about this, and his diagnosis did very nearly turn me to dust, but recently someone asked that I write a letter to her friend, a stranger, who is struggling with her daughter's recent diagnosis. So I gave it my best shot.
This diagnosis is a pointing finger and nothing more. And now it’s my turn to whisper the important words--words that flicker just brightly enough to keep you from falling the whole hard way down: Your beautiful child remains your beautiful child, regardless of where a finger points. Mothers of auties pass those words down to new mothers of auties like some families pass down silver, and it may well be that this one act and these few words are the single speck of autism that we mothers hold in common.
Autism is so many things, so many different ways of being. People will ask you “what is autism?” Believe me, they’ll ask you all sorts of things, but when they ask this particular question, they may as well ask, “what is skin?” How do you answer? How can you? But since no mother begins this trip with answers and since you cannot give what you don’t yet have, leave it, just leave it. . Also, it’s very important right now that you pack lightly, so you must leave other people’s stuff behind. This is your trip and that pointing finger is where you start.
Take this road through whatever terrain you must--anger, grief, frustration--and know that you will come out the other side a changed and stronger mother. Go ahead and take the long road with all the hills and muddy spots. Stop where you feel the need, think a lot about turning around, and understand that you will always bitch about why you have to do all the damned driving. But you will drive and drive. And then drive some more. You will keep moving forward, I promise.
Claim your place now among like-minded mothers and know that we are tough. We will stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder, stretch mark- to-stretch mark because we have all done the drive, in our own way, at our own speed with our own stretch of muddy spots.
My autie is a million kinds of magic to me. Just as he had no words for the first five-ish years of his life, nor do I have words to explain our bond. His everyday obstacles show up on time every day, but they loom only as large as we allow. So often, too often, we show off those obstacles—we set them apart and make absolutely certain that we can say, “That’s my kid there, and wow, will you just look at the size of his obstacles ? They are RIGHT THERE and THEY ARE HUGE.”
Let me be very clear now, that those same obstacles have no power over the magic, not the least little bit. Say that outloud to yourself right now. Good. This child sits closest to my heart and I can tell you that even in his worst moments, I can see tiny bits of my best self. He is unbridled joy. He has a lightness that comes in quite handy during the darks. And while my chaos is just boring mommy chaos, his chaos is—well, he’s often quite glorious in his chaos. My own road is occasionally strewn with his gifts of glory wrapped in sticky chaos Now, understand that these gifts are rare and precious, mostly unexpected and sometimes quite sticky. Some days you will have to look long and hard to find even the dullest one. Some days you’ll give up looking altogether. Again, please know that giving up on today can never, ever forfeit the gifts scheduled for tomorrow. Keep looking. You’ll see.
Daniel’s diagnosis shattered me like a rock hitting glass--a big ugly hard thing hitting a not very sturdy at all thing. We sat in that tiny room with the tiny chairs and filled out those very not-tiny-at-all pages of parent questionnaires and I cried. The whole time. Long pages. Lots of crying.
Not a good day, to be sure, but one that you’ve now survived. You remember the tiny room with those tiny chairs, and you surely recall filling out the stack of parent questionnaires. You might also recall that your answers were often limited to three choices: Often, Sometimes and Not At All. So do you bend your beautiful child to fit those tight little circles? Oh, you know that answer already. And when you worry that your daughter's diagnosis might change how you see her, who she is, and who she might become, that answer fits quite nicely into one of those circles.
That answer is Not At All.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I am usually very confident about my parenting decisions. I either confidently make the best decision or confidently accept that I cannot do the best thing and that what I’m doing instead is good enough. I think carefully about my choices and usually feel good about the ones I make.
But there is one issue where I waffle, where I feel insecure, where I get defensive, and where I feel guilt over possibly making the wrong choice.
My son is not normal. I hate writing those words. I hate writing them because I reject the concept of normal. Of needing to conform. Of needing to be like and behave like everyone else. That aside, by the standards of the world around us, my five year old son is not normal.
* He has always been a spirited child, by every definition of the term.
* He is an anxious kid. He cannot go to sleep without parental presence at night. He’s just manipulating us people say. But it is more than that. He is truly scared. He sometimes goes through periods of stress where he clears his throat constantly or chews on the collar or sleeve of his shirt.
* He has extreme oral aversions to certain foods and textures. He is not just a picky eater (although he is that too). He will literally gag and have a major panic attack if he puts something in his mouth that his system, for whatever reason, does not like.
* He cannot sit still and cannot wait his turn. Not at school. Not at home.
* He is not yet dry at night.
He could have an anxiety disorder, a sleep disorder, an eating disorder, a hyperactivity disorder.
He is genetically predisposed to this. My husband and his father both suffer from anxiety. I have always had sleep issues. My brother and I were the weird kids in school, the ones shuffled off to “special” activities for the socially inept. There could be other explanations too, not necessarily that caused the issues my son is facing (since these things do tend to be genetic), but that perhaps exacerbated them. Things like the amount of stress I dealt with during my pregnancy (two very traumatic events).
I know that mental illness is very real. I have friends who deal with it everyday. I have friends who have successfully taken medication to deal with their illness (be it ADHD or anxiety or other) and have gotten their lives under control. I have seen them on and off their meds and I’ve seen the difference it makes. I know the disease is real. I know medication can make a difference.
Yet I hesitate to seek a diagnosis for my son.
* I hesitate because of the label. I worry about how it would make him feel (right now he is confident, likes himself a lot and has no inkling that he might not be like every other kid in every way). I worry about how others would treat him. That worry comes from how I was treated when I was sent off to special activities at school. Believe me: the other kids knew the difference between the times I was sent out for advanced French and when I was sent out to learn how to be more normal. Maybe if I felt like I benefited from it, I would feel differently. But I got the label of being odd without the benefit of anything that truly helped.
* I hesitate because he is doing well in his school. Despite the fact that he cannot sit still in class, he is excelling academically, he loves his teachers and they love him, he has friends, he enjoys himself and they cater to his needs. However, it is a small school that does not have the resources to deal with learning disabilities and a label or diagnosis could result in him having to leave the school. Am I sure he would have to? No. Do I want to ask outright? No. I think that would draw attention to the possibility and result in them asking him to be assessed. I know he would not thrive in our local public school for many reasons and I don’t want to have to send him there because of a diagnosis.
* I hesitate because we’re making progress. He tried two new foods in the past two weeks. That may be more than he has tried in the past two years. We no longer have to lie down with him for him to go to sleep. We can now sit on a chair outside his room with the door open and read something while he goes to sleep without him having a major panic attack. He hasn’t had any episodes recently of obsessive throat clearing or other tics.
While I understand how medication can help other people (and have seen it help other people), I think that if he can learn to deal with his anxiety and his aversions and his hyperactivity, if he can get it under control himself with our help, then he will be better off in the long-term. I’ve seen people do well on medication, but I’ve also seen what happens when they go off their meds because the side effects get to them or because they just don’t want to anymore.
Could therapy help? Maybe. But I don’t have a lot of trust in the medical establishment and, as mentioned above, I worry about the label and what that would do to him personally and to his school situation.
Do I sound confident about my choice? If I do, I faked you out the way I fake myself out every day.
I hated being labeled. I felt restricted by it. As soon as I was out of the environment where I was the “special” kid, I excelled. My husband on the other hand has never had any treatment for his anxiety and still suffers from it today. It isn’t debilitating, but it does create challenges for him sometimes.
There are good days, where I feel like I am making the right choice. Days where we see progress. Days where he seems like a normal kid. But there are also days where I feel like I am making the wrong choice. Where he would be happier and feel more in control if he were medicated and able to control his emotions and his impulses.
I feel guilty about not seeking a diagnosis. But I would also feel guilty about seeking a diagnosis. I feel trapped.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
"I'm sorry...we can't find a heartbeat."
Those words still bring tears to my eyes. It's been six days and I feel that lump in the throat when I read that sentence. It's the one that you try so hard to swallow down, but it seems like nothing can make it go away. Nothing but hot tears streaming uncontrollably down your cold cheeks.
Talking about it has helped a lot, so I figure the best way to get past all of this is to write about it. So here is my story.
I had a miscarriage.
That was last week. This story begins several years ago. My husband asked me about two years ago if I was ready for kids because he "didn't want to be an old dad." (I'm 27 now and he's 28) But I wasn't ready.
Last year, we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary and I told him over a candlelit dinner that I wanted to have children. We'd paid off our credit cards, we both had stable jobs and we owned our own home. I felt like the timing was finally right in my life. He was excited and surprised to say the least.
A few months later I got off of the pill. At first, my periods were a slight disappointment, but there was "always next month." After four months of failure I convinced myself I was pregnant. Turned out it was just a stressful month and my cycle was irregular. I cried the night my period started. I started to lose hope. I couldn't understand why this wasn't happening as quickly as I wanted it to. I wanted this so badly.
We decided to get away from it all and take a long weekend in Vegas. One of my best friends and her husband met us there. I had cramping in the airport on the way there. I figured my period was starting again, so I didn't think much of it. After three days in Vegas, my friend convinced me to take a pregnancy test.
It was positive.
And so was the one after that.
I cried, I shook, I was absolutely in shock. I was so happy, so elated. So scared. I was in utter bliss after that moment. My dream--our dream, had finally come true.
As soon as we got back home I started to feel sick and have severe cramping. I cramped so badly I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe or even cry. I called the doctor and she suggested I have my blood tested. My hormones were "a little on the low side." So at six weeks, she prescribed some hormones for me to take.
At eight weeks I had my first ultrasound. The ultrasound technician turned off all of the lights in the room. The only thing turned on was the monitor hanging on the wall. The room was consumed with the sound of the pounding of that little heart. "There's your baby" she told me cheerfully. It was so surreal. It was so wonderful. It was terrifying. I really did have this little baby growing inside of me.
I heard the heart beat. I saw the heart beat. It was a little slow and since I've researched everything to death I automatically recognized that there was a problem.
Later the doctor mentioned it to me in passing. She suggested I take another blood test and come back in two weeks to monitor the heart rate. She also mentioned the baby was only measuring 7 1/2 weeks. But she didn't seem alarmed. If anything she seemed optimistic. She was my personal cheerleader.
The next day I got the call I was dreading. My hormone levels were still too low. I found out that at 6 weeks my progesterone was only at 15 and should've been at 20. At 8 weeks, my progesterone was still at 15...that was with my intake of hormone supplements. It should've been at 25...on my own. The nurse told me to increase my hormone supplements some more.
As soon as I hung up the phone I burst into tears. For the first time in this pregnancy, I was really terrified for my baby. I was so scared. I was so utterly helpless.
The following weeks consisted of me trying to be even healthier, going for walks with my dogs, eating more fruits. I did everything I could to make this baby healthy. I took my hormones, my pre-natal vitamins and I avoided anything that I had read anywhere could possibly be harmful.
At 10 weeks I went into my precautionary ultrasound. My heart raced and I felt more nervous than I had ever been in my life. I had a different ultrasound technician, she seemed confused as to why I was there. I explained the low heart rate to her. So she began the ultrasound.
Silence overpowered the room. Then I saw the baby. I was so relieved to see it. The technician asked me a second time how far along I was.
"This baby is only 7 1/2 weeks along."
Someone please wake me up.
She left to get the doctor to "get a second opinion." The ultrasound technician who does ultrasounds all day long. The woman who earns her living looking at fetuses and listening to their tiny hearts beat was getting a second opinion...
I laid on the cold table begging myself to keep it together. Begging and willing myself not to cry.
She came back in without a doctor, but had a small teddy bear in her hand. I thought to myself, please tell me they don't give you a teddy bear to console you for the loss of your child. That's when I recognized it as a breast cancer bear.
"Look what someone gave me in the hallway. I had breast cancer five years ago." She went through and told me about her very personal and private fight with cancer.
That's when I was positive my baby was dead.
Why else would a complete stranger tell me these events of her life, other than to offer me hope and perspective. Yes it's a horrible thing, but hey, it's not cancer.
Then my cheerleader came in. She checked the ultrasound again. The picture this time was very clear. The baby had not grown. The baby had no heart beat. My baby was gone.
"Are you alone here today?"
That's when she told me the words that I would've done anything not to hear.
I burst into uncontrollable sobs. I lost all of my self-control. I became a blubbering mess. I was so embarrassed. I was ashamed. I couldn't think straight at all.
They led me to another room to sob in silence for a few minutes. All I wanted to do was leave. I wanted to run out of there crying. I wanted to crawl into my bed and sob until I couldn't breathe anymore. I wanted to erase all of this.
But I sat in that room. I sat in that room and tried to compose myself. I was halfway there, when the doctor came in to discuss my "options."
Wait for it to happen, or make it happen.
I decided for the surgery. I wanted to put this all behind me. I wanted to forget. I wanted to pretend like nothing ever happened.
But it did happen.
The rest of that day I spent telling the people I love and care about the most that I had lost my precious gift. The thing I wanted so badly was gone forever. Each time I told someone it became more real to me. It forced me to accept this undeniable truth. And no matter how much I was consoled about "next time it'll work out" it'll never bring this baby back.
I kept trying to remain logical about it...It wasn't meant to be...It was for the best...Something was wrong with it...It was still early in the pregnancy...It could've been worse...
All of these things help, but not enough. The questions that flew through my mind that weekend were overwhelming. I went from complete sorrow to utter rage. Why did this happen to us? We are good people! What did I do wrong?! Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why do I have to be a statistic? I don't care that it happens to 1 in 4 women. Why me? Why us? WHY?!
Then I began to feel contempt and jealousy for any pregnant woman or woman carrying a baby. She's not taking care of it. She's not a good mother. I could do so much better. This isn't fair. It isn't right. She doesn't deserve that baby.
Yes. I thought those things. I felt those things. I said those things. I spewed hatred for anyone who had what I lost. People who knew nothing of my situation. People blissfully unaware. People who had the most amazing gift of all.
I hated myself for thinking those thoughts. I hated the person I was becoming.
My dad used to say "it takes a significant emotional event to change a person." Those words rang through my ears as I contemplated whether or not I was to change. And what would I change into? A hateful, barren woman who avoided children at all costs? That's not who I want to be. I love kids and I always have. I've felt nothing but joy for parents-to-be.
My family and friends have tried their best to offer their help. Everyone has different ways of helping and all of them in their own way have helped me immensely whether they realize it or not.
My husband has been nothing but supportive these past few days. My personal comedian and entertainer. He's done everything he could to lift my spirits and help me get past this. I worry about him. He doesn't really talk about it, but I know he's trying to get through this just as I am. I don't know if I could've made it through this without him. He's been my rock. Even as I relapsed this past weekend into sobs of anger and sorrow he was there for me. Consoling me every step of the way. I've always known it, but this experience has shown me that we truly can get through anything together. We are an inseparable team.
I had my D&C a few days later. The medical term sounds so much nicer than what it really is. So much nice than "removing my dead baby from my womb." My D&C. I was scared and I was nervous. Without going into too much detail, I was put under full anesthesia and felt nothing but some cramps afterward. When I woke up my first thought was "it's done" and a tear filled my eye. But I quickly remembered where I was, and pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. I was released the same day and brought home to rest.
Going back to work was nerve wrecking. I didn't think it would be. But the night before I hardly slept a wink. I was so worried about the stares, the thoughts. The looks of pity. I didn't want that. I just want to put it behind me. It was nothing like I pictured. I was accepted back to work just as I had been before. Nothing was mentioned. Nothing was said. It was just as I had requested and for that I'm unbelievably gracious.
I hope someday my dream will come true. But it doesn't change the fact that this baby is gone. What happens in Vegas, apparently does stay in Vegas. Because I will never hear my baby cry or hold it in my arms.
And I can never bring it back again. Ever. It's gone.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I'm 20. I'm a full time student, training to be a teacher, working part time as a tutor. I'm living at home with my parents since it works out better for me financially, and my parents enjoy having a babysitter/chief cook and bottle washer, and I think it's a pretty low price to pay considering I live here rent and bill free.
Well. It was, until recently.
It is my mother's second marriage, and he is my step father. I have known him since I was 2, and I call him 'Dad'. I would call him my father. I noticed when they argued, but it didn't happen often. My mum had a few friends from her time at university and saw them occassionally - but since my dad got us to move when she graduated, she very rarely got to see them. My dad had no friends, and never went out at all unless it was with us, or to go to work. My mother was stuck in a new area, with no means of transport, two children under the age of 10 (myself and my older brother) and a newborn baby (my little brother, J) and a husband who refused to take her to meet people or show her around the area. At the time, she dealt with it because she knew leaving with a newborn in a new city and two school aged children was impossible. And of course, they'd just got married so there was a chance of it improving.
It never did.
Things limped on. My dad had some debts that she knew of, from before they'd met, but he refused to let her see the bank statements. One day she'd had enough, took the statements and had a confrontation. He owed (owes) an obscene amount of money. That will take the rest of his life to pay off. And he had continued spending, booking holidays, getting new credit cards to cover costs. The marriage fell apart.
And since then, it's been hell. He is insanely jealous that she has joined a gym, got fit, and made new friends and that she now goes out several nights a week. He waits up, looking out of the window, waiting to see who will give her a lift home. He constantly interrogates her about where she is going and who with and why and to do what and why is she wearing that and when did she buy that and when will she be home and how will she get home and who will drive her home. She has told him, multiple times, that she wants a divorce, that it cannot carry on, that she no longer loves him and that he needs to move out. But legally, it is half his house. She cannot make him move. And he refuses.
More than once he has just decided on a whim at the very last minute to go out to a bar, and only tells us by leaving a message on the answerphone. This happened once after my mother had already left to go for a run, expecting him home and leaving me to babysit, when he left a message. I was forced to give up my plans for the evening because I couldn't get in touch with either of them and couldn't leave my brother on his own (he has a serious heart condition which means he needs someone in the house with him at all times and regular medication). Not only that, but his beta blockers (which I can't give, since I don't know the quantities) ended up being an hour late - which could be life threatening. Because my dad was trying to stop my mother going out. He has also refused to go and pick up the beta blockers from the chemist when we'd nearly run out because, "Why should I always do it", despite the fact that he has always done it when he picks up his own medication for asthma and so on.
She has repeatedly told him not to touch her, that she is only still there because she will not move out of the house and leave my brother. His behaviour is becoming more and more erratic, whether it's from putting my brother's health at risk, or snooping through my mother's underwear drawer and her desk, or spotting my older brother in town and following him for ten minutes without actually saying hello because, "I just wanted to see what he was up to."
Tonight, my mother came home from work and went to get changed. She immediately called me upstairs to show me something. He had bought several sex books ("Foreplay Tips", "How To Please A Woman In Bed") and left them displayed on his bedside table, along with a box of chocolates that said, "GORGEOUS!" on the label. She was, understandably, very freaked out and upset since she has made it extremely clear she does not want him to be near her. She phoned my older brother, who is a police officer, for advice and she's now keeping a log of every inappropriate behaviour he displays. His behaviour isn't erratic enough to get him sectioned, he refuses to admit he is in any way creepy or inappropriate, he will not move out so that divorce proceedings can start properly. In short, he will not do anything that will make anyone's life, including his own, any easier.
My mother has started looking for houses to rent with my older brother, who has said he will move in with her and pay part of the rent. I will go with her, and possibly J, and we will fight for custody. It seems likely that we will get it, since my grandfather (my mother's father) is the one who looks after J most of the time and he has said he will not help my father look after J if there is a divorce because he does not believe he is a fit father.
My mother is feeling intimidated in her own home. My older brother and I are concerned for her well-being. And my heart breaks for my younger brother, who already has so much to deal with.
But sometimes, I just want to be selfish. I am only 20 and I am being more of a parent to J than either of my parents are right now, as well as studying, and working, and attempting to keep my 18 month relationship going. My boyfriend is very supportive (to the point of offering to rent a place and us moving in together just so I can get out of the house), but there are only so many times I can cancel plans, or say, "I'm sorry, I can't see you this week, I need to babysit" without causing tension. I am desperate for a life of my own and the more limited responsibilities of the rest of my friends.
And then I look at J and I remember losing touch with my biological father when I was his age. I remember feeling abandoned, and unloved, and worthless, and how useless must I be for my own parent to not want me. He is tall and gangling, but he is still my little brother, and he needs stability, and for someone to want his company and to laugh at his jokes, and to sometimes make him smile. So when he hugs me goodnight and I can feel his unsteady heart beat, I know that I will make my sacrifices, and I will not move out, and I will help my mother get custody, and if I need to I will live with my father so that J is not on his own. I will do it. For him.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you? Well, for once it is.
I’m the mother of a beautiful five month old guy. He wasn’t planned, he wasn’t expected and despite the terrible first few months of learning how to deal with this little alien I created, I love him to pieces. Unfortunately, there is ONE thing that is not addressed in pre-natal classes that becomes an issue after baby is born.
Breast feeding? Check – been through the hell, done that.
To swaddle or not to swaddle? Check.
Lack of sleep, lack of a proper diet? Check
Post partum depression? Check check and check!
The fact that your once supportive partner will quickly become a stranger and ‘not be able to deal’ with the changes in your relationship? Definitely NOT covered.
I’m starting to think that men should have a separate segment of pre-natal classes; how to deal with their own warring emotions, how to handle jealousy and how to realize that sure, your happiness is important, but there is now a new little demanding creature whose needs do come first.
After almost five years, he decided to leave, right after I was diagnosed with post partum depression and having to accept the fact that medication was necessary. After five years and being beyond supportive during my pregnancy, beyond supportive and helpful in the first two months of the new little one’s life, he decides he’s ‘miserable’ and can’t handle it anymore. He walks out, expecting me to grasp at any small bit of strength I can find. After five years, he decides he’s not sure if he knows what love is and has feelings for someone at work, whom he has confided all in recently. After five years, he’s decided that he’s not happy and someone else needs his support and energy more than his young son and his still adjusting wife to be.
And after all this, he expects me to be understanding, sympathetic...and not make it hellish for him when he comes to visit the little guy. He doesn’t understand why I’m so bitter, of course and why my normally in check temper comes out blaring sirens. He can’t understand why “no one wants him to be happy”
I’m supposed to be supportive and keep it together. It’s not easy.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Not so dear common law husband,
You screwed up and now you are trying to be angry with me? ME? Because I didn't nag you into doing the correct thing? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? I am dealing with you being mad now and then later when your busy body family finds out what you have done (or not done) I will once again listen to a lecture. Because regardless of what happens it is always my fault.
When I finally leave you in a couple weeks (as I have secretly wanted to do for almost our whole relationship), this is the number 1 reason why. It's not because of your temper (which I hate) or your selfishness or even that you try to prevent me from having friends or a life. It is because you need to be accountable for yourself. As your girlfriend, partner, wife it is not up to me to micromanage your life and decisions.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
A part of me - a rather large part of me - wishes that you knew about this world of blogging, that you would find this blog, that you would read this post, and that you would know it was me. I would send you this in a letter or message, but I have no way of contacting you now.
It's over. It's over, and I am having such a hard time dealing with it. I always knew you would go back to her. That was never the issue. The issue was that I decided whatever time I could have with you was worth it but that I needed your help to protect my heart. I tried to make this clear and asked one thing of you: tell me the truth about the situation. You agreed.
You didn't tell the truth though, did you? You withheld information the entire time, which I was able to find out about through chance, the grapevine, and intuition, but that's even more forgivable than what you did last and what you are doing now.
You said you wanted to talk to me. We even met up, but it didn't happen - I assume because there was such a large crowd of our friends. When I tried to contact you afterward, you didn't respond. I tried 3 different times to contact you over the period of a week and give you the chance to talk to me/reschedule/keep your word. (You requested the meeting after all. If you weren't going to talk to me, why even bother?) Apparently I don't even merit a response.
For over 6 weeks now.
Don't you get it? The precaution was so I could LET GO. So I could HEAR IT FROM YOU that she was what you wanted (because in the past when things like this happened - before we were as involved - it seems you didn't want her back, and that's why you came back to me). So in my heart, I could realize that your happiness truly lies with her now.
I set myself up to let go under those circumstances because of our past. I thought I made it clear to you. I'm stuck. I'm trying to let go of the emotional connections I made with you. I am in therapy and making progress, but I still need to hear it from you.
Please. I know you rarely show the type of bravery I am asking for, but grow some ovaries. I know there is a strong woman under that passive front. Just talk to me. Help me get over this. Tell me the truth.