Where’s my note?

At the moment I’m frazzled to the core tomorrow 2 of my 3 children go back to school, I’m doing all the last minute things, hair cuts, my oldest needs a graphing calculator and graph paper, I’m paying with checks because I’m zeroed out with cash. I’m supposed to clean a house tomorrow, if I wasn’t sure that was going to happen and I’d get paid I would be even more stressed out. Although these things are triggers, my real stress is, that I know as I write this, there is a process server out there laying in wait for the man I’m legally still married to. This server was appointed by a judge because although my spouse locked his wife & three children out of the only home they knew, both he and his attorney refuse to acknowledge the divorce. So here I am waiting for the axe to fall, waiting for the text from my attorney saying its done, so I can prepare myself for him to stop calling his children or worse, take them. I’m waiting for him to stop giving me $100-$200 a week depending on the mood, until a judge decrees an order. I’m waiting for an angry phone call telling me what a fool I am, how my attorney see’s me as a cash cow & I’m stupid enough to believe her. I’m waiting to hear its all my fault, I’m waiting to hear I ruined everything. Really my stomach is in such knots I feel like I’m gonna puke. It makes me want to assume the guilty position and begin to explain. Like maybe I should drive over in my borrowed car (the borrowed car I’m driving because he doesn’t think I deserve either of the cars we bought during our marriage) and put a letter in the mailbox of the house I’m no longer living in, explaining how sorry I am that he’s being served, and how I tried to talked to him so many times. Please understand. I am truly pathetic. Where’s my note? That’s the question I should be asking? Where was my note when he changed the locks on our home 10 hours after a fight? Where’s my note that said I’m sorry I took your truck you’ve been driving for 12 years, I think I need two more than you need one. Where’s my note? How do you heal this knee jerk reaction? How do you heal a broken heart? Because the break is unconventional in the sense that my heart has turned against itself. Self destruction in its truest form. How can someone that’s already been through so much, not look out for themselves? If I was reading this in a magazine, I’d just shake my head and think what a silly woman! Where’s my mirror? When did things get so turned around that I stopped rooting for myself? Once you see it, then what? Do you just hop off the ride or do you wait for it to stop spinning? That’s where I’m at today, wanting to jump off, waiting to puke.

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Posted in children, divorce, domestic violence, relationships, seperation, verbal abuse | 2 Comments

In between

February 22, 2013 was the last day I spent at the house I thought I’d always live. The kids and I have been living on our own for almost 5 months now. Writing it down I’m face to face with the fact that 5 months is actually quite a while. Statistically I’m a tally mark on the victory side. In two weeks I’m officially a student again after almost 20 years and 3 kids, certainly that secures my against the odds story. My knee jerk answer is I’m happy, my heart is at peace. I’m happy to go home. I look forward to the weekends, I’ve almost forgot I used to dread them. I fear nothing. There are no eggshells to walk around. This summer I took my kids to the pool, a lot, and I wore shorts. Simple pleasures, but only people who were captive count freedom a luxury. Do you know what eats at me when things get quiet? Guilt, guilt and doubt. It’s crazy, but I feel guilty for being happy and the very second I allow that thought in, the doubts rise up. Was it really that bad? Am I overreacting? I can’t believe I’m even admitting it, but its the truth. I second guess what I know is true, or what I knew was true. How do you overcome? I’m not sure. I’m go an just keep following the best advice I’ve gotten & just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Just keep moving forward, sometimes it takes everything you got, but just keep putting one foot In front of the other and I’ll get there

Posted in divorce, domestic violence, relationships, seperation, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Divorce is worse than death

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It sounds like a horrible thing to say especially coming out of a domestic violence situation. The sheer fact that I’m with my children and we’re in a happy loving safe home, it truly is all I need, but given I live in a first world country abiding in it are first world problems; therefore divorce is worse than death.
Dramatic as it seems, think about it. When there’s a death people expect you to walk around in a daze to go through the stages of grief. Your loved ones send flowers, neighbors and friends sign up to bring meals.
People give you consideration. It’s an excusable absence from work or school. Airlines even offer bereavement discounts. Death can bring insurance pay checks, social security may start sending checks. Again I’m merely comparing two losses!
Divorce on the other hand for me anyways has been lonely. Friends can shy away from a domestic violence situation which is heartless but understandable. There are no flowers, which would actually be really nice. No one cooks meals or drops off cakes and casseroles. Again people distance themselves, no one wants to take a side. There’s no excused absences from school or work. No special priced airline tickets, and absolutely zero checks in the mail.

I never really compared the two. I just walked along like everyone else, I baked a pound cake and stood in line at a viewing or just hugged a friend until they ran out of tears over the loss of a loved one. I think people struggle in sympathizing with divorce for several reasons. You made the choice, you left, you chose poorly. And you’re declaring yourself a quitter. A few domestic violence campaigns try to rally the term survivor. But quitter seems to be more of what it feels like. I made the right decision. I was married for sixteen years. I wanted to be married for life. I didn’t find someone new, I didn’t get bored and start messing around. Sometimes even peacemakers have a lines that can’t be crossed. Everyone has a limit, and unlike my capital one card, my limits had deep pockets. So when my depths were reached, when my boundaries were blown to bits, It even surprised me. Sometimes a torched bridge can’t be built back, not only can’t but shouldn’t.
So I find myself alone with three kids in a tiny apartment, looking around for the next thing I can list on ebay. Wondering why I took the time to throw myself a pity party. Anyways from this day forward I will look for ways to love a friend through the death of a marriage. I will hug her till her tears run out as she mourns the demise of a thousand dreams. I will distract her children with encouragement and playdates, I’ll bake cakes and send flowers. That’s how you right wrong, you forge a new path. You rewrite your history by changing someone else’s destiny.
Love never fails…

Posted in domestic violence, relationships, seperation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The day I left

The day I left was almost like every other day, except it wasn’t…It started off the same, I got up at 6:00 a.m. start breakfast, make lunches, plug-in the hair straightener, yes I still fix my 9 and 14 yr old’s hair & technically I also fix my 3 yr old son’s hair but it’s not nearly the lengthy process, its way more of a smooth down as he runs by. I wake up the 9 yr old, her school starts first, I get her going and drive her to school, and do the same thing with the 14 yr old all with a 3 yr old in tow, as my husband sleeps obliviously away. He leaves as usual right before I get back from taking my middle schooler. The rest of the day slips away as they always do, laundry, housework, errands, throw in a little potty training. I talk to my cousin, its been a while since I’ve seen her, nothing unusual, I have three kids, she has six, that can eat away at your free time. We talk about getting together, she says why not tonight, II say why not, she mentions another cousin that lives nearby, lets see if she’s up for a reunion too, okay & of course she is, and this is where the day begins to shift, with all the kids the obvious thing is to meet at a house we can catch up and let the kids run free, I live in the middle so the obvious place is mine. This was the first red flag, to be honest I probably thought of it more as a caution light, but never the less a caution I did not heed. My husband owns his own company he does remodel & new construction on multi million dollar houses. Our house is not a multi million dollar house, it’s actually his old bachelor pad, which was nice enough, but add four people and all the fun stuff that comes with three kids and you’ve got an overstuffed middle class home. When I look at our house I see it as the place I’ve lived the longest, I see the place I brought the three most important people in my life home to. I love our home, I take care of it and keep it clean, it’s where my heart is. My husband is embarrassed by it, in comparison to what he works in everyday I understand, so he doesn’t want anybody to come over and no one to come inside, for years I’ve upheld this policy, but as the kids get older, it just happens. It’s not a bubble its a house. When my third grader gets off the bus, she reminds me of the sleepover she’s begged me for, and this was the second red flag I ducked under. My husband has a rule no sleepovers, no matter what, the answer is no, This isn’t my rule. It wasn’t up for discussion. This sleepover was with a family friend, The mom was my daughters cheer coach, she’s president of the P.T.A., she’s the girl scout leader and my daughter and her daughter have been friends for years. To me this was a perfectly normal request. My daughter would be in a safe environment with people who not only know her but love her. So I said yes. I told my husband that my cousins were coming over and that Aubre was going to a friend’s house, he left the house irritated. I went about my business getting ready and I still had to pick the middle schooler. Around six o’clock I got a call from a friend asking if my oldest daughter wanted to go to a youth group church meeting with her child, she offered to take her and bring her back home. I’ve avoided this youth group for one reason, it runs late and I have two other children, that means I’d have to put two sleeping children in the car to pick up my oldest and with all the practices and games I already go to, I don’t want to obligate to anything else. On the other hand its a great group of kids. I love the concept of lots of adult supervision, they play basketball and volleyball and then discuss relevant issues that teenagers are dealing with and they highlight what the bible has to say on these subjects. They have created it as an alternative Friday night hangout where kids can have fun and be influenced by great mentors. I know the people who started it and I know most of the volunteers. Great concept, so I said sure. I had no idea this would be the icing on my red flag cake. I dropped my middle daughter at our friends house. Another friend came over to pick up my oldest daughter & my cousins came over. Everything was great the kids had fun I had fun and my sulky husband stayed far away. About midnight my cousins were starting to leave, my husband came home and my friend called to say she was on the way with my oldest daughter. My husband had ask where she was and I told him, but that was it. Looking back he did seem irritated, and my cousin later said he was pacing and putting off really negative energy. My oldest daughter walked in the front door, my last guest left and I went to get towels to put in the hall bathroom, just as I was setting them down I heard my husband screaming at the top of his lung yelling so absurdly I couldn’t quite tell what the problem was, I walked in my oldest daughters room and he was screaming an inch from her face saying ” If you ever leave this house again with out my permission, I don’t care if it’s school or cheer, if you leave without my permission I will hunt you down and drag you back by your hair!!!” She was just backing away shaking and crying. I just in immediately and said “whoa She had my permission and she was at a church group” he cut me off and immediately turned his anger on me he said ” I don’t give a fuck what you said, what you say means nothing to me” you’re never driving your truck again and I’m cutting off your phone.” I told him “What we have is a partnership, you can’t just get mad and take everything away!” he said “oh you better bet your ass I can, and just so you know you’re in the fight for your life for these kids” He stormed out and I looked around for my 14 yr old & she was hiding under the bed shaking and crying. I calmed her down and tried my cousin who just left, all my text I recently found out are going to my husbands phone so I want to carefully word it, I don’t want to call because I hear glass breaking and my husband was still raging, this was nowhere near over, I’m holding my sleeping 3 yr old and I have my 14 yr old cuddled up against me on her bed, she’s begging me to leave, I text my friend who recently told me she stays up late and all I said in the text was, My husband is raging, I think I need to call the police. About that time my husband stormed back in and started belligerently yelling and accusing again, but I heard the doorbell ring, and everything stopped sorta like some invisible pause button, I ran to the door and he was fast at my heels, the bell rang again & he yelled out who is it. “Police” they said.My heart leaped I couldn’t believe my ears, Thank you Jesus!!!! I unlocked the door and from that point on all I cared about was getting myself and my children outta there. The police said my friend had called and she was on her way too, if I wanted to get in the car with her that was probably best. The officers told us to just get what we needed for the night, we could come back tomorrow when things cooled off. I grabbed my sleeping son and took my daughter’s hand and we started down the stairs to the front door. My husband stepped in front of me, he said “You can have her (referring to our daughter) but you can’t take him (referring to our sleeping son) my husband started prying him out of my arms, my husbands back was to the police, they didn’t step in. We made it out and safely to my friend’s car, and to my surprise, my sleepy boy woke up and sleepily sad “thank you momma for rescuing me”. I wouldn’t have thought he understood enough to articulate something like that, I’ll never know what was exactly going through his head, but I got a good guess.

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When enough is enough

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If you’re in abusive relationship, How do you know when enough is finally enough? When is it bad enough to finally ask for help? Is it really your fault, If you reach out for help will everyone else blame you too?

These were some of the many questions that ran through my head daily.

Did you know that on average a woman goes back to an abusive relationship 8 times. Do you know why? I do…

1) Guilt – This was a BIG one for me, guilt was the number one reason I stayed 16 years in a cycle of abuse. I had a hundred reasons why I felt guilty. Every time I came back every time it was because I felt guilty for his misery, and I knew (or thought) I was the one person that could end his horrific sadness, I hated to see him miserable, and even more than that I hated my kids to see him so upset, and of course I felt guilty knowing that they knew, I could fix our family by giving in and going back. 

2) I worried that I wasn’t enough, that I was taking them to a worse place. I took the kids to a battered women’s shelter, and it was amazing, I didn’t realize how unsafe I felt until I truly felt safe, but it was the transitioning that was where I had the problem, they were gonna help me transition to government housing…what? See my husband wasn’t looking for me to give me money to take care of the kids, and no one knew how long it would be until some sort of relief would come, so here came my dilemma, I’m taking my three children to a place when I have no idea if the pro’s out weigh the con’s, but I’ve heard the scary stories. At home was bad sometimes, but sometimes it was neutral. At home at least most times I knew when things were turning south, in a way I at least felt like I sorta had my finger on the pulse so to speak.

3) At least  home the rent was paid. I’ve never been responsible for that, I’ve worked before but for the last 12 years I’ve been a stay at home mom, I’ve helped my husband with his business, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot & I’m the primary caregiver for 3 really really active children.

4) That leads me to how much money do I need. The last couple of years my husband helped financially less and less, he removed me from all the accounts, checking, phone, absolutely everything, I didn’t have a debit card or a credit card, I was given small sums of random amounts of money at random times, totally contingent on how our relationship was going, if I frustrated him, if I accidentally missed one of his calls, no money for me to buy groceries, put gas in the car & pay for the random things that kids accrue. So I’ve been creative when it comes to money for a while, but I’ve never made something from nothing. Now I’m wondering how you come up with rent, rent deposit, power, power deposit, water water deposit, cable….ohhh there’s no way I can afford that. 

5) And all these thoughts just push me into a deeper feeling of helplessness. Its almost like once you’re in a abusive relationship, you’re stuck forever. That’s what it feels like, you’re stuck forever. Hopeless feels terrible!

 

 

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