- 6 years ago
Going annon here, sorry about that. This is going to be a long one
I was married before, when I was younger to a man whom I loved dearly. We had so much in common. He was abused when he was younger, like me, and suffered many hardships out of poverty growing up, just as I did. We both fell into bad habits and pulled ourselves out and met much later durring college. We would rememebr what it was like going through difficult times and I fell in love with a kind compassionate man.
Somewhere that man vanished and turned into a monster. I was mentally tortured and forgotten. I worked hard (2 jobs) to keep us above water while he sat back and did nothing. I have no idea where our money went but would often hide it so we could pay rent/bills/ect. He would go into these “moods” as I called them where his personality seemed to polar oppisites. For weeks he would be depressed, wouldn’t move, eat get out of bed, shower and would only leave the bedroom to go pee or yell curses t me. Other weeks he was frantic, acting like a rat on a drownding ship. He needed to go and be “away”, or he needed to “save all the money we could”. Others he was downright mean and nasty.
When I became pregnant, it got worse. I stood up to this man I once loved but now feared and , on a good day, he agreed to go to a local mental heath clinic. He was diagnosed as being severly bipolar as well as having “traumatic brain injury” I was confused and asked many questions, none of which he answered. After filling his perscription and a few weeks of taking them he confessed to me his childhood abuse was much more severe then he admitted to me, and revieled a large scar that was undercover of his hair. He knew he had these issues and for many reasons decided that medication wasn’t something he wanted to use in his life. When he met me he tried hard to be as normal as he could, but the person I knew was who he really was.
I was devastaed. I felt used and lied to. The person I fell in love with wasn’t real. I begged him to stay on his meds and seek help, but it was no use. I stayed as long as I could, telling myslf that one day he’d wake up and be ok, chalking his abuse and words up to his illness. Never called the police, never asked for help. Carried the burden all on my own. It came to a head when my son was nearly 2 and the police were called by a nieghbor. The ex wasn’t capible of watching our son alone at all. I had never never left him alone with him his whole life. Walking to the store and pushing the stroller and carrying the grocieries was so hard, I just wanted a break. Just one. I came home to police , saying my son was found wandering the highway closeby. When the police discovered where we lived, he found and angry irate man- mad at the police for waking him up.
that was the day I left.
The last feat of meanness he did to me? He kept/gave away all my things. All my sons toys, all my clothes, his bed. All we had was a blanket and the clothes on our back. I was devestated and fell into a deep anger/depression. We didn’t speak for 4 months, and I was happy.
But i noticed our child would cry more and more, asking for my ex and looking out the window, sometimes for hours, waiting for the ex. I was torn.
I reilized that day that I was angry, hurt, and felt lied to, but our child still loved his daddy. I wanted my ex to suffer, but I didn’t want my baby to suffer too. When My ex did call, he said a very honest thing
“I love my son, but you have to help me. You have to protect him from the bad parts of me”
So I do. I check to make sure that if he’s staying overnight, his aunt and uncle (whom are very understanding and trustworthy( are going to be present at all times. I check the fridge and th e stat of the house. I call 3 times a day to make sure he’s ok. If he thinks he’s getting overwhelmed he knows he can call me and without judgement I will come and get him. He stops by and sees him at my house and over the years he’s come to be a better father. Not the best, not 100% trustworthy, not even good, but he’s trying and I’m glad.
Maybe it’s just the part of me that rememebrs what he could be, but I know he loves him the best that he knows how. And my son lves him dearly. Me and the Fiance tell my son when he asks why he can’t live with him all the time that “Mommy’s job uis to keep you healthy and safe, and X and X help to keep daddy healthy and safe.” My son is in elementry school, but I think he understands.
Child support is another thing I don’t ask for. I don’t need his help, he can’t even help himself. He doesn’t work, it’s too hard for him to hold a job, and he struggles with being medicated and on a good track to hating the meds and not taking them.
When he’s in a bad way, his aunt calls me and rescheduals the visit, and ex comes over durring the day for an hour or so until he’s in a better mind. I’ll admit, sometimes we don’t hear from him for weeks, but we understand-he knows not to come arround when he’s not doing mentally well, and if he tried I deny him. I always talk to him alone before I bring my son over, to make sure hes ok. It’s a pain, but it’s a nesessity
Now, my Fiance is the most wonderful, supportive man I could dream of. He knows that it gets hard for me, at times, to put my anger of my ex aside and not let it show, but understands why I do. He calls me strong, and amazing, saying that I keep a clear head when many could not.
His family is another story.
They’ve asked and asked why I do what I do. They’ve bombarded me with questions, asked if the ex could be ‘payed off’ so we could move (we don’t want to), asked me if “there’s anything else you could have given him when you left him that would let you move to where we live?” Asked when I’m going to stand up to him and force him to give up his son fo Fiance can adopt him, ask why I allow visits at all, question everything I do.
Maybe I’m crazy and I give him too much freedom. Maybe 4 days every other week supervised is too much. A big part of me would love to go to court and try to take as much of our son away from him as I can, but a bigger part of me knows what all this means to my son.
I should add that my abuse was fron my bio dad, whom my mother always bashed and told me “the minute he hurts you, you’ll never see him again!” It was the fear of never seeing him that kept me quiet. I never want my son to feel that way. I want him to have as healthy relationship as he can with his dad. I don’t love his dad anymore. I still have mental scars left from what he did to me, and sometimes it’s hard to shake his hand, but I try and do it for my son.
FI’s solution to his family’s bugging is taking the phone and taking over the conversation, but they seem to be getting sneakyer and not getting the hint. I like them, and i think they just
1. don’t understand at all
2. think i’m the biggest dummy on earth.
Fi says that this works for us and he sees how much our son loves his dad and how his dad really does try to do what’s best for him. Fiance, like me, hates his past actions but supports his current choices.
Shouldn’t that be enough for FI’s family? Am I, as my fmil said it ” still under ex’s control by going through all these hoops for him?” Thougb it’s more painful for me, it seems like it would be far less painful for my son. That’s all I care about.
Wow that was a novel. If you read it all then thanks.