I should have known better

Well, here I am, less than a month after Kendal’s birth, and my reconcilliation with her father has fallen apart.  I don’t know why I ever thought that things would get better or that he would change.  I guess it came out of my desperate need to try and be a family again for her sake.  At least now, when she asks me someday, I can tell her honestly that I really did try. 

He and I got in a fight today about his “friend” – the girl that he had started a relationshipwith when I left.  I voiced some of my concerns about her to him (ok, I was a little overly emotional about it) and things just went downhill from there.  It ended with him calling me not long ago to tell me that he’s decided to sell his house and move out of state and start his life over so that he can be happy.  I’m sure he won’t really do it, but it made me realize that there really is no way for us to be fixed.

I used to tell him all the time that sometimes love just isn’t enough.  I guess I was right.  I’ll always love him to some extent, but I’m not playing this game anymore.  I’m not going to sit around and pretend that we’ll ever be ok.  I think he and I both agree that it’s just never going to be what it should be. 

I hope he does move.  I hope that he can be happy.  But he’s probably full of shit and just trying to get me to give in and move back.  It’s not going to happen though.  I’m taking this as the sign that I need to move on with my life once and for all.  There’s no going back this time.

Kendal and I will be just fine.  Everything will be the way that it’s supposed to be.  I will make a great life for us.  I’ve already started.

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The only thing that matters

Kendal Grace

Kendal Grace

This little angel is the only thing that matters.  Everything I do now is only with her in mind.  That includes the crazy emotions that I’m going through while entertaining going back to her father.  Yes, he did horrible things to me, but I feel like he’s much different now.  He seems so much calmer than he ever used to be.  Besides, I love him desperately.  Kendal deserves to grow up in a real family.  If he and I can make this work, it will be the best thing for her.  He’s agreed that it will take a long time, and he’s not pushing me to come home at all.  He wants me to be comfortable when I do make that step.  He says that he undertands how hurt I am.  I want to believe him.  Right now I feel like I’m just testing the waters.  We spent some time together when I was in the hospital.  He was amazing.  It felt so good to be there with him.  Now I’m bringing Kendal up to his house tomorrow so that he can spend time with his daughter.  He hasn’t seen her since she was a day old.  She’s now 11 days old.  I feel like he’s missing so much already, and I want him to be able to spend as much time with her as possible.

All the research says that abusers don’t and can’t change.  I dn’t know exactly what to believe anymore.  I think that it is possible for anyone to change, given that they want to badly enough.  I don’t think that it’s fair to lump everyone into one big category, no matter what the statistics stay.  I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, he’ll be the exception to the rule.  Maybe, for whatever reason, he really gets it where other men don’t.  There’s been so much heartache on both of our parts, that I’m hoping that I’m not just deluding myself. 

Only time will tell how he’s going to be.  I have to spend time with him and see if the way he acts and reacts have changed.  That is going to be the key.  But I know that I want it to be true.  I just need to be careful.

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So much happening

So much is happening.  I had my baby a week ago.  She’s a perfect little girl.  I couldn’t be more in love with her.  Every moment is a blessing and I’m already dreading the fact that she’ll grow up all too fast.  Every time I look at her I can’t believe how beautiful she is, and how lucky I am to be her mommy.  I think about the future, and where it will take her.  I want to remember everything about how she is now, her tiny hands, her cute little noises, the way she screams when I change her diaper.  I never imagined that I would be so instantly taken by someone so small.  I don’t know what I did with my life before her, because now life is all about her.  It’s an amazing feeling.

A couple of weeks before she was born, my ex, her father, called me.  I don’t know what made him decide to get back in touch.  But of course, it started a spiral or emotions for me.  I’m still so in love with him.  I just had his daughter.  I’m totally letting myself fall back into things with him, and I’m oddly ok with it.  For some reason I believe him this time.  He’s not pushing me, or trying to make me move faster than I want to.  He’s accepting of the fact that I don’t know how long it will take for me to feel comfortable with him again.  He’s willing to do a legal separation with me, which states that I have full physical custody of our daughter – and he knows that it’s like an insurance policy to me.  We talk every day.  He came to the hospital after the baby was born and he stayed with us that first night.  It was so comforting to have him there and to have him be a part of our daughters birth.  He held her and changed her diaper and we just talked until the very early morning.  He wants to be a good dad to her.  And he seems to want to be a good husband to me.

It seems crazy for me to put any faith in him.  After all the things that he’s done to me over the years, how could I ever trust him again?  But for some reason I do.  I love him so desperately, and I can’t imagine the rest of my life without him.  I know that I’m going to meet a lot of resistance from the people that care about me.  I know that they’re all going to think that I’m insane and that I’m falling back in to some sort of trap.  Maybe I am.  But I just don’t care.  I just want to try and see if this will work.  All I’ve ever wanted was for my marriage to be everything that it should be.  If he’s telling me the truth this time, then maybe it will all be ok.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to call myself his wife again, and be able to live with him again.  If he can really hang in there and wait for me to be ready.  I hope that he can.  He’s doing really well so far, and he hasn’t shown me any hints of the man that I knew before.  Before he would have pushed me and scared me but now I think he sees that we need to fix everything from the ground up if it’s ever going to last. 

I hope to God that I’m not making the biggest mistake of my life.  I may be, who knows.  But I can’t live with the thought of not having him in my life anymore.  I don’t know why, I don’t know what this strange connection is, but it just won’t go away.  My heart aches whenever I think about how much work it’s going to take to put it all back together.  I just want to be able to wave a magic wand and have my life back, with him.  Only time will tell I suppose.

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1 year

It’s been a year today since the first time I left him.  So much has happened in that year, I’m not even sure what exactly to reflect on.  It’s mind-boggling, overwhelming, inexplicable.  I’ve grown so much as a person, but I’ve also hurt more than I ever thought was possible.

I think the most important thing is that I did finally leave him.  Today is the anniversary of the day that the process began.  I was only gone for a couple of days.  But it was the first step in me saying “no, I don’t want to live like this anymore”.  I still have the e-mails from that day.  I still remember him calling me at work and telling me that I better leave and get home so we could “fix” this.  I remember sitting in the car in the driveway with him yelling at me.  I remember the rain.  I remember truly believing that he had the upper hand in all of it, and that ultimately I was just a guest in his home and I had better play nice if I ever wanted to see any of my things again.  I remember calling Nikki to come rescue me, which, true to form, she did. 

I have a hard time believing that I trusted in him when he showed up at my parents house with a diamond ring a couple days later.  When he said that he wanted to make a fresh start; make up for all of the things that he had done in the past.  I thought finally he was seeing what was wrong with our marriage.  That the way that he treated me was undeserved, no matter how angry he might be.  I really wanted to see him be the man that I had built him up in my mind to be.  I desperately wanted to bury all the hurt and pain and shame that I felt.  I wanted my little family to survive what seemed like the crash that had been coming for so long.  I didn’t want to have to admit to everyone that I knew that I had failed to keep my marriage together; failed as a wife and a mother.  So, I went back.  And thus, the cycle resumed.

It was a long year of ups and downs.  Of broken promises.  Of heartache.  Ultimately though, I knew that I didn’t deserve to be hurt the way that he was hurting me.  The more I talked about it, the more I admitted to people that life wasn’t as beautiful as I made it out to be, the more I began to realize that I needed to start over.  I needed to leave him in my past and move on toward a better and brighter future.  It took a long time, but I got there.

Now I sit here, having been out for 7 months.  The threats continue, the attempts at control and manipulation continue.  But I see them now.  I’ve finally come out of the fog that I lived in for 6 years.  I know better than to believe him when he professes his love for me in a long, rambling e-mail, because when he doesn’t get the answer that he wants, he will return to his cruelty.  I expect it now, I see it coming, and it doesn’t hurt me anymore.  It is just par for the course with him.

One blessing has come out of all this.  My baby.  At the end of next month I will be holding my little angel, the baby that I always wanted.  I truly believe that part of what saved me from going back again is this child, whom I will go to the ends of the earth to protect.  It isn’t about me or my safety anymore.  It’s about this baby growing up strong, happy, healthy, and away from the abuse.

So, today will be a day filled with mixed emotions.  I will continue to mourn the loss of what I once thought was a wonderful relationship, but I will also bask in the glow of my new-found inner strength.  I will wonder what he’s doing today, if he realizes what a major milestone it is, although I’m sure that he won’t.  I may cry, I may laugh, I’m just not sure.  But I know one thing.  I will never regret this past year.  The person that I was then is gone.  The person that I a now, the amazing, strong, talented person – she’s here to stay.

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The state of things

Well, The Legal Project is taking my case.  I am more than thrilled about this.  It was a hell of a wait to find out, but when they called Wednesday I couldn’t believe it.  There are so many reasons that I’m thrilled about this.  First and foremost, I’m going to have someone who deals with abusers like him day in and day out representing me.  Someone who truly understands the nature and cycle of abuse, and the way that these men will stop at nothing to manipulate and control everyone around them.  I’m also so pleased that my poor friend will not have to deal with his insanity anymore.  We’ll be able to repair our friendship, which he certainly drove a wedge into, and move on without the burden of the attorney/client relationship.  I’m also so happy that I’ll be able to do everything in my power to protect my baby from him once he/she is born.  He’s in for the fight of his life, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him get what he wants, even a little bit.

I realized the other day, that the anticipation of going into labor is killing me.  I’m 5 weeks away from my due date today, and I’m starting to get anxious.  I hate not knowing when something is going to happen – I’ve never been one for suprises.  My mother constantly reminds me that I’ve always been like that.  I used to read the end of a book before I ever looked at the beginning.  So, the whole idea of not being able to preplan when the contractions will start or when my water will break is a crazy making experience for me.  I know that it will happen exactly when it’s supposed to, but geez, a little warning would be nice.

Other than that, life is pretty much just going on as normal.  I get up, go to work, come home.  Nothing terribly exciting.  I’m beginning to really enjoy that.  I like enjoying the thought of coming home instead of dreading it.  I like the predictability that exists in my life now.  Of course that will all change as soon as this little munchkin arrives, but that’s the kind of change that I really don’t mind so much.

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Lawyers, Guns, and Money….

Lawyers:  I’m still waiting to here back from The Legal Project regarding whether or not they will take my case.  I’m constantly on edge.  I would really love to just know one way or the other, so I know what I have to do from here.  I want to be divorced.  I want to have all of this custody and child support stuff worked out as soon as possible.  I hate feeling like I’m living in limbo – not knowing what is going to happen to my baby after he/she is born.  I want to know that I’ve done everything that I possibly can to protect this innocent life from the negative influence of my (soon to be) ex-husband.  And the clock is ticking….

Guns:  I’m feeling very under the gun in regards to being prepared for the baby.  Work is throwing me a “suprise” (oops) baby shower on 4/29 and my sis and my best friend of 20+ years are throwing me a baby shower on 5/9.  Suffice it to say, I haven’t bought anything or done much to get ready for the imminent arrival of this munchkin.  I just hope there isn’t a suprise arrival!  I’m really hoping that I’ll go into labor as close to my due date as possible.  Of course, it’s not up to me, but I would really appreciate a little cooperation on this one.  I think I’m more anxious now because my two friends from HS that were also pregnant have both given birth now.  It makes me nervous.  I hate going last. 

Money:  I just spent the better part of my morning trying to figure out my post-baby budget and my budget for the pay periods remaining before my due date.  It scares me.  Of course I’m not counting on getting any child support, so I’m looking at the numbers with only my income.  Again, it’s scary.  I only looked at what I make vs. what I have to pay out in bills and I don’t know how I’m going to do this.  But, I will do it.  No matter what, I will find a way.  It’s just frustrating to feel like you try so hard to get ahead, and something happens that sets you back.  I’m looking at things as positively as possible, but it gets really difficult when I start to wonder if I’ll be able to afford diapers and wipes.  I just need to buckle down, account for every nickle I spend, and not waste on the things I tend to waste on the most (like eating out constantly!).  If I force myself to make note of every time I spend money, I think I will really see how much wasteful spending I do.  So, here’s hoping that strict budgeting will keep me from having a nervous breakdown.

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Just feel like crying

I have my appointment with The Legal Project tomorrow morning. I’m trying to prepare by gathering all documents and communications I have from my husband. I’m also trying to make a list of questions that I have regarding how things might go with child support and custody, which will be coming up as soon as the baby is born.

I have every e-mail my husband has sent me during the times that I’ve left him. I’ve gone through almost a ream of paper printing them all. But seeing them, reading the horrible things that he says, or even when he was trying to be manipulatively sweet, is really making me sad. Sad for myself that I endured all of this, sad for him that he’ll never see how truly sick and twisted he is, and sad for his daughter and our baby that they have a father like this.

I’m nervous about meeting with this attorney. He thinks that I’m still working with my friend as my attorney, and has no idea that I’m pursuing other options for counsel. He thinks that he can manipulate her too. I just want this all to go smoothly and quickly, at least for the divorce. He sent me the settlement agreement yesterday, with the updated date and the statement that he is Pro Se, but he changed the notary page so it only has his name in both places and he still hasn’t fixed the year we are married. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, which hopefully will work in my favor.

I’ve also been thinking more and more about custody and child support. I looked at the numbers based on just what I make, and it’s going to be almost impossible for me to take care of health insurance (I have to go from single to family coverage and it will take another $80 out of every check), babysitting when I go back to work, and still be able to pay my bills. Not to mention the everyday baby expenses that I’m going to have. I need to file for CS, as much as I don’t want to. Because it will provoke him into fighting for sole physical and legal custody. Not that he’ll get it, but after 12 weeks of maternity leave, I’m not going to have a lot of time to spend in court because he’s crazy. I know it’s not about the baby with him, it’s about control. I’m completely willing to give him visitation, supervised at first until it can be documented that he is following a treatment plan for his diagnosed BPD. I want to be cooperative in the eyes of the court, even though I wish he would get hit by a truck.

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