Archive | October 2013

Underneath It All…I’m Still A Girl

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always seemed to be a guy’s girl.  I am at my most comfortable talking to and hanging out with the fellas.  I’m not sure why.  It could be because I have a pretty impressive foul mouth or maybe because I am just as vulgar as most of my male friends.  I mean, I am far from the shy and reserved type.  And I love it. Not to mention that I pretty much tell it like it is. Women are not so into that. Don’t get me wrong. I have a handful of female friends that I am super tight with probably because we have similar personalities.  What’s my point?  Basically, aside from the nonsense that was going on in my house, my attitude and personality of who I’d always been never changed.  I put up with a lot of BS but on the outside, I was still me.  Although, no matter how tough of an exterior I put up, underneath it all…I was still a girl…but only one person brought that out in me.

The day after the reunion, I got in touch with my Ex.  It was so nice to hear his voice.  Like I said, it was the longest amount of time we had ever gone without talking.  I didn’t know what to expect.  What may have changed in the last eight years that I would not be prepared for?  Luckily, he was away visiting family.  On vacation.  He did not move out of state.  That’s a good start.  He had hoped for years to be able to move closer to his family who had moved out of state a long time ago.  He was dating someone.  That’s reasonable.  What I understood was…he’s not married and they will be breaking up shortly after he returns home from vacation (which he did).  Okay, pause.  He. Is. Not. Married.  Hellooo!  He’s not married.  Didn’t have any kids of his own.  One of his ex-girlfriends had a daughter when they had started dating and eventually he took her on as his daughter – still to this day.  Another thing was that he still was working for the same job he had when we were together.  My head said…possible retirement by the time I’m ready to get out of my own hell.  Lastly, as we spoke and his shaking voice asked….why? (“Why” would rear it’s ugly head every now and again. Just one simple word and I always understood what he meant…why did I leave?) I knew right then and there, as I had always known, he still loved me.  That’s all I needed.

The most important thing I needed to hear next was when he was getting back from vacation and when I’d be able to see him.  It would still be another week or two but while he was away we started speaking almost daily.  Was this it?  Was this the start of getting my life back?  The life I deserved…the life I so recklessly threw away.  I certainly hoped so.  We started talking almost daily.  Once my husband left for work I called him and stayed on the phone with him until I had to wake my kids up for school and go about my day.  We’d talk several times during the day and on Saturdays we’d just lay in our respective beds, while on the phone with each other and just talk, watch television, fall back to sleep.  It’s times like these that have been sewn into my life over the years with this man that almost made the flip side of my life tolerable.  It was times like these that helped move along the time I set forth for myself to safely get out of the marriage and move on with my life.

It was not long before I went over for a visit.  Since I worked from home, I didn’t have to worry about calling in sick.  I could go “shopping” or to the “doctor” or “help out at school” and steal time to be with him.  Even though we knew these moments may not last, we made the most of them.  We were able to speak about how we felt – he would mostly talk about what our lives would have been like if we were still together and I spoke about how our lives would be in the future.  This new reunion cycle (as I like to call them) lasted for about six months.  With so much time having passed from the last time we had seen each other (when I was pregnant with my son), there was no way I was about to let that happen again.  This time felt like the old days. When we could make plans for our future. But how could I forget….I was still married. All I had to do now was figure out how to get out of that. After all, I was living two lives. One of misery that I was bound to by a piece of paper and an insurmountable fear and the other that I was bound to by my heart and soul and a ridiculously giddy amount of love and joy.  Even with all that I have been through…somehow I am a hopeful romantic.  Bottom line….yep, I’m still a girl.  Quick heartbeat, butterflies fluttering in the belly, doe eyed, eyelash batting mush. What a mess.

Catching Up to the Present (Part 2)

After my son was born, the years went by. At some point life just takes over. The usual day to day nonsense with a husband and three kids, a baby at home, one in elementary school another starting middle school. Like everyone else, you fall into a routine. Time goes by. I started working from home so I was able to take care of the kids and the house and still earn money to pay my bills. That was great news for my husband, this way I was always home. He loved that part.

As all of this time was passing, I didn’t see or speak to my ex. Not for a long time. It was the most time that had ever passed without us contacting each other. I had no idea if he got married, started a family or moved out of state. I lost contact with many of my friends from the neighborhood so I really had no one to ask how he was or where he was. Don’t get me wrong, over the years I tried to look him up online but I was never able to find out any information. It was like he didn’t exist.

In 2008, I had started using Facebook. It was new (to adults at least) and my main focus was to find family members I had lost touch with and to start keeping in contact with them again. That summer, all of a sudden Facebook went ballistic. Everyone started signing up…friend requests were flying around like crazy. Before I knew it, I was in contact with a group of my childhood friends. We started talking online on a daily basis. It was awesome. It was as if none of us had skipped a beat. We reminisced about everything under the sun. And then…the mention of a reunion. I was anxious but excited to see these people again. I didn’t want to get too attached that one or more may want to start talking on the phone and then my husband would start asking questions. I didn’t even tell him I was on the website because I knew the harassment that would ensue. He never really “forbid” me from doing things, dinner with friends, etc. He would just slowly start with me over nonsense until I said – forget it I’m not going. After one or two times doing that I could see right through his game. So I stopped forfeiting.

That summer, we had our reunion. I was with a few people who lived in my ex’s building and I knew there was a good possibility I’d be in contact with him before the weekend was over. However, I could not just bring him up. No one knew the way my life turned out and I was not about to get into it over drinks after not seeing people for 20 years. It’s possible people may have heard stories in the past at the very beginning but no one would ever say anything to me.

All was going well and before the night was over my Ex’s best friend brought him up. He told me I broke his heart and that he never got over me. Of course, I already knew that. We had seen each other many times since our break up but our friend had NO idea about that. We spoke a little about him and I said how I still loved him and would love to see him and speak to him. It had been almost eight years since the last time we saw each other. The next day, I had his number and we were on the phone speaking like no time passed. Cue the butterflies. Somehow the sound of his voice always put me at ease.

Catching Up to the Present (Part 1)

When I decided to start telling you my story, I started from the very beginning. From the moment I met the man who would eventually become my boyfriend, my husband…my abuser. Back when I was a youthful teenager with years of happiness in front of me. Those were the days. I was never the type that thought about my future like some girls did. Planning their one-day weddings with Bride Magazine and all of their prized hopes and dreams. I lived in the moment. Whatever it was. I knew what I wanted and I didn’t stop until I got it.

Eventually, I got it. It just happened to include a man who went from quiet and shy to loud and demanding. Before I knew it, I was trapped in this violent circus of a marriage. A caged animal with the trainer constantly cracking the whip if orders were not followed or if you didn’t learn the routine fast enough. SNAP. Let’s try this again…over and over until things began to go his way. Although, his way was ever changing. Once you thought you knew the rules of the game…the plays changed and there you go…penalized. Again.

Of course, over the years there were times of normalcy. We did have three children together. So there were holidays, family visits, vacations. As they got older, they were less and less enthused about being out in public with this man because they knew at some point he would eventually draw attention to us. He always said it was because we assumed he was going to act that way. We never gave him the chance to have a good time with his family. So because we anticipated this behavior he gave us what we wanted. He’d put on a show. Usually yelling at one of the kids so that when I protected or defended them then he would have a second victim. How transparent. We’ve all grown bored of his games.

How did I keep my sanity? I fought back verbally. He could say whatever he wanted, accuse me of everything under the sun, call me names and blame me for his being born under the sign of Taurus but once I started to answer him with precise wording to his ridiculous questions and accusations you could almost see his brain self destructing. He hated it. Mostly because I would be speaking and there is only so long he could tolerate my voice but also because he would hear how stupid he actually sounds. What I learned that drove him even more crazy was when I didn’t say a single thing. I could care less that he’d go on for hours and hours. I learned to tune him out years ago. So I’d sit and stare and watch as he confused himself. It would be much more entertaining to watch if I could pause or mute the sound. Alas, I could not.

In all of these years, one thing has stayed on my mind and kept me focused on a definite happy ending. My ex. The man I should have never left. My soul mate. We’ve had many “re-connections” over the years but I couldn’t hold him back from living his life. Even though my life was not ideal how could I sit back with a family and ask him to wait? He had his relationships. He had even been engaged a couple of times but guess what…they never stuck. You know why? He’s mine. And God…do I love him. Many nights over the insanity of my life did I drift off to sleep imagining our future wedding. And on my saddest days of despair I even imagined him visiting me in the hospital. How pathetically sad. But getting back to him one way or another and living my original happily ever after was all that kept me from taking a bottle of pills and ending it all.

Survival Mode

Everyday I read a little bit here and a little bit there from all of the blogs I have been following. I search out new ones to see what else is out there and to see what is on everyone’s mind. Today, I read a post that I really connected to (That Wasn’t Me…This Is Me). It was about a woman who was explaining how we assimilate into this (abusive) lifestyle. It is not this massive oppressive nature that comes at us all at once. Instead, it innocently seeps into our everyday consciousness until it’s all that we know. All of a sudden, I realized how incredibly true that was. Even though the little things seemed so big as they were happening, by the next “BIG” incident that last one could easily be considered almost nothing. I learned the dos and don’ts of what makes an abusive man angry and quickly and without conscious knowledge I knew just exactly what would rock the boat and so my main goal from day to day was NOT to rock it. I was in…survival mode.

What? How incredibly absurd does that even sound? I’m married. To a man that says he loves me. We have a child, a nice apartment in a decent neighborhood, we’re both working good enough jobs…yet, I am tiptoeing around my own life. It’s so crazy to explain if you’ve never been in the situation. It’s like, you’re going about your business and you hear the keys in the door and the pit of your stomach drops out from under you and within a split second you eyeball the apartment and your brain is going a thousand miles a minute…Is the house clean enough? Is everything in order? Is he going to complaint about having leftovers? Did I remember to do that thing he asked?…and the list goes on and on. Then he asks a simple question, in a normal mood. It’s clear he is not agitated or has any intention on starting a fight but you are so frazzled at the sheer possibility that when you answer the question you sound like you’re lying. Thus, the war begins. And it’s clearly your fault because you answered like an idiot. Why did you have to sound like you were double talking? I knew I was telling the truth yet even to me it sounded like I was lying. And after the three hour argument on how he doesn’t believe you he lets you know how this was all your fault because he came home in a good mood.

As the years go by you just learn how to respond. What facial expressions to use and when to just answer yes or no without a story behind it. People wonder how you can live so many years this way…truth is, when you are so busy living from day to day just trying to make it through the day without a hitch, time friggin flies. I imagine its how normal, happy go-lucky people live when everything is going great. They’re kind of in cruise control. Very relaxed and loving life, get-togethers, parties, vacations, etc. all without anyone else staring at the man screaming at them or one of their kids. For me (or us if I may be so bold), it’s like…okay, here’s my plan and in order to get from start to finish without blowing myself into a thousand pieces I need to hop around the land mines, day in and day out. Fun stuff.

So long story short…I’m a fucking survivalist! And a pretty amazing one at that.

No one goes into a relationship anticipating this nonsense. How can you even prepare to deal with something so intense? Somehow we each deal with it in our own way. No one’s way is better or worse than the next. It’s just right for us at that particular moment, until one day – it’s no longer right. That day is coming towards me like an asteroid falling from the sky. I can see it. I’m not sure how fast it’s going to get here but I know if I stay the course I will see it through and dodge out of the way…just as it lands on my husband.

Then I will live happily ever after. 🙂

Frightening Flashbacks

Reminiscing the events of my life has really allowed me step back and see just how much I have been through.  I know that out of my circle of friends I’ve probably had the most traumatic marriage. Of course, every one has something they can complain about that their spouse does wrong. Funnily enough, some of what they consider to be a negative about is a positive for mine. So when I listen to their stories a part of me thinks…my complaints aren’t all that bad. That’s only because I’m not telling them the full story. All they hear are surface complaints…”He calls me 20 times a day.  He hasn’t finished painting the house.” Etc.  None of them have any idea the depth of my anguish.

This whole blog writing thing was just a way for me to get everything I’ve been through out of my head.  It’s been bottled up for so long it would’ve been no time before an explosion…or implosion. Only one of my friends knows the real story. My all…my everything. The only person I truly trust and can vent to in the times of despair and who always has a calm and rational way of talking me off the ledge.  Who begs for me to leave while I can but also understands my need to prepare and not just “escape”.  We should all have such a caring, non-judgmental voice of reason by our sides.

During this journey, I have expressed the big events that have shaped my life and caused me to be where I am at this moment in time.  What I wasn’t ready for was all of the little things to creep back into consciousness, the flashbacks to the little things that went on in between the big things.  I guess after being through so many traumatic experiences it is inevitable that the little things would creep back in.

One such incident was in the early days, when my husband had gone out after work.  He worked the late shift and in reality had only been hanging out for three hours after work. But to me, at the youthful age of 19-20, it was 2:00am and my husband wasn’t home yet. So I kept paging him (no cell phones in the 80’s/90’s – only beepers) and he wasn’t calling back. As a woman, what kicks in automatically is that he is with another women.  In that mindset, it means nothing that he abuses you (at least not in the early years), I automatically kicked into being pissed off and now waiting for him to get home so I could start an argument.  How amusing.  So I can start. What was I thinking?  He came in about 2:30am and went NUTS because I kept beeping him.  He was out with the guys and they must have been laughing that I kept trying to reach him. Who even knows…but he flew up the stairs in a rampage screaming and threatening me and of course…I ended up on the floor and he was over me holding a knife while he was clearly beyond drunk. I remember feeling like that was it. I am going to end up brutally murdered.  Instead he tears off my shirt…with the knife…and throws me on the bed.  Now I remember thinking…holy shit…he’s going to rape me!!!  Can he be that nuts?  I’d much rather take a beating then be raped…no less than by my own husband.  I can barely remember how I got out of that.  I just recall kicking and screaming “get off me” and he did.  Possibly less to do with realizing what he was doing and more because of the need to violently throw his guts up due to the amount of alcohol he consumed.  In my head, I can still see the shirt I had on and the sheets on my bed from that night.  He, on the other hand, has no recollection of it.  I had brought it up many years after the fact and he had no idea what I was talking about and thought I was making up a story to use against him. Amazing.

Another memory that popped up was either from the same night or not too long after this one probably due to a similar incident, but I remember tying sheets together and trying to climb out of the second story window holding my daughter.  She was probably only around two years old at the time.  I remember throwing the sheets out of the window to make sure they reached the ground.  I had secured my daughter to my chest by wrapping her blankets around the two of us.  My fear was not that I might break my ankle or leg while escaping this way but that I may drop her.  The window I was coming out of was right above the awning of the house that covered the main stairs to enter into my apartment.  It was in the middle of the night and so no one was outside to see what I was trying (I remember subconsciously hoping someone would see so that they could help me).  I sat on the windowsill and held onto the sheets and put one leg out the window.  For a split second I recall thinking how insane has my life become that I am actually contemplating climbing out of a window?!  Obviously, I did not carry through with this plan.  I’m not sure what I was more afraid of, getting hurt or getting caught by my husband.  So I tried the staircase. He was sleeping in the living room next to the steps and I remember getting on to the second step and it creaking and him shifting around in his sleep.  So I gave up.  I went back to my room, untied the sheets, put my daughter back in the crib and laid down crying myself to sleep.

Memories like this really put things into perspective.  The amount of shit I have been through is just astounding.  And even though the physical abuse is pretty much nil at this moment in time, it existed. It was prevalent enough in my life that some days I preferred to be dead. Why was I with such a violent man and have not been killed yet?  Something was keeping me alive. I didn’t really understand at the time what it could possibly be.  I believed we are on this earth for a purpose and my purpose had yet to be completed.  At the time, I had never heard the saying “If God brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it.”  As an adult, I know it now and must keep the faith and believe that after all the bad…good things are still possible.  And I’m looking forward to it all.

Never did I anticipate all of the commentary and support I have received from strangers reading my story. It’s brought on a new level of empowerment to my spirit. I feel more full of possibility now than ever.  My time to leave is not today or tomorrow…but it is near and I can see the end closer now than it’s ever been.

Breaking The Cycle

Not only was I a victim of domestic violence, this unexpected tragic life of pain and suffering, but now on top of that I was about to bring a male child into this world. There was this overwhelming burden of keeping my life a secret from friends and family and now on top of everything, I somehow needed to figure out how to break this cycle…while still living in it. Prior to my son being born, my husband basically laid down the law letting me know HE didn’t want to continue this lifestyle in front of my son. In which case it was MY responsibility to make sure that didn’t happen. Point being…if I don’t provoke him, he won’t have to be an a-hole.

What I love about these warped handouts of kindness is they somehow always paint me as the perpetrator. If I don’t sneeze too loud and make him miss what they just said on the news…he won’t have to go nuts and scream like a lunatic. C’mon, that is totally understandable. Aside from living inside of this tornado that would twist and turn and destroy at the blink of an eye, sometimes it was quite astonishing to witness how this man’s mind worked. He truly believed he was acting the way he did because everyone around him did something to cause these outbursts. And by him “nicely” (psychotically calm) explaining to me how not to speak to him the way that I do (with an attitude) it meant he was doing his part in the marriage by COMMUNICATING with me. Letting me know how he feels.

This is always amusing. At this point in time…about 10 years into the marriage…his physically abusive ways started to dissipate but now the strange psychological games started. He truly, truly believed he was doing his part. Explaining how when he would tell me things and I snapped back at him HE felt “attacked”. Can you imagine? He felt attacked. Amazing. And he TRULY believed what he was saying was reality. Forget about if I rolled my eyes when he tried to speak to me. Big mistake. During pretty much every argument he needed my undivided attention and eye contact at all times. However, the threat of violence did not end. I should not mistake his slowed physical abuse for weakness. He was just giving me a break since we were both getting older and now a third child, etc. Who knows what he may have really been thinking. Maybe that one day soon I may snap and he would be found mangled in the dishwasher? I should’ve researched postpartum depression when I had the chance. Oh well.

So now here we are, my son is born and I can only be perfectly behaved (in his eyes) for so long. Who knows how long it took before things went back to normal (my sense of time is mush at the point). However, it was explained that he tried. He tried to tell me how to act, how to speak, how to do things the right way (his way) and that if I did everything properly (his way) then he wouldn’t have to act the way he did (like an a-hole). Of course, I don’t listen. So we’ll just resume our (abusive) way of life. After all, I must like it since I always want him to act that way. In the big picture I can say “luckily” the kids were never dragged into arguments. The physical stuff never really happened in front of them. My kids are not stupid but you have to give thanks for the little things. My biggest concern was not bringing another abusive man into society.

As the years went on and my son was old enough to know his father was an a-hole, after arguments I would go to him in his room and talk to him. Apologize that his father was the loser that he was. That I did not know this when I met him. And that something is not right with him in his head. I would explain that this is not how you speak to women – in general – and most especially not to your wife, mother, sister, girlfriend, etc. So that when he gets older he knows right from wrong. I would throw in there that if he ever treated a girl the same way his father did that I could not be on his side. That may have been slightly dramatic for me to tell him but in the younger years kids really take to that fear of possibly disappointing their parents. So far, so good. As the years have been passing, my son is a mellow, kindhearted boy. He plays well with others and is respectful to children who are different from him (special needs, etc). I am proud to say he is well on his way to breaking this chain.

Since blogging, I have read stories and people have commented to me on how terrible it is to stay with or for the sake of the children. Believe me, I am well aware of that. I know how much worse my kids could have turned out. Thankfully, I can say thus far, my kids are amazingly strong and resilient. My daughters are also confident and strong minded individuals who are not afraid to use their voice and say how they feel. No matter what has happened over the years my children have flourished. Smart and social people with bright futures. They do not “love” their father in the traditional sense and surprisingly none of them have ever asked me to leave. Strangely, something here was meant to happen for a reason. Lessons for both myself and my husband, who knows. My guess is that these kids were meant to come into this world and be prepped for whatever may come their way. At the very least, I can say that has been done.

Abiding Wife…Enduring Heartache

This past month has swept me off my feet.  I didn’t know how soothing it would feel to get all of this off my chest.  The response has been more than amazing.  I was never expecting the outpouring of support and I never thought I’d be reading so many stories similar to mine.  This was a journey I was definitely meant to take.

Now let’s get back to business.

A couple of years after I had my second child and my parents split (Till Death Do Us Part), we ended up buying a house.  Not because we made a load of money or had savings of anything more than to pay the bills…if we were lucky, but from a settlement from a lawsuit stemming from a prior arrest.  This time (shockingly), he was wrongfully arrested and he was awarded enough to put down on a house in a decent neighborhood.  Perfect. A quiet, closely knit neighborhood where everyone would eventually get to know what goes on inside our home.  Exciting!

I guess at first I tried to keep things mellow so every neighbor didn’t hear the screaming and cursing that went on inside.  Maybe if I keep the windows sealed shut all winter and the television going they wouldn’t hear the name calling and threatening.  Yeah, right.  They heard.  Everyone heard.  We were the loudest house on the entire block.  Needless to say, I kept to myself.  I said hello here and there but I did not make friends with too many people for fear they’d want to become close and come into my home and know my business.  Instead, I socialized with the parents from my children’s school.  They lived in the area but a distance enough that they didn’t know how loud our house was.  That worked for a while.  I made great friends.  People that I am still close with today.  A few I have become close enough just to discuss how my husband has issues but never coming close to the topic of abuse.  I don’t think anyone suspects anything that sinister.  If they do, they’d never straight out ask me.  My stories are simple, we argue everyday because he is an asshole.

Soon, I started a new job at a bank that was not local to our home.  With that of course came the third degree.  Does anyone try to hit on me, have I bumped into anyone I know, etc.  All of which were answered honestly “no” which was never believed anyway.  Not to mention each night I got home at a different time.  So that meant I must be meeting up with someone.  There should be no reason I get home at different times.  I must be meeting someone.  Isn’t that what all women do?  No matter how loyal i remained I still got blamed for things I wasn’t doing.  Even though in my heart I was still connected to My Love who I hadn’t seen since before I had my second child.  I missed him.  I know he missed me.  I needed to get in touch with him…if nothing else but just to keep a level of sanity throughout my marriage sentence.

It didn’t take long before I managed to get a hold of him at work.  The sound of his voice just washed over me with such a comforting tone.  Just in listening to him my heart was happy.  Even my senses were happy.  All of a sudden I could feel him…smell him.  A peace of mind I hadn’t felt in years just calmed me.  We spoke for a while.  Here and there.  He was with someone new.  Someone I knew.  I had worked with her in the past.  No one significant just a co-worker.  So I let him be.  It’s not like I was able to see him.  Not in this new neighborhood.  Everyone pays attention to everything that goes on.  Not that they do anything about it but they all know.

About two years later I transferred to the local branch of the bank I worked for.  I was close to home and now there should not be too much of a problem with my husband.  After all, it was close enough that he could walk right in anytime to make sure I was actually at work..  To make sure I wasn’t…I don’t even know…screwing someone on the counter?  To wait for me after work, I’m guessing to catch me in the act of someone meeting up with me after work.  Yep, he did all of it.  Random pop ups.  So classy.  What he didn’t know is that someone I knew banked at that branch.  That’s right, my ex.  He got paid every other week and I made sure I worked on those days.  He had no idea I worked there so the first time I saw him online I almost passed out.  I couldn’t take it.  Look at him…he’s beautiful.  I couldn’t help but smile and get nervous and hope that he saw me before going to another teller.  I was able to get his attention.  And…I got to see him every two weeks.  Even though it was behind bulletproof glass…but still. Nice.

Trying to live the life I maintained at home, without anyone knowing was not easy.  We were still arguing.  There was still physical abuse – albeit not as rough as earlier years.  And there was still the overall hate that I had for him.  I hated that he came home from work.  I hated that he woke up every morning.  I hated the sound of his voice.  I hated everything about him.  Ever the abiding wife, I needed to keep up my wifely duties.  It was the least I could do to keep him at bay.  It was a far cry from any type of love making situation.  More like hurry up…okay good night.  Luckily, since fate loves me so dearly, I ended up pregnant again.  Just as my second child was entering school…and I was done with ten years…number three.  Wonderful.  — What’s that you say? Another five years…sure, add them on to my sentence.

It was what it was.  I was doing time.  Living the life of a normal marriage with a daily routine.  Getting the kids ready for school, breakfast, dropping them off, going to work, coming home, homework, cooking, straightening up, time with the hubby,…and the occasional beating.  At this point, it may have become a weekend thing.  He was very much adamant that on his days off everyone should be silent and on their best behavior.  Sundays were family day.  No phone calls in or out.  After a while we started shutting the ringer off because family or friends would call.  Doesn’t everyone know that is against the rules?  Some days…the entire day was perfect..no arguing..nothing. However, if something happened at 10:30pm it was proclaimed that the ENTIRE day was ruined.  His days off started becoming the new blame game.  If he did not have a good two days off he would ruin the rest of the week for everyone else.  Fun.

My daughters didn’t fear him as much as they loathed him.  They never really witnessed “altercations” but they would see an occasional bruise from time to time.  Each one came with a story.  I banged my arm on the doorknob.  I tripped and fell down the steps.  You get the picture.  It was slightly rewarding to see that the girls were coming into their own each one with an anger and an attitude.  Eventually, my allies.

One day, while at work, my ex comes in and we’re talking.  He asks me if any more babies are on the way.  I stepped back and pointed to my stomach.  I could tell that stung a little.  It hurt me to have to tell him.  We always talked about having a family and how he especially wanted a son.  Now I was telling him how nervous I am if I have a boy because I don’t want him to turn out like my husband.  A few months later I had a son.  Went back to work a month later (for Y2K – bankers nightmare) worked for a few weeks before I quit.  Got to see my ex one more time before I left.  He was still with the other girl and it seemed like he was happy.  I was miserable now with three kids and even though I could tell he still felt the same way this all became bigger than the both of us.  Life just became this enduring heartache.  Not only for me…but I could see it in his eyes.  For him too. I don’t think either one of us expected that to be the last time we’d see each other (many years would pass before the next communication).  It was bittersweet.