I Must Leave My Husband. I Don’t Want to.

After all of this time and all of what has happened I still waver back and forth in my feelings for my husband. I have “awoken” so-to-speak to the conclusion that I must leave. If anything, I must leave for my children’s sakes. But, it is not cut and dry, black and white. I am still deeply in love with this man, and feel guilty and foolish for feeling that way. I still feel like his protector, ironically.

Unbeknownst to him I had a meeting today with the divorce attorney [5/25/15 Note: This is not referring to my current attorney]. She advised that I must act quickly and that I must not share everything when I file. This whole time I have wanted to protect him while at the same time protect myself and my children. It just doesn’t work that way. Resolved, I returned home to gather some things while I stay at my moms.

I arrived to him drinking in the backyard. Uncharacteristically, I took a seat next to him and accepted half of a beer. He told me how much he loves me and has always loved me. He started crying and told me how much he just wanted us to be a family and be happy. He received the change of address notice in the mail today letting him know that I have a P.O. box. He knows I will leave soon.

He put his arm around me and kissed me on my head. The sky was beautiful…blue sky with puffy clouds in the background. The yard perfect with the flowers he has planted. His hammock sitting still in the corner of the yard and the fence that he has been working on almost finished. Tears came to my eyes as I felt the immensity of the decisions I am making. Not only am I leaving him, but I am requesting supervised visitation and have to share information with the court that he will not like.

I know that I must share everything when I file for divorce, or risk having my daughter be in a situation that I feel is not safe. However, I know our daughter loves him. And, when he is not drunk and not having mental issues – he is a good guy.

Everyone is so happy for me that I am finally leaving this situation. This situation that they call an abusive situation in which I am the “victim”. When I explain that there are wonderful aspects of him, even though I know I need to leave, they think I am defending him. They don’t understand.

This isn’t easy. This isn’t what I wanted. I know it seems to them like I am breaking the chains of some horrific situation. And, I know I must leave. But, they can’t understand the pain of second-guessing yourself. They can’t understand the fear of moving into the unknown. They can’t understand the love that I still feel for him. More than anything they can’t understand the pain that I feel for what he is about to go through all by himself.

The most lonely part of this is that not only can they not understand, but he will not understand either. They see me breaking free. He see’s me “ruining his life”.

I want to hold him in my arms and tell him that it will be okay. I have to tell myself over and over and over again, “your children are your priority, your children are your priority”. I have no idea why I care so much about him after he has been so cold, callous and destructive to me and my two oldest children.

I love him. And, I need to leave him.

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Under the radar

(Names changed for obvious reasons!)

“She said she’s sorry, but she can’t help you. She’s terrified that he’ll find her.” My breath quickened and a knot formed in my stomach.

I needed this woman to provide a statement for my divorce. My husband’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica.

As it was I had a tough time tracking her down. I was given the number of her friend, Bev, who was willing to contact her. During my first phone call she said that Jessica “always knew she’d be getting a call like this”.

After their break up he followed her and kept a diary, the size of a book, on her activities and about the horrible things he was going to do to her boyfriend. He then presented the diary to her so that she knew he was watching her. When she didn’t return his calls he reported her as missing to the police. He carried his gun everywhere and threatened to kill people. He shot it inside his apartment as he charged towards his roommates room saying he was going to kill them. She was there the whole time.

He viciously beat up a roommate who later disappeared. Jessica and Bev were afraid that Bryce killed him. Turns out he’s alive and well, but was scared enough of Bryce to disappear on purpose.

Turns out my husband has a history of stalking women and scaring them after they break up with him. And, everyone has broken up with him. I have talked to four people from his past and they are all afraid of him. They all believe he is capable of doing major harm. And, they are all afraid of coming forward.

I don’t know what else happened, but apparently it is a chapter in her life that she does not want to relive. Bev apologetically told me that Jessica hasn’t been able to sleep since I contacted her through Bev. The common theme throughout the conversation is that she is absolutely terrified.

You might wonder how on earth a man with his history can not have a longer record. And, how can this man who hasn’t had a job in over 7 years be surviving?

His parents protect him.

Rather than insisting he get psychological help, they gave him a house and paid his bills. As attorneys they help him through all of his legal battles. In fact, they are currently helping him through a legal issue.

He is under the radar.

The Man With The Bottle Held Tight In His Hands

This is post from another blogger gives me an odd sense of comfort. Somehow, it makes me feel like someone else understands.

maryswrittenworld

All that he made
He breaks down piece by piece.
As the furious thirst in him
Stills the soft side of his soul.
Leaving only bitter want
And the lust of an arid throat.
The yearning for removal
From this reality,this world.
The world his monster created
For him and his own.
With the world at his feet
And a bottle in his hand,
His bristling addiction
Scratching all around him.
Those who are bound to him,
Those who belong to him,
In the nothingness of the night
They listen
As the master succumbs
To his true mistress.
His grip lost to all but one thing.
One thing held fast to him.
And all that he has made
He breaks down piece by piece.
He is the man with the bottle
Held tight in his hand.
He is the man held tight,
Tight in the grip of the bottle

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Drunk Daddy Driving

I am at a critical juncture right now. My next moves will affect myself, my children and my husband. If only I had a crystal ball.

I was advised by a divorce attorney last week that I need to get out of the house as soon as possible. The best I can manage is a month. But, now I’m put in another precarious situation.

I got a text yesterday from my 3 year old’s daycare provider saying that my husband hadn’t picked her up yet… 30 minutes past closing. He picked her up right after she texted, but when I got home I could tell he had been drinking.

Judging from the way he slurred his words and stumbled into the bathroom I know that he had been very drunk.

I drove her to my moms to stay the night, knowing that he would be drinking heavily. He has never been a direct threat to her, but I think it’s confusing for her to see him incoherent.

By the time I returned home he was so drunk that he couldn’t get out of his chair. He muttered about the demon “Baal” being in the house. I wasn’t scared for my safety given that he could barely lift his arms.

This morning he told me that he had tried to kill himself with pills, although I found nothing to indicate this.

I told him that I would need to start dropping off and picking up our daughter from daycare since yesterday was not the first time he has been late picking her up, and while drinking. (He is doing it now because he doesn’t work.)

As it is, I started her in full time daycare after only 2 months of him taking care of her on a part-time basis due to these types of problems, and the instability. I missed work and had to have my mom watch her too many times.

He informed me that he would continue dropping her off and picking her up. Period. He launched into a tirade about me trying to separate him from his daughter. This even after I have put me and my children at risk to try and protect the relationship between he and his daughter, in the hopes he would get help.

Here I am… At a crossroad. If I do the right thing and insist on dropping her off and picking her up we go down a road of volatility which may necessitate me moving out early and might actually lead to him having more limited visitation, based on how he handles everything.

If I do the cowardly thing and look the other way, how do I know he’s not drinking when he picks her up

Things to ponder today.

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Getting Caught In The Snare 

I found myself at 34 years old, separated from my husband at the time, after 3 years from the time of our “official” separation when I moved out. I was exhilarated and energized, feeling a new lease on life. At the time my children were 7 and 10 years old.

While I was happy to be “free” I went through a period of feeling lonely. I Instead of working through it or going to a support group I reached out to people from my past.

I remember setting up my first Facebook account. I searched for a long lost boyfriend. We had been on and off from the time we met in high school (I was 14) up until I got married 7 years later, and we had been through a lot.

I made sure that he didn’t appear to be married and then I made the fateful click to friend request him. It was late, so I shut down the computer, not knowing if he’d even get the request. I woke up the next morning to find two messages waiting from him. The first one started, “Holy Jesus monkey balls. I have been looking for you for for years.”

He called me back immediately after our first conversation and told me how much he loved me… That he wanted a baby… That he had never stopped thinking about me.

I had a nagging feeling, from his very first message to me, that something wasn’t right. At the same time, his adoration was intoxicating and came at a particularly vulnerable time when I was seeking affirmation of my own desirability and value.

I was hooked.

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Mr. Hyde

When my husband turns into Mr. Hyde I might as well be in a house with a stranger. Everything that I know about him is gone. It is as if his soul has escaped his body and gone somewhere else. There is a chillingly empty look in his eyes. I truly don’t believe in these times that he would care if I lived or died.

 These times that Mr. Hyde appears seem to come in waves. During a volatile period we might go through 2 to 3 months of frequent “Mr. Hyde” appearances. Then, Mr. Hyde may disappear for six months. That doesn’t mean that he is wonderful, but it means that my urgent need to take my children and leave dissipates. 

I’ve learned to see the signs. He becomes more withdrawn and more agitated than normal. He starts talking to his “imaginary friends” more. A general darkness comes over him.

And then… It could be the smallest of things that unleashes him. It could be that the kids ate the rest of the ice cream. It could be that he found out his brother received money from their parents. Could be that my teenage daughter was playing with the radio in the car.

The common theme when he “breaks” are his threats. Under normal conditions he is smart enough not to put these threats in writing. But, during these moments of insanity he has emailed me horrible things. Some of them I just can’t bring myself to share yet.

There are many instances of these terrifying moments, but the first episode that influenced how I dealt with the situation happened a few years ago. 

I had taken my children and stayed with my mom for about a week after he threatened me with a butcher knife. After talking with him and feeling like he had recovered I decided to bring our daughter home and spend the night before bringing my two older children home. 

Our daughter was a year old at the time. I came home and got in the shower with my daughter after saying hi to my husband and making sure he was in a decent mood. Within 10 minutes after getting in the shower he started banging on the door asking who was in there. I opened the door and asked in disbelief… What was he talking about? We had just talked to each other.

He had that empty look… Full of rage. He accused me of calling the police and chased me down the hallway, fists clenched as he started to swing at my stomach and would then stop himself… I assume because I was carrying our daughter.

I was still naked from jumping out of the shower which added to the vulnerability. There I was naked and crouching in the kitchen. I was holding my daughter who was completely silent. I think she was confused. 

In all it lasted less than 3 minutes. Then, he was gone.

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Jekyll 

I came home today and my husband was at the playground with our toddler.

After walking in the door he cut her some strawberries and then held her in his lap while telling me all of the cute things she did on the playground.

This man who is now sipping tea in the backyard and enjoying the sunset is wonderful. This man who just spent a half hour talking to me, smiling, holding my hand and cracking jokes is human and fun to be around.

This man who helps his neighbors with landscaping advise and greets people with freshly picked flowers is charming.

This man has hopes and dreams. He is approaching 40 years old, but has the persona at times of a boy. He is scared in this world that he does not understand. Embarrassed by his inability to support himself.

In moments of terrorizing fear he balls up in bed, crying out for help, wondering what is wrong with him. He doesn’t like to be alone at night and thinks he hears ghosts or intruders.

This is the man I feel compelled to protect. My husband. This is the person that I’m talking about when I try to explain that he’s not all bad. This is the man I don’t want to hurt and who I thought I could help.

It’s in these times I ask myself if I’m over-reacting. It’s in these times I’m sure that people who tell me to leave just don’t understand.

He’s Jeckyll 10% of the time, Mr. Hyde 5% of the time and just a run-of-the-mill jerk the remainder of the time.

But, the time with Jeckyll was enough to keep me coming back for more… For a long time.

(Mr. Hyde post will follow tomorrow)

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