Archive | October, 2013

Halloween 2013

31 Oct

This post is best read with this song playing:

What a fun day!
N’s day started at preschool with 2 ‘imagination’ parties. They said he did great! Mama had to teach and is still sick 😦 Then, we turned in the keys to our shitty old house & ran a couple errands & N went down for a short, late nap. Mama got her costume together (fairy) and then woke N to go trick-or-treating.

20131031-233751.jpgsadly, the only pic we got together–can’t see mama’s costume 😦
We started by walking over to the fancy outdoor mall. Then we headed back to our new housing complex for some door-to-door fun!20131031-233823.jpg20131031-233805.jpghe did require payment by chocolate to stay on track & not get cranky. I was happy to oblige because chocolate is such a rate treat!20131031-233845.jpgthis toddler did everything himself–from carrying his little pumpkin to climb ing stairs to selecting candy and saying ‘bye bye’ (no trick or treat but that’s ok)….overall, busy day but great memories!!

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Motherhood.

27 Oct

In one pic:

20131031-233028.jpgafter-bath snuggles
To me, this is what it’s all about 🙂

Therapy

21 Oct

Getting out of this abusive relationship is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of hard things. I am definitely not doing it on my own. From the moment I made the decision to end things (and really, during the decision process) I had the support of my parents and brother. At the same time, I got into contact with a local domestic violence agency which has support, advocacy, counseling, and legal aid. I’ve been to group therapy twice and I’ll definitely be going again this week (after the crazy week I’ve had…). I’m still putting together my support team, and today I brought more people in.

This morning I got up like usual and dropped N off at preschool. But the whole morning I was very apathetic–watching the minutes go by and not getting out of bed.. driving and thinking. . realizing I didn’t have much of a class planned nor the energy to go and teach it. Worried about the physical state of my abusive husband after he threatened suicide the night before… I realized I was numb because I just couldn’t process it all.

So I hatched a new plan: from the parking garage I emailed my students and cancelled class. And I high-tailed it down to the student counseling center to see someone immediately. It worked out perfectly: I now have an individual counselor who will help see me through this. He was a Peace Corps volunteer himself so he knows where I’m coming from and he has had friends marry host country nationals (as they’re called in Peace Corps talk). It will be good to have someone and some place to talk that has training in psychology. I’m glad it’s a man and I’m glad he doesn’t have specific domestic abuse training–I feel like I have enough of that. This is a place for me to voice my experience, my frustrations, and my worries. It is short-term (5-6 sessions) but I think by then I’ll be able to then move on to the domestic violence counselor (who contacted me today, ironically) to debrief my experience and help me gain tools to not go through it again.

I also made a doctor’s appointment today for me. I haven’t had a checkup for 2 years so it’s time to spend a moment to check in on myself. My doctor is also N’s doctor so I still see her regularly, but not to talk about me. So that is good.

On top of all that, I got into contact with a birth-to-3 organization for N’s speech therapy that comes highly recommended so I hope we can move on from evaluation and just get into the play therapy! And I am waiting for a callback on childcare at the housing place we’ll be moving to this weekend.

A full day! What really propmpted it was this crazy weekend. You see, while we were having fun at the pumpkin patch, simultaneously hubs was melting down. When we got home, we briefly skyped where he said he had just tried to drown himself in the river. He was hyperventilating and sopping wet so I believe him. He calmed down.. ’till the next day when we tried to skype again so N could talk with the grandparents and hubs told me a story about visiting the local witch. The witch said that we had been cursed–that’s why we’re having problems (clearly). And the witch said that not only will we get divorced, but that he’ll kill himself. I said I don’t believe in witches. He said something stupid, then his mom did. Then she said something about me giving a promise in the church — and with that she thrusted the problems back onto me. And I turned off the computer.

For the next half hour or so, he texted me about how he was going to overdose. Take pills. How he took them and was floating and would see us in heaven. Was always with us, forever and ever. And the texts ended. And I deleted skype and deleted the texting app. And I haven’t heard a thing since. These ‘suicide’ attempts are ploys to get attention and whether he tries or not, I can’t do anything since he’s across the world. I can’t do anything because he’s trying to reel me in and abuse me more. He is at home with his parents, so it is on them to take care of their son who is clearly suffering. I cannot raise his son, do his work, and take care of my own life with this emotional interference. So I have cut contact.

I do hope he is well–the worry about him is what sent me into a numb state this morning. But I have to protect myself and my son and I have to turn it off.

And that is why I’m in therapy.

Farm adventures

19 Oct

KO7A9477Today N and I went on an adventure! We’ve been trying to go out to a pumpkin patch for a couple weeks and finally we got our friend Julia to join us. I wanted some cute pics and just a chance to get out and do something different (aside from walking our neighborhood every day, sometimes twice a day). N, I’m sure, wanted a new place to explore.

And explore we did! We fed some ducks (this big papa duck bit N’s finger and he was so sad!):

KO7A9497Met some pygmy goats (N definitely wasn’t sure what to think about the goats…)KO7A9513Inside the barn we saw some chicks — including a nest that was hatching before our eyes! N thought the chicks were pretty cool! We found a pile of hay to play in: KO7A9542 KO7A9536 KO7A9560KO7A9570And then outside we found some big pumpkins to play on: KO7A9581 KO7A9590 And a tipi to explore:KO7A9607 KO7A9609KO7A9618Then we headed up to the pumpkin patch!KO7A9647 KO7A9654 I LOVE this fog!!KO7A9655 KO7A9626 KO7A9625After checking out the pumpkins, N took a little ride in a wheelbarrow: KO7A9702 KO7A9698  And played with Julia, the tickle-monster!KO7A9713KO7A9718Finally, we headed down to the farmyard to check out the pigs. N LOVED the pigs! They made funny grunting noises and he just couldn’t take his eyes off them! KO7A9739 KO7A9732It was a GREAT little adventure with a friend and my own little piggy!! KO7A9725 KO7A9744

This week

18 Oct

Aside from all the drama, N and I have had a fun week! Here’s some pictures to prove it:IMG_8172We’ve taken lots of walks around the neighborhood (often 40+ min, N speed-walking the entire way!). The above pics were taken this morning in the cool fog.IMG_8145IMG_8173He loves mailboxes–has to stop and check each of them out.

He also loves going down slides head-first:IMG_8069
IMG_7995This week he came to campus twice for meetings and did pretty well!!IMG_8135IMG_8024IMG_8136I’ve been cooking healthy and losing weight and just feel good:IMG_8081When he can, he loves to do things himself. The steps leading to preschool have a low kid’s railing and he won’t let me help him up and down these stairs: IMG_8171Every night ends something like this: kitty by my side. IMG_8175Tonight was the annual potluck for my masters program (I’ve been going for 6 years since I was a MA TESOL student myself. Now I get invited back ’cause I’m still a grad student–and N has been going since he was 6 weeks old!). N wasn’t feeling 100%–I don’t know if he was just tired or is getting sick. He wasn’t himself after waking up from a long (3-hr) nap. Went to bed early so I hope it passes because we have fun plans for tomorrow! But he got to hang out with his friend L. there–she’s the daughter of my classmate/friend who has been in the program with me since day 1 and is still working on her PhD along with me. L.’s parents are from Egypt so she’s also bilingual (and a total sweetie!).IMG_8192

Night and Day

18 Oct

This process of extracting myself from this relationship is not easy, and dealing with an irrational person leads to a large unpredictability in my life. Wednesday evening I had a huge wake-up call when I got an email saying hubs could check in for his flight to Seattle… what??!?

I checked the flight information and it seems the flight had been changed, so I called KLM directly to find out what happened. And yes, someone paid the flight-change fee to change the flight on Monday.

I called his parents and they, too, had just found out he changed the flight. It seems that in a wave of optimism he changed his flight on his own, without considering whether a) I wanted him back and b) any arrangements for transportation, living, money, etc when he got here.

So I spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone convincing his family to not let him get on the plane, while simultaneously making plans in case he did get on the plane. With his irrationality and temper, I need to keep myself safe so I read up on how to get restraining orders. If he boarded, I had a plan in place: get a restraining order and go to a hotel for the night.

During the conversation, his parents begged me to let him come, help him find a place to live and a job and to help him edit the past weddings. I explained what he has done to me, how I cannot support him emotionally, monetarily and how I don’t have time to deal with his drama. As they talked I heard him echo through their voices – his father with all the excuses and blame-shifting, his mom with the martyr-ness. I had to repeat and re-iterate that he made these choices, not me. He changed the ticket and forced my hand. He abused me. It was surreal.

He didn’t get on the plane and just like that, he burned his one chance to come back–not a chance to come back to this relationship, but return to the US. With a December return we had time to get divorced and make a plan for him, but with one impulsive move he lost that chance. Now he’s sitting at home with no money (I sent a thousand bucks earlier this month so he could buy a computer and work, but he blew it by going to Russia and paying the ticket change fee) and no options. I do feel bad for him but he brought it upon himself.

Last night, instead of getting on the plane, he melted down publicly on Facebook. He insulted my mom, blamed me for breaking up our family and did it in a way that many friends could see it. All his actions did was get a whole lot of people to rally behind me. By being so crazy, he is only helping me make my case and bringing my friends back to me.

In complete contrast to this angle of my life, my dissertation is going SO well! Last week I had a meeting with my former boss who had a dissertation idea for me. We met, I liked it, and I got to thinking. Yesterday I met with my current boss, who is the director of the writing program and is highly regarded in the field. We had a GREAT meeting where he complimented my strength (in light of these personal issues) but more than that, he complimented my intelligence. He said “you are smart, but not juts smart but lively smart and that is rare!” He noted how quick I am to make connections between ideas and how engaging it is to talk to me. THIS is the confidence boost I needed!

This, along with the additional ideas for my dissertation that he had, got me back on track. He agreed to chair my dissertation committee which will be re-shuffled a bit bringing on a new member and changing chairs. I think it will be a really great, supportive group who will really support me to succeed.

Night and day. Things in my life are really crazy (like, literally) and also REALLY GOOD! I need to keep working with that good and surrounding myself with people who support me.

One Month

16 Oct

One month ago I put my husband on a plane and began the process of un-tangling our life from one another. So far it has been a process of stops and starts and it feels like it was both moments ago and a lifetime ago. I think it will feel like that for a long time.

Over the past month, a few things have become more and more true:
1) I am getting a divorce. As I have been working though the abuse I suffered and working with hubs to come to terms with our future, he has continued to hurl abuse my way and prove to be inconsistent, vindictive, irrational and a whole lot of other things that get my blood boiling if I think about it. So we are D.O.N.E. . . but I’m not ready to draw up divorce paperwork just yet. I have consulted with a lawyer and basically, there’s an easy way and a hard way to do this so I’m just working up to doing it the easy way (filling out everything myself, running it by a lawyer in a legal aid clinic, sending it to hubs abroad for his signature, and then signing it myself and filing it). I really, really don’t want to go the hard way.

2) I will thrive. I AM thriving without him. I have more hours in the day without my life being filled with talk and drama and troubles. . .I now have peace and quiet and that quiet is slowly filling back up with meetings and work and friends and fun with my son. My life is filling back up with the things I value because I’ve gotten rid of the thing(s) that drag me down.

3) My husband is an abusive man who is no good for me. This has been the hardest (yet easiest) part to come to terms with. In many ways, this is the part I really had to accept so I could get him on that plane. He will not change. It is not temporary. IF someone loves you, they don’t treat you like that. The END. My struggle now, (and this relates to point #1) is what role he will have in N’s life. A boy needs his father, but he certainly doesn’t need an abusive father. Luckily, no physical abuse has been directed his way, but the emotional stuff has… and that’s not cool. So I have to figure out what kind of relationship I want them to have so it can go into the divorce documents.

The realizations continue every day, but these are the significant ones at one month in. It is HARD to be a single mama to a 2 year old without family in the area. But it is significantly BETTER than being in an emotionally abusive relationship. When I’m overwhelmed with things to do (since I’m teaching, studying, raising a child and wrapping up a lot of work from our business. . AND packing to move and dealing with a divorce) I just need to remember how bad it got. When I’m lonely, I just have to go online to text or skype with hubs so I can receive more abuse (lucky me!). Really, I just need to relish the time I have with my cute cute son and make it through to the next nap or next bedtime so I can focus and get things done–one task at a time.