Monday, September 24, 2012

Weaning and School

I really hate weaning the Princess. She is much more unhappy about it than the boys were. I started two weeks ago when she came down with a double ear infection and couldn't nurse. With the career development course coming up, I knew pumping would be a real pain, plus I had this fiercely itchy, cracking, peeling rash around my nipples that I thought at first was from her teething. (She is cutting six more teeth to go with the two little razors she already has hehe.) Turns out it was from the pump flanges. I didn't wash them properly for two weeks. But the pump was secondhand anyway and is giving out, so it's not a good idea to start up again. She cries a whole lot more and keeps sucking on my neck and arms. Poor baby. She drinks formula with no problem, but she still wants to nurse, so I know it's the comfort she's after and not the food.

The course is great. They gave us all sorts of tips about resume writing, and we have three tests to take that are supposed to reveal important things about who we are and what our skills are. I'm one of only two people in a class of almost 30, who is under 50 years old. But I met someone who has had some similar marriage experiences, and that's been very encouraging. She said that divorcing her husband was the best thing she did for his parenting, because until then he didn't see why the kids needed him to get involved since she was such a great mother. Wow, that line sounds so familiar. Sadly, he eventually committed suicide anyway. She said he never got his drug problem completely under control, but it got much better when he had to prove himself to the courts as a parent. I have long feared that this is the same path DH will follow. I hope I'm wrong, but the pattern says otherwise.

He is doing better right now. He got a letter, but from his caseworker, not his therapist. He told me flat out that his therapist wasn't going to write one because she didn't feel he was in a position to be seeing the children. That was not encouraging. The letter was absolute bullshit. It looked like he had dictated it, made blatantly incorrect statements about his mental state, and even included advice about how often he should be allowed to see the kids that a mere caseworker is in no position to make. But when he brought it to me at work, I could tell just by looking at him that he was much more stable than he had been, so we visited him that weekend anyway. I want the kids to see him, just not when he's psychotic. We can't be his blanket.

He kept calling me every other day for over a week trying to convince me that we can get back together. But finally he stopped, and I'm glad because I was about ready to call the county and set up supervised visitation so I'd never have to talk to him again. His mother gave me a book about Controlled Separation and how it can save your marriage, but that's not an option now. That was an option six months ago. She refuses to believe that he is serious about his revelation, and thinks he is only doing this to make me jealous. And it's not something I really think I can discuss with her. But I know better.

My counselor keeps asking me if my calmness about the whole thing is a mask that's going to crack eventually if I don't let it out. But I really don't think so. There are times when it hits me, and I feel angry and heartbroken about the loss of my dream. But that's the problem right there. The dream is all I'm losing. We never had a marriage, and I've been waiting 10 years for it to begin. I thought if he could get off of drugs, he'd stop lying; and if he would get away from his mother, he'd be able to bond with me as a wife. Now I realize that's never going to happen, even if he stayed clean and she died. He's not able to. And I will never be anything more to him than a live-in caregiver if I stay. I didn't marry him to be his nurse, although I was willing to be one while waiting for the rest of our relationship. But I'm not going to accept a future like the past in order to stay married.

He's afraid I will meet someone better. I'm accepting that I'm better off single. I have all the men I need in my life, and I am blessed. My children have a wonderful grandfather in my dad, and six good men for uncles. We are fortunate to live in the same area, so they are not lacking for male role models in their lives. I have all the emotional tools I need to raise my children without a husband. All I need are the financial tools, and hopefully I will have those soon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Picking up the pieces

Well, I guess I was too quick to think DH was getting all better because of his new insight. Things have only gotten worse, and this weekend I had to tell him he cannot see the kids any more until he has a letter from his psychiatrist or therapist, saying that he is compliant with his treatment plan. Two people - one of them a therapist herself - have told me I should know better by now than to let him near us, and that if anything happens they will go to court and say I knew better. I finally heard back from a divorce attorney whom I will meet with in a couple of days, and I am just waiting to see whether or not it becomes necessary to file for a restraining order.

He keeps saying he understands my reasons and accepts them, and he's not going to fight me on it, BUT..... And then follows 20 minutes or so of various conflicting arguments as to why things should not be over yet. No matter what I say, he refuses to accept it. Although he says over and over that he IS accepting it. He just doesn't. I wrote a letter to the school on the advice of my therapist and the school principal, stating my reasons for not wanting the boys released to him if the question arises. I hope they find it sufficient, and I hope the question does not come up.

He tried very hard to take back what he told me, even saying that it might not be true and that he only told me because his therapist said to. But I don't believe it. It explains way too much that had no explanation before. And besides, I'm tired of fighting tooth and nail for a spot in his life. If he ever cared for me the way he claims to, I never would have had to. Plus I'm not giving away any more of myself for nothing in return. Without him, I have a future, I have potential, I can be a good mother. With him, I'll never be able to do more than survive.

Meanwhile the boys started school last week and are loving it, we got a discounted membership to the YMCA starting today, and I start the Career Development course at the local college next week. I picked up more hours at work on the same days, and I think things are really looking up for me and the kids. I'm very glad to have my family in spite of our differences. I always know I can trust them to keep my children safe and not make disparaging comments about their father, and that is so valuable.

I never wanted my children to have a broken home. It hurts knowing that we are more broken with him than without him. But accepting that fact certainly makes the future look brighter. Here's to getting a life!