Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Deliver Me January 14, 2013

I am 36 weeks along today. Full term in one week with Baby #3.  I keep thinking that maybe if I say it enough, maybe if it’s written, maybe if it’s published it will seem more believable.

But this still feels like a dream. At times it has been a nightmare.

Somehow it was nearly eight full months ago that The Big Incident occurred. I found out that I was pregnant just over two weeks later. Being pregnant throughout this transition has made all the difference in the world.

The pregnancy has given me the strength to focus on something other than my feelings for him. Through it all, I still love him. I still miss the parts of him that weren’t abusive. I still wish there was some way it could have worked. Especially now, four weeks away from the birth of our third baby.

Every other pregnancy brought me back to him, but I knew that I could not allow myself to submit this time. I knew that I could not go through another pregnancy praying that this baby might help him to treat me better. Maybe if the baby were a boy? Maybe then he would think I was worthy?

The pregnancy kept me from going into a stupor. I could not let myself slip away. I could not bury my feelings in alcohol or illegal substances. I’ve had to face my situation without anything to numb the pain. I’ve had to continue eating, although I wanted to mentally and physically fade away.

This pregnancy has kept me focused. I remember vividly the feelings that I carried throughout my previous pregnancies. The constant wishing that we would be more unified by the baby. The contrasting resentment over being pregnant, being trapped with him again, because I knew deep down that things weren’t ever going to change.

Every pregnancy made me want more, but every baby born or lost led to worse treatment.

Had I not gone to the police the night of The Big Incident…had I gone through another honeymoon phase and allowed myself to be wooed again…the cycle would have certainly continued. I was so afraid. How could I leave him? How would I manage three children? How would I finish school? How could I reach my goals if I let him go?

This time the debate wasn’t as difficult. This time he was already gone when the pregnancy was confirmed. This time I could look at my restraining order instead of listening to his voice. This time I had vivid nightmares to remind me of The Big Incident, and a healing body to match the memories. In the weeks after The Big Incident I had no time to brood over everything I missed about him. I had to figure out how I was going to feed my daughters, pay our rent, stay in Massachusetts to finish my education. How could I possibly manage everything? How could I keep us safe from his vengeance?

Being pregnant has made me want to go back to him; I feel so dependent on our family unit when I’m carrying his seed. But how could I take him back after The Big Incident? How could I ignore the history of what occurred during and after my other pregnancies? In the end I knew that allowing him to return after The Big Incident would be allowing him to control me forever.

I had to do things differently this time. I would not allow another child to go through what my other two have already been through. I would not continue to raise them under his reign, trying to be the buffer between his rage and their safety. I would not allow them to grow up thinking that love was supposed to look that way. Things had to change. I did not have the strength to be apologetic to another baby for bringing her into the hell that was our household while he was in it.

Soon I will give birth to my third baby, but I cannot keep from feeling as though she has helped to deliver me.

Advertisements
 

Prego Project – Voicing Violence Award December 17, 2012

My dear thanks go out to Prego and the Loon for nominating me for her Prego Project – Voicing Violence Award.

This award was created in support of those affected by domestic violence. Victims are not only the people being abused; friends and family members of the abused suffer as well. pregoprojectpresentedbypregoandtheloonThis award was created to build unity among victims of domestic violence, to shed light on the truth behind closed doors, to give a voice to the pain so often locked in silence and hidden by isolation.

It is a bittersweet honor for me to accept this award. I never wanted to be seen as a victim of domestic violence. I stayed in denial for so long. After nearly eight years of pretending that I had the perfect marriage while my distance grew between family and friends, and the relationship of my dreams was draining me of all happiness and all hope, I broke the silence.

Speaking out about what happened to me kept me from hiding it from myself. It was so much easier to handle if no one knew. I could almost pretend that nothing had happened if I didn’t tell anyone. No one had to know of the names he called me, of the spit in my face, of being forced down the staircase with my neck in his grasp. But if I’d just stayed silent about it, nothing would’ve change.

Here’s to hope that my voice, my stories, and other victims’ bravery to tell of their experiences with domestic violence, will have a positive effect on the statistics of these incidents occurring.

 

PREGO PROJECT RULES

  1. Kindly thank the person who nominated you, and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. Attach the Prego Project Award presented by Prego and the Loon to your site.
  3. Provide a bit of hope and inspiration for those currently dealing with domestic violence.
  4. Nominate some other bloggers whom you feel deserve this award!

 

I am blogging with a candor that comes intrinsically, but I haven’t told you much about what happened to me.  Telling you everything could jeopardize my safety and the legal proceedings revolving around The Big Incident.

NO_MORE_STACK_RGBI will say this much for now – my husband was indicted last week. The grand jury’s decision to charge him with a felony for what he did to me during The Big Incident came after nearly seven anxiety-filled months of me not knowing how my case would be handled. The waiting has been very hard for me. I have gone through every conceivable emotion regarding this case and someday I will explain more about the specifics of being a victim in a case such as this. I am still terrified that he is going to try to kill me, especially now that he may go to jail for decades if he is convicted. I still do not feel safe, even though he is supposedly living over 1000 miles away.

The restraining order has given me the façade of safety. For the first time out of the many that I attempted to leave him I have the freedom from hearing his voice compelling me to come back. He cannot sway me with his poetry, or guilt me with suicide attempts, or cry his way back into my arms. He cannot tell our children that “Mommy doesn’t want me in your life,” while hugging them and crying, strategically placing the children between our ability to thrive and our victimized lives. He cannot be around me; just feeling his energy and seeing his face make me want to say “to hell with the charges and the past, he is going to change. All he needs is my love. We can make it.”

I am too far past that to really believe it is true. I know now that no matter what I went through, no matter how much I loved him (and still do), no matter how many times I came back and gave him one more “one last chance,” I would have been abused. Every time I came back to him the abuse was more violent. Every time I chose to stay silent about it, the cycle continued.

power-controlOnly after The Big Incident, after an event so scarring and debilitating, where I was stripped of every ounce of control, did I find the strength to start speaking out. I could no longer be in denial. Ignoring my situation was no longer an option; if I didn’t tell someone, if I didn’t go to the police, if I didn’t get a restraining order, if I didn’t find a support system, if I didn’t get away from him once and for all, it would be the end of me.

The thought of living the rest of my life being abused was too much for me. For eight years I’d held out hope, I’d nurtured the illusion of him reaching his potential with my assistance. I’d bowed down and worshiped his entirety. I wanted so badly for him to approve of me. I tried everything to earn his love. After The Big Incident, however, I’d had enough.

At 27 years old I finally stopped denying that the man I had loved since I was a teenager wasn’t ever going to change. He wasn’t ever going to be the man I needed him to be or love me the way I wanted to be loved. He wasn’t ever going to treat our children the way I felt they deserved to be treated. He wasn’t ever going to see me as anything other than his possession.

After The Big Incident I could no longer let it matter to me if he was abusing me on purpose or not; if he knew how badly he’d hurt me; if he acted this way because of his painful youth and negative upbringing; if he couldn’t love me because he couldn’t love himself; if he swore that he needed me, and that we needed one another. He would always abuse me. And I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

DomesticViolenceRibbonThis is only the beginning of my journey. His influence is still evident in my decision-making, in my views of myself, in my preparation for the future. I still worry about him daily and wonder what he is thinking about me. Our three children, one still growing in my belly, will forever remain a link between us. I will always wish there would’ve been something I could’ve done to have made my marriage work.

The legal proceedings may take years before things are completed, and I may never stop having nightmares. I will, however, continue to speak out about domestic violence. Too many abusers aren’t held accountable for the pain they cause, the fear they inflict, the lives they ruin. Too many victims are voiceless. Too often society imagines domestic violence as a problem of the past. Domestic violence has not gone away, it has adapted. Every victim’s story gives another the strength to speak out. I hope that in some way I have helped.

 

Bloggers I’m Nominating for the Prego Project Award (these bloggers have been affected by domestic violence in some way and/or are advocates for victim education and safety)

  1. Fighting for Autumn and Ivy
  2. Clementine Morrigan
  3. Should I Stay or Should I Leave Him
  4. Combat Babe
  5. Moved By Faith
  6. Bruised Woman’s Blog
  7. Go! Win! Fight! Fly Free!

No one deserves to be abused.