Sustainably Single Parenting

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

Go Mama! November 9, 2012

My daughters are my biggest cheerleaders. They encourage me in everything that I do, and literally cheer when I’ve done something that requires any effort. When I find an item we’ve been looking for I hear, “Go Mama!” When I tell them that we stayed under our spending limit on a shopping trip they scream, “Go Mama!” So I didn’t find it odd, but I did appreciate it, when tonight they cheered for me after hooking up our cable.

We haven’t had cable since The Big Incident. I don’t really care for watching television, and for the length of our recently expired internet promotion it wasn’t worth it. The girls have a library of educational videos and kids shows on VHS, so it’s not like they get no visual media experience, we just haven’t been able to flip the channels in some time. I have enjoyed cable in the past, but since having children and beginning graduate school I’ve had no time to watch it, let alone commit to certain shows.

Today we got cable. It’s another promo, so we’ll see how it goes, but the best part of getting to watch TV is the fact that I saved money by setting up everything by myself. This may seem like a minor thing to some of you, but coax cables, splitters, adapters, and programming remotes are the type of tasks husbands are made for. I had never done this before.

I was intimidated and being scrutinized. I’d already told the girls what I had gotten us, and they lingered giddily as I dug behind the television, bookshelf and desk to fish out randomly placed, varying lengths and colors of connecting cables. The box didn’t come with instructions and I almost considered giving up, but…

One and a half hours of fidgeting with things, trying new pathways for the cables, and testing it out with my newly programmed remote, I hear, “GO MAMA!” I’d done it. We had a picture, we had sound, we had a loaded program guide, and we had saved ourselves some money by not sending anybody out here to set it up.

I DID IT! A task that I’d always considered too difficult, too much of a man’s forte to worry about learning (like changing my oil, filling my tires with air, and anything involving a hammer). But I did it. Granted, it took me awhile, but I pushed through it, I didn’t give up, and I was rewarded by the cheering of my biggest fans.

Yeah 🙂 Go Mama!


Mourning My Marriage July 27, 2012

You might think that any woman who has been abused will be elated once her abuser has been removed from her life.  I used to think that way. It seemed so simple. I would scream at the women on my television screen who’d continuously profess their undying love for men who were clearly undeserving.  Why doesn’t she just leave? What is she thinking? I thought they were fools. I thought they were weak. I swore it wouldn’t happen to me.

Movies don’t really prepare you for modern abuse. It looks different in real life, and it may be harder to recognize when it’s happening to you. I spent so much of my relationship in denial; justifying his behavior, striving to be a better partner, trying to prevent his wrath. Lately I look back and find it hard to believe that I really put up with so much crap, but it didn’t always seem unreasonable.

I fell in love with an amazing man. He had so much potential. He was sexy and intelligent and a little bit of an asshole, he had all the makings of being the alpha male of my dreams. He had a past filled with problems, but now he had me, and together we could do anything. We would rule the world. Or, at least that’s the way it seemed that things could be in the beginning, and intermittently throughout the next eight years.

When you haven’t been in an abusive relationship it’s difficult to empathize with victims. When you haven’t had your perfect love take a nose dive into domestic violence, then try to recuperate from its depths, it is almost impossible to understand why anyone would risk it happening again. Abuse can be very complex; for me it was interwoven with times of peace, understanding, reconnecting, and revisiting the dream of being the perfect team, the perfect family, an enduring example of unity.

I have since learned more about abuse, and I realize that these periodic “good times” were just a part of the cycle. Before, I thought that they were signs of hope.  I look at the wheel of power and control given to me by my counselor and feel ignorant to not have realized the truth earlier on.

I had refused to see myself as a battered woman. I didn’t want to leave and become a single mom. It was embarrassing to admit how I was treated, and I’d told no one the full truth in so long that I was terrified no one would believe me. I also had hardly anyone I could tell, because I’d lost most of my support system when I fell under his spell. Even still, I didn’t want to give up on my husband, so I continuously convinced myself that things were not so bad. I desperately clung to the idea that we could make anything better together.

Now I am mourning the loss of my dream. It’s difficult to realize that I never would have succeeded, no matter how much I suffered, how hard I tried, how much he meant to me. I am finally removed from the relationship, but I will always love him, and I will always wish that things could have worked out differently. Just like those impossible women on my television screen I couldn’t relate with long ago.