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#1 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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***I'm not quite sure where to post this, so it may be here, in one of the pregnancy forums, and in the surviving abuse forum as well. I apologize for spamming them all, but my situation applies to so many different areas, and I could use so many different perspectives, that I'm willing to try every and anywhere.***

 

Hello. I'm a 26yo woman with two dd, one is 3 and the other will be 5 in July. I love my girls, they are my life, my pride and joy, and every decision I make is for their well-being.

 

I recently ended (really recently, three weeks ago now) my eight year relationship (six year marriage - though we haven't begun the divorce yet) to my husband. My husband (the girls' father) was always verbally and emotionally abusive, but over the years he started to become physically and sexually abusive as well. He was arrested three weeks ago for an incident that I will not describe in detail, but he was put in jail, I got a restraining order, and the only time I have spoken to him since was the day he came to move his things out of our condo in the accompaniment of police officers.

 

I know...it's a lot to absorb, but it gets worse.

 

I found out on his birthday, June 8, that I am pregnant. This will be my fourth pregnancy (we miscarried our first *tears*) and I am currently in year two of three in a graduate school program. We moved across the country so that I could attend school and now I am torn on so many levels.

 

I am facing so many hardships, and I do not know if I can make this journey on my own. My mother and sister (my only real family) are negative, not very supportive, and several thousand miles away. I don't have any real friends in my new city, but I do like a few of my classmates. I am in a different situation than most of my classmates, they are mostly single, childless, and a few years younger than me.

 

I am just stressing stressing stressing! I want to do what is right by my dd's, and I cannot imagine how I'm going to make life suitable for my baby. How I'm going to get through the pregnancy, the birth (both of my girls were natural vaginal births, my second was even a homebirth, no complications), the recovery, and the continuance of graduate school (I'm determined to graduate, but not at the expense of my children being neglected). I'm all alone out here (in Boston) and I don't know what to do.

 

I guess I'd like to know that what I'm attempting is possible? I don't know. I just feel like the universe is not pulling its weight in my favor lately. I am sooooo utterly confused as to what I am supposed to do. I just want my children to have a better life and more opportunities than I was given. I want them to be happy and healthy and to excel. I want them to know that Mama has done every possible thing she can for them to have balanced, joy-filled lives. I feel like no matter what, I'll be failing this time :(

 

I'm going to counseling for the abuse and I'm getting my daughters in counseling soon, to help them deal with the changes of not having Daddy around, but...there's just soooooo much to handle! I'm breaking down :(

 

~Wiksty

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#2 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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I can only offer hugs, but I am sure many other mamas here will have tons of great advice for you. Many have been through things that seemed impossible, and yet somehow it all gets done!

Don't despair, so many things in life are possible that you can't see now, just take it one step at a time, I think looking at the whole picture is a bit overwhelming, so take it in smaller bits.

And good work separating from abusive ex, you should be PROUD of yourself!

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#3 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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Does your school have a counselor that you can talk to about your education options?  Maybe they can assist you in finding alternate ways to complete your degree, or an alternate timeline that will accomodate your children.  

 

Good luck!

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#4 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you anon_abroad

 

That is a good idea. Just taking it one step, one day at a time. Trying to piece together how exactly I am going to keep from crashing after Baby comes is...a bit too overwhelming!
 

 

Thank you as well rnra

 

I am on good terms with my Graduate Program Director and the Dean, so I may be able to work something out. Other then directly speaking to someone in your program I am not certain that my school does much to ensure retention (it's a private school and doesn't offer much assistance). But you never know what you'll find out once you start asking :) I will inquire further. Thank you!

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#5 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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I'm in grad school too, and a single mom.

 

 

Perhaps you can ask for online classes for a semester or two after baby comes?  It will make your grad career longer, but if you are going to have baby by yourself + your girls, you are going to need the time and financial aid package.  

 

Whatever you do, I wish you the best.  Your daughters will see your efforts and achievements when they are older and you will be an inspiration to them.   Love being sent your way, Mama.

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#6 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you LorenaAZ

 

so it CAN be done?!

 

Unfortunately, my school doesn't offer online courses (I'm at a private school doing a Master of Arts in Publishing and Writing. There aren't too many schools in the country offering my degree), but I may be able to finagle a Directed Study or do my Master's Project the semester I am due to avoid having to make trips onto campus. I really DO need the financial aid in order to stay where we're living. It might be possible to look into doing an internship online??? I could look into doing something like that.

 

Thank you for the encouragement. I certainly hope that they look back on this time in their lives with more appreciation for me, and not resentment.

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#7 of 17 Old 06-12-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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First off, I just wanted to say that you're such a strong mother for leaving abuse. That's the best gift you can possibly give your girls, showing them that it's not okay for a man to abuse a woman. Stay strong. I know it can be hard to shut out contact, but be on guard for him coming around swearing up and down that he'll change, go to counseling, never hurt you again, etc, etc. Abusive guys literally always try to weasel their way back in with promises to change, but that's just about always a lie. Hopefully the restraining order will help. I think the single best book about abuse is Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339560973&sr=8-1

I'm a single mom and I finish up my master's degree in August. I only have one child who's four years old now, and I've lived in this community for 15 years and have a sister here, so my situation is a lot easier by comparison. But if you've made it this far, you can make it a little further.

First off, when are you due, and how does that correspond to your school semesters? That'll determine a lot. If you're on a typical schedule, you can get in the full fall semester. It'll be hard doing a full class load while pregnant, but maybe you could try to take easier classes, drop any extra things you have going on, etc. Then you'd only have one semester left after the baby comes. Being in your last year helps a lot. Could you do two independent studies in the semester that the baby is due, and two classes in the next summer? Definitely sit down and talk to your advisers about what can be done.

How many classes do you have to take in order to qualify for financial aid? Another option might be to register for three independent classes and just take a planned incomplete on one of them. Also, does your STBX work and have a decent job? He'll be ordered to pay child support, and you can get temporary support orders before the divorce actually goes through. Of course, depending on the guy, that may or may not be reliable. Also look into what social services would be available -- you'll be qualifying on your student income as a family of four, so you should be able to access a good bit of help.

You're going through a lot right now and I'm sure your head is spinning. My one other bit of advice to you is to really reach out to people. Abuse is so isolating and you feel like you're all alone in the world. Use this time as much as you can to build up a support network where you live. I totally hear you on the young, childless classmates thing. But look into local parenting groups, do playdates with your daughter's friends and try to build friendships with the other moms, etc. Having that local, real-life support makes my life about ten billion times easier as a working student single mom.

Good luck! You're an inspiration and you are strong enough to make it through this.


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#8 of 17 Old 06-13-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just typed out the LONGEST reply of my life...and my toddler erased it with one click. I am so sorry to not leave the reply that I want to, but since it took me twenty minutes to type out (and I don't have that type of time to spare again at the moment) I wanted to at least let you know that I appreciate your suggestions and your encouragement. Thank you for the book information and I think you're onto something with that "planned incomplete" idea. Congrats on completing you Master's soon! Thank you.

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#9 of 17 Old 06-13-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wiksty View Post

I just typed out the LONGEST reply of my life...and my toddler erased it with one click. I am so sorry to not leave the reply that I want to, but since it took me twenty minutes to type out (and I don't have that type of time to spare again at the moment) I wanted to at least let you know that I appreciate your suggestions and your encouragement. Thank you for the book information and I think you're onto something with that "planned incomplete" idea. Congrats on completing you Master's soon! Thank you.

 

Ha, I hate it when that happens. I swear, some of my best posts have been lost in the ether. Good luck and keep reaching out for support, and keep us posted!


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#10 of 17 Old 06-14-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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wiksty - you are very inspiring. My ds1 is 10 and I recently learned that the primary source of his extreme anxiety is his abusive father and so I'm leaving him... that would be the likely path your girls would follow, or worse. Good for you! And good for you for making graduate school happen despite the abuse. You are so strong and there are ways to ensure you complete the degree. Don't give up!

 

I am a PhD student and so I obviously value higher learning tremendously. In reality, though, a graduate degree can open so many doors that  you don't even know exist. I don't have any concrete practical advice other than talk to the professors you are dealing with for your program and give them a bit of insight into your current struggle. In my experience, professors have been extremely accomodating and flexible once they know I am a mother of 3. I wonder if you could take a short term leave from your graduate program in order to do a paid Research Assistant position with a professor or even another department. This is usually online work compiling articles, etc. for a professor's project. That way you would still have some money coming in but you would have a break from the intensity of the graduate program. Perhaps prepare a list of ideas to bring when you meet with the director.

 

I wish you continued strength and I hope you're surviving the early days of pregnancy ok. I know you must be so so tired. Hang in there. You are amazing! xo

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#11 of 17 Old 06-15-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wiksty View Post

***I'm not quite sure where to post this, so it may be here, in one of the pregnancy forums, and in the surviving abuse forum as well. I apologize for spamming them all, but my situation applies to so many different areas, and I could use so many different perspectives, that I'm willing to try every and anywhere.***

 

Hello. I'm a 26yo woman with two dd, one is 3 and the other will be 5 in July. I love my girls, they are my life, my pride and joy, and every decision I make is for their well-being.

 

I recently ended (really recently, three weeks ago now) my eight year relationship (six year marriage - though we haven't begun the divorce yet) to my husband. My husband (the girls' father) was always verbally and emotionally abusive, but over the years he started to become physically and sexually abusive as well. He was arrested three weeks ago for an incident that I will not describe in detail, but he was put in jail, I got a restraining order, and the only time I have spoken to him since was the day he came to move his things out of our condo in the accompaniment of police officers.

 

I know...it's a lot to absorb, but it gets worse.

 

I found out on his birthday, June 8, that I am pregnant. This will be my fourth pregnancy (we miscarried our first *tears*) and I am currently in year two of three in a graduate school program. We moved across the country so that I could attend school and now I am torn on so many levels.

 

I am facing so many hardships, and I do not know if I can make this journey on my own. My mother and sister (my only real family) are negative, not very supportive, and several thousand miles away. I don't have any real friends in my new city, but I do like a few of my classmates. I am in a different situation than most of my classmates, they are mostly single, childless, and a few years younger than me.

 

I am just stressing stressing stressing! I want to do what is right by my dd's, and I cannot imagine how I'm going to make life suitable for my baby. How I'm going to get through the pregnancy, the birth (both of my girls were natural vaginal births, my second was even a homebirth, no complications), the recovery, and the continuance of graduate school (I'm determined to graduate, but not at the expense of my children being neglected). I'm all alone out here (in Boston) and I don't know what to do.

 

I guess I'd like to know that what I'm attempting is possible? I don't know. I just feel like the universe is not pulling its weight in my favor lately. I am sooooo utterly confused as to what I am supposed to do. I just want my children to have a better life and more opportunities than I was given. I want them to be happy and healthy and to excel. I want them to know that Mama has done every possible thing she can for them to have balanced, joy-filled lives. I feel like no matter what, I'll be failing this time :(

 

I'm going to counseling for the abuse and I'm getting my daughters in counseling soon, to help them deal with the changes of not having Daddy around, but...there's just soooooo much to handle! I'm breaking down :(

 

~Wiksty

 

I think we were friends on livejournal when our oldest girls were born. I recognize your name. I'm so, so sorry that you are having to go through this. have you looked into what resources your school might have, or any community resources? you're almost done with grad school, and good for you. you are a strong woman. take small steps. and deep breaths. you will find a way. lots of hugs <3


(sort of) single mama to one hearts.gif7/21/07. student, breastfeeding advocate, writer 

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#12 of 17 Old 06-15-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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by resources your school might have - a women's resource center? free counseling for students or legal advice? i should have clarified. sorry. :)


(sort of) single mama to one hearts.gif7/21/07. student, breastfeeding advocate, writer 

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#13 of 17 Old 08-26-2012, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think we were friends on livejournal when our oldest girls were born. I recognize your name. I'm so, so sorry that you are having to go through this. have you looked into what resources your school might have, or any community resources? you're almost done with grad school, and good for you. you are a strong woman. take small steps. and deep breaths. you will find a way. lots of hugs <3

 

Oh my goodness Chelsea!!! I don't know why I never saw that you wrote a reply to this post until now, but OMG! Yes, it's the same me, same Wiksty from LJ :) How are things?! I checked out your blog. It's beautiful! I've got one too now, it's http://sustainablysingleparenting.wordpress.com/ ----- I just started it after I started to get a bit of a handle on my life after the aforementioned relationship. Goodness, it's a mess. My school has VERY little resources, but I'm looking into every possibility. Counseling costs, but my insurance will cover it. I don't even know if we have a women's center honestly (I'm at a private school and I'm a grad student and they cater to the undergrads so we grad students aren't informed of many things). I'll check though!

 

Things have gotten a bit better since I wrote the post in June. Well...I suppose they haven't gotten any worse, lol. I'm making the impossible happen every day, and that in itself is amazing. I am staying strong (or...doing my best) and trying to graduate and be a good role model for my daughters. It's a lot harder than I wanted life to be at this point, but it will pay off eventually. I'm certain.

How are things with you?! How have you been?! I hope you've been wonderful! Thanks for the reply and the advice :)
 

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#14 of 17 Old 08-26-2012, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wiksty - you are very inspiring. My ds1 is 10 and I recently learned that the primary source of his extreme anxiety is his abusive father and so I'm leaving him... that would be the likely path your girls would follow, or worse. Good for you! And good for you for making graduate school happen despite the abuse. You are so strong and there are ways to ensure you complete the degree. Don't give up!

 

I am a PhD student and so I obviously value higher learning tremendously. In reality, though, a graduate degree can open so many doors that  you don't even know exist. I don't have any concrete practical advice other than talk to the professors you are dealing with for your program and give them a bit of insight into your current struggle. In my experience, professors have been extremely accomodating and flexible once they know I am a mother of 3. I wonder if you could take a short term leave from your graduate program in order to do a paid Research Assistant position with a professor or even another department. This is usually online work compiling articles, etc. for a professor's project. That way you would still have some money coming in but you would have a break from the intensity of the graduate program. Perhaps prepare a list of ideas to bring when you meet with the director.

 

I wish you continued strength and I hope you're surviving the early days of pregnancy ok. I know you must be so so tired. Hang in there. You are amazing! xo

 

I know that this is months late (I don't know why I never saw that you replied. I apologize), but I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I never thought about the possibility of doing a Research Assistant position and I need to hear that I should speak up about the situation. It's all so embarrassing that I find it hard to talk about, but...I think you're on to something when you say my professors may be more accommodating if they knew...something.

 

I am very sorry for you and your husband. I am happy that you are leaving the abuse, but I know it isn't easy to leave, whether or not your partner is abusive. Good luck to you!

 

 

Thank you again for all of the advice. I hope you have been well and that you attain your PhD without any delays!

 

P.S. The first trimester was REALLY rough. The second is treating me wonderfully thus far though!

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#16 of 17 Old 08-27-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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How have things been working out for you, mama?


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#17 of 17 Old 08-27-2012, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How have things been working out for you, mama?


Thanks for asking! Things have been...slow (especially on the legal front), but better. It was very difficult those first few weeks. It is difficult now too, but those first weeks were the WORST. I am no longer freaking out, still stressed, but trying my hardest to handle it positively. My girls are in counseling and I'll start soon, it has helped tremendously. We've all been meditating and that is wonderful. I never realized that a 3 and 5 year old could meditate so well! I'm happy to be incorporating this into our lives while they're so young. Our household, overall, is MUCH more peaceful, but there are times of sadness.

 

I'm going to stay in school and try my hardest to stick it out until graduation. I was able to arrange a Directed Study over the summer which worked out GREAT. My teacher has a child too and we shared a babysitter or did our classes via Skype. It was a dream come true! For fall semester I'll be taking day classes so the girls will be in school (I'm really heartbroken to not be primarily homeschooling, but I'm trying to look on the bright side and not imagine their experience as the end of the world) and for spring I'm planning to do my Master's Project (thesis) so that I'll be able to stay at home with Baby (EDD 2/11/13).

 

Crossing my fingers that it all goes well enough from now 'til then! After spring I'll only have two classes left and I've got plans for how to finish and what to do after grad school, but...mainly...we're taking it one day at a time. There are still times when I cannot sleep until 2am (like last night) or when I want to cry and go back to him and just...not have to do this on my own, but I know that I'm on the right path now. It's difficult, but I am so much more fulfilled than I was/could've ever become in that relationship. Thanks so much for asking about me and for your previous message! You really got me thinking about ways to make this work and I am so grateful for you taking the time. I am STILL sad about my previous reply getting deleted, OMG, it was an entire page in Word! Lol. Thanks for understanding though :) How are you!? You've completed your Master's recently, right? CONGRATS!!!!

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