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This is going to be long and rambling. You have been warned.

10 years. 10 long years. Last night was my birthday. For 10 years I have celebrated my birthday with him. Celebrate isn't quite the right word. Celebration is filled with festivities, making of happy memories. None of that was had. I marked my 10th birthday with him last night.

Our marriage has been dead for longer than I want to admit. We have 4 kids. 4 beautiful, wonderful, drive me crazy boys. I love them. I do not love their father. I should not have had our last child. I should have kept that appointment at Planned Parenthood. Oh Jesus. It hurts to actually admit that. My little boy is playing at my feet and I can't believe I actually let that thought out of my head and onto this computer screen.

He can be charming and wonderful. All my friends have said that he seems like a great guy, so caring for him young sons, a nice guy... and I smile and say "uhhhh, yeah. He CAN be all of that... I guess, when he wants." He has been addicted to pills (vicodan, percodan, percocett, xanax, vallium, oxycontin, dilaudid, muscle relaxers, downers, anything that'll make him "mellow") for longer than I have known him. He smokes pot every day, he used to drink until he got his 2nd DWI. He was diagnosed as a rapid cycling manic depressive. He stopped counseling once the therapist asked that we start attending as a couple. He would never go to counseling together, even though he and I have attended separately at different times.

He is verbally abusive to both myself and now our older children, who are 10 and almost 8y. I have stepped in between him and our children to diffuse the situation. There has been physical abuse in the past, I always hit back, but the memory of being shoved down on the floor with our 4 months old in my arms will never leave me. But it was "my fault" because I wouldn't get out of his way and you can "only push a guy so far before he gets physical".

He is 8 yrs my senior. He has been the one to work while I stay home with the children. He sees this as the biggest reason why I will never leave him, because I do not have a way to support myself or the kids. "Besides, who would have you... all ragged out and sh*t?" (his words). I graduated HS, got PG and have been a SAHM since then. I have not had a "real" job since 1995. I can wait tables, work retail, change diapers like no one's business and am a doula extrodiaire... but what about the kids. The littlest is only 14months, then I have a 3½ y/o and then my older boys. I hate thinking about putting my youngest into daycare. I hate the thought of not being his mama full time like I have been with the older boys.

What I hate more is the thought of them growing up to be exactly like their father. And I have already started to see my 7y/o echo his fathers words, actions, essence...


How do I start to make my escape plan? I know I cannot stay here. NY is too expensive for me to stay. There is no family here for me to rely on so I can get up on my feet. Will they even support me once I get to a stand. These feet? NC offers the closest refuge. My mother and the big house. It could work. The offer has always been there to "Come back home".

My SIL once said to me that I knew what I was getting into when I married him. No I didn't. I was young, I was naive, I did NOT know the depths of his addiction. I did not know that he had robbed a pharmacy when he was 22 and been caught with the pills. I did not know that he had been addicted from his early teens. I knew that he was the Cool dude. That he was always easy going. Our relationship was mainly a long distance one. We started "dating" (casual sexual relationship, nothing more) when we were both living in FL, he moved to NY. We continued to talk. I visited him 5 times in 2 yrs. I got PG during the last visit. I was a teenager. He didn't want to be the daddy unless there was a DNA test. We waited 9 months. I lived with my mother. She was there during the birth of my first son. DNA proved he was 99.99996% the probable father. I moved to NY with my 11wk old son. I got married 26 days later. Everything was "fine" until 2 yrs later... I was PG with baby #2. He went to a company golf outing. He came home SH*TFACED. Passed out in the bathtub. The water was almost up to his face, he could have drowned. I should have closed the door and left the water running.

After that it has been a running cycle of drinking, drugging, passing out, being so stoned that I am embarrassed to be seen with him, never knowing when he's going to be f%cked up so I have stopped inviting people over and never ask him to go to social gatherings with me, cleaning up the messes, him sobering up, promises made, promises broken. 4 jobs have been lost. 5 cars crashed. Over 60k in debt that was thankfully discharged in a bankruptcy settlement. 7 years of this cycle. At least 7 yrs.

I look in the mirror and see someone who is tired. T-I-R-E-D. No other way around it. I have tried to be the boss and run every minute detail of family life. I have been the ostrich and hid my head in the proverbial sand. I have been the pissed off wife who spent money on myself and my kids to make me feel better, which never lasted that long. Now, I am just tired.

I have been told that I am worthless, that I am a crappy mother and horrible housekeeper. That I have time for everything else (I used to run a support group and was involved with other non for profit org's) but not enough time to keep up with laundry. According to him, I have a horrible f-ed up family and that no judge would "allow" me to take my kids out of the state.

I left in 2003. I stayed with my mother for 6 months. He missed 6 months of his children's' lives. He lost his job, stopped paying rent and bills and ran through 5k of our savings. For 6 wks he pretended to go to work. I was at home with our 3 young children who were at the time 5 wks, 4 y and 6½ y. I had no clue. I was still on the high of giving birth to our little one at home, a 10 lb VBAC at home. An incredible achievement that I felt brought us closer together as a couple and as a family. I had no clue. I left 6 days after I found out. I should have stayed down there in NC. But I so desperately wanted to fix my family. He promised that he was sober, that he would never jeopardize his family like that, the he wanted to everything and anything to fix things.........
................... we all know how things wind up wit ht hose kind of promises.

He's supposedly "sober" every though he "partakes" every day, multiple times a day. On Thursday, my shoulder and neck were killing me. I have some muscle and nerve issues. Discomfort is a part of daily life. On that day it was BAD. I had used hot packs, OTC pain rx and a hot shower to try to relax the pain. He said, "Would you take anything if you had it? (meaning pain killers)". I told him probably not but it would depend on various factors. He then produced a mystery pill and told me to take it, that it would make me feel better. I asked what it was? He said it would take the pain away. What is it? He didnt know. Where did he get it? Don't worry about it. Just take it. I went online to find out what it was. After this long of dealing with mystery pills I know how to identify a pill by just the physical appearance. He said it might be morphine (!!) but long story short i found out that it was 4 mg of dilaudid. WTF man!! I am BF our young son and you want me to take a narcotic like that?? HELLOOOOO??! I told him that it was shady and skeevie that he has someone else's rx in our home, not to mention illegal and DANGEROUS. He wouldn't talk to me any further because I implied that he was a lowlife.
I didn't pursue it any more because I knew it would turn into a name calling tizzy.

So last night, after everything (the fiasco of my birthday), I told him that I was tired of being a dead, loveless relationship. We have not been intimate in over 19 months. He doesn't like having sex with me when i am "big and pregnant" so @ about 18wks during my 4th PG we stopped having sex and I refuse to have sex with him until he gets a vasectomy. He promised to get one after DS #3 and as you can see, we had one more baby. He acted as though I had lobbed a grenade at him. He said that I should stop being ridiculous. That he didn't know where I came up with these crazy things. I asked him if he was really happy, if he felt fulfilled? I told him that we needed to be REAL and admit that this was not working. I told him to admit that he does not enjoy being a father (he always complains from "I hate changing these god damned stinking diapers" to "I can't wait till you all are old enough to take care of yourself") and that we should both be happy and fulfilled... and since it was not happening while we are together we should work together to do that separately. He again refused to talk to me any further.

I am going to NC for 3 wks in Aug. I feel as though I should just stay there. I would leave all my possessions, minus what we could pack into the minivan when we drive down there... Do I make my break like that? Do I take the time to make it legally binding before I go? (he didn't contribute more than $500 over the 6 months I was gone in 2003) I worry about him trying to trump up interstate kidnapping charge. I worry about setting up a home down in NC w/ the boys and then him filing papers here in NY that would require me to come back to NY. I have no money. A couple hundred dollars that I squirreled away. Nothing that would cover an attorney. We live paycheck to paycheck. If worse came to worse, I think my mom would help me with legal fees but thats questionable. I am going to have to call some lawyers on Tuesday (he's home on Monday) and see if I can get some free advice. I worry most of all that he would try to get custody of our 7y. They have a bond like no other. I don't want my kids split up. Most of all, I don't want him to parent my 7y without me to balance out the crap he spews.

Oh my this is going to be a LONG process, isn't it?
 

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I'm new here, but I just had to reply to your post.

You owe it to youself and your children to take all of you to a safe place. Children do not thrive when they are surrounded by chaos, anger, pain, and fear.

All of us can look back at our lives and wish we had done some things differently or wished we had taken action sooner. But, the important thing is what you do NOW. You've been "beaten up" enough. It's time to take control.

As far as how to support yourself, you might want to look into becoming a day care teacher. It doesn't pay much, but at least you could be in the same place as your little ones until they are old enough to go to school.

I'm sending out my good wishes and support. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your children.
 

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It's going to be long, yes, but not 10 years long. If you've survived 10 years of his crap and managed to retain the presence of mind that you appear to have, my guess is that you'll sail through this process. Just don't let yourself get bogged down in it. Keep your eye on the prize, so to speak. The prize is freedom and health - for you and for your children. Quite a prize, huh?


If he let you leave for 6 months before, he may do so again. If you can get through 6 months in NC without his making waves in NY, you should be able to file in NC and force him to come there. My advice would be to consult with an attorney in NY and figure out the best strategy to make that happen. Contact a domestic violence shelter and see if they can hook you up with someone. Tell them you're being abused (because you are), want to escape, are concerned about losing your children, and need legal advice quickly.

You can do this. I know it seems overwhelming, but think about where you've been and where you're going and I'm positive you'll see you have the strength to handle anything he throws your way.
 

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I couldn't read and not leave a
for you. You have my deepest sympathies.

What has always helped me to make it through horrendously difficult times with my ex is to keep chanting to myself: they only get one childhood; I only have one chance to raise them; I can do this (whatever "this" was: leaving, standing up to him etc).

Good luck to you.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Desdamona

I am going to NC for 3 wks in Aug. I feel as though I should just stay there. I would leave all my possessions, minus what we could pack into the minivan when we drive down there... Do I make my break like that? Do I take the time to make it legally binding before I go? (he didn't contribute more than $500 over the 6 months I was gone in 2003) I worry about him trying to trump up interstate kidnapping charge. I worry about setting up a home down in NC w/ the boys and then him filing papers here in NY that would require me to come back to NY. I have no money. A couple hundred dollars that I squirreled away. Nothing that would cover an attorney. We live paycheck to paycheck. If worse came to worse, I think my mom would help me with legal fees but thats questionable. I am going to have to call some lawyers on Tuesday (he's home on Monday) and see if I can get some free advice. I worry most of all that he would try to get custody of our 7y. They have a bond like no other. I don't want my kids split up. Most of all, I don't want him to parent my 7y without me to balance out the crap he spews.

Oh my this is going to be a LONG process, isn't it?
As someone who has been there and done that as the 6 year old child, I think you need to know- you are the parent, and outside of court-ordered custodial arrangements, there will be no chance whatsoever of "interstate kidnapping charges." Plus if you file any kind of divorce papers first, I'm thinking he will have to go to where the papers are filed. You can do this. I saw my 26 year old mom escape New Mexico to New York with my five year old sister, and three year old brother when I was six. She had no driver's license, no training outside of the US Army, and not a penny to her name. We bounced from reletive to reletive for about nine months until she was able to get on her feet with the assistance of family and friends and lots of prayer, start a child-care service in our home, and she did it.

And you can, too. It's not even remotely going to be easy, and it's not going to be glamorous. It's not even going to feel like the right thing for a very long time. But, little by little, it will get done. You birthed your third little one at home- you have what it takes! I know you do. Please make a plan (and do not write it down) and continue to squirrel away as much cash as you can until you leave on your trip. Walk through your house and decide what is coming with you, and what is going to have to be left behind. Have your mom find the names and contact info of a few lawyers to be at the ready when you get to her house.

I will never forget having to pack only my favorite two toys and some basic clothes, and leaving that house in NM forever, and I will also never forget the relief of being away from a very bad situation (for the time being- she caved to him wanting to try again, and he joined us in NY a year and a half later and we lived in hell until I was 16 and convinced my mom to leave for good). I am so proud of my mom for doing what she did to protect us and herself and again- YOU CAN DO IT!

Clara
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DoulaClara
Plus if you file any kind of divorce papers first, I'm thinking he will have to go to where the papers are filed.
This is one area where you'll definitely need legal advice. Virtually all states have a residency requirement for obtaining a divorce. You'll want to know what you need to do to establish residency.

And I agree - You can do this!
 

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Listen - whatever struggle and change you may be facing, won't be NEARLY as bad as what you've dealt with already!

You've had ten years of someone belittling you, ten years of having think around that misery. You are going to reach a point where you won't always be sorting through what HE thinks, what HE does (I'm trying to reach that place myself!)...leaving is definitely the best way to go. He's abusive, he's a horrible example to the kids.

It does seem that staying in NC would be the best way to go! And yes, if you could stay for at least 6 months to fulfill the residency requirement....so much the better for you! When you tell him the relationship is over, what does he say? Does he agree? Does he talk about custody/visitation?

I'm in NY too...you might already know that here, there's no "no fault" divorce....you can either agree on the grounds, or you can sign/notarize a separation agreement and file that with the courts for 1 year, and THAT becomes the grounds for divorce (that you've been legally living apart for one year). Definitely see a lawyer, just a consultation anyway! You might find a free one, or you might have to pay, it depends on the lawyer. But it's very much worth it. Do NOT tell him you're seeing a lawyer yet, as tempting as it might be. Quietly arm yourself with knowledge. Oh, and if you can't afford a lawyer, go to your local courthouse, to the Family Court office, and tell them you can't afford a lawyer, and ask them if they offer assistance with that.

I would definitely consult with a lawyer before your trip. But it hopefully staying in NC becomes a real option for you.

Just remember, you've survived EVERYTHING up till now. Hang in there so you can enjoy the good parts coming!
 

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to you mama!!!! I hope your trip gives you time to think this all through.
 

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I know the thought of putting your children in daycare is enough to make you reconsider your choices, but the alternative is worse. It hurst that you won't be there for every play and class party, sit on the floor on a rainy day and play board games, but the alternative is worse.

You can do this!! But you must be smart and prepared. Too many women simply up and leave. And when it comes time they have left themselves short. Talk to Domestic Violence. They can help, they will tell you how to do this, they will tell you the laws. Some attorneys will see you without the consultation fee, mine did. I am in NY too. My family is very far away too, but with the help of friends and the courts we are surviving. I'll never forget the first night back in my home, knowing he wasn't going to be there, it was this scary exhilaration. I was too scared to believe that we were going to be ok, but at the same time I was so excited that I had my life in my hands and could be anything I wanted. It's not easy, but you will have control of your own destiny once again. You won't realize how far away from yourself you've gotten until you begin to rediscover yourself.

Three things:
1. Domestic Violence
2. a lawyer
3. a good therapist, your upcoming decisions are really hard ones, and you need someones support to see things intelligently and rationally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the kind words, ladies. Support no matter what form it takes means so much to me right now. I have been overwhelmed by the fact that no lawyer I have called has wanted to talk to me for less than $400 for the initial consult. I will keep digging since that would eat up almost all of the money I have squirreled away thus far. I did call a local women's shelter to see if they had any resources they could put me in touch with. Left a message with them. Now if I was in a crisis, I wonder, would I still have to wait on a call back or would they actually let me talk to a live person??

He is still in denial of the whole sorrid affair. As long as the front he can present to the public a happy family, who cares how that it is truly falling apart at the seams? He asked me to stop being so nasty to him last night. Not that I am going out of my way to be mean, but I am super critical of his every move. (Is he stoned? high? going to pass out at any moment? what is saying to the kids? what is the ulteriare motive? being totally PISSED off because every single time we fight, he brings home goodies for the kids. Sugars, sweets, ice cream, and candy that normal is no where to be found in our cupboards... GRRRRRRRRR!) The tone is cival on my part, but I definitely am not going to sugar coat anything. He kept on calling me babe or honey. I asked nicely, then not so nicely, then demanded that he stop calling me those names. I have an identity, I have a name, use it damn it!! I am not his babe or his honey. Those are terms of endearment, of affection... and there is none of that here. He's been on the couch since my b-day, which makes for easier sleeping for me and the 2 little man cubs.

So I continue to dig for resources, make as many phone calls as I can, search around on the internet for anything that may be of help to me... and continue to try to hold this household together for the sake of my boys for the time being. Laundry still has to be done, babies need their naps, dishes have to be done, dinner is yet to be decided upon...

So that life here. I gotta run. Man cub #4 is flipping out. He needs my undivided attention ............ ohhhhh and a boob too!
 

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Mama get out now, you can definitely do it! I did after years of physical and mental abuse, I knew nothing else and had started believing the crap about being useless,thick,ugly etc. I was homeless living in tents with my kids but it was bliss compared to living with someone who's getting a kick out of destroying you and your family while destroying themselves through addiction. You will know what I mean when you are out and can love and respect yourself properly again and be FREE. You are worth it Mama.Know this, he ain't gonna change,guarantee.He will always think of himself first, you can do way better and I don't just mean a better man.(tho they seem very hard to find and appear to all have been taken lol) I still don't have much financially but I never did anyway, what I have now is a will to live and enjoy living which was being beaten out of me and wearing me down to a suicidal wreck,all because of some scumbags twisted mindset. It's not love girl.
 

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Sorry my above post is a bit ott I am just mad about women having to go through this stuff especially while bringing up kids.I went through similar stuff and it's painful to recollect the futility I felt at the time and still feel regards that period.This is an understatement, I refuse to ever live with a man again while I have kids at home,or ever probably, and have now gotten used to peace and safety and love.I was bashed about and the mental stuff near drove me to kill myself or some other stuff.That guy is dead now from heroin which he had taken up to get him off drink,it just goes round one drug to the next cos they are f****d up. If your dh could get some real help with his addiction ,assuming he is ready to take that responsibility and wants to start the road to recovery then there might be a chance that he could become the husband and father you and your kids deserve and the person he could be.Just saying he will go and even going will not sort him out he has to WANT to change. You will know if he is ready to take this on. The suffering involved in dealing with someone who won't/can't take this first step just mucks up lives,I do have compassion for people with addiction ,I've had my own issues also and worked very hard to get out,but it just seems like a one-way street with some folk unless they can seriously pull themselves up and out. I really hope that something good will come your way asap. It is spirit-destroyin for kids to go through this stuff and yeah they learn the patterns as well. And also society doesn't have to deal with these problems cos it's kept nicely out of the way in our 'homes'. At least 'proffessionals' get a wage.
 

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just along the lines above, 12 step is free and in most places many meetings a week. I went to al-anon for years. No one wants to "have to" go to meetings but grab any line you can reach and hang on hard is my motto and there were times when that was all I had available by way of nonjudgemental support. I myself got a lot of help from the therapists and legal aid at the domestic violence shelter.
 

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You definatly need to get out. And more importantly you need to get your children out. No child deserves a life with someone like that (and neither do you). Homes are meant to be places where you can feel safe no matter what, where you can go and be with people who make you feel warm and secure, especially when your a child. Having grown up round someone who was incredibly abusive as a child to young teenager (That person still in the family unfortunatly, but I moved out so I have no direct contact now), knowing what it did to me, what it did to my Mother and sisters and what it still does to them, its not right and its not fair. As I said, no-one deserves that. NO-ONE. Get out. It may not be easy to start out with, but it will be 110% worth it for sure. And once you do get out, don't make the mistake of thinking thing will change if you go back. Once your out stay out. You and your children deserve to be safe and happy. Good luck.
 

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Desa - I know we haven't met up at any of the playgroups but I'm going through a separation/divorce also.

I know what you mean about the expenses...I consulted with a lawyer... $300 for the initial consult. I would keep calling the domestic violence hotline in Suffolk & here is the website for legal aid.

I wish I had some better advice to give you but if you have the resources available with your mother then I'd go with that. Definitely call legal aid, because I know they don't look too kindly on just leaving, but you do have valid reasons (I want to get off LI too but I have no justification, well at least legal justification). I don't know if you've ever filed a police report or have any other documentation of abuse, but it will help.

From your post it sounds like you know what you need to do...gather up all your courage and just do it and don't look back. You can do it.
 
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