April 10, 2010

Series Finale

We've finally reached the end.

This has been a long time coming, but it still feels so unreal. Like this isn't my life. I feel out of my body, looking down at this situation as an outsider, feeling sorrow and heartache for those involved. But this is real. This is my situation. There's no escaping that reality this time.

Plans are already in motion. Support is lining up. We're leaving.

My husband is physically violent, and I can no longer excuse or rationalize it away based on his ptsd and tbi, and my own guilt.

The verbal and emotional abuse started almost 7 years ago, when he returned from Iraq. It wasn't constant, but it was definitely there. A complete change from the person who left. And as the years have gone by, he's been progressively getting worse.

The first time I learned to actually fear my husband was a couple of years after he returned. We were driving to a restaurant, and got into an argument over something silly. His anger escalated the situation so quickly that it took me a minute to realize what was happening. Before I knew it he was telling me to "fuck off" and he stormed out of the van, slamming the door with all his force. I quickly locked the doors, and slide over to the drivers seat to get me and the kids out of there. The window was still down, and as I was fumbling with the button to close it, he popped up at the door and demanded to be let back in the car. I continued getting the window rolled up as he was screaming and cussing at me. His fingers were holding the top of the window, preventing it from closing all the way. He struggled a bit trying to pry it back open, when he let go and punched the glass as hard as he could. The window didn't break, but if it had, that glass and his fist would have smashed my face. Right at that second, some other guys in the parking lot ran up and pulled him off the van, and I drove away.

I've been fearful of him ever since. I see that rage filled face in my nitemares, often. I know what he's capable of.

The actual physical assault started only about a year, year and a half ago. And my response in defending myself was so much more severe then his initial assault, that I justified it away. We were fighting, I was standing in the door way, he shoved me into the wall in an attempt to get by me. I punched him in the face. And I punched again. And then again. And then I lost count. I broke my hand in the process.

I grew up with domestic violence. I watched my Mom being beat my entire life, by numerous people, until she finally got out of that environment when I was 14. The second he put his hands on me, shoved me into the wall, I didn't know how far he would go. I reacted. I defended myself. Drastically so. And I felt guilt over it. Rationalized his actions away.

Last October, Halloween night, there was another incident. Police were involved this time. Another argument. He'd left the house a day or two prior, partying and spending an obscene about of money on booze and strip clubs. Draining our bank account at an alarming rate. While the kids and I were out trying to make the most of our Halloween, we saw him walking. Stopped to try to talk to him, to find out where the money was. I needed it to feed the kids... our fridge was almost empty. A big argument broke out. He was telling the kids he didn't care about them anymore. I had my hand on his upper arm as I was asking him to walk with me a bit up the hill. Trying to get some distance between the kids and him, so they didn't have to continue being hurt with his words, but also trying to still be cordial enough to hopefully get some of our money back. He wasn't going to give me any money. He didn't want to talk. He said he didn't care. I made a move to reach into his pocket. I could see the wad of cash in there. He took the forearm of the arm I was holding, and his other hand to push me to the ground, and he took off running. Since we were outside, on Halloween, there were kids and parents everywhere. One of them called the police.

Again, I felt guilt and rationalized it away. After all, I did have my hand on him. I was still holding his upper arm from when I was guiding him away from the kids, and I was trying to reach into his pocket. I didn't justify it to the point where I felt I deserved getting pushed. Or that I had asked for it. Or anything like that. But I felt I was also in the wrong, so what right did I have to judge.

We were separated after that, and I took time to figure out if I still wanted to pursue things with him. If I still wanted to try and make our marriage work. Eventually I decided I did. But as the next couple of months went by, his meanness and his anger, that have been there for so long, were really taking their toll on me. I was becoming increasingly depressed. My anxiety was off the charts again. And I was on constant alert. Never knowing when or what would set him off. Walking the tight rope with what I felt I could say, and what I needed to push down inside of me so as not to upset him. Also on guard to protect my kids. To protect myself. To even protect him from himself (suicidal).

We just moved a week ago. Not a big move ... just from one housing area on post to another (they're tearing down all the old housing and building new condos). We had one days notice for the move, and it just so happened that our anniversary was right around the same time. We were both seeing this as a fresh start. Celebrating our 12 year anniversary in a brand new home, with no bad memories. Surrounded by neighbors who weren't in the know about all the fights and the police. We even exchanged new rings ... to really set in stone this new chapter. There was hope.

Yesterday, 5 days after our anniversary, he punched me. He looked as though he first was aiming for my face, but paused for a fraction of a second to reconsider (maybe a glimmer of decency ... or maybe a less obvious spot of attack, that he would better be able to argue, turn the tables, and get out of when the police got here), his fist instead landed into my chest. The impact made me lunge my upper body forward, so I was practically hanging over him. We were in a back bathroom, a really tight space, with two small, tight hallways to get to the open kitchen. Add a few boxes thrown in there because we were unpacking, and it was really really tight. I couldn't get out. My son was right behind me screaming at him, and I was trying to yell at him to go get help while I was doing my best to hold Nick back enough so Larson could get out of the way. He then charged me. Head first, straight into my gut, and banged me into the walls and doors through both of those tiny hallway. When we got out of the hallways into a more open space, I could hear Larson still right there, screaming at Nick to get off of me, to leave me alone, to get the hell out of the house. I was still holding onto Nick because as much as I was telling Larson to run, he wasn't going to budge. He was going to stand there and protect me. He had this huge 6 foot pipe from the back yard (brand new house, things are still under construction). He screamed, as loud as he could ... "LEAVE HER ALONE. LET HER GO RIGHT NOW OR I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU". At that moment Nick released me and turned toward Larson. He kicked once, but he wasn't close enough to strike Larson. He took a few steps closer and went to kick again. I jumped on him, and pulled back as hard as could so he wouldn't make contact. Thankfully I had enough enough strength, mama bear power, adrenaline, whatever you want to call it, because I yanked him back just enough. Later Larson said that he felt Nicks foot make contact with his leg, but there was no force or pressure felt. He wasn't hurt. No marks. If I hadn't been able to jump on him, though, he would have taken Larson out ... easily.

Right after that, he broke free of me and ran out of the front door screaming that he was just assaulted by his wife. Larson was running after him, and the other two (who were outside playing) had heard the screaming and were on their way over when he ran out. So I ran out after the kids, to stop them from chasing him. Nick sat on our neighbors lawn spewing his stories about how I had just beat him to everyone around that would listen. I was already on the phone with 911.

In the process of being banged into the doors and walls like some ragdoll, I peed. My pants were a mess. I was still outside, huddled around my kids. I didn't want to go back inside to change my pants. I was around he'd follow me inside and I would be trapped. I couldn't put myself or my kids in that situation. So I just sat there, in my pee pants, waiting for the police to show up. Embarrassing.

I gave my statement. Walked through the house to point out the damage. At some point in there Nick was apprehended and brought to the station. As hurt and regretful as I feel about Larson not only having to witness Nicks attack on me, but also had to endure Dads attack on him ... that situation (having a witness) may be the reason I wasn't also taken away. Without it, it would have been Nicks word against mine. Such a scary reality to face.

I went to the ER late last night. I started feeling really stiff and in some pain. I wanted to check just to make sure. Piece of mind that I was ok. But I also wanted the paper trail. I wanted the medical on paper. It may be needed down the road. They took xrays and a cat scan. Last night they said everything looked fine, other the a cyst they spotted on my ovary that I was told to take very seriously and have it checked out asap (I needed more on my plate, I guess). But other then that, they didn't see any thing major. Some minor bruising (was hard to differentiate between my bruises ... I have SO many from moving boxes and furniture). But there were a couple of apparent ones that were forming from the violence. My jaw was really hurting when I opened my mouth. My stomach hurt when the dr pressed on it. My back, near the kidney (where I think the doorknob rammed into me ... there a hole in the wall from where the other side of the knob hit, or possible the corner of the wall hit me there). I woke up this morning feeling really stiff in part of my neck. Thinking I just slept on it wrong or something. About 15 minutes after we woke up, I got a call from the Dr telling me that upon further reviews on my results, they noticed there's a sprain in my neck, and to come back in to be given a neck brace. So, I guess I didn't sleep on it wrong. I'm sporting this insanely uncomfortable, unflattering, and rather embarrassing neck brace now.

My Grampa will be flying out here within a week to rent a uhaul for us that he'll drive back. While I drive the van and the kids. It's real this time. We're leaving.

There's no guilt or rationalizing it away that I can or will be doing this time. Pushing is a little easier to justify, I guess ... a punch is not. Using me a tackle dummy, hitting every wall, door, and corner with my body is not. Turning on my son is absolutely not!

It's over. As terrified as I am about the great unknown... it will be a welcome break to the terror I've lived with since he punched the window glass right beside my face.

Financially I am also terrified. Figuring out how to support my children while still being able to maintain our homeschooling lifestyle ... it's scary. But we'll figure it out.

I don't wish him bad. I hope he'll somehow find the right sources that will actually help him deal with and overcome the symptoms of his illnesses. And I hope that one day he'll be able to lead a happy, healthy life. I hope one day he'll be able to be the type of Father that he wants to be. Our children absolutely deserve, and Nick deserves it also. I just know that there is nothing more I can do for him. There isn't anything else I can give him. My energy has to now be spent on healing me, on healing my children, on healing our little unit of four ... because it has really taken a beating over the years when everything and everyone has had to be so consumed with everything nick.

I blogged this not only to get it out, but also for some accountability. I'm a very private person when it comes to the struggles of my family. Now, knowing that everyone knows our business, it will make it easier for me not to fall back into my patterns. I have such a compassionate and understanding heart, even about the worst monsters out there, and as much as I know I'm done (attacking our son cinched it) ... I don't want to be sucked back in. Not in any capacity. I'm empathetic to him and his situation. Empathetic to what he's dealing with. But I don't want to extend any more energy his way, even at a friendship level right now, because I need all of my strength, power, and energy for me and my boys. Making sure the "world" knows the darkest secrets I've worked hard to keep as hidden as I could, will help me be courageous enough to put the distance between us that me and the boys so sorely need.

April 3, 2010

Happy 6 Months My Dreadies ...

Dear Dreads, oh my sweet dear dreads ... how I have mistreated you this past month.


it all lead me to dye you... again; against my better judgement... again.
hated the outcome... again; lesson learned... again.
dreamwithintention.com ... blogged about it

I'm not opposed to dying hair, per say, I just know that I shouldn't be doing it out of feelings of frustration, impatience, and anxiety. It doesn't leads to anything good!

My Bad! Sorry about that!

My impatience, frustration, and anxiety also lead me to pull your ends up...

I have to say, though, I am digging your look a little more having done it. The ends still have some wisp to them, but there's also some definite "bluntness" as well. The best of both worlds! Instead of just looking like a knotty mess, you now look like a more defined knotty mess, lol. Beautiful!

I'm (re)committed to letting you be your wild, carefree, crazy lil selves ... au natural!