Picking up the Pieces

Around the time I was due for my last blog post, I was faced with a difficult life change:  my husband got drunk and hit me.  It was not the first time he’d hurt me, but I vowed it would be my last.

I left my husband on Valentine’s Day, with the help of some very dear friends, taking the girls and the dog and as much of our things as we could cram into the car.  It was freezing in Ohio and snowed six inches by the time we left (with more falling).  When we arrived a day later at my parents’ house in East Texas, it was 72 ˚F and sunny.  The actual journey was an adventure in and of itself (including bald tires, frequent potty breaks for Starkitten, lots and lots of energy drinks, stereotypes about Louisiana, and car-hopping), but the kids and I were safely back in a familiar place.

One of the things that had been getting me down was my husband’s alcoholism.  As long as he is sober, he really is the most wonderful person in the world.  When he gets drunk, however, he turns into something scary.  And the more stressed out that work and other things made him, the more he sought comfort in alcohol.  I have tried for years to be supportive of him as he struggled to overcome this, but there is only so much a person can take, especially with impressionable young children in the mix.  I did not want the girls growing up thinking that it was okay for their significant others to use violence on them.

Add to it that the move to Ohio wasn’t as beneficial for our family’s finances as we’d originally thought–I couldn’t find work and my husband was not being compensated nearly as well as he was under the impression he would be–and we found ourselves in a financial black hole.  That gave me one more set of nightmares to deal with, on top of everything else on my plate.

I spent my first week back in Texas in a mix of conflicting emotions.  A part of me was still in shock, a part of me was worrying over everything I had to deal with (to the point that the worrying would make me start to shake), a part of me was getting lost in the kids and the warm sunny Texas weather I had so dearly missed, and a part of me was feeling unworthy of the outpouring of support I’d been receiving from my friends.  I didn’t want to handle any of it, so I found myself escaping–to books, to baking (until my mother reminded me that my father now has diabetes and I shouldn’t be making so many sweets that he cannot enjoy), to World of Warcraft, and to just sitting on the front porch like a proper Southerner and watching a dead world give birth to spring.

But escapism, like drinking, is not a solution to one’s problems.  Although I couldn’t emotionally handle everything at once, I began to tackle some of my challenges.  A phone call here, an email there, and what felt like half a million job applications.

At some point during all this, my husband stopped denying that he had a problem and became cooperative.  He understands that I am not going back to him and we have begun sorting out the details.  He calls every day to talk to the kids.  So even though divorce is imminent, at least we can be civil.  As sad as that sounds, it makes grappling with everything else a little easier.

Since my life is in a state of upheaval, I don’t know what I should do with this blog.  My posts will be intermittent until I can get into a routine (and hopefully a job), and probably not about cooking (trying to get my father to eat healthy food has been a challenge).  I’m open to suggestions on that, as I want to write (it helps me to keep my sanity).  I could talk about my return to World of Warcraft, or the depressing job market, my battle with existentialism, springtime in East Texas, games I play with the kids to teach them something, or how sometimes grandparents undermine their own kids’ parenting when they constantly interfere.  What do you think?

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brandi
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 17:23:23

    I think you should blog about a mixture of things…single parenting, developing sweets that are diabetic friendly, a pep talk for those lovely ladies who need an encouraging word for strength to leave similar situations… there’s tons to talk about. You deserve every iota of help that every person offered you….you know how to pay it forward. I’m so proud of you for standing your ground and being strong for those beautiful girls. Lead by example, mommy. If you run out of ideas, there’s always “silly things kids do.”

    Reply

    • Mommysaurus
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 17:28:54

      Goddess knows I have a ton of “silly things kids do” stories–especially with my kids!

      Thanks for the kind words of advice, Brandi. I’m trying to put together some ideas. I like the suggestion about cooking diabetic-friendly items. I’m also working on “how to get a stubborn, grouchy old man into better health.”

      Reply

  2. Three Well Beings
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 18:55:04

    My, oh my! My heart wrenched a bit reading your post. I had wondered about you actually! I went back and checked at one point just to be sure I hadn’t missed a post. I’m so sorry for the circumstances, but what an incredibly bold step you’ve taken, and that is what matters most right now. You’re a very bright, articulate and educated woman and now you’re learning so many new things, I can’t help but think anything you have to share will have value. I would just go with what you feel like sharing when you feel like sharing it! If possible, include as much or as little of your actual circumstances as you feel free sharing, but tag accordingly so possibly other women who may identify might find you easily. I know that I I read blogs from so many different sectors, and sometimes the place the authors find themselves (bereavement/loss) are not where I am today,but I have grown to not only care for them but I learn about resiliency and how others cope…we are all connected at some very basic level and can learn from one another as well as give some rather mysterious support. I hope this helps. You can do whatever actually helps you, but I have a feeling that your writing will in turn, over time, help others. Blessings to you in this new journey for you, your girls!, and even for your struggling husband. Life is hard. Debra

    Reply

    • Mommysaurus
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 19:48:17

      “Life is hard.” I think that nails it. My mother often reminds me that the best thing to do in circumstances such as mine is to “roll with the punches.” Not literally, but in the sense that one should take what is dealt with her and not worry over what she cannot change, but to move on. Kind of like making lemonade out of lemons.

      You are right that we are all connected. I’ll take your suggestions about sharing my journey. Surely others are facing or have faced a similar set of predicaments to mine.

      Reply

    • Mommysaurus
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 19:49:10

      I am touched that you’ve been checking in on my blog, actually. Thank you for that. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Emily
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 20:52:01

    I’m so, so sorry to hear that happened to you. Whatever you choose to blog about, I’ll be reading! It must have been a difficult decision to make but it’s an incredibly brave and noble one. I wish you all the best.

    Reply

  4. runningthriver
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 13:35:39

    You are very brave to make such a big step for yourself and your family. So glad you got out! Keep faith in yourself and everything will be fine.

    Reply

  5. Meghana
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 07:29:27

    I saw write whenever and about whatever you feel like! Especially if it’s good therapy. Just write whatever you need to vent or get out, share a story that put a smile on your face, or something you want input on. I do love your kid stories. 🙂

    Reply

  6. Jillian
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 14:42:35

    Oh E. I hope things are getting better for you an the kids. While I would never pretend to know what it must be like please know that I’m in your corner rooting from half way around the world.

    Reply

  7. Jillian
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 14:43:25

    Oh, I agree, you should write about whatever and I’ll still read 🙂

    Reply

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