In my previous life – that would be before marriage and kids – I worked in computer tech support. But then I met a funny little foreign man who whisked me off to Vegas one weekend and I came home married. Soon after, he whisked me away again, this time to Canada.
Only hubby had permission to work in Canada, so while he worked I stayed home, got barefoot and pregnant, and gave birth to a son. After 2 years, we returned to the States. As soon as we were settled in here, we followed through with a dream we shared even before marriage – to adopt – and we brought home twin girls from India. We were now a family of 5 and I was a mom of three children under the age of 3! Busy, crazy times those were.
The girls were 18 months old when we brought them home and our son only 9 months older. Soon they were all of age to go to school, and I wasn’t ready to give them up. I loved being a mom and wasn’t ready for it to come to an end. Instead I decided to homeschool. Homeschooling was something which hubby never really supported, and which created many disagreements. It certainly wasn’t the only thing we fought about, but it was one topic which never went away.
After 7 years of homeschooling I finally caved to constant pressure and enrolled all three into a small charter school.
Fast forward two years…. and it’s not about Justin Beiber.
There was no reason to snoop, and I didn’t go looking for it, but I found my daughter’s diary. I knew I shouldn’t look, but I anticipating something cute about how much her 13-year-old self loves Justin Beiber.
Instead, my heart sunk into my chest and my world began to fall apart.
She wrote about how severely depressed she was, how she laid awake and alone at night crying, and how she had already attempted to hang herself from the closet rod with a belt, but the belt broke. I believe God had me that day. He led me to sit in that chair, to open that drawer, and I am so thankful He did. She hid her depression well, and if I hadn’t found her diary that day… things could have ended much differently.
She had problems with kids and bullies at school, but as time in therapy would soon tell, her biggest problem was the bullying she received from her dad. He’s unpredictable and explosive and complicated, but I had no idea how much it bothered her and no idea what was happening when I was gone and …. just no idea.
He tried to stop me from taking her to a doctor – actually told me that he FORBID it! I took her anyway. He didn’t want her in therapy, and especially didn’t want her talking about him. He coached her, telling her what she should and shouldn’t say to the therapist about him.
Our marriage, which had been on shaky ground for years, was imploding, and I couldn’t care less. There were bigger problems to deal with.
A few weeks later…. hubby is out of town for business…. dear daughter makes another suicide attempt and is hospitalized… and I realize hubby’s paycheck is no longer being deposited into the joint account. He’s gone! Thus began my new single life. Bad timing, but a huge blessing in disguise.
Our life today.
We’re hitting what I call a “new normal” and it’s feeling pretty good.
It took years, but dear daughter is doing much better. She’s finally in a stable, and happy, spot in life. Thank God!
I pulled her out of the charter school where she had been bullied and we homeschooled two years. She’s now back in a different school and having a totally different (better) experience this time.
Ex-hubby has a story and he’s sticking to it. Despite three years of psychiatric care, multiple suicide attempts, and multiple hospitalizations, he insists to this day that I’m making everything up… and he’s got some very elaborate ideas about how he believes I’ve managed to do all this… whatever! [Insert eye roll.]
Because my daughter wanted a better relationship with her dad, one of my goals going through the divorce was to somehow get Dad into therapy with her. I was able to do that. It’s written into our decree that my daughter’s therapist controls her visitation with Dad. He attended therapy for awhile, but never really took it seriously. His priority was to continue to push the idea that I was behind everything. (If I had the power he credits me with…. oh, if only.) He quit attending therapy, and my daughter, by her own decision, has not visited him in over a year except for an occasional hello as he picks up the other two kids.
Ex-hubby has standard visitation with my other two children. His relationship with them is different. I don’t understand why any parent would basically pick on one child of the bunch more than another, but he did.
I began to work from home because I had no other choice. I couldn’t leave my daughter home alone, couldn’t send her back to school, and had no one else to watch her. But it has turned out well. I love what I do and love being able to do it from home.
Oh, and shortly after our divorce finalized, my elderly mother came to live with me. She’s experiencing memory loss and is probably in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. [sigh] Yet another reason to be home.
It’s been a hectic, crazy few years, but we’re making it work. 🙂