Well it finally happened. That defining moment. Well, not really one moment, but a series of events that culminated into a clarifying moment. The one that solidified my decision to get out. The moment where I knew with all certainty that now I'm ready. It all started last Sunday when my sweet, precious 4 1/2 year old son said to me Mommy, I'm sad for Daddy I replied Why honey? Because you yelled at him . It was then that I realized that in his mind, it's ok for Daddy to talk down to Mommy, to berate her and mutter under his breath.
He believes it's ok to make mean jokes about her shortcomings and chastise her daily under the guise of oh, lighten up, it was just a joke . For the record, I didn't yell at my husband. I had told my son I needed to talk to Daddy, went into the other room where my husband was and sternly told him he was out of line that I didn't appreciate being talked to like that and that I wasn't going to stay in a marriage like this. It didn't work. For another three days the barrage of insults and dementia continued. And then, true to the pattern that I've become accustomed to, he wore himself out and tried another tactic. Looking all defeated and sad, came to me and declared that his job isn't working out and that he wanted to quit. What did I think? I wanted to yell, I wanted to rip him apart. But I didn't. I instead acknowledged how hard he has been working and how frustrating it must be to feel like you aren't getting anywhere with your job. I suggested that instead of quitting, that he should take a day or two off and get his thoughts together. He had just been on a 3 day manic fit and he was exhausted. He went to bed feeling better. I was numb.
The next day, my son was home all day with me and you can imagine how the day went. My tolerance was nil, I tried, but I was nothing more than a shell. By dinnertime, after taking him to a play place and more wining and talking back, I'm embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I lost it. I yelled at my son, sent him to his room for timeout and then started screaming at my husband in a voice I didn't recognize and shaking. I was afraid I was having a nervous breakdown. I knew I had to leave the house, so I got in my car and drove to a quiet place and collected my thoughts. Something my husband had said in the midst of one of his tirades came to the surface. You are depressed and you don't think it does, but it affects this family in a big way. You forget things, you tune out . And I had to admit that he was right. I had a prescription for wellbutrin in my car from my annual physical two months earlier that I never filled.
I drove to the pharmacy and filled it. Then I went home, hugged my son, and apologized. I told my husband the steps that I'm going to take to get on the other side of this depression. It has probably been with me since my son was born. At least that's when my husband and I started to really fall apart. I'm not excusing my husband's treatment of me. It has been horrible in inexcusable. But this is now my journey and my son's. My journey to be more whole so I can be a better Mother. And the point where I made that realization is my defining moment. It hit me today while talking to my own Mother. I have to get away from this negativity, from this toxic household.
Together, my Mother and I started to work out a plan. I don't have family close, so it will involve me leaving with my son for 3 - 6 months with regular visits back with his Dad. I have always maintained that I couldn't take my son away from his Father, that it is extremely important for him to have a strong connection with his Dad. That is what has kept me from leaving before. But now I see how destructive this environment is for him. And THAT is unacceptable. I'm not angry (yet), I'm not sad or fearful. I'm resolved. I remember a counselor told me that when the time was right, I would know it. That there would be no turning back, no questions, no yelling, no need for explanation. Finished. Over. My plan is coming together very quickly and easily. Suddenly it seems like it will work.
Even the contingencies don't terrify me. I could be out anywhere from a week to 3 weeks from now depending on how quickly I can get legal counsel, get my son in to see a counselor (there are lots of signals that our toxic household is seriously affecting him), get myself in to a counselor and how my husband reacts. A bad reaction, and I have a temporary place locally I can go to. This is huge. I've been unemployed for a year, depressed and broke. I will leave a comfortable neighborhood and a nice house for a little one bedroom MIL cottage (shack) behind my sister's house 4 states away. But I won't let that stop me from taking a step a day to making it better for myself and my son. The move will be temporary until I can get my head screwed on straight, get a job, or get my business going. I will move back, but to my own place.