The Night It All Changed
I'm sure I knew this was coming. I hoped it wouldn't. But here I am, 31 years old locked in my parents bedroom with my two year old daughter waiting for my drunk husband to try and beat down the door. For once in my life though, I actually know I am doing the right thing. I am where I am supposed to be when things get bad, with the people I'm supposed to be with. My family. And for once I know that nothing bad will happen. Because I'm with them.
All the times I tried to do it by myself. On my own. With my friends. With everyone other than than them. And now when it's at it's worst, at least I can say I have learned the right thing to do. Lean on the people closest to you. Your family.
He just called from our home number, livid and in a fit of rage. At least it means he hasn't left the house to come here. At least as of right now there won't be a confrontation. I don't want there to be one, but in a way, it would make things so simple. No one could doubt me. I wouldn't have to explain any more than than I have. They would see with their own eyes. The would know first hand the rage in his eyes, and the irrational behavior he is capable of. They would see I made a mistake, and know that I did, but they would also know that leaving him was the best I could do to fix the mistake. Even if it's hard on the baby, it's still better than what she is growing up with right now.
It is a pattern that I've had for a long time, but maybe now that I'm here in the right place, maybe now the pattern will be broken. Not maybe. Now it is. The worst is over. Admitting to my family that I made the mistake was the hardest part. Admitting failure to the people I care most about is as hard as it can be. Because they know I shouldn't have married him. They know I'm a broken person who can only relate to other broken people. And after all these years, I'm finally starting to really believe that they love me anyway.
I know there are people who get divorced and both people know it's for the best. Both people know that the situation isn't what it should be and that no amount of fighting is going to fix it. That the only way to fix it is to walk away. I don't think my husband is one of those people. He didn't walk away from his first marriage....he went kicking, screaming, and with a legal team. And I foolishly thought that things would be different with us. But you know what, I see now how his first wife must have felt. How scared she must have been. How hard it was to tell her family that their money and time was spent in error. That he wasn't the great guy she worked so hard to show them. That he is broken too, just like we all are. That's the thing. We are all broken. He just doesn't want to accept that.
In my heart, I am already out of hope. I had hope before we were married when the fighting was bad. I had hope the day of the wedding, and the day our daughter was born. But you know what. I can see so clearly now on each of those days--I had doubts. Real, tangible, doubts based in truth and things I'd seen with my own eyes. I don't have hope now because hope is the last straw of pain on my already fractured back. I don't think he will change. I don't think things will get better. There is no sign that they will and there never has been.
If I could wave a wand, my daughter and I would be living alone in a tiny house with a tiny yard that has her swingset in it. My dog would be playing with my cats, and I would live every day for what it was--a beautiful gift from God. I wouldn't be afraid. I wouldn't pretend to feel something I didn't. I wouldn't endure, I would thrive. My already amazing daughter would grow up with that energy. With that love of life, and fear of nothing. She would take that strength and use it to achieve every dream and conquer every obstacle. She wouldn't learn a mother has to be something she isn't. She would see that when two people love each other, that even when times are hard, they get through those times together.
It's funny because these are lessons I was sure I learned before I met Lou. I was independent, living in my own place, and was standing up for myself. But I lost sight. The lure of comfort was too great. I am not meant to be alone, and for as strong as I was, I was still alone and insecure. But I have my daughter now. I am not alone. I am everything she needs because I want to be. I ache to be. And for once, I can. For once being unselfishly devoted to someone is what I am supposed to do, not just what I want to do. There is no question about it being the right person. There is no thoughts about whether their flaws can be endured. She is my daughter, and for her, I want to be everything.
I don't know what will happen tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day. I wish things would end peacefully for the good of our daughter. I would walk away from all of my things, take on my half of the debt, and go without health insurance to be rid of this part of my life. To turn the page and move on to what I want to be--a mother.