January 28, 2012

Snap


A wise woman once said, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”  Admittedly, having a husband is a want…it’s not a need.   I still want one.  I still want the one I had…warts and all.  The problem is that having a daddy is not a want if you are a 10 year old boy.  It’s a need.  The first soccer game of the season was today.  As the game ended and I began gathering our things and trying to find all my kids, I couldn’t catch sight of the biggest darling.  A few moments later I realized he was standing mid-field with his coach, head and shoulders slung so low I wondered if it was actually hurting his neck.  He sulked off the field slowly and arrived to the sidelines in tears.  What’s wrong I ask.  “I miss Daddy” he cries.  The pain I feel in these moments is so intense; it literally takes my breath away.  I feel like I’m being stabbed in the heart.  My head spins and my stomach tightens and my throat closes up.  The most horrible thing about feeling the grief of my kids is that I can’t make it better.  There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that I can do to help them.  It’s such a defenseless, helpless, frustrating feeling, and so often lately it leaves me so seething mad.  Truly if I could kill Dave all over again, I would do it daily.  My boys don’t have a daddy.  And I don’t know what to do.  How dare he?!  And to our babies.  The babies he embraced the very moment they entered the world.  The babies born and placed naked right on my chest. The babies we greeted one by one with awe and smiles and tears of joy.  The babies who assured us with their most innocent and pure souls that there is indeed a God and He is so awesome.  As they each had their birthday this year, I thought about how happy we were at the birth of each child.  How gentle Dave is with a newborn.  How much he loved his babies.  How wonderful he treated me and how helpful he was.  I don’t understand how life goes so wrong.  I see newlyweds and young families, sometimes gazing into each others’ eyes and looking so hopeful…and it never fails that my reaction is always the same now. I say silently in my head “Please don’t kill yourself.”  Please don’t do what he did.  The reaction surprises me every time.  That this is what I actually think when I see a cute couple or a cute little family.  I was once there…and now I’m here.  I went from there to here so fast it seems….One minute all is well, God is good, your family is intact.  In a millisecond, it changes.  In the time it takes to snap your finger.  Surviving the change never ends.  It goes on forever.  There isn’t a finger snap;  just this long journey, full of pain, full of anguish, full of heartache, full of little boys missing their daddy.  Emotions of every kind and every color, so intense, so raw, so real and so frightening.


9 comments:

  1. Oh my god. Someone told me about your blog last year but they couldn't remember the name of it. They said it was about a crazy woman or something. Well, today I found you, and I'm glad. And sad. And angry. And afraid. Because in November of 2009 I found out that my husband of 17 years was abusing rx drugs BADLY. And that he had relapsed on alcohol. So, after 17 years of dealing with his moods, joblessness and refusal to parent our kids, I filed for divorce. Because I didn't want our kids waking up one morning to find Daddy dead in the basement of an overdose.

    The divorce was ugly, and it hurt. His family shut me out, apparently assuming that filing for divorce is easy-peasy, so I must be a bitch.

    He called me one morning in the fall of 2010, depressed, drunk and suicidal. He told me there were so many mornings he'd wake up after a drinking binge and cry, because he was still alive. So I drove him to treatment, and the kids and I visited every weekend. He was so proud for completing treatment, it was good to see him feel good about himself, for a change.

    He relapsed two more times in 2011 that I know of, so I said visits with the kids had to be at my house, supervised. He came over for Christmas day, New years day and Superbowl sunday of 2011.

    On April 17, 2011, when he hadn't responded to our daughter's texts for 2 days, I just got this FEELING. So I told the kids I was going to the store for bread, and I went to his apartment. He was dead. Surrounded by empty wine bottles and empty beer cans. He drank until he died.

    Telling my kids he was dead, when they were only expecting a loaf of bread. The scream of sheer fury that came out of my daughter that day, my young son's sobs of pain at losing the father who had FINALLY stepped up to the fucking plate, in terms of being a dad. The three of us sleeping in the living room every night until the funeral, like a litter of kittens. Trying to figure out how to set out my son's easter basket next the the recliner he was sleeping in, without waking him up. Neighbors bringing food that immediately went into the fridge, and later, the freezer, because none of us was hungry. The lump in my throat that appears whenever I think about it too much. My kids DON'T HAVE A FUCKING DAD.

    We're coming up on the one year anniversary. Of many things. April 4th-the day he proposed. April 6th-our wedding day. April 15th-the day I stood outside of his apartment door and came THIS CLOSE to knocking, but didn't. Because I didn't want to enable. April 17th-the day I found him. April 22nd-his funeral. April 23rd-the day his sister and her husband snuck down and stole everything out of his apartment and drove it up to Chicago. Even my kids legos. April 24th-the day I found out and had to tell my kids what their aunt had done to them. April 25th-the day my daughter's aunt unfriended her and blocked her on facebook, because my daughter had the guts to confront her.

    Yes, all of this. I know this. You are not alone, and I love you fiercely.

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    1. Welcome to the "club" I've been a member for almost 15 years now. Married 13 years to a on again, off again, substance abuser. Mentally and sometimes physical abuser. When it was good, it was good. But then.... you know the song and dance...
      Well, enough was enough. I filed for divorce. Takes 6 months in my state. During that time, he was diagnosed with MS. I did all I could, after all, he was the father of my children. 30 days before the divorce would be granted, he called in a drunken stupor, threatening suicide (again) and this time I refused to go to him. I called his bluff.
      10 minutes later I heard the sirens. Then I got the call. I went to the ER, evidently he didn't aim straight and the bullet didn't kill instantly, so I held him for 1 1/2 hours until I decided to pull the plug, no brain function left, he was going to be a vegetable.
      I was alone at this time, didn't realize his sister found him. But instead of going with him to the hospital, the siblings gathered at "our" home, and stole everything but the garbage (literally) all pictures of my children, his tools, our furniture. Everything.
      Then she got to the ER, and reamed me out for "killing" him. Said it wasn't my decision, how could I?
      I found out later, after being called to the police station, there was a murder/suicide note at the scene, and the bullets lined up with each of my and the kids names on them. If I had ran to him, I wouldn't be here, and neither would the kids. Yes, the sister knew this, and still to this day insists I killed him by not going to him when I needed him.
      At the funeral she said goodbye forever to my girls, saying they would no longer be a part of the family since he was dead. They were 11 and 12 at the time.
      We are better off without them. I often wish for my pictures back of my babies, but at the time I ran from him, pictures were the least of my worries. But I got what is important, and they only have pictures. They live 10 miles from me, and to this day, do not recognize my girls when they see them in public. I'm greatful for that.
      Welcome to the "club" It sucks. But in time, it will heal a bit. But some days have "flashbacks" that take your breath away. But it will get better. At least for me it did.

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    2. Wow Sue. That is incredibly crazy. And, unfortunately, such a common tale, right? Sooo many suicide widows have relayed to me that their spouse's family did the exact same thing to them. Stole their stuff, disowned them and the kids, treated them horribly, etc. You know, before Dave died, his family knew there were problems. They tried to sweep everything under the rug, usually. I would go ballistic and call everybody and beg for help when he was being a horrendous alcoholic, etc. I kicked him out and he lived at his moms, etc. So I guess when this happened they couldn't really 'blame' me, not to my face anyway. I suspect they do still blame me, but they know I'd beat the hell out of them if they ever said it to my face. I sort of blame them, too, sometimes, because I feel like they never took me seriously when I was crying out all the time. I also often wonder if dave ever thought about killing all of us. My sister thought he had killed me too when she pulled up because I wasn't home and was no where around. She found out before I did by driving past our house. Peace and love to you and your family, and thanks for taking the time to write. I'm always sad to hear such horrible stories, but it's good to know there are others like me too. Hope you'll stick around...you can email me privately on my FB page.

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  2. Holy shit. Are we fucking related in this life or what? I have the lump again, in my throat, reading your words. That someone else has to live this shit...it's so wrong. It is nice to know that I"m not alone...although I wish no one else ever had to know this pain. This guilt. The horribleness of watching your kids grieve. Everything, everything, just being so horrendouosly fucked up. I'm going to email you because my personal email is not on this site.

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  3. First I have to say I LOVE your blog! I am a widow as well but I lost my husband to cancer when he was 27. Our children were 8,6, and 1 they are now 19, 17, and 12 in a few weeks, so it has been some time since we lost him but it still hurts just as bad! As I sit and read through your blogs I can see the phases of your grief and I can remember the same feelings comimg through me like waves. One minute I was so unconsolible and the next I was SCREAMING mad at God! See my anger wasnt towards my husband, he had fought with eveything in him to stay with us but in the end he was just too tired to fight anymore so after 14 months the cancer won. Why? Why would God allow this? Why would he take such an amazing husband and father? Why would he take my babies daddy from them? Why would He leave me alone with 3 kids at 27 and this huge horrible gapping whole in my heart? Why??????? I still dont have any of the answer to those questions and I know now I never will. Having to tell my babies that their daddy would never be coming home from the hospital was HORRIBLE! Watching the light leave their eyes and seeing the heartbreak immediatly, holding them while they sobbed uncontrolably was so much more then I could deal with. See I could always deal with MY grief I just couldnt deal with theirs! I couldnt fix it, I couldnt kiss their boo boo and make it all better and isnt that what moms do? I couldnt!!!! My daughter held her grief in, never wanting to cry in front of me or her brothers, I think she was trying to be stong for all of us. I did find a letter that she had written to her daddy after he died and OMG talk about a tear jerker!!! My poor baby had just wanted to say goodbye to him! My oldest son(17 now) cried EVERY night for the first 3 yrs!!! My youngest son, who was 6 weeks when his daddy was diagnosed and 15 months when he passed, bearly remembers him but he KNOWS everything about him cause I make sure of that! We still miss him of course, my oldest son is so much like him that sometimes when he looks at me it takes my breath away cause he is the spitting image of his daddy!! When I signed up for this it was with my best friend, my partner in crime, my soulmate for life NEVER did I think I would be doing it ALONE. But I AM, I am living to the best of my ability and trying to be the best momma and daddy I can be for my kids. I thank God for my babies every day because I know if it were not for them I would have layed down beside him and died too! This August 20(which ironically is the same day my mom died 8 yrs prior)will be 11 yrs since we lost him and I will tell you it gets a LITTLE easier, it never goes away completly but it eases off. THANK YOU so much for writing your blog I know it helps others to know they are not alone in their grief and loss and as a loyal follower of yours...you are not alone either! Even though we dont know each other I feel a great connection with you and will be praying for you and your babies daily!!!! Keep the blogs coming I look so forward to reading your "mad" entries

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  4. What's amazing is how reading your posts, particularly the ones about the kiddos missing their dad, I find myself right there in that moment with you. Can't breathe, throat tightening up, tears welling...and all this with the knowledge that you made it past that moment to the next. I'm not a writer so I can't express what reading your blog has been doing to and for me. All I can say is Thank you and may God bless you and your family.

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  5. My brother was that little boy at 5. Our father died after a long illness.

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  6. You've come a long way, baby. <3

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