Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Breathe



This song spoke to me today. I'm REALLY struggling today. On Saturday things with Jake went from bad to worse. An argument while he was over visiting Zack that ended with him throwing something at my head, braking a picture that rained glass down on my son, threatening my life, trying to punch me, throwing something else at my head and eventually leaving only to be escorted by the friendly officer, who told me on the phone she chewed his ass all the way to the nice jail building. Where, he continues to sit and think about his choices as of late.

I'm not sure I can adequately explain battered woman's syndrome to you but I can tell you that I have it. And I am SERIOUSLY struggling with it. I want to do what is best for me, I want to do what is best for Zack but I'm not sure whether some of the choices I'm making are accomplishing much in either direction.

As much as I want to just write him off I can't. I don't know if that is because I am addicted to him or because he is the father of my son. As a sober person, Jake is a great guy. As a meth addict, he is... well... unpredictable and hostile at best, homicidal at worst.

Right now, the restraining order is in place keeping me from him. Keeping me from myself. From falling back into the pattern of forgiving him of making things better. That, my friends, is the illness. If you think that I am strong and I am brave, you are wrong. I am scared and I am sick and I fight a huge war within myself every day to go forward with this divorce and to make the best decisions that I can.

Every day I don't talk to him, I get stronger. Every day he is gone and I learn a little more about the life he has been living, I get stronger. Him and I are over. We are getting a divorce. But I struggle with Zack. IF he gets clean, IF he stays sober, I want him in my son's life.

Some days I make decisions that probably make the people in my life want to shake me. (Trust me when I tell you, doing that will NOT help. If you try to tell me what to do or tell me I'm doing it wrong I will just shut down and not tell you.) But I want them to know that I am struggling. I am TRYING!! The best I know how. Towards the end of this song it says:

There's a light at each end of this tunnel

You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out

And these mistakes you've made you'll just make them again

If you only try turning around

That's where I'm at. I HAVE to go forward. I have to move towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The one that I see but every once and awhile I still struggle. I still want to turn around and look back, maybe to remember how far I've come, maybe because it is SOO hard to continue to go forward.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me

Threatening the life it belongs to

And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud

And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

That is the rest of where I'm at. I'm not sure that any of this makes any sense but if I keep it inside of me it eats at me. That's why I started the other blog but I haven't been able to be there much with all of this going on and with work being so busy. I'm hoping to devote huge chunks of my time there once tax season is over. Try to get all of this stuff down and out so that it stops eating me inside.

Until then, please be gentle with me. I might not be making the same choices you would be but I am making the best ones that I know how to make and the ones that I think are the best for me and my son. I might stumble and fall flat in the mud but at least I'm moving forward in a positive direction.

One day at a time, breathing in and out....

23 comments:

kbreints said...

I actually heard this song this morning and thought of you. I am glad that you are taking my advice and breathing in and out... :) ((hugs))

OMH said...

HUGS.......hang in there!

Jennifer B. said...

I'm speechless. Please read my blog again. I'm so sorry Zack had to see his Mommy threatened. I am so sad for him.

Krista said...

I know this is hard to believe, but the fact that you have doubts don't mean you aren't strong. Stong just means you are making the right decisions, despite those doubts. You are taking the harder, more challenging road (like calling the police, like going through with the divorce) instead of just falling back into routine because it is easier and comfortable.

I wish there was something I could do. Please know that I think of you and Zack constantly.

Aunt Becky said...

Oh Heather, I won't shake you. I don't want to shake you. I want to hug you and make it all better.

I'm so sorry. I'm so speechless as to what else to say. Please, take care of yourself. Please.

Your loving sister... said...

***Trying not to scream*** Deep Breath...He...Won't...Change...*** Banging head into table*** I have heard the same record skipping for 10 yrs now and I just wish the record would stop. I know we are suppose to be all lovey dovey here and stand behind you and tell you it will all be okay, we are here for you but I will admit, I give up. I will only be behind you if your life goes in one direction and only that direction. Zack will be fine, he has plenty of good role models in his life, he doesn't need a father that will lead him down the wrong path. Move on and find him a real father.

lynanne said...

Gosh, Heather, my heart aches for you. I see so many parallels with my family member who was a drug addict. Though, I can't completely relate because it wasn't my husband, I was the target of an assault and threats by a drug addict (I was pregnant at the time)and had a restaining order that was supposed to protect me. It didn't and it got worse before it got better. I lived in fear for many weeks.

I never told you how that saga ended because I didn't want to discourage you. There was a divorce, unfortunately. The good news? The addict (not the one that assaulted me - the family member who was involved with him) is clean and eventually turned her life around. She has a stable job and a family now.

Take care, believe in yourself and move forward one day at a time.

kbreints said...

just as a side note....I was thinking this morning about how long I have known you. Almost ten years. Almost a decade. And in those TEN YEARS you have never had a moment that was not DRAMA-filled with Jakes Crap. I know that you don't know what it is like to live a life that is not hectic and worry-filled... one that you don't have to worry about where he is, what he is doing, or who he is with.... but I promise... there are good guys out there... ones that will appreciate you for you. Ones that you don't have to babysit. Ones that hold down a job and don't need drugs to make their world go round.

You deserve one of THOSE guys, you deserve a happy life. Keep pushing yourself out of that comfort zone.... you have to... because your comfort zone... I am sorry... it sucks.

Love you :)

Amanda said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. Please be strong for yourself and for Zack.

Jennifer B said...

Please consider what your loving sister said. I have had a friend who had to say almost the same thing to her brother - it was the hardest and most loving thing for her to do. Zack doesn't need a father that shows the example of disrespecting and hurting his wife, his son, his own body, and everyone's life around him. Jake has not demonstrated any intention of changing. It is OKAY to FEEL the things you are feeling - and you WILL feel them...sadness that you didn't have the family you wanted for your son, sadness that you couldn't help Jake be the person he is when he's not using. The challenge is accepting these feelings but not allowing them to influence your decisions and actions. I hope you will forgive those of us who are speaking a little tough to you right now.

darkship said...

I understand you.... I won't shake you but I will pray for you....

Jessica said...

I value our friendship and have said time and time again I wish I had you in my life all my life.

I know you desperately want all of us to be your "Al-Anon" friends and merely listen without opinions/advice.
Just as some of us can't make suggestions on what you could do because we haven't walked in your shoes you can't ask us to listen without saying something....anything until you have walked in our shoes.
I have seen the tears in your fathers eyes more than once, the worry and desperation in your mother's voice and lost friendships indirectly because of Jake and your addiction to him. If you want us to surround you and love you and Spike don't ask us to sit back while you are ripping your insides out and he continues to strip you of everything else.

I have told you time and time again that you are worth it, you can do this, we are behind you, all the words of encouragement I can think of. I am so damn proud of how far you have come; I never dreamt I would see even this day....DON'T STOP NOW....Come all the way!

I know you need to figure this out on your own; for some crazy reason I still hope that something I say will pull you out...show you the light even if it's in a distance.

There are people who have been where you stand, that know what you are going through reach out to them...listen to their stories, take what they have to say. Refusing to recognize that anyone else could possibly know what you are going through only holds onto the "victim" in you longer.

You have mastered what it is like to be a selfish, abusive addicts wife....but can you fully put yourself in Spike's shoes as the son of an addict and a mother who can't know what he needs until she has been where he is? Fearing daddy's rage that shakes his safety and security and listening to mommy relive it over and over through every conversation!

If you could....I know you would be making faster possibly different decisions for change.

Because when and where Jake is not present you are a remarkable friend, beautiful daughter, memorable sister, and most importantly the BEST mother!

Anonymous said...

I just have one thing to say....Jake will always be Zacks father and NO ONE can replace him! As much as everyone doesn't like Jake (and trust me right now I am one of them) He loves Zack with all his heart and I am sure that he always will! He should always know that Jake loves him but he is selfish! But you can NEVER replace a father...step dad yes but NEVER a father!

(To Heather I am sorry but I had to write this to stand up for a small part of my brother! Deep down he loves Zack but you and I both know that he isn't in his right mind and that is why he is off doing his thing. Trust me I do NOT agree with anything that he is doing but I know that Zack is the apple of his eye! Just remember to not say anything to hateful about him because he is still Zacks daddy and always will be!)
Molly

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen you say one hateful thing about Jake. All I've seen is a struggling abused woman. Yes Jake will always be Zack's father but it doesn't mean he's a good one. Heather do you want Zack growing up and treating women the way Jake treats you?

Anonymous said...

Heather,
My heart is hurting for the pain you are going through now. Everyone knows that you love sober Jake with all your heart and wish he could be there with you and Zack. Unfortunately, due to his illness the man you love is no longer here. No longer available to be the husband you need & a daddy to Zack.
Going through this divorce is going to be a grieving process & you need to accept all the stages of grief as they come.
Some day you will be ready to move forward and I'm sure there is a wonderful, caring man out there who will FINALLY treat you like a woman should be treated 100% of the time. (Not just on a good day.) And when you find the peace that comes from the drama-free life, you will know you made the right decision for you and your son.
Jake will always be Zack's father & Zack should know that while his father loved him, he was sick and just wasn't able to stay around to be his daddy. In no way was his leaving a reflection on how he felt about his little boy.....
HUGS!

Laura said...

I'm so sorry Heather. What a horrible experience to live through. You're right, every day you stay on this path, you get a bit stronger and it gets a bit easier to stay the course. Keep at it.

What you're going through is HARD. So of course it's a struggle for you. That does not make you weak, that makes you human. What makes you strong is that you're sticking to it despite your fear and struggle.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, I've been there. I remember everything from the hope that he'd just get clean again, to the fear that he could hurt you, or worst, your child in a state when he's using.

I'm not going to give you advice. That was the last thing I wanted when I was in your position about 5 years ago. Then another person who'd come out of a position like mine told me this:

Remember that the changes you make to protect yourself and your child, can be 'reversed' if things with your husband change down the road.

When I went through my divorce proceedings I made sure that there were restrictions, but that Sean could stay in our child's life when he was clean and it was safe to. We had (actually still have) only supervised visits allowed. I told myself the entire time that if he allowed himself to be, that he would be my child's father and not just a sperm donor. And, if 2 years down the road if Sean got clean, we could start FRESH. We could always start dating all over, courting, and eventually if he could be trusted, we could always re-marry.

We never got to start over because 5 years down the road, he's only been clean the 2 times he was in prison since the divorce was final and he couldn't make himself clean enough to visit our daughter (He did the first month & a half, hasn't attempted to see her since.)

Also, someone once told me that if you clean him up and start where you left off, he's going to start where he left off too.

Just words that helped me...

Becky

Jessica said...

I am going to respectfully disagree with Molly....Love you Molls but....

A father can be replaced! I was a little older than Zack when my mom left.

Sure my "dad" didn't donate his sperm to create me but I would GIVE ANYTHING for my biological father to be him.

ANYTHING!!

Your loving sister again... said...

My babysitter went through a very similar situation that you are in. Luckily it only took her one hard slap across the face with her daughter in her lap before she said enough and was gone. Her daughter was 4 at the time and after they moved out her daughter said this to her..."Mom, I am glad daddy doesn't live with us anymore because now you don't have to cry all the time" Kids understand and don't resent you from taking them away from situations that aren't good for them.

Jennifer B. said...

And sometimes they resent you for staying. Do you remember my blog posting about when my Mom and I tried to walk to Des Moines after my Dad had beat her up again? And I was so happy we had left. And then she went back that same night? I lost a lot of respect for her that night.

Lindsey said...

Many people don't know this but my real dad beat my mom and my mom always said "the first time he hits me in front of my daughter I am gone." well one day they got in a fight and my dad smacked my mom and when she turned from the blow I was sitting there watching. My mom left that day and never went back. My dad DID change his ways and never hit another woman. I have a loving relationship with my dad but I am SO happy I didn't grow up in a family like that. I was 2 when my mom left. I don't remember any of it.... but my mom did remarry when I was 4. I now have 2 dad's that love me more than anything. Zack can have this too.

Anonymous said...

I have a Few things to say.... first, Heather you seen to be a great mother. I just what to put that out there before you read any further. However, it seems to me that little Zack was brought into this world with a job. You knew that you would have a baby for hopes that it would bring you and jake closer and you would live happly ever after. If you care to admit that our not, thats up to you. You knew how Jake was when you first met him. You knew how he was when you two fought every day, ending in daily break-ups. You knew how he was when he would call you a bitch breaking your heart over and over again. You knew how he was when he would be missing for days on end. you know how he was when you got married. and when you desided to get pregant you didn't even wait to see if he would stay clean. I empathize with you, beleive it or not. Im glad you have good friends and family. However do understand how degreating it has been for Jakes family for you to air all his dirty laundry. I know that you have the right to blog whatever you want. But do you think that maybe Jake(when he was clean) didn't want you to let all the world to read how messed up his was(is). You didn't even give the smoke time to clear before you had all is problems advertised on here! I hope you understand I'm not trying to hurt your feeling but lets get the realistic for a second, the pitty party isn't helping anyone and putting it where anyone (myself included) can find it. I know you haven't forgot that Zack is the most important variable in this whole train wreck. thats good. I just don't think its doing you any good blog all this. send e-mails. have some respect for your sons family.

Jill A said...

While I admittedly was a little shocked to look up your blog and see things weren't going well, I am also somewhat relieved. To be honest, I'm pretty sure there is a wonderful match for you out there, but I never actually thought Jake was it. Your differences in priorities were obvious from day one.

Now, on to the advice crap. It doesn't end overnight and you don't get the strength to stick with your decisions instantaneously. Your relationship with Jake is probably not over, but your love for him is. Every time you try to look at him through those forever forgiving eyes, try to remember him as he was when you were dating, try to figure out what went wrong, you'll envision, not the perfect family you had hoped for, but those moments of screaming, anger, threats, strangers on your property, stealing your identity. All the trying and going to damn meetings that, in the end, didn't make a bit of difference.

I am proud of you. I am proud of you for doing everything you could think of to make a relationship with the father of your wonderful child work. But it didn't. And now there is no way you can ever look back and say, I could have tried harder, things could have ended differently, if, if, if.

And as long as you can let go of the angry feelings I'm sure you're harboring, you'll feel a little lighter everyday. Eventually you'll even find yourself able to forgive him and see him for who and what he is, changes in the future him won't affect you, except through your son. You'll move on.

I draw from a relationship experience that stretched me to the limits of my sanity, my tolerance and financial ability. Everything that has gone well for me could have taken a drastically different path if I had not made that final, gut-wrenching decision to live my life in accordance with my own priorities. He could have and would have taken everything from me.

My best friend asked me the other day, what did you get out of that relationship? I answered, "I'm not sure why that happened to me. I think it taught me the limits of my patience." And I use that lesson all the time. I am the most patient me I have ever been.