Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

Because we will never... ever... just be quiet again....

I was all ready to put up a few pictures of Zack at the state fair tonight when I got home. And then... as is always the case... life had other plans. On March 14th Zack's life and my life changed forever. At the time I was intentionally vague with the details. Even just putting up the basics got me lambasted from someone who knew us in real life. So, I left out things. Things I didn't want aired here until I was sure what was happening.

And then life happened. We moved on, we created a different life for ourselves and looking back just seemed like a waste of time. However, sometimes the past refuses to stay gone. That was the case this morning.

Before I get to our conversation I think I need to give you the whole story... what really happened that day.

He was downstairs with Zack when his phone rang. It was a girl but he turned it down really low so I couldn't tell. I already knew and even though I was already set on the divorce hearing it and seeing it right in front of me felt like sticking a dagger in my back.

I was in the process of bringing down his clothes so I brought down the rest of his clothes to the kitchen and told him that perhaps it would be best if someone else supervised visits from now on. He of course claimed they were just friends but became very hostile when I suggested that perhaps I should call her just to make sure she understood that he was still married and had still been asking me to get back together.

Sometime around 3:30 he said he was going to go. I told him that he would upset Zack if he left after 45 minutes and so I told him I would go upstairs. I was on the stairs, on my way up, when the first of the threats started. The first of them being that if I took Zack away he would kill himself and he would take me out with him.

Then came the physical intimidation. He climbed the stairs and got right in my face. At this point Zack was watching everything that was happening and I told him that he was scaring him and to just leave. He got out of my face, went and said goodbye to Zack and I thought it was all over. He was leaving.

Sometime between then and the door he changed his mind. Suddenly out of now where a glass was hurtling towards my head. I ducked and it hit a picture that was behind me. The glass exploded and when I looked up at the bottom of the stairs was Zack. Surrounded by glass shards that started where I was on the stairs and went all the way down the stairs and around his feet.

It was at this point that the mother bear instinct kicked in. I'm not sure what exactly I said but I think it was something along the lines of get the f$%^ out of my house. I came off the stairs and towards the kitchen. I had made it to the doorway between the living room and the kitchen when he came back at me again. His fist was out as if he was going to deck me and he was running full speed. All I remember was ducking and when I looked up he was heading for the door again.

I no sooner stood up than a full container of laundry detergent (economy size) was hurtling at my head. I ducked again and it hit the wall above my head and exploded all over the kitchen. Finally after that he was gone.

I locked the door behind him and I called 911.

I know I watched him peel out of the driveway, I know Zack was crying, I know I didn't give 911 my address because I was too upset but they got it anyway. The rest is all a blur.

After I hung up with them I called Miss Jessica. I wanted her husband to come down. They live less than two miles away and I was afraid if he came back to hurt me it would be just me. I figured he could get there before the police. He wasn't home but she came.

After calling her I called my mom. I was crying and could barely get the words out but she knew it was bad and she knew to come. Then I sat down on the couch, held my baby and we cried together.

That brings us to this morning.....

Me: Zacky, hurry up. We have to leave.

Zack: I got puppy.

Me: Good, now come downstairs please we have to go.

Zack: I'm coming Mommy.

Me: Sit on your bottom please.

Zack: Why?

Me: So you don't fall and bonk your noggin.

Zack: Why?

Me: Because that would hurt if you fell down.

(He is about four stairs down and he sticks his face through the railing and starts to talk... first quietly... then a bit louder)

Zack: Daddy throwed a glass of water.

Me: Yes, he did.

Zack: Daddy is at Grandma Julie's now.

Me: Yes, he is.

Zack: Daddy is at Grandma Julie's because he was bad at our house. He was bad at our house so he stays at Grandma Julie's.

Me: Yes baby. That is where he lives.

Zack: Daddy hit. He hit you in the face.

(I suppose to him, what happened in our kitchen probably did look exactly like Jake hit me in the face because if I wouldn't have ducked that's what would have happened.)

Me: No baby. Daddy didn't hit me. Mommy ducked.

Zack: And... and... and... then you yelled. Daddy was bad at our house. He lives with Grandma Julie.

Me: Yes, mommy yelled because that was not nice and we don't do those things.

Zack: NO!!


5 1/2 months later and my son can still tell you exactly what happened that day. No one has drilled him. No one has given him details or asked him questions. And until this morning it had been over a month since he had told me this story.

And it still breaks my heart just as much to hear it.

When people talk about victims of domestic violence they often refer to the women. Sometimes they forget the children. I said here that Jake will probably never get what he did to me. Never fully understand it. And I'm ok with that. I have to be to be able to live my life every day.

But what I'm not ok with, what I'm having a much harder time getting over is that he may never fully understand what he did to his son. That just seeing that point on our stairs brings back that memory to him.

He is 2 1/2 years old and he remembers.

And for that reason... I will never be silent again....


kbreints said...

oh that is not good. I am sorry that he remembers. But I am glad that he is still at an age that he feels comfortable talking about it. I would hate even more for those memeories to fester and him not talk about it.

He is so smart. Way to smart.

Anonymous said...

I find it completely sad that a 2 and 1/2 year old can comprehend the magnitude of what happened that day, far far more completely than his grown father ever will. My husband can attest to the fact that abuse suffered as a child, (terrible physical abuse in his case) in no way assures that the cycle will continue. In his case, he discovered what he did NOT want his life as an adult and father to be like. His life now is the polar opposite. Your son learns from your responses to his verbalizing the story. You will stop the cycle. By loving your son. Sometimes I wish I could give you a hug.

Jennifer B. said...

It sounds like Zack has processed the violence and the divorce in a healthy way. Keeping the explanations simple are good and allowing him to talk about it on his own terms is also good.

I will say it is quite likely that his memory of this will still fade. My two kids were exposed to a traumatic incident when they were 3 and 4. A year later out of the blue they talked about that night and about Daddy yelling and Mommy pleading with Daddy not to drive. As they replayed it their voices were exact mimics of the yelling. I was very upset. But recently when they were asking questions about the divorce I realized that they no longer have a memory of this incident. I was SO relieved. I thought they would remember it forever but something seems to happen as more life experiences get added on to their little brains and they tend to forget some of these things.

Anonymous said...

I just stopped by to say thanks for stopping by my blog, and then I read your story. Good for you for speaking out, good for you for not taking it, good for you for letting your mother bear instincts take over. I work in daycare and I have seen mothers who put up with things because they're afraid-- and it's so awful for the kids. Power to you. And hugs. :)

Aunt Becky said...

yes. yes. yes.

stand up and speak.

Pheobe said...

I gotta say I think Heather and her responses to Zacks quetions are a real class act.

I have heard that she has been ridiculed for her response to Zack, a response of "Daddy went to time out".....or whatever the situation was at hand.

What I want to know is what would you like Heather to tell Zack when he asks "Why...".

Because quite frankly I think my response would have been: daddy chose drugs, daddy acted like a dumbass, and now we have to give daddy another chance. Fair or not!

Obviously I realize I couldn't say that to a two year old but my point is that I don't think my responses and handlings would be half the grace and maturity as Heather.

OMH said...

Well said! I'm sorry that you had to live that but I'm even sorrier that the Little Man has that burned into his head..... eventually he will forget or at least quit talking about it.

You cannot afford to be quiet!

OMH said...

Well said! I'm sorry that you had to live that but I'm even sorrier that the Little Man has that burned into his head..... eventually he will forget or at least quit talking about it.

You cannot afford to be quiet!

erica said...

You have the power to break the cycle. I still praise God that HE finally removed the veil and you see jake for the TOOL he truly is and always has been.

Continue to talk with zachman about this so you both can process. together, in time, you both will heal.