I have always had financial security and the certainty I could make a difference. So many things have happened, but the reality is that I am an economically and emotionally abused woman. That last sentence took me thirty minutes write. Economic abuse is surprisingly common, even though I had never heard of it until recent weeks.There is a long journey ahead of me.
When my life went south, I assumed it was caused by Hope’s issues. However, I found an outstanding therapist for Hope, who she is still seeing. Hope is profoundly traumatized by her past but working hard with her therapist. The manipulation and boundary issues have not improved. She is still in the same high intensity behavior class she started in four years ago when we adopted her. She has gone from the youngest child in the class to the oldest. Getting a handle on Hope’s problems shed light on how out of whack the balance of power was in my house. Under the guise of protecting me, my husband redistributed power and rewrote reality.
My oldest daughter and her 4 year old son moved out in the middle of December. Our home is quieter, more predictable, and calmer with just the four of us. Maybe if we had become a family of four when the first therapist said it was necessary, it would have made a difference. I don’t know and no longer spend a lot of time thinking about it. I am not sure when in that time my marriage ended, but I know that between November 14, 2014 and November 16, 2014, I realized my marriage was beyond repairing. I am not sure why it took me so long to recognize it. My oldest daughter has always been abusive and my husband and her have had a symbiotic relationship for as long I can remember. She hasn’t supported herself ever and hasn’t worked for over five years. She usually, not always, does well with Hope. She has gotten nastier with GB over time. When I saw her screaming “I am going to fucking kill you” in GB’s face, something had to change. When my husband said GB needed to learn not to set MK off, I knew that my future was separate from his.
GB has had a tough couple of years where she was blamed for a lot of things that were not in her control. She was reclassified by the CSE as intellectually handicapped as well as other health impaired and since September has been in a class for kids that are state test exempt. She is thriving. She participates in chorus and environmental club with the neurotypical children. She works hard and is well liked by both kids and staff. Since I have acknowledged to myself and GB that we need to change how things are she has been much less reactive. I talk to her about the impending divorce and use the word “divorce”. She is being given inaccurate information by other family members, but she always brings it to me and asks why. She has a therapist that she trusts. She believes I will do everything I can to keep her safe. I will be limiting her contact with toxic people.
Today is the first custody hearing. With my sister’s help, I have a lawyer- a highly recommended lawyer. I had hoped that legal separation would be protection enough, but the events in the last six weeks have convinced divorce is the only solution right for me. Until the divorce is finalized, I am not free to share details here.
The last several years have seen my support system disappear and I am no longer in touch with many of my friends. Some local friends have become my soon-to-be ex’s friends. He is convincing and I am not willing to spend my energy to make my reality heard. At least, not right now. The girls and I need me fully grounded in the present.