To tell you the truth

Truth be told, I’m not doing so well. I won’t ever actually admit it, so if you ever tell anyone I’ll deny it even if lightning strikes me down.

I have slept on the couch for 2 weeks and just yesterday I thought it might be wise to put a pillow case over the end pillow I’ve used every night without washing the mascara and eye liner off first. My kids and I shared my bed for our summer. I washed sheets every week until last week. I left the piled up wreck alone for a few days, then the dirty sheets came off and clean ones went on. I made the bed, paying attention to the corners and wrinkles, and it’s still made. No footprints. The bedroom door needs a velvet rope.

A window was opened at some point. At some point I found I had opened it. I have slept with it open every night. I’m tempting the theory that sleeping with a window open leads to robbery and murder, or that fresh air helps settle unsettled slumbers. I close this window every morning when I leave so this doesn’t happen while I’m away.

Last Saturday morning and Sunday morning I put on clean underwear, but I was still wearing most of the dress I put on for work Friday morning Sunday evening.

The contents of the pantry dwindled to crumbs, but I didn’t have to stare at the salad dressings and condiments as the only occupants of my fridge because I didn’t open it for a week. The left over fish sticks and french fries were donated to the birds so I could have more freezer space for ice-cube trays. I finally went grocery shopping Sunday, but I’m still in no mood to eat. I’m satisfied with cereal, sandwiches, and spaghetti.

Nothing that needs ironing will be worn for a while.

Saturday was spent on the couch and Sunday spent cleaning my house. I felt guilty cleaning my house, like I was cleaning the kids out. I didn’t windex the finger smudges off my bedroom mirror. It’s the only way I can see their hands on my cheeks anymore.

I didn’t clean their rooms. Their doors have been closed since they day after they left. My son’s room is a beautiful disaster, the likes of which only a 2-year-old boy can achieve. My daughter’s room is set up for the tea we will have when she comes home. Her jewelry is put together with her tiaras, tutus, and tea cups so we can choose from her entire selection without having to shop the whole mall.

Friday night I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes. Saturday I was up at 9, napped for 3 hours at noon, and was in bed for the night at 8:30.

I have 2 bottles of wine in my refrigerator. I have had those same 2 bottles of wine in my refrigerator for over a year.

All the cheap happy-meal-esque toys, the cheap sports sets, the broken crayons, dried out markers, scraps of chalk, and specs of paper have been thrown out. The 2T & 4T summer clothes are washed, folded, and bagged for donation. I’ve started willing out the pieces of furniture I won’t need anymore.

Neither of them will come home to the walls they remember as their home. I’ll leave this house, but I won’t live in FL. Not in FL. I won’t live in FL, in that god-forgotten, yeast-infected armpit of the nation. I don’t want to leave my home. We picked it out together to be our forever home – loosely forever, actually it was our until-Mommy-can-buy-a-house forever home. It is no longer our home, and I’m a renter so there is no reason to stay. I’m not fool enough to think I can bring my kids home. I’m not fool enough to think I can live with their ghosts.

Morning sickness has returned. I’ve had pains in my right side, my lower back is sore, certain foods make me nauseous while others that did make me hungry, and every morning I dry heave while I shower. It’s pseudo sickness, as much like the real thing as it feels, it’s not real. I practice 3 forms of birth control: the pill, tide tubes, and abstinence.

Between May and June, my gas, electric, and water bills were overpaid by about 3 months’ worth. I forgot to pay my student loan. I mispaid my $48 internet bill by $11.91 and paid my car payment 2 weeks early, then panicked when I didn’t get a bill and paid again.

The anger hurts. The actual pain in my heart is real; I am feeling real, live, actual heartache. I fight myself because I can’t figure out how I am supposed to want to live thru this. I can’t shake the disgust that I just gave my kids to an abuser, knowingly and willingly. It may have been court ordered, but I turned 2 small children, too small to even read, over to a manipulating, narcissistic, wife-beating, child abusing sorry excuse for a human.

The anger hurts and anger at the source is strictly prohibited by the game. He can suck zombie penis. The hurt is so real I can’t see myself for the person I have become since I left. He beat me, he made me cower in fear of him, and he reminded me everyday how lucky I should feel for his exaltedness to make me better.

Once I was free, I told him he was a wife-beating, child abusing rapist, a wife-beating, child abusing thief, and a wife-beating, child abusing waste of human flesh. Once I was free, I told him to fuck off, to fuck off, and to fuck off again. My uncivil communications lost me my kids.

Once I was free, I asked him to meet me at a police station to exchange the kids for his Spring Break visit and he refused, I begged him to meet me at a police station to exchange the kids for his Christmas visit and he refused, I demanded he meet me at a police station for his next Spring Break visit and, this time, when he refused, I cancelled the visit. Protecting myself lost me my kids.

My houseplants have died, except for the poinsettia that should have died last November but is now over 3′ in every direction. It lives under a shade tree in the back yard right now and has mother nature to pick up where I’ve left off. I had a total of 3 flowers bloom in my garden this summer, and now that playing with the garden hose and making mud puddles isn’t a great way to spend the last hour before bath and story time, the garden has gone as thirsty as I have gone hungry.

My internet was out last night, for whatever reason I don’t know. They were experiencing an unusually high volume of callers and my estimated wait time was greater than 10 minutes so I knew I wasn’t the only one, pretended it would fix itself, and hung up. I went and got a manicure and spent the night watching what I figured was the only choice on my non-cable having TV last night: CBS sitcoms, specifically 2 Broke Girls. I am now channeling Max – boo-ya! – boots, bitch, and all. But not really.

I never should have left him. I should have stayed until I could call the police – it gets easier after years and years of abuse, right? – until I could be taken to the ER, until my neighbors finally heard my screams. I left right. I left the way I was supported to leave, the only safe way for a victim of abuse to escape: at the first moment you can with whatever you can. Except I didn’t have any police reports, and, as it turns out, that means I wasn’t abused. I wasn’t afraid for my life. I wasn’t afraid for my children’s lives. He never broke me into pieces to play with whatever piece suited him that day.

If I hadn’t left him, none of this would have happened. If I hadn’t left him, I could take it for my kids. If I hadn’t left him, I’d be dead.



  1. heartbreaking…

  2. squirrel circus · · Reply

    Just tragic….so many victims of this outcome…and no good answers…

  3. I’m moved by the content. I also liked what you did here with active and passive voice.

    1. Thank you for reading, and commenting. It was a challenge to actively use the passive voice, but I don’t know that I could have churned this out without being able to disown some of my own actions.

  4. I wish I could hug you…though I’m not much of a people person and I have some serious issues with personal space…I still wish I could hug you.
    When do they come back?

    1. I get the minimal visitation schedule: 1 weekend a month, spring break, alternating thanksgiving and xmas, and half of each summer.

      1. That sounds really difficult. I’m so sorry. They love you – and they are lucky to have you as a mom.

  5. Such raw emotion in this post. I imagine it was cathartic to write. Thank you for sharing it. I’m sending you positive vibes for strength.

    1. Positive vibes are great! Thank you for sending them.

  6. I’m so sorry. I have had those days. Early in July when my kids went for their month-long visitation (ha), I went into a depression. I slept on the couch. I let the house become a wreck. I ate peanut butter out of the jar because the pantry was bare. It took about a week to convince myself that the world wasn’t ending… I didn’t jump up and go dancing after that. I just started preparing for the day that they returned. It was the only thing that gave me purpose.

    1. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day or a month, it’s hard to be away.
      And, P.S. eating peanut butter from the jar, licking it right off the spoon, is the best way to eat peanut butter ever.

  7. From now on I am keeping you in prayer.


  8. […] I faced darkness and lived in it. (8) One journey is crossing paths with another. (9) I wonder if I’ll know, or trust that I […]

  9. 4 years after the fact, I still tell myself the same thing. I shouldn’t have left.

  10. […] sleeping on my couch, and then I had 29 June – 12 August with the kids home with me. And then reality hit: my kids were gone. Phone calls, skypes, and monthly visits would become our […]

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