I often get angry about religious zealots and marriage traditionalists who continue their diatribe that no matter how bad the marriage or relationship, if you have kids, you have to stay. What a total load of bullshit !
I have known quite a few people over my nearly 40 years who were the children of people who stayed together, “for the good of the kids”, and let me tell you, it was notr good fore the kids. In my adult life, I have met adults who still carry the scars, and as a child and teenager, I saw so many friends who were getting fucked up by their parents inability to get along. I was that guy at school that other kids talked to when they needed an ear to listen.
I am glad I walked away from my marriage, for the good of my son. It was not an emotionally positive environment for a child to be raised in. How can witnessing physical violence being perpetrated towards one of your parents by the other be good ?
Look, I know it is easy to say leave, when in reality it isn’t quite that easy. For around 14 years, I absorbed so much abuse, mental, physical, emotional, because, for among other reasons, I too had been hoodwinked by the fallacy that ” all marriages go through tough times, you just work through them”. Hey, I wanted my marriage to work. Nobody wants a decision they made fail. But you see, this is the problem with the notions around marriage that are prolific in society, the “stay for the sake of the kids” and “sticking together through the tough times” bullshit. When the tough times stretch on for years, and when you are the only one trying to make it work, then you know that this notion of getting through is just a load of codswallop.
I made the not so easy, based on society’s views, decision, the right decision, to remove my son from that horrible situation 4 years ago, well in 13 days time it will be 4 years ago.
Yes it’s tough doing the whole raising a child thing on your own. It isn’t easy. You don’t have that other person to lean on when you just need a break. You don’t have that other person when at 11pm, your child has a bad case of diarrhea, destroying the bed sheets, and the bathroom, having to clean it all up and get the child back to bed, then wash all of the foul smelling bedding, eventually getting back to bed at 1am when you have to be awake at 4am to start the new day. ( yes, this happened to me just prior to Christmas !! ) But, the well-being, physical, mental and emotional, of your child, is far more important than any inconvenience these things may cause. Stuff society’s views on keeping a marriage together. I would do what I did over and over again for my son. Yes, I left when some damage had already been done. He was only 2, but I can tell you, a 2 year old still takes in what is going on.
He hasn’t had any nightmares recently about his mother abusing me, but we went through a bad patch in 2015, and then again in 2016, when he started waking in the night, coming to me, after having a “bad dream”, and after asking what it was about ( so as to dissect it and reassure him it was just a dream ), and having him completely relive this “dream”, an actual incident of abuse towards me perpetrated by his Mum. I have very deliberately avoided discussing these things with him unless they have come up like this, as I am a firm believer in not demonising his mother in front of him, ( although, I think she is a demon ), but when these things have come up, I have followed the rule of honesty being the best path. So yes, we talk about what happened. We talk about how yes it did happen, but it’s not now, it’s over.
It’s difficult to know what to do, the first time it happened you could have knocked me down with a feather. I have spoken to school nurses, my psychologist and a few other professionals in this area and discussed what I have done in response, and thankfully, all have agreed that it is the best way to move forward with these things. One of the difficulties about this sort of thing when it happens, is that something that I myself have buried away trying to forget, is suddenly thrust back into my consciousness, and that in itself is not easy, let alone trying to defuse the situation and reassure my son that everything is going to be alright.
Recently, a letter was dropped off at my mothers workplace. It was the first letter since we left that has been somewhat coherent. They don’t come often, I don’t think we had one for at least 12 months before this. Up until this one, they have been a jumble of words that really haven’t made much sense. But, and the reason I am mentioning this letter, is that it is the first time there has been an admission from her that it was her fault that we had had enough and left. No apologies though, just an admission. The other glaring statement was also that she refers to OUR son, as MY son, not hers. I have thought for a while that she got pregnant as a way of making me stay with her, as just prior to finding out she was pregnant, I nearly did leave. She never wanted children, I did, but resigned myself to the fact I wasn’t going to have them with her and wanted to be with her more than the need to reproduce. But then, miraculously, when I had had enough and was about to leave, lo and behold, she gets pregnant and wants to be a mum. I guess she was scared of me leaving and exposing what a violent bitch she really was to the rest of the world. It worked for another 3 years ( including the pregnancy ), but, my son’s existence and the effect she was having on him, was all I needed in the end to bite the bullet and actually leave. The plan backfired for her spectacularly. It also is a reinforcement to me, that she is basically disowning him ( her family has basically done this too ), and doesn’t actually care about him. From her perspective, he was just a pawn, to keep me. Unfortunately for her, from my perspective, he is the only good thing to emerge out of our relationship, and because he is more important to me than anything else in this world, her tactic to keep me, so as to continue abusing me, failed.