Friday, April 24, 2015

Our Story (4): Strike One

“A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one.”
- Unknown -

(continuing from last time...)

Not long after my second child was born, my first marriage began to collapse. But the road there was long and agonizing with numerous incidences of lies, manipulation, browbeating, volatility and the silent treatment. Because sometimes I wasn’t even worth looking at.

But there were also countless moments that demonstrated how far down I was on my ex’s priority list and how selfish and insensitive he could be. These moments were agonizing but enlightening; each one drove this dysfunctional union closer to the end.

I have chosen three such experiences, out of many, to share with you because they pack a punch. And since it would be lengthy to share them all together, I am dividing them into three posts.

I’ll begin with this one:

During my first pregnancy, I bled on and off throughout the whole time, constantly fearing a miscarriage. But the baby, my little miracle, was determined to join this world and held on. At seven months, my water broke. I was rushed to the emergency, the labour was stopped and I was hospitalized for two weeks, after which time I was sent home with a stern warning to remain on bed rest 24/7 in hopes that the pregnancy would continue as close to the due date as possible to prevent a very premature birth. “Every day that you remain pregnant is a blessing for your baby”, I was told. No getting out of bed aside from using the bathroom. Or to shower; making sure to sit down in the tub while doing so. All my needs had to be met and my only job was to remain pregnant for as long as possible.
My dad holding his first granddaughter; my miracle baby.

On the day of my hospital release, a day off for my ex, he picked me up at 9 AM, drove me home and promptly left to go play golf with his buddies. For the entire day. I hardly ate anything and I lied to my mother every time she called to see how I was doing. Yes, I ate. Yes, he’s here taking care of me. No, you don’t need to come. He can’t come to the phone right now because he’s in the shower/cooking/outside/doing some work/running errands/at the store/busy/busy/busy. Of course I’m telling the truth. I wouldn’t lie about such a thing.

When he finally showed up at 8 PM, he made some food and offered me some. Not once did it dawn on him that he’d done anything wrong or that his behaviour was objectionable. And when I hinted as such, I was being unreasonable. I couldn’t possibly expect him to just hang around all day, did I?

I remained in bed for another two very long and lonely weeks. Thankfully, my parents showed up regularly to feed me, clean my home and keep me company. My daughter was born at eight months, perfectly healthy, with fully developed lungs and the ability to breathe on her own. She was kept in the hospital for an additional two weeks but only for observation; no need for medical intervention. That month of bed rest had made a significant difference. And although my very soul had been crushed by my ex, I would do it all over again for her safe arrival.

To be continued... (click here)

40 comments:

  1. Awe look at your sweet little baby girl. I am so proud of you for having the courage to get out of that situation. I know you learned so many important lessons along the way, but I can't imagine how painful that must have been for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a growing experience, for sure. And the reward was my two girls.

      Delete
  2. I wish I could hold you, gone through this myself where \i actually passed out in front of him and he ignored me. I know how much it hurts until ....you know what you have to do ....I know your pain, and your a wonderful woman and compassionate even though the price to pay was so high, I'm with you I wish i could have been there....xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lorraine. This was almost like a different lifetime; that's how long ago it seems. But it was an important journey. I learned a lot. Grew a lot. And appreciate life even more because of this journey. As I'm sure you do with your own experiences.

      Delete
  3. That must have been so painful, to think he did not care enough about you or your daughter to be there. Parents can be such a wonderful support; they love us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Bethany. Parents can be - and should be - a wonderful support. Because if we can't count on them, who can we count on?

      Delete
  4. Martha, I can only imagine how difficult this has been to 'relive'. And also how cathartic is must be to put this down on paper and let it go.
    Your courage is to be commended.
    It is pleasure to know you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say that I am enjoying this. When I first started, I didn't know what to expect. And now I'm glad I am writing it and releasing it. It's quite liberating. Thank you for this kind comment, Jim.

      Delete
  5. That's a big fucking strike one for sure.

    Thanks for sharing this story. You are quite the writer. But then,
    that does not surprise me as you are flippin' fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wonder Woman! Well, you know you're certainly on my fave list. We just got back last night. I will reveal this week what we've been up to. And I'm catching up on blogs this weekend, so I'll get to yours soon enough.

      Delete
    2. I image your inbox was packed.

      Delete
    3. Yes, PACKED! It took me all weekend to get organized. I'm okay now :)

      Delete
  6. How terrifying. What strength you held, keeping that baby safe inside you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping that baby safe inside me was the most important thing in the world. I would do it all over again for her. And I can't tell you how relieved I was when she was born fully developed because of that time spent in bed.

      Delete
  7. Selfish prick. Actions do speak louder than words, don't they? Glad this story had a happy ending -- a beautiful and healthy miracle baby girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Selfish prick" Yup, you got it. I've got many MANY stories similar to this one. And actions absolutely speak louder than words. His said it all. But my baby girl was born healthy, and that's what counted in the end.

      Delete
  8. I know/hear of men like this, unfortunately it is not uncommon. So sorry you had to go through this, but thankfully you got through this difficult time. I wish there was a way to prevent things like this from happening. Thank goodness you had family support, so important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am forever grateful for the wonderful family I have. They have been there every step of the way.

      Delete
  9. This story makes it hard for me to breathe, Martha! Only because it reminds me of horribly abusive things I went through in my first marriage. You persevered. You gave your daughter the gift of extra time inside you to develop and thrive. Nothing trumps that! I can feel that horrible, sinking mortification as you lied to your mother about where your husband was. Whether you realized it or not, you knew the wrongness of his actions, and the gut-stab of how callus and uncaring he was about you and your baby. I'd bet my last dollar that your mom knew you were lying too. And she and your dad were right there with you. Thank you for your courage in sharing this. It shows that a person can get out of a toxic situation and make a better life. So it took a while ~ It's so complicated! ~ But you did it, and you raised two strong, confident daughters and found a fulfilled and happy you. You're flat-out awesome! Big hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, Louise! You bet by lying to my mother I knew that his actions were wrong. And yet, my brain was so tangled up that I defended his actions. Even to my mother who suspected that things were not right. After that, she simply took charge and took care of my needs.Thank goodness for my family. They are the greatest blessing.

      Delete
  10. It's a very sad yet touching tale, and glad that you rose above it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It took time but my life's journey got on a much brighter and happier road. And thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.

      Delete
  11. Oh, my dear Martha ,my heart so broke for you as I read this . Your ex was a horrible man , I can never understand the cruelty of him ..
    You were so strong to take care of your baby and you were rewarded ..such a blessing!
    I love that photo of your precious baby with your dad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That baby was truly the greatest gift. And staying in bed 24/7 was hard, but for her it was worth every second.

      Delete
  12. What a fucking asshole. Do you think he could be a sociopath? That type of behaviour is above and beyond awful. Do your kids see him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always suspected as much but I don't really care what he is or isn't anymore. He's okay with the girls. In fact, he's Disney dad, so it's hard to keep up with him. I'm just the 'parent'. There were a couple of incidences when they were young that infuriated me, and when I found out I told him that he'd see me in court to see his kids if he didn't tone it down. And I meant it. So it's been okay. Also, I encouraged the girls to have a strong and healthy relationship with him as long as he treated them well. Because I didn't want them to grow up to have 'daddy' issues.

      Delete
    2. I call my ex "Daddy Delightful". I didn't want my kids having issues either so I have worked very hard over the years to keep my mouth shut.

      Delete
    3. They would be great friends, I'm sure. The bastards. My ex is a very popular guy. Very successful, very charming, great talker, extremely sociable, throws money around. He's got the whole 'great guy' persona perfected. No one would ever believe my story of what it was like living with him behind closed doors. Except for the counselors I saw. And some police officers I happened upon. I'm so glad all this is in the past.

      Delete
  13. I went through the same thing with my ex and he made me feel like I didn't matter by mouth as well as he verbally abused me on top of it all and I was hospitalized from a nervous break down because of him . I am so glad we both got rid of the bastards and we are stronger for it all to !and have got our wonderful loving caring hero's now . Thanks for sharing this hurtful and painful part of your life with us .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terrible isn't it, the way they make you feel so worthless? Well, they're gone and we're stronger and happier for having lived that type of situation. And we've met some amazing men since then.

      Delete
  14. This very closely brings me to tears. Why should someone have to go through the experience you did? You survived and obviously became stronger as a result.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a bad choice on my part but an experience that really built up my character, and that was a good thing. I'm wiser, stronger and more grateful for my life because of that period. Not to mention the two beautiful girls that I was blessed with. There is a silver lining in this story.

      Delete
  15. Such a sweet picture of your dad and your daughter. So inconsiderate of your ex not to treasure you and his unborn child to not take care of you both during that time.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would have been wonderful to have been spoiled during that time. I used to envy other pregnant women the way their partners pampered them. But at least both my girls were born healthy. Since I couldn't have both, the girls' well-being was the better choice.

      Delete
  16. That isn't the first time I've heard of a man going to play golf (or drink beer at the bar) after the birth of his child. I've never understood it. I'd rather be at home with the baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people are more selfish. When you and Daisy have children, I've no doubt you will take good care of her while she's pregnant and be there every step of the way. And she will always remember that.

      Delete
  17. I'm sorry you had to pay such a price, but I'm glad she was and is worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it, Robyn. She was worth every second. I'd do it all over again for her.

      Delete
  18. unbelieveable how some people are so selfish, so inconsiderate, so not worth these words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet, Ron. When I was older, I wouldn't have given this man a first glance, never mind a second.

      Delete