Will You Please Put Your $hit Away!!

To my husband, who I love dearly, just incase you didn’t know, we have now moved into a bigger house, and I organized the living hell out of it.  There is a hat rack in the mud room.  You walk past it every time you come in the house.  So will you PLEASE stop leaving your hats on the kitchen counter, the backs of the chairs and on the buffet table?

DCIM100SPORT

I do not want to look at smelly underwear when I am about to brush my teeth.

Also, there is a clothes hamper in the bathroom.  You see it every time you go in there.  So why is your dirty underwear on the bathroom sink every damn day?  Seriously!  Furthermore, when you peel off your stinky socks please do not deposit them in the living room floor and leave them there.

To my oldest son, if you pee, flush the toilet.  If you poop PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD FLUSH THE TOILET.  There is a toothbrush holder on the bathroom sink.  I bought it just for you, so you would stop leaving you foamy brush on the sink top and thus get blue foamy spit everywhere.  Yet you continue to put your toothbrush on the sink, two inches AWAY from the damn holder.  Knock it off!!!

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Please take note of the laundry basket that is just inches away from dirty clothes on floor.

Also, there is a laundry basket in the floor of your closet for dirty clothes.  When you undress just wad it up in a ball and chuck it in the direction of your closet and I will be happy.  Stop stuffing them under the bed and inside the toy box.

Also, if you continue to leave food crumbs all over the house you will be banned from eating inside and will eat on the deck year round.  I am sick to death of sweeping the floor twice a day because you can’t eat over a table and get the food to your mouth without dropping half of it.

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I love that Legos stimulate creativity, but I am sick and tired of cleaning them up.

To my youngest, if you keep leaving your Legos all over the floor don’t come crying to me when I vacuum the damn things up.  I am done picking up twenty teeny tiny little itty bitty pieces of plastic from the floor every time I need to vacuum, which is practically daily since I live with three slobs.

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Come on!! The rack is right there!! I MEAN RIGHT THERE!!!!

To all three of the men in my life, WE BOUGHT A SHOE RACK!  I put the damn thing together myself and it is right next to the fucking door.  If I trip over one more shoe because you are too lazy to pick them up and put them on the rack that is right next to you so help me god I am going to pick up those shoes and pitch them right out the window!!  Then when you need them you can go outside barefoot to retrieve them.

Sincerely, the pissed off Type A, organized, neat freak who lives with the three of you and who is about to totally lose her shit!

DCIM100SPORT

Raising Super Heroes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs any mom of boys can tell you, super heroes are awesome to little boys.  There are the crazy powers, the cool gadgets, the fantastic costumes, but best of all is belief that when you are a super hero you can do anything.

Granted sometimes that belief can backfire on you, like when Thumper was three years old and jumped off the top bunk bed because he believed his Batman underwear would give him the power to fly.  I thought for sure we were going to emergency room that day for a broken leg.  I called my husband at work crying that Thumper couldn’t walk, was wailing hysterically and to get home NOW because we needed to get to the hospital.

Thirty minutes later a frantic hubby raced into the house only to find our “Little Batman” was now limping around after having an ice pack applied to his leg for 20 minutes.  A half an hour later and it was like he had never taken that scary jump.  That was the day my little boy learned that he could not fly no matter what underwear he was wearing and to never, ever, ever do that again!

But boys and super heroes can not be held down for long.  Every Halloween both boys wanted to be a different super hero, which means we now have quite the collection of super hero costumes.  The small ones that Thumper has outgrown were quickly replaced by his older brother’s larger sized ones.  Some days Thumper wants to be Captain America, some days it is Robin, and then some days it is the grown-up version of Dick Grayson, Nightwing.  On top of costumes there is the wonderful collection of super hero pajamas.

Thumper has been known to go to the super market, the hardware store, and even Costco in full costume.  I always love the look on peoples’ faces as we do our shopping.  Some will look and smile to see a cute little boy living out his imagination, others will just sort of shrug their shoulders as if to say, “Hello, Halloween was six months ago,” while others will look and raise their eyebrows in clear judgment which lets me know that they would never let their kids leave the house looking like that.

DCIM100SPORTI admit that I was a little embarrassed the first time I finally relented and let Thumper leave the house in costume, but he was so happy.  When he stood up in the shopping cart and threw his arms open wide like he was flying while I rolled him along, my embarrassment quickly faded away and I was suddenly wearing a smile as big as his.  Childhood is so brief and imagination so precious that I will never ever try to squash it.

Now when I go out with my little super hero I look people right in the face and give them a big smile when they look our way.  Since smiles are contagious they almost always smile back.  Some even stop to tell me about their own love of super heroes or to say hello to which ever persona Thumper might be that day.  One sweet old guy even put up his fingers one time to pretend to shoot “Batman” but Thumper loudly announced that he was wearing his force field that day and then knocked the gentleman out with his invisible bat-a-rangs.

It isn’t easy raising super heroes, I don’t know how Alfred did it all those years, but the life of a super hero caretaker is never boring.

I Had My First Husband Arrested

Arrested bI know it is impolite to air one’s dirty laundry in public, but this story represents of lot of who I am, the decisions I make even today, and is the source of my strength.  I now know I can face anything, deal with anything, and come out stronger when all is said and done.  If I can do this, I know women everywhere can do this too, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

I was not a popular girl in high school.  I wanted to be, and because I wanted to be I tried too hard, which just encouraged the other kids to make fun of me.  Graduation came as a relief, and then I blossomed in college.  In college the smart kids are respected, not called teacher’s pet or brown nosers.

Just before I graduated from college I met up with a high school friend I knew for a long time but had not seen since graduation.  Like me, he wasn’t popular in school either.  We dated, I fell in love with him and he fell for me.  I was only 23 when we married after a year of dating.  What I did not know was that during the year we dated he was working very hard to hide the “crazy” from me.

About one month before the wedding I saw glimpses of his temper, but we were under a lot of stress from planning a wedding on a ridiculously small budget, buying a house and moving, and his mother was driving us both crazy.  It was so easy for me to say that once our life calmed down again he would stop being so angry.

I didn’t realize at the time that those early emotional outbursts were actually a warning bell ringing loudly telling me to run for it.  My parents knew though, because they tried on more than one occasion to talk me out of marrying him, but when young people are still in that lovey dovey life is wonderful stage of a relationship, not only are they blind, they are also as stupid as a brick.  I couldn’t understand why my parents weren’t happy for me.  Maybe he wasn’t perfect, but who is, and we would be just fine.

It was three weeks after the wedding that we had our first fight.  I don’t even remember what it was about, but he screamed and yelled at me for hours.  Then once he calmed down he cried and apologized and said he wouldn’t do that again.  I spent seven years going up and down the roller coaster of his ever changing moods.  He would get mad, scream and yell, then apologize and want sex to know that all was forgiven.  In the beginning I would argue back, but after a year or two I stopped arguing back and just endured his verbal abuse.

I sometimes thought of leaving him, but no one from my family or his had ever been divorced.  Marriage was supposed to be for better or worse and I still naively was holding onto that belief.

The problem with being in a verbally abusive relationship is that after a while, the victim in the relationship begins to be slowly brainwashed.  If you are told over and over enough times that “everything is your fault, you made me do this to you, you’re a bitch, why can’t you be more supportive,” you actually start to believe it.  I remember thinking all the time that if I could just change then he would be happy.  If I got a new hair cut, lost a little weight, cooked the perfect dinner, etc., then he would be the happy guy I dated and treat me better.

I did try to leave twice, and both times he came a begging and crying and apologizing and like a complete moron I bought it hook, line, and sinker.  Yes, I was stupid, but remember I was also a little brainwashed by this time.  Plus, the kicker was, he had never hit me.  Sure, he had thrown things across the room, yes he had put a hole in the wall, but I wasn’t an abused woman.  He had never laid a finger on me no matter how mad and enraged he was.

The second time I tried to leave him I told him I would only take him back if he allowed me to have a baby.  My biological clock wasn’t just ticking; it was more like daily grenades going off in my head.  I wanted a baby more than anything in the world and he was very much anti-baby.  But he agreed to have a baby and wanted me to take him back.  I showed him the day I tossed my birth control pills in the trash.  He just shrugged his shoulders.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the constant stress I was under kept my disease in continuous flare-ups.  I truly believe he thought I would not be able to get pregnant due to my assorted health issues.  Guess what, my girly parts work just fine.  Eventually I did get pregnant and that was the trigger that seemed to truly send him over the edge.

He ramped up the verbal abuse tenfold.  He would scream right in my ear until I was all but curled up in a ball sobbing on the floor.  Sometimes I think he was actively trying to make me lose the baby but whether he wanted it or not, I did give birth to a little boy who looked just like him at first (thank god not anymore).

Things became truly frightening once the baby started crawling.  He would leave the basement door open constantly even though I would close it ten times a day so the baby didn’t fall down the stairs.  He refused to believe me that the dog was a danger to AJ.  It wasn’t until she bit AJ in the face that he finally agreed the dog had to go.

I remember sitting in my mom’s kitchen and her telling me that I needed to leave him for good.  I looked at her and said “I wish he would just punch me in the face already.  That would be the last straw.  Then I would know what to do,” because remember, at this time I still did not think of myself as a battered woman.

Then it finally happened.  About a week after Christmas, on a Friday, he didn’t come home from work.  I called his cell but he wasn’t answering.  The baby had been sick that day and I was exhausted.  It was 11 o’clock pm and I finally went to sleep.  I figured at this point he was at the bar and when he drank he snored, so I put a pillow and a blanket on the sofa and locked the bedroom door to get some rest.

I was jarred from my sleep after midnight when he suddenly kicked in the bedroom door.  He was FURIOUS.  He grabbed me by the head and shoved me down into the floor, knocking over the night stand in the process.  Then he mashed my face into the mattress and I couldn’t breathe.  Just as suddenly as he came he let go and walked out of the room.  I stood up shakily and for some crazy reason I righted the night stand.  I don’t think I had really processed what had just happened and my first reaction was to stand the table back up and put the clock back on it.

I stepped out of the bedroom and into the hallway and saw him come back towards me.  He held up a kitchen knife and said, “What do you think of this?”  I lost it.  I tried to run past him to get to the stairs but he grabbed me around the waist and threw me back towards the bedroom.

For the next three hours he held me at knife point and kept telling ME to kill HIM!  He wanted to commit suicide but I had to be the one to do him in.  I was at a loss.  I remember talking and talking trying to calm him down but much of it is a blur now of just what in the hell I was saying to him.  About four in the morning his drunk began to wear off.  He was more lucid and I was able to talk him into putting the knife away.  It finally occurred to me that I was not going to die that night.  Until that moment I truly believed we were going to be on the news the next day as a murder/suicide.

I tried to take the baby and leave the house but he held the door shut and wouldn’t let me out of the house.  I had no choice but to put the baby back to bed and pretend that everything was okay now.  The thing I remember most about that night was a deep and powerful longing for my mother.  I just wanted to go be with my mom.  For the first time I was bruised, bleeding, and yes, I was now officially a battered woman.

With the dawn of morning my husband got up, poured a bowl of cereal, and acted like life was just fine.  He didn’t mention the trauma of the night before and offered to pour me a bowl of cereal, too.  As far as he was concerned, it was all over and done with now, but it was not over for me.

Later that day I went to “visit” my mom and made a hasty detour to the police station.  I filed a report, showed my cuts and bruises, and cried while clutching my son to my chest.  The officer wrote everything down and told me to go home and not mention anything to my husband.  I didn’t realize it at the time but it would take a week before they actually arrested him.  That was because they were putting together a restraining order to deliver to him as well.

I was called on Thursday and told to make sure the baby and I were out of the house by 5:30 on Friday, that they were coming to get him then and wanted to make sure we were safe.  My father went that night to buy new locks for the house.  All day Friday at work my stomach was in knots.  I remember throwing up once from the stress.  After work I told him that I was going to run to Target with AJ.  He just nodded his head and said fine.

Actually, I went to my parents’ house to wait for the phone call from Officer Fitzpatrick to tell me it was safe to go back home.  The call came just a few minutes before 6:00.  My husband had been taken away in handcuffs, was in lock up, and was given his restraining order barring him from coming anywhere near me.  Because he was arrested on a Friday, he wouldn’t be able to post bail until sometime on Monday.  He would spend the entire weekend in jail.  I breathed a sigh of relief and then my Dad went with me to my house to change all the doorknobs and deadbolts.

My now ex-husband called me from the jail six times that night crying like a baby begging me to drop the charges.  What he didn’t realize though was that the night he beat me and held a knife to me, he changed me.  I was no longer brainwashed.  I was a woman with a baby who did not want to die and I was NOT dropping the charges.  I was standing my ground.  I was strong enough to do what was right not just for myself, but for my son as well.

I truly believe abused women need to tell their story.  Not only is it part of the healing process, but maybe, just maybe, another woman will read this story and will find her strength and a way to flee from her tormentor. 

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