xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: The Dive Bar Welcomes: Anonymous!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Anonymous!

This person has asked to remain anonymous, but if you figure it out please keep it confidential; kind of like AA, except we still drink a lot. By the way, if you ask me who it is, I'm not going to tell you, so don't bother....



A few years back I found our wedding album had gotten stuck in a box that had been sitting under a slowly dripping pipe.  I pulled it out and found that the pages had curled, some had mould on them, some photos had the colours running.  Most of it was un-salvageable.  All that remained intact was the legal document that proclaimed our union.  I took it out and put it in a safe place.

The significance of that discovery was not lost on me at the time.  Not a believer in randomness, I knew damn well that, indeed, the only thing left of the marriage was its legal hold on us.

That was sad enough, and, I played my part in allowing that slow drip of years to rot away the foundations of our relationship.  For that, I am truly sorry.  But what has happened in the last little while since our daughter's fateful destiny with disability, I cannot take responsibility for.  Something is very, very wrong.

It dawns on me now that I watched your father do the same thing to your mother.  As she became more and more disabled, he took more and more control over her life, never at any time empowering her to live as fully as possible.  It was suffocation, pure and simple.  The two became a co-dependent mess of a couple, resentful one of the other, both believing it was their "love" that kept them together, rather than their complete inability to function as independent human beings.  The good son is following in Daddy's foot steps.

You expect now that two people must always be present at our daughter's bedside claiming that is it not possible for one person to handle her.  The two most always being me and the hired caregiver.  If the second is not around, you hover within the space, your frustration at being "trapped" evident, your tension spilling over into the very air we breathe.  You panic at every episode and seizure.  You take every "bad day" as a personal assault on your freedom, claiming ever that you hate to watch our kid "suffer".  You haven't worked in 10 years, refuse to allow me to do so, and wonder what will happen when we run out of money.  You claim that it is her disability that keeps you here.  It has become your convenient excuse. 

I have had a few successes and opportunities arise from the blog...you chaff at it and you refused to support me for a conference trip, a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Indeed, you hate that I have discovered that people actually live full, albeit alternate lives, in spite of their children's disabilities.  You prefer to surround yourself with Facebook "friends", none of whom know anything of disability, who stroke you with their pity and praise you for your seemingly super human effort and sacrifice in dealing with our child.  We aren't the only ones, you know, and you hate that.  You have pushed away any real relationships, you resent anyone else's freedom.  You even complain, behind my back, when I take my daily half hour walk.  You seek out conflict at every turn.  Once you overcome one by being "right", you move on and find another.

You are not a bad man.  You truly love your daughter.  You are, I know, scared to death of having to deal with this child on your own.  Upon observing my sudden weight loss your only concern was for yourself:  "Don't die and leave me to do this on my own", were your very words.  You have said other things that I cannot repeat here, lest some overzealous soul call in some authorities to haul you away.  You keep waiting for a miracle or some stability before you can do anything, you claim.  Yet, she has been the same, up and down, for 10 years.  It's bad enough that you keep us all in lockdown 24/7, but you won't even let the child go to school anymore, claiming her uber-fragility and the impossibility of proper care being extended in a school environment.  She is bored and deeply lonely, like her mother.  She is slipping away into her anxieties, feeding her with your own every minute of every day.  It is beyond sad and into the pathetic.

I take the blame only for having allowed this all to happen, to develop and entrench itself so deeply.  Admitedly, it took me completely by surprise.  It's almost like I woke up one morning and found that all your rationalizations had finally turned the key in the lock.  I was living in a prison...and I didn't know it until it was too late to walk out the door.  No amount of talking, no reality check of any sort has been able to get you to see what is going on.  I have checked with others, some professional, to make sure I wasn't the one off kilter...but they all agree with me.  The situation is untenable.

This time next year, I and your daughter, will be long gone. We will be living in a different world...the operative word being "living".  I'm sorry for it, but it is my only recourse.  What you don't understand is that I won't be alone in doing this job.  I will make friends, I will reconnect with family, I will use all the mandated supports available to us from the government.  I want nothing from you.  You will be a welcome visitor, her father, after all.  I wish you well...though I don't know how you will survive, stripped of your excuse for hiding from life and living in fear and anger.  Good luck, anyway...I release you to your lessons.



13 comments:

Looking for Blue Sky said...

This could have been me writing five years ago about my ex husband. It's extra challenging leaving a relationship when you have kids with special needs but it can be done. Wishing you the very best of luck x

Autism Mom Rising said...

That is heartbreaking and so beautifully written. I truly wish this person and her daughter the very best in their new life.

Lynn said...

"You take every "bad day" as a personal assault on your freedom"

"your only concern was for yourself: Don't die and leave me to do this on my own"

Oh, that sounds so familiar. I hope that you are in a better place next year.

Cheryl D. said...

Good for you in seeing the unhealthiness of this situation and changing it! Yay!

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

Good for you! I wish you every chance of success in life, for you and your daughter!

Pie Maker said...

I relate to so much in this post. I want to say to you dear Anonymous, you are right. I have lived this and I understand so deeply the "this is my life?" feeling. It's been a year (& 2 months) since I left with my daughter and I feel like I woke up from a trance. Looking back I cannot believe I let it get so bad. Our lives today are far from perfect but I am happy my gal is happy and our home life is HEALTHY. I will be thinking of you and wishing you well.

@jencull (jen) said...

Come back this time next year and post about your new life. Seriously, do and we can cheer with you and congratulate you for taking the steps you need to take. Good for you. Jen

Laura said...

Oh my goodness. This is so sad, but I'm so glad to have read it--especially to have read your resolution at the end. Take back your life!

Bella @ If This is Motherhood said...

I voted for you. Just so you know. :0)

lebelinoz said...

Good luck, this year.

Anonymous said...

I KNOW so many of the things you talked about. And, like you, this time next year will find me and my children in a very different place. I raise my glass to you, to me, and to all those like us. We are strong. We are smart. And, we are about to be set free.

Anonymous said...

Here I am, Anonymous, thanking you all for your comments and support. I think this year is going to be scary, but in the long run, better for everybody. Good luck to those of you making the same sort of move...and WOW to those who have already done it. I think I will revisit you all next year and tell you what happened. Now, to just find the "right moment" to say what has to be said....

Ashley said...

My heart goes out to you and your daughter, and, in a lesser way, your husband.

I wish you all the strength you will need to make this giant step this year. I hope that everything works well for you. Best of luck and best wishes!

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