Honesty - Part I -- by Cara
My life has not been an easy one either. Nothing close to what others have had to endure, but stressful enough. My mother died when I was a teenager. My father was an “older” father with many heart problems (he would have been 92 this past Monday. He died 3 years ago). And I had to care for him for probably a full decade. My son was born with Gastric Reflux induced colic, which lasted for months on end. Then we found out he had Sensory Processing Disorder. Later, Auditory Processing Disorder and ADD, both, which impact his learning ability in school. But as anyone who treats or knows an ADD/ADHD person, they will tell you that they are extremely bright and creative individuals! So although my son has difficulty reading and writing and is getting extra services in school to help him, he could also chew your ear off about molecules and dinosaurs and the fact that it is now Fall on the other side of the world (he is 6). I often kid that I can almost see him as a doctor because he is incredible in math and science but has the handwriting of a doctor! But I digress.
I simply won’t bore you with the number of medical problems I have. One of which I am dealing with the physical affects of as I write. And the numbers of prescription pills I take are probably as many or more than my father was taking at age 89. I chalk up all of these medical conditions to stress that has built up over my very stressful lifetime. However, I am currently living the most stressful event of my life. Something that I NEVER expected. Something that if you told me a year ago would happen, I would have laughed hysterically and said, “Nonsense!” Something I now grieve every day...the “loss” of my marriage.
My husband (I’m not sure how else to refer to him) and I have known each other for over 20 years. We will have been “married” for 15 years as of this May. Beginning last summer, at the same time as we discovered my son’s learning issues, and I was battling a yet undiagnosed medical problem, my husband’s personality did a 180 degree flip. He changed so drastically; I almost couldn’t discern who this person was whom I was living with. This went on until this past January when my husband wanted to “separate.” I was beyond devastated. My life came crashing down on me. My one stable part of my life...my foundation...was ripped right from under me. When I asked why, he said he didn’t know. When I suggested marriage counseling, some 2 dozen times, he adamantly refused to go. We each sought legal counsel. Both of our lawyers said that if either of us ever wants full custody of our son, we MUST remain living in our present home. It is practically assumed that I would get custody of our son, so I cannot leave our house. My deluded husband has his own mistaken idea that HE would get custody of our son, based on my many medical conditions. Therefore, HE refuses to move out. I sleep in one bedroom, he sleeps in another and we go about our days as “housemates.”
The most important issue in all of this is our son. I guess because of his ADD or other issues, as long as both of his parents are in his home, together, his world is complete. His behavior both in and out of school has not changed one iota. His performance in school has actually improved. He is happy and playful and enjoying life, which I am tremendously thankful for. I grieve and suffer alone at other times. And have an incredible support system of friends. My world of feeling safe and secure is no longer. But I need for my son to feel safe and secure. So I weep in silence. And hope and pray that I can provide this feeling of safety and security for him.
One of the reasons I needed to disclose all of this is that I felt I was living a lie writing about my son but leaving out the “dirty laundry.” My life has piles of dirty laundry right now, and I can no longer step around them. I have to step into them. Thus my need to be honest with myself and with my readers. I could certainly sidestep the issue of the dissolution of my marriage, but it is that very same part that I need my readers to be aware of to get the full picture of what I am facing.
Right now I feel like a single Mom. My best friend is a single Mom by choice...she adopted a little boy who is ironically only 3 months younger than my son. And I ask her constantly, “How do you do it? You work full-time, have a part-time job, a son, a dog, and a house to maintain! How the heck do you do it?” She always replies, “You just do. It’s hard. But you just do what you have to do, sometimes day by day.”
So I guess that is what I intend to do. Take care of life one day at a time. The best I can. With all of the resilience and strength I can muster. And grieve on those days that I cannot.
This is Part I of a two-part blog. Part II will be featured next week as I try to “go it alone” with my child.