Nothing specific happened in the last two days. The kids are relatively content in the back room watching an animated movie and there have been no blowouts from my husband. But I can feel disdain growing from deep inside me, boiling to my brain.
"What would you like for mother's day?" he says out of the blue.
My husband only laughs and continues washing the dishes. I am sweeping the hard wood floor in the living room, just a few feet away from the kitchen.
"Ha! Good one. Now, what would you really like for Mother's Day?"
"A divorce," I say again, not looking up and still sweeping.
I can hear him stop washing and shut the water off. I continue to sweep.
"Are you serious?"
There's that tone. The one that has been absent for the past two days. It took me long enough to realize it will never go away forever. I stop sweeping, look at him through the opening to the kitchen, and say "yes, I'm serious".
"Are you fucking kidding me?" He places his hands on the edge of the sink. His body weight shifts as he turns around to look at me through narrowed eyes.
I have finally had enough. I also, only have 4 years of very impressionable time left with my daughter. And my son... my blood begins to boil all over again.
It was two days ago that the proverbial straw broke the camel's back. Our son is special needs, diagnosed with developmental delays. I have told my husband so many times to have our son stand to put on his shoes. He needs to learn how to get his brain to communicate with the other parts of his body. Learn how to push and also gain strength in his legs. Do you think a controlling person will listen to anyone? Well, for our son's sake, I was hoping he would. But instead, he had him sitting on the edge of a rocker/recliner.
Yelling in a child's face, with your face contorted from anger is unacceptable, especially when you scream at them, "Are you fucking stupid?!" I can still see it.
My son had rocked the chair. He's a kid.
That was it for me. We had "words" that day, but it was the end. The very second I saw my son's face, "sorry daddy, I'm sorry" - broke my heart. How am I calling myself their mother when I am allowing the very person that is suppose to protect them from harm - do the harm? This was not the first time for any of us. At that moment, I admitted to myself, that it would never be the last.
"So, you're kidding right?"
"Nope. I get to have what I want for Mother's day. For my special day. So I want... a divorce." I look at him square in the eyes, my posture straight and set.
"What the fuck? We were having a nice weekend. Where did this come from?"
I do not feel like explaining. There is no way he doesn't know.
"Look, can we talk about this? I don't want a divorce." His demeanor has changed. He walks over to the counter and leans on it with his forearms flat on the top, looks at me with softened eyes and asks me to please reconsider.
Why did I stay so long with consistent abuse? The same reason most women do: the kids. It always seems better to keep the family together than to be the one to break it up. Plus, I am supposed to be loyal... right? But, am I really the one to break it up, or is it the person who cannot treat their family with respect and love?
One last time... I have never given an ultimatum.
"Fine. You have to stop losing your shit. Stop yelling and telling the kids they're stupid."
"And two things you have to do, and we will work on our marriage."
"Get a real job, with a real company, and keep it."
"Okay. The second thing?" he says, as he now seems less concerned, walks through the screened door, and out to the back porch.
I follow to the door. "And lick my pussy."
Yeah. Seventeen years of none of that. I should get a gold medal.
"You can get that from some young guy," he says without a blink of his eye.
The next year we are divorced. I did a 180.
After being compliant, manipulated, controlled, weak, and loyal to a narcissist, I found the old me again. The me who is strong, focused, in control, loyal to myself and my children. I found that instead of apologizing to my kids for breaking up the family... I am apologizing for not doing it sooner. The responsibility and stress of being a single mom and doing everything that two people should be doing, is still so much better than being in a toxic and volatile relationship. Seeing happy, strong children becoming whole, balanced adults, is worth more than anything.
Making the right choices, the first time, is the best idea. Making sure you raise your sons and daughters with confidence in themselves - is imperative. But, if things slip through the cracks, it is never too late to do a 180.
And the last words, "you can get that from some young guy"... hmm, what a brilliant idea.