Counseling & abuse effects on children – Advice Please!

After a week of calling twice and having them tell me they’d return my call, I finally heard back from the Community Counseling Center.  Tom and I have been trying to get in with them since the beginning of the month!  We were originally going to go with a licensed professional, but at $100 plus taxes every week, we just can’t afford that.  Plus I wanted individual counseling as well.  We’ve been struggling financial as is and as importnant as I feel it is, it just wasn’t a possibility at this time.  I ended up calling the Northern Heath board and asking if they could point me in the right direction for free or cheap marriage counseling and she told me to call the Community Counseling Center.  This is run the the UNBC (University of Northern British Columbia) and is psychology students.  We’re both okay with that!  The students need to learn and we need the help.  It’s $10 per 1 hour session.  It’s a good start regardless in my opinion, and we have our intake appointments on Thursday next week.

I had recieved a call from my sons school on Wednesday.  I thought it was to confirm our meeting on Thursday but she said she wanted to talk about Adam and that she was concerned.  He has a weather and calendar booklet in his desk.  It’s a stapled together paper book and he doodles on it.  His teacher took a look at it on Wednesday and noticed some disturbing drawings.  I’ll also mention at home, adam doesn’t draw or colour what so ever, so to hear that he was doodling was quite a shock all on its own!

Here’s the picture:

IMG_4417

I hope you can make out the drawings.  There are a bunch of hearts crossed out, a broken heart, a tear drop and when asked about the drawing in the bottom left corner, he explained that it’s the gun  he used to commit suicide and that’s his grave.
The school psychologist was at the meeting yesterday who said it isn’t normal for kids his age (8) to know what death is and what not.  He does though.  We’ve had some people pass away as well as some animals.  In order to help him cope, I told him Heaven and Rainbow Bridge is where our souls go until we’re all back together again.  That it’s never goodbye, it’s just see you later.  And that helped him, both my kids.  Not only this, but my mom is on the transplant list for lungs.  If something were to happen to her, I need him to have that belief that it’s only a temporary goodbye.  They are too young and innocent to believe anything else.  as for knowing about suicide and what not, he watches a lot of youtube which now has a filter on it, as does the entire computer.

So when he got home from school Wednesday, I had Grace play in the livingroom and I spoke to Adam in private.  He said he’s in pain all the time; his brain, his hands…  I asked if it had anything to do with his favorite song Pain by Three Days Grace.  He said no but that ever since he heard it, he’s always in pain.  Okay, possibly fabricated a little bit.  But then I asked about the broken hearts and he got a bit teary and said “I hate the way Hun blames you for everything.”  Yes, they caught on to calling him hun, because I do.  I’ve tried to get them to call him dad, doesn’t work.  I asked about the arguing and what not and he said that makes him want to commit suicide and go to Heaven.

I can’t help but feel responsible.  That by feeling so stuck and trapped and unable to leave in the past, that I stayed with all the emotional, mental and verbal abuse and the kids were around it, that I’ve fucked up my children for lack of better words.  They heard and saw so much go on, they felt so much!  Tom was driving them to school the other day and they were blaming him for everything.  I can’t say it was all him, I’m no where near perfect myself, but they see what they see.  He would come home and as soon as he’d walk through the door, was angry at me.  Or he wouldn’t come home until late and those nights, all the kids wanted was to say goodnight to him.  But he’d be too busy out drinking and they’d cry and ask why he didn’t love them.  I’d have to explain that he was just going through some things…  Always made excuses for him but I think it’s important for the kids.  Too young for grown up problems.

There was just so so much that they were there for and now, I’m not sure what to do!
I could sure use some advice right now!

It’s been a year since I last wrote

So much has changed.  I have changed.
In fact, I’m unrecognizable these days, especially to myself.

Let’s start with my very last post regarding breast cancer.
I went in to see the specialist who said it was nothing.  Strangest thing.  It didn’t show up on the ultrasound or anything, yet you could feel them with your fingers.  I still can; they’re still there.  I’m keeping an eye on them just in case they start to get bigger.  Cancer scares me a bit given my family history and the people I’ve lost to it.

It was a tough year last year.  Tom and I went through a lot.  Though it was slightly better where we were staying, it was still very tough.  We had our 10th wedding anniversary on August 6th.  We had dinner reservations, a hotel booked and planned to go to a movie.  His cousin was getting married the weekend we had that planned, of course we went.  I brought my camera to get some extra experience.  Unfortunately, Tom ended up drunk.  We had to stay at his other cousins house after he wanted to drive home drunk with the kids in the car.  That was obviously not okay with me!  So that hurt to say the least.

We moved into an apartment the 1st of October.  Shortly after that, I met a lady who lived on the bottom floor with her 3 sons.  We have become very good friends, as are our children.  I started to spend a lot of time with her and then it was like the fog cleared from my brain and I was finally able to see what exactly Tom had been doing to me over the past 16 years.  All the words, the actions, the control, the gas lighting, etc.  It was having a strong, confident friend that made me realize he was treating me like I was worthless.

I got angry.  By angry, I don’t mean yell about it and take some time to breathe.  I mean angry like treating him like complete shit, not staying home and simply not caring at all about his wants and needs.  At this point, he started changing his ways and is who I needed him to be when we started this relationship.  He’s caring, he listens, he’s helpful, thoughtful, etc.  But regardless of all this, I couldn’t help but be that angry with him.  How could he do that to me?  How dare he show our kids that that was a normal, healthy marriage?!

The end of October, I started talking to another man.  We had met by showing him and his girlfriend our house that we’re selling.
Anyway, it was just friends.  We had coffee a couple times.  We spoke all the time though.  All the time as in from about 8am to anywhere between 2-4pm on and off while he was at work, 5 days a week.  We formed quite the friendship and of course, feelings formed there.  More strongly for me than for him.  He says he cares about me more than he should, but I think I might have fallen for him a little bit.  Which was never my intention.

We last spoke at the end of December, and it was heartbreaking.  I can’t believe how sad I was to have lost someone who wasn’t mine to begin with!  We hadn’t spoken since the end of November but closer to Christmas, we spoke for 2 days.  The last day, he had text me and we talked about our feelings and how we needed to stop.
The next day, Tom went into my phone and saw texts between him and I.  I will not get into detail about what things he read, but it was enough to give him the thought that I was sleeping with the other guy.

He kept saying he doesn’t want to lose me and he wants to make it work.  It actually felt good to see him fall apart on the kitchen floor.  I know that sounds completely bitchy, but it showed me that he really did care about me.  Rather than kicking me out, he dropped and cried and even hugged me as he cried hard.  I feel like I at least owe him the chance for us to right our wrongs.

My problem is that I honestly don’t know if I can get over the past.  And now he doesn’t trust me.  He goes through my facebook, my texts, the call display on the phone, etc.  He doesn’t want me going out with anyone which triggers memories of the past.  He’s so clingy now too.  It’s like he needs to have a hand on me at all times; my knee, hand, something.  I’m used to getting the cold shoulder, for years, so now I feel smothered.

I’m just not sure how to deal with all this.  I can tell you one thing, I’m never going to be that weak person I was before.  He may not like me going out but I’m not about to be his prisoner again.  If I didn’t want to try, I wouldn’t have stayed!  I also still care about the other guy and I have no idea how to turn off those emotions.  Don’t really want to say much about him.  He has a girlfriend, we said we wouldn’t leave our spouses for each other, especially considering this was all accidental to begin with.  Besides, if I were to leave, it would be to be on my own, not to jump into another relationship.

I’m trying really hard to figure out who I am, get to know myself because I don’t.  I’ve been too busy trying to be who Tom wants me to be that I’ve completely lost myself.

We’re moving at the end of the month.  This apartment is just too small for the 4 of us.  It’s supposed to be our new start.  We’ll see how this goes I guess.
We’re both going to start individual counselling, and move to marriage counselling after that.
Besides that, I’m going to go back to school!