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:

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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!

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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!

Breast Cancer?! – (Why I) Relay For Life

Since last year, a lot has happened.  Things I will get into another time.
This time, I’d like to ask you for support.  Not only is finding a cure for cancer something close to my heart, but with current situations here, it’s something I feel I need to support more.

In short, I’m going to a surgeon due to possible breast cancer.
In November last year, I went in to see my family doctor for some problems I was having with my right breast.  He wanted me to try some creams.  When I went back in to tell him they didn’t do anything, he told me it could be Paget’s disease of the nipple.  December 24th I went in to see him again after finding a small lump in my breast.  He confirmed this and sent me for an ultrasound.  I had the ultrasound and went for my follow up appointment in the middle of January.  The ultrasound was clear.  Nothing on it, not even a cyst!  Protocal is to wait to see if it gets worse or goes away, so as I was sitting there in limbo, I went back in to see him last weekend after finding two more lumps.  One is an inch and half and shaped like a tear drop, second is like a long, skinny finger.  The first small lump is a ball shape.  All hard lumps however.
I saw him at the walk-in, he wants me in at the office on the 3rd so he can send a referral to a surgeon for a biopsy.

So, that has been a large part of my recent past/present, something that has me on edge worried literally sick that my kids will be left without a mother.  I’ve seen so many of my friends and family go through cancer and all but one have passed away.  My view on cancer is pretty grim to say the least.
What I’ve done this year, is joined the Relay For Life.  My kids and I are going to go down and walk at least 5km, every step counts!

What I’m looking for here is support.  Support for me…  I’m almost 30 years old, my kids are 7 and 8 this year.  My husband and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this year, and 16 years together.  I was raised by my grandparents, who both passed away in 2006.
For my grandpa…my Daddy, who passed away from lung cancer at 65 years old.
For my cousin Felicia who passed away from brain cancer at just 23 years old, after going into remission 3 times.
For my great grandma who had stomach cancer which quickly spread.
For someone who was like an uncle, and my grandparents best friend, Ralph.
For my uncles girlfriends dad, who was also taken by lung cancer.
And for so many others!

Also for those who are fighting cancer.  They need the love, light, and strength to keep going on.
And for those dealing with the grief of losing someone from cancer.

Please help me by supporting my friends, family, strangers, and of course, by supporting me.
Click the photo below.  Any donation you contribute can be reimbursed when you do your taxes.
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Nervous

I set my alarm this morning.  I wanted to be up early so I had time to wake up.  I’m the kind of person that has an extremely hard time waking up.  It normally takes a couple hours and I have to have a coffee.  So I’ve been up for an hour now, coffee in hand.  Or on desk if you want to get technical.  Both of my kids are passed out on the couch and it’s 9am already.  They must have been pretty tired.  I’m equally tired, but my appointment is in just under 2 hours.  I have to leave half an hour prior to get there from where I live out of town.  I find it terrible living out here sometimes, so far away from everything and not in walking distance.  No buses, and a taxi just to and from town is $50.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and realized I’m actually nervous about this appointment.  I was really looking forward to it, but now all I feel is nervousness.  I even had a dream about it last night.

I see the toll of the abuse

As I lay in bed last night trying to sleep, (and suffering from my only friend Insomnia) I was remembering my past.  This is something that happens every night.  My brain does not turn off no matter what I do.  So I end up laying there for hours before I eventually fall asleep, just to wake often throughout the night.  I don’t choose what I think about, it’s random things that pop into my head.  Many questions of “why” or “what if” etc.  It’s actually quite stressful and even causes nightmares.  Last night, the first thing that came to mind was 2001 when my husband cheated on me with two of my friends.  You’d think because he’s been faithful for the past 12 years, I’ be able to get over it.  I guess not.  I do my best to keep it locked up, and I do pretty good not thinking about it.  Then came the thoughts of what I’ve done for him sexually, more specifically, the threesomes…his “dream.”  It was crushing though when he paid absolutely no attention to me.  Hell, I let him take my best friends virginity.  My mistakes haunt me.

I woke up the other morning, kids were taking pictures with my cell phone.  They took a couple of me and I realized how worn out I look.  The bags under my eyes prior to putting make up, the wrinkles I already have, the amount of grey hair I already have not to mention the actual health problems at only 28 years old.  My life has taken a toll on my body.  The abuse started when I was molested by my great grandfather at 7 years old.  It has yet to stop, though thankfully, there is no more sexual abuse at this point.

My 500 Words – #5

I have missed a lot of days.  There has been so much going on.  My house flooded…twice!  And of course, the main floor that flooded is completely carpeted.  My daughter has also had the flu, so I’ve been running around the house with Lysol disinfecting wipes.  The engine also seized in the car.  It’s been wonderful here!  Oh, apparently the public school my little girl goes to may be going on strike.  Actually, it may be a province wide strike.  If this is the case, I will be starting to homeschool her.  At least that way if they strike, she won’t miss school or speech therapy.

I do however have a photo I’d like to share with you!
My little guy has been asking for a “mohog” for months now.  I finally gave him one.  This photo is almost strange simply because he’s such a calm little boy!

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So, what I wanted to write about today is something I’m watching called the Mom Conference.  There are a bunch of interviews you can watch and so far, it’s wonderful for some helpful tips.  Take a look:
The Mom Conference.

I’m currently listening to Amy McCready’s interview.  My problem, which I already know, is that I’m too protective, or paranoid depending how you look at it.  I’ve been through a lot in my life.  So so much.  I try my best to keep the kids safe.  I don’t want them to play outside alone.  I don’t want them to walk to the bus alone.  I don’t want them to get hurt.  I don’t want them to do so many things or be away from me because it scares me.  I am so afraid that something will happen to them and the need to protect them is so strong.  This world is a hard, painful place.  There is so much negativity that happens.  I don’t watch the news because of this.  This city I live in has been called “Little Detroit” (though I’ve never been to Detroit, is it that bad?) and that there is more crime based on size, compared to Vancouver BC.  That is scary to me.  There is a lot that happens in Vancouver that I do see just on facebook alone!  I try my best to keep them germ free and healthy.  But I know that all the worrying plus what I deal with just in my everyday life, it takes a toll on me.

As for the conference and what Amy is saying here.

Separation & court

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Well, I’m not too sure where to start.  My life has been extremely stressful and I feel it physically.  Even taking the time to write this, just thinking about everything is giving me a headache.

So here’s what’s been happening here.
I turned 29 on the 29th of May.  Hubby came home and surprised me by taking me out for dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Yes, that was great.  However, the days, weeks, prior to that had been more terrible than wonderful.  He’s been spending a lot of time away from home (I have no idea where he ends up), has no regard for the kids or my feelings, comes home really late and drunk.  I’ve said it before to him, that it’s disrespectful and sure makes us feel like he doesn’t give a damn at all.

Long story short though, on the 30th, I had the support worker from Graces school drop Adam off for a visit at the school (he got to see his girlfriend!) so we could head down to the courthouse.
I filed for sole custody and guardianship, and placed a protection order for my kids simply because he has made the threat in the past that he’d take the kids to Yakima WA where his mom lives.  The protection order says he cannot leave BC without written and verbal consent, cannot pick up the kids at school etc without written and verbal consent, etc.
It was the first time I’ve had to admit out loud and to complete strangers that yes, my marriage is emotionally and verbally abusive.  I swear for cases like that, they should offer an Ativan.  I had to get the support worker (Kathleen) to write some of it, I was just too shaky.  I honestly thought I may have a heart attack, but I’m assuming it was just a big anxiety attack.

Once we left, she bought me a coffee and we went to hubby’s place of employment so Kathleen could serve him the papers.  I was so nervous I thought I might vomit.  It was horrid!  He didn’t come out though, which is what I was afraid of.  We went back to the school to pick up Adam, gave Grace a big hug, all that good stuff, and went home.
A couple of hours later, hubby asked why I still went to the courthouse, that he thought things were getting better and he’s confused.  Two good days in a row does not mean things have gotten better.  At all.

When he got home, he was extremely angry.  We came to the conclusion though that he was angry because he was hurt, and then the anger stopped.  I gave him an option though.  No pressure to him for it, it’s completely his choice.  I know his opinion on counsellors and what not, it hasn’t changed in the 15 years we’ve been together.  They put words in your mouth, they do more harm than good, etc.  Bottom line, that he would never again go see one.  He went through anger management two or three times before we met and I guess had a terrible experience.  I have tried to explain to him counselling isn’t like anger management, especially between youth and adults.  Things are different.  He wouldn’t accept that answer though.  Anyway, he has decided to go to counselling through the John Howard Society, through the S.T.O.P program. (Stop Taking It Out On Your Partner).  I figured if he’s actually willing, I’m going to make sure it counts, that this counsellor is going to understand situations like ours etc.  I’m also going to start seeing Cindy again at the Elizabeth Fry Society for abused women.  If hubby is willing to try, I am too and I know I’m far from perfect, I’ll do my part too.  I need to learn how to place boundaries and see what exactly is abuse compared to just having a bad day and what not.  Plus, I have yet to deal with a lot of things from the past.

Last night, he came home at 11:30pm completely drunk and ended up spending half the night on the bathroom floor.  It’s things like that I just can’t handle.  It’s disrespectful to me and to the kids.  It’s also a lot more than that, such as brushing off anything I see as a problem, or all my feelings in general.  But then again, his grandma (who raised him) told me straight out the other day that she didn’t have time for him when he was growing up so she just gave him money.  At least I know there’s a reason behind his actions and I do have a little hope the counselling will help.  But!  In order to know that he wants to try and he’s not just saying his constant empty words, I’m going to ask him to call and book the appointment.  He can start making an effort and showing me he’s all in by doing that, by going completely out of his comfort zone.  If he won’t, than I at least know where we stand.  That’s actually the advice from Kathleen.

Kathleen is the one who I thought was pressuring me to keep Adam in school in January.  I still feel like she was, but I quite like her now.  I’m very comfortable with her and can talk to her.  She has also offered to take me to the appointments at E. Fry and Adam can spend that hour at the school with his friends.

At this point, I haven’t cancelled the court date yet, which is the 19th.  I’m still on the fence.  I need to see some effort before then.  Actions speak louder than words and his actions just confirm my reasons for wanting to leave.

So there you have it, my current life situation in a few paragraphs.