It takes time to recover from years of manipulation and control. This is something I was unable to do because of what happened AFTER I left my husband. It was difficult to understand because I was forced to continue to relive the past through what was occurring with my former husband’s family, his attorney, and the house (sale) and the alimony. I was unable to “Move On” until he passed away one year ago. To be clear to anyone who reads this; I never wanted him to die. He was the father of my children and regardless of anything else, they loved him and he loved them (when he was the “normal” person) he was capable of being until he got sick. I keep saying this because I do not know how his mind worked, I don’t know what type of mental illness he suffered from, I only know he was like two completely different people, and the sicker he got physically, the mean, angry person came out more and more also. As time went on, and the more this happened, the more difficult it was to define or understand what was happening. What our children saw or lived with is only known to each of them, I cannot try to describe their personal experiences, I can only describe from my perspective what they may have seen or lived with.
My oldest son told me that when he was going through pictures for his father’s funeral that the pictures brought back good memories; and that at one time, he thought we were a normal, happy family. The pictures he was referring to were all from before his father got sick. I am thankful for that, because at that time, I thought we were all happy also. From my perspective, the really bad times started gradually and it wasn’t easy to recognize what was happening. I’m glad that they have good memories, and that the pictures can remind them of that. The two youngest may not be able to remember the good times, they were younger that their oldest brother. Most of their memories will be of the years prior to when we left, and the years after related to court hearings and my frustration at not being able to make their father’s family understand or be reasonable. Those years were full of conflicting feelings, anger, fear, control, and financial struggle. What I wanted was a reasonable outcome, but that would prove impossible.
One of the most difficult things at this time is that now, their father is gone forever. They knew he was “gone” emotionally a long time ago. For whatever reasons, due to a mental condition or the MS, he was not the father they remember from the family pictures when they were young. For whatever reasons, their father’s family hid or denied this the last seven years, and, most significantly, they chose to blame me instead. Because they chose to blame me, our children have no relationship with family member’s from their father’s side. Everyone forgot I was still our children's mother, and they were incapable of separating me from our children. Their anger was directed at our youngest son especially, just like their father's anger. They resented me because they had to take care of their brother. They resented me for leaving him and they refused to talk to me in a reasonable manner. So much time was wasted blaming me that no one recognized who they were hurting the most. It wasn’t me that they were hurting the most; it was our children and their father who were hurt more than anyone. That is what I could not make anyone understand. It is too late now because he passed away July 3, 2012
He’s not here anymore. If I had not been forced to leave during the time his sister took control of his emotions, who knows what would have happened. One thing I do know, IF his lawyer and his family had not taken control of my ex-husband’s emotions and our divorce, he and our children would have been much better off. He would not have suffered for as long as he did and died a slow painful death that could have and should have been avoided. IF we were still married and I had placed him in full time care facility, I know he would NOT have been left with a stage four bed sore untreated to the point he would never recover. It’s sad what happened and how he died. I can’t change it, and I can’t go back and do it over. It is ok they believe I was “trying to put him in a mental hospital.” I know the truth about what I was trying to do and why. It was never all “about me” I know I tried to stop what happened and I know I did all I could to try to make the Judge, the lawyers, and his family understand. I know why it happened and I know everything that happened was always out of my control.
Which brings me back to our children, they miss their father. They miss the father they remember, they will always miss him. They loved him, regardless of anything else, they loved him. I pray the bad times don’t affect them negatively the rest of their lives. I’m glad they can look at the pictures and remember the good in their father and the good times.