What a strange week. It started out like hell and is ending up like heaven. I’m not sure where everything is headed, but if my hunch is right, we are on an upswing (finally!). The last time I diaried, I was worried about my job, the changes my baby was going through at 9 months, and getting my husband to help out at home.
So I still have my job, and my company hasn’t seemed to figure out yet that it will probably cost more to shut down the factory than to just leave it open, so perhaps when that dollar amount becomes clear they will let us keep making things.
Meanwhile, my little girl started walking a couple of days after turning 9 months old and has barely crawled since. She’s practically running now (today she turned 11 months) and won’t stay away from her beloved kitty who nevertheless bit her on the arm and is now relegated to the outdoors for the first time in her furry life…she’s meowing to come in right now. Baby is still nursing, but also eats solid food and wants to do everything the adults do. People tell you how fast babies grow…but I had no idea it was going to be this fast!
OK now to the heavy stuff. My husband and I both have our mental issues which have been essentially untreated for 8 years. He has been a SAHM for a year since being laid-off but was obviously chafing at being bored at home all the time and started acting like this was a huge chore, and wasn’t contributing to the household. He also drinks, which can aggravate his anger/irritability problem. Basically, he was calling me home early from work all the time, and I don’t have any family or friends in the area who could babysit, and given the precarious employment situation and lack of any remaining sick or vacation time, we were seriously financially suffering. I was also emotionally suffering because he was verbally abusive when intoxicated, and also has a habit of destroying my property when really irritated at seemingly minor things. These are all manifestations of his mental disability, but he was showing no responsibility for getting help for himself, and I was at the end of my rope. Last Sunday night he spent a few hours telling me what an absolute failure I am, and the sad thing is I started actually believing it! On Monday I had to stay home because he was in no shape to take care of a baby. So on Tuesday when he called saying he’d wrecked some of my CDs because the baby had been grabbing at them, and to bring home beer and a movie, I started having an anxiety attack at work, and when I got home I told him that we were over and I was leaving with the baby.
He was in complete shock, but he had calmed down from the earlier incident and asked me what he could do to prevent such an outcome. He threatened to call the cops on me if I left with the baby and since my experiences with cops getting involved have, without exception, been negative, I told him he needed to quit drinking and see a psychiatrist and attend couples therapy if he wanted to stay in my house as a part of the family. He agreed as long as I would do the same, which I will. Then I proceeded to take a couple of days off work and have my mom come down to spend a few nights at a nice local hotel while I recovered from the anxiety attack and depression, and to arrange for a daycare provider so I didn’t have to worry about coming home early or having her witness property destruction anymore.
We went to our first marriage counselor on Wednesday, and I swear it was like finally achieving a fantasy you’ve imagined for a million years – getting to bitch about his unacceptable behavior in front of a third party who can verify its inherent wrongness. I felt so much better after that, and a little more confident that we could work on these problems together and retain the wholeness of the family. I have an appointment next week with the head doctor and I’m very nervous about any medications, since the last time I went this route the Paxil just about ruined my life, but they claim the drugs have gotten a lot better in the intermediate eight years. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, the daycare provider I found seems to be the perfect fit for my little girl. She immediately started playing with the other kids who are around her age, and I got the most wonderful feeling when my mom and I were checking the home out, as did my mother. Today was her first day there and it went without a hitch, and I feel so relieved that I don’t have to worry about her care anymore.
I’d really been stressing out about my lease renewal for my 1 bedroom apartment, because my rent is $1275 per month, which is enough to rent a whole house where I’m from. Once again, mom to the rescue – she found out they were renting these units out for $999 to new residents, and urged me to negotiate. Today, I scared them into thinking we’re going to move out and they agreed to actually lower my rent! I jumped up and down and cheered for fully 5 minutes. I haven’t been this happy in a long time. Even on unemployment, I could sorta-kinda afford $999/mo. So that relieved another stress in case I lose my job in the fall when the factory will supposedly shut down.
After I got that news I went out and got a haircut because on Sunday I’ve been asked to participate in an Organizing for America healthcare reform event where they will tape our healthcare stories and show the videos to Congress. I have a lot of debt because we didn’t have insurance one time my husband needed help, and ever since then it’s been so difficult financially because it ruined our credit and I’m so afraid it will even affect my ability to get a job. I have been extremely vocal about this subject for a long time and it makes me really happy that I can contribute and possibly change a Congress Critter’s attitude about the absolute necessity of a strong public option for a healthy America.
I’m not sure if it will work out between my husband and I, but I hope he gets healthy, for his own sake and for our truly precious daughter. I still love him a lot and I hope we can learn to trust each other again, and I’m glad our relationship has changed because what we had before was really not working and leading to a lot of unnecessary hardship and suffering. At the beginning of the week I thought it was the end of my family, but by the end I realized this could just be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.