A Journey towards Integration
It’s been over six months since I last posted anything. Here’s what happened (part 1):
My Prince, myself, and our son moved into a spacious two-bedroom on March 1st. The little unhealthy habits that we had been keeping under the radar while we lived with my parents resurfaced and grew stronger. Unsurprisingly, I was the one who had more difficulty with the stress of moving, but after a few weeks I unpacked and adjusted. My Prince’s behaviour, however, grew steadily worse. He began drinking heavily to cope with his emotional state, passing out on the couch two or three nights a week. I won’t go into detail, but the chaos and disruption caused by his demanding, impulsive behaviour were tantamount to emotional abuse. I realized he was mentally ill. I began observing and researching his symptoms. But I wasn’t fast enough.
I finished my year-long course of DBT, and though I tried to cope with everything, between moving, BPD, a toddler, my Prince’s behaviour, and our increasingly depleted finances, I was barely getting by when summer started. My Prince started picking fights with me, and insisting that his (meagre) chores were my responsibility. I tried to do everything, and became depressed, angry, and resentful when I couldn’t.
At the beginning of July, we were fighting every day. One morning, he picked a fight with me and threw a cup of hot coffee in my face. I lost it. I picked up a mug and threw it. He picked up The Joy of Cooking — hardcover, 1100+ pages — chased me into the dining area, and clocked me full in the face with that heavy book.
The next thing I knew, my hands were at my face, covered in blood, and I was lying on the floor. I heard our small son, his sweet, alarmed voice piping, “Are you okay, Mommy?” I grunted, kept my hands over my face, and looked at him. I couldn’t get up. “I’m okay,” I managed to whisper, and kept my hands over my profusely bleeding nose and mouth.
He looked at me, puzzled, finger in his mouth, and suddenly smiled, face bursting with two-year-old pride and triumph, because after spending months groping for vocabulary he knew he finally had the right words this time: “Mommy hit with book!”
And then I knew our son had seen it, and I died inside.
So…so…so. Police involved, my Prince arrested and ripped out of our lives so completely that we cannot fill the giant hole he has left. I still love him, and I hate him passionately, painfully, furiously. He gave me a black eye Christmas morning 2012 (though I’m the first to admit that my behaviour certainly contributed to THAT consequence) and now this…I am the victim of an act of domestic violence so terrible and cliche I thought it only happened in fiction.
I spent much of my spare time over the next weeks filling out forms and having appointments with the various agencies that become involved in domestic violence cases — police, legal services, social services, mental health, children’s aid, various women’s organizations, etc. I smoked pot. I cried my eyes out. I got drunk at a family reunion. I tried not to inflict any of this on my son, and encouraged him to express his feelings in safe ways (yay for DBT, which has given me so many great parenting skills!). I also started jogging and doing a resistance workout. I lost weight. I reorganized. I applied for, and got, welfare. In short, I wasn’t perfect, but I did, and am doing, my best.
I loved the freedom to do what I want (despite now being a single mom with more responsibility), and I loved having more control over my environment (that is, my Prince was grossly disorganized, and created mess and chaos wherever he went, and I hated that he refused to recognize it as a problem and that I was forced to pick up after him). But I felt abandoned, vastly alone, and it’s hard to talk about missing someone who hurt you — if you haven’t been through it, you just don’t get it.
My friends and family jumped to support me, and I learned (and am still learning) in the midst of my overwhelming pain and vulnerability, who really cares about me…as we’ll see in Part 2: Disney Sells Poison to Girls and Women (or, How I Never Met Benedict Cumberbatch).