The new year ended off on a horrible note and started the same way.
Abdullah and I got in a major fight. It started at his house. I got the kids out, and then it got bad. He wouldn't let me leave, so I threw the laptop computer that was in my hand across the room because I knew he'd go check it out. Yes, I admit my part in it. I shouldn't have promised Hassaan we'd go and get his computer from his father's house so that he and his brother could play their online game together. I shouldn't have gone in there. I shouldn't have picked up the computer. And I shouldn't have thrown it. I admit all that. All that is my responsibility.
After I threw it, I yelled some things at him (I'm not even sure what they were anymore) and left. The boys knew I was crying when I got back in the car. We went home. In the time it took me to get the boys in the house, direct them to get their stuff off and in the house (since the porch is cold and unheated) and walk across the porch, I turned and saw his van approaching my house. In the time it took me to get in the kitchen, take off my coat and go back into the porch he was kicking my front door in. He shattered the door frame where the latch is.
He came into my house and picked up my computer. When Hammad asked him what he was doing, he said that Mommy broke his computer, so he was taking mine. I was already on the phone with 911. Why? Because this isn't the first time he'd kicked in the door. It was, however, the first time he'd kicked in the door while the boys were home. But this is something I'd never told anyone. Nor did I ever tell anyone that usually when he kicked in the door it always ended with him beating me up. And now, now I wonder how I got here. How have a helped a couple of friends leave abusive relationships but couldn't get myself out? How could I tell others that they had to tell but keep silent myself since the first time he hit me when I was pregnant with Hammad? How could I protect others when I couldn't always protect myself?
See, the Abdullah that everyone else sees is the "even" Abdullah. I have known for a long time that something was wrong with him, and I had often asked him to get help. At one point, after being put on anti-depressants, he did actually go back to our doctor at the time and request a referral to the psychiatrist. She would not give it. He finally got one about six months ago from a different doctor. The psychiatrist has given him an initial diagnosis of being bi-polar. And I, and others, completely agree with that diagnosis. When he's on his meds, he's the Abdullah I met and married. He's the even-keeled, sweet natured, gentle husband and father that I wanted to be with. But then I've also seen the severe depressions. The ones when he never got out of bed until I would call from work to make sure he'd changed the boys' diapers or fed them. The ones where the boys were in daycamp all day even though he wasn't working because he could manage just long enough to get them into town and back home before collapsing in bed again. Where he gains lots of weight because he eats but doesn't move. I've also seen the high manic phases, where he starts twenty projects and never finishes any of them (four years ago we moved into this house - I'm still waiting for the flooring edges to be done). And those manic phases are when things set him off to the point where he gets violent. And that's where we are right now. But I'd never called the police before.
I called the police. They pulled him over on his way home. About half an hour later an officer who I've known for 20 some odd years came to the house to take my statement. He showed up just as my parents were pulling out of the driveway with the boys. The second call I'd made after 911 was to my parents to come and get the boys.
Abdullah was charged with mischief for breaking down the door. After they got in touch with his parole officer, they were allowed to release him, but I'm 99% sure he was released on conditions of some sort that he was only allowed out at certain times. He was also released with an order of protection, essentially a temporary restraining order, in place until his court date, which I think is in February. I was a little upset when they told me when it was, so I'm hoping someone will contact me closer to the date....
Anyway, on Sunday night he phoned my parents. On Monday he dropped my computer off to them. He and my dad had a chat. On Tuesday night he phoned my parents and told them that he was taken into custody and is now back in prison, but in the hospital unit. After talking to some ex-OPP officers at work, the one thing that I did learn is that because the mischief charge is not a felony that that by itself would not have had his parole revoked. And because of where he is in particular he is believed to have made some comments that lead his parole officer to believe that he is a danger to himself or others. I personally believe it's the danger to self part that has them concerned. Usually once he gets past the incident of violence on each of his "up-swings" there isn't any other after that. However, this time, because I chose to protect myself, because I chose to protect my kids, I have been given the crown of " most evil person in the world" by a segment of the population where we live.
See, because they only see that even-keeled side of Abdullah, and they've never seen the other side, I couldn't possibly be telling the truth. And, because when he was released he phone someone who doesn't know how to keep her mouth shut and proceeded to tell her only what I had done and neglected to mention anything he had done. I've neglected posting anything but obscure references on my Facebook because I had someone remind me to be careful of what I posted. But this person decided to air it all out on my page for others to see. I'm just thankful I got off work early that day and deleted it six minutes after it was posted. I then sent her a nice little e-mail, deleted, and blocked her. That was proceeded by someone else telling me that Abdullah didn't have issues, I did. Repeat reaction as above to this person as well.
Because this incident involved the boys seeing it I am now, once again, a client of the Children's Aid Society (our CPS or DCFS). I have been told that this time, though, we are going to be long term clients, and the file won't be shut quickly as it was before. This is fine with me. They've said that it's not just directed at me, but Abdullah as well. And that they're really only trying to help. I like my caseworker, so I do believe her on this one. But....
Yes, of course, in all of this there is a but.
My caseworker (we'll call her Rachel) came on Thursday afternoon. Partway through our meeting she tells me that they received an anonymous call on me on Thursday morning. Now, it's not as if I've had horrible anxiety issues all week to the point that I've had to be medicated to deal with getting through the day, or that I ended up in the emergency room due to said issues and a massive stress induced headache on Sunday morning. So this was just about enough to push me a bit more towards the edge. The complainant stated that:
1) My kitchen is full of dirty dishes. Well. As I look at my kitchen right now, I do have a few dirty dishes in my sink because I cleaned out my fridge last night (I totally forgot about a bowl of salmon salad that was in there. It totally explained the smell.) I also have some dirty pots. However, my counter full of dishes? They're all CLEAN. They just haven't made it to the cupboard.
2) My bathroom is unsanitary. I have two boys. Who miss. Routinely. Unless I was to follow both of them in there, the floor will never be clean all the time. And the black under the tub caulking will remain unless I am going to strip and redo the caulking. Which I'm not.
3) My beds have no sheets on them. Okay, MY bed doesn't have a sheet on it. It does have a mattress pad. And three clean sheets in the clean laundry pile I have to put away. And the other bed that doesn't have a sheet or mattress pad on it? No one sleeps there!!! The bed was Declan's, up until two years ago. Now they have chosen to sleep in the same room in bunk beds.
4) I sleep all day and leave my children completely unsupervised. Wow. Just...wow. Now, my kids get up at 6am. They are six and seven years old. They come in my room, say "Mommy, can I play Wii/DS/computer/watch cartoons?" and I either say yea or nay depending on the day (no video games on school days, but they can watch cartoons). I'm not getting up at 6am if I don't have to on the weekends. But let's see, today alone we went into town for about an hour, we played Pictureka, we were all in the living room as I listened to a panto on BBC Radio 4 and they read their Chirp and Chickadee magazines and currently they are upstairs playing before I make some grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches for dinner. But because I don't get up when they do, I'm neglecting my kids.
And finally, the one that told me EXACTLY who it was that called (even though it was anonymous):
5) I am raising my kids in an unsuitable religion. Now, Rachel told me that CAS does not care what religion a child is raised in, as long as they're not being taught to do human sacrifices (or animal, but not in terms of "normal" animal sacrifices, like Eid ul-Adha or I think it's Passover).
So who do I 100% believe it was? Abdullah's parents. Probably his mother. But the fact that someone who has not been in my house since July 19, 2008 is making these claims about things like no sheets on beds, dishes in the sink/counter, the bathroom, leads me to believe that she has been in my house when I have not been home. The claim about sleeping all day, I'm not sure where she gets that from, but when I find ironic is that these are ALL things that their very own son have done as well.
I'm not angry that she made the call. Why? Because I knew there would be retaliation for my calling the OPP last Saturday. I knew it. I just figured she'd be showing up screaming at my door, as that is more her style. I am, however, feeling very violated that they've been in my house when I'm not here. I wasn't locking my door before (we are in a VERY small village). I now will be, as soon as I've got the door jam fixed so that I can lock it and have it not open.
I know Islamically we are supposed to honour our parents and not just cut them off, but I just can't leave my kids alone with these people again. A friend at work is home in Toronto this weekend and asking his imam for advice for me, as I don't have one I know/trust up here. (The one hired is so very, very young that I just don't feel he can handle things like this realistically.) They tried to take my kids from me. They are very anti-Islamic. They proved this when Abdullah converted and they showed up and gave him anti-Islamic things to read to try and get him to change his mind. They have stated this more than once. They have refused in the past to not give my kids things like mass produced rice krispie squares because I said that the marshmallows contained gelatin and mass produced gelatin is made with pork. They argued with me on this, even though the manufacturer says it does. My mother in law has also told Hammad that "mommy is a liar and not to believe anything she says." I get that we are supposed to respect our parents, but how do we do that and protect our kids? My kids are my priority, so my kids will not be seeing them indefinitely, if ever again before they're 18. And maybe I'm going off somewhere in my head when I think this, but I think that them telling Abdullah to "forget that (I) ever existed and move with them down to (where they're from)" and also calling CAS and trying to have my kids removed from me is that they're trying to get him to move with them and them have custody of the kids. But either way, I just can't let them near my kids.
My anxiety is through the roof. If I get one meal into me a day due to my stomach in knots I'm lucky. I have my first appointment with the women's shelter counselor on Monday. Rachel is back in on Tuesday. She's also told me to get in touch with the local mental health agency which I attempted on Friday. And I have to make an appointment with my doctor. And other than that, I just keep taking my meds, get out of bed in the morning, hang out with the kids (because God forbid I take a nap or something in the afternoon when they're reading a book), go to work, and be grateful that we're all at least physically healthy.