Sunday, 12 February 2012

Of questions and thoughts

So there are a very few trusted people who know the whole story of everything that has gone on for the last little bit.  One of those people likes to make me think.  Sometimes I love that about him.  Other times, the thought of strangling him has crossed my mind.  But usually I get some sort of smart ass comment shortly thereafter so it's a fleeting thought.  But he posed two questions for me when I told him that I'd briefly considered making an incredibly dense decision.  I'll let you guess as to what that was as you read further.

The first was "do you love him?"  My answer to that was "I don't know."  And honestly, for a long time, I just haven't known.  I've loved him like I love my friends.  But as a spouse? As a lover?  As the father of my children?  Not so much.  And then I try and go backwards and think "when did this change?"  When I look back, I have to wonder, because I don't think I just suddenly stopped loving him that way.  I think that it was a gradual thing.  It was definitely like that in January of 2008 when the boys and I moved to a house that he essentially picked out and decided we were going to buy, giving no choice to me, and he didn't move with us.  But then I go even further backwards.  And I think it actually started between the time the boys were home when he made the decision - also not discussing it with me - to move from our bedroom to a downstairs room, stating that it was "easier" because he was taking taxi calls during the night.  Easier for who?  It's not like I was sleeping through the night with a baby who was still up multiple times a night. Honestly, I'm not even sure how I got pregnant with Hassaan.  If he didn't look so much like his father I'd probably be convinced that he was the immaculate conception.  After Hassaan was born, he got a cheap trailer and told me it was "his office."  Somehow, shortly thereafter, his office also became his house.  He came in to eat, watch television and use the bathroom.  He slept, played video games and did everything else out there.  At that point, we essentially separated.  Which one of us was in denial?  I think both.  But I did keep trying.  When he was arrested, I bailed him out, brought him home and lived through his severe depression.  When he was taken to prison, I was sitting in that courtroom.  I drove half an hour away to court with him.  I drove home alone.  That feeling, for all of my gift of words that God has given me, I cannot describe.  I left the house with my kids Daddy that morning.  I came home alone, to two kids who knew where their father was but at four and five really didn't understand exactly what was going on.  I think they still expected him to walk in the door that day with me again.  Those first few nights of bed time were probably the worst time.  And I admit, I hated him for that.  I hated him for hurting those boys.  I hated him for hurting me.  But there was still a part of me that couldn't hate him.

So do I love him?  Yes and no.  I love him as my friend.  I no longer love him as my partner.  In my head, in my heart, I think I've long since moved on.  I tried again when he was released to day parole in June of 2010.  But it wasn't the same.  We were more friends than partners.  And even then, there were times he was more my child than my friend.  And when you love a person with mental illness who doesn't or won't get it treated, I think it often becomes that way.

But then there was the second question - did you ever love him?  That took even more contemplation.  Like, days.  Turning into weeks, nearly.  Okay, it's been just shy of two weeks.  And I have way too much time for contemplation at work. So did I ever love him?  Once upon a time.  Once upon a time I had to have, otherwise I would not have married him or had kids with him.  And then I thought, did I love him or just the thought of him.  No, I loved him.  I do still love him.  But like I've already stated, just not as before.  I can't imagine not having been with him.  I can't imagine not having his kids.  I did truly love him.  At one point, I couldn't imagine life without him by my side. Now I can't imagine continuing life with him at my side as anything more than my friend.  The stress alone is just not good for me.  The stress alone from life with him has caused me to have some pretty major health issues.

I love him.  I want him to always be a part of our sons' lives.  I can't imagine them without their dad.  But do I still love him?  Not like that.  Not like I should.  But I will always care about him.  I can never not care about him.  He is a wonderful man.  He's a great dad when he's not in the midst of a cycle of his mental illness.  Sometimes, he's a much better parent than I.  But I need to get off this roller coaster.

For the first time in my adult life, since marrying and having kids, I have to put me first.  If I don't start putting me first, I'm not going to be around long enough to care for my kids.  And I only hope he can understand that.

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