Not Him Too

It’s been almost a year since I’ve written. To be honest, I haven’t really felt the need to write this last year.

But now I do. I need to process this.

Robby has been really struggling. He’s always kind of struggled with physical intimacy, but recently it’s gotten pretty severe. He started getting help for sexual compulsions (masturbating) and had been seeing his regular therapist, but he’s just continued to struggle. And now he’s putting things together.

I always knew that his first time having sex was sort of an accident. From what he had told me before, he and his girlfriend (whom we title “It”) were naked and humping and he just kind  of ‘fell into’ her. I had always assumed it was one of those “mistake but not a mistake” on both of their parts, but last weekend I found out otherwise. He had never wanted to have sex with her. He’d planned on remaining a virgin until he got married, but she took that choice away from him. After they’d had sex, he felt that since he went to that level of intimacy with her, he had to stay with her. So he did for a while, but he never felt comfotable having sex with her. She would pressure him, and demand sex of him. Yesterday, he told me that his first time she was on top and he doesn’t completely believe it was an accident that they had sex. He thinks she did it on purpose. She raped him.

It’s just so awful to write that. He said that alcohol was involved and that every time he had sex with her, alcohol was involved again. I don’t know if he was getting drunk and she was taking advantage of him, or if he was getting drunk to try and numb himself from what he knew was happening. I don’t know that he even knows.

And his one night stand with her, I always thought it was lust- and passion-fueled, but it wasn’t. He was drunk and she threw herself at him. He wanted to get out of the car, but she held him down. Oh God, she held him down.

It’s not right. It took him until this last week to realize what they had done to him. It took until he read this article to understand. He always thought he was ‘weird’ for not liking sex. He thought he was supposed to ‘be a guy’ and enjoy any sex, no matter what. But it wasn’t sex, it was rape. Oh God, why did it have to happen to him. He doesn’t deserve this, no one deserves this.

And I’m so scared for him. He’s starting therapy with Lori to address this stuff, and I know how hard that is going to be. I’ve been there. And I wish he didn’t have to go through it. I know that it will help him in the end, but I know the pain he is about to start feeling, and as broken as he feels right now, it’s nowhere near as broken as he will feel soon.

And part of me is worried about really inconsequential things in the grand scheme of things. How is he going to get through therapy and work at the same time? If he can’t handle both and he has to quit his job, how will we pay our bills? If he has to quit his job, like I did, will it destroy him? Make him feel as damaged as I felt? How will he re-enter the job market if all that happens? I had a built in excuse of TTC, but I don’t know how it will work for him.

And one of the worst things, is that he doesn’t feel like he has anyone to talk to. He doesn’t think his dad will understand, and I agree. And he already has such deep issues with his mom, that talking to her would just make things worse. He can talk to my parents, I know they’ll understand. But it’s just not the same and having your own mom and dad to lean on. And he deserves to have that. To have parents who love him and appreciate him and will be there for him, even if they don’t understand. I want that for him so badly.

I want him to not hurt. I want him to know he is taken care of. But I don’t know how to be there for him. Because I’ve been where he is, where nothing feels safe, even the people who are supposed to. And he couldn’t fix things for me, couldn’t really do anything for me, because in a way I was scared of him too. And now he’s scared of me. I know logically that it’s bleed over from his trauma, but I feel so helpless. I want more than anything to take this pain from him, but I can’t.

And it wrenches my heart to know that there were plenty of times when I pressured him for sex. I didn’t understand why he was rejecting me, all I felt was the rejection. All I felt was that I wasn’t good enough. And I really hate the fact that I was pressuring him. I pray that he never felt that I was abusing him, because I never meant to. He said the only times he ever felt ‘forced’ were after we lost Jamie and were TTC, and I completely understand. To be honest, I felt forced too.

I know things will get better. I know we will make it through this. It was bad enough that I was sexually abused. I got used to a part of my identity being an abuse survivor. I learned how to live with it. And now he’s having to learn to deal with it, when no one should ever have to learn this. It was okay that I was broken in this way, but it’s not okay that he is too.

Can You Slap A Pregnant Woman?

A co-worker of mine is pregnant. They got married at the end of August and the baby is due at the beginning of June. I don’t have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with, is this: the whole summer when she was planning her wedding, she kept venting to me and saying she wasn’t sure why she was going through with it. That she wasn’t even sure she wanted to marry him. She was angry and frustrated and questioning their relationship. And now she has been saying that she is regretting getting pregnant so quickly. That she wishes that she would have planned better, that she should have thought things through.

I hate the fact that she is pregnant already, but I hate even more that she is regretting having the baby. And I doubt that she actually regrets the baby, because she’s talked about being a mom for a while. I just feel like she’s rushed into this, which she admits, and is just setting up the baby for a rough life.  After losing Jamie, it just hurts so much to watch this unfold every day at work. To see someone regret the child growing inside them. Because it’s something we would not regret. She gets pregnant super easily and is now bringing a baby into an unsteady relationship, and Rob and I want a baby more than we can say and we have very little chance of having a baby. It just sucks. It makes me want to walk up to her and slap her for being so ungrateful. For not cherishing that little life inside of her. I would give almost anything to have Jamie back again, or to have another child, and she is complaining.

It makes me feel twisted and dark inside. Like I’m filling up with bitterness. And I know I should pray for her, for her situation to improve, and I am trying. I really am trying. Because I do want her to be happy, and I want so badly for that baby to have a good life, but I am so angry. I am so hurt. And oh Lord, I am so bitter.

That’s Not What You Say

I published my piece How It’s Supposed To Be on Facebook yesterday, both as a note on my page, and to a group I belong to called M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) (their FB page is here) . Most people were extremely supportive, and just said things along the line of “I’m thinking of you” which is wonderful. But my mother wrote this:

I miss Jamie, too. I hope you, someday, have a child to enjoy. You are BOTH wonderful people whom we LOVE SO MUCH!

Now I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but her response kind of rubbed me the wrong way. You don’t tell someone who is mourning their child that you hope someday they have another child. That’s like saying “You’ll find someone new” to a person going through a divorce. You don’t want someone new, you don’t want a new child, you want the one you lost.

Yes, Rob and I do want to adopt a child some day, but that in no way diminishes the pain we are feeling now. And it will in no way take away the pain we will feel for the rest of our lives. The pain of losing Jamie. No child can replace another, and it offends me that she even suggested that. That someday, by having a baby in our arms, our hearts will be healed. Because that’s not how it works. Jamie will still be gone, and we will still miss our baby. We will be overjoyed at this new little life, but that love makes a new piece of your heart grow, it does not refill the piece that is taken when your child dies.

Not a Man

There were several times in my life when I told myself that I was going to get over the abuse. That from this moment on, it wasn’t going to affect me any more. One of those times was back in 2007. We had just adopted my first little sister and I was laying in bed and I wrote this poem. I told myself that this was it, I was going to be okay. It didn’t work, but to this day this poem is still one of my favorite pieces.

I was young and naive

You knew all the right things to say

Before I could blink you had me wrapped up in your arms

I loved your smile, your touch, your kiss

I was addicted to your charm

I’ll never forget how you sang to me

or the way you said

.

‘Come on baby, what’s your worry?

You should do it cause you love me.

Come on.

Let me.

Don’t wimp out.

It’s what you owe me,

I’m your man.’

That’s when you were my man

.

And that went on for months on end

You owned my life

I never said anything to all our friends

even when you pushed me too far

I thought that you knew best

because you were experienced

and I trusted you when you said

.

‘You have to let me, I’m the guy.

I know men do this all the time.

Relax.

Hold still.

Don’t walk away.

It’s what you owe me,

I’m your man.’

That’s when I thought you were a man

.

Then one day in the car listening to the radio

I heard a song that maybe saved my life

(saved it from you at least)

it said “You have to tell ’em when you’ve had enough”

and I finally realized I’d had enough of you

so I looked at you and said

.

I don’t ever want to see you again.

You used me and abused me.

So I’m gone.

Good-bye.

I’m walking away.

You never would have touched me

If you were a man.

Telling the Story

I start EMDR therapy in 3 days, and I am getting really scared. I know that in the end it is the best thing to do, but reliving all of this is going to be awful, and I’m scared. I’m trying to be brave, but every time I remember what I am getting ready to face, I feel like I am six years old again. Rob and I talked and he held me while I cried. He told me how proud he is of me and that he is here for me. And I feel a little better. Someone commented on my post from the other day and told me a little bit about what they went through that led them to EMDR therapy, and I realized that I have never really shared my story with you, the reader.

So here it is. I don’t remember everything that happened. I don’t know if it went on for days or months, or what time of year it was. This is what I do remember:

I started 1st grade in 1993 at Butlerville Elementary and my teacher was Mrs. Beel. She was pregnant, so most of the year–at least it seemed like most of the year to a six year old–we had substitute teachers. My class was small, maybe fifteen of us, and between church and kindergarten I knew almost everyone. I don’t know if I knew Matt from before or if I met him in first grade.

Back then I was the popular girl. I was a gymnast—had been since I was 2 years old—and was very outgoing, athletic, and pretty. I was a happy little kid.

When I was in kindergarten I had a ‘boyfriend’  named Nathan, and at our school’s skating night at the local roller rink he won a bracelet for me. It was made of three little gold hearts joined together and I loved that bracelet more than anything.  I was so smitten with the idea of being someone’s girlfriend, and to me, that bracelet was a symbol to the world that I belonged to someone. That someone loved me.

When I got to first grade,Matt was the popular boy and I thought he was the coolest person I had ever met.

And he liked me.

It just seemed like the thing to do, so we started dating. He held my hand. He bought me a gold necklace with a little red heart that I wore every day. He was my man. I remember sitting in class and he would pretend to shoot all the other kids so we could be alone.

That should have tipped me off right there.

I wanted so badly to be grown up. I was fascinated by this popularity I was experiencing and wanted to live in that world forever. I went to gymnastics, played with my friends, and was Matt’s girlfriend. I thought I had the world. I remember being so unbelievably happy.

It started slowly. He would sit next to me at the little table in class when our teacher would read us stories and we would do our work. He used to put his hand on my thigh, and to be honest I liked it. It made me feel special. Over time, his hand crept higher. It went up my leg, under my shorts, and inside my panties. It felt nice. I felt shivery and special. This was something new for me. Eventually his hands ended up inside my shirt too. He would have me lean forward and put his hand through the sleeve of my t-shirt in order to touch and rub my chest.

He did all of this at school, during class.

There were days when I got tired of him touching me; I wanted to learn but what he was doing was distracting. I remember one time I wouldn’t lean forward so he could put his hand in my shirt and he got really mad at me. He told me that this is what boyfriends and girlfriends do. He told me I had to let him. And I did.

I don’t know how long it went on, but I do remember that I started trying to avoid him. Him touching me started making me nervous, and him getting mad and telling me that I had to let him scared me. I started trying to sit across the table from him instead of right next to him. But all my friends said we looked so cute together and I always ended up right next to him. Right where I didn’t want to be. I remember being scared. There is a home movie of me in my leotard and tights showing off for the camera how I could take my tights off without removing my leotard. In the background you can hear my dad saying how he should show this video to Matt. To this day I can hear the fear in my voice when I tell my dad no. I was six years old and I was fighting a battle no one should have to face. I was trying so hard to be the perfect, popular girlfriend and yet my every instinct was telling me to run. Like I said, I don’t know how long this went on. I have all these memories but it isn’t one coherent memory, more like flashes. I do know that I started getting mad at him for getting mad at me all the time. It seemed like no matter what I did, or let him do, it was never enough.

So I started doing things to purposefully annoy him, hoping that he wouldn’t want to spend time with me. I remember one night my dad and I were at the elementary school after hours for a parent teacher conference and he was there too with one of his friends. He was listening to a Walk-Man and had his headphones on so when I said something to him he couldn’t hear me. I reached over and pulled the headphone away from his ear, repeated what I had said, and let the headphone snap back in place. The next day at school he told me that I had broken his headphones and I now owed him fifty dollars. When I got home I told my dad what he said to me, crying because I knew I didn’t have the money and because I was so frustrated. I don’t remember how the whole thing got settled, but we never replaced his headphones. After that we just kind of fizzled out.

It was a year or two later that I finally realized what had happened. One morning I crawled crying into my mom’s bed and told her what had happened. She asked me some questions and then called the school. I don’t know what she said, but I don’t think I went to school that day. I later found out that he had been forced to go to a day-long therapy appointment. We weren’t in the same class together, but when I walked into my classroom the next day, everything had changed. There was this feeling of hostility and anger focused on me that I didn’t understand. It turned out that he had told everyone what I had said and that I was lying to try and get back at him for breaking up with me in first grade. They all chose him. Every single one of my friends thought I was a liar and from that day on they had nothing to do with me.   Only one girl, Brittany, stayed by my side. She didn’t stand up for me, but she didn’t ostracize me. To this day, she is the only person from that class that I still speak to. In one day I lost all of my friends. Everyone hated me. I truly believed I was wrong to have said something. So I didn’t say anything else.

 

I learned to be okay being alone. School became torturous for me. I didn’t have any friends and I had gone from being the most popular kid in class to being an outcast freak. I started to turn inside myself. I thought that if I didn’t look like I used to then no one would ever do that to me again. I thought that if I made myself invisible then no one would notice me. I thought I needed to change because I had brought that on myself. So I changed. I became quieter, I kept eating, and I tried to quit caring. I went to school where I said nothing, and I came home where I sat in front of the T.V. and ate cereal from the box. I started gaining weight. I no longer had a gymnast’s body and I was okay with it.

I started trying to hide inside myself. I suppose that as a kid I couldn’t handle what had happened, so I tried to cope as best as I could. And so I ate. I remember coming home from school and instead of playing with the dogs or going outside I would sit in front of the tv for hours. Just sit there and eat. Cereal mostly. There would be times when I would sit down with a brand new box of Cheerios and when I got up it would be empty. I hadn’t even realized I was eating. All I knew was that I was safe. I could hide in the show, in the reality that wasn’t my own, and for a few hours I would feel safe. But in my little bubble something would always break through—my mom telling me to stop eating, my dad trying to get me to go outside, or even my sister just wanting to change the channel. And every time that happened I lost the tiny piece of safety I had clung to. It was like being abruptly woken up. Almost like I was in a deep sleep and someone shook me awake, back to the reality I was trying so hard to escape. But I could never escape. I never stopped trying. I kept eating, kept gaining weight. I thought that if I didn’t look like I did, didn’t look like a girl, then no one would ever do that to me again. I thought something about myself had made me be a target, that I had somehow brought the situation on myself. And so I just kept eating.

I went from an extremely fit little girl to an overweight shadow.

Food became my one safe thing in the world. My entire world had been taken from me, and food was the one thing I had control over was my food. Eating made me happy. Well, not happy, but I actually felt something when I ate. The rest of the time there was nothing. It was almost like I felt this void inside of me and I thought that if I ate enough then I could fill that void. That I would get better. But I didn’t.

Now, instead of being invisible, I was a target.  Kids at school who had been my friends only a few years ago now teased me. I was the proverbial fat kid. That became who I was. I wasn’t Laura. I was Fat. And to a certain extent I was glad for the change. I could hide behind that label, hide within my own skin. I sort of felt safe. If they started treating me as Fat, could I become Invisible? And I tried. I started dressing very androgynously and I cut my hair short. I remember there were days I wouldn’t brush my hair and would purposefully wear loose clothing so I could hide behind this new front I was making. I got very good at hiding. With the added weight and the change in my appearance I morphed further into an almost faceless kid. I wasn’t invisible, but I was unrecognizable. By the time fifth grade rolled around it was nearly impossible to tell that I was a girl. I remember walking into the women’s bathroom at the local library right as a little girl and her mom walked out. As I passed them, the little girl said to her mom “Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?” I felt proud. I had done it. I had successfully hidden inside my own skin. I wasn’t happy, but I felt safe.

 

After I told my mom what had happened I was never placed in the same class as him again. At least, not until fifth grade. My elementary school was very small but the number of students had started to grow. When I was in fifth grade we no longer had enough room to divide each grade into two classes. My fifth grade class consisted of thirty students: all of the fifth graders, including him. I managed to make it most of the year unscathed. There were a few times he managed to torture me, but overall he wasn’t a big problem. My teacher, on the other hand, was and so my parents ended up switching me to Morrow Elementary  to get away from him. Morrow was another elementary school in the district, but at that school I didn’t know anyone. My teacher was amazing. He was kind and understanding of the scared fat girl and I started feeling at home in his class. I made friends and actually had a good year.

Sixth grade started and I stayed at Morrow Elementary. I was so excited to be with my new friends and enjoy my year. For the first time since second grade, I was happy to go back to school. But the school year brought about some changes that I hadn’t expected. I no longer had my kind Mr. Perkins for a teacher. Ms. Hill was my teacher for sixth grade and she was as far from Mr. Perkins as one could get.  She unbelievably strict, condescending, and unkind toward us as a teacher could be without getting fired. I starting getting quiet again and there became fewer and fewer times I was happy at school. Looking back now I most likely over reacted to the situation, but I was gun-shy and just wanted to protect myself. My favorite time of the week was when I got to leave Ms. Hill’s class room for a day and take a bus with some other kids to Maineville Elementary (the third elementary school in the district). That one day a week was reserved for the academically talented program (ATP). We got to learn algebra, do projects, and learn things just for the fun of it. Unfortunately, the kids from Butlerville Elementary were there too. Seeing them once a week wasn’t nearly as bad as being around them all the time, so I still loved ATP with Mrs. Cusick.

In junior high all of the elementary schools came together into one big school. Having students from all three schools thrown together was chaotic, but the Butlerville students were diluted enough that it wasn’t too big of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, junior high sucked for the quiet nerdy fat girl, but it was the normal level of sucking, and I did make some amazing friends. High school was more of the same, but I started coming into my own. I joined the marching band and got closer to my friends. I was happy again and I finally stopped gaining weight. The entire time I only had one class with him. The last day of high school came and I was over the moon. I had been accepted to my dream school and I was finally leaving this place that had been so hard for me to get through. All of the seniors were gathered in the auditorium and we were told to split into groups according to what elementary school we went to. Well, I went to two of them, so the teacher told me to sit with the one that I had gone to the longest. That meant Butlerville, and so I warily sat with all the people I so desperately wanted to leave behind. When I came over to the group and sat down in the back, several classmates turned to me started saying how I shouldn’t sit with them because I had abandoned Butlerville and I wasn’t a true Butlerville student like they were. I was amazed and so hurt.

After all those years they were still against me.

 

the “this is not good” feeling

Do you ever enter a situation, and every fiber of your being is telling you “this is not good”?

I had a friend in college who I had a huge crush on, Andres. He was from my hometown and pretty much my only friend at the time because I hadn’t adjusted to life at college. I had actually met him in high school because I was tutoring a student who had moved from El Salvador and didn’t speak any English, and he and the student were friends. I didn’t know that we lived in the same small town though, until I saw him at the local 4th of July parade. We said hi and went our separate ways and didn’t run into each other until a few months later at my old high school. I had stopped by to do a presentation to try and recruit students to my college and on my way out I ran into Andres. We talked for a few minutes and he asked what I was doing in town. I told him about the presentation and that I was home for the weekend and that I was headed to get the oil changed in my truck. He said that his step dad owned a shop in our hometown and that if I stopped by after school was over he would change it for 20$. He gave me his number and directions to the garage and I went home.

That afternoon I went to the garage and we talked while he changed my oil. I don’t really remember what we talked about. We joked, we flirted, we talked about teachers we had in common. Then he invited me to a movie. Sometimes when I am scared, I feel like my body has become frozen. Not so much in that I can’t move, but that I feel very very cold. Like jumping into a pool after sitting in a hot tub. This was one of those times. I wasn’t sure if it was a date, but I was having fun getting to know this guy so I said yes. We agreed to meet at the theater later that night. I went home and told my parents and my mom asked me if it was a date and I told her I didn’t know, because I didn’t, but part of me wanted it to be a date. After the movie we went and got ice cream and sat and talked for a while. He was very flirty and I remember feeling swept away. Not in a romantic way, or even a good way, but just a ‘this is all so new’ way.

We became friends. We texted, we talked, we IMed. I developed a really big crush on him. Now I realize I didn’t have a crush on him, on his personality, I had a crush on what he represented–a guy who didn’t prejudge me. Thinking back, I notice that as a teenager, pretty much anytime a guy would actually take the time to get to know me as opposed to labeling, ridiculing, or picking on me, I would develop a crush on them. Eventually we talked about the fact that I had a crush on him. That was one of those ‘this isn’t going to be good’ situations. He said he was glad to have a true friend and didn’t want to spoil that, and that he thought I didn’t really like him, it was just an infatuation. He was completely right, but at the time I was so upset. Eventually we got past it though.

One day he told me that he was in the country illegally. He said that his mom and dad moved to the US and were getting their visas, but his dad cheated on his mom and he left her and went back to Ecuador. He didn’t tell her that when he left, he canceled their visas. When his mom found out, she married her boyfriend, who was also her ex-husbands former best friend. But Andres was over 18, so he wasn’t covered by his mom’s marriage. His mom was married when I met him, so I have no idea how long he knew before he told me. He tried to come up with ways to stay, but ultimately couldn’t come up with a way. Except for one. He sent me a text saying that the only option he had left was to marry a US citizen and he was wondering if I would do it. (Lamest proposal ever, plus the ‘this is not good’ situations) I remember walking down the sidewalk at our house and reading the text, and about halfway through it thinking “oh please, do not ask me this”. I stopped walking and my mom asked me what was going on, and I told her Andres asked me to marry him. I don’t remember what I texted back. I think it was something like “please do not ask me this”, but the basic gist was ‘no’.

I thought about it that day and I came to the conclusion that if he was asking me then he must truly be out of options, and if it had been me facing deportation then I would have wanted him to help me. When I told him that, he said no, that he should never have asked me in the first place, that it wasn’t fair of him to put that on me. He ended up moving to Miami to live with his cousins because it was easier for him to work off the books there. Eventually he was deported back to Colombia (where he was born), but got permission to move to Ecuador to live with his dad.

Obviously, living on different continents made it more difficult to keep in touch, but we bought international phone cards and talked online to keep our friendship going. There would be weeks where I didn’t hear from him. Sometimes months. I would send him a message every few days at first, then every few weeks. Then we only talked when he would get a hold of me. I understood that he was working, but it really bothered me that he couldn’t take 2 minutes out of his day to say “hi, I’m working, can’t talk”. If I was having a problem or needed my friend, he was never there. I thought that it was my fault. I thought that if I had been a better friend, if I had married him, then our friendship wouldn’t have been suffering. A few months before Rob and I started dating I actually looked into the legal aspects of a fiancee visa, but ultimately realized it wasn’t the right thing to do.

On the other hand, if he was going through something, then he would get a hold of me to talk. He talked to me when he needed help translating a purchase order. He talked to me when he was having an affair with his married neighbor. He jokingly told me a few times that he was coming back, or that he was already back. He told me about all the drinking and sleeping around he did. When my grandpa was dying from cancer he didn’t return my messages. He didn’t tell me when he was in the hospital. I sent him a message and his friend answered it, telling me Andres couldn’t talk because he was in the hospital. He told me he wasn’t allowed to leave the country (Ecuador) for 10 years, but he didn’t tell me he went to Germany on a business trip. When I told him I was engaged to Robby, he told me that I shouldn’t get married. That it was too soon and as my friend he only wanted what was best for me. I told him I was tired of him only being my friend when he needed something, and that he kept lying to me and he knew that lying is a big issue for me. We had talked several times before about how I couldn’t tell when he was lying and that made me not trust him and I was getting tired of it. That was the last time I really talked to him.

A few months later he sent me a friend request on Facebook along with a message saying he was sorry and that he hoped we could be friends. Tonight, his mom sent me a Facebook message asking how I am.

I don’t know if she is trying to get us to reconnect, or saw me the last time I was in town, but it makes me so nervous. I don’t want to have to deal with this. I thought I had made it perfectly clear that he had lost my trust. Maybe I wasn’t clear, maybe he thinks that enough time has passed. Maybe he has moved back to the US and is asking his mom to try and get a hold of me. Who knows. I will just have to wait and see.

What do I have left?

How much more of this can I take?

It feels like I’m losing everything.

I can’t have a career. We lost Jamie. Pretty much right after that I lost Robby. He has been distant ever since then, and I desperately want him back, but to be honest, I don’t have him yet. Now we are losing the chance to have a family, and everyone else is getting a family. This is killing me. I really feel like my soul is dying.

I hurt so much. All I’ve done my whole life is try to be a good person and I keep getting the worst-case-scenarios. What did I do to deserve this much pain? I don’t understand why God is letting me (making me?) go through this. I need something good. Anything.

And Robby has started to slip and that scares me. This morning he slept through his alarm, and tonight he was going to do dinner because I had a meltdown over Melissa’s news, and he decided to order pizza instead of cooking. He ended up changing his mind, but that really scares me. Am I going to lose him next, for good? I can’t take that.

The girlie dr still hasn’t given me my results yet. I thought I would get them Tuesday or Wednesday but I’m not going to get them until tomorrow. To be honest, I kind of doubt that I will get them then. I want more than anything to be pregnant. To have one good thing in my life. But I’m sure that it will be negative. And I don’t know how I will handle hearing that, especially given that we aren’t trying any more. I want to try, I want a family, but Robby and I just are not there. I can’t even imagine kissing him, let alone having sex. And that means that we won’t get to have a family for years, if ever. I keep holding out hope that maybe this time we got our miracle. But I have been hurt/burned/disappointed so many times that I honestly have no confidence that this time our miracle will happen.

Now one of my best friends is pregnant. She and her husband (Bob) have two kids and they weren’t even trying and now they get to have another baby. Melissa gets to be pregnant and I don’t. We have been trying for so long and have been going through so much. She was so sweet about how she told me. She was so upset. She said that the first thing she thought after “How am I going to tell Bob” was “How am I going to tell Laura”. She has been one of my rocks through everything this past year, and now she is unwillingly a source of pain. She kept apologizing. I don’t want her to be sad that she gets the miracle of having a baby. I just want that same miracle.

She said she wanted me to be one of the first to hear and that she wanted me to hear it from her, not by some other means. She said she knew how hurt I was when I found out about Beth’s pregnancy. The other reason she said she wanted to confide in me was because if things don’t turn out and she loses the baby she knew I would be good support. And I will. I will be there for her during the pregnancy, and I will be there for her if she loses the baby. She pointed out that she is 37, so there isn’t a great chance for the baby, especially since she has miscarried before, but she said that the further along she has gotten the more she believes that it’s going to stick.

I do not want her to lose her baby. She is an amazing mother. But it’s just not fair that I don’t get to be a mother.

Perspective

This is a chain of emails between me and my dad about what has been going on. He really helped me to put this whole situation in a context that I understand, and I am actually able to start processing how to handle this.

This is such a huge step in the right direction.

It isn’t better, it isn’t fixed, but I feel like this is the first tangible piece of evidence that we are making progress.
—–Original Message—–

Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 11:44 AM
To: Dad
Subject: warning; not a happy email

I thought I should tell you guys what has been going on.

Things between me and Rob are not good. We’ve been having issues for a while about me feeling like I can’t depend on him. Like he’s not really invested in this relationship. Stuff with the fertility brings every other issue to the forefront, probably because it is such a trying time, and our relationship is really suffering.

For a long time Rob has struggled with addictions. First alcohol, then tobacco, and finally pornography. I told him over and over how what he was going was hurting me and he always said he was going to stop, going to change, but he never did. About a year and a half ago I caught him after we had had an argument about money looking at porn. That was kind of the last straw. I told him I couldn’t handle it anymore and he needed to make a change. I told him I was tired of telling him over and over that he was hurting me and him not doing anything about it. I told him that if it happened again I couldn’t guarantee I would stick around. He started talking to our therapist about it and attended Sex Addicts Anonymous online. For a while things were good.

Then last fall he started slipping. Not with the porn, but with saying he would do one thing and then either doing another or not doing it at all. Again, I told him over and over that what he was doing was hurting me, and a big part of that was that I felt I couldn’t trust what he was telling me. We had fights over it and he would say he would do better but he never did. I told repeatedly that I wanted us to fix this before we got to a breaking point, like what happened with the porn addiction. He would do a little better for a week or two but then we’d end up right where we were: him not being true to his word and me getting hurt.

It’s gotten steadily worse the last few months. I knew he had been struggling with school and not liking his job and I tried to help. I suggested he look for other jobs, hang out with friends, anything to make him happy. And I thought that if I could take care of him then he would be happy. So I started essentially baby-ing him. I did everything. All the chores, all the work. I took him to his dr appointments, I did things for him because he ‘didn’t feel like it’.

Now i realize I was just enabling him. We talked yesterday and I said that I felt like I was the only one giving in this relationship. That I felt like I was pouring love into him and he was taking everything and giving nothing back. I told him I didn’t feel loved.  He admitted that he hasn’t been dealing with things he needs to, and that he had been taking advantage of my love. When I asked “if you know then why are you doing it” all he said was “i don’t know”. I told him he needs to figure it out.

I had an appointment with Sheila yesterday and I told her everything that was going on. She knew that this had been an issue before and how much this exact situation has hurt me in the past. I basically reached a breaking point and wasn’t feeling PTSD safe (things trigger my PTSD, like Rob breaking his word over and over until it builds so much that I feel trapped or unsafe and will have PTSD episodes when I’m in the situation) and I knew things had to change now.

So I’m staying at hotel for a few nights. I checked in last night and am scheduled to check out Thursday. I told him I can’t keep going through this over and over again. I can’t handle always wondering if the one person I love and trust most in the world is going to hurt me again and again. I told him he needs to make some serious changes, and he needs to do them alone. I’m not going to hold his hand through this. I’m not going to give him the answers. I need to know that he is truly thinking about what we need as a couple and is willing to do it. He says that us not being together isn’t even an option for him, that he will do anything to fix this, to make me feel loved and safe.

I don’t know if we are going to be okay. I think he understands how much he’s hurt me. We’ve both agreed that we want to do whatever it takes to fix us, and I know I mean it but I’m still not sure if i can trust that he means it. We are done trying to have a family, at least for now. Because of all this drama going on we didn’t try this weekend, so I hope that we can focus on fixing us. I’d rather have a good loving relationship with him and have no kids than have this relationship with him and have kids. He’s my whole world.

I’m just really struggling. I know i’m doing the right thing but it is just so hard. I talked to Tory last night and I realized if I keep going through this over and over then eventually there isn’t going to be anything of me left. I just can’t imagine my life without him. I want the Robby who would do anything for me to come back. I want us to be okay. And it terrifies me to know that I can’t control that. God knows, I’ve tried to control it. Now it’s up to him to make the changes and show me he really does want to be in this relationship. That he wants to be a partner. I’m so scared that he will fix this, that he will make me trust him again, depend on him again, open up to him again, and then hurt me again. I told him that the porn addiction blowup was our first crisis, and this is our second, but the thing is I don’t know if we will get through this one, and if we do and there is a 3rd I really don’t think we can recover from that.

I’m sorry I haven’t kept you guys in the loop with all this. As you know, I have a hard time being forthcoming about areas in my life where I’m struggling. I thought I could fix it, but I’ve had to (am trying to) accept that I can’t, and that isolating myself and trying to go through this alone was only making it harder for me. So i’m reaching out to you and mom (please don’t tell the girls) and Tory.

And please don’t hate Rob. I still love him so much it would kill me to think that you hate him. I don’t need you guys to take sides, or try and fix us (advice is fine, just please recognize that this isn’t something anyone else can fix), I just need you to listen and love and support me, no matter what happens. I’m praying that we work this out. I know it won’t be easy and it won’t be soon, but I pray that even if it takes years that we end up together and happy. It’s so hard to even think about the idea that even though I don’t want to leave him, in the end it might be what is best for me.

I’m going to lunch and a movie to try and distract myself. If you want to text that is fine but I’m not really up for phone calls right now.

I love you guys so much
Laura

—–Original Message—–

Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 1:20PM
To: Laura
Subject: RE: warning; not a happy email

so… quite the email!

let me preface this by saying
1.      we will treat this confidentially
2.      we appreciate you opening up to us – I know that is very hard for you and you were very brave to do it
3.      we are about as far as you can get from having any knowledge or expertise or qualifications at dealing with at addictive behavior, PTSD issues, and the like
4.      we do have some competence at relationships, family issues, etc
5.      I/we can at least be a sounding board for you, and might be able to give you some bits of  help/insight/guidance, and will almost certainly say something (unintentionally) wrong/offensive/hurtful
6.      we love you BOTH – don’t worry at all about us hating Rob (details follow)

it’s hard sometimes not to get mad at Emma for not doing the things a “typical” 5 year old should be able to do

however, she’s Emma, and she is who she is, and it’s not fair or reasonable to expect her to be able to do it

I have a much easier time not getting mad at her when she fails to do something a tall person should do, because she’s not tall, so why should she be able to do tall-person stuff?

but when she goes slower than a 5 yr old should, or doesn’t listen like a 5-yr old should, it still frustrates me and there are still time I find myself mad at her

I think addictive behavior is similar – maybe It’s just part of who Rob is?

you said yourself he struggles with it, and that is the right word. if (when) he fails, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t; love you, and when you feel betrayed (a very reasonable response), it doesn’t mean you don’t love him.

many (most? all???) couples have struggles a few years into their marriage.  I know it doesn’t make it easier, but it can be gotten thru, and does not mean you are failing in any way.

It sounds to me like you still love each other very much and are still very committed to each other

I’ll let you digest that much for the moment…

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: RE: warning; not a happy email
Date:    Tue, August 6, 2013 1:42 pm
To:      Dad
————————————————————————–

I think your analogy with Emma is the best advice I have gotten so far.

I do know that this is part of him and it is something we will always have to deal with. It’s like me and the PTSD. There are times when it gets the best of me but I know he still loves me, just like I still love him when his issues get the best of him. With the PTSD I have learned ways to manage and cope, just like he has learned how to handle/help me when I am having a PTSD episode.

I think what needs to happen is that he needs to learn how to manage and cope with his issues, and I need to learn how to handle/help him when he has an episode.

The main issue we are trying to overcome is that he hasn’t been willing to learn how to cope and manage his issues. I know if we can get past that, then we can work this out. He has made small commitments, taken small steps before but always backed down as soon as things started to get better between us, so it’s more like taking an advil for chronic migraines. It will help a little at first, but the underlying cause is
still there. To treat something chronic you have to have a regimine and be willing to maintain it, and that is what I need him to do.

Thanks again for your email. I knew logically that there would be
struggles in our relationship, but I was woefully unprepared for this, so
I am trying to get as much help and support as I can

Laura

-----Original Message-----
From: Dad
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 3:59 PM
Subject: RE: warning; not a happy email

I got a phone call and forgot to finish my though on "typical" struggles a few years
into a marriage... you guys have substantially  more to deal with than is typical,
so if it hard (and it IS very hard) for typical couples, you guys will have
extra-bonus hard

fortunately, from what I've seen over the last several years, you two also have
extra-bonus love & commitment to make up for it!

it is very hard and some days will be worse than others, (and some will be better
too!)

you are right, you can’t make his decision to manage/cope with his issues - you can
and should let him know how it is affecting you, and in the end you can decide that
(or if) you will work trhu it together, and likely it will be something you guys
will be dealing with your whole lives long

we will pray for both of you - hang in there!

I'm closing up here in the next 5 min.  will have cell phone access in ten min if
you want to talk.  I won’t call you since you asked me not too, but you can
call/txt/email me anytime at all

we love you guys

love, dad

Talking with Tory

I needed to talk to someone who knew both me and Rob and would tell me the honest truth, so I sent Tory a message and we talked. It kills me that this might not end happily. I was sobbing as I was typing, and I just don’t know how to handle this.

Sheila said that people with severe mental disorders rarely have lasting relationships, and average couples only have a 50/50 shot. I had never really considered the possibility that we might not end up together in the end. But it’s a real possibility. Because Tory is right. I can’t keep putting myself through this. There won’t be any of me left

 

  • Laura

hey, things are really not going well. Can you please read this: https://thingsineedtosayblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/ and maybe fb chat with me?

i really don’t want to talk on the phone, otherwise i would call you

  • Tory

hey. i read it. how are you?

  • Laura

miserable

i don’t want to go through this tory

  • Tory

i know you don’t. can you explain a bit more about what happened?

  • Laura

yeah. you know we’ve been trying to conceive for a while now, and i went through tests and medicine and we got the green light that we had a healthy egg and to try. Rob has had performance anxiety before and he said that he would work on it but he didn’t, and when it came time for us to try he could keep an erection (sorry for the penis talk). He kept saying he was stuck in his head and it was never as good as what he pictured in his head

  • Laura

I tried but nothing helped.

  • Tory

ok. a: that’s not something you can really fix or even affect.

  • Laura

And i suggested he call the therapist or do something, try and address the issue and he didn’t.

i know that, that isn’t the issue, i understnad that that happens

  • Tory

you guys have the same therapist, right?

  • Laura

yeah

  • Tory

what were his reasons for not talking to her?

  • Laura

i dont’ know. he wouldn’t talk to me

  • Tory

does he usually not talk to you about stuff that’s bothering him?

  • Laura

yeah, that’s the root of the main issue

he won’t talk to me

he won’t talk to anyone

he won’t admit that he has issues that need addressed. He keeps saying he is working through them but he’s not.

He goes to the therapist and just tells her everything is fine

He has said he is going to work on the porn addiction and he doesn’t.

he says he is going to do all sorts of stuff and he doesn’t

  • Tory

Laura, this isn’t a healthy relationship anymore. you both need to be able to talk to each other. and obviously that isn’t possible. he can’t kee doing this to you. he’s lying to himself and to you. over and over and over agin

  • Laura

i know and i hate it

i hurt so much

  • Tory

i’m proud of you for stepping away and going to the hotel. it’s exactly what you should be doing at this juncture

i know you do. i’m sorry you have to feel so much disappointment and hurt so much right now

  • Laura

i know it is. I just hate that I’m having to go through this. I never thought I would feel like this. I only addressed my issues because I wanted to be with him. Because I knew we were supposed to be together

But he won’t address his issues

  • Tory

i know you did. i know you worked really hard to be able to be with him and i know it has to be a slap in the face that he won’t do the same.

  • Laura

He says he is going to now, and i hope and pray he actually will, but I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that I might lose him

  • Tory

i’m going to be completely honest…i don’t really see you guys being able to fix something thta is so ingrained in his personality.

  • Laura

i am so scared that is true

  • Tory

i get that he is saying that he is going to work on his issues, but the disappointment he will bring if he doesn’t will just snowball until there is nothing left of you.

  • Laura

i know you’re right

  • Tory

i understand how much you hurt right now and how much you will hurt if this doesn’t work out, but i can also imagine how much you will hurt years down the road when this cycle continues. and that amont of pain breaks my heart

  • Laura

I never wanted this. I never wanted to fall in love, I just did. And part of me wishes I never did

because i can’t keep going through this

  • Tory

i know, and i know that when you met rob that you felt you had found your knight in shining, anxiety ridden armor. but he’s not so shiney anymore

  • Laura

i know. I feel like that guy is still in there some where though.

I told him I can’t keep going through this, that he has to step up and make the changes

  • Tory

i don’t honestly think you’re going to find him.

but you’ve told him that before

  • Laura

i just can’t accept that. i can’t.

  • Tory

then this is going to continue to hurt you over and over and over again

  • Laura

i just can’t make any big decisions right now. I know that there is a chance that this may not end happily, but I just can’t give up yet

and i know you are being honest, and i appreciate that. I need that.

  • Tory

i agree that you should wait to make any kind of decision. you are way too upset to make any kind of definitive decision. What i think you should do is entertain the notion that ending the relationship might be what you need to do for you, so that if it is what you need to do, you are prepared for it.

  • Tory

you need to do what’s right for you, and no one else.

and that might not be what’s easy or what you want to do right now, but it has to be the best thing for ou in the long run.

  • Laura

i know

i know i need to accept that this may have to end. it’s just so hard to give up the person i love. To accept the idea that i may never get him back

  • Tory

i know. but is he still the person you love? people change and sometimes they CAN’T change back

  • Laura

i know

i nkow i know i know

i don’t know how to handl ethis

  • Tory

it sounds to me like you are handling it.

exactly the way you should. i know it isn’t easy, but you are taking the right steps

  • Laura

i hope so. I know it’s the right thing. i really do. Im just having a hard time accepting that this is real

i knew marriage wouldn’t be easy, that we would have troubles, but i never thought it could hurt like this

not even marriage, love. i didn’t know love could hurt this much

  • Tory

that’s the thing, Laura, marriage isn’t supposed to be easy, but it ISN’T supposed to hurt like that. the fact that it does should tell you something. And love is definitely supposed to be easy and should never hurt like that

  • Laura

i just hate that i opened myself up to this kind of pain

  • Tory

i know. but you can’t keep yourself closed off from the world, either

  • Laura

I wish I had

  • Tory

that’s not the solution. i know it feels that way, but it’s not.

  • Laura

i just wish i knew the answer. I could go through this so much easier if i knew we would make it. If i knew that in the end we would work this out it wouldn’t hurt so much now. I hate thinking that i’m going through all this hurt and pain and it might never get better

  • Tory

i want to tell you everything will be alright. but the fact is, it might not get better. i will not tell you what to do, i don’t know what the “right” answer is, but i do know that a relationship with someone who loves you shouldn’t bring you to your knees like this is

  • Laura

i know. i lov eyou tor

  • Tory

i love you too

and our relationship….completely healthy

if not a little strange

  • Laura

true

  • Tory

and when i say a little, i mean completely bonkers

  • Laura

very true

  • Tory

i hope i was at least a little helpful

  • Laura

you were

  • Tory

good. keep me appraised of the situation, ok?

  • Laura

i will tory. i love you

  • Tory

love you too. i’m really proud of you for taking that step out the door

try to get some sleep

  • Laura

thanks tory. i’m probably goign to pass out here pretty soon

  • Tory

good. good night

 

Things are not good

I had an appointment with my therapist today. I told her everything that happened this weekend. She was appalled. She said I had every right to be mad, that I should be mad. That I can’t let him get away with this. He needs to take responsibility. And he does. He needs to know how much he hurt me.
He’s been doing this over and over and he keeps hurting me. I’ve told him, and he does it anyways. It’s just like the masturbation thing: I told him over and over how he was hurting me and he didn’t listen. It wasn’t until we reached a breaking point that he changed. And I’ve told him that I wanted to work on this, that I didn’t want it to get to the breaking point.
But he didn’t listen and now we are to the breaking point.
I don’t want to live my life without him, but I can’t keep putting myself through this. I don’t want this to turn into an abusive relationship, but I’m scared that it’s headed that way. Not physically abusive, but emotionally. He’s breaking my heart every time he says he will do something or will change and then doesn’t.  I keep getting my hopes up and then my heart gets broken.
I am proud that I actually stood up for myself. There have been times before when I wanted to walk away and say that I’ve had enough, but I never did it. I was afraid that he would hate me. And I’m still afraid that he will hate me, but I need to respect myself enough to recognize that our relationship has become toxic. That needs to stop. When I was 6 I respected myself enough to walk away from a relationship that wasn’t doing anything but hurting me. Now I’m praying that by taking a step back now we can fix our relationship and I won’t need to walk away. Because I truly do love the Robby that I know is in there somewhere, but I can’t keep waiting around and hoping that he will change. He needs to make the change. Because it’s not just going to get better.
Earlier today he sent me a text asking if I was mad. I said I was mad at the situation but I hadn’t sorted out how I felt towards him. After my therapy appointment he sent me a text and asked how it went. Below is the message I sent back and the conversation that we had on Facebook. Right now I’m sitting on the bed at the hotel room, wishing we weren’t going through this. Wishing he was holding me. Wishing that I wanted him to hold me. I don’t want to lose him. I love him.
This is a long and very blunt messageand i hate that i have to write it but i do. I
sorted a lot of stuff out at sheilas. Yes i am mad at you, and things between us are
bad right now. I know we can get through this if we are both willing to put forth
the effort. I am willing but i dont know if you are and that scares me. We can email
back and forth now or use fb or just talk when you get home but i need you to
realize just how serious this is. I feel like im the only one in our relationship. I
dont feel loved and i havent felt loved for a while. I dont feel like you are
addressing issues we have talked about and that youve said you would work on and it
is damaging our relationship and it needs to stop because i am just about at my
breaking point. I booked a room at the extended stay on miller lane for 3 nights
because i dont feel ptsd safe in our house or with you. Im not going to go
 check in until after we have talked because i need you to know i am not doing this
lightly or because im giving up because im not. I just dont know if you are truly
willing to do whatever it takes to keep us together. I dont want to lose the robby
i love but right now youre not that robby. I want that robby back.
Facebook Conversation
Robert

 

I’m here
  • Laura

    hi

  • Robert

     

     

    hi got your message sorry you feel that way. I do truely love and care for you and want to be in this relationship

  • Laura

    I”m just so tired of being disappointed. Of feeling like if I don’t do something then it’s not going to get done. I feel like everything I do I do for you, and that’s fine, I love you, but I don’t feel like I get anything back.

  • Robert

    I’m sorry. I understand what you are saying, I’ve been doing a lot of taking and taking advanatage of you being there for me.

  • Laura

    if you know then why are you doing it

  • Robert

    I don’t know.

  • Laura

    you need to figure it out.

  • Robert

    I know and I will.

  • Laura

    do you actually mean that? Do you actually have a plan, an idea? Or are you just saying you will to appease me and then let it slide?

  • Robert

    I plan on spending a lot of time talking to sheila and examining my life.

  • Laura

    when? at your appointment in 2 weeks?

  • Robert

    I will make time to get in before then.

  • Laura

    i hope so. You’ve said all this before and it never happens. I need to know that you mean what you say, and unfortunately I won’t know that until you actually do something.

  • Robert

    ok, so what’s the plan on the hotel?

  • Laura

    i moved money from savings. it was 210$ for 2 nights. I’m withdrawing 200$ cash just to have to feel secure and i’m leaving you the checkbook. I’m going to take the car too

  • Robert

    ok, that’s fine shouldn’t need the car unless I can get into Sheila’s in the next couple days.

  • Laura

    if you do then we will work something out. I think we will still do dinner with grandma and Todd on Thursday, but I’m going to go down to my folks alone on friday. To be honest, I don’t think you really want to be there and I need some time to decompress, plus I want to see them

  • Robert

    ok that’s fine

  • Laura

    And we need to decide what we are doing about trying. I want a baby, but not with our relationship the way it is.

  • Robert

    I want a baby too but agree that the relationship needs worked on first.

  • Laura

    ok. I think we will continue with the meds as planned but we aren’t trying. If things happen to line up, that’s great, but in all honesty I don’t see us having sex in the foreseeable future. I just don’t think we are at that point in our relationship anymore

  • Robert

    that is fiar

    fair

    I’m assuming I need to do the trash and the dishes correct?

  • Laura

    you need to do whatever you need to do for the next 3 days. I’m not giving you chores, or to do lists, you just won’t have me there.

    I can’t keep taking care of both of us.

  • Robert

    Ok

  • Laura

    i’m taking a laptop with me so we can talk some that way but I don’t think we should be texting all the time. If you have something you want to talk about we can talk, but please don’t talk to me just because you’re bored. I’m still going to go to choir wednesday

  • Robert

    ok, which laptop are you taking?

  • Laura

    i was going to take the work one, is that ok?

  • Robert

    That should be fine

  • Laura

    ok

  • Robert

    is there anything else?

  • Laura

    just that I love you and i really want us to be okay.

    do you want me to wait til you get home or just go now?

  • Robert

    I love you too and I want us to be okay. You can go now if you want too.

  • Laura

    ok. I’m packed. I’ll be leaving in the next half hour or so. I really hate this

  • Robert

    I hate this too, I’m sorry you don’t feel safe with me. I’ll do anything to change that. You are my kumquat and always will be

  • Laura

    I hope so. I don’t want to lose you. But I don’t want the relationship we have now either.

  • Robert

    i know. What are you going to do after 3 days?

  • Laura

    i don’t know. 3 days is Thursday. Dinner with my relatives, then I will go down friday, but i don’t know about thursday night. I guess we will just play it by ear

  • Robert

    ok

    have the cats been out today?

  • Laura

    they’re out right now

  • Robert

    ok

  • Laura

    i will put them away before I go

  • Robert

     

     

    ok thank you.

    i love you

  • Laura

    i love you too

  • Robert

    I can left you go if you want.

  • Laura

    it’s fine. I’m writing an email back to Melissa before I go

  • Robert

    ok, well be safe

  • Laura

    you too. I miss you

  • Robert

    I miss you too.

  • Laura

    I’m gonna go. Maybe we can talk later

  • Robert

    ok, i would like that.

  • Laura

    ok

  • Robert

    love you

  • Laura

    love you too. bye

  • Robert

    bye