First, I do want to reiterate again that my use of the term “shit hole” to describe a place says far more about my state-of-mind at the time than the actual place. Just to be clear, I have been all over this world and experienced some pretty fucking fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experiences, largely in places that are less developed or practically undeveloped. Sometimes, yes, I do get homesick. But, overall, these overseas experiences were very meaningful and special. My children have seen amazing diversity and resilience, as well as poverty and human struggles in a way living back home would never have given. I think this has given them a sense of compassion and empathy for the struggles of others that Mindless clearly never had and, frankly, I too needed to confront.
Though we are focusing largely on the negatives here, there were so many positive experiences along the way. Part of the struggle I am confronting is that I thought those shared experiences meant something special to not just me, but to us as a couple. And, I am starting to admit again that no matter what Mindless did or did not do in his “double life,” those experiences did, in fact, mean something to me, just not in the way I thought. Mindless insists those experiences were meaningful to him and his idea of us too. I struggle to understand this idea of compartmentalization that he keeps talking about. It is just not the way my mind works.
With that being said, back to our story.
Due to my difficult pregnancy, our whole family was sent home (truly HOME this time) at the beginning of the third trimester. AP2/the maid wanted us to take her with us. It was not possible to do, thank goodness! When we got home to America, my Mom was so very happy to see us.
My Mom was a very sick woman, but boy did she want to shower love and attention on her grandchildren. We, with the backing of my extended family, did not allow her to watch our oldest son (OS) alone. She was very sick, still on many meds and couldn’t drive, etc. But, she could visit for a few hours here and there (small doses really were best). Seeing her visit with her grandchildren was the only time in many years I had seen a spark of love and caring for anything or anyone outside of herself. Somehow, I found comfort in that.
I had to stay in the hospital for almost a week due to hemorrhaging and an unexplained infection. Our baby was perfect, so they wouldn’t allow the baby to stay as an inpatient, though the baby was allowed to stay. Mindless stayed at the hospital with us to help with the baby, since the nurses were not allowed to do so. OS stayed with my extended family for that week. We were able to be home for another six weeks after the baby was born before going off to MC’s latest job – this time a job in the US, but still not so close to “home.”