TL: “Spiraling down”

Living for the next three years in America, but far from home, was ok. But, if we are going to be in America, I so prefer to be “home.” Still, we made some good friends. Oldest child (OC) started pre-K at a community center. During OC’s pre-K time, I became friends with a lot of the Moms that worked at the community center. When OC graduated and went to big kid school, I decided to restart my exercise regime. YC was able to participate in the child watch. I knew the Moms that ran it and it gave me 90 minutes/day to focus on doing something healthy for myself. Also, I could shower there, while someone else was watching YC. As YC got older he transitioned from child-watch to the part-time morning preschool program and it was a lovely little community between OC’s school and the community center.

MC was working a lot. His commute was horrendous. He was leaving before I took the kids to school and often not getting home until after the kids were in bed. I felt like a single Mom. But, he was home with us on the weekends and we spent some nice time with friends and as a family.

One day, I awoke to some horrible abdominal pains. MC payed no attention. Didn’t seem to care at all. I insisted that he had to drive kids to school and then come back and take me to the ER. He put up a huge fight about it, he was going to be late for work. I was in no condition to fight, but insisted. He ended-up taking the kids to school and then taking me to the ER. He dropped me at the front door, pulling away the minute I shut the door. Not even a word of “hope you are ok” nor making sure I made it into the ER. I checked myself into the ER. Turns out I had a kidney stone. There was blockage and infection. I was put on meds and checked-in to the hospital. The urologist would not be available for surgery for three days. I was admitted to the hospital while waiting for surgery. Luckily, my cousin had recently moved to town. I was drugged-up, in the hospital and arranged with my cousin to pick-up kids from school and stay with them until MC got home. I actually do not know what happened with kids and schedules while I was in the hospital. I know my cousin helped a lot, but MC did adjust his schedule to help as well.

Sometime during this time living in the US, we started getting some strange pop-up ads on our computer. I became concerned. I looked in our history file and saw that MC had visited porn sites, not only that morning, but it looked like many mornings in a row. I looked at other records on the computer and was able to tell not only what sites he visited, but the exact time of visiting those sites, he was doing this during his early morning exercise routine. MC had free weights in our basement and was devoted to his exercise regime. He was getting up very early to exercise, making him exceptionally tired when he returned home in the evening. He was taking anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes/day to visit porn sites before exercising while the rest of us slept. I told MC I wanted him to stop. First, he already was so tired when he got home insisting on his early morning workouts. Second, I don’t want OC using the computer and having one of these pop-ups show-up. Third, I really didn’t like him viewing porn though I told myself it was probably a pretty normal thing for a guy to do. I said my piece, and instead of continuing to ride his ass about it, I decided to install more secure anti-virus software that allowed me to block pop-ups. The porn viewing did not stop, but my concern of children seeing these pop-ups was addressed, at least.

We moved overseas again. OC was becoming more adept at using the computer. One day OC opened up the history file to find a site he had used the previous day (my G-d these kids are so tech savvy). There, in the history, was a bunch of xxx sites. Oh my G-d, this is too much. I was very upset with MC. I ended up making separate log-Ins for me, for MC, for OC and for guests. I put parental supervision software on all the log-Ins but mine (as the administrator). This software, unfortunately, was blocking sites that did not need to be blocked. Body-building.Com, and even some regular news websites were being blocked. I am not MC’s parent and never wanted to be. I ended up removing the parental controls from MC’s log-in. Of course, that gave him full access, but I could see everything he was doing and when he was doing it. I told myself, so it is 10 – 20 minutes per day, isn’t this just what guys do? I stupidly didn’t even consider that he was actually masturbating to this shit.

MC was working a lot. He was getting up earlier and earlier to extend his workouts, he would come home at or after kid bedtime many nights. We were fighting a lot about his hours. His boss and co-workers were not putting in those same hours. He would try to tell me they were, but because I was friends or acquaintances with their spouses, I knew better. If ever he made it home before bed time, he was exhausted.

YC once had a sleepover on a Friday night. I asked MC to read the kids a story, so I could help OC with some things. MC fell asleep while reading the story to the kids — mid-sentence! I was becoming very very angry with MC. His selfishness was becoming more and more apparent. I would buy a ton of produce for the family. Some for MC and some for snacks for the kids to take to school. MC was eating a lot as part of his exercise regime. No matter how much I bought, it was never enough, he would just eat more. It got to the point where I would see there was plenty of produce the night before, but when I was getting the kids snacks ready for school the next morning, there was NOTHING left. I told MC he needed to never take the last of anything. He didn’t listen. This became a huge argument. My resentment was building.

I was not happy with how much time was spent on MC’s pursuits and goals and how little was left for the family. He gave us the weekends. But, those weekends had to be filled with activities he saw as promoting athleticism in the kids. He treated them with disappointment if they did not participate in athletic endeavors. It wasn’t about having fun together, it was about becoming the type of child MC wished he had been. Our OC felt the disappointment from MC. MC insisted that wasn’t true because MC never told OC of the disappointment. I could feel it, OC could feel it and their relationship was deteriorating quickly. MC blamed me for that, unwilling and unable to see how pushing OC so much was hurting both of them.

This job was supposed to give us more time with him. He was never home for dinner, rarely home for bedtime. My days as a single Mom, for the majority of the time, were continuing. The tension in our home was very high. I started thinking about separation or divorce, going home with the kids to America for good.  I started asking MC, “why are the kids and I even here? Why do you want us here? I feel like you think we are just in your way?” On several occasions, I told MC that I thought we needed some counseling. He was not receptive.

I started involving myself in the kids’ schools and making friends and living my own life.

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