It is interesting as we get to the last years of our story how different MC viewed his “normal” life with me versus how I viewed our life together.
A year after we arrived, even my friendship with MC had all but disappeared. I made a couple good friends, joined the PTO Executive Committee, became involved as a classroom parent, started exercising with 3 other moms in a workout group with a trainer, and focused on the kids and myself. I started receiving kudos for my work with the PTO. I told MC, hoping I was telling my friend, he laughed at the compliments. I was hurt deeply by this.
The winter time in country had some skiing options not too far away. The kids loved it! It was the one physical activity that they were happy and excited to do and they were damn good at it too. I guess if you start that young, you don’t have far to fall. I took the kids to the mountain with a girlfriend and her kids for three nights. It was a lovely time. MC had to work and could not join us. We would go from time-to-time as a family after that trip. We still had MC with us on weekends, but many weekends he was “on call” at his office and told us he was not allowed to leave our area.
That summer we were supposed to take a trip to the US to see family, his first and then mine. A day before we left, I got a call from home. My mom had died of a heart attack. I ended up going to my family straight away, while MC took the kids to see his family and then joined me a few days later. After her funeral, I spent the trip with my cousin sorting through Mom’s things, selling what I could, keeping some family heirlooms and closing up any accounts she had. My sibling came only for the funeral, he had not spoken to Mom in years. I understood.
I also went to see my Ob/Gyn, the one that delivered YC. Since the birth of YC, I had horrible cycles. TMI here, but I had copious amounts of bleeding and pain that rivaled that of the kidney stone. My doctor suggested a supra cervical hysterectomy. We had to leave for overseas soon, so he didn’t take the full cervix, but quite a bit of it. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have insisted we stayed in the US a few weeks longer and had the full cervix removed. MC knew what he was doing, he had to have known the risks to me, but he was more worried about getting back to work than anything else, he could have supported me staying an extra few weeks to heal so the whole cervix could be removed. He did not support that idea and, thinking my risk was low, I agreed to the less invasive surgery, leaving a small bit of the cervix. The doctor performed the surgery removing my uterus. He found that I had something called adenomyosis. I have never regretted that surgery for a second. No more anemia, no more horrible cycles, it was a HUGE relief!
We went back overseas. I thought the death of my mom would give me a sense of closure. In many ways it did, but I found that something about both my parents having died just was harder on me than I realized it would be. I felt alone in the world. I was sad. I was sad that my mom missed seeing her grand babies one more time by only a few days. I was sad that my kids would never see her again. I was sad that I would never again see a spark of love in my mom’s eyes when she was with her grand babies. I tried to talk to MC about my thoughts and feelings. He just didn’t have time for me. I went to coffee with a good friend a few weeks after we got back. She asked me how I was doing. I told her MC is always working and I am much sadder about my mom dying than I ever thought I would be. I started crying. She had never seen me cry before. I was usually the person with a smile on her face for everyone. I think she was a bit taken aback. She told me I could talk to her anytime, that men just “don’t get it” and I agreed.
My birthday rolled around and MC was not going in as early as normal. YC’s school was on his way to work. So, I thought he was going in late, as a surprise to me, so I would have a break from driving YC to school on my birthday. It turns out, he was just running late (something MC never did). Upon realizing he wasn’t going to take YC, I asked him to take YC to school on his way. I had seen his co-worker bring their child to school many times for his wife. MC refused. Even five more minutes onto his schedule was unacceptable and he had neither the time, nor intention of taking our child to school. I was very upset. It had become exceptionally clear that we were not a priority to him, I was not a priority to him in any way, shape or form. This just wasn’t working anymore. My friend was gone.
I threw myself into PTO work. The next ski season, MC would join us for a week at the mountain. MC loved to ski and it was an activity the kids adored as well. We started going skiing on those weekends MC did not have to be available for work. I then started planning our next trip back to the US. MC would only be able to join us for 3 weeks. I wanted more time back home. Most of our friends were also leaving for the summer. He told me he really did not want me to go without him, he would like me to just wait until he could go and then we would all go together. I asked him “Why?” He would always say he loves having the kids and I around. I called bullshit. I told him we were clearly a low priority to him and with us gone, he could go to the office and exercise as much as his heart desired, we wouldn’t be in his way, he should enjoy that. I made arrangements to go to the US three weeks before MC. At the same time, we were talking about his next job, a job that did not include family members, a job that would have the kids and I back home for a whole year. For the first time ever, I was receptive to the idea. In fact, a part of me was thinking, maybe the kids I and will just stay there permanently.
And, now, I think we are back to where we started our story from my perspective.