Two weeks had passed since that day my daughter came to me. Two weeks of utter hell. Countless interviews with CPS, therapists, police, and everyone in between. I had made a doctor’s appointment with my daughter’s pediatrician to get her checked out and was told there was evidence that something had happened but she was, “intact.” If I had any doubts about the truth in my daughter’s words, they faded after her doctor’s appointment. The proof was right there in the exam.
It was so hard to keep a brave face and stay strong for my children when my world was crashing down. I had become ill myself and unable to keep anything down. After being encouraged by family, I made myself a doctor’s appointment and found out I was pregnant again. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I exclaimed to the doctor. “This cannot be happening.”
When my husband called that night (he called every night to check on us and see how we were doing), I told him about the new pregnancy and how confused I was. I did not know what to do about any of this let alone how I was going to raise another kid alone. My husband still had faith at that time that we were going to be back together as a family and that this would all be resolved. I was not so sure.
Another week went by and I received a call from a hospital in the town my husband was staying in at the time. They said that he had been rushed in via ambulance and they did not expect him to make it through the night without a special treatment that I had to sign for and asked me to come in.
Already confused and distraught over the situation now I had to make a decision as to if he lived or died. I loved the man with all of my heart and soul. But I hated the man for what he had done to our precious little daughter. How could I choose his fate? I dropped my children off with my mother and had my sister and my dad take me up to the hospital. Upon arrival, the doctor’s and nurses that were assigned to my husband’s care pulled us into a little room to talk. They explained how sick my husband was and how he was on a ventilator and unable to breathe on his own.
I explained the situation and how I felt I was the wrong person to be asking to make this decision. How at the time we were separated because of what he did to our daughter. I could not have his life in my hands right now. I could not play God. I asked to see him before deciding so they took me to his room. This was the first time I had seen him since kicking him out of the house.
I was not prepared for the overflow of emotions seeping out of my body. I stood there for a long time just staring at his lifeless body laying there on the bed. My mind replaying back memories of our life together. Walking up to the bed and laying my head on his chest, I cried. I cried like I had never cried in my life. I let all of those built up emotions come flowing out. Then I talked to him. I was not sure he could hear me or not but I said everything I wanted to say but had been too scared to say. I told him how much I loved him but was so very angry with him. How I hated him for tearing our family apart with his actions. I knew he would not be able to respond but I asked him why? Why he did this to our daughter and to our family. I told him he was the love of my life, my soul mate and the person who broke me for good. I would never recover or be the same. I told him I could not live life without him, but I could never be with him again either. I then signed the paperwork for the doctor’s to give him the treatment he needed and I left. Within a week he had recovered and was released from the hospital.
I, on the other hand, had a nervous breakdown and called my parents to come get the kids and signed myself into the hospital mental ward. I wanted to die. I seriously felt like I did not deserve to live. That my children would be better off without me. That I had fed my daughter to the lion while thinking I was protecting her. Then turned around and saved the lion. I hated the actions of the lion, but still loved the lion. Why did I still love the lion? I should hate him with every ounce of my being.
I was getting hit by all sides telling me all sorts of things about what I should have done, what I didn’t do, how I should feel and act. The final straw that broke me into the nervous breakdown was the pastor of our new church coming over and telling me I was doomed to burn in hell because I did not stand by my husband. That the Bible clearly stated I should stand by him and help him seek treatment instead of kicking him out. When I responded with the Bible also entrusting the children to my care and how I am supposed to protect them from harm, the pastor said I had my priorities mixed up. Never mind the fact that I had just saved my husband’s life by allowing him the treatment he needed. He made me feel like I was to blame for my husband’s actions. Like I somehow was not a good wife or mother for that matter.
While in the hospital, I had a miscarriage and lost the new baby. At the time, I felt nothing. I did not care. It did not affect me in the way it should have. I felt the baby was better off not being born and that life sucked. Also while in the hospital, I was diagnosed with severe chronic depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. The depression, yes of course. I pray tell anyone to go through what I was going through and NOT have a breakdown or some sort of depression. The Borderline Personality Disorder… well let’s just say I think it was an unfair diagnosis at a time in my life when I was at my lowest point. My actions at that time should not be a basis for a permanent diagnosis of such a nature. Once you are diagnosed with a disorder as such, it is forever there on your record and never goes away.
When I was able to be released from the hospital, I grieved the loss of the new baby but had two living kids that needed me. CPS forced me to take the kids and attend nurturing parenting classes once a week. I could graduate these classes with one of three certificates. 1) I was unfit to care for my children and they would become wards of the state. 2) I was able to care for my kids but would need an outside source to come in and monitor us on a regular basis. 3) I was perfectly fit and able to care for my kids on my own without any outside help. Of course, I graduated these classes with the third certificate and was able to keep my kids after having proven I did not know about what was going on in the house between my husband and my daughter and had no clues I failed to pick up on.
Months and months of interviews and therapy passed and still, they had not charged my husband with a crime. Finally, stating they were not going to charge him because my daughter was not able to testify in court against him. He then decided to sue me for visitation of our daughter. By this time although I still loved him, I had come to realize, we could never be together again and that he did, in fact, do this to our daughter. So I fought the visitation rights.
In court, I had three of my daughter’s therapists and her doctor all testify that this abuse DID happen and suggest to the court it was not in her best interest to have visitation with her father. In order to pay an attorney to represent me, in this case, the attorney agreed to take my wedding ring as payment. Despite all of the evidence against my husband, the court would not use it because the charges against my husband were dropped. He won supervised visitation but I was allowed to pick the person supervising as long as it was the same person every time. My grandfather, bless his heart, agreed to this task.
By this time, a year had passed during this entire process from the day my daughter spoke up until the day she had to start visitation with her father. He was granted 3 hours every two weeks in a public place and I could not attend. We had made it through the first 3 visitations without harm. My daughter seemed happy to have the time with her father and always came home smiling. The fourth visit, my husband called and asked me to come along even though I was court ordered not too. It was the visit for our daughter’s birthday and I will never forget how happy she was opening her presents and spending the time with her father and her mother together at the same time.
For me, it hurt seeing him that day. The love I had for him had not died. I was still confused over that. I knew in my heart he had abused our daughter in the worse way. I knew I should hate him with every ounce of my being. But God help me I still loved him. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me and never let go and I hated myself once again for feeling that way. I had even started dating again, had a boyfriend despite not being divorced yet and was making plans for the future. But the moment I saw him and spent time with him now that the court stuff was over, I just wanted him back. Confusion set in again. I knew my family would disown me if I took him back. I knew it was wrong to even think of taking him back. But I loved him, I missed him and my kids missed him.
Two weeks later, before the next visitation, I received a call from my husband’s father. My husband had passed away in his sleep the night before. I had lost him again, this time for good. I could not see him again as planned and tell him how much I loved him. I have never admitted to anyone that I was going to talk to him and let him know that I wanted to work it out. No one would understand so why talk to anyone about it. He was dead now, so why let my family know I was willing to give them up in order to have my husband back with my kids and myself. Now instead, I had to sign for a funeral.
TO BE CONTINUED…