I wish this was a light-hearted post but it’s not for the faint of heart.
I have suspected for a while now that my husband has Borderline Personality Disorder, on top of being a narcissist. Before I get too deep into this I want to clarify that I am NOT an expert in Psychology but I know how people deserve (and don’t deserve) to be treated. There is something very wrong with him and I don’t feel safe at all. In fact, I fear for my kids’ safety every day. Here’s why:
He’s always right
When he’s having an “episode” he will bring things up that are no where near relevant of why he initially said he’s upset. I get screamed and yelled at (in front of my kids) without being able to get a word in edgewise because he will tell me he doesn’t care what I say and that the conversation is over. Then he tells me I never listen to him and that his only intent is to spread wisdom.
He doesn’t listen
The last time I tried to get in a word during his verbal attack (again, in front of my children) he continued to speak over me. He happened to hear when I said that he doesn’t let me talk and said that I should go talk to someone who will let me talk then. Any time I “have the floor” he patronizes me with “yup, yea, uh-huh, that’s what you think, you have it all figured out” after every pause I make. If I were to do that to him, he’d probably cave my face in. Zero respect.
He doesn’t trust me
He flat out told me tonight he doesn’t trust me. That I have layers and that I’m very secretive. I don’t know if he specifically doesn’t trust me at work or if he just doesn’t trust me at all. Who knows? He says one thing but really means another half the time. Apparently, I was living with someone when we met – not true, but that’s what he feels is real so there’s no arguing it.
He has threatened to separate our children
I still have the barrage of text messages he sent me while I was at work a couple of months ago. They are vile. They go on for over an hour in which he told me he is done with everything and that he would take D and I could keep Baby A. I was so mentally affected by this I had to leave work in the middle of the day and came home. I told him he needed help and he laughed at me.
He doesn’t care about my emotions
I told him I needed to talk to him after he changed D’s diaper and he told me he didn’t want to talk to me in my state. Yes, my voice cracked because I was halfway choking on my own sobs. I asked him what he meant by “state”, and he said he didn’t feel like listening to me whimper. Before this he told me he didn’t care that I was crying, that it doesn’t affect him at all. He’s actually hung up the phone on me when I’ve become emotional, several times.
He hates me
In the past he has been an amazing, loving, supportive husband. I miss that person. Tonight he told me I have let myself go and that I don’t want to be with him because I don’t take pride in my outward appearance. He brought up the fact that I should be open to having more sex now that I’m on birth control. (I miscarried our surprise baby last month.) Every other week he tells me I need to lose weight and I made myself believe it was coming from a good place. He tells me point blank that I’m a shitty wife on a regular basis – but he likes me enough to have sex with me.
It comes out of nowhere
This is what makes it so painful. The rage – or whatever it is – comes from nowhere. I had just gotten off of the phone with him not even 4 minutes ago and this is how he came home. A completely different person.
Sometimes I think he’s looking for an out. Other times I pray he’ll change/get better – he never does. I convince myself that he can’t help it but it seems very intentional. We can go weeks, even months without an argument but when it happens it’s horrible. It’s affecting my own mental health. I know I’m depressed, who wouldn’t be? I honestly don’t think he loves me anymore.
He knows I have this blog and I hope he reads this. Then again, it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t accept there’s anything wrong with him.
1 What does your name mean?
Four Jordans – I chose Four Jordans because we are a family of four and our last name is Jordan. We are a tightly knit crew and greatly rely on one another, like a wolf pack.
2. Are you scared of heights?
Yup, don’t know how I made it as a roller coaster enthusiast for most of my childhood. In all fairness, I think it’s hereditary.
3. What is your best physical feature?
Um, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That being said I have to disclose my hair is what initially drew my husband to me. Like a moth to a flame. ::raucous laughter::
4. What is your favorite Music Genre?
I don’t even know anymore. I like anything that puts or keeps me in a good mood.
5. Are you a good cook?
Not intentionally. I don’t measure anything and hope for the best. My greatest accomplishment every year is the Thanksgiving turkey and subsequent sides/desserts. Still trying to master the sweet potato pie.
6. What is your favorite Ice-cream flavor?
I stay away from ice cream as much as possible so I don’t know the name of this particular flavor. It’s essentially chocolate with brownie bits in it. The last time I had it I was pregnant with my oldest so I was basically eating it straight out of the pint because hormones.
8. What is your favorite festival?
None that I can recall. The few I have been to have been overwhelming for me.
7. Do you have any allergies?
Not that I know of. There are certain people who make my eye twitch or my eczema flare up, does that count?
9. Which of your parents do you look like?
My dad. I basically look like a younger, slightly rounder version of him with a wig on. I only display my moms DNA in that I’m shorter than average.
10. Who is your favorite Musician?
It’s hot in Texas, ridiculously hot. Sometimes the only relief I can offer my kids from the boredom of staying indoors is a trip to a park with a splash pad. It distracts them for a while and D has an especially good time being the water bug he is. That doesn’t mean I can let my guard down though.
On our last visit a little boy about five years old approached D. He wanted the toy my son had in his hand. D didn’t really have an interest in playing or sharing so he guarded his toy and kept running away from the boy. Frustrated, the boy told his mother that D had his toy. My anxiety went through the roof. How do I diffuse this situation and tell this boy’s mother he’s lying? Before I was able to stand up another mom spoke out and said, “No, that’s his toy. He’s been playing with it this whole time.”
Crisis averted. The mom that spoke up was cool, calm and collected. She had been watching also. Why had I not been able to muster up the same confidence as quickly as she did?
The kids continued to play and finally the little boy asked my son what his name was. D didn’t make eye contact and kept playing by himself, from the outside it looked like my son did not hear him but I knew he did. Again the boy approached, asked and did not get a response. After the fourth time he went and got his mother. If you have read my post When Other Moms Are Rude you’ll understand why I gave them their space. (Long story short: D and I were callously rejected at a park when I tried to explain he had autism and could not speak.)
She got down to her son’s eye level and told him to ask again nicely. At this point I got up and walked toward them. I told them his name and explained that he could not yet respond because he has autism. I wasn’t ready for the response I got though. Her jaw dropped and she said, “Oh! I’m so sorry! I had no idea!” I just said, “it’s ok” and walked back to my seat in the shade. Her response felt a bit much, at the most I expected an acknowledgment like “oh ok”. Instead I felt awkward because in her mind autism warranted over-sympathy. I really wanted to tell her that it’s just a word that means he learns differently than other children, but I didn’t.
Did I really have to?
When I see or meet other families with children on the spectrum I acknowledge them first with an understanding smile. It’s a silent camaraderie. If we happen to strike up a conversation – great! If not, it’s perfectly fine. We have our hands full as it is, worrying about having a coherent exchange is at the bottom of our list of priorities. We know our struggles are different but at the root of it all are our children, bound by the same diagnosis.
Thanks toall things
The Liebster is an award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
1. Who is your favorite author?
I have a few but Harper Lee is in my top three. It goes without saying To Kill A Mockingbird is STILL one of my favorite books. Her writing is so fluid I get a clear picture of every paragraph in my mind. The way she tied in her themes and subject matter was flawless.
2. If you could recommend this busy mama a book that is worth the read, which would it be?
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. Another one in my top three. I think it’s a beautiful story about the impact people have on our lives.
3. When was the last time you did something for yourself?
I managed to get a pedicure last month. The polish has started to chip off but I’m wearing what’s left of it on my toes loud and proud in sandals.
4. If you could only choose one, what would be the one quality you look for in a friend?
Honesty. In all respects, it’s the most important quality anyone could have. Being able to recognize and tell the truth about everything, even themselves seems to be difficult for most people.
5. How would you like to be remembered?
This one is tough. Every time I begin to answer it I feel like I’m writing my own eulogy. If I had to put it into words: I wish to be remembered as a mother who loved her children. Who tried her best to instill values and morals so that they could be their best selves. A loving wife who gave her all to her marriage. And lastly a daughter and sister who loved her family.
We have never really been a fan of babysitters. In fact, all of our previous experiences with sitters have all been negative. Since D is no longer in school we ran into a scheduling issue that forced us to look for a nanny. (I am using the terms babysitter/sitter/nanny sporadically because I honestly don’t know the difference at this point.) We registered on care.com and got a couple of hits, but of course the sitters we felt were qualified were not available during the hours we needed or were looking for something full-time. We got a promising hit just in time, we met her, introduced her to the kids and she has been with us for a couple of weeks now. I don’t really have any complaints, which is rare for me.
A couple of days ago she told me she was seeking treatment in an out-of-state center for mental illness and would not be able to care for our children past a certain date. I was immediately conflicted. I was glad she was trying to take care of herself and find help. On the other hand, I wanted to ask how come she didn’t disclose this information when we first met her. It took me a minute to get my bearings and tell her we wish her the best, after all she had been great with my kids up until this point.
I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the nanny who harmed the two children in her care in New York. Were there no warning signs? Should I rethink letting her to continue to care for our children in the meantime? We don’t have any other options as far as childcare.
We have an incredibly hard time finding sitters we feel comfortable caring for our children and if I’m being honest I feel maybe she should have been more upfront about this in her interview/profile/application. In a way I almost feel like it’s none of my business but doesn’t it become my business when she comes into our home to care for our children?
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison
This is one of my favorite quotes because why not? I have felt like this more than I can remember. The message behind it so poignant – don’t give up. It is a great pick-me-up for when I feel I have given it my all. It doesn’t allow me to succumb to failure.
There have been times I have felt like giving up but figured I could try one more time. As a fighter jet maintainer it was this dogged approach that helped me troubleshoot. Personally, I felt it made me a better maintainer because it forced me to learn.
When it comes to parenting, same thing. My husband and I learned more by trial and error than reading a book. Our success wasn’t always immediate but that wasn’t the point, we kept trying. When they couldn’t breathe in the middle of the night because of the congestion, when they were colicky, when they had diarrhea, when they were teething, when they were so tired they cried and cried, when they had the worst diaper rash – we survived it because we didn’t give up, as parents we couldn’t.
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
I personally love this quote because I find it to be especially true. The way I interpret it is if you are not happy with what you have, you’ll never be happy with more. My husband and I both come from humble beginnings. When we met we both had our own one bedroom apartments and we were as happy as clams. As our relationship grew serious we decided to move in together. We settled into another one bedroom apartment and we felt so blessed to have the little things we did. As time went on we bought our home and started a family. We have always been grateful for the things we had in the moment, not thinking it would increase with time.
The opposite is true for my mother. I have often explained to her that she is impossible to satisfy. She is only temporarily happy with the things she obtains. She is always pining to go on vacation or get a bigger home. Our conversations are almost always related to money in some way, shape or form: how she doesn’t have enough or wants more of it. The stress of not having enough always drives her to ask to go on vacation so she can forget her financial debts. Or she is asking for a bigger home when she complains about having to clean the house she has.
One of my life goals is to teach my children to enjoy and appreciate what they have instead of focusing on what they don’t. I want them to be successful, yes – but above all, I want them to be happy human beings.
I know I’m late but I would like to start this post by thanking Ana (momlifewithchiari) for nominating me for this challenge. These are somewhat difficult for me to complete for reasons still unknown but I will put forth a concerted effort.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou
I have carried a weight for a better part of 24 years. For almost a quarter of a century I never told anyone I had been sexually abused as a child. This may not be the kind of story Maya Angelou was talking about but this quote speaks to me in that there is hidden pain associated in the secrets we keep.
It was an evening in early spring when I finally said it out loud to my husband. The release wasn’t immediate, it came gradually. In Psychology I learned victims of abuse will sometimes subconsciously block out trauma from their memory as a way of self-preservation.
When I was seven I would walk to and from school by myself. A mile and a half, most of which was lined with abandoned manufacturing buildings. I was too young to understand the eerie presence of silence. My mother worried enough to seek out a “sitter” — roughly translated: someone who would make sure I stayed alive after school until she was able to pick me up after work. She found a woman who was willing to walk me to her home everyday.
At first, I didn’t mind it. I welcomed the conversations between the woman and her daughter who was a year younger than I was. The woman fed her daughter and told me I could do my homework at the table while her daughter ate or in the living room. I grabbed my backpack and went into the next room. The rust-colored carpet had seen a few families migrate through that apartment.
Eventually, her daughter would join me on the carpet and began tracing letters in her workbook. She would talk to me in Spanish but I didn’t always understand what she was saying. Soon after she would turn on the TV as loud as it would go to drown out the news echoing in from the kitchen. He walked in soon after that and went straight into his room.
A couple of weeks went by and I was set in a routine: listen to the woman and her daughter talk, make my way to the old carpet and start my homework. One day her son walked in and said I needed to be comfortable to do my work, he invited me into his room. I looked back into the kitchen. The woman was in the middle of cooking dinner, her daughter had stopped noticing me. I lowered my eyes into my book and didn’t say anything. A few minutes later he repeated his invite, walked over to me, grabbed my backpack and set it in his room. I was safer walking through a graveyard of deserted buildings than what my parents were paying for.
The woman didn’t care that a seven year old girl had disappeared from her sight, nor was she alarmed when she tried to open her son’s door and it was locked. When he opened the door to let me out his older sister confronted me and asked why I had been in her brother’s room. She never asked him anything. At seven I was somehow responsible for what her high school age brother did to me in their apartment. My eyes welled up and she pushed me into the living room and told me to sit down and wait for my mother.
The next day he tried to get me alone again and I told him I would tell my mother. He laughed at me and told me I was stupid, that no one would believe me. That day I tried to tell my mother what was happening, what he was doing to me but instead I blurted out that he had called me stupid. She was livid. She walked back up the stairs, knocked on their apartment and confronted the woman. I stayed in the car, paralyzed.
I was so nervous before the final bell rang the following school day that I was sweating and my stomach hurt. The woman acknowledged me with a smile and a wave, her youngest daughter was emotionless. When we got to their apartment her oldest daughter glared at me like I was the scum of the earth. I sat on the orange carpet and began to take my workbook out when she came in. How dare I lie about her brother?! Did I know what this could do to their family?! If their father found out it could affect his health because he has heart problems! How could I be such a horrible person?! I needed to apologize for lying! My chest heaved violently, I sobbed. Not only did I not understand what the physical abuse he imposed on me meant, now I was being berated by an eighteen year old. She told me crying was proof of my guilt.
He continued to violate me until the end of the school year.
His mother and sisters never tried to help me, only themselves. My personal hell was a product of their selective blindness. The innocence of my childhood was gone. I was never able to tell anyone about this until a couple of months ago when I told my husband. In a way, I still felt overwhelming shame that this happened to me. I still recoil whenever news of this nature comes across the TV. My body physically reacts because it feels for these children, and my heart breaks for them.
It’s painful to live with something you simply cannot say.
I went grocery shopping by myself this weekend, I usually have D or Baby A with me but this time I was alone. It wasn’t the first time I had this opportunity but I always feel like I’m missing something when I don’t have them with me. The upside: I was able to focus more on what I actually needed to get instead of herding kittens.
I’m past being embarrassed by, “Sto-” “C’mere” “No” “Wai-” “Get dow-” “What are y-” “Don’t”, etc. It felt strange to think in full sentences.
I pushed my cart to a checkout lane, acknowledged the cashier and bagger when they greeted me and typed in my reward card information. I noticed the young man waiting to bag my groceries was not picking up the items as they came down the belt to him. He finally leaned over the pile, almost parallel to the floor, and began stimming. It was a sort of rapid wrist twist that caused his fingers to make a popping sound. It lasted about 20 seconds and afterward he stood up and seemed fine.
He looked into the distance and was not putting the groceries in bags and I made it a point to wait until he started to ask if I could assist him. He never made eye contact and simply replied, “Sure.” I began bagging my items alongside him and remember thinking that I was so proud of him. This is someone I’ve never met before and yet I feel like I know a tiny bit of his struggle. As if this somehow connected us on a non-existent level.
When I finished loading my truck I sat and thought about him. I hoped he was being respected by all the customers he came across. That they be understanding, kind and without judgment toward this young man who was working harder than they could know.
It gave me hope for my son also. A reassurance that he will exceed all expectations.
Last Monday was rough. I had D’s ARD meeting, if I remember correctly it stands for Annual Review/Dismissal. There is something about these meetings that raises my anxiety but I haven’t quite figured out what that is yet. I still have mixed emotions about how it went.
It started out by highlighting his goals and accomplishments for the past school year. The speech pathologist went over how much progress he’s made and what his areas of improvement are. His compliance needs work, that’s not to say he doesn’t work hard but he only works when he wants to. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
The occupational therapist went over how he is mastering vertical and horizontal lines and that he likes taking turns with her. Currently, he is working on drawing a circle. Same comments about compliance as the speech pathologist.
His teacher had nothing but praises and again brought up compliance. She also brought up an assessment, one of a million that I can’t remember the acronym for, and stated that his communication is equivalent to 0-18 months still. I couldn’t hear anything she said after that for ten seconds. Her lips kept moving but nothing comprehensible made it to my brain. If I’m being honest, that’s not what I wanted to hear.
When I was able to focus again, she was saying that D needed to be in a PPCD 2 classroom next year. Another ton of bricks. He would benefit greatly in a classroom with peers that were on the high-functioning end of the spectrum, this was her reasoning. When I caught my breath, she said, “it’s a good thing.”
In all reality, it probably is. I just need to learn how to reign in my anxiety as an autism parent and learn to trust professional opinions.