He wanted out, but he wouldn’t leave.
It was HIS house. HE was paying the mortgage, (I had lost my job early in my pregnancy and when I found out I was having twins, he and I agreed that it wouldn’t make financial sense to put two babies in daycare and I should just stay home and take it easy and then stay home with them when they came) and every penny that he made was HIS. He could come and go as he pleased and I didn’t get to say one damn word about it.
So he would go. He would be gone and I had no idea where he was.
I knew he was drinking.
He was putting 500 or more miles on his car every single weekend.
And I suspected there was someone else.
His parents were local, but no help. His mom and dad basically just said, “It’s your problem, you need to work it out”. Of course this was in-between his mom’s comments to me about how “usually one twin dies” and my frequent hospital stays.
Drifting. I was drifting.
I lost thirty pounds. I could wear my regular blue jeans. No one who saw me could tell I was pregnant.
Not that I saw a lot of people. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t talk to anyone, except my parents who, considering the circumstances, probably grew tired of talking to me and listening to me cry. My friends were tired of it too. I imagine it gets tiring hearing about someone who is in trouble who can’t or won’t fix it. For whatever reason.
Most of my days were spent walking up and down the hall of my house. Crying and praying.
I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t get a job. I was ordered on bedrest, ordered to be safe and careful and cautious. Ordered to stay calm and not be stressed.
My heart raced twenty-four hours a day. I couldn’t sleep. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed.
I lay on my face and prayed to God.
Why are you doing this to me? WHY?
And there was no answer.
I was weak and pathetic. I was really disgustingly pathetic. I absolutely could not see that there was another answer. There was nowhere for me to go.
I wasn’t eating well, if at all. My blood pressure went higher and higher. My husband would come home periodically to ridicule me, but I never knew where he was or who he was with. I started writing, furiously, stories of a man who was cheating on his wife and tried to have her killed. The ending was always beautiful. The woman and the private eye ended up married, happy. The cheating man was in jail. The women he was cheating with never loved him at all.
I went to church and sat in the pews and felt nothing. Nothing at all.
Then, suddenly, I gained a huge amount of weight. Water weight, I thought. My feet and hands were swollen. My face looked like a basketball.
I was about six months pregnant. And I? Developed a nasty habit of passing out.
One night I passed out and fell onto my stomach on the bedroom floor. I have no idea how long I was there. Literally I don’t know if it was fifteen minutes or fifteen hours.
I woke up to my husband, kicking me in the legs.
It took me a moment to focus, to understand what was going on.
Finally I said, “Why are you kicking me?”
And he said and I will never forget these words as long as I'm alive, “I thought you were dead and I didn’t want to touch the body”.
I think he wished I was dead.
At that moment, so did I.