Growth and Interesting Times, Part 2

When I’d been discussing my husband’s latest salvo with A & H, I’d said I didn’t intend to move out of my tiny bedroom. If my husband wanted me out, he’d have to physically remove my stuff. The kids would surely be curious and confused and he’d have to come up with an explanation for why he was doing this even though I hadn’t agreed to it. H said he couldn’t see how going along with my husband’s demands would help, at this point, and I agreed. If I gave him what he asked for now, he’d just keep asking for more. I wasn’t sure what he’d do next, though. A said he’d follow through with filing for divorce. That did seem likely.

Friday my husband worked from home which meant I would need to go elsewhere to make my phone calls. Strangely, he’d left the house on an unknown errand by the time I was ready to go (still no idea what this errand was), but I left anyway. I headed to the local state employment office. I figured I’d make phone calls in their parking lot, then see about using their computers to practice excel, and set up an appointment to see my career counselor.

The phone calls did not go well. Of the four names, two did not offer payment plans, one was not available for calls on Friday, and the last went to voicemail. I left a message. I was starting to get the sense that I was screwed. I didn’t have to try and outmaneuver my husband because he’d already outmaneuvered me by taking our money when we first moved to Indiana. That was literally all he had to do to gain and hold the upper hand. (And yet, somehow he still perceives the situation as me having the upper hand.) So that felt pretty rough.

At some point during the day I sent my husband a response. I told him no one was forcing him to do anything, he was choosing this route, and that I was still willing to see a divorce therapist or mediator with a background in family law, and left it at that.

I was chatting a little with A & H, keeping them apprised of the situation, and A suggested I try contacting a woman’s shelter. As it happened, I’d already looked up a group that helped women in abusive situations, just in case they could help in any way or offer me information or advice in the event that my housing situation became untenable and I ended up facing homelessness. The way I phrased it suggested that I didn’t see myself as being one of the people this group would normally help, and H caught that and bluntly said how my husband had been acting was already abusive.

I responded that I didn’t really like acknowledging that, but yeah.

I’d switched to the parking lot at a McDonald’s because my cell reception had been messing up a call outside the employment office. I went inside and spent $3 for coffee and cheap chicken sandwiches. It was pretty clear I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate or focus on practicing excel, and that I might start crying in the employment office if I tried, so instead I returned to set up an appointment. My career counselor was the one manning the front desk to cover someone’s lunch break, but he wasn’t able to set up an appointment right that moment, so he asked for my email and said he’d contact me. I then drove to my library. I knew I’d feel a little calmer at the library and maybe I wouldn’t break down crying while there. I needed to stay out of the house until the kids returned home from school, and it was too cold to spend the time outdoors.

I connected to the wireless at the library, chatted a little more with A & H, and checked my email.

There was an email from the place I’d applied to volunteer. They had said it would be up to 3 weeks before I’d hear a response, so this was much faster than I was expecting.

I was accepted, pending a background check. Not only was I accepted, they’d liked my presentation on the Taj Mahal so much that they were offering me a spot as a docent. I had a moment of excitement and pleasure at this confirmation of having done well and succeeded, followed by crushing disappointment. Their docent training would be in March, weekday mornings. I couldn’t commit to that schedule when I needed to step up my efforts to become employed and would likely be dealing with divorce paperwork by that time.

I had to email a response that a stressful personal situation had come up since I’d interviewed and that I wouldn’t be able to accept the offer at this time.

And then I started crying and had to leave the library.

I’m so sick of loss, loss, loss. I’m sick of my husband’s controlling idiocy depriving me of anything and everything.

I sat in my car in the library’s parking lot and cried.

Eventually I moved over to the parking lot outside my building and tried to cry less, so my face wouldn’t reveal me when the kids arrived. I received a return phone call from the group that helped women and families dealing with abuse. There was nothing they could do for me at the moment except send me a list of legal resources where I might be able to find some assistance.

B and N arrived home and ran right past my car and didn’t even notice I was there, so I remained outside and waited until C got home. I knew V was probably at an after school club and that my husband would be planning to leave to pick him up soon. When I saw C running down the sidewalk I got out of the car and went to meet her. She was joyful about the good timing of having arrived home at the same time and talked about that all the way to our door.

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