Thursday, July 12, 2007


I’m not quite sure if that is the appropriate title for this post but it is the only word that keeps swimming in and out of my mind so it is the one I use. It seems like such a little kid word to me. Something you call someone on the playground but it envelopes so much of how I feel about this whole situation with Jake.

People often wonder why battered women stay with their abusers. They look at it from the outside and they say why doesn’t she just run? I think it is much the same for people who stay with addicts, because let’s face it; they are not really pleasant people either. Now while I can’t speak for everyone I can speak for myself. I tend to do it quite often and quite loudly. This is why this whole situation has seemed so strange to me.

Why didn’t I just speak out? Tell someone what was going on and let them help me. The answer is two fold. (Or possibly three or four…) When you are in a situation with someone who is abusing you or themselves it really is a day to day event. You have really good days and really bad days. Unfortunately for someone in my position something gets lost in translation so to speak.

Somehow the good days overshadow the bad days. By like 100 fold. When Jake would go out and use or he would become angry and violent I would believe him when he would tell me that was the last time. I would believe him when he told me the pipe I found was old or that he was just out with his friends and not getting high. I believed him because I HAD to believe him. And even when I knew it was stupid to continue to do so I did it anyway.

There is a lot of fear and shame in a person's life when they are living like this. I would believe him when he would say something to me so I didn't tell anyone about it because if I had said to my mom or to my friends, I think Jake is using drugs they would have told me to leave him and that was not what I wanted at that moment. I had convinced myself that it was the last time and so why "rock the boat" so to speak by involving others.

Then when he would fail again, and he always did, I just felt stupid. I didn't feel like I could tell anyone after the fact because really, the more you put up with the more idiotic you feel. I would look back on it and think "you knew what he was doing, why do you put up with it?"

So, knowing that I had made a stupid choice I kept it to myself. Hell, I already knew it was stupid; I didn’t need anyone else pointing it out to me. Half the time most of his friend already knew he was lying to me and that was enough of people rubbing it in my face. They all knew when he cheated on me back in 2000. They were all there and they all looked at me when I would come over to their house and not ONE of them said anything. Talk about feeling like and idiot!!

On top of feeling stupid there is also fear. I think, like me, a lot of people who stay are afraid to leave. Sometimes they don't know how they will pay their bills on their own or where they will live. Sometimes the abuser convinces them that they will be harmed if they leave or that they will be worthless. And sometimes, like me they are just scared to be alone and scared of life without this person. Jake is not a bad person. He just has a bad addiction. That is what I kept holding on to. That he could be a good person and what if I left and then he got better and I missed it?

Because let’s face it. People who stay with addicts or abusive people (or in my case both) are not stupid. I was VERY aware of what was going on and that it was not how I should have lived my life. If I would have been naive I wouldn’t have hid it from everyone. I didn’t tell them because I knew.

However, with that said I was somewhat powerless to do anything about it. I could look back on every incident and say that was awful, I don’t ever want to do that again. I could promise myself that next time I would leave. Next time I won’t call if he disappears. Next time I’ll file the divorce papers. But somehow it never happened.

There is some power that an “abuser” has over the other person. Something that I can’t quite explain. I was never the quiet meek woman. I fought back with Jake. I told him my feelings and I tried very hard to get my point across. I never just let him walk all over me without a fight, but in the end, I did let him walk all over me.

In my book I describe it as somewhat like a drug. Getting my fix of Jake. We would get in a huge argument and he would peel out of the driveway. Usually to go get wasted. I would know where he was going but somehow would be mad enough at him that I didn’t care. Then after about 30 minutes I would start to panic a little. Than 30 minutes later I would begin to call.

It was always the same. He would either not answer… making me really panic more or he would answer and he would make me false promises. It didn’t matter what he said, all I needed to get my “fix” was the sound of his voice. Now I know to most of you this sounds pretty stupid. Hell to me it sounds pretty stupid and I’m writing it but it is the truth as best I know it.

Some part of my emotional being “needed” Jake and so while my logical side said that I didn’t, over and over again, it was in direct conflict with my emotional side. And somehow, over the past 10 years and against my better judgment most of the time my emotional side won out.

I guess in a way that is sort of where I am stuck at now. My logical side has made the choice to stay with Jake. To give him this one opportunity to be a part of my life and his son’s life full time. It was not a decision I came to lightly but it was a decision that ultimately I decided on.

Now my heart, the part of me that Jake has always held in the palm of his hand, supports this decision fully. It is the rest of my emotional side that is struggling. The part of me that is SOO very angry with him for the things that he has done and the things that he has put me through.

A lot of my friends and family members are angry at him for this too and most of them only know about 1/4 of the whole story. And part of that is because of fear. I have not wanted to tell them everything because I don't want to hear that there is no hope for us or that I need to run as fast as I can in the other direction. I want to be able to get over this struggle. I want to stop having the nightmares and the flashbacks.

I want to stop flinching every time I see someone in the back of a police car or every time I hear sirens. I want to stop checking to see who the driver is every time I pass a jeep just to make sure it's not Jake headed somewhere he shouldn't be. I want this all to go away and I can't make it do that.

Hence the breakdown as of late. I am hoping that talking with someone will help me to make myself one whole instead of two halves. I have been in conflict, my logical side with my emotional side for the better part of ten years and I need to fix that.

There’s a new song out and there is one line which I really like. The rest of the song doesn’t really apply to me… but the line I like is…

I hope you know,
I hope you know,
That this has nothing to do with you,
It’s personal
Myself and I
We got some straightening out to do

That is how I feel right now. I need to get myself straight and discover who I am as a whole person before Jake enters back into my life. I have to figure out how to stop being haunted by what happened and move on. And if I can’t stop the nightmares and allow him to be in my life than I have to learn how to let go. All of this I hope the counselor can help me with.

For now, Jake is gone. It is just me and Zack making due the best that we can and I need to get myself fixed up so that I can be the best mother to him. With or without Jake.

It's taken me three and a half months to come to this place and I'm sure it will take me several more to come through it. However, driving home the other day I realized something. There was a song on and it just hit me…

“Though you’re still with me… I’ve been alone all along.”

I was afraid to be alone so I let him stay but he was never really here to begin with. That's a start… I'm sure the rest will come with time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I'm not sure it is one thing but rather a culmination of items. I have contacted my former doctor (she left her practice... boo hoo!!) and she has given me the name of another doctor in her practice to go and see. She told me she will give him a little bit of history on me and then he can give me a referral to a counselor or a psychiatrist or whatever.

Since I'm breastfeeding and since I am usually extremely opposed to any medicines of any kind I do not think that there will be anti-depressants involved in this meeting (not that I might not need them).

I think right now, more than anything, I just need to talk with someone and get their suggestions. I met with Jake and his counselor this weekend and I think that is what started all of this. (Damn you counselor people and your get in touch with your feelings crap!!) :-)

Actually, I really enjoyed meeting with her and I REALLY think she is good for Jake. She is a former addict so she knows his tricks and is able to call him out when he tries to lie or avoid a topic. And really, liking her so much is what is causing all of this. (Again... damn you likable counselor lady!!)

For the first time in ten years (yes you read that right... TEN years) I feel like someone is going to look after Jake. I really don't feel like I have to worry about him or be his advocate any more and unfortunately that has opened up a whole other Pandora's box of feelings. Things that I have not been able to deal with because I have been too busy dealing with Jake.

A little background, when Jake lived at home I thought that his parents would look out for him. After all, my parents did me and so I just thought that is what parents did. I was wrong. They let me down far too many times. He would go out and get drunk or do drugs with the wrong people and they would ground him. He would piss and moan and they would give in and let him do whatever.

I learned pretty quickly that just because he was going to be with them did not mean he was safe. They let him drink before he was of age under the premise that they would rather he drink at home. His dad dismissed his smoking of pot, even when it became a regular occurrence, because pot is no worse than alcohol. (His dad still has big problems with both but that is not my story to tell, it would take much more than one post!!)

So basically when I thought I could count on his parents to tell me where he was or what he was up to they let me down. His dad, mostly, was willing to lie for him and did on more than one occasion. So, I became the one that looked out for Jake. I had to make sure he got to work on time and came home after work, etc. When he got in trouble I had to hound him to get to his classes and pay his fines because they weren't going to do it.

When he got into the system it was a lot of the same. The outpatient drug treatment programs that the courts sent him to were a joke. He only stopped doing drugs long enough to pass any drug tests he had to. As soon as that was over he went right back. Hell, half the time he would attend those outpatient programs high.

Then we had him committed and I thought FINALLY something will get done. And sure, I sleep better at night than I ever have but still I didn't feel like things were getting done to help him with his addiction. When he was in Broadlawns there was NO treatment. He was just being held. He was sober but if they would have released him into the world he would have gone right back down the same path.

Then he was transferred to that half ass MECCA program and I thought to my self, there they will teach him something. HA!! That was a joke. The whole program was a joke and then he got kicked out. And again I was his advocate. I found the long term program he is in, I called every day, twice a day, until they processed his paperwork. I called all the people with the state to make sure he could get his court order transferred to there and to make sure he would get there on the appointed date.

And then he went. And I thought this is it. Finally. But nothing changed. There were still issues that I didn't feel were being addressed and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I would ask Jake about certain things and he would tell me that he was talking to someone about them or doing a group or whatever. But his attitude remained the same at certain times and I couldn't help but feel like it was an act.

Then this weekend happened. I was finally able to talk to his counselor and tell her what I thought the issues with Jake were and hear what she wanted to do to help him get better. And then she said these words to me, "You worry about yourself and your son. We will take care of Jake." And you know what, I believed her.

For 10 years anyone who has told me they would take care of Jake has given up or has done a half-ass job of it and chalked it up to him being able to do the rest. They have never stepped it up in a way that I felt was acceptable and really helped Jake to change and to become a man. I think this woman will do that.

So now, there is nothing left to worry about on the Jake front and it is all me. Suddenly everything that has happened is rushing back to me in a flood of memories that are far to painful to deal with all at once. I started writing a book about it about three years ago. Any time something would happen between the two of us I would write it down.

Now I've decided to comprise it all into an actual book and try to maybe sell it or publish it here, who knows. But the point is I'm trying to get it done. It's not going well. Last night I took my computer home to work on it and after Zack was in bed I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to begin reading over all of that stuff again.

Some of it is just too real and too raw and so that is where the counselor comes in. There is the logical part of me and then there is the emotional part of me and they are NOT on the same page right now. I have made decisions for my life and now I have to figure out how to get my emotional side there so that I am not haunted by flashbacks when Jake gets home. I have to deal with a lot of things and let them go so that I can start over.

And that is a task that seems harder than anything I've ever had to do before.


Things are piling up on my desk at work. I spent all day yesterday trying to get something done... ANYTHING done. It didn't work, I just couldn't concentrate.

At home it is much of the same. My house is presentable but by no means as clean as I would like it. The counters are once again getting cluttered and it makes me angry to look at but I just don't seem to have the motivation to change it.

All around me life seems to be going on as normal and yet somehow I'm just stuck. I'm going through the motions but I'm not sure I'm making any progress. Jake has been gone for three and a half months now.

This weekend he will be returning to our home. He will only be here for two days (on a pass so we can have a meeting with DHS) but still the prospect of two days makes me uneasy. I'm not worried that we will fight, I'm not worried that he will use, I'm not even worried that he will not want to return to the treatment facility, I'm not really sure what I'm worried about.

Deep down there is just a part of me that has not yet been able to heal. And dealing with him, on what has now become MY territory, brings back all kinds of memories. Even now as I am writing this my breaths become shallow and it feels like someone is pressing on my chest with a 100 lb weight. I have to remind myself to just breath.

Every week someone asks me "how is Jake doing?" "how are you doing?" My answer is always the same.


Would anyone understand if I answered how I really feel?


**I promise that at some point in the near future I will expand on this. However, today, at this moment this is all I'm capable of.**