My first marriage at the tender age of seventeen was a mistake. In spite of my mother forcing the issue because I was pregnant and it was the correct thing to do. It was absolute hell. We were together for three years, but I spent a total of a year and a half with him. The first time I separated from him was right after our son was born. He disappeared for days leaving me to care for our son.
I had gotten a botched episiotomy and could barely sit or stand for long periods of time. The apartment building my mother in law owned could care less about the maintenance. Drug addicts were roaming the halls while the inside had rats and cockroaches galore. Plus the heat wouldn’t work half the time. Not a healthy place especially for a newborn. It was January and quite cold, and of course, the radiator heat would not kick in. It was the middle of the night, and I was too tired and sore to seek out my mother-in-law to fix it.
Suddenly, water began to spout out of the radiator. The water drained all over the floor, and I didn’t know if it was scalding. I started to cry not knowing what to do. I left the pool of water and decided to try to sleep. I barely drifted off, when the baby began to cry wanting his bottle. I edged myself out of bed because of my soreness, and carefully walked around the water. I decided as I fixed the bottle I would contact my mom a little later on the whole situation.
I fed my son, wrapped us both snug in blankets and attempted to fall asleep. I was too cold. I heard a knock on my back door. It was my mother in law with one of her other sons. They waltzed past me speaking in Polish and headed towards the leaking radiator. My blood boiled since they knew the heat busted the night before in the entire apartment building and left it.
I got on the phone with my mom while the tried cleaning up the mess. It wasn’t the first time the heat didn’t work, and nothing ever got fixed. Her son heard me talking to my mom and understood what I was saying. He spoke and understood English but not my mother in law. I explained to my mom how the heat went out again but this time water gushed all over the floor. My mom told me to pack up the baby and myself. She said it is unsafe both of us and it was time to move out. My brother in law tried arguing about how his mother worked hard on maintaining the building. I ignored him and got as many of my son’s and my belongings ready for when my mom arrived.
My mother in law and her son left my apartment. As I was scurrying around trying to get my son ready and pack things up in garbage bags ( it’s all I had to use), my drunk husband saunters in. I did not want to fight. He starts screaming at me, wanting to know what I was doing. I ignored him hoping he would go to his mom’s apartment as he usually did after coming home drunk.
My mom arrived at the apartment, and as soon as I opened the door, she brushed past me. She started smacking my husband across the head and screaming every expletive in the book. I kept moving getting the baby ready while she verbally thrashed him. He slithered out the back door without saying a word. She grabbed the couple of bags I had while I placed my son in the baby carrier.
Moving in with my mom went well for the first few months. We had to find another apartment because the landlord didn’t want to renew her lease. We found another place about five miles away. My life is full of anxiety. I had to try to adjust to being a new mom and had no clue what I was doing. I lost a lot of weight because of the stress.
I tried finding jobs but had little success. At the time, in the late 80’s, few daycare centers took children under the age of two. Also, the underlying Asperger’s brought anxiety so I couldn’t focus on looking for a job. My husband and I had no contact since I left nearly a year and a half ago.
Things seemed to be looking up when I finally got a job offer to work at an obstetrician/gynecologist. The place was right by the hospital, and there was a daycare that allowed children under two. The only stipulation was my mom would have to drop off and pick up my son and me every day. It wouldn’t have been to out of the way for her drive to work. The buses didn’t go that far, and I didn’t have a driver’s license. She was all onboard with the situation.
Two days before I would have started my mom for whatever reason decided she wouldn’t drive me to the job. She demanded I call the position and tell them I am turning down the job. We got into a huge argument over it. I couldn’t believe what she wanted me to do. I had a chance of starting a decent job, and help pay for bills around the house. I could begin gaining ground to help my son and myself.
I hated her from that moment forward. She also wanted me to contact my dad and ask if my son and I could move in with him. I knew that would not be possible since my brother was still living there and couldn’t afford a place of his own. I broke down and gave up.
I got a hold of my husband. It was easy to find him because he never strayed far from his mother. He lived at the same crappy apartment building she owned. I knew in my heart of hearts it would be a mistake going back to him, but felt I had nowhere else to go. My mom wanted me out, and my dad couldn’t take me in.
My choice on going back to my husband put me into deeper hell, and it would be another year and a half before leaving him for good. I shared in a previous post about a suicidal moment during that period. I will say, I have survived many trying moments, and this was one of them. In a future post, I will share how deep of a pit I had dug for myself. I look back, and can genuinely attest I am a survivor.