So, I’ve been writing a lot lately. On this blog, on my own, fictionally. It’s funny, how a year puts so many things into perspective. I seem to keep remembering things that I had, for whatever reason, locked away in the recesses of my mind as a non-event.
Like the time the kids and I had norovirus. For anyone who isn’t familiar, this is basically the stomach bug to end all stomach bugs. Read: vomiting every 20 minutes, for several days. It hit our youngest child–maybe 2 at the time–just before a babysitter arrived so that PC and I could go out. She puked up her dinner but…eh. That happens. Just before the sitter arrived, she threw up again. Then the sitter arrived, and she ralphed for the third time in an hour. I think my response was “I guess we aren’t going out” and PC’s response was “I guess you’re not going out.” He left me with a vomiting child, a 19 year old babysitter (God bless her, she hung out with me and helped me care for my kid) and took himself out to the bar.
Fast-forward to the next night. Baby is better, sitter comes again, take two. We go out, I drink wine. I wake up about 1a.m. with that terrible feeling, the one that says “Go find a toilet RIGHT NOW!” I threw up on and off for the entire night. In the morning, baby girl was done puking but still down and out. Son was fine and PC grudgingly agreed to take him to school since, you know, I was lying on the couch with a bucket next to me.
After several calls, I managed to get a script for Zofran called in. I texted PC to pick up on his way home from work, and I willed myself to strap my toddler into the car and go pick up my son from school. I nearly died (slight exaggeration) so when we arrived home, and my son suddenly gave me a funny look and puked all over his shoes, I literally died. I texted PC again, instructed my son to throw a towel over his vomit, and crawled onto the couch.
PC eventually arrived home from work…later than usual because…he went to the wrong pharmacy. He told me this in a biting tone, that he had wasted a half hour and gas driving to the wrong pharmacy, which was, of course, my fault. He refused to come into the room where the children and I lay like war victims, and instead tossed us items such as tissues and bottles of medication. His logic: he didn’t want to get sick.
Take stock. You’re entire family is dying and you won’t come near them because you don’t want to get sick? Guess what, you live in the same house, you’re getting sick. (And he did, the next day). But there was no compassion, no caring, no kindness.
Not unlike my births of our children, neither of which he spent any nights in the hospital. Not unlike my hysterectomy, a major surgery in which he could not be bothered to bring me home from the hospital, instead imploring a friend to do it because, of course, he “had to work.”
Not unlike my bridal shower, in which he rushed me home in a rude manner because I don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of women all night.
Not unlike the Thanksgiving he ruined by getting anhilated.
Not unlike the birthday weekend that I spend in the ER and then lounging on the couch with an angry uterus. He just went about his business because you weren’t even supposed to be here. No though to the fact that reason I cancelled on my girls weekend was because I was sick and in pain.
Not unlike the time one friend backed into another friend’s car in our driveway. The offending driver apologized profusely, and the woman with the battered car said “It’s okay.” PC was…not okay with that. In his eyes he would have handled it very differently. An accident. Between friends. He, of course, would have likely sued the friend for damages.
And on and on and on. He cried when I put our old dog to sleep…but did he leave work to come with me? Did he ask me to wait so he could come with me? Did he comfort me? That was one of the most tragic moments of my life, saying good-bye to that dog. And PC?Yeah, he shed tears…but his tears were his own. It had nothing to do with me, or the dog. I see that now.
I see a lot now.
I see the lack of authenticity. I see the lack of caring, of nurturing, of loving. I see the lack of support. The lack of love. The lack of union and partnership. I must question myself…how could I have been so blind? How could I have accepted the tiniest bits that PC gave me as something real, something whole?
Or how about the time I did an intensive dog training class with our crazy, challenging dog? Where every Sunday morning he acted as if it was imposition to watch the kids and take them to the pool alone for the first hour? And on the “graduation” day, when I asked him to come and bring the kids he refused, stating that it was interfering with pool time and it was just a dumb dog class? Where a bunch of strangers were supportive and proud of the work I’d done…but my husband couldn’t be bothered to show up?
I could go on and on. So many things come to my mind these days, and I know in a way its just a process of letting go. I didn’t have that moment, when your baby is born, that moment with your partner in which you marvel in the life you’ve created, the bond you’ve built with each other simply by making another human being together. No, I was alone in the hospital, with my babies, yes, but not with him. PC took that from me, and since my baby-bearing years are over, that’s gone. And I do mourn that…but in a way, wasn’t it just a precursor?
The night after my daughter was born, PC went home. We’re talking after 45 hours of labor and an emergency C-section. PC went home. I fed the baby and rang for a nurse but–due to a full moon and 27 other women either in labor or delivering, no one came. And PC wasn’t there with me. I was just a few hours out of surgery and with a heavy dose of perocoset setting in. There was a robust, but tiny little baby on me, and no one to help me.
I distinctly remember wrapping her up like a gypsy might, and using all my energy to lift her into the bassinet. She seemed all right, so I allowed myself to succumb to sleep. Eventually a nurse came, and late the next morning, PC arrived. But he hadn’t been there when I needed him.
Actually, he’d never been there when I needed him.
And so they say, hindsight is 20/20. My gut spoke all those times, quietly, whispering. And now I see it all so clearly. He was a terrible husband, a terrible partner. He put himself before me, always and 100% of the time.
And now? Well now of course, I can’t go back. And I don’t want to go back. But I can go forth with the knowledge that I will never, ever again accept such flagrant disregard. I will go forth with the hindsight of knowing what I’ve accepted, and knowing that I will never accept it again.