We hadn’t been happy together since The Boy was born. For whatever reason, the ex never bonded with him, and had a hard time accepting that my attention was now divided. He also had a very hard time with the diagnosis, never really understanding autism, and even after hearing a psychologist tell us that it was definitely autism, he still believed The Boy just needed some discipline, and that I was coddling him. Hence the yelling and spanking.
My friends tell me stories of the years after The Boy was born that I do not remember. They tell me that one night I had to call a friend to take me to the emergency room because I was exhausted and dehydrated, and that she came to pick me up, and the ex was sitting right there ignoring us, putting his basketball shoes on, and then stepped over me on the floor as he left.
The winter before the end of our marriage, the ex was laid off, as he usually was in the winter. He had a bachelor’s degree but refused to use it, and so did menial, seasonal labor (still does). He stayed home all day, playing video games and watching TV, mostly Bill Maher. I would come home from work, and most sentences would begin, “Bill Maher says…” as if he didn’t have his own brain. He was paranoid (thanks to the pot smoking, I think), and insisted that his life was the way it was because the man was out to get him. I mostly ignored him, which was easy, because he spent most of his time in the garage smoking pot when I was home.
In May, right after Mothers’ Day, I got a call during the day. I was at a conference two hours from home, and I had to go outside to take it. He had decided I was a bitch, I never listened to him, and he was leaving. He was going to stay at his mother’s out of state. Of course it wasn’t all that matter of fact. There was much more swearing, yelling, and name calling, but I was panicked and in tears when the phone call was over. I left immediately, and raced home, calling friends alternately on the ride home. My first stop was the bank, where I did what I could to secure our money from leaving with him. And then I headed home, to find him sitting there, saying he didn’t have enough money to get “home”.
~ to be continued… ~