Roadblocks


Jenny on Oprah

Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah last week talking about her book Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.

It was heartbreaking to hear how she felt when she learned that her son had autism. She said that she felt like he died. For this boy had actually stopped speaking and wouldn’t look her in the eye and was unresponsive to what’s going on around him. So I can imagine that pain. But she also felt that his son was just trapped inside. And she would do anything to get him back out of there. And so she did. She did some research on the internet and she found out about other children who had recovered and the different treatment options.

But what I want to focus on is how she said the stress of raising a child with autism began to take a toll on her marriage. She felt very alone in her marriage. Her husband dealt with his pain by staying away. When her marriage ended, she felt sad and scared. After the divorce, even though it felt good and the right thing to do, she thought, who the heck is going to love her with a child who has autism? She prayed to find a man who would love her and her child, because they come as a pair. And she found Jim Carrey. In the beginning, she was just looking for someone to hold her and notice her pretty blouse. But Jim fell in love with her and her son. And he has been involved with Jenny’s journey in healing her son’s autism.

Who the heck is going to love me and also my three children? This is one of the things that I also thought about when I was contemplating on separating from my husband. And I’m not as pretty and as sexy as Jenny McCarthy. I’m a woman in my 40’s, short, petite but with a jelly belly. Who would hold me and kiss me and touch me at night? Was I ready to give up sex?

Which leads us to what the ladies at The View were discussing last week also. The hot topic for that day was how (women) divorcées are not getting any sex. But the men are getting it. Women seem not to be getting as much as men.

Sherri Shepherd said that since she’s now separated from her husband and going through a divorce, she’s going celibate. It has something to do with her faith. She’s not going to have sex until she marries again. I think it was Joy Behar who asked her if she had pre-marital sex with her husband. Yes she did. And she thinks that’s where they went wrong.

These past few years that I have been analyzing my rocky relationship with my husband, that’s also what I have realized. We did have pre-marital sex and had a child before we got married. And it was just the wrong start and the wrong reason to get married. We didn’t really have a chance to have time alone together. I think it would have been nice if we were married for a few years before we started having children.

But looking back now, even before I got pregnant with my first child, our relationship had been on and off. I actually had second thoughts on marrying him even though we already had a child together and even after everything was all set up.

Well, you see, I went home to the Philippines with a very bad perm. All I wanted was to look pretty in his eyes after a year and a half of separation and what I got was a perm that has really gone bad. I could feel the disgust on his face when he first saw me. And I actually felt that he was physically repulsed by me. I felt it when we were alone at night. I thought, what kind of immature behaviour is that he couldn’t get past my appearance? It was only bad hair, a temporary thing. And then we also had our usual fights. How could we get married like that? I really wanted to call the wedding off.

But I wanted my child to have his father by his side and people were expecting for us to get married and I would sponsor him and we would all be together here in Canada. Again, the wrong reasons to get married. But I also asked myself if I were willing to be a single parent. My mother was a single parent and I knew how hard it had been for her raising two children on her own. And I also knew first hand how hard it was to grow up without both parents. And even at that time, I was scared of going through life without a partner by my side, a partner who will hold me and love me. I was a lot younger then but I was scared that I wouldn’t find anyone who would love me and my son, because we also came as a pair. But in the end, my heart won over my head. And I’m not saying exactly that I’m glad it did. But if I didn’t marry him then, we wouldn’t have these two other children that we have now. And I couldn’t imagine life without all three of my children. But it has been really tough. And it still is.

March 22, 2006. Tuesday.

I can’t understand why men binge-drink. They’d drink hard liquor, throw up, and then have a hangover for two days. Do other men do this or is it just H and his friend RoughRaider?

It’s been almost three months since I had the bladder infection and realized that H might have given it to me. All my resentments to him all these years came coming back to me. I was ready to leave him but of course it’s not practical to do that since I don’t really think that I could afford it financially. Besides, I don’t want my kids to go through it emotionally. I’m still mad at him, though not as intense like it was during the first couple of months. I think I’m falling out of love. I couldn’t stand the sight of him. I’m avoiding being in the same room with him. I haven’t slept with him since the infection. I don’t know if I still can or for how long I’d feel this way.

February 2, 2006. Thursday.

I went to the office today to attend a townhall meeting. I met up with some friends before the meeting started. MissEm was there and I knew that she just moved to a new house. I asked her how much she got from the sale of her old house. I just wanted to have an idea if I’ll get any money if and when I sell our house. I figured that if I could only pay off my $10,000 debt (line of credit and borrowing account) of which I pay around $400.00 a month, I could probably be able to afford raising the kids on my own if we rent an apartment. MissEm said that she got some money but she asked the bank to keep it in her account. But she also said that when she totaled her expenses from the purchase of her new house, it was just like break-even. And I don’t know how it will work out with me because I won’t be buying another house.

But then again, nanghihinayang din ako dito sa bahay. We’ve been paying for the mortgage for about 11 years now. We’re almost halfway in paying for this (25 years to pay).

Also, my middle guy is having his Confirmation and my youngest one, his First Communion, this year. The catechism coordinator has always reminded us during the parents’ meetings that we have to make these special occasions memorable for the children. And I’m worried that if I separate from H, my kids’ memories of these important events in their life would be, “It’s the year my mom and dad separated.” (?) How awful is that?

January 27, 2006. Friday.

After my haircut appointment this afternoon, I wanted so much to go to the apartment across the street. I wanted to inquire on how much the rent is. But I didn’t. I went straight home.

I have been weighing the pros and cons of leaving and separating from H. If we do separate, we have to give up the house. Sell it. I couldn’t afford to pay for it. But if I and the kids do move in an apartment, I also wondered if I could afford it on my own. Of course, I would ask H for child support and if he gets stubborn, I could always hire a lawyer to make him pay. But then again, lawyers’ fees, that is such a hassle. There will be a lot of adjustments not just for me but more so for the kids. How can my oldest son practice his (musical instrument)? Will the neighbours not like it? Will they allow it in the apartment? Also, we’ll have to do laundry in a common laundry room in the apartment. I don’t suppose that we will be allowed to bring our washer and dryer.

H would want to share custody of the children. I also want the kids to have a relationship with their father. But of course, he’s only available during the weekends. How will he get the children? By bus? He might be too lazy to pick them up. I would be willing to bring them to him but of course only up to a certain extent. Baka pag-awayan pa rin namin. And what if the kids don’t feel like going out, especially my middle guy who complains a lot.

I know that H is trying to have a good relationship with his kids, especially the two younger ones. Nakikipagtuksuhan siya kapag nandito yung mga bata at nakikipaglaro at landian siya duon sa dalawa, especially the middle guy. How will my middle guy be affected? And also the oldest and youngest ones? How will a separation impact them? Would they act up or rebel?

January 18, 2006. Wednesday.

These past couple of days, I have been thinking of separating from H. It’s just one of those times that I feel like I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know how I can have sex with him again. I’m scared to get another infection. It was so painful and awful. And what if I get STD next time. Should I make him use a condom? But how can I get myself to sleep with him if I have doubts that he could have been using drugs or have been sleeping with someone else? He has thrown my trust out of the window.

I don’t know if I can afford to live in an apartment with the three kids. What if he doesn’t help me out financially? And what about the house? We have to sell it before we separate if I want a new place because I could not afford to pay for this house just on my income. And where would he live? I know he would live with his uncle. Free lodgings. Ano siya sinusuwerte? Habang ako’y magpapakandahirap. At saka hindi yata ako papayag na mapunta sa kanyang mag-isa yung kanyang home theatre. Libo yata ang halaga nuon. I want our things to be sold and then we’ll share with the proceeds. Pero baka hindi siya pumayag ng ganuon. Lugi ako at saka ang utang ko sa bangko baka hindi siya pumayag na bayaran iyon from the proceeds. Eh kaya naman lumaki ang utang ko dahil minsan konti ang bigay niyang pera sa akin. Lalo na kapag wala siyang trabaho at naka-UI.

And what about the kids? Will they spend time with him during the weekends? How will they cope with the change?

If it were not only that complicated, I really want OUT. I am so unhappy. I want some changes. I want to feel special. But I don’t think that there will be any changes at all. Kahit naman nung hindi pa kami kasal, he didn’t make me feel special kaya nga nagdalawang isip ako nuon kung itutuloy ko ang pagpapakasal sa kanya. Kaya lang may anak na kami nuon and people were expecting us to get married. I know. These were all the wrong reasons to get married.

Hirap na hirap na ang loob ko. Nagsisikip tuloy ang dibdib ko.

Bakit kaya hindi tumatawag si Purplegirl? I’m hesitant to call her. Dyahi kasi dahil puro problema na naman and sasabihin ko sa kanya. Baka nagsawa na siya sa drama ko. It would be really nice if I could talk to her about this like we used to.

January 14, 2006. Saturday.

I told sis about that phone call from N’s wife last summer, the one about the drugs. I told sis my suspicion that it might be H who gave me the bladder infection. She told me that BIL had actually told her that I could have gotten the infection from H. Now I am more upset. It’s not just a suspicion anymore. It could be the truth. Could he have slept with someone else? Sis said that she’d ask BIL to tell H to take a drug test. I told her no. I will do it.

When I was having lunch, H was cooking in the kitchen. I told him that he must be the cause of my bladder infection and I told him to get himself checked. I wanted him to take a drug test. But I didn’t tell him exactly that. Sabi ko sa kanya, Magpatingin ka sa duktor at baka may infection ka at wala ka lang nararamdaman. Sa tingin ko ikaw ang nagbigay sa akin ng infection. Sabi ng duktor sa akin nakukuha rin daw iyon sa pakikipagtalik. Yan ang sinasabi ko sa iyo eh. Nagdudurug ka tapos bibigyan mo pa ako ng sakit. Nung isang buwan din pagkatapos nating mag-sex, dinugo rin ako. Hindi ko lang sinabi sa iyo. Aba eh ano daw ang sasabihin niya sa duktor kapag nagpatingin siya.

December 16, 2005. Friday.

I was still washing the dishes when H came home at around 11:30 at night. He wanted me to move so he could throw something in the garbage under the sink. I couldn’t stand him getting close next to me so I barked at him, “Why can’t you wait ’til I’m finished?”

He got irritated, too, because I have been snapping at him lately. He pushed one of the kitchen chairs and said, “Mabuti pang umuwi na lang ako sa Pinas. Bakit ka pa nagsisimba? Ganyan naman ang ugali mo. Ano’ng ipinagdadasal mo?”

Although I knew I was wrong at snapping at him, these words rang in my ears:

Mabuti pang umuwi na lang ako sa Pinas.” That’s the same thing he used to say when we had fights back when we were still at William Avenue, ten, eleven years ago. Even when we moved here to this house, he must have repeated these words a couple of times. And although it had been years since I last heard them, it stayed in the back of my mind. And I know deep inside me that he might just do that in the end. And I would grow old alone. I just can’t understand why he wouldn’t want to have a go at sorting our problems out instead of threatening me of leaving and moving back to the Philippines.

Bakit ka pa nagsisimba?” Bakit nga ba? Dahil na rin sa mga bata. Gusto ko silang ihubog ng tama and then when they are of age they can decide for themselves if they want to continue going to church.

“Ano’ng ipinagdadasal mo?” Ipinagdadasal kong tulungan Niya akong mapatawad ka sa mga pagkukulang mo sa akin. I know I also have my own faults. I’m praying that we could forgive each other and start to have a normal relationship. Without this constant pain that I’m feeling.

I didn’t say any of these to him. I couldn’t control my tears when I went to bed. I have been sleeping in the kids’ bedroom.

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