30 March 2009

Background, Again

Well. So I came back. Where did I leave off... oh, bankruptcy and repossession and foreclosure! That's right. (Sorry.)

So when Lily was born sick, my parents watched Jackson and Claire because James had to work. I was at the hospital with Lily for ten days, James was at work, and the kids were really suffering being left for the first time with my parents for so long.

It was when James couldn't help the older kids that I saw more clearly. I was able to step back a little and look into our life. Before this moment, I thought that he and I had been struggling in our marriage. I thought that he could get angry at me, but that he would always do anything for the kids. When he couldn't make himself help them, I started to think maybe something was wrong with him (as opposed to us having difficulties).

Then, in January of 2006, my cousin came to visit. I completely expected James to 'play house' with me during her visit. Instead, he continued his routine of sleeping till 1 or 2 in the afternoon, then leaving until 4 or 5 in the morning. I was so mortified that my cousin could see this. By the time she went home, I had decided I would stop faking for everyone that everything was fine, that, oh, James just 'happened' to be busy every time they came over or called.

It had finally come to the point where I would rather be honest and embarrassed about the state of my marriage than continue to fake it any longer. James and I talked, and he agreed that I should go to Round Rock, north of Austin, and stay with my parents for six weeks while he figured out a few things. This stretched into 9 weeks before we heard from him.

Because the house was foreclosing and the car was repo'ed, he had nowhere to live and no way of getting there. He wasn't working so he had no phone or resources. He didn't take ownership for any of these things, they all were due to someone or something else. He had a lot of growing up to do!

We saw each other some during the summer of 2006 but it was always charged and full of drama. We disagreed fundamentally on a lot of behaviors. He didn't come to counseling. He didn't pay for any of our needs. He filled every one of the 'qualifying behaviors' for bi-polar disorder-- he would be completely over-energized, running around with a million tasks and plans swimming around in his head, then he would sleep for 10 days. He would cycle like this, 6 weeks manic and 10 days checked out.

By the time Thanksgiving 2006 rolled around, our baby was year old, the kids and I were still with my parents. James' mother came from Louisiana to stage an intervention. We hadn't heard from him in over a month. He did come to Thanksgiving dinner, and I told him that if he healed and started acting like a husband and father, then I was overjoyed to be married to him. However, I planned on filing for separation because just being physically separated seemed to have no affect on him. Losing us didn't encourage him to earn us back. I felt stuck in a kind of limbo. He said he had gotten a phone and truck, that he was renting a room from a friend. Would I give him until New Year's to find a job? I said of course.

From then on we began to work on reuniting. He worked for six months and in August 2007, we moved into a house all together and had a period of adjustment. He was unemployed for a few months. He went to church with us. He got a job again. I had psychological anniversaries of bad times or on holidays. I had knee-jerk reactions to things even though our situation was different. Nathan was born in December 2007. James felt like he went from a father of two in the Air Force, to father of four with just a long blur in between.

So that is just the facts. Whew, I'm tired again!

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