Sunday, April 30, 2006


I'm a big All My Children fan. I admit it. And I'm proud of it. I Tivo every episode. I even subscribe to Soap Opera Digest.

(What other television medium gives you five new episodes a week with no repeats? Does tv watching get any better than that?)

My Mom's been watching AMC since day one, and I've been watching it ever since I can remember right along with her. We still watch it together. It's lovely to escape the drama of my everyday life into the drama of others' lives. The characters are like old friends. I pride myself on knowing who's related to who and being able to remember most of Erica's marriages. I say this tongue in cheek because I'm the first one to laugh at myself about being a fan. AMC just happens to be one of my only vices. Well, that and Diet Coke. Anyway...

Recently it was suggested to me that maybe I like, feed off of, or God forbid, enjoy the drama of my own life. Like a soap opera update, there are people in my life that want to know the latest drama that's happened to me. I fill them in, and take advantage of venting and a little free therapy. But do I enjoy the drama? I don't really think so. I very much want to have a normal, happy but boring, undramatic life. How do I let it go? I know I'm carrying around alot of anger still. But I feel for the time being, it's justified.

How do I not let it get to me? I'd love to leave the drama to the wonderful writers and actors of All My Children.

Friday, April 28, 2006


My divorce has been final about six months. Nemo met Elvira the month I conceived Lucian, which was over two years ago. At what point do I start dating again?

It seems a strange question to me. I've known Nemo most of my adult life. I can't imagine returning to the dating scene. Especially the non-bar dating scene.

I have alot of baggage (or at least what a potential date would probably see as baggage): I'm a diabetic with a young son, no job, no car, living with my parents, and a time consuming, burdensome parenting time relationship with my ex-husband and his family. Please don't all you wonderful eligible men out there all call me at once now!!

At the same time, I'd like to believe that I'm still datable. I'm funny, charming, educated, a good partner, mother, daughter and friend, I'm respectable, reliable, dependable, frugal, non-judgmental, and tolerant. Basically, I'm the girl next door.

But this isn't my dating ad. Just a question about getting on with my life. However do I start dating again? And however do I not start dating again?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I knew that Nemo was cheating/had cheated on me. I knew her name was Elvira. I knew she had blondish hair. I knew that she lived on the east side of town, and that he had met her at a bar.

He told me that there was nothing serious between them. He wanted to break it off with her, and she wasn't handling it well. I was in a shock for days. After that, Nemo made an effort to be home. I could tell that he was tormented, depressed. I was very pregnant at this point, and I chose denial. I don't think that my mind could handle the information. It still makes me sick to think about me sitting at home wondering where my husband was, while he was out (insert word of choice here) with his girlfriend. Anyway, I believed him when he said that it was over.

When Lucian was born, I turned into mommy mode. Everything I did at the time revolved around him (okay okay, alot of it still does even now). But you know, with a newborn, it really revolves around them.

Then I filed for divorce. I didn't really know alot of answers at the time. He denied everything but sleeping with Elvira once, his drug use, his depression (and had stopped taking the anti-depressants completely).

I started seeing a therapist. After our first meeting, it was like I could see for the first time. She gave me focus in my life. It's been the best money I've ever spent.

Two months after the divorce filing, not much had changed. Nemo was still out and about, doing whatever with whomever. Still not answering my calls, or speaking seriously to me about our situation. I really believed that he wasn't still seeing Elvira. I'm not sure why. I now think that the denial was my way of protecting me.

One night I came home from a dinner out with a friend, and Nemo had left a letter for me on the kitchen table. It went on and on how he had caused all of our problems, how he really needed help, how he had just realized how much he missed me, missed talking to me now that I wouldn't talk to him. I cried for a long time after reading that letter. I knew that none of this was my fault, however, he tried to blame me for it anyway. This letter freed me up in a way I can't explain. I still treasure it now.

I wrote him back. I said that each person gets to write their own destiny. You get to make choices everyday, good and bad. There are many forks in the road of your life. Sometimes good people made bad choices. I told him that I didn't know if I could ever take him back, but that I would like to work towards some kind of friendship. Or at least towards some kind of open communication.

He took my response incorrectly; he thought I wanted him back. I didn't correct him because I wanted to see how it would play out. He told me that he'd like to move back in (he had never really moved out - all of his clothing and personal items were still at home). I was hesitant. But I still believe that most marriages are worth fighting for. He said it would take him a couple of days before he'd be back for good. He said he needed a couple of nights to himself. I now realize that I knew then that he wasn't serious about saving our relationship.

A couple of nights later, he came home and stayed the night. He went to bed early. I made him sleep in the guest room. Before I went to bed, I was hopeful, thinking that maybe maybe somehow we could make this work.

My phone rang at 1:00 in the morning. I saw the caller id and I knew it was Elvira. I was groggy and in shock. I didn't answer. A minute went by and the phone rang again. This time I answered it. It wasn't Elvira, but a friend of hers.

I was in denial no more.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I started a journal shortly after filing for divorce. My therapist suggested it. I thought it was a good idea, although I had not had success with journals in the past.

When I was in high school, I found out that my brother had been reading my journal. I realize now that it was all teenage moanings about how unpopular, uncool and nerdy I was. But it was significant to me at the time.

I've never been good at putting my true feelings down. Mostly because I've been afraid that my feelings would hurt someone if they read it. Who doesn't have a right to their feelings? And who isn't occasionally annoyed with family and friends, particularly when you live with them?

So with lots of trepidation, I started a journal. My Mom and I went to the bookstore and I picked out a black leather one. It was a fine looking book ready for all my thoughts and dreams. I felt that I might learn something about myself, seeing my feelings down on paper.

I wrote in it for about a month, pretty religiously. I was devoted to the idea of self help through expression. One night, I sat down and read it all, marveling at how far I'd come in just a short time, reliving some of the painful moments I'd experienced in 30 days, and feeling as if I'd done some growing. The next night, I went to write and the journal was gone.

I panicked. I called my mother, who helped me retrace every step I'd taken since I'd last seen the journal. I panicked some more when I realized that not only was it was nowhere to be found, but I had written some things that could be considered hurtful about Nemo and also some things that I didn't want him to know.

I knew that Nemo had taken it. No one else had been in our house, there were no other suspects. I tried calling him on the phone, and of course, there was no answer. (he never answered my calls when he was with Elvira.)

I spent a long time on the phone with my mother, talking through the things I had written, trying to figure out if there was something in it that could have made Nemo angry or violent. At that point, I was scared of him.

I felt violated. Like my soul was naked. The one person in the entire world that I hadn't wanted to see what I had written had read my words. Worse, he stole them. I felt very unsafe. My hands wouldn't stop shaking. I was so panicked and anxious that I couldn't sleep that night.

I later confronted Nemo. Of course, he denied everything. (I had also been keeping a calendar tracking where he was and how much time he had spent with Lucian, and he took that also.) He claimed to know nothing about the journal or the calendar. Acted like I was the crazy one.

Everytime I asked, he would repeat - I took nothing from the house. Even under oath, he swore that he hadn't taken it.

This blog has been hard for me to write. Not the writing itself, that part comes easy. I've got enough stories to last for years. (and all true!) It's putting myself out there that's hard. At the same time, I want to share what has happened to me, and how it's affected my life.

If I give it away, it can never be stolen.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


This is one of my favorite quotes, it's from Galileo:

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."

I first heard it watching Baby Einstein. Lucian has all the videos, and I like to rotate through them. Baby Galileo happens to be one of our favorites. At the beginning, Julie Clark herself recites the line.

The first time I heard it, I liked the way the words flowed. It grew on me fast after that. Now (after the bizillionth time), I relate to it.

I've realized during the past two years just how important truth is in life. It's what makes your life authentic. Through truth you build trust. My marriage collapsed because it wasn't authentic. It was confusing to me for so long that the problem was its authenticity. But it's like that saying - the truth will set you free. It really does. Once you've discovered what the truth is, you can get on with things.

Even if it takes you awhile.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Zoo

Today Lucian and I met Nemo at the zoo. (Nemo hasn't taken advantage of any Saturday parenting time in nine months.)

Lucian was thrilled with all the animals. The last time I took him was a year ago, and he was only about six months old. He got much more out of it today. I cracked up hearing his answer to - what does the monkey say? "ooh ooh ooh" and what does the duck say? "kak kak". Young children are so funny. I'm enjoying every aspect of his life.

Usually when I drop Lucian off for the parenting time with Nemo, it's a quick hello, good-bye and out the door. (I drop off and pick Lucian up because I won't let Nemo drive, but that's another story). So when I suggested going to the zoo today, I afterwards thought that I must be losing my mind. Hours alone with Nemo? What was I thinking?

It was a very strange experience. It was almost like I was transported back three years earlier when we were still together. From the outside I'm sure we looked like a happy couple with a baby. Just minus the wedding rings. He joked with me a bit, and I asked him a few questions. But mostly we just looked at the animals with Lucian.

When we went to leave, we both agreed it had been a nice time. I said - maybe we could do it again when we're free on a Saturday. We'll see. I doubt he's not going to annoy me again anytime soon. But I'll settle for a bit of tolerance and normalcy on a Saturday afternoon.

Edited to add: I've just reread this post and I realize that I've made it seem like I wanted to do it again soon. I am repulsed by Nemo and have no interest in having him be in either Lucian's or my life. The reason I said - maybe we could do it again when we're free on a Saturday, is because I want the visits to be controlled by me. So that I am able to pick the Saturdays that we see Nemo, not have them forced on me.

It was a beautiful day to go to the zoo. It was great seeing Lucian's reaction to the animals. I liked being in control of where we went and how long we stayed. I think it was good for Nemo also. However, I'd rather not do it again anytime soon. I'm still repulsed by Nemo and his behavior. But if I have to (and I'm court ordered to do so), it was a tolerable experience.

Trying on divorce

Nemo said that he wanted a divorce after I gave birth to Lucian. After that, he kept saying to me that he didn't want a divorce. Yet, he was never around. (how confusing is that?)

He never helped put the baby stuff together, never helped with the baby unless someone else (as in his family) was present. Never was kind or considerate to me. Never thought about anyone but himself. Never told me the truth about where he was spending the night, or our money.

I threatened divorce for awhile. I now believe that even in my state of denial, I knew divorce was coming. So I tried it on. I didn't like it. Hated it. Not only did I not want my marriage to be a failure, I was comfortable in my old life, I wanted Lucian to have a father, and I truly loved my husband. Anyway, Nemo and I would have discussions (on rare occasions when he spent a few minutes at home) and we'd talk about how our lives would be divided. I was (and still am) convinced that divorce is not better for anyone. As long as two people want to be married that is. The keyword, want, is what Nemo didn't want.

In my naivete, I thought that I could hold up the marriage myself. I held it up for such a long time that I never realized how much of a partnership it's supposed to be. Some of it might be the control freak inside of me, that I thought I could do it alone. And I did. But you can only sustain a failing marriage by yourself for so long.

I had consulted a lawyer less than three weeks after Lucian's birth. I called her back before he was two months old and said - let's go for it. It was the scariest thing I've ever done. I felt like I was the one leaving, even though he had left me a long time before.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I named him Lucian because it means "light," and he's the light of my life.

If he wasn't here, things would be alot different. I wouldn't have to deal with Nemo anymore or his family. That's the bad side. I also wouldn't have this amazing child in my life. And I'd pay any price to have him in my life.

Lucian helps me put everything into perspective. When I have tough days, all I have to do is look at him and I realize what my priorities are and what I'm fighting for. I want him to have a normal life. I won't have him having a mother who's depressed, angry, or inadequate. So I try and be the best I possibly can. I try and give him my all during the times we spend together. I save my emotions for when he's not around.

This story is about me and the things that have happened to me. Which includes Lucian, he's the part of the story that's good. There are events have taken place because of, or in spite of him, but I don't regret a single thing.

My life goal is to make sure that Lucian has a good life. I want him to be the best he can be. But more importantly I want him to learn things like - there are consequences for your actions, life has disappointments but the suffering makes the joy even better, and having it all has nothing to do with money or possessions.

I think it's going to be challenging to raise a boy to be a strong, caring, independent, respectful man. But I believe it can be done. And I believe that my son is worth it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Infertility, part 1

I had never considered how painful infertility was until Nemo and I found out that we couldn't have kids. We hadn't even started trying.

I knew that I wanted to have children. I didn't know how hard it would be, or what lengths I would go to to fulfill that dream.

Being diabetic, I knew that made pregnancy trickier, although not impossible.

In early 2001, I sent Nemo to my endocrinologist because I thought he had a thyroid problem. After running tests, the doctor determined that he had low testosterone. (which usually happens to men a bit later in life, not in their 20's). He said that he wanted to do a sperm count. The first one came back at less than 100,000. At the time, I thought that was okay. I mean, it only takes one, right?

Nemo had other sperm counts come back at zero. No alive sperm.

We consulted a urologist. Nemo went through a few procedures, that were uncomfortable to say the least. (the words aspiration and testicles in the same sentence just sounds painful) He was on board for everything. Took the time off of work, paid the doctor bills that weren't covered, and was fully supportive in our quest to have a child.

It was slowly sinking in for me that we might never have children. After alot of thought, I decided that I was willing to pursue any avenue to have a baby. Nemo, however, was against adoption. He thought that he couldn't love a child that wasn't his. I didn't share this feeling, but I respected his decision.

So we started the long road to IVF. Since we found that Nemo produced small quantities of immature (but alive) sperm via a biopsy of his testicles, IVF with ICSI was the only way to go. The actual procedures were painful and expensive, not to mention the drugs, surgeries and uncertainties that come along with it.

We did three IVF's. Each one turning out negative. It got harder each time. The disappointment of it was a bitter pill to swallow. I just couldn't imagine my life without children.

All around me, people got pregnant easily. That made it even more difficult. The general fertile public doesn't understand just how painful it is to be on the other side. Baby shower invitations, minivan commercials, birthday parties, kids at restaurants, maternity clothes, Christmas cards, you name it and it tugged on my heart strings. Kids are everywhere!

Those few years were hard, plain hard. I cried alot, particularly on holidays. Even now, I think about the sadness that consumed me, and it's still painful, even with my Lucian.

I also think about all my embryos that didn't make it. Who they could have been. I believe that everything happens for a reason. If one of those embryos had made it, I wouldn't have Lucian. Wouldn't have pushed further on.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Voting day, cocaine, and anti-depressants

I was eight months pregnant when I finally convinced Nemo to see a psychiatrist. The appointment was on election day.

I went with him to the appointment and waited in the waiting room. The doctor asked me to join them halfway through. He wanted my opinion on what was happening with Nemo.

I told him Nemo had been abandoning me for months. That I had just found out about Elvira. That I couldn't get him involved in my life. That I needed my husband now more than ever. He asked if I thought Nemo was depressed or bi-polar. I thought either one of them could be a strong possibility. He wanted to know whether Nemo wanted to try talk therapy or start medication. I practically jumped out of my seat exclaiming - I need my husband to be here for the birth of my child! Put him on some medication!

He gave Nemo an anti-depressant, and told him to return in a couple of weeks. (Side note: I counted his pills in the days and weeks to come and he wasn't taking them faithfully. Seems he couldn't be faithful to anything or anyone.)

Nemo and I went to our voting location. The line was long. I feel it is always important to exercise your right to vote, but this year the polls were saying it would be very close race. So even though it was painful for me to stand with the swelling of my feet and the extra thirty pounds I was carrying, and even though I figured Nemo was voting for the rival candidate, we stayed because I thought it was important.

Nemo was on the phone almost the entire time. I spent more time talking to one of our neighbors in line than I did to Nemo. We were in line an hour and a half. They kept announcing over the loud speakers to turn off all cell phones. Nemo would do things like that, not obey authority-type things. I was getting even more angry that he was on the phone.

As we got close to the booths, he put his phone away. He said in a quiet, serious voice - I have something to tell you. I was really annoyed, tired and physically aching by this point. He goes on to say that he had used drugs with his brother. I asked him what kind of drugs and he said cocaine. It was a surreal moment for me. I can see all around me all the people waiting in line, voting in just another election. I can see the children scampering around on the play equipment. The loud noise in the gymnasium stopped. It was dead silence. I felt a little dizzy. Could the people around me see that I was having a life changing moment? My husband had just admitted to using drugs. So many things had been thrown at me in the past year, that I just walked away from him and cast my ballot in a daze.

I felt like I was leading someone else's life. Like a bystander in my own life. Choices and decisions were being made around me, and like it or not, I was giving birth in less than a month. I felt that my husband was not my own, that he didn't care about my thoughts or feelings and I was powerless. In the end, my husband was someone else's, he didn't care about my thoughts or feelings, but I was powerful. I just needed to find it within myself.

We had Taco Bell for dinner that night. I caught Nemo smoking out on our porch. Something else he had been denying. Non smokers may smell like smoke from the bar, but their mouths don't smell like ashtrays. I wondered what else had he been up to that I didn't know? What other lies? What other illegal activities?

I couldn't imagine what my life was going to be like in less than four weeks when I delivered. I was so huge I couldn't see my feet. Yet here was this baby, arriving into a life that was unfathomable to me even a year before. For the next few days, all I could think was, how am I going to survive this?

I tried to get Nemo help. Oh how I tried. I wanted him to get better. I didn't want my baby around a drug user. I also wanted a husband who would be a father. Someone who was around for more than just dinner and a shower in the evening.

After that day, he never would admit to drug use again. He later even lied under oath about his admission to me. But we both know it was the truth, and that's enough for me.

He left me again that night. Said he was going to be spending the night with his cousin. We both knew that wasn't true. That's when he stopped coming home but briefly. I was on a runaway train and couldn't get off.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Bunny

My Mom and I took Lucian to see the Easter Bunny today. It went better than I expected. Lucian is now at the age where he is afraid of strangers, disgruntled by the camera and fidgety. (we had a difficult time with Santa too.) Lucian had brought along a toy car, and I let him hold it during the photo shoot hoping it would calm him.

We went to view the photos afterward. The man who showed me the photos was trying to be very kind, but unknowingly said to Lucian - does your daddy have a car like that?

My stomach dropped. My Mom said a quiet - no he doesn't, and then took Lucian away in the stroller while I finished my order.

I held my own. But it was hard. This man of course has no idea about my situation. I wanted to shout - I'd love for my son to have a father! One that he could count on, who would love Lucian for himself, and who I could trust to be kind to my child. Even though Nemo is in our lives, we don't have that. I'm going to have to learn how to deal with these types of exchanges, because it's going to come up again. And I don't want to react poorly.

I paid for my photos and left. I caught up to my Mom and Lucian, and lost myself in the good things I do have in my life.


My therapist asked me to consider something: will I admit that Nemo abused me?

I'd like to state for the record that he never, ever, laid a finger on me. Physically, I was not abused.

Emotionally and verbally.... Possibly. Probably. All right, a definite maybe.

She redefined it: will I admit that Nemo disrespected me?

God, YES. It feels good to write. He disrespected me in ways that most people don't even treat their pets. I was treated worse than an animal, by the man I loved, cherished and honored. I was respectful and loyal, devoted to him.

Nemo was never controlling in the typical way. (or at least the way I think most controlling husbands are protrayed on tv.) He didn't really care where I went, or who I was with, or how long I was gone. He controlled me by taking advantage of my caring, loyal, devoted nature. He would twist things around so that he was able to work the situation in the way he wanted to on whatever particular day it was. He was a master manipulator. He'd lie about anything, and have to lie again to cover the lies. I wanted to believe him.

He would tell me how fun his friends were, how he was only happy when he was with them and how unhappy he was around me. (this was during my pregnancy, by the way) He would say - go ahead and go out with your friends then, I can't be there for you. I'd reply, I'm x months pregnant, where am I going to go? I wanted to be home with my husband. Besides most people I know are getting ready to end the day at 11 pm, not start it.

We'd have the same conversations night after night and nothing ever got resolved. He'd ask -didn't we talk about this last night? But when nothing is resolved and your marriage is hanging in the balance, what do you do? If he had respected me, he would have listened to what I was saying and tried to work it through with me.

I suggested marriage counseling (about 6000 times) - he never wanted to go. I suggested we spend more time doing things together - he thought all my suggestions were boring. I suggested we plan for the baby, he was uninterested.

I now know that his abusive, disrespectful behavior started when he met Elvira. He ripped my heart out. It devastated me, humiliated me, and angered me. I tolerated it because I didn't know what else to do at the time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Old house

I was looking at some photos today and it pained me to see the photos that were taken at my old house. The house that Nemo and his girlfriend (and God knows who else) still occupy. Nemo and I built the house together. Chose the cabinets, the paint, the tile. It makes me sad because I loved that house.

I loved to watch the sunrise from the kitchen window, and the sunset from the living room. I loved my bathtub. I loved Lucian's room. I loved the coziness of the family room. I loved our trees in the backyard. I loved the parties we had in the basement. I loved that it was mine.

I have painful memories too. Of sobbing night after night trying to figure out what was going on with my husband. Of being six months pregnant and running down the driveway trying to get him to talk to me, when I thought he was going to run me over with his truck. Of waking on Christmas morning with my one month old baby screaming and being unable to track down my husband. Of his girlfriend standing on my porch at 3 am wanting to see Lucian (that's another story).

Funny that the pleasant memories are all about me, while the painful ones all in involve Nemo.

I was a prisoner there from the time I filed for divorce until it was final nine months later. Nemo used to come and go as he pleased during that time. Even before Lucian was born (when he was still coming home) he'd show up at 2:00 or 3:00 or even later in the morning. I was a prisoner then too, I just didn't see it clearly. Anyway, I never quite knew when Nemo would show up. I used to jump everytime I thought I'd heard the garage door.

I wanted to move out a long time before I actually did. I stayed for alot of reasons, but mostly because it was my home.

Now it's just a place that I once lived. After all the heartache, I can't believe that I'm upset about missing my tile floor. I miss having a loving husband too, but the tile was always faithful to me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Meet the monkey on my back

The monkey climbed on when I was eleven years old and I was diagnosed with diabetes.

I had had chicken pox around Valentine's Day, and by Easter I had diabetes. I missed alot of school that year.

My Mom started to notice that I had lost weight. I went from about 100 pounds to under 80 in less than six weeks. Being a child, I hadn't noticed.

I did notice that I was constantly thirsty, and as a result, constantly in the bathroom. I was using the bathroom before and after each class, and had started getting up in the middle also. Teachers were losing patience with me, they said I should go during passing time, not on their time. My family was losing patience also. And so was I, although I couldn't articulate it at the time. It's miserable having an unquenchable thirst and a full bladder following you around 24/7.

My Mom pulled me out of school and took me to the doctor. A quick urine test and the doctor came back to tell us that it was diabetes. I remember her saying the words, and I knew what they meant, but it didn't register then how much my life would change.

We drove straight to the hospital. It was around lunchtime and I ate my packed lunch in the car. I had cookies and a Capri Sun, and I remember thinking that I probably wouldn't be having either for a good long time.

I spent a week in the hospital. I learned how to draw and administer insulin shots on an orange(although my Mom did alot of the poking at the beginning). I learned how to use a glucometer, which I thought was even worse of a cosmic joke. I learned about the diabetic diet. I learned that Saturday tv sucked.

The hard part was coming home and using the skills at home. The diet was especially difficult. I was on 2000 calories a day, and my 80 pound frame could barely keep up. I had a hard time giving myself the shots. Now it seems silly, but at the time it was frightening for me.

My family was wonderful. They were supportive. All of us changed our diet. Sugar foods were essentially banned from the home. I focus alot on what happened to me, but it wasn't easy on my brother and sister either.

Diabetes altered my life. It still does. I make so many decisions each day that most people take for granted. I was forced at eleven years old out of my childhood into an adult world that I didn't fully understand. (how can you comprehend a life threatening illness at that age?) I've made choices based on being diabetic that have affected my life in huge ways. What friends to have. What college to go to. What I eat and when. What major, what job. What health plan. What to wear to accomodate my pump. Virtually every aspect has the stamp of diabetes on it.

Diabetes is the monkey on my back. It took me a long time, but we've made our peace. Since neither of us are going anywhere, we've learned to respect each other.

I'd give anything to not be a diabetic, but at this point in my life, it's part of the fabric that makes me me. I'm not even sure I'd know what to do without it. That scares me the most. I want my life to be defined by other things: daughter, mother, sister, friend. I could no sooner stop identifying myself as a daughter.

For better or for worse: I am a diabetic. Call it whatever you want, but that's me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


So of course I was mad about the cheating. But really, it wasn't the cheating that angered me the most. It was that Nemo had no remorse. It was that he was selfish and treated me like I didn't exist.

I found out on a Sunday morning in October that Nemo had cheated. Elvira showed up on my doorstep at 7:00 in the morning.

Nemo and I were both sleeping when I heard the doorbell. It kept ringing. As I was seven months pregnant at this point, it took me a minute to get up and start down the stairs. Nemo stopped me. Blocked me from descending farther. Pleaded with me not to answer the door. He said - I'll tell you everything.

While the doorbell was incessantly ringing, he told me that he had met someone. It was just sex, nothing else. He said that he loved me, didn't love her, and had tried to dump her but that she wouldn't leave him alone. It was a sunny, autumn morning. A morning that for someone else may have been filled with hope.

I was devastated by his admission, but in a relieved sort of way. I knew that my husband was not home with me, I knew that he was not happy, that something was wrong with him. I cried, but I was rational. I was more focused than I had been in a long time. Things made more sense.

Up until that point, I had been feeling crazy, confused. I've learned in therapy, that he had been manipulating me. It's called gaslighting. Anyway, for that moment, my anger took a back seat. I was almost relieved that he was admitting it.

This wasn't the end of Elvira. In fact, he's still with her to this day.

What I'm really angry about is not the cheating, it's that he was never sorry about ruining our life together. He hasn't ruined my life, as it turns out I am better off without him. But he threw our marriage away for what? Why? Why could I never get the truth? If he didn't love me, that's all he had to say. I would have walked away quietly a long time ago and respected him. Now I am left to wondering why someone who claims to love you turns against you and turns into someone evil.

It's the why that keeps me wondering.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Birth, part 2

My parents arrived at the hospital around noon the day after Lucian's birth. Nemo was MIA. I was still on the magnesium drip so things were pretty foggy.

The doctor came in and talked to me about Lucian's circumcision in the morning. My parents came around noon. My Mom couldn't believe that I still had not seen or held the baby. She found out that because of the magnesium drip, they wouldn't let me have the baby on my own. So she went to go request him.

Nemo's family showed up. They went to the nursery to look at Lucian through the glass. Surprisingly, they didn't ask where Nemo was. You'd think they'd have wondered why he wasn't at the hospital with his wife right after having a baby.

My Mom by this time had Lucian in the room. She passed him to me, but I couldn't hold him long. I couldn't focus and I could feel that I just wasn't right with the drugs. So mostly my Mom held him.

Nemo showed up around dinner time, just as his parents were arriving. He played father of the year (the first of very many times) and then left right after they did.

On day 3, I was finally able to get out of bed. It was a real struggle. I had slept with my bed in the seated position because it jostled my stomach less. Every time I moved, it brought tears to my eyes.

The nursery brought Lucian to me. A friend of mine came to visit, and held him. When she had to leave, she handed him to me. I didn't know what to do. I was stuck in bed, holding a newborn. Luckily, my parents showed up and held him. When they left around lunchtime, I was afraid to get back into bed because I knew how painful it was, so I sat in a chair all afternoon, holding Lucian and watching him sleep.

Surprise surprise... Nemo showed up around dinnertime again. My family arrived and so did his. Nemo was acting smug, and even lay in my bed for a good portion of the evening. I was so offended at that small gesture. After a few hours, everyone left and we walked Nemo back to the nursery.

When we got back to my room, I had been given a roommate. Nemo sat on my bed and told me that he thought he wanted a divorce. I was not completely shocked, as his behavior for the previous nine months had been erratic and troubled. I still thought at that point though that he was going to turn things around once the baby was born. He left me crying in bed where I ached with every breath I took. I sobbed quietly while my new neighbor joyfully celebrated with her family the birth of her new baby. It was a moment that troubles me still. I should have been celebrating mine too.

The next morning, the doctor came in at 6:00 on his rounds. I convinced him that I was well enough to go home. I'm not sure how I pulled that off. I called Nemo at 6:15. He didn't answer the home phone. I called his cell phone, which he reluctantly answered. He asked if I could call him back in an hour. Excuse me? What kind of person isn't excited his wife and new baby are coming home from the hospital?

I tried to call him several more times that morning, and he never answered up again. The nurses came in with my discharge papers and instructions. I dressed Lucian in his going home clothes. And I waited. And waited. And waited. I watched Regis and Kelly and Martha Stewart. Nemo's mother and grandmother showed up. They had no idea where he was. He didn't answer their calls either. My parents said they would pick me up, but they didn't have the car seat, Nemo did.

Finally, around 11:30, Nemo showed up. He said he got there as quickly as he could. Five hours later? He wasn't even showered when he arrived.

He drove like a maniac on the way home. Every bump in the road cut me like a knife. I was still in a great amount of pain from the c-section. I asked him to slow down and he said, "I can't control the state of the roads." He was driving 50 in a 35, not even trying to make it more comfortable for me.

We arrived home and my sister was there. Nemo's mother and grandmother also came with us. We walked into the house, and it was a disaster. I had left everything pristine, as I knew that I wasn't going to be in any shape to clean when I got home. Nemo had had a party while I was in the hospital. The floors and counters were sticky. The blender was out, wine glasses and beer bottles were scattered. I freaked out. Nemo's mother, Cruella, started cleaning. Like it was normal to come home from having a baby to a disaster. Like it was acceptable to have a party while your wife is alone in the hospital.

I went to take a shower while Cruella cleaned and everyone played with the baby. When I entered the room, I saw that my bed was unmade. I knew at this point that Nemo had not slept there, even though he had claimed he was. I pulled the covers back a bit to find semen stains. I was shocked. At this point in my life, however, I didn't know what to do with the information that I had. I was confused. I also didn't want to believe the worst.

I called Nemo to the room. First, he tried to tell me that it wasn't semen stains in my bed. Then, when he realized that that wasn't working, he told me that he didn't know who it was that had had sex in my bed. When I asked who had been at the party, his answer was "a bunch of people". He swore that it had not been him but wouldn't give me any more information. We argued, but it was pointless. I sent him out of the room, so I could go take my shower. In the bathroom, I also found used feminine products in the trash.

I was so overwhelmed by everything in my life: a new baby, a diabetic pregnancy, a husband who was confusing me with every word out of his mouth. I'm not a drama queen; I took my shower and filed the information away in my mind to deal with another time.

It was about 9:00 by the time everyone left that night. Nemo showered and got his bar clothes on. Throughout my pregnancy, he had been promising that he would be there when the baby was born, and now he was leaving again.

We argued for over an hour. He said that he just couldn't stay with Lucian and me. I was hysterical. I was in a great deal of pain, and I couldn't believe that he was going to leave us on Lucian's first night at home.

Callously, he left. I called my Mom because I didn't know what to do. She doesn't like to drive, but drove over at 11:30 pm to be with us. She knew that I needed the help.

I then went upstairs, put Lucian in his crib, and went to change the sheets on my bed. I was embarassed that my Mom might see. I still thought that Nemo might clean up his act and be the husband and father he should have been.

But that wasn't going to happen.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I thought it fitting to start my new blog with the story of my son, Lucian's, birth. It's not the beginning of my story, nor the end, just a piece in the middle. It's not even the beginning of his story, as his began years earlier too. But it's a good place to start.

The scene: I was 39 weeks pregnant, checking into the hospital for an induction. My husband, Nemo, had been slowly abandoning me over the course of the pregnancy and had not spent a night in our home with me in over a month.

I checked into the hospital after dinner. They did an ultrasound to make sure the baby wasn't breech and then sent me to my room. Nemo quickly left me for the night, after promising that he was going to be spending the night at home with the cats (which I later found out that he didn't). Before he left, the nurse took a picture of the two of us. Little did I know that it would be our last photo together.

I remember having "Desperate Housewives" on tv, but I couldn't pay attention. I couldn't stay focused. I couldn't imagine how my life was going to be, even 24 hours in the future. The fear of the unknown to come can be incredibly scary.

I slept briefly and fitfully. At 2:00 am, the nurse woke me up for a urine test. She came back at 4:00 and said I was spilling protein in my urine. So she hooked me up to an IV with a magnesium drip. She also inserted a catheter, which was extremely painful. I think it was inserted wrong, as I had a panic attack and had to be given oxygen. I never did calm down.

At 6:00 am, my doctor came in. He broke my water (I had no idea there'd be so much, or that it would be so warm) and took out the catheter since I was in tears. I got up and used the bathroom. The nurse wasn't pleased with me. She was mad at the doctor too since I wasn't supposed to be up out of bed with the magnesium. They also started the Pitocin around this time. It took about an hour before the contractions really got going. (In addition, I was on an insulin, glucose and penicillin drip. Even the nurses were confused by all of my tubing.)

By 8:00, I realized that if they continued progressing, I was going to need the drugs. Around 8:30, Mom and Dad and Nemo showed up. I requested the epidural.

By 10:00, I was a mess. The contractions kept coming, one on top of the other without a break between them. (No one bothered to tell me that that is what to expect with an induction.) I was crying, screaming, and pleading. I used all the kleenex in the room. My Mom kept saying, get the doctor in here, there's got to be something they can do for her. Finally, the anesthesiologist came in. I started to get excited. They had me turn my body so I was sitting on the edge of the bed. He had me lean over and untie my gown. Wait! A nurse came in the room and said that they hadn't run all the bloodwork on me that they should have run the night before. I waited. And waited. And W.A.I.T.E.D.... While in excruciating pain. I don't know how long it was, but it took awhile before they even drew my blood. They got the results back quickly, but it still took a couple of hours. Around noon, I finally got my epidural.

I spent most of the afternoon in a drugged state of bliss. I was able to get some sleep. I saw people come in and out of the room, but I couldn't tell you much about it. Every so often they'd check to see how dilated I was. I was slowly inching my way there. I tried to take my mind off of thinking about what a long night it was going to be. I hadn't even gotten anywhere near the pushing part of it. Something happened around 5:00 pm. The contractions started coming again. They were even more painful. I cried, I screamed, I squeezed my Mom's hand. I saw the faces of the people I loved; I could tell that it was difficult for them to watch. I thought my soul would leave my body. I tried to retreat to that place in your mind where everything is okay. Where it's physically, mentally and emotionally pain-free. I couldn't calm myself enough to focus on that place.

Around 7:00, the doctor came back and said that I wasn't progressing and that he felt the best option for me would be a c-section. I remember being so joyful that it might soon be over. A different anesthesiologist was sent in. She took a look at the epidural, only to find that it had fallen out. No wonder the pain had returned! She promised me that she'd be there the rest of the way, and that she'd make sure I was comfortable. After that, I was reasonably comfortable.

They wheeled me into surgery, explained everything, and then started. As I lay there awake, just watching all the doctors and nurses prepare for a new life to begin, I felt an incredible calm. One that I had not felt in a very long time. At nearly 8:00, they held my son up. I briefly saw him and the heaven-sent anethesiologist knocked me out.

That night, while Lucian slept in the nursery, they woke me every hour to test my blood sugar. I remember feeling my stomach, thinking how suddenly thin I was. And a little sad that the kicking I had been feeling for months wasn't going on in there anymore. It would be eighteen hours before I'd get to see or hold my son for the first time.

Two months later, I would be filing for divorce. I'd be planning our way out from a life I tolerated while pregnant because I didn't know what else to do. At that point, I didn't know alot of the story. It would be months before I discovered that my husband had been on the phone with his girlfriend, Elvira, twelve times that day. Twelve times. That's once an hour for every hour he was at the hospital. I'm not sure he spoke to me that many times that day. I didn't realize how much he was absent from the room. At one point when the doctor came in, Nemo was sleeping on the pullout couch. The doctor asked my Mom, "how can he sleep through that?" The that being me screaming. Nemo showed almost no involvement besides physically being there that day. His body was occupying space in the room, and that was it.

Looking back sixteen months later, I have mixed feelings about Lucian's birth. On the one hand, it was the most joyful, wonderful (and physically painful!) day of my life. On the other hand, it was emotionally painful. I had dry heaves when I found out that my husband had been on the phone with his girlfriend so many times. It pains me to think about it. The birth of a child should be surrounded by nothing but joy, and Nemo robbed me of that.

That wouldn't be the only thing he would rob me of.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Welcome to my blog!

A little about me: I'm a 30-something mom to a wonderful little boy. I'm a diabetic. I'm divorced and single, without a job, living with my parents.

I'm not a writer, just someone with a story to tell. All events are factual to the best of my memory. Names are changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Stay tuned...