Negus the dragon

Negus the dragon

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life happens, plans don't.

I live in my Mother's house. I have been living here for more than two years now. I never intended to be here for this long. Well, I didn't intend for a lot of things to happen.
I moved in May of 2010 and originally planned to only stay until September. I had been living with my then boyfriend, who I will call X. Our relationship was quite rocky at the time. However, our plans to live separately for the summer were based on financial reasons. The plan was to save money and take care of bills in order to get into a better, less stressful situation and move back in together. That is not exactly how things went.
We did pay off bills and get into a better financial situation, at least I thought so at the time. Still things weren't so great between us. I had been wanting to have a baby and move forward in our relationship for years and X kept telling me that he wanted the same things. I had little to no evidence from his behavior to see that he actually did want those things.
We continued to see each other that summer and had some nice times together. We both worked. I payed off the personal loan that my aunt gave me to buy my first car, which is now broken down and useless, but that is another story.
When September came closer, we had plans to participate in the Bethlehem fair to attempt sell my artwork. Although we had recently had some pretty tense arguments and were close to ending our relationship, we did the fair together and had a really great time. X really put on the charm. He was so attentive and kind to me and said all the things that I wanted to hear. He convinced me that I should move to Connecticut to be with him because that was were he had good work and was capable of supporting me and the family we had plans to start. Which was quite an accomplishment on his part because it had been years since I was willing to live in Connecticut. I had, (and still have), great art teaching jobs here in Mass that I want willing to give up, but I figured that if he was willing to support me and a family and also supported my drive as an artist and art teacher, then it was worth a shot.
We did alright at the fair. We came out with a small profit, gave away a lot of business cards, and had a lot of fun. It was something we definitely wanted to do again, but because of the way things went after that, that sort of plan fell to the wayside.
At that point, the reason I needed to stay at my mother's had changed due to our renewed devotion to each other. Or so I thought. X told me he was going to find a nice place for us to live. So we agreed that needed to stay at Mom's until he found a suitable space. We even did some apartment hunting together.
As I mentioned before, I really wanted to have a baby and actually, I thought there was something wrong with me and that I would never get pregnant. I think everyone thought that. I had an unreliable cycle and a year prior I had had some weird thing going on were I was having hot flashes and saw a doctor because I thought I was going through early menopause. It turned out to be just some unexplainable weirdness.
At the Bethlehem fair I hadn't been feeling well and now that we had plans to live together again, I also made plans to see a doctor and have myself checked out. I expressed to that doctor what my situation was and how badly I wanted to have a baby. We discussed fertility treatments, even some would be covered by my Masshealth. He was supposed to get himself checked too. That was late October 2010 after my 35th birthday. We had plans to put me on an ovulation stimulation drug called Clomid. I was very excited about the possibilities!
In the meantime I had been teaching 3 days a week since September and driving to Connecticut to be with him during the other 4 days a week, every week. We slept on an uncomfortable mat on the floor of the apartment that X shared with his mentally ill brother who was awake at weird hours and smoked too much. Still, I came there every weekend like clockwork. I thought things were going really well with us. we were in love again. I even remember one evening before I got in my car to drive back to Mass, the way that he grabbed me and kissed me and told me that I was the love of his life. I was very happy. I was in love.
X was working independently in construction and I would help him from time to time. Sometimes we stayed in the apartments we were fixing while we worked on them. I remember two in particular which became significant in my mind. One apartment was where we slept when my favorite opal necklace fell apart and also that place became significant again later for another reason. Another place that I remember was because I was having this really weird period that was unbelievably heavy for just the first day and then annoyingly light and persistent for more than two weeks. When I look back, I realize now that I hadn't felt quite right since that last August. My boobs were hurting. None of my female friends had any idea what it might be. None of us thought I might be pregnant because everyone was convinced it would never happen. I mean, we had been together for so many years with no pregnancies. Something had to be wrong.
I went back for a follow up appointment with the doctor ready to sign up for the ovulation stimulation. Still I hadn't been feeling very well and I hadn't had my period in over a month since the last extremely strange one I had. I didn't think anything of it because my cycle hadn't been reliable in a long time. The doctor had informed me that she had thought better of the drug we had discussed and was going to refer me to a fertility clinic instead. I was disappointed because I felt like it was going to make things take longer. She also convinced me that i should take a pregnancy test "just in case", which I did begrudgingly because I had taken so many in my life at that point and was really tired of the sadness that occurred with each negative result. We also did my annual Pap examination. I remember her saying that I felt "full" and saying, "huh, no one has ever said that to to me before." Still, neither one of us thought anything of it. After my exam we sat down to discuss my fertility plan, when there was a knock at the door. I watched and waited patiently as she whispered through the small opening in the doorway. She turned around with two thumbs up and a smile. I said, "what?!?!?!!!" And she said with a smile, "You're pregnant!" I said, "what?!" and she confirmed it for me a second time, "you're pregnant."
I was completely blown away. I cried immediately and called X right away to tell him. He was definitely shocked. I was overjoyed. He said he was happy, but most of all, over the phone, I could tell that he was shocked. We had been together for over a decade and the one thing that we were beginning to believe would never happen naturally, had finally happened.
I laugh cried my whole way home. Joy, pure joy! I will never forget the moment when I walked into the family room of my mother'a house with a tear in my eye and she immediately thought the worst. She thought they had told me that I was infertile. When she asked me what was wrong and I responded that it was nothing and that I was pregnant. She didn't believe me at first and we laughed and cried together. She had me hold an old baby doll so she could take my picture. That day was November 10, 2010. For me, one of the happiest days.
I had my first OB appointment a week later and X couldn't make it so my mom came with me. I honestly don't remember the reason he couldn't make it. It was just one of many times that he couldn't make it. When mom and I went to that first appointment, and I told the nurse about that last strange period that I had, I was told that I was 8 weeks pregnant. Then when we went into the examination room and was examined by Doc Finch, I remember the look on her face when she examined me and her hand moved further up my abdomen little by little. She told me that I was either 8 weeks pregnant with twins or 13 weeks with one baby and that we wouldn't know for sure until I had an ultrasound. Then she left the room to get the Doppler radar and we got to hear the heartbeat of my beautiful baby for the first time that day. I will never forget that sound, like a little horse, clipity clop, clipity clop, clipity clop, and the way that my mother and I squeezed each other's hands in excitement. When we left the office that day I remember having the instinct that I was just having one baby.
I still think it was amazing that I was 13 weeks pregnant before I even found out.
Then, the reason that I needed to stay at my mother's house became because I was pregnant and I was fully covered by Masshealth. So, we decided that it was best for me to stay until after the baby was born. X still was supposed to be looking for a suitable space for our little family to live so that we could live together in Connecticut and he could support us.
I continued to drive to spend four days with him and slept on the uncomfortable floor in an apartment with too much cigarette smoke. I just believed that everything would work out the way it we had planned. It seemed like he was getting really excited too. I started feeling the baby move. I remember that he said to me that we should have another baby right away. I told him to slow down because this one hadn't even come out yet.
It began to get very uncomfortable for me to stay on that mat on the floor and also to do the 2 1/2 hour drive and having to stop to pee on the way. So I came less frequently and he agreed that he would do the drive instead and come up to visit me at my mom's house every week.
X came sometimes, but definitely not every week. Even though I was extremely excited about my baby, I got very lonely.
I did go to Connecticut for that Christmas and New Year 2011. His brother and sister in law always have a Christmas Eve party and X got very drunk. I enjoyed being around his family, but I was very uncomfortable and just wanted to sit. I was tired and annoyed that he drank so much alcohol. The next day was Christmas and we spent the day together and had Chinese food for dinner. It was probably the worst Christmas I have ever had. We toasted the new year with some Sparkling Cider looking forward to our future. There was a night during that visit when I decided not to stay at a friends house because I knew I would not be comfortable on her couch. When I called X, he told me he was driving stuff to the dump. That night he did not answer my call, or the phone would pick up and I would scream his name and I just heard rustling and some girl's voice in the background. I called so many times that night and he never picked up the phone. I cried all night, alone on an uncomfortable mattress on the floor. 8am the next morning, I was ready to call police and hospitals to find him. I called his boss instead. I could not get ahold of him. I was ready to get in the car and drive to apartments we had worked on together to try to find him when he arrived at the door still apologetic and still drink from the night before. I told him how upset I was and that I felt abandoned and asked who's was that female voice that I heard. He said it was the daughter of his friend and that he was sorry and he got too drunk to answer the phone. He said it wouldn't happen again. I asked him he was cheating on me and he said no and acted like that was a crazy question as if he would never do such a thing.
I cried.
It was the first time I had ever seriously thought X would cheat on me. Over the many years that I had known him I had become all to familiar with his alcoholism and the behaviors that went along with it. It was not the first time that his alcoholism caused me to cry and it would not be the last. I was we'll aware that it would not be the last, however, I never thought that it would get as bad as it did.
I thought I had no choice but to believe that he was telling me the truth. It was either that or break up with him in that moment and continue with my pregnancy on my own. There have been many times since then that I have looked back on that moment thinking that I made the wrong decision that day.
That was the last time I drove to Connecticut during my pregnancy. I went back to my life teaching art 3 days a week and getting increasingly excited about my baby as days passed.
That winter was harsh. There was so much snow and it just seemed relentless. Snow piles were like mountains on the side of the road. It was very isolating.
X didn't come up to visit me very often. Even though I was so happy about my pregnancy, I was also very lonely.
I loved being pregnant. I played music to my belly. I felt great. I took good care of myself. I felt beautiful and sexy.
When X did visit, he didn't show me much affection. He hadn't wanted to have sex since before we found out about the pregnancy. I thought he was turned off by the pregnancy. Which was unfortunate for me because of how great I felt about myself at the time.
The winter continued and so did the loneliness. X came sporadically and I started to notice strange things. One time he showed up and his unibrow was shaved in the middle. He told me that he was grooming his eyebrow and it went a little too far. Weird. A few times I asked if he was cheating on me and he always said no and acted like it was a ridiculous question. How could I think such a thing? That would never happen.
I wanted him to visit more often. I was told that he was working and saving money and looking for an apartment for the three of us. Still, I felt sad when he didn't show up. I missed him.
We made a plan to have a romantic 3 day visit together to celebrate Valentine's day. He was going to cook salmon for me and we were going to get a room to stay together for a night. I was really looking forward to it.
It was the day before Valentine's day and I was sitting on the chair in the family room waiting for him to arrive playing Words with Friends (in my loneliness I played a lot of Words with Friends.) I took a minute to check my Facebook page and saw that I had received a private message. It was not from someone that I was friends with. It was from the person he had been sleeping with. Her message said that he had been living with her since November, the same month that I found out I was pregnant. She told me that I should keep a tighter leash on my man. I found out later that she was the same female whose voice I had heard on the phone that night that he never came home and she just happened to live in the same apartment where my opal necklace fell apart.
I confronted him as soon as he arrived. At first he told me that he hadn't slept with her. He began to tell me one lie after another which lasted for quite a while.
That Valentine's day was the worst of my life. I spent the day sobbing and had to go to the OB to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Sad. Very sad.
That was when the reason for staying at mom's became because I had nowhere else to go. I had nothing and my plan up until then relied on him following through and being able to support us.
At first X told me that he would stop seeing her, but he continued to see her for several months after my son was born.
I was 6 months pregnant when my heartbreak began and the remainder of my pregnancy was emotionally very difficult.
I was very public about my heartbreak. It was all over my Facebook page. I figured I had nothing to hide. I really don't regret being so open and in the public about my feelings. I actually think it helped me get through it somehow.
X had been my friend for many years and we were in a committed relationship for over 10 years and our history spans backs since we were teenagers.
Now he and I get along reasonably well. He visits William every Saturday and we have an agreement that we will come to stay in Ct once a month so William can get to know his family. A family that I have grown very close to over the years. I think that they were also very sad about what happened to our relationship.
Well, it hasn't been easy having to live in my mom's house all this time but it also really is true that much of what I have done in the past 2 years of my life I wouldn't have been able to do without the support of my family.
Now I have a whole new plan. Almost a year ago I started going to the local United Unitarian Church in hopes of meeting more people and being more active in the community. That is where I met a couple of nice ladies, one who has another art space for me to teach in. Another who now babysits William while I teach and as it turns out, she also has a house where she rents rooms to make ends meet. In addition to some new and attractive teaching opportunities, my current plan is for William and I to move in with those nice ladies shortly after he turn 2.
Maybe I'll get lucky and this plan will work out.
Life goes on......

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