I have been sitting here looking at my computer for a while now. Thoughts swirled in my head, but the fingers avoided contact with the keyboard. So now that I have started, I wonder which of the thoughts find their way here.
I read the second first post before starting on this one. It got me thinking of my children and the reasons I could not confide all my thoughts or feelings to them. In some ways I am very close to them, but I think having needed to protect them from harm and hurt from their earliest days made me hide my own hurt and pain from them so as not to cause them any more pain. This need to protect my children has been the overriding concern of my life since they were born. There are issues even now that make me feel that I have to continue this way. Perhaps writing these things here will make me see if there is a real need for it or not.
The father of my first two children was a physically and verbally violent person. Yet I stayed with him for about six years. He was not violent at the beginning. We met while we were both students in a foreign country. He was his mother’s favourite of his siblings whereas his brother was the father’s favourite. I am not sure where the sisters stood in that. There were (still are) five of them. I know my ex was hurt by the father’s favouritism of the younger brother. He was also hurt by the fact that the girl (she was still a girl when my ex left his country as my ex was a boy of 16) he was in love with was out of his reach because of her parents’ disapproval. I am not sure of the reason for the disapproval. My ex talked about it a lot at the beginning, but as English was not the first language for either of us coupled with the thought disorder from which my ex suffered (among other things) I found it difficult to follow his ramblings (the right word for it although it sounds disrespectful and dismissive) at times.
I did not know anything about a thought disorder at the time. I just knew that he kept jumping from one issue to another. I thought at the time that my understanding of English was to blame for my not being able to follow his conversation. It is only later that I got to know about other issues relating to him. Like the fact that the symptoms that he displayed then and now (I have sporadic contact with his sisters and my children by him have visited their family in that country) are indicative of paranoid schizophrenia – left totally untreated in his case although the family seems to realize what is going on. The symptoms that I saw at the time without understanding any of it were the before mentioned thought disorder; paranoia about people around him talking about him in a negative way; any accidental slight being purposefully aimed at him; generally the whole society of the country we lived in being against him.
I did not see any of this until after we were married. It was not a marriage of two people who were madly in love. I went out with him in the beginning because I was curious. I had never met anyone from his country. To me he was a kind of exotic curiosity. Not a good reason to start any kind of relationship. We would never have got married if I had not got pregnant. He wanted me to have an abortion and to please him I asked the doctor about it. I was relieved by the negative answer because my religious background would have made it difficult for me to go through with it at the time. I did contemplate disappearing somewhere where no one knew me and living my life with the baby without any contact from disapproving relations. However, we both moved in the same religious circle and had people around us who saw to it that we did “the right thing” and got married. If we had not done that I would not have had my second child. So even the worst things have something good in them: I would not be without my two children from that disaster of a marriage.
The father of my children being what he was I had to protect my children from him. As my little ones told me after I had left him he “was always angry”. We had knives being waved about and even flying past us. If I did not get to the crying baby first, that baby was waved about in the air and I was asked “shall I mash her head in the wall?” Luckily I was quite good at preventing much of this. At the time I thought the anger which he took out on us was caused by the racism he suffered in the country we lived in at the time. I thought that once we got to his country things would be different. Unfortunately, it was not the case. So after about a year there I escaped with my children. My parents gave me the money to leave and I used an excuse of my father’s illness. On getting to my birth country I was finally able to sleep not having to worry about the children getting hurt. My sister told me that I slept through my son howling his head off at night after having hit his nose when he got up in a strange place. And I was right next to him; he was crying straight into my ear.