The 22nd April marked ten years since I left my first husband. 18th June, 3 years since I separated from my second. (I'm sure that one day I won't physically cringe when I say I have been married twice, and divorced twice. Today isn't it.) All I wanted once I had separated from their fathers was for us - the grown ups! to be able to parent our children, and put their best interests first and foremost.
My first marriage was fairly uneventful in the drama stakes. The biggest problem was I should have never have married him. I got married at 22, thinking "He loves me, no one else is ever going to, so this will do." We were like two separate animals species - He was a dog, and I was a cat, that tried to turn herself into a dog. I knew 2 years into being married to him that I had made a terrible mistake. I liked being a cat, I didn't want to be a dog. Then I fell pregnant, and we had a kituppy... Sorry - lame attempt at humour.
Once I fell pregnant, I decided that this was it. I'd made my bed, and now I had to lie in it, whether I liked it or not. I tried to furiously metamorphosis into a dog, denying my cat qualities until I no longer looked or felt like... anything. I surrendered my authenticity to remain in this relationship with my child's father.
While the role of being his wife was slowly killing me, the role of motherhood kept me alive. When I had my first child - she taught me what unconditional love was. It cracked my harden heart wide opened, and out came one that was soft shiny and vulnerable, but bigger then me. The irony of this is not lost on me. Experiencing the unconditional love of my child, brought into the focus the very conditional love that was occurring between myself and her father.
Years passed, another child was born, the secrets that I had buried deep exploded into the now. After spending ten years of supporting every choice he made, every decision, every career change he wanted, when I needed him to support me he couldn't, or wouldn't. And that was the straw that broke the camel- that- was- a- cat- trying- to- be- a- dog's back. I left.
In the midst of Post traumatic stress, when I shouldn't have been making any major life decisions, I married my second husband. My relationship with him was fraught with drama. In fact the whole damn relationship was one long drama that peaked in a painful crescendo of him attempting suicide. He was mean, and ugly, and hurt myself and my children profoundly. The hurt he bestowed upon my children is a guilt that I will carry forever, as I brought him into their lives. The only good thing that came out of my second marriage was my little boy Aston. Every time I watch him with his older sister and brother, and the love they have for each other, soothes my hurting soul from the pain that they experienced at the hands of his father.
Eventually I was able to convince Aston's father that we needed to separate for every one's sake. Even then I still hung on to hope that now the reason behind his ugly mean behaviour had been identified, and was being treated, we could reconcile. But I was broken, and weary. So were my children. He was inconsistent with his treatment, and it just drove more nails into my heart. I realised that being with him wasn't living. I was only... just... existing. And it would end up killing me.
I did what needed to be done. To protect myself, and my children. It was met with fury, and of course, more drama. Once I severed the connection between Aston's father and myself, everything I did after was motivated by making sure that Aston's interests were being taken care of. That he was kept safe. That meant that if he was to have a relationship with his father it had to be conducted in a manner that kept him safe. Based on his father's history, I wasn't prepared to throw the lamb in with the lion. If he wanted a relationship with his son, it had to be under supervision. He fought this. For six months Aston didn't see his dad. Once he finally agreed to it, there were only 4 visits before his anger got in his way. It was then that I was given the contact details of Foundations Child and Family Support and their Parenting Orders Program.