Tuesday, December 27, 2011
This Is My Life
I had a lot to think about. And thank God Brent was locked away at the hospital, or I probably would have killed him. This poor, sweet little baby boy (Evan) was my focus, more so then myself. It wasn’t much longer that I received a call from the doctor at the hospital. He told me that Brent was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I and that he has started the medication. He explained the importance of starting a routine, frequent doctor visit and always be consistent with the medication – even if he’s better, and basically what to look for and what to expect. I expressed my concern of drug usage and he kind of just blew it off by saying that bipolar patients usually have similar symptoms as drug users.
It wasn’t much longer till I had to meet with members of the court at the hospital and Brent was released. We went to the first Psychiatrist visit and it was basically a waste of time. Between Brent and the doctor, they were both graduates of the University of Michigan. And that’s what the whole conversation was about. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Wolverines … but I love my husband more and wanted to take this whole thing seriously! After we left that office, Brent and I discussed the pro’s and con’s and decided to start a new search for a Psychiatrist, in which we did and made the switch.
After things got settled down, I decided it was time to bring up the DNA results. I figured since he was going through so much mentally that it could have a lot to do with it and was willing to approach it without all the anger. So, I went to him in our basement, where he spent most of his time, and said, “Look, I know you’ve been through a lot and I don’t want to add to the stress, but I know the truth about Evan. And I’m not sure what your reasoning was with what you did, but it’s time you be a man and step up to the plate. You need to be a dad to that child and give him the same love and attention that you do to your other children. Maybe we can talk with the doctor and see what she suggests. Or even to an attorney.” He put down the hockey stick he was holding and smiled and said, “Sweet gesture, but the child is not mine. Since the child was born while I was still legally married, I agreed to cover the child on our family insurance. I just thought it was the right thing to do. You saw the DNA test baby!”
I guess I had my blinders on or something, because I accepted it. In the days to follow, Brent’s medication turned him into a zombie and he literally slept 22 hours out of the day. One day, I just couldn’t take it and went to spend the day at my parents’ house. That night my parents had to rush me to the hospital – something was going on with the pregnancy and it just didn’t seem right. At that point, I was about 28 weeks along. They ended up admitting me and my parents kept Casie. I begged them not to even call Brent because I felt a lot of anger towards him and thought it would relieve some stress – I wouldn’t be putting our baby in danger by dealing and caring for his every freakin’ need. But, he ended up showing up during my stay turned that into his personal lounge. Deep inside I started to resent him. He took advantage of me and all of his children and I couldn’t understand why I still loved him and felt sorry for him! I guess my mind frame continued to blame it on his sickness.
My sister Elizabeth and I fell out before the birth of my son due to something Brent did and we no longer talked. It was weird. We would be in the same place, at the same time, and walk by each other like the other didn’t exist. It was strange because for two grown adults to act like, especially since we used to be so close, is insane. She was the Maid of Honor in my wedding and Casie’s God-Mother. But, that’s how things had to be and I went with it.
Due to my medical condition and history of preterm labor, I was restricted to bed rest only. It was in the best interest of Casie and me if all of us moved to my parents’ house for the remainder of the pregnancy. Brent wouldn’t be able to care for any of us with the medication he was on. Luckily, Tommy, my little man, entered this world on April 19th, 2008 healthy and we were able to move home and try again. This time we took the approach of, let’s wipe the slate clean and start over.
My father-in-law fell very sick a short time after Tommy’s birth and we made a lot of trips back and forth from Michigan to Kentucky. It was that November when he lost his battle with cancer. I was devastated. I became very close to this man and thought of him as a friend, more so then a father-in-law. I loved the guy and he would forever remain in my heart and live on in our children. I will never forget the last thing he said to Brent, his voice was weak and he struggled so hard to get it out with every breath, “Straighten up boy! You don’t want to live a lonely life – it’s miserable!”
The relationship with his mother and I started to fade. I felt that as a mother, she should have been here for her son, but chose to go on her gambling trips. That’s where her nickname the “gamblin’ granny” came into play.
Now that I look back, I can honestly tell you that after Brent’s father died – our marriage deteriorated more every day. But, like they say love is blind and I was convinced our love could outshine anything.
I believe some time during this period is when Brent started to smoke crack. Personally, I didn’t know anything about it besides what I saw on movies. One in particular was Ice Cube’s movie Friday, remember Ezell and Felisha? Brent spent so much time in our basement and I rarely went down there – I was too busy taking care of our children that were 13 months apart. I would smell a distinct smell from time to time, comparable to a burnt plastic. When I would ask Brent what it was, he always said he was using the blow torch to adjust his hockey stick. I never considered for one minute it was the drug usage! And honestly, I was too busy caring for the children – I never put more thought into it.
Brent never helped with anything, he was very lazy! I did the cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the children, paying bills, and it seemed like he always had an excuse on why he couldn’t lift a finger. When his children came to town from his previous marriage (minus Evan) – I would be the one to make sure we were at the airport on time, make sure they were fed and entertained; when Brent would focus his energy on how to piss off the ex wife. I was always very close to Maci. She helped me with so much and loved taking care of Casie and Tommy. As time passed, their visits started becoming less frequent and eventually came to a screeching halt.
One night, I remember looking at him and thinking to myself “I have to get away from this mess!” I started to reconnect with old friends and tried keeping myself busy. On this one particular day, I remember my friend Jazmine calling me up to see if the kids and I could go to lunch. I was so excited to go!
Jazmine is a great girl; I’ve known her for years. She’s married to Robby, whom I adore and they have three beautiful little girls – who I love as my own. She’s kind of ghetto fabulous, very intelligent, and she’s one of those people you can talk to about anything and she will never judge. And even if she doesn’t agree with you, she’ll tell you … but, either way she’s going to have your back.
Anyway, we went to lunch that day and I remember ordering a fried bologna sandwich. Lol! Don’t forget, I do live in Kentucky! However, my parents used to make them all the time when I was a kid and I remember wanting one so bad I could taste it. When I took the first bite, I could have vomited. Is that even a word?!? Oh well, you catch my drift. I looked at Jazmine and said “OH my gosh, I’m pregnant!” She laughed and was like “Whatever dude, you are just paranoid. That shit is probably nasty – order something else.” I was hoping she was right, but I recognized this feeling.When I got home, I didn’t say a word to Brent. I ran in the bathroom and took a pregnancy test …. Not one, not two, but we are talking about eight – they were positive. I was having another baby. I told Brent and he seemed excited. Of course I was too. Babies are always a blessing. But, I was scared and unsure of what was to come. We weren’t planning to have another one that quickly and our relationship wasn’t rock solid. But, here I was and instead of stressing – I embraced it and tried once again to hold my family together.