Moving forward


totally get why they call this a rollercoaster.

And, the very last thing we needed was the response from his work when he is trying to do the right thing and repair this marriage.

So, the stress of his work situation caused me to reach *for* him….and caused him to pull back and isolate himself.

When, WHEN did I end up married to this Neanderthal? I knew he had this response during J’s pregnancy and was shocked by it then. But, I was too overwhelmed to figure it out, hash it out and fix it. This was NOT what our relationship used to be…thus why I got into an argument with the Support group leader last week that II was capable of emotional intimacy but tore it down in his years of acting out.

I very, very nearly Plan B’d him this weekend. I didn’t do it because he lost his sobriety and violated my hard and fast boundary. But, after nearly a week of begging and pleading with him to see me standing there, I realized that if he doesn’t FIX this behavior that has developed as a result of his acting out and addiction, then he WILL be unfaithful to me again. And, I was just about to the point where I wanted to simply move to Plan B rather than wait for the inevitable.

We got into a arguement…or I should say he did because I just kept saying I was done and wanted him to leave me alone. He begged me to tell him what he’s supposed to do. Claimed he needs a therapist to teach him how to reach out to me again.

That was when I finally engaged him and lost my temper. I pointed out that he has SA. He has a 12 step book to work. He has his Recovery Nation materials. And, he has everything from Marriage Builders, including the Surviving An Affair book we’ve both read. He doesn’t need ME to tell him what he should be doing or how to do it. And, he doesn’t need a therapist to resolve his “mom issues” (his term for it) before he can reach out to me. He needs to review his materials and everything he has learned because that stuff will tell him what he’s supposed to be doing and what he is missing.

Emotional weekend, but along the way, he has realized that he has somehow lost sight of HOW to meet my emotional needs. He truly has stopped being in-tune to me and my needs and quit trying. He took for granted that I was always there and always going to meet his needs but he forgot to do anything but misuse me emotionally. He became a taker and not a giver.

He has now picked up The Five Love Languages. It was the next book I intended to read myself. But, he specifically asked if he could read it first since he’s realized how badly he’s accomplishing meeting my emotional needs. The entire time I was begging him to acknowledge I was *here* with him, he thought I was trying to hash out what is happening and what we are changing. And, that simply was NOT what I was saying. He’s picked up a very bad habit of not listening to me fully and it has to change, along with the fact that he HAS to actually try to meet my emotional needs.

What is frustrating for me is that I work really hard to communicate appropriately, safely and non-judgementally. And, he doesn’t hear me until I’m frustrated, hurt and starting to lose control days and days after I started trying to communicate the issues I need to convey to him.

I told him that I cannot and will not spend the rest of this marriage begging him to be here emotionally. I’ll retreat and close that door long before I will beg him to be here again.

And, I think he gets it…for now.

We are going back to school in January. We were planning it for next August, and we were planning it before I discovered what he had done. I really thought we would do better to spend 9 months still here getting things settled in our marriage and his sobriety. But we simply don’t have that option anymore. If we don’t go now, we’ll lose our window to go, which I think would destroy both of us long-term. To avoid his company destroying nearly a year’s worth of plans that have been in the works, we’re going to pre-empt them by these months. And, really, as it turns out, after the chaos settles, it will do FAR better for us as a family and for our pursuit of our dreams and careers.

He did ask me what happens to our journey if he gets Plan B’d. I told him we have to find a house with an extra living space. If he gets Plan B’d, we are still going to be here, parenting these kids and workings towards our future. I hope with all my heart it doesn’t come to that. But, as far as our family and our future, nothing changes if he slips to that level. What changes is that my bedroom and my heart will be forever closed to him if he’s Plan B’d. These kids still desperately need him here to father them, and that won’t change even if he betrays me again in another Bipolar mania.

But, I see the stress of school different than the stress of our current lives in the same way I see the pain of labor different than the pain of miscarriage. One is stressful but focused towards the future, hope and joy. The other is devestation without release.

Just some more thoughts

Honestly, he’s not blameshifting. He’s really good at owning up to what he did, at being remorseful and at getting only HE is to blame. But, when it comes to connecting to ME, he’s reverted to a Neanderthal, and its continuing despite everything I express that its not okay.

He didn’t use to be this way. But, everytime I try to connect with him, I’m acutely aware that he seems to expect me to be here but that he doesn’t have to put any emotional work into this marriage for me to be here.

I think I was SOO busy parenting these children side by side with him that he became this way and I just didn’t notice…or I made excuses for why he is so emotionally immature. He’s so mature in every other way. And, we were at the same point when we were married and in the early years. But, sometime into this, I feel like I continued growing up and he got stuck emotionally at early 20s.

Is that Bipolar? Is that addiction? It *feels* like its just plain selfishness but I’m not sure that an accurate assessment.

I’m not on here much at the moment. The kids fried the old laptop. Windows crashed the new laptop. II has the PC tower that Windows crashed 2 years ago up and running. And, we can break into the new laptop. But, he’s going to have to reformat the laptop and he can’t do that until he can save the 9 years of digital picture files stored in it.

If you don’t see me, nothing bad happened, just a computer issue.

But, as far as my life goes, II found a house in the new city where the owner is willing to do a lease option since we can’t buy right now. Its 1mi from the Undergrad school and 1.5mi from the medical complex. My sister said she was interested in buying a Historic home for us to work at renovating together next summer but not today and we would have the option of transferring the lease option to her…or possibly getting a mortgage if we got our house sold.

If we could get our current house sold, we can both do school no problem. If we can get this house rented, again not a lot of problems. If niether happens, we figured out that I would need to make a hair above minimum wage to cover this mortgage and keep us afloat. So, we’ll both be in school for spring. If something doesn’t happen to this house by summer I’ll have to pause and work until something happens to this house and then start back up ASAP once the house here is dealt with.

Its truly scary how well everything is coming together for this leap. We’re going to go next weekend to look at this house and around the town for us and to help the kids. And, the best part is that we’ve got respite lined up for M so he won’t come and tantrum and poop all weekend. His resource funding came through and our respite worker is highly motivated to do this next weekend so she can get funds to paint her house!

Again, God is moving in ways I NEVER imagined he would. But, its still scary. And, I truly don’t know if we’ll do this adventure as a whole and complete couple or plan B’d where we co-parent and co-habitate but lose the dream of true marriage. The more he stays so tightly out of reach emotionally, the more I am coming to terms that maybe I already don’t have a true marriage.


My application for college is officially IN. I need to get my transcripts sent and have my doctor fill out the vaccine form and I’m done with that.

I filled out my FAFSA but as soon as II quits his job, we’ll have to do an ammendment to both of our FAFSAs.

My sister is going to provide us with gift cards to cover the vast majority of Christmas needs for all 8 kids, which will free up funds for this transition.

II started working on the projects on the house this weekend. We have scouts, ballet and soccer addressed. We even have M’s IEP settled and have set a transition in place for him through this.

II hunted down the actual owner on the house and contacted them directly. Its the minister of AOG church downtown, so we’re praying if they know us personally they will feel led to provide us with a reasonable deal on a lease option on the house.

II has confirmed his 401K cash out, all the expenses for getting this house ready to list, all the expenses of moving and getting into a new house.

The one risk is that if this house does not either sell nor rent then I will return to work after the spring semester. But, I can work 3 night shifts per week at a hospital and cover this mortgage and our needs. That means I can still take 1-2 classes a semester. When either this house is addressed or II gets into medical school, I can go back to full-time school. So, at most I will lose a year in my path.

As for the marriage, I just don’t know. He still thinks I’m going to throw him out. I think that is his own guilt at play. I have been entirely detached for 1.5 weeks from the marriage and from him, a direct result of his shutting me out while under stress. And, I have realized that yes I can live under Plan B. But, I don’t want to do it. Nevertheless, what happens is entirely up to him. I cannot make him fight for us, and I’ll continue on with my life if he doesn’t fight for us.

I want that fairy tale I once believed in. I want that happily ever after. I want the man I fell in love with, married and formed a covenant partnership with all those years ago. And its not mine to claim, to fight for nor to know if its still out there to be found. But, I’m still me. I’m still here and I’m going to do what I have to as a mother and a person to carry on with my life.

My mother is getting crazier and more dangerous. Maintaining the legal marriage becomes more and more important to protect these kids. II understands that as much as I do. That seems to be the only thing I can predict now, that we will both do 1000% of what we must to care and protect these babies.

I know I’m going to be ‘okay’. I can and will stand on my own 2 feet. And, I’m nearly back to ‘me’ as far as parenting these kiddos goes. And, every day that I walk with the Lord, I am reminded that I don’t have to be loved on earth to be okay. If the love is gone and co-habitation is all I have left, then I will find my identity and strength right where I found it in the first place…on my knees before the cross. This is so NOT what I imagined my life would be. But, I know I’m only able responsible and in control of ME and I will make sure I am doing what I need for me and my kids no matter what else happens in this life.

Helpful advice...or not

Oh goody!

II went to his SA meeting tonight. Someone in the group offered him a book to help since he mentioned last week that I’m struggling with the emotions and grief of what he has done to me and to us.

He came home with Debbie Pearl’s book tonight.

To his credit, he asked me to please ignore it that he’ll give it back next week and say thank you but he didn’t want to hurt the guy’s feelings for trying to be helpful.

FTR, II did not bring the book in the house. He warned me because he didn’t want me to drive the Jeep and see it stashed in there without warning. He has NO intention of giving it to me to read, has no intention of reading it himself, and has been 100% firm from the first that none of this is my fault, I did NOTHING wrong and had nothing to do with his sick and perverted choices.

In his own mind, concealing his behaviors was about protecting me from what he had become, not blaming me in any way.

And, he said something last night that really struck me. He said he knows I want the intimacy and marriage back that we always had, that I knew was slipping away the last 2 years and have finally brought into the light. He assured me that he IS doing everything to get back to me and to us. But, he told me that he’s spent 5 years pushing me away in his twisted attempt to protect me. He says its going to take time for him to make it back to me. He said it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want me, isn’t trying or is disconnected from this marriage, but he developed such unhealthy patterns and habits that he has to relearn how to be a husband…and he has to start with recovery for himself or he’s not going to be healthy to reach out to me.

I’m not going anywhere and he swears he’s fighting to get back to me. I guess that is all I can ask right now, even if I desperately want more.


So, he saw his Psych again today. He was concerned that when he was seriously sleep deprived last weekend, he cycled over his meds for about 18 hours (but never hit fully top nor fully bottom).

Psyche declined to increase his Abilify, said some minor cycling is simply going to happen. Pointed out that he IS Bipolar and they DO cycle even when they are well managed.

He talked to his Psyche about the plans to go to Medical school and his Psyche things its a GREAT idea for him. Said if it were some new hair-brained idea he would be concerned, but he’s actually known II was looking into this for awhile. We’ve been working on this leap since March but been felt led down this path for 8 years now. He thought II would make an AMAZING Peds Anesthesiologist and would find tremendous job fulfillment.

I think that helped II a lot. He is finally ready to pursue his dreams but in the back of his mind is this nagging doubt that he cannot accomplish anything becaues he is Bipolar (thanks MIL for more venom she planted in his brain). Psyche totally disagrees and thinks II will be FINE.

The other thing that touched II was that he mentioned that he is having NO temptations to act out sexually, that maybe Psych is right and it is related to his Bipolar. He said he wishes he understood that before he threw away 12 years of a wonderful marriage on his mess. Psych told him that if we’re both committed to this marriage that he thinks this will prove to be a speedbump in a really amazing marriage that will last far longer this mess will.

That actually gives ME a lot of hope, to hear that a Bipolar can act out this badly but can also reclaim what was wonderful about their life as well.


Well, this is interesting, to say the least.

In working everything for this upcoming change to our world, we’ve concluded that we need to generate $1000 more than we’ve got set coming in every month.

Now, there are 4 variables that could happen which would dramatically lower that bottom amount. But, none of those are 100% guaranteed (well, one is but will take up to 6 months to see happen).

So, one of us has to earn $1000/month while going to school.

I have come to the conclusion that the biggest thing I need right now in my life is the ability to emotionally detach, to function on autopilot by going OUT and not by sitting home to let myself get depressed. Most significantly, I desperately need the ability to step back from attachment and emotions from the kids somewhat. And, I need to do this in a manner where they don’t feel rejection but for this to feel natural.


We’ve decided that I am going back to work. As soon as we get moved, I’m going to hit the pavement to find a nightshift job 2 nights per week. I really, really prefer hospital work and would prefer PRN if possible (to give me flexibility with the family and because I don’t need benefits).

That means when I’m not going to class and not working I’ll need sleep. This is totally doable, but it means that II will have to step in and fill my shoes as the primary caregiver. He’s taking 3 lab sciences in which he MUST make A’s and he’s studying for his MCATs this summer. He’s used to working 60+ hours per week so this is a very light schedule for him, and in something he finds easy and fascinating.

And, he’s not going to be homeschooling except one very bright, very self motivated and self guided little learner. He is going to be managing 2 toddlers who will need entertained. And, he is going to be primarily responsible for the cooking, cleaning, homework and afternoon/evening activities.

To think I was worried about whether he could handle this or not.

He’s researching gardening, canning, making bread from scratch…a LOT of stuff. Basically, he wants to save as much money on the grocery budget as he can and get our diets as healthy as absolutely possible. And, since he’s not going to have to be schooling kids, he thinks he can work on this stuff with the babies in tow, enjoy it and help the family.

Who would have thunk that a man who has had his ENTIRE identity in his career (which he has hated every day he’s had it) suddenly is excited about coming home, caregiving his children and helping contribute to making life good for us. I had to give up those pursuits because I couldn’t balance them and homeschooling all the kids. I totally think its do-able for him.

And, this arrangement is for ONE YEAR. Next spring, we’ll re-evaluate the real estate market and whether to rent the house out for a second year or try to sell at that time. Once this house sells, we won’t need that extra $1000/month. But, even if we still need it, by next spring he’ll only be taking one class and hopefully already have his acceptance into med school (please Lord let him get into the one he wants and not the one my sister is already guaranteeing for him). At that point, we can shift, we can share work duties, or he can work and I can push harder on my degree. He’s not going to lose himself or his identity in this adventure. But, he’s being given a rare opportunity to spend this year with his children, repairing his marriage and making something better for all of us.

And, its so weird that he is SOO EXCITED about this. His first response when I told him I needed to get out of the house and work was shock. He asked me if I trusted him to care for the kids, knew he could do it but wasn’t sure I would trust him to do it. When I assured him I trust him with the kids, he’s decided to take full advantage of a year where he gets to be Daddy.

Best of all, thus far, we’ve got things arranged where we’ll be able to avoid daycare for both toddlers. I can’t guarantee what will happen in the fall but through August there will be NO daycare for my babies…but a loving Daddy who has decided he can and will pick up the slack I’m struggling so hard to carry right now.

This…THIS is why I didn’t throw him out. Whatever he is or is not to me, he is an amazing father. He’s doing everything he can to recover himself and this marriage. But, he’s also realized that I’m struggling to mother now and he’s decided he’s going to take that role and give me the space and distance I so desperately need for healing now.

I went to my support group last night. When I came home, all but the nurslings were in bed. The nurslings came running and were both passed within 30 seconds of nursing. The house was cleaned, the kids were fed. And, I realized that this is what we’re going to do for the next year. And, I’m excited about this change.

Dormant dreams

Medical school for him is what he’s wanted for 8 years and was too scared to stop being the sole breadwinner to do it. I thought we made the decision in April to just leap on it. But last night I was going through old stuff and realized we had decided this was happening back in February of this year.

MY going to school is what has changed. But, the truth is that I HAVE to be financially stable and secure because I cannot predict what he does with his life. I always wanted to be a doctor.

I will still be standing and can do this whether he is present or not. Its better for the kids for him to stay part of this family. But, if he walked out, I would rely upon friends where we’re moving and child care assistance to finish my education and go to work. I want him here. And, I think its better for the kids for him to be here. But, I cannot control him. And, I need to know that I can care for this family…no matter what he does with his life.

He cannot pursue his dream without this family. If he works to rebuild this marriage and stays committed to this family, he gets the bonus of getting to live his dreams…one his Psych is THRILLED to see him finally doing, ftr. If he walks out, he gets to fall back on his Masters in International Management and go back to mid-level management positions.

I won’t pretend I don’t feel safer knowing I stand no matter what he chooses and he has to stay part of this family to achieve his dreams. I do feel safer. But, it also means that he’s here because I WANT him here, not because I need him here. And, that’s tremendously freeing to at this point.

(He’s signing a post-nup. If he walks out, he assumes the financial responsibility of this house and his Jeep. I keep my van that is paid off for next month. We’re using his 401K to get debt-free outside of those 2 issues and the adoption subsidy stays with me—thus why he needs to stay with this family to achieve his dream and I can still stand no matter what he chooses. I offered him 2 options, either seperate the finances or sign a post-nup and he offered the post-nup.)

Dreams revived

I know what I’m going to do with my life!

God had been trying to wake me up for the last year. In the last 2 months, the 2×4 I’ve experienced has been amazing, painful and startling but good for my growth and to wake me up from my complacency.

We went to our new city this weekend. We found our house. Its a money pit but its got strong bones, 119 years of standing strong, and its my dream come true. Except for 3 significant issues, the house is livable. And, the owners are willing to take a lease offer so we’re putting in a lease offer this week.

But, I walked around an urban area. I saw the working class people (and drove to the other side of the area to see the ghettos as well). I saw my medical school. I saw the poverty. I looked at the urban schools, the demographics, the reality of life. I remembered being a child living there (different city but same urban reality). I thought about the FIVE people who came into my world in the last week and flat-out informed me that I was made to be a doctor, and one who works with children exclusively. I thought about what having an amazing physician for my own children has done for me in my journey to mother special needs children. I reflected and I prayed. And, I remembered the woman I was so long ago before I lost myself to a vision that wasn’t really mine to begin with.

I found my future, and its rooted in who I once was and who I realize I still am underneath this package that I accepted and created because it was the ‘right’ thing to do.

I’m going to live in that house. I’m going to medical school there, and I’m going to fight tooth and nail to do my residency there. And, when I’m done, I’m going to build a Pediatric practice where there where I live and minister my neighbors. I’m not going to work for a Health Dept but I’m going to give THESE people the same dignity that I have been given. I have good health insurance. I’m white. I’m educated. I have excellent healthcare because I consider it a right and something I know how to fight for. These people deserve the same thing!

And, because I’m willing to work in the community, and willing to live in the community…the Federal government will PAY for me to go to Medical school…and pay me a living stipend while I’m doing it. The only student loans I will encure is my undergraduate, which is halfway done already.

I realize that yes, I was called to mother and to love and to minister to these 8 precious and wonderful children. BUT…I was called to minister to other children as well. I have always felt a pull to the urban world. I atributed it to a nostalgia for my childhood in that world, but I think I’m called to be a part of that world. How better to minister to these people than to not only work there but actually be there, and show them the dignity and mercy that they deserve simply because I am there living and working beside them.

And yes, as I suspected, my house does in fact sit in the underserved regions identified by the Federal government. So, if I were to purchase the house next door (and the shack behind it to level for a parking lot), I could put an office right next to my house, fulfill my obligation for the scholarship I intend to earn and build my world there.

I need very little income generated from my work. Enough to cover my living expenses and the costs of operation for the practice. Because I intend to stay there, my living expenses will not go up much. If Dh achieves his dreams, then whether he stays or goes, any extra would come from his income (we’re in an alimony state and if he left you betcha I’d go for alimony in addition to child support). If he doesn’t, then my work would cover my living expenses and I would simply be modest but cared for in my life.

This was my dream when I was 8. This was my dream when I was 20. I let others talk me out of my dreams, not II but mainly my mother and my sister who is trying to stop me yet again. When II asked my father for my hand in marriage, Dad warned him I WOULD be a doctor someday and that if he wasn’t prepared to support me when that dream became too great for me to ignore then he needed to not marry me. I blew Dad off then. I realize now that Dad was right. The calling has become too loud to ignore. And, maybe God needed to use a catastrophe to wake me up. I know he needed to bring II as low as he could so he could build him up into the man he was meant to be. But, I’m awake now. And, as scared as I am, I’m walking into that future with tremendous joy and anticipation.


So today, someone attacked me and accused me of not trying to save my marriage.

Seriously, extreme Patriarchial paradigm at play, harsh accusations that if I’m going go to school and medical school then obviously I am NOT giving my all to my marriage.

I responded that I most certainly AM giving my whole heart to this marriage but I can only be accountable for myself and I have to know that I and my children are cared for no matter what he may or may not choose. So, I am willing to be emotional vunerable and forgiving to the marriage but I do NOT trust him and I will not be dependent upon anyone else for my care and needs.

I am flabergasted that I am somehow at fault because I refuse to be a victim in all of this. Its not that I’m giving up on him but that I won’t give up on ME. And frankly, I don’t think the pressure he’s faced as the sole provider of a large family has been healthy for him either.

I did mention to my accusor that if II chooses to stay, we BOTH get to live our dreams. But, I’m not going to justify why I’m pursuing a stronger and more independent future. I feel its healthy and wise for my family and that’s really all the justification I think anyone deserves.

Other than this one person, I have to say the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Even my sister, who had been downright hostile at times and tried to talk me out of my dreams repeatedly, has been nothing but supportive and encouraging now that she knows II has officially quit and we’ve moving onward with our lives.

6 more work days for II and we get to hit the reset button for our lives. I get to reclaim ME and we get to put the best effort we have at rebuilding a stronger future…for better or for worse.


II’s last day of work is this Thursday. We are going Friday to see a rental house we’re 99% sure will work for us. In an effort to not alert the management company that we have 8 children, we have a friend who will watch all but the youngest 2 while we go.

I know its illegal to discriminate in renting to children. But, I also know they wouldn’t have to give me a reason to not rent to us. And, if I were them, I would likely run for the hills if I saw my crew coming too.

As soon as II’s done at work, we need to purchase moving boxes and packing supplies. We also need to purchase the cabinets for our kitchen. Before we can rent our house out, we have to remodel the kitchen. We have it budgetted but it still has to be done. The first 2 weeks of December, we’re supposed to be decluttering, packing, cleaning and working on the kitchen cabinets so we can order and have the countertops put in. In addition to remodeling the kitchen, we’re partially remodeling the master bathroom. Beyond that, its basically a matter of painting and cleaning.

I have a dozen rosebushes in the front flowerbeds. They represent my 12 children (lost and alive). I do not want to leave my rosebushes but I won’t be able to get them out into flowerpots until spring. So, we’re going to have to notify the rental agency that we’ll be back in the spring to plant bushes/flowers in those flowerbeds and the rosebushes will come out then.

We’ve contacted the new school system. 6 kids are going to school in the spring. I thought A and C would stay home for now, but they have decided they want to go to school. M’s new IEP cordinator has been notified so she can start making arrangements to get M into the best situation for his needs. And, we’re investigating the application process to the Fine Arts Academy that is a magnet school and starts in 6th grade. Its a perfect fit for E and it appears she has to apply in January for next fall, when she starts 6th grade. The timing on that one for E could not have been more perfect. I am hopeful like so much else, it was truly the Lord’s handiwork sustaining this family for the very best outcome and future.

I’m constantly amazed at how perfectly all of this is coming together. My college application is merely awaiting one of my transcripts but my financial aid is already reserved. II is admitted and has his financial aid already in place. We’re both set to start school on 1/6.

The next 18 months will be VERY tight but managable. After that, things start to get slower better until in a few years they are even better than they have been all these years…and the improvement will come with career paths that II and I very much enjoy and are excited to face.

Will he stay the course and stay part of this family? I really just don’t know. I think back on everything I thought I knew about this man, and none of it fits with what he did. So, I realize I cannot know what he will or won’t do in the future. But, as of January, regardless of what HE does, I can meet the needs of these children and this family whether I have to stand solo to do it or whether I have him as my partner in doing it.

I have to say the urge to vomit because the burden to care for this family was too overwhelming and impossible is nearly gone. Yes, we are cashing out his retirement to eliminate everything from our past except for this house. But, in doing so we truly get the chance to start again. MY future and that of my children is bright now. I cannot speak for him. I can speak for my hopes and my dreams for him. But, only he can step into the future he can share with me, just as only he can go down in a blaze of fire and destroy himself.

I feel keenly feel that the Lord has held me up, and continues to do exactly that on this journey. And, I realize that the lessons I am teaching my children from this point onward are important and valuable lessons for their own futures.