I didn’t used to understand people who stayed in bad relationships until I found myself stuck. People will always encourage you to “get out NOW!!” “Pack your shit and leave!” without considering what any of that would mean for a person in a situation where the abuse isn’t physical or consistent.
First, if I had no kid, I’d be long gone. I’m not into needlessly punishing myself, believe it or not. But the fact is, once you’ve got a kid—especially one with special needs—you can’t just pack a bag and your child and hit the road because your husband is rude and drinks every night. Where would we go? How would I support/feed/house my child? Who would watch him when I’m at work? I literally have no rl friends anymore.
Oh, I should go live in a shelter? Take up valuable space in a woman’s shelter and surround my confused autistic preschooler with God knows what kind of people who have escaped beatings and rape…because I’m tired of my husband’s shitty attitude and words? Not all victims are good people. Life isn’t black and white like that. I’m a victim of verbal and emotional abuse and I’m not always a good person either—but I try. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.
Some fool suggested I get a restraining order against my husband because of his verbal abuse. 😑 Thanks for the sentiments, but it doesn’t work like that. No judge is going to separate a man from his child and home just because he said mean things to mommy.
Here’s what I’d expect if I took the advice of those armchair quarterbacks and ran away with my son to Timbuktu. I’d literally be kidnapping my son from his father, which doesn’t look good in divorce court. I’d have to quit my job because the closest person in my family lives in a one bedroom apartment almost 4 hours away—No, I’m not going to uproot my kid and move him into a roach motel in the ghetto so I can keep my job. And HELL NO, I’m not going ANYWHERE without him.
Bet it sounds like I’m making excuses, right? Justifying my own inaction.
This isn’t an excuse. It’s a sacrifice. It’s not inaction. It’s a carefully laid plan that will take roughly 3 years to play out before I can get out. My son will be 8 and in school. I’ll have the credentials to advance to a position that actually pays a living wage.
If I can just get there without losing my damn mind, I’ll count myself very blessed.
P.S. My son has COVID and my husband still chose to get drunk and smoke weed. While I struggled to comfort our little boy, he sat cheerfully babbling about a stupid movie playing on TV. So, no. I’m not in physical danger and I can’t get a restraining order just because I married a self absorbed shithead. I’m just slowly and silently dying on the inside while I wait for grad school to be over before it’s even started.