It’s been 2 months since I got a protective order against my ex-wife who was diagnosed as bipolar schizo-affective, and I have done a lot of reflecting on what life is like now vs what life was like before.
The first month was the most difficult. Finding child care for my 2 children, adjusting to working as well as doing all of the chores. Constantly remembering the better times I had with my ex-wife, luckily I have several videos of the not so great times to fall back on and remind me of why I got the protective order in the first place. Also had a lot of family help during this time which helped alot.
Since then things have gotten much better. I no longer listen to the constant emotional abuse thrown at my kids and myself, and I will tell you that really messes with your head. You try doing the right thing for the mentally ill person only to hear how terrible of a person you are, and not just cussing you out, but really deep and hurtful things. Hearing about how you are sabotaging them, that you are the one that needs help and not them, accusations of cheating, etc… And the looks that I would get were chilling, just pure anger and hatred. All of that is gone now, and I never realized how much it was affecting me until recently.
The kids are doing fantastic, I took them to therapy a few times, but the therapist said they are doing great and don’t need to have prolonged sessions with the therapist, just every now and then when something major happens we go back (for example they are going to see him again since they recently started school again). I think this was the biggest eye opener to me, they no longer have someone that they are constantly afraid of, who would tell my daughter that she isn’t cute or smart, and would rant to my son about imaginary slights against her. Now when I tuck my kids in bed, I tell them I love them and they respond that I’m the best daddy in the world. They don’t seem to miss their mother, my son has only asked about her once, and it was more of an off-hand question.
My ex-wife has not asked about the kids at all, even though she can contact them. She didn’t bother contacting my daughter to wish her happy birthday, she didn’t contact the kids to see how school is going, nothing. The only time I heard from her family is when they request me to send them documents, like car registration, insurance info, hospital records, etc… This from a family that denied her illness the entire time and never once offered to help me out when I was a caregiver. I feel like telling them not to contact me anymore and that any records they need they can get themselves, I have too much on my plate right now.
I understand that her behavior was due to her illness, but she had no interest in getting help, I tried to get her to go so many times. She enjoyed the freedom that she had here, me at work, kids at school, I would give her money for groceries and she would spend it all on booze. It was an unfortunate situation, and the only thing that was guarenteed was more court dates for her, or more stays at the hospital, and that was not something I could continue to deal with.
So, the last time she was hospitalized I got a protective order against her, and the last 2 months the kids and I have made great progress on our road to healing. Sometimes you need to let go so that you can move forward, unfortunately its often difficult to realize that when you are in the middle of it, and its not until you get away from the situation that you can see that clearly.