Living arrangements-- please set me straight

Old 03-15-2011, 09:53 AM
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Living arrangements-- please set me straight

I am pretty sure my thinking is not right and I need a reality check.

I left with D3 and D5 over a week ago and went to my moms. I wanted to be out of the home H and I share for a number of reasons.
- in the past he plays victim when I have asked him to leave and makes things much more dramatic as a result-- this way I felt more in control of me and felt I gave him less to blame me for

- he has dogs that I do not want to be responsible for

- everywhere I turn in our home I see a reminder of a fight, a broken promise, a lie etc... and it's hard to be there physically and emotionally right now.

That said, the past few days my D3 has been really having a hard time, particularly at night. She is saying over and over she wants to go to her home and I wonder, even though there will still be turmoil and we will not be living all together, whether it is best for the girls to be in their own home. D5 likes being at my moms and isn't eager to go home.

I feel very torn. I don't know if D3 is really missing the house itself or wants the idea of being there all together... I do know that she has been sobbing at night, wants me to hold her all night and its been heartbreaking.

If I take the girls back to our family home, in addition to what that means for me (the reasons I don't want to be there to begin with), it means that H, who has been staying there, will be homeless.

I am the one initiating this separation and I don't feel right dictating that he be homeless. I am worried about him having all kinds of resentment and having his physical comfort impact his desire to "recover". I know this is wrong to be worrying about him, but in all honesty, I know how he thinks and I know full well that the fewer things he can find to blame me for, the more he has to face reality. I was ok with him staying in our home bc of this in part.

The T I take D5 to said last week that wherever the girls are (our home or my moms) it should be stable (as in no back and forth). I don't want to go home and then find it's a nightmare and leave again.

Any thoughts? Maybe my reasons for not being at the house are all wrong and I ought to just take the girls home and be done with it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:34 AM
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I have two teenage DD's. They bleated and moaned for weeks when I moved out and took up to my Mom's. Thing is, they are better off away from the chaos as I am. We are not going back anytime soon; I just bought a house for us to live in indefinitely. They are now mad about that. Oh well. I am the adult and I get to decide what is right for them (and me). I do believe this too shall pass.

Give your little one lots of patience, soothing, and understanding but if this is what you need to protect the well-being of your family, it is your responsibility to do this. And your first point...I left for the very same reason. Who will he blame when I am not around?! Well...he still blames me. Oh well. No longer my issue to have to face everyday (said with a huge sigh of relief).

What we have today is peace and serenity in our home. We will have this in our new home, too. I need this, my daughters need this, and I believe this is the right thing to do, regardless of whatever anyone else thinks or feels about it. Kids bounce back quickly, too. Once they feel settled and the sense of uncertainty passes.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:46 AM
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One other important thought I forgot to mention...

When we have briefly separated in the past, H has been the one to leave. And he has said and done whatever it took during that time to "show" me he was committed to changing in order to come home. Then once home it all went away.

I kind of think that when he lives elsewhere (read less comfortable environment) he is motivated to do things differently largely bc he wants to get back in the door and have access to things like tv, food, etc...

With him in the house, anything he chooses to do is bc he wants to do it-- not bc he is trying to weasel his way back in the front door.

That was a part of my decision to be the one to leave....
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I don't feel right dictating that he be homeless. I am worried about him having all kinds of resentment and having his physical comfort impact his desire to "recover".
I know that road, I struggled with it for a ridiculously long time.

I'm not responsible for her recovery, the consequences of her actions, .............

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I know how he thinks
.....and how she thinks, which is really none of my business either.

Keep working it, it does get better if you do the work.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:06 AM
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I'm not responsible for her recovery, the consequences of her actions, .............
I definitely am with you on the not being responsible for his recovery...

What I am struggling with is being the one to dictate the consequences of his actions. I am the one who has decided to leave. I am the one who doesn't want to do the dance anymore. I really don't see that being akin to his having to face consequences say if he got a DUI.

I guess I feel guilty kicking him out when I am the one who wants to be separated. I feel like if it's what I want then I should leave. But my confusion is that I don't know what's best for the girls.

Does being in their "family home" really make a difference? I've never been through this before so I don't know what's typical or recommended.... My comfort and his are secondary to the girls....
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:13 AM
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Something else to think about is that you can't legally keep him out of his own house. We have some here that are living with their alcoholic simply because they cannot force him to leave. Even if he were to leave for a while, if he decided he wanted to return to the family home, you wouldn't be able to legally stop him.

It seems to me that it might be best to just stay where you are for the time being. If you decide to divorce, you can have orders drawn up as to who can live in the home prior to the divorce being finalized.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:18 AM
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You've only been away one week. If D5 is doing well at your mom's home that tells me it's an okay place to be. D3 may take a bit longer to come around. She will though.

You are the grown-up. You are a good mother. I base that opinion of you on your other posts. Give yourself more time. When you are upset, D3 is going to sense that. She'll react to your emotional state whether you are at your mom's or you own home.

I encourage you to do some fun activities with your girls especially D3. You don't have to spend a lot of money. You can color together, make cookies, make play dough, draw pictures, make collages out of magazines--anything that gets your minds off the down side of your situation. Maybe grandma would like to play too?

As my mother used to say, "Little pictures have big ears." In other words make sure D3 is well out of earshot when you discuss AH and other issues with your mom and your friends. This is important.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:55 AM
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My DD is 2.5 years old. She also does not do well with change, and she has seen a lot of it at her daycare in the past year, along with our moving in with my parents. It was "easier" when I moved in with my folks because she was little and wasn't verbal yet. She ramped up her nursing like crazy and clung to me a lot. I made sure to give her lots of reassurance and physical contact.

Though your DD is 3 and more verbal, I think the same rules apply. She is feeling the effect of this change and is fighting against it, because it makes her feel insecure. Reassure her a lot, remind her of your love for her, give her lots of closeness, and perhaps try to find some activities in your current house that couldn't be done in the old one. Perhaps start a crafts activity hour a bit before bed, or start making special trips to the library for story hour...or to a local pool...or...maybe make Friday nights "brownie making night". It will take time, but she will adapt.

Verbana is week is a very short period of time.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:34 PM
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There's been a disruption in the schedule. My little guy would be a bit wound up from it too. I hope this passes for you and D3.

Side note: If you had stayed in your home, and told him to get out and he left, it'd be easy for a lawyer to suggest that he actually gave up/abandoned the family. Remember, action speaks louder than words. So the courts don't particularly care that you told him to leave. Fact is, he left and he left without the kids. This bodes well for you on many fronts. Just something to think about.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:48 PM
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I've heard people talk about that "abandonment" thing in regards to divorce before. Just be aware that it is state-specific (there is no such thing in California). So make sure you consult your attorney, or at least familiarize yourself with the laws in your state before you take any action.

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Old 03-15-2011, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post

The T I take D5 to said last week that wherever the girls are (our home or my moms) it should be stable (as in no back and forth). I don't want to go home and then find it's a nightmare and leave again.
Then I would stay put.

I totally get where you are coming from. I waffled on getting my xah to move out, and then we lived together waiting for him to pull something together and it was a terrible experience. In the long run it did psychological damage to the kids and made things worse. I had to make him leave because I had no where else to go and no money to rent anything plus pay for the house that was in my name.

We divorced and sold the house. I could have bought him out but it would have left me to strapped for cash and like you - my dream house had turned into a lie and broken memory in every corner.

When we did move to a new house my 3yo's cried for a long time asking to go back home. They definitely wanted things to go back to the way it was before. They wanted no part of all the changes. It was heartbreaking but we just have to keep moving forward making the best decisions we can in the long run. We can make decisions based on the 'long run' and they only have today. That doesn't make it less heartbreaking but framing it like that gave me the conviction to do what I thought was best in the big picture.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:07 AM
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You are probably better moving out and staying out rather than going back, moving out again, going back again.....lather, rinse, repeat.....that will hurt everyone more than just doing it once and being done with it.

Is there any way you could go over and get some of your D3's bedroom furniture? Maybe her bed, dresser, a bunch of stuffed animals? Having things around them that they find familiar can be a big step in helping kids adjust to change.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:40 AM
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I agree with what the others have said. Kids want what they want when they want it (they're like little alcoholics that way). WE are the grownups and we don't simply give in because of tears and tantrums. Not that she isn't legitimately sad, it's just that acting out and crying and clinging are the only ways she knows to cope. You gotta be the mom, the one who makes her feel safe, even if she isn't happy with the changes.

I also agree that staying put is less stressful on everyone (of you, anyway--I'm not concerned about the alcoholic) than ping-ponging back and forth. If you file for divorce, you may be able to move back and he will have to move out AND will have to stay away from the house and leave you alone except for scheduled visits with the children, as the court may order.

You're in a safe place for now. You had good reasons for leaving, including his violence (which is MUCH worse for kids than having to move is). If I were you I'd stay put and get busy with looking for more permanent arrangements. Lots of people aren't lucky enough to have a safe and supported place to go to.

And I would STOP thinking about what impact your actions will have on his drinking. The only impact it will have is in his own mind. He can get sober anywhere if he wants to. If he doesn't want to it doesn't matter where he lives or where you are.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:38 PM
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you need to be the adult. you have an obligation to your children to make what you believe is the best decision for all your welfare - yourself included. you can be no good to them if you are a wreck. and make no mistake, the modeling going on in that household, the one she wishes to return to, is not healthy for their developing minds and personalities.

you know, even in the most agregious abusive homes, the children always want their parents, and whould choose to return home. this is classic.

she cannot make the best decision; she is three! how can she have the tools that are needed for something so big?
that said, of course she misses her bed, her daddy, the normalcy that is now absent. things change, and we adjust. it's part of your job to assist her with the adjusting.

you can do it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:09 PM
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Someone in my Al-Anon meeting last night made a very good point.

"We don't want to change, until it becomes more painful not to change."

As heartbreaking as it is that she wants to go home, perhaps this is a good sign, that she was sheltered from enough of the bad behaviors that she did even come close to hitting her bottom. You managed to keep her from the worst, in spite of everything, so that right now she can't recognize this stable environment as being "better than 'home'" yet.

Now you are staying at your mother's to keep her from the rest of the bad, and not just the worst. It is a change from the familiar, and the "bad" was not bad enough that she was desperate to change, so she still wants to go home. Over time, she will get used to things, and realize that this is better, but right now she doesn't want better, she just wants familiar.
It's the same reason we stick around too long.

You are doing the right thing.
She will agree with you, eventually.
Give her time. And love. And security.
She will provide the rest, when she is ready.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:34 AM
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So, I took the girls and went home and I think it was the right decision. I am not going to say I KNOW it was bc when I try to be certain of something before I do it, I never actually act...

Here's what tipped the scales.

My mother has BPD and OCD. When I was a kid, one of her "fear" tactics was to "clean" and "organize" by slamming things around until all hours of the night and into the wee hours of the morning. I would lay in bed hearing this, heart racing, hoping she would not come upstairs and drag me out of bed and start hitting me (which happened some of the time and not at other times).

For the first 5 or so days we were at my moms house she was "normal" and it was comfortable (surprisingly so). Over the past few days, as D3 started saying she wanted to go home and I didn't definitively say yes or no in response, my mother started in with the nighttime cleaning/organizing crap. For the past 3 nights I have lay in bed, heart racing, panicky and angry that I am living in the same environment I grew up in. Yesterday morning D5 got up and asked me why there was so much noise during the night and said it "waked her up" and was "scary".

That was what made me decide to leave.

I don't care if H is homeless or living in a shelter or never recovers and claims it is bc he was "forced" out of our home. I will NOT take my girls from one unhealthy environment and put them in another.

I have severe ptsd (according to my therapist from both living with my mother growing up and from living with a very high functioning, passive aggressive alcoholic/bpd H) and I don't want my daughters EVER again to lay awake at night hearing slamming of pots and pans and to be scared.

So, we went home last night and both D3 and D5 were fine with it. H was around this morning to pick the girls up and bring them to school and when he showed up they both started to act up but that's been the case whether we were at my mom's or our house...
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:57 AM
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It sounds to me by your last post you made the best decision you could with what you have to work with.

I am in a very similar situation. Our home environment got so bad that I reached my breaking point 2 weeks ago and forced AH to move out. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I don't feel guilty for making that decision. My AH left and truly feels that I left him with nothing, which I guess is the truth. He has no job, has lost his wife, has lost his children, and has no local family or close friends to turn to. You would think that would have been a bottom for him, but nope he did just what I expected. His parents paid for a hotel for one week and he somehow got church to pay for a 2nd week then he locked himself in and just drank his sorrows away. He got very sick and ultimately had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital. He is now at a short-term detox facility. I hate that it has come to this and it is painful to still be in our home with all the bad memories. However, I am the only one capable of paying the bills and I am trying my hardest to at least providing "some" stability to my children.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:47 PM
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Wanttobehealthy, I agree with CoffeeLover that it sounds like you've made the best decision with what you have to work with.

No need to feel any guilt or feel that you're imposing consequences on AH. The consequences to his actions are his. From your latest post, it sounds like you've set that one down. (Just remember to leave it and not pick it back up. )

Parenting while dealing with PTSD is hard. You're doing GREAT! Wishing you peace and continued strength!
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:59 PM
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I'm sorry, want, that you have two less-than-ideal situations from which to choose.

I completely understand. It's tragic when we don't have a safe haven to go to and when our parents can't nurture us the way we want/need/deserve.
That's when we simply have to create our own.

Best to you, in doing that!
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:23 PM
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It's better to let her adjust now.

You don't want to look back 5 or 10 yrs and know that you did the wrong thing.

My reasoning is simple. It didn't work last time. It will not work this time.

You must stay strong. It takes time to adjust but you are doing what is best for your daughters even if they don't realize it now.
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