Friday, December 31, 2004

Some Background

There’s a lot of background that I have to cover. I guess the first thing is that my wife and I have been to counseling, but it did not go well. My wife has a family history of schizophrenia, and I am not the only person who had noticed a decline in her mental health over the last couple of years. Apparently, schizophrenia can be triggered by a severe stress-event, followed by a steady decline. Our first counselor started noticing and concentrating more on her. She had threatened suicide several times, even once stating that she was planning to put a gun to her head and pull the trigger. She was very uncomfortable with the counselor questioning her more and more and soon decided she wanted to find a new counselor. The next counselor lasted one session. He immediately started questioning some of her statements and afterward she said she would never return to him. So we started with yet another counselor. This one talked to each of us alone at the start, and I told her of my concerns. Not long before we had this appointment I had been approached by some of my wife’s family who were concerned about her behavior.

After a few appointments this came out (though who specifically did not), and she immediately called several and figured out who it was. When she confronted the person they claimed they did not do it. I suppose I cannot blame them, but it made my wife even more sure that I was plotting against her. This was the same time she was pregnant, and her behavior became even more erratic. She started getting physically violent, hitting me for no reason sometimes. One such event was witnessed by a relative. I started to load some dishes into the dishwasher. She became enraged because she felt I was loading them incorrectly. She started slapping me across the face. After each slap I told her to stop, but she continued. She slapped me five times, all the time unaware that the entire time a relative was across the room witnessing the entire incident. These violent episodes were discussed in counseling. My wife claimed that I was “forcing” her to hit me. Soon she fired this counselor and refused to go to another.

More on the divorce soon.

A Divorce Started with a Cruel and Unforgivable Act

I'm going through an ugly divorce. It could be uglier, but not by much. My wife decided that she wanted a divorce, but was afraid of losing custody. So she launched a preemptive strike. She got involved with a women's group that aids women in divorces and they walked her through the process of filing a false claim of abuse. I’ve done some research and discovered that this type of false claim is considered a “Silver Bullet” by such groups. One afternoon a man came to my door and I was given 5 minutes (literally) to gather what I could and get out. Want an idea of what that's like? Get up now and gather whatever you can and walk out your front door. As I hear, I was lucky to get five minutes.

About a half hour after that I discovered that she had cleaned out the checking and savings accounts. So, with the possessions I could gather in 5 minutes and no money I started my current life. I was called by the police the next morning. The officer wanted me to come down to talk to him. He said he just wanted to hear my side of the story, and I asked him what story, since I had no idea what was going on. He said he was mainly concerned about "the time you had your hands around your wife's throat". I was stunned into silence. A couple of things went through my head. This must be some kind of elaborate joke. They must have made a mistake and called the wrong person. What the hell was going on? I mumbled something about needing to talk to an attorney and managed to get off the phone.

There’s much more to come, so stay tuned…

Thursday, December 30, 2004

And So It Begins...

Wow, my first blog post. I have no idea if people will be interested in what I have to write, but I'll give it a try and see what happens. I guess an introduction is in order. I'm a man in his mid-thirties who is going through enormous life changes. I've led a pretty interesting life so far, and I'm usually a pretty happy person. Wow, this is already boring. Let's do it differently. I grew up in two different places. I started out in a middle-class neighborhood in the Northeast, and at the end of 5th grade moved to a trailer park in the Southeast where racism, violence and poverty all combined into a living hell for most of its residents.

That place changed me quite a bit. While it was a violent place, it could have been a lot worse. I was not in constant fear for my life, and drugs were present, but did not control life there. The worst I ever had to put up with were beatings by kids who were bigger than me. I was lucky to get out of there - I look at what happened to some of the people I knew there and feel blessed. A girl who was a friend of mine became a prostitute and died of AIDS years ago. A guy I used to hang out with has been in and out of prison. I keep track of him (sort of) by doing inmate searches on the Florida Department of Corrections site. A guy who was a couple of years older than I is serving life in prison. Get the picture?

So what am I like? I'm an optimist first and foremost. I decided years ago that I was going to enjoy life and not dwell on things I had no control over. Best decision I ever made. I was in the military for several years and most people can tell - I'm told it's the way I carry myself. I love children, have a son, and want at least 10 more (children, that is, not sons). My son is 2 years old, smiles as much as I do, and is cuter than I ever was.

I guess that's good for a start.