(Above: Me and my four handsome,brave boys who participated in Shave for the Brave 2015. I’m very proud to say that all four have decided to shave again this year)
I am writing for therapeutic purposes. This is not intended to offend or speak harshly about anyone. I wish I hadn’t experienced what I had and hope I can reach out to others that may have or are currently experiencing similar experiences.
I recently read a book to my four year old and as I read this book all I could think was how inspiring it was and how it was meant for all ages, genders and situations. I have learned that life happens, not necessarily the way we want, but our attitude is what determines a better outcome. Here is a video of that book, may it help you rise above the torment you may be in:
I felt like cancer had taken me, maybe not physically, but emotionally I was someone different, someone I didn’t know. I was trapped in an ugly body and I didn’t know who I was or how to feel. Was I ever going to be normal again? Am I ever going to accept this hideous, mutated body again? Am I ever going to be myself again? I had so many questions and nobody to turn to. I was very uncomfortable in my body. How could anyone love me, when I couldn’t even stand to be in my own skin. To look in a mirror at myself took a great deal of courage, which would lead me to self pity and hatred. I remember waking up in the middle of the night crying, I had no idea why, but I hated myself and I couldn’t control the crying. My husband would ask why I was crying and I didn’t know why, I couldn’t explain it.
I felt like I was living a double life, when I walked outside my house I felt like I had to have a different persona, I had to put on a brave face and act strong. I couldn’t let anyone see the wreck I really was. The minute I walked into my house I was that broken, shameful, unwanted person. I could never understand why people loved me, what’s to love in this broken person? There were so many people who wanted to help, but I still felt alone. I felt nobody could possibly understand what I was going through.
I continued to live life as if everything was ok. I took care of the kids while my husband worked away. I would suffer through pointless arguments with him while every other day I was at some stadium watching my kids play hockey. If I ever needed help or to escape, someone would be there when they could, but that was rare. When he was around I didn’t feel needed and I didn’t feel like the luckiest person to be alive.
Our 12th year wedding anniversary was approaching, which indicated my one year anniversary to the diagnosis to my cancer. I wanted to celebrate our anniversary, which is something we never did. We agreed we would get a sitter and spend the night out. I wish I had known that this would be the last time I would celebrate with my husband. We had a romantic night and all felt right with the world. Maybe this would be the turnaround I needed to try and find myself?
It was the day before he was going back to work and there was a snow storm. That day we went outside to clear the snow. Once it was done I asked if he could move the kids skidoo so it wasn’t buried in the snow. He did, but decided to make a path around the house. This would prove to be a big mistake. He ended up getting stuck four or five times. I had to walk through snow up to my waist to push him out. I was exhausted and all he kept saying was “you are useless” or “I’m exhausted and your complaining when you aren’t doing anything”. This was nothing uncommon, over the years I was use to him calling me names. It seemed whenever he was frustrated I was always the one he would let his frustrations out on. I asked if he could help me clear the ice skating rink (yes, just another thing I did as the mother of my four boys). Apparently, after using the snowblower for many years, I was stupid and didn’t know how to use it. Before heading to work, he gave me a hug and kiss and told me he loved me, as he did almost every single day since we were together (18 years).
It was April 2, 2015, (one year, one day after I was diagnosed with cancer) I received a text stating that he knew I was not stupid and he has been seeing someone and he was leaving me. I begged him not to leave, if not for me, then think of the kids. I begged him not to ruin their lives, it wasn’t fair, they didn’t ask for this and they don’t deserve it. I asked him to go to counselling, to save our marriage and to try for the kids, but he said no. He told me he was leaving for someone just like me. I had so many questions running through my head: If your leaving me for someone just like me, why are you leaving? Are you leaving because she didn’t have cancer? Are you leaving because she had two breasts? Are you leaving because she had long hair? If she was just like me, why would you leave? Just when life was suppose to be getting better, it was too much to bear. It was even proposed that we keep it a secret and he would continue to come home on his days off and act like everything was normal but it was over between us and he was going to be with this new girl.
Shortly after, I found out who she was and told him I was going to tell her husband. That night at 12:30, he literally climbed the patio and entered through the broken patio door and tried to force me to delete info off my phone and iPad. I felt as though I was going through an out of body experience. I was told that if his girlfriend lost her children he would make sure I never see my kids again. As he started to bang on the table to try and force me to delete texts and info, I jumped from the table to grab the phone to call 911. He ran after me, pinned me down and took the phone. He continued to chase me around the house. My youngest (who was three at the time) started crying and he blocked the hallway, so I couldn’t get to him. I ran around the kitchen, at which time he put me in the headlock. I started yelling out to my seven year old to call 911, he was scared and didn’t know what to do. I finally made it in the room where my seven year old was, I told him everything would be alright but we needed to get to a phone to call 911. He ended up coming into the room, pushing us down on the bed. I started banging on the floor to get the twins (who were ten at the time) to call 911. They were scared and hid underneath their bedsheets. He started yelling to get them to come upstairs, I kept screaming “don’t come up the stairs, please don’t come up!” They didn’t listen, they came up. I told them to stay away and to not come into the room, he pushed both of them in the room, along with my three year old. He came into the room, locked the door and stood in front of it so nobody could get out. He kept telling the boys we needed to have a family discussion. The boys kept asking if we could talk about it tomorrow instead, but he wouldn’t listen. I remember one of the kids saying, “who has a family discussion this late at night?” I tried to get the iPad to text my mother, but he took it. I then tried to open the window, screaming for help, he would push me away with my youngest in my arms. When he did, I would try to open the door. We would keep going back and forth, finally I got the window open and yelled for help, but nobody heard. In the end I fell to the floor weeping to please let us out. Finally, he let us out and I called 911. They set up road blocks but they didn’t catch him. My neighbours came to help while the police took a statement from me. I had to remove my clothing so the female officer could search for bruises. I had become numb to people touching and observing my body. I felt as though my body was some kind of medical experiment and I was no longer a sensual, sexual being. I had bruises all over my arms, but I refused to be photographed and refused to charge him. How could I possibly charge the father of my four boys? Later, I would realize this was just one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. The next few weeks were hard as CYFS were called to investigate the safety of my children……..