My brain reeled to understand why he wouldn’t choose us. As I laid in the hospital with my little 19-month-old son all I wanted to do was cry. Things had happened so suddenly that night. We had laid down for a little nap, and before long I could hear the distressed breathing beside me. My little boy was gasping for each breath of air. I hurried as quickly as I could to grab necessary items, the diaper bag, my purse, then I went as quickly as I could to the clinic. His oxygen levels were so low, they immediately gave him a breathing treatment before sending us to the hospital. Where we were admitted right away.
What did I expect? What did I deserve?
I’m not sure what I expected when things finally slowed down enough and I called my husband. I knew that he had little care or concern for me, but I thought it would be different for our two-year-old. He was two hours away at a friends house when I called. They were sitting in a hot tub and irritation poured from his voice. I told him that our little boy was gasping for air and we were in the hospital.
Doubts for doing the right thing
Irritation poured through the phone as he told me I was overreacting. He told me that our son was fine. No matter how much I tried to explain that our son had been gasping for air, he wouldn’t listen. He complained about the doctor bill, and me making a big deal out of nothing. I thought that maybe I wasn’t explaining what had happened well enough. I was shocked, I had called thinking that I would get support and that he would come home immediately. I thought that he would sit with me in the hospital and we would console each other and our little boy. I was so upset and afraid. I got off the phone feeling like I had been slimed. I was doubting myself and my choice. I felt horrible.
I felt like I was a bad mom.
I felt like I was being a bad steward of our money.
I felt maybe I had overreacted.
I felt stupid and ridiculous.
All I knew was that when I woke up from my nap my little boy couldn’t breathe. I had done the best that I knew how. I was so confused.
Acting tough, feeling small
I was laying next to my little boy in the hospital bed and I just wanted to cry. I acted tough as the nurses came in and out of the room to check my sons oxygen levels and give him additional breathing treatments. I’m sure they could tell I was upset, but linked the emotions to my sick baby rather than being shamed and slimed by my husband. He acted like our son being in the hospital was no big deal.
The phone conversation repeated itself over and over again in my mind like a broken record.
Had I overreacted?
How were we going to pay?
It didn’t stop there…..
Why didn’t he care?
What about our little boy, didn’t he love him?
Why didn’t he choose us?
He made it clear that he was not coming back.
I wanted to be loved and cherished and valued, but even more than that, I wanted those things for my son. I felt like I was so imperfect and bad and unlovable that I probably didn’t deserve what I desperately wanted, but I knew that my little boy deserved different. I thought that maybe he was punishing my son because of me.
Suppose to love us
I’m thankful for time and for increased understanding. Now I know that he was supposed to love us enough to put us first. I have no idea what was happening for my husband or why he didn’t come home. Events like this continued to happen for years after this occurrence. Over and over again he didn’t choose to show up during times when we really needed him. He was supposed to love us unconditionally, either he chose not to or was incapable of doing so. It took years, but now I understand that….
Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable. ~Brene Brown
It was not that I needed to be better, or smarter, or different. My husband was hurting himself and incapable of offering what I needed. At the end of our marriage, he told me that he had never loved me and he was so happy to be free of me. His actions during our marriage showed that to be true. I believe different, I think that he loved me as much as he was capable.
His part/ My part
This is where it gets really painful for me. His job was to love me despite my faults and imperfections. I have come to realize that I was asking him to do something that I myself was incapable of doing. My job was the same. I needed to love me despite my faults and imperfections.
I anxiously waited for someone to come along and fill that void. I believed that someone had to give it to me in order for it to be true.
I still have moments when I look to the world and my new husband to fill those empty places. We all want approval from those we love. I have come to understand a deeper principal, I think all of these things are a gift that God has already given us, it is our job to recognize and accept it. You deserve to be loved, cherished, and valued.
This is the tricky, beautiful, and graceful part….
You already are!
You always have been!
You don’t have to wait around for anyone to give that to you! Accept what is arlready there.
Then when someone else comes along and they offer us this gift also….well, that is just the cherry on top.
My little boy at 19-months.