Just a vent, nothing earth shattering.
My wife, who contentious conversion two years ago rocked our marriage to its core, went away this weekend to have a “sleep–over with the nuns,” according to our son with Down syndrome. She actually went to a local convent for a women’s retreat.
This was planned months ago, with my full blessing. I had no problems with her leaving me for two days so she could get a little re-charge and do some serious praying with the nuns. She was going with her friend who also has a son with Down Syndrome, so we arranged for her son to sleep over with us so our boys could play together. Again, that was all good as far as I was concerned.
In addition to the two 13 year old boys, I also had 16 and 15 yr sons at home with me along with our three babies (3, 22 months and 23 months). If was a full-house, but nothing that phased me.
Friday night was a bit of a long one. The 13 year old guest had nightmares and stayed up most of the night trashing out a bedroom with my son. They unpacked all his clothes and hid them. We cleaned up as best as possible, but it was not pretty.
Saturday was a full day. In addition to my three little ones and our guest, I also had a “day pass” with my 15 yr old niece who is in a recovery home for girls hooked on drugs. She was a heroin junkie, sexually abused by her father (my brother). Her mother abandoned her and I am her only support. If I don’t take her out, she is stuck. I did not want to have the home pass that weekend, but it is only authorized on 2nd and 4th weekends, so she would have had a month without a pass. She is doing so well, a year sober, that I did not want to punish her. We came home and she baked cookies with the 3yr old.
So, Saturday, everytime I went out, I took one or more little ones with me, did my errands, got my niece, etc. I was tired by the afternoon, but things were going well. Well, except for the mess that the 13 yr old boys with DS were making. I was out of hands and could not do anything about it.
At 3:00 I had to get the boys ready to go to family mass with the mothers. Our guest had hidden all his clothes – a means of escaping mass, he’s mentally retarded, not stupid. We searched and found clean clothes, just not “church clothes”. He also hid his glasses and decided five minutes before we had to leave that he was starving to death.
I rushed over and got them there in time, got my niece back and headed home. I had made a lovely dinner (Pineapple Sage-butter pork roast with fresh pineapple and rosemary-garlic oven potatoes - all fresh herbs from my garden). All my boys had to do was turn the over on at a set-point.
When I got home it was nearly 7:00, my wife was home and there was frantic activity. People were hauling-%. Not a good sign. There was fear and frustration evident on their faces. I came in and found my dinner had not been started; it would now be two hours before we could eat. My wife was sweeping and cleaning. I asked about her retreat and she gave me curt, one word answers. I left her alone for a while and started dinner. Later, I tried again to ask about her experience only to get a polite brush-off. We cleaned (and cleaned) and eventually I asked her if it was something she’d do again. She looked at me, anger and sadness all over her face and said, “Maybe in twenty years when we don’t have children. It feels like I’m being punished.”
Man that hit me in the gut. I had worked my #$% off trying to do everything that I needed to do – none of it for me. I had no weekend. I had done every stinkin’ dish that afternoon after I had prepared dinner. I had made sure the older boys got the worst of the mess cleaned up. It had only been 36 hours, for goodness sakes. How bad could things have been? I dealt with three babies, two teenagers with DS (one of whom would not listen to a single thing I said and moved furniture around my house all weekend – his little OCD thing).
Ladies, let me tell you, that is one easy way to crush the life out of your husband. My sons, who did help out with the smaller kids, were crushed as well. We had been tried, convicted and sentenced for not being good enough for my wife.
Color me worthless. It’s how I feel.