It Wasn't Supposed to Be This Way

It wasn't supposed to be this way. I never dreamt when I said "I do" that this would be the life I'd live.  He knew all the right words. He was able to get me to share my deepest desires, fears and hopes and dreams. And then he used that information and manipulated me like a little puppet to do whatever he wanted. Now here I am: alone, broke, scared, stressed and trying my best to grow four little people into productive, good people in the meantime.

As I prepare to wish my four little people a very happy fifth birthday, my heart is bursting with emotions. I am so proud to say that we've made it this far. I'm proud of who they're becoming and how smart they are. But mostly, I'm proud that they are kind people and they care about others. Still, there's a part of me that grieves the life that I had planned and hoped for for both them and me.

Shortly into my quadruplet pregnancy, my husband and their father started disappearing. When I say disappearing, I really do mean disappearing. We would come home from dinner (I was mega pregnant and craved chips and salsa like nobody's business), I would go in the bathroom to brush my teeth for bed and when I'd turn around, he would be gone and would stay gone for a day or two. This began a pattern that lasted throughout our relationship. Inside, I was scared to death. I was alone and very, very pregnant. I had no idea where he was. Was he in jail? The hospital? Dead?  On the outside, I had to remain calm. I had to be strong not only for my four babies and me, but now I had to carry his load too. What was I going to do?

As time went on, the adventure became wilder and wilder. We moved to be near my parents because I knew I was going to need help and in my heart I knew that I could not rely on him. Being near my family proved that it wouldn't stop him as he continued the disappearing game. I remember begging and pleading with him not to run off on more than one occasion. At one point, I must have tried to call someone to get him to stop because he smashed my phone and pushed me down in the field between our house and my parent's. My Mom found me sitting on her porch swing, covered in mud,  crying my eyes out that night.

On January 20, 2014, I was hospitalized when Baby A's water broke. He couldn't wait to leave me alone in the hospital that night. I spent five days in the hospital alone, trying to carry quadruplets as far as I possibly could and he didn't call or check on me one time. In fact, with the exception of one visit from some friends, I spent that time alone, working on reporting for my job, watching Netflix and eating the delicious food at Texas Children's Women's Pavilion.  On the day the kids were born, January 25, 2014, he'd returned to the hospital to see me. He spent the day sleeping on the sofa bed and I spent the day fuming with anger. That afternoon, I unexpectedly went into labor and developed preeclampsia at the same time. Fortunately, four premature but healthy babies were born and we spent 52 days in the NICU feeding and growing.

When we came home, he spent their first Easter on the planet on one of his disappearing acts. Gone for a week, I finally filed a missing person's report and a local sheriff, who happened to be a classmate of mine was able to locate him. The drama continued for years.

I tried to leave on multiple occasions. I've packed my things more times than most people can count. I'd leave. It would obviously be a struggle because raising four kids alone is basically given to be a struggle. He'd start calling and attacking me and telling me how I was dumb for leaving and that I'd struggle for the rest of my life, make threats against me, and then make promises that he'd clean up his life and outline outlandish plans to repair our relationship that we both probably knew weren't true in our hearts.

When the kids turned three, I really started to see that I was in a situation I needed to leave for good. I'd just lost my Mom to cancer and my Dad was dealing with grief. I'd kicked Adam out of the house more than once and each time I did, he'd only gone and gotten himself into trouble. I begged and pleaded with every local organization for help with childcare to help me flee the situation. I went as far as involving my state representative's office and even called my congressman to no avail. There was no help for someone in my situation.

Finally, Adam went to state jail for a year. The help still wasn't there and as a result, unable to pay the rent because I couldn't work due to childcare, I faced an eviction from the home my kids knew. I made a decision to move to New Mexico because there weren't really a lot of other options available. It semi worked but raising four small kids alone is no easy task. There's no off days, ever, even when you have raging strep throat or the flu. I couldn't keep up with working full-time, raising kids, the house work, our car was basically a swamp mobile and the bills mounted up faster than one income could possible keep up with. Desperate and feeling all alone, I knew I was fighting a losing battle but tried to keep a brave face on for the sake of my kids.

And here we are. I've moved back home to Texas. Currently, the kids and I are living with my Dad while I try to work on painting, insulating and sealing cracks on, and putting some floors in my Uncle's old farmhouse. The kids attend public prek and I'm searching for employment locally but knowing that childcare poses an issue this summer, I'm applying heavily to remote recruiter positions that would allow me a bit more flexibility to work during hours that work better for me. Their dad was released from state jail on November 22, 2017. On January 20, 2018, he was arrested again.

I know at this point, my children will probably never know their Dad. It breaks my heart for them. As they prepare to turn five years old, I reflect that they've only had two parents present for their first and their second birthdays. I'm sad because I know that I'm all they have and I'm fearful that I am not enough. I would do absolutely anything for them. I know that I've made some not so great decisions during this adventure and if I could, I'd go back and change them but none of them change the fact that I love those four little people more than anything. Life is all about the unexpected twists and turns. I wish that I knew then what I know now, however, if I had, there's a chance those four little people wouldn't be here today, and there's no way on Earth I could ever live my life without them in it so for that fact alone, I am grateful for this ride!

To Be Continued...


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