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Old 05-08-2013, 12:26 AM
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Barbara! Barbara! is offline
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Default Life update, finally. (Advice and insight welcome.)

Is it bad that the simple arithmetic question I was asked to be able to post this thread stumped me for a minute? Yikes. My brain must be having issues, so forgive me is this is jumbled. Also forgive me double time if this is long. I know it will be. For those of you who bare through it, bless you. Lmao.


Most of you know what happened to/with me at the end of last year. For those who don't, I guess the quick summary could be: my boyfriend of three years and I got pregnant. A couple weeks after we knew he decided to announce that he was no longer in love with me. A couple weeks after that he committed felonies which got us both evicted from the apartment we were in and he ran from the cops for a few weeks, leaving me alone in a house with no money while still stringing me on a "we will fix it" train. I found out on New Years Eve that he had been cheating on me with a younger girl for around 3-4 months and that not only had he lied to me, but his family as well for they had allowed the two to have their little meet ups at their house (when Josh was, to me, "at work")..all while telling this girl that Josh and I were not together. Three days into 2013, I was back home with my parents in Leesville, Louisiana. Severely distraught.

Now this is the part, I think, where I have to catch you guys up.

As soon as I got into Leesville, I guess you could say I was a little brain dead. I was throwing myself into things without really thinking... just sort of making the motions of being "okay" when I wasn't. I signed up for school and almost immediately started classes. I started job hunting. (Leesville is a cesspool though, jobs aren't easy to come by.) Every week and a half or so, though, I'd just break down a little. I'd cry myself to sleep and blow up Josh's phone begging him to let us try again for our son... it was pathetic. Every time though, I'd feel a little stronger afterwards. I'd feel ashamed of myself for allowing myself to be so weak and I'd argue with myself and each time a little more sense would return to me. I'd remember the physical and emotional and mental abuse I had been subjected to... I remembered the bad times because God, were there bad times for the entire duration of our relationship. I began reaching out to friends and actually allowing them to help me. One female friend in particular really helped... we even arranged a set up where every time I would have the urge to call or text Josh, I would call or text her instead. It really worked and there were several day long stretches where I didn't talk to Josh at all. I started talking to a really great man who we will call D, and he did the simplest things to make me feel worthwhile again and he encouraged me and made me truly BELIEVE myself that I could do all of this and make it out just fine. He'd been my friend for a while, but I found myself looking at him as a best friend and wanting to speak to him daily.

Emotionally, I was getting better and slowly improving. Even though I still had to see Josh for doctors appointments, I was managing to see what he really was instead of what I had seen through rose colored glasses. (Did I use that phrase correctly? Lol.) I was less forgiving of the lies he was still feeding me, and rarely let him get a rise out of me.

School, however, was taking a kind of toll on me. Since Leesville is so small, there is only one school. A very small school with limited classes. Since I didn't do so great in high school, the only way I could attend their school was through a program that required me to do 18 credit hours. This was making it VERY hard to find a job that would allow me enough hours to even support myself in my parents home, much less allow enough time for me to also concentrate on my school work. I began to panic because I needed to move out of my parents house and get my own place, but didn't know how that was possible with school. (Family problems.. if you'd like to know, just ask.) I was also worried because, well... babies cost money, and I wasn't making enough. So I made the decision, and it was a very hard one, to drop out of school for now in pursuit of two jobs, if possible. I felt like a failure and I still wonder now about it, but I don't regret it. Afterwards, I worked full time for a cleaning company in the mornings and I delivered pizzas at night. All of my paychecks went towards myself and towards getting things for Ryland.

I suppose I should tell you guys a little more about "D". I met him online back in August. He is a public figure in the Freethinkers/Atheist community and I found him that way. We immediately hit it off and were good friends for a while, and grew even closer after all of the stuff with Josh. However, he lived/lives 5 hours away from Leesville, in Dallas, Texas. Towards the end of February, though, he started bouncing around the idea of "what if" he came to see me after Ryland was born? We liked each other a lot, but with all that was going on, we were moving as slowly as possible and trying to be as mature about the idea of a relationship as we could be. I had other things to concentrate on besides a boyfriend and he knew and respected that. We made plans for him to come and visit me after Ryland was here, but started talking daily on the phone for 5+ hours each day. In mid-March, he finally broke down and told me that he felt like he was falling in love with me, and wanted to come and see me for my birthday on the 23rd. This made me ridiculously happy, as the feelings were VERY mutual, so he came and stayed in a hotel in Leesville for a few days and took me out to eat and it was honestly the happiest I have been in a while. He was everything I had dreamed he would be and even with all of the other complications in my life, he felt like a utopia. I know how to recognize a honeymoon phase, though, so I was still very cautious. I wasn't going to be caught dead jumping into a rebound or into another long term relationship that could turn sour. I will never let anyone control me again or allow my identity to rest on the shoulders of another person. He wasn't asking for or expecting any of these things, though, which only made me swoon more. He was encouraging in everything, he was always honest with me even if it was something that could hurt my feelings, and always wanted the best for me in every way possible, regardless of how that effected us or a future relationship between the two of us. He gave/gives me the space I need whenever I need it without question or resentment. He's very communicative... he is just overall, a really great and intelligent man that I absolutely adore. We made a relationship between the two of us official not long after my birthday and made plans for me to come and see him again on May 14th in Dallas.

At this point, Josh was becoming... a little frenzied. He was no longer attending doctors appointments (he skipped out on the anatomy scan to spend the day with his girlfriend, and the one before that was the last one he came to), but still harassed me daily for "updates" on my pregnancy. These calls/texts were usually ignored until he would begin to call my family or D (who he constantly tells me I am not "allowed" to be with). I have always kept him updated on the health of my pregnancy, and the dates of the appointments, as my lawyer advised me that doing this would be beneficial to me so that he could not claim later in court that I kept him out of the loop. Josh would also occasionally pull out his forked tongue and manipulate me into thinking we could have friendly conversation about my life and his.. so I would tell him a few details about my life that I now regret ever telling him. He also began to harass me about a laptop I had that belonged to the both of us, claiming he wanted it so he could sell it because he was "hard on money". He was also down my back about my Canon T3i, which he purchased for me as a gift on credit and is making monthly payments on. He either wants me to take over the monthly payments or return the camera. Now... with all of this, I was at a moral dilemma for a bit. I considered returning the laptop to him... but then again, during the split, he was greedy and gave me very little of anything we accumulated together, and only really gave me the things I came into the relationship with besides dishes and a couple pieces of furniture that I bought. He kept all of the electronics (besides the laptop) that included TVs, game consoles, a large collection of DVDs, two GPSs, a different laptop.. he also kept misc. items like furniture and our 120 gallon fish tank. He has sold ALL OF IT. Even things that were mine. He has pawned or sold them under the guise that he was and is "hard on money". He doesn't remember this often enough to strictly hide it, but I can still see his bank account. He has a full time job making about $1200 a month. He spends most of his money on restaurants with Paige, his girlfriend. He has bought her a few diamond necklaces which he makes monthly payments on. He lives with his parents under condition of his bond, and has no house bills. He has bought a new car, even though he has a working truck and two working motorcycles, and still has the gall to harass me about money. He has contributed a total of THIRTY DOLLARS towards things for Ryland. So while this may be wrong, as far as the laptop and camera go... he can kiss my ass. Plain and simple. I have no obligation to him for either one of these things.
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." -D.H. Lawrence

"Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money." –Native American proverb
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:27 AM
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Barbara! Barbara! is offline
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Okay, so, we are now at the beginning of May. I am working in the morning for a cleaning service, and at night for pizza delivery. All of my money is going towards myself and things for Ryland. I have money set aside already for my trip to Dallas. I am looking at places within Leesville to live. Then, my full time cleaning service job falls through. It was and is a small personally owned company. One lady runs it. She would let me know about jobs ahead of time, and I would go and do them. No strict schedule, just do it and I would get paid once a week. When D came into town and I took two days off, she didn't answer texts/calls for two days after that. When she finally answered, I went out on a few more jobs and she disappeared again after that for almost a week and a half. I didn't receive a check from her for two weeks. She then let me know that she was shutting down the company via text, and dropped out of contact again. She still owes me and a friend of mine that also worked for her around $80. Just before my trip to Dallas, the pizza delivery job started to cut my hours. It just seemed and felt like everything was coming unglued again and I began to reevaluate and panic. What if I couldn't find another job? I mean hell, what if I DID? What then? Get a small place in Leesville and be stuck there for the rest of my life with my son, barely making ends meet? Unable to go to school in such a closeted town? Unable to save up and get out? Always 45 minutes away from Josh and under his thumb? I was scared and worried when I went to Dallas on the 14th.

D was once again, my utopia. Dallas was a beautiful place and he showed me around and I couldn't believe that places like this still exist after sitting and thinking I would be stuck in Leesville for the rest of my life. He encouraged me "Do what you want to do. Go where you want to go. Think about it and just do it. You have the strength for it. Your only limitation is yourself. Get up and do something." Two days after I had been there, Domino's (pizza place) called to tell me that there had been a mix up with the schedule and that I had not been granted the time off I asked for. They called me at 3 PM to tell me this, and said I needed to be there by 5 PM or risk termination. I couldn't fly a 5 hour trip in 2 hours... so I lost my job at the pizza place. I felt awful and like I was in a hole. 6 months pregnant and staring at a dead end. I was afraid of returning to Leesville and never being able to leave again. For those of you from small towns, you may know what I am referring to. So I thought long and hard about what I needed to do not only for myself, but for my son who would be depending on me. I was going to be responsible for another human being and being good enough for that job and stepping up to the plate wasn't an option, it was a mandate.

So I decided that I don't want to be backed into a corner. I want to leave Leesville. Before Ryland is born. I want to improve our future and make one monumental step with all my strength and get us out of there. I informed D of this and he agreed that leaving Leesville would be a good decision and asked me where I wanted to go. I said Dallas. I answered as honestly as I could. Not just for him, but for the prosperity of the place. The schools, the opportunities, the place itself. D and I don't sit around and talk about forever. We know and recognize the very real possibility that we won't last. It's not a bothersome subject, it's realistic. I wouldn't be moving to Dallas for him. I would be moving there for myself and for my son. My son is my first priority, above all. Which is why living with D on a permanent or long term basis, as of now, is out of the question. I do not think it would be appropriate for us to move in together so soon, or with a newborn child. My relationship with my son comes first, and I need to develop that with him in our home before introducing a guy into the living equation. Of course D offered his home as the place I can stay while in my job hunt and working, and without that moving to Dallas wouldn't be a possibility, but I would not stay on a permanent basis.

I stayed with D in Dallas for another week and a half before coming home to inform my parents of my decision, speak to my lawyer, have a baby shower, talk to my therapist, and begin to make arrangements for my financial and medical aid to be switched to the state of Texas. I applied to dozens of jobs, and set up interviews for the day I would be back in Dallas. I gave myself 3 weeks to have a starting date at a job, or I would return home and try again another time.

My lawyer advised that living in Texas may be a better option than Louisiana, as Texas has harsher child custody laws and it would give me much more wiggle room if Josh decided to take me to court. In LA, unwed mothers who recognize a father are automatically granted joint custody with the father, and they must contest it in court to change it. In TX, unwed mothers who recognize a father are automatically granted sole custody. This is a huge benefit in Texas. My lawyer also advised that I tell Josh of my decision so that he could not use this against me in court.

My therapist also supported my decision, saying that it sounded like I was making it for the right reasons (my son, myself) instead of for this man. He advised me to keep sight of my goal and not lose motivation (I have a bad habit of starting out strong and losing steam) and to not rely on this man, but on myself. To feel my wiggling stomach every time I felt my mind slipping away.

My parents, on the other hand... they were upset. They didn't like the idea of me leaving, and worried I was moving only to be with D. They didn't like the idea of Ryland being born 5 hours away from them, or the idea of being separated from their grandchild. I told them that they were being selfish, I weighed the pros and cons with them and informed them that if I did not have a starting date with a job within 3 weeks, that I would be coming back. They grumbled and groaned, but I left this past Monday morning for Dallas with a "good luck" from them.

I had called Josh a week or so before to inform him of my decision to leave and he knew that I was leaving on this day. He had been blowing up my phone all week demanding the camera and the laptop. The morning of the 6th when I left, he went bezerk. I had to turn off my phone on the way to Dallas because of the constant calls and streams of texts. He eventually called my family again, who I called on the road for a brief moment when I turned my phone on. He told my stepmother, and I will quote: "She has my son inside of her, therefore she is mine and has to listen to what I tell her or else. She isn't allowed to be with D. She isn't allowed to go to Texas. If she goes to Texas I will go there and get her. Is she there now? Has she stayed? I need to come and talk to her and get my stuff. She needs to just stop and listen to me. I have every right to tell her what to do as long as she has my son inside of her stomach. He's our son, she is OURS. She's not allowed, she's being stupid and selfish." He called my Dad with all of this, too. My parents became immediately more supportive of me leaving the state and getting away. My stepmom said not to stress, and to do good at my job interviews and to keep my head up and stay motivated.

Two of my job interviews were on Monday afternoon. The first one was the one I was most excited about. A full time position as a shift supervisor at a large gas station. Well, guess what? I got the job. The manager was over the moon about my extensive gas station experience, and hired me on the spot. I had my first day today, and I think I will really enjoy it. I am however, now very worried about one thing:

My physical ability to be able to do this. I was supposed to work 9-5 today (my employers are aware I am pregnant) and at around 1 PM, while running the register, I lost consciousness for a moment. That's never happened to me before. The store AC was out, so it was a stifling 80 degrees in the store. I was drinking a lot of water, but my legs were acting up and I felt very dizzy. She was showing me something on the lotto machine, and I suddenly felt very hot and like I was going to throw up. The world got all "swimmy" and what she was saying to me didn't make any sense, like she was speaking another language. I then remember falling against the counter, and sort of just being there for a little bit before coming to again with her trying to hand me my water. It was a scary experience and one that has me pretty worried. I am mentally motivated to do this... but now I am considering the very real possibility that maybe I physically can't... and it scares me. I know many women on here have worked throughout pregnancy... any advice on that? I am 32 weeks now. I want to think and hope that it was a combination of fatigue from not a lot of sleep the night before, sciatic nerve pain, and the heat. I work again at 7 in the morning (I've been asleep since I got home from work) and the AC should be fixed at the store, I will be more rested, I will drink more, and the manager said he would consider providing me with a stool behind the counter that I could sit on while checking out customers. I'm so scared and need encouragement with this... I want so badly for this to work out.

So I guess that's my update. I am due July 8th and I should have medical and other benefits by the end of the week. I am taking prenatal vitamins.. do you guys have any advice for anything else I could take to decrease fatigue?
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." -D.H. Lawrence

"Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money." –Native American proverb
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:28 AM
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Barbara! Barbara! is offline
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I'd rather this thread didn't turn to drama, so while advice is welcomed and wanted, I'd rather this not turn into a "this is my advice and I think you're stupid for what you've done" or anything like that. Please and thanks. I am doing what I feel is best for my son and for myself and there isn't really a handbook on this to refer to... I wish there was.

If you read this far, I apologize and thank you. Lol. I hope everything made sense and came out right. Ask me questions about anything that may be unclear, please.
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." -D.H. Lawrence

"Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money." –Native American proverb
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:52 AM
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Romy Romy is offline
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First off, and I'm saying this based on information from before, Josh is abusive. ANY texts, e-mails, etc. that you have documenting the abuse, SAVE IT.

See if you can get your grandma to write a statement about the stuff he said about owning you.

This is serious. He is scary. Guys like him tend to go berserk when they feel like they're losing control of the situation. That's when women get killed.

You take all the documentation down to the Texas courthouse and get an ex parte protection order. They will issue it that day, and the local law enforcement will serve it on him. If he contacts you/continues harassing you after that, he will go to jail.

I'm really serious. If there's a local women's shelter, talk to an advocate or social worker and they will help you do it.

It sounds like you're doing the best you can, making the most responsible and mature decisions with the options available.

Don't worry about school right now. I have two kids 5 and under. There are a lot of schools that offer online degree programs. I'm enrolled in an accounting program in a school that's a few hours away and it's so fantastic. I can stay up and do my coursework, at home, while my kids are sleeping. Babies have less predictable sleep hours, but they do nap. And if you breast feed there are 20 min to half hour intervals of pure boredom where you're just sitting. lol.

(((tonsofhugs))) I think you're so strong for everything you've pulled through. You're already a great mom, Ryland is really lucky to have you looking out for him.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:05 AM
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Grab Grab is offline
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Considering his behavior, I think distance will be to your benefit. I second saving all communication, and having family members do the same. An order of protection would be helpful as well. He likely would not travel to do anything, as sometimes people like himself (especially considering his legal issues) are a bit cowardly. However, you'll want that paperwork just in case.

You might have a talk with your supervisor about being able to sit more, have portable fans on hand, etc. Keep ice water on hand and keep was likely an issue of overheating and dehydration. I'm a vet tech, so I didn't have the benefit that our pregnant receptionists did as far as being able to sit, etc. so I was quite lucky in that I had a pretty problem free pregnancy.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:03 AM
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JennSLK JennSLK is offline
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I agree with Romy. You are doing the best you can in a crapy situation.

Stay safe. I second going to the police and getting a protection order, and trust me SAVE every contact he has with you. Nice or not, dated.

Good luck

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:29 AM
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Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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I think this is the most coherent you've ever posted

But romy is right. You are very very vulnerable to josh right now. You hit every tick box for escalated abuse. Pregnancy is usually a trigger for worse violence and leaving is also one of the biggest triggers and most dangerous times.

Please stay safe, it is a very real danger. Don't give him any room to do anything stupid.

And well done, you are doing great.
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They do not know jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing wasn't boring, it was peace."

Bodhi is the opposite of ignorance, the insight into reality which destroys mental afflictions and brings peace.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:51 AM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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Agreed, save all communication. Things have taken a turn for the seriously scary.

Don't communicate with him other than to keep him updated on your pregnancy/doctor visits, and I would do that by email, not phone. That way you have evidence that you did it, but also you won't get dragged into phone conversations with him.

For the love of god, nobody can tell him where you live or work.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:44 AM
SoCrafty SoCrafty is offline
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I have been wondering how you were! Sounds like you are well on your way in the right direction. You're doing great . I am sure that things are hard, but it will only get better from here. Good luck on your new job!!! It sounds like your family and friends have been super supportive - which is fantastic news!!!

P.s. it took me a while, too, after my breakup to see how my first ex was in all actuality. Just remember that you've seen that side of him now. You can't unsee it. People like him don't change.
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A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. - Chinese Proverb

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too." - Samuel Butler
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:19 PM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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I think everybody here is super impressed with how you are handling the situation you are in. I hope Dallas works out for you, and I will have the vibes going for an uneventful pregnancy and that Josh stays away.

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