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My So Called Life, So Far (Part 1)

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The events of this article are true. Names have been changed.

At the time early in Angela’s pregnancy with Ivan, I was working at Smith Homes building manufactured housing. I regularly felt ill and had OK days and bad days. I did not understand why I felt so ill sometimes. I went to see Dr. West several times and each time I was weighed by the doctor’s wife when she checked me in. After several visits she asked me if I had been dieting. I said I had not and she said she would have to report that to her husband because if I was not dieting there was no real reason that I should have lost close to forty pounds unless something serious was going on.

My relationship with Dr. West was one of respect but one of angst because he had put me on anti-depressants twice even though I felt my physical state had nothing to d with my emotional state. I hated to admit to him that I did not take the drugs, but at this visit he said nothing about my emotional state, but focused solely on his wife’s concern with my weight loss. (They both had noticed the drop in weight, but in retrospect, I think they thought it was a lack of emotional balance. Their son was a student of my wife and were grateful to her for acknowledging the giftedness of their son.) Dr. West referred me to Dr. Durban a specialist from a nearby town who used an office in the same building a couple days per month.

Dr. Durban and I got on well and quickly realized we knew someone in common. Because I felt so comfortable with him I mentioned that the OB that my wife had been seeing and I had spared verbally over the due date of the second child. I told him that the sonogram must be wrong because I KNEW when I was with my wife and that there was no way his date was right. After reviewing the file sent over by Dr. West, he discussed with me how I felt symptomatically, he suggested blood work and some other tests including an HIV screen even though he did not think as a Jehovah’s Witness that was probable. He wanted to save time and cover all bases. On my second visit we continued discussing the issue of the due date of the second child and Dr. Durban suggested that the most probable cause was cancer and that he wanted to get me in to the Hospital to do a procedure to scope my internal organs.

Two weeks after the scope was complete I returned to see Dr. Durban, the first thing he asked me was if I had any enemies. I said I had one in high school and he informed me that was too long ago in the past. The next thing I heard was that Dr. Durban suspected my wife of poisoning me due to the fact that I had been arguing the due date of the second boy and that more often than not, poison is the vehicle of choice for a woman, NOT a man. He said he figured that I indeed was probably NOT the father of the child that Angela was carrying and that was a motive to see me dead. I don’t know what I did or said, but I know I was in a state of denial. The doctor told me that if I could not or did not accept the fact that I was poisoned, by law there was not another thing he could do for me, wished me luck, and that if I changed my mind he would be happy to help me.

Within a day or two, that whole conversation left my conscious awareness until I went to Dr Stevens, ND for a “Body Scan.” The device scans the systems of your body, sending electrical signals from sensors that are located on bands that go around the wrist, ankle, and head, five in all. When the scan was complete and reviewed, Dr Stevens came into the room and said “Were you aware that you have been poisoned?” At that my jaw fell open and I said, “Yes, I was told that.” Dr Stevens said, “and you did nothing about it?” I said, “I guess I did not want to believe it.” She said, “Dear, you must have had the grace of God upon you not to have died, with the amount of poison still in your system, you ‘Should Not Be’ sitting before me. I kid you not.” I asked what the toxin or poison was and she told me it was a pesticide, but anything more specific could not be told without extensive lab work. Now my mind started to race. I remembered what Dr Durban had told me, but more importantly what Angela had told me, and that on two occasions while she was making dinner, I saw rat poison on the counter. One time even questioned her about it. Her response was “Sit down, shut up, watch TV and I WILL TELL YOU when to come in to eat.” I remembered that as I ate one evening Angela told me,“When I die no one will be the wiser,” and I asked her “What she are you talking about?” She said “You work all the time, don’t get enough sleep, so when you die nobody will ask any questions, and even if your folks have an issue with it and they might request an autopsy, which is not commonly done unless it looks suspicious or the family requests it. All they will find is pesticide and still no one will be the wiser, we live in a rural area, you have worked on farms, and there is a field right across the street.”

Going back to the second pregnancy, Angela had no concern for what I thought or made darned sure I was at the prenatal appointments like she had been with the first pregnancy. She later told me that the OB and his nurse both suggested that I get fixed since she was having increased trouble carrying the babies during pregnancy and that her response was that it would not be fair to me because I might want another child sometime and it was she who did not want another. I knew that something was amiss, why would it matter if we were together. During the last two months, Angela was told she could at no time travel more than fifty miles from the hospital. On Labor Day Angela and Trevor had come to the Hospital to eat with me as I was now working in the Housekeeping department. Angela said she had already been upstairs to visit the nurses in the OB and was concerned NOW about having contractions. I knew it was quite early and in fact too early for the child to be delivered in here. I went upstairs with her to ask if the nurses or somebody could check her out and found out she was already dilating. This was considered an emergency so as the staff prepared to fly us to a nearby city, I made arrangements for Trevor to be picked up and reported to my supervisor and my staff that I was having to clock out and be airlifted with my wife.

I stayed with my wife a couple days and my mother in law came and took me home and I returned to work days instead of evenings for the first week, then worked my regular shift the following week. I was given the OK to bring my wife home by car after two weeks. She was now far enough along that she could deliver at our chosen hospital, should she go into labor again. Within the week she indeed went into labor and delivered. Each night I would go to the NICU when I got off work to see and hold Ivan. I made sure I put on clean scrubs so in case I got into something during work I would not run the risk of exposing it to Ivan or any other children. Ivan spent just over a month in the NICU.

During that time Trevor began to walk, just over eighteen months old. Within a very short time, I happened to walk past the bathroom while Angela was bathing Trevor and there he was leaning back on his hands with his genitals in his mothers hands; obviously NOT the first time, but it was the first time I was aware of it. I said, “What the hell are you doing?” her response was “You wont let me play with yours, so I have to learn somewhere.” I was fuming and I went back into the living room and was just sitting in my chair when Angela came in and said, “If you ever say anything to anyone about what I did, I will tell everyone that you are gay and I will ruin your whole life.” I froze. I had been accused of being gay by my father for many years and never understood why, not knowing who he had told, and now here was my own wife threatening that I would loose what little I had left of my dignity. A few months later I caught her fondling Trevor again. Afraid, I said nothing.

A few months later Angela came home and announced that she had put an ad on the local cable and I asked “Oh, what for?” and she said “For you, you are not making enough money and I wont stand for it anymore.” I could not understand why she thought she had the right to make that decision for me and I asked How am I supposed to do drywall work when I don’t have a pick-up, and already have a job?” and she told me “That is your problem to figure out, I have done all I am going to do”. I received a few calls and gave a few estimates and then I got a call from Angela while I was at work saying that someone from the County Business Development called and wanted to see if I could provide proof of my skills because a company out of Dallas was looking to relocate and wanted to see if there was anyone who “really” knew how to do drywall repair. Within three days I was on a flight to Cincinnati. It was during that month of being away from Angela and after a couple calls she refused to allow me to talk to the boys on the phone that I realized I felt tremendously healthier. I could not remember anytime while married to Angela that I felt so good physically.

In fact, remember now, that I had already been poisoned at this point. One night after having been refused the right to talk to my sons on the phone I called and told Angela I wanted a divorce, there was no one else I just did not want her anymore and that I felt better just being a way from her. For a short time I felt remorse and did not want to separate the family and that the boys needed two parents, but after going to a meeting in for parents with children with special needs, I told Angela my thoughts on providing care for the boys, I decided it was not going to work. I was told that, “It does not matter what you want for the boys, or what you think; I am making the choices and you can just shut up and go along with it because I am a special education teacher, I knew what the boys need and you are deluded if you think you have anything that could add to the situation.”

So the divorce went forward, and maybe I was deluded, because I thought since she did not seem to really care about the welfare of the children or to even want have them around her, that when I said I wanted custody her answer was “Not going to happen, what you want does not matter to anyone anymore.” I said, “It never did.” “True” was what I heard. We went to court, went to a mediator, and returned to court. Mediation did nothing so it does not matter what the decision was.

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