Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Tale of Two Women - A Mini Series Part III

Claudia’s mother remained with her for a couple of months to get her settled in as a new mother. Certainly not a task that can be taught in a short period of two months, but it was a better start than many mothers get. During Claudia’s first year of newfound motherhood she began to struggle with some seemingly unusual emotions, which were causing her some concern. Moreover, Claudia’s husband’s work schedule caused him to be often times gone days on end depending on the fire season as well as team coverage. For all intensive purposes often times Claudia would be considered a single mother due to husband’s work schedule which left her with the duties of the home, caring for a newborn, continuing to adapt to her new country, surroundings and most importantly dealing with being so far from her family.

Uncertain where to turn one dreadfully difficult day, Claudia turned to the one person here that she admired, respected, trusted and loved, and that was her father-in-law. Some may question why she didn’t turn to her mother-in-law during her time in need, but probably unbeknownst to mother-in-law Claudia had always been aware of her critically watchful eye over her every move, and therefore turned to the person she trusted. Claudia drove herself and her son to her father-in-law’s work and shared the experiences she was going through. Her father-in-law could clearly see the distraught in his beautiful daughter-in-law’s eyes and jumped into action to get her some medical attention. Her father-in-law took the baby to his home for grandmother to care for while he took Claudia to the doctor’s office. After much testing she was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder, and was placed on medication.

Claudia was both somewhat relieved and disappointed with this information because she at least knew what she was dealing with, but feeling disappointed as if something was wrong with her. She began attending classes to understand this condition as well as attending counseling sessions to help her deal with this situation. Clint helped participate in some of her counseling sessions but perhaps not enough to fully understand to effectively support his wife needed, thus leaving a lot of responsibilities to Claudia to handle on her own. Moreover, these recent discoveries came with a high price, for Claudia had been advised that having another child would be very taxing on her emotionally because she would have to have her medications monitored and even eliminated during her pregnancy which caused concern to the doctors regarding her well-being. Both Claudia and Clint knew they wanted more children, but at what risk. Claudia continues to regulate her medications through routine blood-work and consultations with her physician. Clint and Claudia have even discussed the possibilities of adoption, but this has not gone beyond general conversations.

Her father-in-law being the supportive worrier that he is has researched better understanding of bi-polar disorder in order to be of assistance to Claudia. Her mother-in-law who in her own way knows Claudia has a “condition” but is of no real support to her, rather one that can pat her on the back and give the ‘atta girl, it will be ok’ verbiage.

While Deanna was dealing with her blissful mediocre life of outings on the boat with hubby and mistress as well as nurturing her business she was finally feeling somewhat alive and important. Claudia was managing well with virtually being a single mom, managing her household as well as working part-time in the retail industry, which can be painstakingly awful if a customer doesn’t get the right outfit or the food cooked a certain way. Nonetheless, Claudia persevered as well as did Deanna.

Nearly eight months into Deanna’s business she was coming to the realization she could not save this sinking ship of a business no matter how much blood, sweat or tears she invested into it. Not long after she and her husband purchased the business they discovered the previous owner had disclosed false supporting income information, Federal tax returns, to justify the lucrativeness of her business. However, once again Deanna dug her ditches and vowed to strive forward to make the best of a not good situation in the hopes of saving something because after all she certainly wasn’t doing a very good job saving herself.

In late 1998 Deanna and her husband resolved themselves to having to sell Deanna’s business in order to keep themselves from incurring debt. As with everything Deanna did in her life she always spent time in prayer seeking God’s intentions on how to proceed and trusted that no matter what His way was always the right way even in the face of a storm. She began marketing her business for sale which was ever so bittersweet because this would be another mark of failure in her book. However, she continued seeking a buyer for her business and was able to sell her business at the end of 1998. Although she and Martin were saddened by this event, Deanna was happy because she knew she had fully disclosed everything to the new potential owners and they purchased the business in light of the information they received. During the transitional time period of Deanna’s business dealings being complete and the new owners taking over the business, Deanna had agreed to assist the new owners with the transition in order to help the transitional period flow smoothly. It took all the strength she could possibly muster up to face this task daily as she was facing what she considered another failure in her repertoire. Moreover, she and Martin’s relationship was virtually unsalvageable by this time and discussions of separation were eminent. Besides realizing there was no salvation left for their marriage as Deanna had exhausted every possible avenue she could to save this crashing ship, she was now guilt ridden at feeling she was not only now failing her family, but Martin’s family as well. For they would be the first of generations of their respective families to divorce; moreover, Deanna had over the years bonded with Martin’s mother who she held with great respect. Deanna at one point near the end of this union had finally broke down at a Christmas church service she and her mother-in-law were attending together and discussed the situation of Martin’s drinking. Uncertain what to do or where else to turn as Deanna had felt she had unturned every possible rock she could, she resorted lastly to talking to the one woman who would truly understand, Martin’s mother. For Martin’s mother was also a wife of an alcoholic. She had married Martin’s father as a young woman living in German, migrated to the United States, earned a teaching degree, taught special needs children and raised two boys essentially on her own because her husband was not emotionally and sometimes physically not available. Although years later, many, many years later, her husband eventually gave up drinking and sought help for his addiction, she still recalled the days of hardship and sadness as a result of this addiction. She was compassionate, supportive and very loving towards Deanna which was like a two-edge sword for her because on one hand it gave her comfort knowing someone else understood and didn’t degrade her but on the other hand she felt shame for perhaps not sticking it out longer as her mother-in-law had.

Beginning of 1999 Deanna and Martin sat and had one of the most difficult conversations they had ever had during their 8 years of marriage. Through tears and sadness they both agreed that the suffering needed to end and therefore agreed to part ways. Deanna feeling lower than she should ever possibly felt because she was losing her husband and business, decided she needed to move far away from everything and everyone she knew, so she packed her things and her cat and moved to the state of Georgia where she knew two people. Was she scared? She was more afraid of continuing this dreadful existence than she was of moving nearly three thousand miles from her family. She needed to do this for her own sanity, even if it risked hurting her family. So in spring of 1999 Deanna, her mother, and cat loaded up in her 1997 Nissan 300zx, popped in the Jeff Foxworthy cd and prepared herself for southern living.

To be continued....

1 comment:

a_akak said...

So when you putting the next one?