It has been a day of emotional upheaval in many ways, all of them centered around Nisarga.
It is no secret that my relationship with my husband has been deteriorating over the years. I have gone to my parent’s home with Nisarga when he was a year old, only to be convinced to return. Then came the turmoil of his delayed milestones and the Cerebral Palsy. Worried sick about not being able to make it on my own while earning from home, enough to care well for Nisarga as well as earn the extra money to make things work, I kept returning from every breakpoint, compromising in that cliche “for the sake of the child”.
Perhaps the child was the excuse. Perhaps it was my own fear of proving inadequate to care for him, that let me slide to the easy road of the devil I knew. And somewhere, I think Raka too started realizing that he could get away with treating me anyhow, because I would not go away, because having both parents around was undeniably better for a child with an already limited social circle.
This morning was another breaking point. Raka had gone to Lonavala yesterday, and returning late, had planned to stay with my parents. Only he arrived there drunk. My parents are teetotalers with no acceptance for vices of any sort. Then, changing his mind about staying, he left there again telling them that he was coming home to Virar (about 2 hours). My mother was very disturbed, and called me asking about why Raka was so disturbed and complaining about me, asking me to do more to keep him happy and prevent him getting drunk. This was almost midnight.
After reassuring her, I turned the phone on silent, as Nisarga is sound sensitive and wakes up if the phone rings, and my mother has a propensity to call without regard for his bed times and she was already justifiably disturbed. She also has a tendency to call up and ask whether anyone traveling has reached safely.
So I checked with Raka, and found him drinking further. He informed me that he wasn’t coming home, and he would figure out where he would stay as he was in a mood to stay in Vile Parle. An hour later, he called to inform me that he was coming home. I asked him to not ring the bell and wake up Nisarga, but to use his key to get in. He told me he didn’t have the key. I waited for him till 5:15am worried sick about him traveling in the middle of the night badly drunk, and fell asleep half sitting in front of the laptop, only to be woken up by a thunderous noise and a terrified Nisarga crying. It was barely half an hour since i fell asleep, but Raka had arrived, and after I didn’t answer the doorbell, was proceeding to kick the door and yell abuses at me.
I opened the door to terrified neighbours peeping out of their door behind him, realizing that I probably was too fast asleep to hear the doorbell. It turns out that the doorbell wasn’t ringing. It was switched on, but it had either malfunctioned before, or while he was trying to ring it to wake me up.
He entered the home screaming abuses and telling me to get lost if I can’t even open the door for him. Unlike the other times he loses his temper with me, this time, he was speaking with Nisarga in an angry, aggressive voice as well, and Nisarga kept breaking into sobs. I simply never had a chance to get a word in, and the rage terrified me. He just thundered on, without even a pause to fit an apology in or pacify him in any manner enough to give Nisarga a breather. Then all talked out, he slept, leaving me with a subdued Nisarga, who for once stayed quietly in the bedroom (normally he heads for the outside room the minute he can escape).
This is the end of the road. If this isn’t a sign that the state of our relationship continuing is NOT “for the good of the child”, I don’t know what is. It is time to find my guts and move on, “for the good of the child”, because every child deserves a home where he never cringes in fear.
I have appealed to friends for help to support me financially and make up the increased cost that renting accommodation and turning sole carer fully will mean and I have started looking for a place to move into. I had earlier planned to move far away, but Nisarga and Raka love each other normally and Nisarga really has very few people who understand him well, so I am looking for a place close to ours, so that they can meet regularly, but we have our own life and I can breathe without cringing again. This is it. The concrete proof that staying together won’t help our son thrive. The solid support that friends are extending. If at this point too, I let myself be convinced to continue, then I am the one not acting in my son’s interest. That is one thing I have tried never to be guilty of.
Nisarga and mom will be embarking on a new adventure from now forward. We will live with joy and to our best, because the other shock today was the heartbreak of seeing another parent faced with the mortality of a beloved child and my million fears that I never give voice to are eating me alive.