Thursday, March 24, 2011

That ugly thing in the pit of your stomach

Haley was already three days old when I called a nephew up north to leave a message for Wilson.
"Just wait," his nephew said, ''I'll go get him."
"No, I mean, don't bother. I just called to tell you so you can tell him. I don't need to talk to him."
"No, I'll go get him," he said, and hung up.
Strange. All the times I wanted to talk to Wilson and no one would help me. Now, I don't want to speak to him, and someone is rushing to get him.
Wilson called back almost immediately.
"I'll come home."
"Don't bother."
"I'm going to detox tonight then come right down tomorrow."
But of course, he didn't go to detox. He went to celebrate that night. The following night he went to detox.

I took Haley in the stroller to the park when she was five days old. After opening her blankets so she could get sun on her slightly jaundiced face, I sat down to read. I wasn't there long when Troy rode up quickly on his bike.
"Wilson and Elaine are here."
My stomach knotted and I looked away. Taking a deep breath, I slowly stood up.
"Okay. Tell them I'm coming."
Troy took off on his bike. I slowly put my things away and got ready to leave. Haley's face looked pink.
Darn it, I thought, I think I sunburned Haley's face a little. I hope Elaine doesn't notice.
Moving slowly, I made my way up the sidewalk. What was I supposed to do or say to him? I had no idea how to act. I didn't want him there.
But in a small way, I did.

I never really warmed up to Wilson those following months. I rarely looked him in the eye and we no longer touched each other, even while lying asleep in bed. I changed my phone number and, even though he lived with me, wouldn't give it to him. I didn't want him to give it to his older daughters.
I hated to see Wilson alone and lonely, especially when I remembered how he used to be. But I couldn't trust him anymore, and love has to involve trust.

I found a job as a charge nurse at a nearby nursing home. I didn't want to leave Haley and start work, but the job was just weekends and it was close enough that I could come home during break and nurse her.
Andrew asked Wilson to play with him with the train set Uncle Bobby had given him for his birthday. I knew Wilson and Andrew couldn't play together for more than three minutes, and they didn't. Andrew said something and Wilson got mad and walked away. Andrew cried and begged Wilson to come back and play, but he said, "No." Andrew finally quit crying and started to play alone with his legos.

Just before Christmas, Wilson and Andrew each received about $400 from the tribe. This was the first and only tribal financial disbursement I'd ever seen. Andrew's money was automatically deposited by the tribe into a special savings account to be held until he turned 18, so he didn’t actually get it at that time. Haley didn't receive a check at all because she hadn't been enrolled yet as a member.

Cheri, who'd also received her money, had been staying with us. Wilson and I began to argue about her again. I had been supporting everyone, but Cheri was refusing to use any of her money to help out. I wanted her to go.
"Well if she goes, I go," Wilson hollered.
"Good-bye," I yelled back.
For a moment, Wilson seemed stunned. But then he packed up and, with Cheri and all their money, left.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I remember when I told my ex boyfriend I was leaving. I remember that feeling-it was so heartbreaking, yet empowering! I hope you felt that empowerment. I was so sick of his crap, and I'm sure you were too!