New Military Single Mom Of Two Toddlers

I am going to try to make this as short as possible…

I am a new single mother of 2 toddler boys. I am in the Military, and was deployed to Iraq for 7 months. I left last year, happily married (every marriage has some quirks in it, especially at a stressful time when I was about to deploy)… but I was happy, and just thought that my hubby was a little stressed and not thrilled about having to take care of a 1 1/2 year old and a 6 month old on his own while I was deployed… We talked about things that would help both of us out, and I expressed the need for me to have open communication and “in the know” of what was going on with the kids… I was able to skype/computer/phone each day while I was deployed because I bought the very expensive internet service that was available for me to communicate with everyone back home. To me, this was essential and worth the money.

To backtrack a little bit, my oldest son has stage 2 renal kidney failure… He was born with it. He had been diagnosed in utero and has seen doctor’s almost monthly to check on things. Thank goodness he doesn’t need anything more than some daily meds!!! He had surgery 2 weeks before I left for deployment. He was healing up nicely from the deflux procedure, and was suppose to see the Dr for a follow up 2 weeks after I were to leave…

While I was deployed, I got no support from my husband and the pictures and things I heard about the kids would make me start to doubt that everything was “great”… My hubby wouldn’t be home, or rush me off the phone when I called… at my question to him of “How are you?/What did you guys do today?” he would spout off about how I don’t trust him and how I need to let him take care of things at home. And then he would go on about how the kids were always “cranky” and how he had no time to do anything, and no help from anyone… I got a hold of my office and officers back home, and told them the situation. They then got in touch with hubby and offered help! He didn’t take it, and told them he was fine and great!!

To move on, because I could go on for hours on what other little things happened…

I would ask hubby about our oldest sons Dr appts and ask about our youngest well baby appts, and I would get the answer of “oh, things are great, kids gaining weight” and my favorite… “the Dr took Trystian off his medicine”… This was a little bit of a shocker, but I let it go thinking that the Dr thought was best and moved on since I am on the other side of the world and can’t really do anything. I trusted that hubby was taking care of everything and that he was taking care of the kids!

I continued to not get support, and I checked the bank account online a few times to see what I had in the acct to spend on gifts for everyone back home… I noticed that the money was dwindling, and fast!! the savings was gone, the kids savings was gone, our credit card was maxed out etc… Hubby insisted that I just need to “trust” him and not worry about the money because he is taking care of everything! We fought over the finances, because I was making “extra” money while deployed that is suppose to be used to help with any extra finances stuff that comes up while a military member is deployed… Well it sure was being used… used on fast food, and gaming stores!! I tried to as nicely as can talk to hubby about his spending, and most importantly on nutritional needs for the kids since fast food seemed to be the meal 2/3 meals of the day everyday!!…

5 months into my deployment, I got a phone call from my first sergeant back at home base, and was informed that DHS (child services) went to my house and wanted to remove the children because of the condition of the house and for medical neglect! The quick rundown on the visit is this: “the house looked like it hasn’t been cleaned in months” “I couldn’t walk from room to room without stepping on trash” “the crawlspace thing under the furnace was left open for little people to climb in and play with the spiders and hot furnace”… as well as they said that the kids were covered in flea bites from head to toe, they were visually dirty and their clothes had stains and were “crunchy” like they hadn’t been washed in a few weeks. The DHS guy mandated and followed hubby to the Dr office that day to get the kids checked out by a professional. The kids were underweight and extremely dehydrated… I was informed from the DHS guy that they wanted to take the kids that day, but since the base was involved, my office and commander fraught to not have DHS take the kids because I would not be able to see the kids till a year later, and it would not be fair that I left with the kids in good health to come home to a wrecked house and no children. I was able to work with the social worker and let hubby continue taking care of the kids with an understanding if he steps out of line or does not comply that I would have a power of attorney in place to place the children with until I could get home. Hubby was given a lot of rules and appts to make and do… He seemed to be complying after 2 weeks. The house was looking better and the kids were “clean when they went to the Dr apt follow up”. Oh, and both kids had ear infections when DHS initially stepped in…

About a month after DHS stepped in, and a lot of grueling arguments with hubby because he believed whole heartedly that I was the one to call DHS on him, I was so stressed out and upset that any of this was happening. DHS had found out that hubby had not taken the kids to the doctors at all since I had left, and that Trystian was still suppose to be on his medicine. There were more fights about money, when hubby would blame DHS on the $2-300 each week at walmart and fast food and blame me for micromanaging and checking up on him since I could see where he was spending money on the debit card from the bank account. We as a couple were having problems, but I still told him “I love you” each and every time I could talk to him on the phone. He resented me all together and told me that I was the cause to all of the drama and all of the problems going on at home with him.

I got a phone call from hubby, surprisingly one night… this was the first call I received from him since deployed… I was asked the question “what do you want in life?” not even a hello… I replied with “what do you mean?, that’s a broad question.” He then asked the question yet again in an even infuriating tone “what do you want in life?”… my only response was “I don’t know what you mean… but I want you, the kids, to be happy… what do you mean?”… his answer was “well, you’re only getting one of those. Just so you know I’m filing. You will be handed papers as soon as you step off the plane.”… I didn’t know what to say… I did the only thing that I could and told him “fine, I get full custody of the kids!” where he said “only if I get unsupervised visits whenever I want to”… Not to draw out the messy conversation, but I heard a women whispering to him in the background, and he played dumb and said no one was there, then a few minutes later the women spoke out loud that I need to just let hubby be and to worry about someone other than myself for a change… ???… I confronted him and told him he was low to have someone else in the room when he told me he was getting a divorce, and even lower for it to be a woman!!

DHS went back to the house for a follow up at the end of that week and stopped by the Dr office to find that the kids had been continuing to lose weight since the initial DHS visit. The house was going down hill again, and both kids apparently were “starving for attention and food” when they went to the weight checks at the Dr apts. Hubby told DHS and the Dr that everything was great between us “me and him” and that the kids are fine and the scale is wrong… he said he was doing a great job and that everyone is out to get him etc…

I did my own leg work and had found out that he had been seeing another few women according to the phone bill… One girl in one state to the west, and one girl in one state to the top right of where we were… it’s a little fishy to see that he was talking and texting pictures to some numbers at 2am every night… !!!… I called the numbers and got voicemails… and the internet is a wonderful things because I found out names and work places too…

DHS made the decision to step in and remove the kids from him. I was then informed after the fact via a phone conversation when I got on duty… I was told that the military was going to FINALLY try to get me home early to take care of the kids… I had been trying to get home to care for my children since DHS first stepped in, however I was told that since the kids were technically in like state care, that I didn’t qualify for emergency leave to get home… and since Hubby refused to consent to a red cross message that since he was still legal custodian, that I couldn’t come home early…

I got home, and was not handed papers as hubby had mentioned… I did somehow get flowers and cheesecake from him because he showed at the airport anyhow and broke the restraining order upon him to be close to the children… He told me that “just because things happened the way they did, doesn’t mean that I don’t still care about you” and I confronted him about Ms. Utah and Ms. PA… He said he didn’t know them, and when I told him names, and places of work, he cringed and told me that “We are just friends” and told me he was late for work and left.

3 months later, I have been home and trying to deal with being a single mother! DHS closed the case on the kids. The kids are doing great!! I am having struggles though. The kids don’t seem to show they got any discipline or routine while I was gone. My oldest is a picky eater and wants nothing to eat other than ketchup despite my attempts to make other foods interesting!! Both kids gained 2 lbs each after I had been home and them in my care for 2 weeks!!

I have the kids in my custody, and hubby is NO LONGER! I made him move out, and it took a month to get the house into living standards, but now we are good! I am still missing some furniture and other oddities for the house, but I am making due.

I really could go on and on about the things he broke, the things he stole, the things he destroyed… and how he treated the kids!! yes, I have a lot of stories from family and friends now that came out of the woodwork “we didn’t want to upset you while you were gone” is what they start off with… but I am now divorced, yes that quick… I got a good lawyer and thankfully “hubby” signed off on the decree with supervised visits, and a lowered child support fee (only because I don’t have the money to draw it out, and he swears that he cant afford what the state says he should pay monthly)… but the decree went through. It’s signed by the judge and finalized.

I am trying to move on, and settle into a routine! It’s taken a lot of patience! I had to find daycare, and some alternates to “fun” than used to… but we have made it work! My 2 1/2 year old is finally talking (he said nothing for DHS/Doctor/anyone during the visits while I was gone)… and my youngest at 15 months now is walking (he barely had any leg strength to stand when I first got home)…

I’ve had to try to find money to pay bills that he ran up… electric, water, phone, and other oddities that he started in his name on my personal accounts and such… but I think I finally am starting to get things under wrap! Slowly, and with some adjustment!!

The kids need clothes… thrift stores are a savior!! and I am in need of some housework and yardwork that I just don’t have time for now, and thankfully I have a great church that stepped up and sent the youth group to help get things taken care of!!

My motto now is:
Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. But remember this, you have friends here. You’re not alone.
~Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

I just have been taking things day by day… but each day surely is a challenge! things pop up each day that make me think “oh no, I forgot about that” or “crap, I thought I just got things settled, now this”… but I know that patience is a virtue, and I’m just going to keep on going, and waking up to my two adorable little boys sure makes me want to smile and think “things are going to be okay!” and get through the day and all the hurdles that are thrown my way!

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