Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The dad question: Part 6

The first five parts of The dad question can be found here:

Part 1: The day we met
Part 2: A new addiction
Part 3: Walking into the abyss
Part 4: The opposite of rehab
Part 5: Together alone


More questions than answers

"Don't ever come to Newtown. It is my territory. If you come to Newtown, I will hunt you down and hurt you."

It was a threat, pure and simple.

The look he gave me was filled with hate. He was hissing at me from the front door of the two bedroom apartment I'd rented a little further south-west from where we'd been living with junkies and dropouts.
I'd finally had enough of him. For the two or three weeks since I'd moved into my new place, he'd been hanging around. I let him stay because I was trying to recoup some of the thousands of dollars I'd lent him. But now I was over it and I just wanted him to piss off. I needed to start my new life with Noo alone.

The love was gone. Whatever attraction or feelings I felt for this man had been vomited up over 14 long weeks of morning sickness. By the fifteenth week of my pregnancy I snapped out of the delusional fantasy that I could have some sort of a relationship with the father of my child. I was sober and clear headed and wanted to get busy preparing for the arrival of my baby on my own.

When I stopped giving him money he stopped spending time with me or showing any interest in my unborn child. I had a feeling that he was sleeping with his ex again, that he was making her promises that didn’t involve me. I was actually OK with that because it let me off the hook and gave me a reason to break up with him. I didn't want him in my new home using me for a place to sleep. I felt used enough already and I couldn't stand the lies and the bullshit any more.

I kept asking him to leave but he just wouldn't go. I never gave him a key but he'd turn up on my doorstep night after night. And then he got really sick with abscesses under two teeth. I was so disgusted but felt sorry for him at the same time.

Taking him to the hospital emergency room at 3 am to get painkillers I was so embarrassed when the doctor took one look in his mouth and showed shock at his dental hygiene, or lack of it. “How did I, a middle class, private school educated woman, end up with a dope with half his teeth in head either missing or rotten?”, the snob in me silently screamed.

While he slept on in my bed, I spent the next morning calling around dentists and the public dental hospital trying to find out what he could do about his mouth. When he finally woke up, he chugged back a couple of cones in what was to be the nursery, and left to go to the appointment I had made for him at the dental hospital.

What the fuck was I doing helping him like that? I felt like a sucker, a fool.

Later that night we fought. I was frightened. By the time he'd finally returned from the dental hospital he'd been drinking all afternoon, god knows where. I saw the violence and anger in his swollen and distorted face and I was scared for myself and my little Noo kicking away inside of me. I kept asking him to leave but still he argued on. He had nowhere else to go, I knew that, but I didn't care. I just wanted him, his grog and his bong out of my life.

With one arm cradling my belly, the other holding my mobile with Triple Zero already dialled I told him one last time:

"Get the fuck out of my place and never come back! I'm calling the police".

The fear that rippled across his face was palpable. He picked up his long neck of beer and ran for the door. And that's when he looked me square in the eye and threatened me.

It was the last time I would ever see him.

Two police officers showed up at around 11 that night. I told them what had happened and that I feared for my safety. As requested I gave them his full name and date of birth. Not long after they'd left my apartment the officer called me and said the details I’d given him had showed up a criminal record "as long as your arm". The man I'd been sharing my life with for going on five months had several warrants out for his arrest in two states.

I was shocked and I was frightened. Who was this person and what had he done? A judge was called in the middle of the night and an interim AVO (apprehended violence order) was put in place until I could get a court date.

Sleep was difficult that night. The adrenaline pumping through my veins and the unanswered questions rolling around in my mind kept me up into the small hours. I must have fallen asleep at some stage, waking when the sun came up with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I attempted breakfast only to vomit it all up again. I paced my apartment, trying to come to terms with what had happened the night before, with what I had learnt from the police. I knew he’d been to prison but I thought that was in his past. If he’d lied to me about that what else had he lied to me about? Doubt flooded me.

The anxiety was building up like a pressure cooker inside me until finally I burst into tears sobbing huge great big sobs. I cried because it was really over. That intense passion and love I thought I felt for him when we were first together was gone and I was mourning that loss. Little Noo growing inside me was going to grow up without a father in his life. I somehow knew, even then, that we wouldn't see him again. Calling the police had made sure of that. I probably should have felt more upset for Noo but I knew that I’d be able to give him a better life without his dad than if he was around.

Curiosity was killing me. Who was this man who fathered my child? What had he done? The night before I’d told him to arrange for a friend to come and collect his stuff. I didn't want him returning anywhere near the building. I got a call from him later that day saying a mate would come back tomorrow afternoon. I was to pack up his stuff and leave it all out by my front door.

He had barely any possessions. Some clothes, a doona, a glass bong (which he’d stolen from the previous house), old towels, some photos of his kids, a pillow. There were also some papers and drawings. I carefully went through everything and packed it up in his bag. That’s when I found the letter. It was the only tangible evidence that I had of his identity. He didn't have a driver’s license because he couldn't read to learn the road rules and take the test. He didn't have a Medicare card or credit cards or any of the other identifying bits of plastic most people carry around with them. I realised then he was a ghost, only using cash to make himself untraceable.

The letter I found explained why. 


That is it for now but of course there is more to come.

As usual, thanks for reading.



EssentiallyJess said...

Oh what does the letter say? I'm desperate to find out!
What a horrific story. I'm so glad though, that you came to your senses soon enough to keep you and Ned safe. There's something about planning for a new life, that brings such clarity I think. When it's not just you, you can make the harder choices. said...

Hey Jess. Yeah, it was pretty bad at the time. High drama. I'll post again soon with part 7. Nice little cliffhanger that one! :>)

Rebecca Thompson said...

What an incredibly horrible and frightening experience.
I am glad you came through, had the balls to kick him to the curb and the love to look after the baby growing inside.
I like the idea of the cliffhanger, but I am also impatient and want to know now what was in that letter!!!
Becc @ Take Charge Now

mumabulous said...

I'm sorry you had to go through such a horrid experience but I am totally hanging to find out what happens next. You should be a screen writer - seriously. said...

Hey Becc. It was frightening and I'm glad it is well in the past. It is amazing though what strength a mother can muster when it comes to protecting her child. Thanks for reading. V. said...

Thanks Mumabulous. I can only write about my own experience so unless anyone wants to make a movie of my life I don't think I'll have much a career as a screen writer! V.

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