Priscilla continued to need help during her pregnancy as her due date was getting closer and closer. While she went through her daily routine it was getting more difficult for her to have the energy to do everything. In the morning she taught classes at her school, in the afternoon she ran errands that needed to be completed to get her house ready for the baby’s arrival, and in the evenings she continued tutoring her students.
I had no idea how she did it, but I guess there was no other choice as her new husband seemed more entrenched in his life than wanting to be a supportive shoulder for her. On more than one occasion I was needed as an ear to listen to her vent about his actions.
I got to hear about how he was not able to come down when he said he would visit, but instead would have time to go to U2 concerts and smoke weed. Nothing wrong with smoking weed, but do not tell your pregnant wife that you could not make it that weekend as you promised, then spend a few hundred on concert tickets and getting high. I got to see the reaction when she told him the child was a boy. You have to love it when the father of the child says that he wanted a girl. The kicker for me was when he told Priscilla that if the child had problems like Downs Syndrome or a learning disability he did not want to be a part of the child’s life, but that he would send money. With each of his actions more and more anger grew inside of me, I did not understand why Priscilla would stay with a guy that did all these things. My demons began to slowly awake, the peace inside my soul was turning dark again.
As the due date was only about a month away, paperwork needed to start being filled out to have the birth in a private hospital in Costa Rica. This is when the “baby insurance wedding” would have its rewards. Priscilla’s husband was of course too busy to get involved with this, so even on nights where she had Braxton Hicks contractions, he would be pressuring her to get everything done as he did not have the time to make the calls. More anger was placed inside my soul. Why?
Each day Priscilla would talk about all the things that she found wrong with her relationship and repeatedly said she wished she had never signed the marriage papers. She began going to her psychologist to talk about what she should do. Although her psychologist gave her sound advice she never actually followed through on any of the things her doctor told her to do. Like it is with many Costa Rican people, there is a huge fear of confrontation which makes many of the population here in Costa Rica prime to enter into the realms of an abusive partner. Due to the personas and culture, the things that they need to do to get out of an abusive relationship are next to impossible for them. Having to stand up for themselves, talk about the problems in the relationship, call the police, or even talk to someone about what is occurring in their life. Although her doctor had told her to confront and talk to her husband she was not able to do it. She knew that even an email talking about what she wanted and how she felt would bring a long conversation in which her husband would use emotional abuse to make her feel like she was going to ruin her unborn child’s life if she ended it with she and he.
Watching this the cycle of abuse in Priscilla and her husband’s relationship tore me apart inside. But as it is with alcoholism or most things in life that are detrimental to your emotional and physical health, you never are able to open your eyes and see the damage that something is causing you until you are ready to see it. It took death for me to stop drinking. Perhaps it would take something of that nature for her eyes to finally be opened and for her to start following her dreams and having a passion for life again. Like the hopeless romantic I was, I truly believed that she would leave her marriage and come running into my arms. It was just a matter of time for her to see the truth, but the truth was I did not have what she wanted.
Before the arrival of her husband, Priscilla had asked me to put together a list of things she wanted to talk to her husband about to improve their marriage. She said she wanted to be able to review it and use the correct vocabulary as he would make her feel stupid if she could not say it right. Through our multiple conversations, I had a general idea of what she wanted to talk about and sent her the email with the points drawn out. To say the least, I did enjoy writing that email.
The week of October 15th arrived; her expected due date. She had always told me that she hoped her child was born on the 15th as that was the day I quit drinking. It would have been great to celebrate the child’s birthday and another year of sobriety with me on the same day. Her husband, not wanting to miss too much work was to arrive October 9th in the evening; the baby would be born soon after his arrival. I had to go on a weekend trip to go visit the scam Jatropha investment property. On the drive out I received a text message that said she was being taken to the hospital for delivery. The only place that I wanted to be was by her side as the baby entered into the world. I had spent the entire pregnancy by her side and felt a part of the process. I was just not going to be there in the end.
While taking a tour of the stupid bio fuel plantation, which did not even belong to the guy trying to sell it, all I wanted was to know the updates on the delivery. On the way back to San Jose, I got a text stating that Priscilla and her son were doing great. Knowing that I could not be there and that the guy destroying Priscilla on nearly a daily basis during the pregnancy was there put even more anger inside my heart.
The next day I was woken up by an early morning call from Priscilla. She sounded exhausted but wanted to speak to me while her husband was running some errands. She told me about the process and that she had wished I had been there. At the end of a short conversation she revealed she was going to talk to him that day. I knew during the pregnancy she had hoped that her husband was going to change when the baby was born; maybe she was finally going to confront him.
With a little hope in my heart I headed to town to grab some food and do some shopping. With an internal peace after a relaxing afternoon where I had gone to church to pray, my phone rang. In hope that Priscilla was on the other end, I answered expectantly. The voice on the other end would fully awaken my demons. It was her husband, who had found the email before she had spoken to him about it.
For the next 2 minutes he would throw every piece of hate and emotional abuse my way. I was a person that was destroying his marriage and ruining his son’s life. I would never amount to anything and never be able to support a child. I was an alcoholic that would never be well. I was never loved by anyone. I should have died in the hospital and that he saved my life. After he finished I only stated one thing. “Are those problems in your marriage that needs to be addressed?” Like most people incapable of change the answers were simple…he changed the subject and redirected the blame back to everyone but himself. As an alcoholic I know the behavior, I did it for years.
Upon reading the email while going through his wife’s personal email account, there was the typical response of a 6 year old child. He threw a temper tantrum, beat his hands against the ground and cried like a baby from whom you stole candy. He knew that reaction would cause the Costa Ricans around him including his wife to curl up into their protective shells and ignore the topic on hand; his marriage problems. All he had to do was initiate the plan to push her away from any support system in her life and then she would be his slave. All he needed was the right fuel for the threat. He now had it in the email.
“If you leave me I am going to take the baby, I am going to send this email to my lawyer.”
That was the line that was going to be the death of any chance with Priscilla and would cause the end of our friendship. There had been the birth of a new life for the child and the beginning of a new family life for Priscilla. However, the process of the death of our friendship had also begun. Nothing would ever be the same.
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help you figure out who you are, or who you want to become…I think this is true in so many relationships we have in our lives.
Next Up – The Truth & False Hope