Ems was plagued by stomach ailments not that long ago. Her stomach hurt her all the time. There was an issue with lactose intolerence but she suffered daily with tummy aches for no apparent reason.
Last year these tummy troubles reached a new high. A cannot go to school, into the school crying kind of high. The I’m afraid to go to school because I feel sick kind of high. Then came the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fear of any types of cleaners, excessive hand-washing. She was afraid of the spray for the white boards, afraid of the lunch ladies’ spray bottles. She made this conscious mama actually take a cleaner, spray it on her hand and lick it. Poison worries and Mr. Yuck, not a problem for this family.
We had a pediatrician, we had a school counselor, we had an amazing first-grade teacher, we had medication.
We overlooked the most simple of things. We had a poisonous marriage and it was poisoning our eldest daughter. For those of you out there who are staying for the kids maybe think it over.
I received a call from the school nurse Friday morning. There are only two weeks and two days left in the school year. She said to me:
“Emily is here in my office and I’m so proud this is the first time all year, so I think she might really be sick”.
It was a revelation to me. A year. A year has passed since the separation. My beautiful girl, has not had any anxiety stomach ailments in over a year. The obsessive-compulsiveness…gone. She is as carefree and happy as any eight-year old girl should be.
She’s still shy, still a mama’s girl, not quite yet ready for friend’s sleepovers or scary carnival rides. She will always be, like me, prone to caution and sticking to what feels safe.
Hindsight is a funny thing. If I had known then, how it would have been now, I might just have left sooner. I will officially be divorced in 18 days. Do not think ill of me for celebrating.