Post treatment I focused on my children, supporting them and communicating the progress their father made. The whole while he remained silent, no calls to the children, no concern for how they were. All contact was about him, his health, and what he was up to.
I offered to get second opinions for him, to show his notes to others if he needed help deciphering things. Silence.
Whilst I kept home secure, and the children in their lives and routines, I was fully aware that when the drama was over, when the attention reduced around him I would face the fall out. It was a matter of when and where and keeping us as stable as I could. In movies we see families running, putting measures in against the pain that hunts them. It becomes harder when it is someone who was part of the family, and when no one else can see what you fear.
The news came, he had his results post surgery, no further treatment was needed, physio to strengthen his legs and the prognosis that his life would not be reduced by it. The emotional gathering around him reduced, and the rage that followed found it's home, me.
I had led him to grow a benign growth on his spine.
The same hereditary growth his uncle had before I ever met him. He had struggled since he walked out of the family home with his bin bag containing my belongings he stole. His health and life had become unbearable because of me. Whilst the children and I picked up the pieces of the trauma left behind, healed the wounds from all the lies we uncovered, he suffered whilst hiding pay rises, and bonuses. He suffered as he flew through girlfriends barely making it into adulthood.
This suffering would no longer happen, this life he was being held back from, would no longer be out of his reach. He had sacrificed feeding us when he lived with us, and was still doing it.
The solution to his suffering was finally clear to him, we had to fend for ourselves. If I needed anything for the kids I should ask him and show proof so he could then purchase whatever it was. He would take them for meals, and give them gifts. He had not been able to do that before because he had no money, sacrificed continuously for us. The extra thousands he earned and hid did not exist.
My health was my responsibility, the stress of single-handedly raising the children was my fault, I had bought it on myself for being controlling and cruel to him. Should I want to find money for bills or groceries I could drop my writing and trying to build up our lives, and get myself a job. He was kind enough to research starting salaries for me, and to tell me to find one. If I found myself unemployable I should apply for benefits.
Surprising the fact he no longer considered childcare costs? To most of us when we work and bring nothing home we question our balance in life. It is remarkable how at every turn whilst he lived with us there was a reason to keep me at home for the "best interests" of the family. Now he is addressing all his sacrifices and losses in life the best interest does not extend to the only ones who cannot look after themselves, the children.
There comes a stage when abusers cannot pull back from their rage. They push so hard, want to destroy so badly they put into place actions that are hard to camouflage as anything else to those they abuse.
He can hobble about garnering sympathy from his willingly blind family and friends.
However when those who are on the inside cannot celebrate Christmas without the help of friends, cannot feed themselves without selling our belongings, when my movements have yet again become clipped, controlled by the with holding of finances, there is no camouflaging the beast that truly lies within.