Friday, May 14, 2010

It has been almost one year.

Shortly after my last entry in this journal, I allowed myself to be convinced that Henry could control the beast that lay within his soul. That he could suppress Hyde, finally, though by what means I was not clear. I recognized my own weakness at returning, but could no longer bear being away from our little child, my sun and my moon.

Almost as soon as I returned, perhaps even before, Hyde appeared for brief moments to remind me that he was still in control. That he held the reigns, perhaps now more than ever. It had been our most heated contest, and in the end he had won again. I was returning; a shamed mother, a resigned wife, a vanquished opponent.

Since then, I've learned to reduce the howling chaos brought by Hyde's appearances by biting my tongue. There is nothing, I've learned, that Hyde enjoys more than a partner willing to stand up, if only so he can delight in knocking them down. In the early days of my return Henry tried admirably to keep Hyde down, but eventually he succumbed. He always succumbs. Now Hyde makes his appearances more quickly when an aggrevating stimulus is present - a look, a word, a feeling - and there is more for me to not say.

This I have learned to do well in the last year, but one thing brings me back to where I began: Henry Jr. As he grows, his mind expands and his intellect balloons. He's bright, witty, and daring. And as he presents more of a challenge to his father, Hyde makes more frequent appearances. Although my good doctor husband was able to cushion Henry Jr. for a very long time, my belief is that now that the child is becoming a worthy opponent, Hyde will show up more and more often for a fight.

To complicate matters, Henry Jr. has his own difficulties. I mentioned last year that he was beginning to exhibit his own beastly tendencies, which has continued to be true. Determined to act, I pushed Jekyll and Henry Jr. into the offices of psychoanalysts so that we could discover the root and seek a cure before it was to late for my son. We learned that Henry Jr. suffers from a malady of the brain, high-functioning autism named for Dr. Asperger. We now have a name for the enemy within Henry Jr., but it is my firm belief that Mr. Hyde's appearances make everything worse by a magnitude of ten.

And so although I promised my husband, Henry Jekyll, that I was committed to keeping our family together, I feel that Mr. Hyde's continued presence in our midst is a mitigating circumstance. Without him, perhaps Henry Jr. would learn to overcome his malady, to lead a normal, healthy life. Without Hyde, perhaps we could give all of our energies and consolation to our child, teach him to control himself, and comfort him in his effort to understand this confusing world. But as it is, I have come to believe that Mr. Hyde's presence nurtures the beast within Henry Jr., and will serve to refine the darkness through repeated sparring matches and battles of will.

In short, it is my conviction that Hyde must be cast out of Henry Jekyll once and for all, or that Henry Jr. and I must escape his influence together.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Most people I've known don't consider me to be an insensitive or disrespectful woman. God knows that I try to be kind and civil to others, even when I disagree with them, and attempt to tread softly.

But to hear Mr. Hyde tell it, I'm not only insensitive and disrespectful, I'm also inconsiderate, selfish, thoughtless, overly-critical, and uncaring.

When I feel that some light has been let into my life, when I feel most jubilant to express my freedom without casting open the shutters to reveal what prison has hidden me for so long, I've somehow shamed him. I, a mother who has left her son, have shamed my husband by saying, truthfully, only that I'm living alone. There was no judgement, no revelation of the kind of life I've been leading for so long, only a simple expression that I'm now on my own and that my family is deciding how to move forward.

And somehow, now, I've become a villain because he is now uncomfortable with the fact that people will know. Truly, this is the only place I may speak of any of this, and even this relative liberty isn't without risk or moderation.

Oh, how I long, with all of my heavy soul, to be free of Hyde.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh, how I love Henry Jekyll, and how I hate him at the same time!

Were it not for the love I bear him, and the stunning brightness of our family when we are able to glow in his presence, our destinies would be clear and determined. The fact that I am drawn to him like a rare earth magnet clouds my judgement and obscures my purpose. Just yesterday I was happily considering a return to the home I shared with him and Henry Jr., imagining how joyful it would be to pursue the quality of times we have managed to have together since my leaving. Then I remember, "Oh, no, I can never go back. If ever I return, HE will appear, and will likely be more ferocious than ever."

His voice rings in my ears in the night, shaming me, accusing me of hideous emotional crimes against him and our son, criticizing me for ever wanting anything for myself, tearing down anything that I have built, that I have created, that I have imagined. He turns like a raging wild animal once thought to be tame and takes advantage of every newly-bared vulnerability. I am reduced to nothing more than an infant in the bite of his powerful jaws.

Last night I went home to my small, spare cottage. Alone. Quiet.


I can think clearly there. I can breathe easily there. The tension in my body leaves when I am there.

As much as I adore Dr. Jekyll, I cannot bring myself to commit to him again. As much as he would like to believe it, I know he is not yet in full control of himself.


Friday, June 19, 2009

The circumstances leading up to my moving away from home were anything but simple.

Most complicating is our style of living; being a scientist, Dr. Jekyll works from home, you see, and is the parent most often with the little child. He and the child have formed a very close relationship, and the little one depends on his presence at every given moment. Jekyll attends to the child's morning routines, takes the little one to and from school, oversees homework and after-school activities, and all of the other jobs involved with raising a child until I return home.

My own contribution to our family is as the breadwinner. Jekyll's experiments have never yielded financial gain, and I have continued pursuing a career since the child was a baby. I earn enough to fund our lives, Jekyll's scientific pursuits, and all of our attendant needs. When I return home, I spend all of my time with the little one until he goes to sleep, and then am at the whim of my husband.

And so, when I first decided that I could no longer live with Mr. Hyde, I insisted that he be the one to leave. He ranted and raved and raged about how he would simply abandon the little child and me, blaming me for taking his child from him, casting the whole thing in a dark light that reflected on my choice to break up our happy family. Certainly the happiness with Jekyll would be lost, but more important was that my misery of Hyde would finally cease. I stood fast by my decision and simply said that it was within his power to stay and continue to be a good father, and that if he fled it would be his choice to do so. Hyde would have none of it.

I suspected that since the threats and manipulations were not working this time that Hyde would likely change strategies, which he did very quickly. He decided rather suddenly that he was going to refuse to leave at all. But a life with Hyde and many failed attempts to escape his manipulations had prepared me for such an eventuality, and I had decided that should such a scenario play out, I would have to be willing to be the one to leave. And so I did.

This, as I have said, seemed to shock Hyde into submission, and Dr. Jekyll has returned. In the dark of night I wonder if Dr. Jekyll is, in fact, authentic, or if he is just another trick by Hyde. Is it within Hyde's power to restrain himself and show such human compassion as Dr. Jekyll in order to manipulate me? I have decided that it is impossible. Mr. Hyde is a spontaneous eruption, a burst of malevolent energy that once exposed is uncontainable by reason or rational thought. And so Dr. Jekyll's presence is a cruel irony that torments me as I ponder the decision I have made.

The worst of this is that the little child doesn't know why I've left. He cries in the night, and has outbursts during the day. While I know that Dr. Jekyll cares for him tenderly and comforts him, assuring him that I still love him and that it's not the child's fault that I've gone, the stress of the situation raises Hyde to the surface when he speaks to me of it. "Look what you've done!" Hyde says. "This is what you get for leaving!" Hyde says. "You've destroyed our family, and your child!" Hyde says.

The truth of this, of course, is that Mr. Hyde is the one who has destroyed. And yet he has trained my heart well to question whether the right decision would, in fact, be to stay and endure his madness for the benefit of the child.

Jekyll assures me that he understands my decision, and cries with sorrow that his darker side has brought such a fate upon our family. He still lets me see the child as much as I would otherwise, really, with the only exception being when I go home to my new house for sleeping. When my mind has the reigns, I am not fearful. When my heart gains control, however, I am terrified of losing my sanity and my willingness to simply stay alive.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For several years I've been in a relationship with two men who share the same body. In my inexpert opinion this isn't a case of schizophrenia, or of dissociative identity disorder, or anything quite so dramatic. In fact, I doubt very seriously that any biological cause is at the root of this man's behavior, except perhaps a nature that was predisposed by heredity to exhibit the characteristics brought out by his upbringing.

So what is he?

I grew tired quite some time ago of trying to exact a layman's diagnosis based on his behavior. For a long time I thought it might be borderline personality disorder. Then maybe narcissicm. Or passive aggressive / negativistic personality disorder. Finally I decided that it didn't really matter to me what it was called, I only cared that it was hurting me over and over and over again.

When I came into this relationship I was a strong, independent, intellectual woman. Although I had my share of emotional baggage at the time, and have struggled with depression on and off since adolescence, I had, for the most part, a stable emotional state. I knew who I was. I had an identity. Over the course of a decade, however, I split off from that woman much the way my Mr. Hyde split off from his Mr. Jekyll; they are one, but separate. My independent woman was nebulous, just out of reach in my day to day world, until finally I doubted that she ever existed in the first place. In her place was a simpering, sullen, suicidal doormat covered with heavy bootprints.

For several years my Mr. Hyde and I have wrangled toward a final parting, with many false starts along the way. The fact that I struggled to break free from him was also an attempt to break free from my own disbelief that I had lost myself so completely to the tyrannical control of a madman. I had to believe that I could escape and regain that which I'd lost.

The rub?

A sweet little child.

My love for my child is so complete, so consuming, that I've tormented myself for years over which decision with regard to Mr. Hyde would be the right decision. Should I stay? Should I go? Will it be more harmful for the little one if I stay? More harmful if I go? What about custody? What about the future? My Mr. Hyde knew that the child was my Achilles Heel, and used him adeptly to maneuver me back into his control every time I made a feeble attempt to end the pain.

Until this year.

This year I've done it. I actually moved into a home apart from Hyde's. The shock of this move has brought Dr. Jekyll to the foreground, the man with whom I'd fallen so completely in love with so long ago, the man with whom I'd always been able to see myself loving until I die. I weep to think of how unquestionably cheated I've been by Mr. Hyde, cheated out of the future I had planned with Dr. Jekyll, that I hate him with all of my might. I remind myself constantly that Dr. Jekyll is only a temporary visitor, that no matter how many assurances he offers that Mr. Hyde will not return, I must remain skeptical and on my guard.

I'm resigned to the idea that I'll never be able to trust Dr. Jekyll, no matter how sorrowful a proposition it is. What I fear most at this moment is being able to work together with him as we move forward in raising our little one, who has begun to show beastly tendencies of his own. Although Dr. Jekyll is all-accomodating, Hyde has raised his ugly head more than once in an attempt to disrupt our careful negotiations. It is of paramount importance that, in the first place, I maintain as much contact with my child as possible, so that when matters inevitably break down, the legal system will avail me in my petition for justice.

One may wonder how a mother could leave her child with a beast. Truthfully, Mr. Hyde has not yet set his sights on the child, and I'm not worried for his safety. The destruction wrought on the child in my estimation has beem through witnessing Hyde's emergence in my presence, and the gradual decline in my ability to function as much more than a wraith in my own home. And so I feel that I am much more useful to the little one as the strong woman I know I can be than as a trapped animal attempting to chew off its own leg.

But do not believe for a moment that I am in any meaure sure of myself or the course I've chosen. While I've caught glimpses of hope since leaving my former home, I still struggle with how to survive on my own; physically, emotionally, and financially.

This will be my story.

God be with us all.