Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 18 and Epilogue

I had to get over being frightened out of my mind and get down to business.

It took about two months to phase completely out of Andrew’s life.  It was my immense fortune that he practically moved onto the boat…or so he said.  Truthfully, I had no idea where he was staying.  Throughout this time he only came home on occasion, never spending the night. 

It was a good thing though, that as horrible as he was in so many ways, he always left cash on the dining room table for gas and groceries. 

Moving right along, there were things I had to do in preparation, like wean Farrah, find a babysitter I could feel okay about, find an apartment somewhere in the vastness of either Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley, and find the money to pay for it.

It was hard to let go of breastfeeding.  I got Farrah down to one nursing session before bed every night, and then finally replaced myself completely with a bottle.  I thought she’d balk, but no.  Actually, she accepted the change without a blink.  For a short time thereafter I was kind of devastated. 

I found a babysitter almost immediately.  She was an elderly widow lady, probably in her sixties, who lived just a few houses up the street.  I’d seen her many times during my long afternoon walks through the neighborhood with Farrah in her stroller.  She had always made it a point to approach and admire my baby, all full of coo-ing and goo-ing and giggles.  Anyway, Mrs. Stevens was happy to care for her while I looked for a place for us to live.

Not wanting to be away from Farrah for more than a few hours at a time, the search seemed to take forever.  Day after day I read listings in the paper, made phone calls, visited with property managers.  Most places were either too expensive or too ghetto, and as previously noted, so many landlords just didn’t like babies. 

Finally I got lucky.  I decided to try the beaches.  Of course not on the water, but a bit inland, where the rents were more reasonable.  Bingo! Santa Monica!  There was a little half-circle of one-bedroom bungalows on Ocean Park Boulevard, with grass and trees in the center.  Perfect!  I called the phone number on the ‘for rent’ sign when I got home that afternoon, and was ecstatic to hear the landlord say the rent was $200 per month, and that he had no problem with babies.  There was a single mother living next to the corner unit that was vacant, he told me.  He wanted first and last months’ rent, plus some kind of guarantee I would be able to pay, since of course I was unemployed.

That night I left a message with Andrew’s answering service, saying I needed to talk to him as soon as possible.  “He’ll want to know what it’s about, Mrs. Rosenberg,” said the operator, to which I responded with irritation, “Fine!  It’s about me needing money so I can move out, goddamn it, and don’t call me Mrs. Rosenberg!”

Even though I was asking Andrew for money, I fully did not expect him to give it to me.  But it was something I had to try anyway. 

And shock of all shocks, he arrived the next night and while he told me I was worthless and pathetic, he reached into his pockets, pulled out two handfuls of hundred-dollar-bills and threw them at me, after which he turned and walked back out the door.

I was literally giddy! Because he was gone, and I now had a thousand dollars!

But alas (sigh) it turns out there is always a price to pay. 

Because he came back later, after I was in bed asleep.

I woke up with him on top of me, forcing my legs apart. 

I struggled and fought him at first, but when that didn’t work, I just shut my eyes and went totally limp.

When it was over, he left.

Two days later, Farrah and I left too, never ever to return.

Epilogue

As I look back to this time, I wonder how I had the audacity to be so fucking sure and my baby and I would be okay.  I mean, for God’s sake, I had no job, no college degree, and by the time Andrew finished with me, I didn’t even have a car.  Fortunately you could walk to cafes and little corner grocery stores on Ocean Park Boulevard.

I gave the landlord six months’ rent up front and assured him I would be working full-time after that.  In the meantime?  I had a Smith-Corona electric typewriter and took in typing jobs, mostly invoices and such, so I could work from home during the nights while Farrah was asleep.  My other job was small-time marijuana dealer.  That’s another thing one can do from home.  And believe me; I was determined not to put my fifteen-month-old child in day care.  I felt I needed to be with her at least until she was two, and by damn I was going to find ways to do that, no matter what.

For a while there were intermittent phone calls from Andrew, alternately threatening, or begging me to come back.  I believed his threats so I did as he commanded.  I did not hire an attorney, I asked him for nothing, and in fact never even went to court.  He got the divorce, I was awarded $150 per month in child support which he mostly did not pay, and he finally left me alone.

There’s a Zen saying:  leap and the net will appear

I feel like that’s what happened.

That little one-bedroom bungalow on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica felt like a palace to me.

And we were finally happy, Farrah and I. 

So very, very happy.

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October 25, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. is there more? Please say yes.

    Comment by geri wright | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  2. Whew!! Honestly, your stories leave me depleted. I don’t know how you did it, but I’m glad you did! Keep ’em coming!

    Comment by Becky | October 25, 2011 | Reply

    • Becky, my stories have me depleted too. Thanks so much for taking an interest.

      Comment by standingonachair | October 26, 2011 | Reply


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