Two years ago, my world fell apart

Two years ago, my world fell apart.  (At least that’s what I thought at the time.)  I’ve never written it down and not even all of my friends know everything, but here it is.

On Saturday the 4th of May 2013, I went to teach my Daisy Birthing classes as usual on a Saturday afternoon.  Everything had been the same as normal in the morning.  I was 33 weeks pregnant and looking forward to the birth of my sixth baby to complete our family, my children were happy and we had eaten lunch together.

Turning my phone back onto volume on the way home from teaching, I had many missed calls and answering machine messages.  Listening to the messages from Kaiya, who was 13 years old, made my heart stop.  I heard fear and panic in her voice as she told me that she had called an ambulance because she thought her Dad had had a stroke.

I raced home to find an ambulance waiting and Laurie inside, barely conscious and not speaking.  The ambulance crew said his condition was a mystery to them and they were taking him to hospital.  I didn’t go with them as also had Hannah (4) and Nathaniel (almost 2) at home.  My eldest two, Michael and Natasha, were with friends.

The wait for news was awful.  I stayed up late and hoped that everything was ok.  Different scenarios were going through my mind and none of them were positive.

Finally, very late, the hospital rang and told me that they knew what was wrong with him.  He was drunk.  That was it.  He was simply so drunk that he had gone unconscious.  They were releasing him home. I went from being scared to angry.  He had been in charge of two small children and had got that drunk.

Different scenarios played out in my head, but this time, they were of my children coming to harm while he was paralytic.  Thank goodness that Kaiya had been home to keep an eye on Hannah and Nathaniel.  I dread to think what would have happened if she hadn’t been.

He had always been a drinker and would drink 2-4 cans of lager or beer a night.  But I didn’t realise that he had been hiding a bigger drinking problem or that he was drinking in the day.  (Months later, I found where he was hiding the empty bottles that showed it had been a long term problem.)

When he returned home that night, he went straight to the spare room.  I knew that there was still too much alcohol in his system to be able to discuss it, so I left him to sleep it off.

The next morning, I was already downstairs with the children when I heard movement from the spare room followed by footsteps heading to the front door.  I went to the door and asked what he was doing to be told that he was going out to buy some cigarettes.  I didn’t question it any further as the local shop was only down the road and I expected him back in a few minutes.  We could discuss the previous day when he returned.

Half an hour later, he still hadn’t returned and my anger that had been there from the previous night was growing.  Instead of staying in waiting, I decided to take Hannah and Nathaniel to the park – I think I needed to get out of the house as much as them.  But within 45 minutes of being at the park, my phone started going off.  Friends started texted me to see if I had read Laurie’s facebook status and to check that everything was ok.  Taking a look at his status, it read something like (and I can’t remember the exact words), nobody cares about me so I’m saying goodbye.

It may seem odd to say that I wasn’t overly concerned.  After a row, Laurie would often  leave the house and text me things like this so that I would forgive him.  A few years earlier, I would have worried but I knew that he wasn’t serious and it was just one of his manipulative games.  He knew that I was going to go mad at him for getting drunk so was playing his favourite card.

When the police rang me to say that they were concerned for his welfare and wanted me to go home immediately, I actually told them that I knew Laurie wasn’t serious and I was going to stay at the park as my children were having fun.  My response didn’t go down well and I was basically ordered home.

Over the next few hours, different police officers came to the house to give me updates, tell me that they knew the rough area that he was in before he turned his phone off and to ask if I knew where he would be.  They even searched the house for clues or a sign of him, which was probably the worst part as my privacy was being invaded as well as the children’s.  I’ll admit that as time went on, I did start to wonder if he had actually seen his threat out this time as he had never been gone this long before.

Finally, after nine hours, I heard footsteps on the stairs going into our bedroom.  I went up and found him on the bed.  I could see immediately that he was drunk and knew that it was not the moment for a confrontation, so I simply said that I had better tell the police that he was home.  This was a mistake.  He got very cross, started shouted and hitting the furniture.  I left him to it and rang 999 explaining what was happening.

Waiting for the police seemed to take forever.  Laurie had gone outside to have a cigarette but was smashing up some garden ornaments and punching the walls and doors.  I stood in the doorway to make sure that he couldn’t get back into the house and told Kaiya to take the little ones upstairs so they couldn’t see what was happening from the lounge.

As Kaiya went upstairs, Laurie called her names and swore at her.  Tasha came to stand in the doorway with me and he did the same to her.  Why he did it, I will never know but they haven’t forgotten those poisonous words or the anger with which he said it.

When the police came, he calmed down and became passive.  I was worried that they wouldn’t believe that he was a different person minutes earlier.  However, they breathalised him and found him nearly four times over the drink drive limit.  I remember the policeman telling me that he wouldn’t have believed that Laurie was even drunk had he not seen the result.  A sure sign of an alcoholic.

As Laurie had driven home, he was arrested for drink driving and breach of the peace.  (The charge of drink driving was later dropped as he had given a ‘No Comment’ interview and there were no witnesses who saw him drive the car home, even though everybody knew that he did it.)

Two policemen came in to take a statement from me and find out the events of the previous day as well.  While they were doing this, Kaiya said that Laurie had lashed out at her when she tried to move him back into the chair after falling off it the day before.  His hand had hit her across the face.  I was totally shocked and wished that Kaiya had told me this the day before.

The policeman spoke to Kaiya about it but as she wasn’t sure whether it had been intentional or not, they didn’t charge him with this.  However, it did result in them needing to contact the MASH team and social services, leading to a MARAC meeting and assessments by social services over the following few weeks and months.  I had never thought that I would have been on that side of social services or would need meetings about how they were going to keep my children safe.

I was so upset by the events over the last 48 hours, that the police offered to call a doctor for me as I was shaking and crying so much and was heavily pregnant.  But, I called a friend to come over instead who was amazing, stayed with me and made sure that I was alright.

The following day – the Monday Bank Holiday – the police rang to say that they were releasing him but I told them I didn’t want him to return to the home.  I simply didn’t know what our future held but I did know that he wouldn’t be coming back until he had got some help and stopped drinking.  So, the police drove him home to collect some belongings and make sure that he left.

The next morning, after the children were at school and nursery, I rang Laurie to see how he was doing and to ask him to make a doctor’s appointment.  I could tell that he was drunk as soon as he picked up the phone.

I drove over to my sister-in-law’s (which is where he was staying) to find the front door open, him almost unconscious, and an empty bottle next to him.  I rang an ambulance as I was concerned he may have drunk enough to kill himself, but on arrival they said that he hadn’t and there was nothing medically that they could do.  They suggested that I got him to our doctors to see if he could give some long-term help.

They helped to get him in the back of my car and I drove him down there with him ranting the whole way. I managed to get him out of the car and into the doctor’s surgery somehow.  We must have looked a right couple – a heavily pregnant woman who looked a mess after the weekend of stress and a drunk man.  We had no appointment but were seen straight away.

The doctor was great and told Laurie exactly what the situation was.  Basically, he told him to grow up, stop feeling sorry for himself and get some help if he wanted to keep his family.  He turned to me and signed me off with stress until my maternity leave was due to start.  He also suggested a place in town to get Laurie some help, so off I went again with Laurie ranting away and dragging his feet.

The place was for those addicted to alcohol and drugs and they were amazingly supportive to me as well as telling Laurie some hard facts.  They agreed that he should not come home until he was sober and was a risk to the children and myself.  He was livid when they said this so I was very glad that they said it to him and not me.  He explained that he wasn’t a risk even though he admitted hitting Kaiya, stating that it wasn’t his fault because he was drunk.  The woman told him that it was totally his fault and that being drunk was not an excuse for assaulting a child.  I can’t believe that he thought alcohol was a good excuse.

A further appointment was made for him to attend to get professional help to stop drinking and I took him back to my sister-in-laws. Even at this point, I was unsure of the future.

I know that Laurie says that I kicked him out due to him having a breakdown.  This is far from the truth.  It was for my safety, my children’s safety and for him to get help.  In fact, when he was assessed by doctors and the psychiatric team when he was arrested, they released him as found him mentally well – it was drink that was the problem.

When social services came to do an assessment a couple of weeks later, I was told that had I kept him in the family home, my children would have been placed on the child protection register and could have been removed. I know that I did everything I could to get him help.

I haven’t included in here the phone calls that I made to his friends, counsellors and professionals to try and get him help so that he could get sober and return to the home, but I spent hours trying to help him. I even hoped that the birth of Alex might be the motivation to take responsibility of his actions.

Unfortunately, when Alex was just two days old, I had to ring 999 again as Laurie turned up drunk and aggressive.  On this occasion, I had to physically push him out of the door as he was refusing to leave but fortunately, most of our children were at school and nursery this time.

He didn’t keep the appointment that was made with the alcohol team and declined further into drink to the point at which it was no longer safe for the children to see him at all.  He was spending more time in custody and hospital (due to his drinking) than he was spending outside.  Breaking into the house, stealing my credit card and smashing up Michael’s car demonstrates the extent that things escalated to.

The choice was always his.  To get better and have a family, or refuse and lose his family.

His actions on the 4th of May 2013 started a ball rolling that nobody could foresee.  It started with him getting drunk one afternoon and ended in a court injunction, our divorce and the children and I moving 200 miles away from him.

Two years ago, my world fell apart.  It started a nightmare that continued for months.  However, now, I can see that it was the start of a new and happier life thanks to family, friends and God’s presence.

After the storm two years ago, there is now a rainbow.

Super Busy Mum
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Mums' Days

37 Comments on Two years ago, my world fell apart

  1. Judith
    July 9, 2015 at 11:41 am (4 years ago)

    Wow, not the kind of thing you ever imagine will happen to you, is it? Amazing that he thought being drunk excused any of his behaviour. You totally did all the right things, especially moving far far away from him.
    Judith recently posted…Life Game: Doing SchoolMy Profile

  2. Yaz
    July 9, 2015 at 9:33 am (4 years ago)

    You are auch a strong woman and great mother to your children, they will be bery proud of you when they are older. I hope you and your family are healing after a horrible experience. It’s a shame he didn’t cop on for his childrens sake. They are lucky they had you xx
    Yaz recently posted…Lazy Shepherd’s PieMy Profile

  3. Hannah Mums' Days
    May 14, 2015 at 12:57 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh Jannette, I think I read that without blinking. I am so sorry you had to go through that, that your kids had to witness it. I’ve spent sometime reading about addiction and it is the worst, most self-destructive illness. Anything that would lead you to treat your loved ones like this is just mind-boggling. I hope for your Ex that he’s able to beat it but you did everything you could have done, and I hope you don’t blame yourself for anything. You are such a strong woman, a real inspiration. I feel really honoured that you would chose to link up to #TheList xx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Toast Art for Bread and Sandwich WeekMy Profile

  4. Sophie Lovett
    May 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Gosh what a story – and what a thing to have lived through! Your retelling of it is so matter of fact but I’m sure the last couple of years have been an emotional roller coaster. I admire your strength and focus on your children – it cannot have been easy at all x
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…What I’ve learnt from standing for electionMy Profile

  5. stacey
    May 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm (4 years ago)

    such a open and brave post to write. You totally did the right thing for your children and I hope that you are all now enjoying a happy ending. #thelist
    stacey recently posted…1 week postpartumMy Profile

  6. Caz Stone
    May 10, 2015 at 5:57 am (4 years ago)

    So close to the story of a friend of mine – although she didn’t have the additional stress of being pregnant/ having a new baby through the time when she threw her partner out. I know they’re not perfect, but I’m impressed that the police seem like they were petty involved and proactive.

  7. Rachel
    May 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow what a powerful story. I am so glad you are now all safe, well and happy with your life with your children xx
    Rachel recently posted…What’s your style?My Profile

  8. Hannah Budding Smiles
    May 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh wow, what an incredibly powerful post. You are one strong woman to have protected your family so well in spite of being heavily pregnant then having a newborn – even without those things it would have been tough but with them… Well done for doing what needed to be done when your ex husband clearly couldn’t xx #PoCoLo
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…‘Emotional Wellbeing of Parents’ Series – Week 6My Profile

  9. Verily Victoria Vocalises
    May 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm (4 years ago)

    What a brave and powerful post. You have explained your story so well and I really do think you have done amazingly well. Your story is so similar to that of my Mums. I regularly had to stop my dad hurting or threatening my mum and am full of admiration for what she did when she had 7 children. I feel the same for you. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x
    Verily Victoria Vocalises recently posted…The Most Outrageous Lottery PurchasesMy Profile

  10. Leanne@crestingthehill
    May 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Janette – I think that was the longest blog post I’ve read from start to finish! You are an amazing woman and your children are very blessed to have you in their lives. I’m sure good things are ahead for you and your family and I’ll be following your journey! I’ll also be interested to see what job direction you pursue – my daughter has just started English teaching last year and says it is hugely rewarding but also hugely stressful (and she has no kids!)
    Leanne@crestingthehill recently posted…grown up colouring-InMy Profile

  11. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    May 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow, this was so brave of you to write. I knew a very brief account of your story but what you’ve been through is shocking – I am so glad you have come out the other side, and so glad you moved you and your children so far away. It may not be th right question to ask, but two years on, I wonder if you have info on how he is? Whether he is still an alcoholic. It’s so sad when people have addictions, especially when it wreaks havoc on a family. I just wondered. You may not even want to know, or it may be a whole other blog post. #TheList
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…VE Day – a celebrationMy Profile

  12. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)
    May 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, what an awful time for you and my heart went out to you reading this. I am so glad that you had the strength to deal with the situation as you did and were able to keep your children safe. I am glad that you are now at the point of seeing the rainbow after the storm and hope that your story will help other women who are in a similar situation.
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Post-election bluesMy Profile

  13. Debbie
    May 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Janette, you have had a rough time and it is sad that your ex didn’t take the help offered to him and pull himself together for the sake of his family, but addiction is an ugly thing. My husband comes from a family of alcoholics and drinks more than I would like him to, but he is never violent (although he can get not nice verbally).

    Kicking your husband out was a brave thing (and the right thing) to do and I’m not sure many women would have done that in your situation.

    I am happy for you that you have reached a rainbow after the storm and I wish you all the best for the future.
    Debbie recently posted…Aspergers And Common SenseMy Profile

  14. Baby Isabella
    May 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Such a sad post. Made my mummy very upset. Her dad died when he was 52 from alcoholism. Thanks for sharing and being brave xx #TheList
    Baby Isabella recently posted…A toddler free day!My Profile

  15. Random Musings
    May 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm (4 years ago)

    What a moving story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that and hope writing this has helped unburden you a little. I was in a relationship with an alcoholic (although it wasn’t as scary as what happened to you because he was never violent) so I know what it’s like. #TheList
    Random Musings recently posted…O Is For Obsessions Of MineMy Profile

  16. Anne
    May 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm (4 years ago)

    How much you have been through, and how brave of you to share. I really hope your story will inspire others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I’m so glad that you are now beginning to find happiness and wish you and your children all the best for the future. xx
    Anne recently posted…MAD Blog Awards 2015My Profile

  17. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)
    May 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm (4 years ago)

    My father is an alcoholic and when I was small my only wish is for my parents to separate. They didnt so I have to stay with my father and I wont say anything more than that. Your story is amazing. You are a strong girl and I have so much respect for you for that. #pocolo
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  18. Morgan Prince
    May 8, 2015 at 11:12 am (4 years ago)

    Wow, what a powerful post. I am so sorry that you had to go through that but it sounds like you were just the person that your children needed. You are a fantastic mother for protecting them and also for trying to help him. I’m so glad that you can now see a rainbow, you deserve it. xxx
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Positive ChangesMy Profile

  19. bethan (Mayhem muddles)
    May 8, 2015 at 11:09 am (4 years ago)

    I salute you , you are amazing and well done for getting through all of that so graciously and with your children. Here’s to a good and bright future. Well done, you are an inspiration x

  20. Pen
    May 8, 2015 at 9:15 am (4 years ago)

    My goodness, you really have been through it. I can’t begin to imagine how hard things must have been for you. Well done for being so strong and for having the courage and strength to do the right thing by your children. I wish you and your children all the love and luck for the future. xx
    Pen recently posted…A Letter to My SonMy Profile

  21. Laura's Lovely Blog
    May 8, 2015 at 9:06 am (4 years ago)

    This post has brought tears to my eyes, do you know why because I never blog about it but someone very close to me is a recovered alcoholic. I know the pain of it, intimately well. The passing out, the secret drinking – gosh it brings back memories.

    You were immensely brave and did the right thing and I am so glad you and your children are happier and safer now.

    If you ever feel like chatting to someone who knows, please feel free to drop me an email – understand if you have put that part of your life behind you now though xxxxx
    Laura’s Lovely Blog recently posted…MONTHLY REVIEW: April 15My Profile

  22. Vicki Montague - The Free From Fairy
    May 8, 2015 at 9:05 am (4 years ago)

    I don’t know what to say. What an incredibly brave thing to write about and you must be the most amazingly strong lady in the world to get through this. I am so sorry you have had to go through this but it sounds like you are through the worst of it and can now move on and enjoy your life. May your happiness continue forever. x
    Vicki Montague – The Free From Fairy recently posted…My Favourite New Toy – The Omniblend V!My Profile

  23. K @ Eat.Love.Love
    May 8, 2015 at 7:38 am (4 years ago)

    You are so brave for sharing this! I don’t know where you got the strength to manage the situation, your kids and being so late in pregnancy! I bet it must have been a tough two years but so happy you’re coming out the other side #thelist x
    K @ Eat.Love.Love recently posted…Our Wedding In Tuscany, Italy (June 28th 2013)My Profile

  24. Polly Mixtures
    May 7, 2015 at 7:32 am (4 years ago)

    This post bought tears to my eyes. You are such a hero. Thank God your children have you as a role model as it sounds like you have the strength of an army. That can’t have been easy, well done you for doing the right thing. And well done for your bravery in being so honest. You’re an inspiration. #mmwbh
    Polly Mixtures recently posted…Finca los Pastores, RondaMy Profile

  25. Zara - Mojo Blogs
    May 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm (4 years ago)

    Not going to lie, that was difficult to read without getting upset. You are very strong to have managed to deal with all of that, and amazing to share it now. I can imagine that it was so frustrating for you to try and help and it not work. I do hope that you all enjoy a much happier time for the foreseeable future xx
    Zara – Mojo Blogs recently posted…10 stages of Motherhood (with gifs)My Profile

  26. Kirsten Toyne
    May 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life here. It is so often the way that out of adversity we gain something but it takes insight and strength to see it. Well done.

  27. JanetteDavey
    May 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you. Not brave though. Just tried to cope with a situation that was out of my control as best as I could. Wish it hadn’t happened but we are much happier now. Two of my children are still having counselling but getting there.

  28. JanetteDavey
    May 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Sorry to read that alcohol was present in your childhood. I agree that alcoholism is terrible. I sometimes wonder if I should have stayed to help him more but he made it clear that he didn’t want help.

  29. Georgina
    May 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm (4 years ago)

    Crikey! I’m so pleased that you’re away from him, from such a toxic relationship. What a horrific way for you to split though, and ever so sad, not just for you, but the children too. Alcoholisim is such a horrid disease, so utterly all consuming. I hope the last 2 years have proved to be really healing for you and that you’re in a much better place now.

    It’s not the same, but I remember my dad drinking a lot when I was young. You know when you’re at school and they tell you to draw a picture, when you’re like 5/6/7? I used to draw pictures of my dad with cans of special brew :/ He used to drink drive a lot too – he’d drink several cans, and then drive my mum and I home. If she asked him to slow down because he was speeding, he’d speed up. Eventually he was caught, charged and lost his license for a year and is much better now – but my memories of my childhood are partly of my dad drinking special brew all the time and drink driving everywhere :/
    Georgina recently posted…Our routine #2My Profile

  30. Hannah Spannah
    May 4, 2015 at 5:14 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my word. My heart was in my mouth at times. You are an incredibly brave woman to tell your story and help others. I’m sorry that you faced all of this but I’m glad you’ve come out the otherside and hope that you and your children are happy and healing.

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Two years ago, my world fell apart

  1. […] did not choose to be a single mum.  If you read Two Years Ago, you will see that I had no choice in the matter.  But when I became a single mum, I didn’t […]

  2. […] with six kids – Two years my world fell apart – not strictly a list but I literally read this without blinking. Sending lots of love to Janette […]

  3. […] and Kaiya went through a very difficult time Two Years Ago When My World Fell Apart and I am currently paying for them to have counselling to be able to talk through the events. […]

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