Yesterday I ended up having a pretty good day. Iris and I went down to visit Melissa and her family and we spent a bit of time together before I went to my counseling appointment. It felt validating to speak to the counselor-- he knows Matt and I both very well, so I knew he'd have some solid advice for me. He sent me home with a few referrals to agencies I should contact and quite the reality check. Not that I didn't understand the seriousness of the situation, but hearing him tell me that some of the things Matt has done in front of Iris are very, very close to being a valid reason for him (the counselor) to contact CPS really caught me off guard. He said he wouldn't be, as he doesn't think it's warranted in this situation (thank goodness) but that I needed to know that was how serious it was. On a funny side note, he didn't charge me for the appointment. I asked why and he said, well, you're 37 weeks pregnant, and I mostly just provided you with lots of referrals, blah blah blah. I had to laugh because you KNOW you're in rough shape when your counselor feels bad enough for you to give you a free appointment!
I was glad that I felt so confident leaving the appointment because my mom, bless her soul, was less the supportive on the phone when I called to tell her how it went. She is more of the frame of mind that leaving (and therefor screwing myself over financially) is worse than trying to "work it out". I understand her concern about where I will go from here. I started to have some flashbacks to my childhood, and things that used to go on between my own parents. I don't know exactly what happened between them, but there are some very eery similarities between my mother and father and Matt and I. My dad used to pull some of the same shit Matt has. So much for being in a relationship with someone just like your father! Don't get me wrong, I love my dad to death. I think he's a wonderful man, he's just had a rough relationship. I am desperately hoping that if nothing else, I am setting strong examples for my daughters. I know that if either of them were in a relationship like I am I would just be so sad.
Anyways, after I got back to Melissa's she fed me a yummy dinner of jambalaya and then was so kind as to help me do the belly cast. It was fun, and very messy. Iris was rubbing her hands on my greased up belly (I had to slather myself with vaseline before the strips went on) and proceeded to rub her hands over her face and through her hair. She looked SOOO funny. Melissa's husband took some pictures for me, I'll be sure to post them soon.
I really, really enjoy spending time with Melissa's family. I just adore them all and they are truly the nicest people I have ever met. They also are, even in their own imperfect-ness, a great reminder to me of what normal, healthy relationships should be. Melissa calls her husband "baby" and it melts my heart every time she does it :)