Marta: A Changed Life

Initially, Marta found life overwhelming. She focused on her children and what she needed to do to “keep things moving.” She has experienced loss, given the change in her lifestyle as a single parent and becoming a solo provider for her children. She has a few good friends she talks with and join her for walks.

With Tim’s most recent episode, Marta realized she could not “leave her guard down.” She lives with uncertainty and worries about the losses her children are experiencing as a result of Tim’s illness. She elaborated, “Not knowing is he good, is he bad. Not having him as a support system. Not having him any constant part of their life. That’s probably the hardest. How do you replace that? How do you do that?”

Marta realizes she has grown through her experience with Tim.

It’s kind of changed me. I’m more up front and focused and speak my mind and have to do things that I normally wouldn’t have done before, because I have to be put in that position now. Because of being a single parent. As far as the kids or at work, I’ve kind of had to make it happen.

She talked about her decision to obtain a restraining order against Tim.

That was hard. Not that I wanted to do that. I had to protect myself and my son at the time. Other people were trying to say their piece about what I should have done or others were asking, was it really necessary. But when you’re in it and you’re dealing with it, there’s so much going on all the time, they don’t really get the full picture because they’re not there.

Since the episode of phone calls and threats that occurred in the previous year, Marta reports that things have been calm. She calls it “the calm before the storm.” She is currently talking with Tim’s family members about getting her son to a family reunion they are planning. At a previous family gathering, Joe had expected to see his dad, who did not come because he was “sick.” Both her children have not been able to make contact by phone with Tim recently.