2004

Kauai treats us well. We soon find ourselves in a beautiful house on this magical island.

 

house-1

We spend our time working on our design business that we manage from home. In our spare time we go surfing with our friends. We mutually decide that now is the time to start a family and we agree to equally share all household and baby tasks if we are indeed able to get pregnant. Within a month it’s a go and and all goes well untill about the time Jasmijn is born.

happymom

Behind closed doors Dave starts to become emotionally, verbally and psychologically abusive to me. There’s a bunch of name calling going on that I won’t repeat here and all of a sudden I’m no good at anything, ranging from working, cooking, driving, you name it. To our friends and family he puts on the face of the loving, caring father.

Jasmijn has colic and it’s a difficult time. With the excuse that there are no design jobs coming in, Dave takes off for weeks on end working as a house painter, leaving me alone with the care of our constantly crying baby. The few times he is home he shoots movies of himself with Jasmijn and then leaves again to go work or surf. So much for equally sharing those household and baby tasks…

And then there is the time where he grabs Jasmijn off of my breast while I try to soothe her colic via breastfeeding. He runs in to the street with her while yelling that he can soothe her as well as I can. Local authorities get involved and a social worker from Child and Family Services is assigned weekly to help with parenting. Dave only attends one meeting. We try couples counseling to no avail.

When Dave starts design work again I spend the days driving around the island with Jasmijn in her car seat, desperate to escape the constant name calling, belittling and other forms of psychological abuse that is going on at home…

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