The rest of the story

After the girl was asleep I agreed to talk with him some more. On the rare occasions when he has been willing to talk it has always been me leading him through it or outright pulling teeth. He will sit silently for long stretches while he gathers his thoughts. In the past, I’ve tried to exercise patience because I thought it was his head injury that was at fault. (I must admit that patience was difficult; my own thoughts tend to fly so fast.) I had less patience this time because I no longer think the issue is, in the main, his head injury. The issue is fear. I guess I was right.

He was struggling to begin, so I saved him (it’s what I do). I said, “Let’s start with the basics: what is the topic you want to discuss?”

“The Divorce.”

I swear you could hear the capital.

“What about the Divorce?”

“I’m very unhappy about it.”

“No one would know that by your actions.”

At this point he shifted the conversation away from the divorce. I told him, “You’re diverting the focus here. I thought you wanted to talk about the divorce.”

Now he really struggled, “I do. But I think there’s something else I have to talk about first.” So I waited, and he began talking about his father.

I’m not going to relay his words. It just seems wrong. Suffice to say that I was surprised by two things: 1. I really thought that he learned to be passive aggressive from his mother. (If you met her you’d think so, too.) 2. I knew the manner in which his father died, but I did not realize the tremendous guilt he carried over it. I was appalled.

“Let me ask you something. If a 16 year old kid came to you and told you what you just told me, would you tell him it was his fault?”

“No.”

“Of course not. Because no reasonable person on the outside of it would blame the kid. You had no control over what happened. There is no way you could have saved him. It was not your fault.”

It’s hard to tell this part. The husband has pulled a lot of manipulative shit, but I do not believe he would use the death of his father–the single most traumatic experience in his life–this way. What came out of it was this: he is terrified of death and of losing the people he is closest to. He thinks he avoids getting too close so he won’t ever have to go through that again.

Maybe. I don’t know. He seems to have spent a bit of time examining himself for the roots of his behavior. I doubt he’s uncovered all of it, but he seemed genuine about this.

“So, you’re afraid of losing people, and you’re afraid of death. Therefore you push people away to the point where you lose them, and you never really live. Is that about the size of it?”

He sat there for a moment, then looked up at me and said, “Yeah. I guess so.”

“You’re scared?”

“Yes.”

“Welcome to life.”

I intended to wrap the story up in this post, but it’s after midnight and I have to be up by 4:00 AM. Sorry, folks.

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Right. So…

I think (it’s all a bit of a blur) I may have just walked away from him for a minute. Or something. The conversation continued with him saying that he knows he needs therapy, but it may take him some time to get it set up. In the meantime, he wants to start keeping a notebook to help him track his behavior. He said he wasn’t aware of what he was doing, that his perception of things was much different than mine. He said he’s just now coming to see things in a different light, and he’s a bit shocked by it. It seems to me that he’s clinging to the notion that none of it was in his concious control, and I’m inclined to let him keep his life raft for now.

I told him that therapy would be necessary for him if he ever wanted to have a fulfilling relationship with anyone, including his daughter, and he conceded that this is true. I reiterated that it was too late to save the marriage, and he said he understood that, but he felt he owed it to me to acknowledge my feelings and apologize for the mess he made. He wanted me to know that he never intentionally set out to hurt me on a conscious level.

The conversation had to stop there because I needed to get our daughter out of the tub.

The rest of the story will keep until tomorrow.

Strange days indeed

I didn’t do much of anything yesterday, but it was an eventful day, nonetheless. It started with an email from the coworker.

He was out of town this whole week. He called me last Friday, but I didn’t return the call. I’ve been getting the unsettling feeling that his plan is to simply act as if he’s my boyfriend until it becomes my reality. It wasn’t something I either wanted to encourage or discuss on the telephone. In the meantime, someone at the college had contacted him regarding the event we’re planning with an offer of assistance. I counseled him to be wary of this individual as she is a known trouble maker and does not have the authority to make the offer she did. Sure enough, it blew up in a series of angry emails, and now he’s stuck in the middle of it. He forwarded me the email chain and commented something along the lines of, “Wow! You were right.” He ended it with, “You are loved!” Ugh. So Monday I get to have a bit of a sit-down with him. I’m not looking forward to it.

I had not decided whether or not I wanted to confront the husband regarding the radio show, but being stuck home with him all day yesterday made me realize that it was necessary. It was either confront him or continue to seethe. So I told him:

“I did not appreciate your behavior on the radio last night.”

And I swear, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Oh! Holy HELL! There was no unlighting the fuse at that point.

“DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO GASLIGHT ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH!”

Yeah…

I’d told him a week(?) ago that I think he’s passive aggressive, and he denied it. It was expected. What wasn’t expected was that after allowing me to spew venom at him for a minute or so yesterday, he looked remorseful. He said, “I didn’t believe you when you said I’m passive aggressive, but I looked it up. I did a lot of reading, and I recognize myself in some of it. Not all of it, but enough to admit that I am passive aggressive. I understand what you’ve been trying to tell me for a long time, and I’m truly sorry.”

Well. I have to give him credit. He sure did shut me up.

More later…

sick

Bleh. The nasty germs that have been floating around finally got me, so I’m staying home. I have to be on campus early, early Saturday morning and will be there until evening. I need to be well by then.

Click.

Ah, where to begin…

It was a dark and stormy night.

After fuming most of the night away, I found myself in conversation with two wonderful and lovely ladies. One of them said, “You’re too emotionally healthy for him.” For half a second she stumped me, but then I thought, “Whoa. She’s right.”

I shared pieces of my identity with them. The other said, “I had to look up fibromyalgia. It’s chronic pain, isn’t it?” I told her that was it in a nutshell, but it’s a diagnosis I’ve never been comfortable with, that I felt my symptoms were more likely a physical manifestation of depression and stress.

I first began blogging way back in 2001 when I was going through my first divorce. It was a long, drawn out, and ugly affair. The pain of it was compounded by cruelties accidental and otherwise. It was the first time I was treated (unsuccessfully) for depression. Life went on. I got over it. My blogging lapsed as I adjusted to single parenthood. I started again in… I don’t know. 2013?

I was going through another depressive episode. I was in a lot of pain, often flaring for days at a time with what my doctor decided to “punt” and call fibromyalgia. But it didn’t quite sit right with me. I thought, “Maybe it really is “all in my head” (so to speak). I began going back and exploring the dark and murky past of my childhood. I allowed myself the opportunity to say all the things I’d been conditioned to believe should be kept locked behind doors. It was not a pleasant experience, but I believed it was necessary.

Sure enough, my depression started to lift, and I got the job I’m currently doing. The first few months were difficult. It wasn’t until I was here about four months when I finally felt like I could begin to make a tangible difference. But in that time, something interesting happened: my flares became less frequent and shorter in duration. Mind you, the flares haven’t stopped entirely. I still get pain, particularly headaches. But I can usually sleep. I can usually push through whatever pain I may be having and stay active (rather than being flat on my back for days at a time). Physically, I feel better than I have in a long time.

I didn’t connect the improvement I was experiencing with the work I’d done in dealing with my childhood, which seems odd now that I think about it. I was too busy, too engaged to ponder it. But old habits die hard, and I was still acting out my Savior role. I was still beating my head against the wall trying to get my husband to work with me so we could have a happy and fulfilling life. But I don’t want to struggle forever. I made this blog so I could get it all out without worrying that he would be virtually looking over my shoulder. (As if—who was I kidding?)

I’ve only been here for about two months. When I think about the things I’ve written here and to others I see that:

• I’ve long been over the betrayal and hurt from my first marriage.
• I still try to save people, but I see it as an outdated thing that does not contribute to either my happiness or well-being, and I am ready to let it go.
• I neither can nor want to save someone who isn’t willing to participate in their own rescue.
• The discomfort I feel with the Savior role stems from feeling at peace with my childhood and confidence in my decisions about how I want to go forward.

For the first time in a very long time my physical condition is improving. For the first time in my entire life, I feel that I am emotionally healthy–or at least most of the way there.

• I’m not afraid.
• I’m not depressed.
• I’m not defeated.

I’m just me.

Feels good, man.

Sorry to bombard you with posts tonight

I don’t know if any of you caught that, but… *sigh*

The first half of that show… I don’t even know what to say. This was a great opportunity for him. I know he originally wasn’t expecting me to tune in, but how could I deny his daughter the opportunity to hear her Dad on the radio? So earlier today I asked him what station he was going to be on.

I shouldn’t have done it. Maybe if I’d found out surreptitiously it would have been for the best. As it is I feel like he used the first set as a vehicle for sending me passive messages regarding how “messed up in the head” he is over the divorce. I assure you: face to face he’s cool as a frikkin’ cucumber. How the hell am I supposed to take that? Did he need to blurt out mine and my daughter’s names over the airwaves three or four times? WTF?

The second half was… a little better? It’s a shame, really. He’s actually quite talented. Also, he played “Bird Dick”. On the radio. And he couldn’t stop dropping F-bombs.

I’m so glad my daughter is too young to know what a disaster that was.

You know, if he had actually nailed that, if he had been the faragin’ professional that I know him to be, I might have actually been impressed.

tanked
tanked