It makes sense that I married a man opposed to any sort of amending or resolving of conflicts and painful moments. Not once, in the span of our short marriage, did we effectively address and resolve any issue. If I brought up a need,concern or feeling of upset, it was met only with rebuttal, tit for tat, score report of all my mis-steps(which are never addressed at the time of offense or with the intent to resolve–just as ammo, to shut down any conversations requiring self reflection) to which I would respond “we can address each of these things, but we can not resolve it all at once”. And the standard goto response to that is still: “get over it why must you rehash?” Wait, me bringing up something in the moment and you listing shit from the past, is me rehashing? I still don’t really get it. By resolving nothing, he, like my sister and mother stoically reserve the right to blast me with past incidences that are never on the table for discussion and resolution– to be put to rest. Oh, I see, this is how we got all of the eggshells that you get to claim are my doing and yours to deal with. So “shut up and pretend you are ok and that it never happened and manage or deny your pain in ways that do not burden others.”
Asking what’s wrong or if something was amiss was always the beginning of infinite tension and emotional banishment, which was attributed to the original sin of having asked “What is wrong?”. “Nothing is wrong, goddammit”. Oh ok. That dynamic is too volatile and scary for me. Thus, earning me the labels of: thin skinned, unstable, resentful.
The likeness of him to my FOO is both jarring and makes perfect sense. My sister also does this thing where she knows she has screwed me over in some way and then keeps checking me with “what is wrong? are you ok?” And from my marriage and recovery, I learned that those are baiting questions. It is her conscience, her looking for something to create drama to justify the turbulence she feels inside herself. Because if I do say “Yes, this or that bothered me”, I am first placated with I am sorry that you feel_________ which is unhelpful bullshit. And then when that doesn’t magic wand fix it or ME(the broken one with sensitivity issues) I get the diatribe of “Yeh, well you did this and that and I didn’t say anything” implying, so now we are even or on unspeaking terms because of me. I don’t want to be even, I want to be connected and safe to make mistakes, make amends and to openly have feelings. But those are not options with people of this constitution. Never bring up the past. Never have a feeling. Never ask or need anything that is not offered or that is difficult and requires self reflection or compassion–For that is not only trouble-making and emotionally unstable, BUT unreasonable. Anne Lamott and her buddy Tom Westin illuminate this with the Five Rules. Click here to read, laugh, relate.
You know what I find to be selfish and unreasonable? That thing I mention all of the time, but I won’t outline here, today, because, well, that is not where I am going with this. After barely 2 weeks of re-submitting myself to contact with the boys’ father, outside of the essential logistics for co-parenting, he has now asked twice for me to take them– because he needs my help. This is what it means to work “with him” to hold him accountable for nothing and to help him and give
what is asked of me and expect zero reciprocity. I want to tell him NO, you have sick days and vacation days, luxuries afforded to you always by your freedom from having to assist with care for our boys after school, during school holidays, sick days. (until recently—that was entirely my responsibility, very life limiting–not many jobs accommodate that).
I want to say “use a sick day or a vacation day or ask my sister”…but that will not lead us anywhere wholesome. My choices are to “put out or fuck off”. It is difficult to not feel angry about that—my inability to be free from THIS. With my FOO, I am happy to fuck off as I have most of my life. With him, there is not that option, so long as I choose to prioritize my boys. WE definitely learn what we live and then marry someone not unlike those who first showed us what “love” is.
Unlearning. Reparenting. Recovery. One day at a time. I get to break the cycle. I cannot change the familiar(literally, of the family) dynamic– ONLY my amount of exposure and my reactions. Yes, it hurts. it sucks. It is my life’s work to grow through it all. I am grateful that in spite of how he treats me, he is a loving father. With adults, he sees all people as fitting into one of two categories, people to impress and get stuff from and people who are in the way and for his use and disposal. “You support me by doing as I wish or I destroy/ discard you” It must be a different kind of lonely to never have an equal, thinking all people are better or worse than you and that all who do not do as you wish must be erased or destroyed. DELETE. All I ever wanted with him…was to walk and work together as equals. Thank good God that Sweet Greg and I walk and talk and work and play as equals.
So, what I am saying is; I will probably do as he “needs” without declaring how RIGHT it would be if I could count on him also, for anything more than his alliance with my FOO and my position as his grateful assistant/helper. For him, I must put out, because Fucking off is not in my children’s best interest. For the FOO, yeh, it is a painful, but obvious sane and sad choice to make.
Update from Boys’ return. They were asked to hug their aunt and S2 said he had to use the restroom and escaped. My sister got my ex a gift and followed him around laughing awkwardly while telling him how great he and his appetizers were. It is reported she hugged and kissed my ex goodbye. And, here is the thing. Imagine the person who has hurt him most in his life. Imagine that I take up with that person and gather with my sons there and call them family and ask our children to embrace them– and then “request” favors and pretended it is no big deal. Shaking my head. Cannot wait to give zero fucks. Boys got iPhones for Christmas and one of them just sent me this meme. Love them–Much Love,
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