Category Archives: Epiphany

My brother: Chapter 3: ME.

That phone conversation sent me into the dark place… that place where I go when I feel emotionally trapped.  I’ve been to that place oh so many times over the years.  I’ve lived there for months at a time.  I don’t go there very often any more, but when I do, I go with a new awareness that makes the pain deeper, and therefore shorter lasting.  There was nothing I could say… nothing.  Anything I said would have made me look like the ass hole.  I couldn’t believe the tone in his voice, the matter-of-fact way with which he spoke… the absolute void-of-emotion conversation we were having.  He was leaving to go back across the ocean in less than 24 hours… no desire to see your sister who is one of the greatest people you’ve ever known???  No NEED to see her and hug her and say thank you, I love you, one more time?  No.  Nothing but a slight obligatory tone indicative of a family member who is obligated to appease another family member just by showing up when is expected.  And then my mind started spinning…

Of course he was acting distant to me now that he’d come home and my parents were completely and amazingly supportive of his situation.  He’d called them and told them and given them a few days to think it over before he called back to tell them he was coming home to marry Rachel.  I finally spoke to my mother about it and her word-for-word comments were these,”I mean, what are we supposed to do, but be supportive?  We can make a big deal about it and worry about what everyone will think, or we can just accept that this is what it is and love them and be the supportive parents that they need us to be right now.  It could be a lot worse.”

Pause still for shock and awe.

My jaw nearly fell off my face.  After a few seconds of speechlessness, I managed to tell her how proud I was for her and how right she was.  I told her I was proud of her three times.  She acted surprised… and finally said, “Well, ya know, we’ve been through a lot, Ellie, and we aren’t going to be the kind of parents that aren’t there for our children.  I can’t tell you what some of my cousins went through with their families and the lack of support they received.  We’re just not going to do that.”  She talked a little bit more but I tuned her out… I told her I was proud of her for the last time and we said goodbye.

I shared this apparent awakening with an old friend and was able to laugh about how I feel that I have a right to take credit for some of that obvious emotional growth and development that has occurred in my parents… I like to think I broke them in with my bi-racial marriage and all.  They ignored my husband’s existence for 2 years and lectured me about how they’d burn in hell before they had black grand-babies… they told me at the age of 25 that I had no “idea” what I was doing and that I “better stop it now” before it’s “too late.”  Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what they meant by “too late.”  They never reacted well to any situation I found myself in.  They were never supportive of me in my darkest hours when I needed them the most.  As proud as I was of them for the way they were handling this situation, their ease and acceptance just dug the knife they planted in my heart many years ago in just a little bit deeper.  That is a pain that is profound and very energy consuming to cover up when they are around.

So, here was my brother, home and spending time with my mom and dad who completely and almost immediately embraced him and the girl they once said they could not stand.  They surrounded him with the love and support he needed almost immediately, as he said they would.  He told me, “they don’t have a choice, they’ll love her and be supportive of her because our family is amazing and that’s what families do.”  It has taken me years of therapy to realize that they very much do have a choice when it comes to what kind of parents they choose to be.  I am finally beginning to understand this. Parents always have a choice as to how they will react to their children.  Herein lies the “ME” part of this chapter.

In my frustration, I tried calling my parents, no answer.  I tried calling my sister, no answer.  I just could not bring myself to seek comfort from my husband, who had the knowledge to offer the most compassion, but lacks a general ability to actually show compassion, which presents an obvious problem. But, I decided to tell him anyway because quite frankly, he was the only one who knew the history and sometimes I just can’t be bothered explaining it all, nor do I want everyone in my life to know the drama that is my family.  I explained to my husband that I was feeling hurt by the entire situation on multiple levels:  hurt that my brother was showing no interest or even care about whether or not he saw me before he left the country, hurt that my parents had shown him such support and love when I never have been able to receive that from them. I told him that if it were not for me and all of the things I “put them through,” this would never be.  His response did not shock me… he told me “Don’t even take it there, Ellie.  Don’t even take it there. This isn’t about you or your parents…”  I stopped him and calmly explained that the situation involves me because of the bond I have with my brother.  I explained that I am allowed and should be granted full permission in my own house to feel things as I need to feel them as I adjust to the situation.  I explained that he must understand my shock and awe at my parents behavior considering that I had received such opposite behavior from them on multiple occasions in my life.  Certainly, he could understand that?? Apparently not. So, I told the blog. ūüėČ

They finally came by; it was after their dinner reservations, around 9pm.  I’d just put my son to bed.  As soon as I saw him, all the anger and hurt I’d been feeling all day naturally disappeared.  I hugged him and told him to please keep in touch once he was back home.  I’m a bit of an over protective sister at this point and I do recognize that I have some adjusting to do, but who wouldn’t?  

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Courage and Cravings

‚ÄúHave enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē¬†Maya Angelou

Blogging can be lonely as hell. ¬†So can marriage. ¬†Let me tell you, I don’t know what keeps me writing or fighting sometimes. ¬†Is it courage? ¬†Or insanity? ¬†What makes me so scared to start saving money and making this divorce happen? ¬†What makes me believe that there could still be hope? ¬†I feel these days like I’m slowly coming apart at the seams despite my incredible determination not to. ¬†I believe it’s just exhaustion… shear exhaustion. ¬†Exhaustion from years of trying to explain myself and the problems to my husband. ¬†Years. ¬†YEARS.
‚ÄúMost of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.‚Ä̬†‚Äē¬†Dale Carnegie

‚ÄúCourage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē¬†Mary Anne Radmacher

‚ÄúThings don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē¬†Samuel Johnson

He is trying. ¬†I can tell. ¬†In the last few days there have been some signs of a fundamental change. ¬†I know it will not happen over night. ¬†The only problem with it is that it is so incredibly late. ¬†I want to feel grateful and relieved and “back to normal.” ¬†I want to crave him… but I don’t.

The only thing I crave these days are my dreams. ¬†I’ve been having recurring dreams of the one that got away; rather, the one that almost was. ¬†The one that was my best friend. ¬†The one that wouldn’t leave the room unless he knew that I felt at least better… until I felt understood and heard. ¬†The one that could hug me and make the world disappear. ¬†In my dreams, he’s been doing that. ¬†He’s been hugging me, and I’ve finally been able to feel his intimate touch and his lips against mine. ¬†It has been my saving grace in the middle of the night… compensation for the lack of affection and security I feel with my husband. ¬†A good friend told me that he is showing up in my life to remind me that it is possible for me to be loved that way – that it’s out there. ¬†Of course, I spend a lot of time (too much time?) imagining that he sometimes dreams of me as well… that he wonders if he made the right choice. ¬†I wonder if he thinks about me and longs to know what it would’ve been like to grow and travel the world with me. ¬†It seems like he’s living the life I was meant to live, somehow. ¬†Whatever the reason he has come back into my life, even if only fantastically, I am so grateful for it. ¬†I am grateful for those dreams that feel so real I wake up feeling comforted and loved.


Lethal Compassion

My drives to work in the morning have become quite productive. ¬†This morning, once again, I was reflecting on Neil Gaiman’s words, particularly these: “They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind.” ¬†My compassion for others has always been one of my favorite attributes – and I am starting to understand why every single thing has to have a boundary, even this. ¬†I know that my husband is not an abusive person and that he has a pure and kind heart. ¬†I, therefore, know and understand that when he says things to me that crush my soul, he doesn’t do it with malice. ¬†But, he still does it, and that is the point.

This weekend I went to my neighbor’s house for her birthday party. ¬†It was great – more fun than I have had in quite some time. ¬†It was the kind of fun I used to have all the time in college – except very different because the conversations had were much more mature, lol. ¬†I had so much fun – and in the middle of the fun and conversations I realized that I am barely really living my life. ¬†I struggle so much with anxiety now that I forget how easy it used to be for me to meet and get to know new people. ¬†These aren’t your average people I was hanging with – these are people that are real and so much themselves that you can’t help but to be yourself just to try and honor their fearlessness. ¬†Sigh, isn’t that only something those of us who are afraid to really be ourselves say? ¬†Anyway, on to my point…

I got home late, very late. ¬†I was feeling so peaceful and happy that I had given myself that time to relax and have fun, because I rarely let myself do so. ¬†I crawled into my bed with a smile on my face, leaned over in an attempt to cuddle with the husband to let him know I was home. ¬†I knew he wasn’t sleeping, and he wasn’t moving either. ¬†It didn’t take long for the sickening feeling to come over me – the feeling I get when I realize he is unhappy with me for some truly obnoxious and ridiculous reason. ¬†I wanted to be sure he actually was alive, so I said, “Are you okay?” ¬†I got no response, but the tension began to spread in the silent return. ¬†This time, I was determined not to let him ruin that wonderful, warm feeling I had so I just put my ear plugs in and went back to sleep. ¬†I didn’t even want to hear what¬†ridiculous¬†things he was saying because they weren’t going to be nice things and I didn’t deserve to hear them. ¬†He did answer me, finally, emphatically, with: “Are you fucking kidding me? Do you think that just because you are next door that you can stay out as late as you want?” ¬†And, with that, I fell asleep. ¬†It felt very good to just tune him out and not internalize the accusation and react to him for the moment.

The next morning I tried explaining to him that he could have expressed his frustration to me in many ways other than the way he ultimately chose to. ¬†I explained the same thing I have explained a million times to him (and by a million I mean nearly every time I go “out” and I push the limits of unexpressed rules that he apparently has for me, such as a curfew), that it really is all about communication and the way we speak to each other. ¬†I told him how hurt and uncomfortable it makes me feel when he talks to me in that tone for that reason. ¬†In the nicest way I’ve ever described it to him, I told him that he is better than this controlling person he sounds like when he accuses me of doing something wrong when all I’ve done is stay out a little later than usual and let myself socialize in an adult world for a change.

He sounds like a controlling ass hole, does he not?? ¬†Well, he’s really not! ¬†He is simply a product of his upbringing, which happens to have taken place in a part of the world that is largely patriarchal even today (and, more so that here in the good ole’ U.S.A. which I do realize is quite patriarchal still as well.) ¬†I have watched his mother and father interact and it is clear that even today, in 2012, there are definite and defined limits on his mother’s actions. ¬†She may be feisty and rebellious at times, and by that I mean, she may have an opinion and express that opinion, but she is ultimately guided and willingly follows the standards of submissiveness that she has existed in for her entire life. ¬†Now, my husband has explained to me that this is not true in any sense. ¬†Because he doesn’t see it. ¬†And how could he? ¬†It is perfectly normal to him. ¬†He has never shown interest in exploring the roots of the kind of behavior he exhibits in these circumstances. ¬†So, the story goes that because I am compassionate and I know his heart is kind and pure, I look beyond it, forgive him, accept that he is never “sorry” for how badly he makes me feel during these moments. ¬†Which brings me to the title of original title this post, which was “The Subtle, Confusing, Innocence of Emotional Abuse.” ¬†You can see why I changed it.

Just saying the word “abuse” feels very taboo and foreign and uncomfortable to me, because it is almost always followed, in my head at least, with the word “victim.” ¬†I don’t want to be anybody’s victim, I don’t want to play the victim, I don’t want to¬†over-exaggerate¬†my circumstances, I don’t want to accuse. ¬†My husband is not a monster and he really is one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. ¬†I keep trying to figure out if he’s always been this controlling or if he’s changed over the years as circumstances have hardened his heart. ¬†I’ve thought he’s been depressed now for over a year, and I chalk his behavior up to that a lot and I do understand his recent frustration with life. ¬†But, our marriage has had many problems that stem from our fundamental differences for quite some time. ¬†This is one of the main reasons it is so hard for me to use the word “abuse” when talking about my marriage or my husband, because I know he doesn’t treat me this way with malice. ¬†However, by it’s definition, emotional abuse is “any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal assaults.” ¬†This is a fairly basic definition, found on a random college counseling website that I don’t live anywhere near. ¬†Google sure is handy. ¬†I liked this definition, though, because of this comment, “Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim‚Äôs self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept.”

Now, listen as I explain away the absolute fact that this is what is happening in my marriage. ¬†I have blatantly pointed out to my husband that what he is doing qualifies as emotional abuse, and, naturally, he scoffs and says things like, “Please!” Or “Wow, really? ¬†This is unbelievable.” ¬†Or, my personal favorite, “So if you think I am abusing you, why don’t you just leave?” ¬†The more I weed through the problems of our marriage and my contributions to our utter lack of healthy communication patterns, the more I come to realize that in this case, my compassion has started to hurt rather than help me. ¬†I understand why he thinks it is okay to belittle and disrespect me on a regular basis. ¬†This does not mean I have to accept it. ¬†Accepting it includes letting it happen. ¬†Letting it happen includes letting it go, moving on with our daily lives as if nothing is wrong because it’s just easier that way. ¬†I have tried explaining the way he makes me feel many, many times. ¬†I have tried every perspective that you can imagine. ¬†The only thing that works, sometimes, is when I ask him to put himself in my shoes and “Would you like it if I said that to you?” ¬†In the end, whether he says he is sorry or not, the root of the problem is never truly addressed and thus, the cycle continues. ¬†Thus, his insistence that all of our problems are due to my “creation of problems that don’t exist (more emotional abuse).” ¬†A good friend recently reminded me of a quote that says something along the lines of, “before you diagnose yourself with any kind of disorder or mental illness, be sure that you aren’t just surrounded by ass holes first.”

I actually would prefer to be married to my husband for the rest of my life. ¬†I just need him to love himself enough to make some transformations so that he can be the person I know he wants to be, so that we can have the kind of marriage we both deserve. ¬†I thought, as I always do, that I could actually be unaffected by his temper tantrum. ¬†It had no logic, was cruel, I didn’t deserve it, so why give it a thought? ¬†Why try and explain myself? ¬†I just end up sounding guilty and I was not guilty of anything – I was literally next door with people he knows just as well as I do! ¬†Despite this understanding, I did somehow still end up defending myself as well. ¬†” know it was late, but I was having fun….” ¬†I am an adult – I am fairly far into adulthood… certainly far enough to make decisions for myself. ¬†The fact that I even had to have that kind of a conversation and thought process is really the core reason why I feel so heartbroken and disturbed at the end of these little battles. ¬†Because, they are battles within my husband that I am trying to fight for him. ¬† And I will never win.

This is just one small example of the way things typically go in my house. ¬†The sad and excruciating part of this is that the rest of the day, we actually got along just fine. ¬†I assumed that he had calmed down and reason had returned to him with sleep. ¬†I also assumed that he knew what I said was right and recognized his mistake in treating me like his 16 year old child. ¬†So, later that night when he tried to snuggle up to me, I asked him if he felt bad for the way he had spoken to me. ¬†Yes, I totally ruined the “moment” but this was NOT my intention! ¬†I fully expected him to say, “Yes, I do.” ¬†And, herein lies MY neurosis. ¬†I didn’t expect an apology, he sucks at them. ¬†I figured at the very least he’d ACKNOWLEDGE how dreadful he was to me. ¬†But, alas, he did not. ¬†He actually ended up emphasizing his point that as a wife and a mother, I should not “behave that way.” ¬†It’s quite hilarious when you think about it – because one could conclude that as a wife and a mother, he intends for me never to socialize (even with the neighbors), drink alcohol socially, meet new people, invest in new friendships, and of course never stay out past 12? 1? 2am? ¬†And the reason for this is because of… what people will say about me? ¬†Him? ¬†Because I’d love to know who the hell would agree with him that my “behavior” was inappropriate. ¬†If I was bar-hopping every night and standing on a corner, eh, yeah, I can see how that may cross the motherly/wifely line. ¬†For the love of GOD, I was NEXT DOOR. ¬†(That maybe the title of my book, just sayin’.)

So, when no acknowledgement of any wrong doing occurred, I shut down. ¬†I couldn’t believe it. ¬†He couldn’t believe it either… so, he blurted out, “This relationship is going nowhere with you.” ¬†Isn’t that lovely? ¬†Again, he implies that due to my complete and utter psychosis, “this relationship” is going nowhere. ¬†“This relationship” can’t go anywhere unless we are both committed to its survival. ¬†Survival. ¬†I am completely okay with it sometimes just being about surviving as a couple. ¬†It is like life… sometimes we really do just “survive.” ¬†I have been “surviving” now for a long, long time. ¬†I don’t want to do that anymore. ¬†I want to thrive. ¬†I want my son to see me as free and happy as I was in the midst of all that fun on Saturday night, the way I am when it is just him and I, laughing and playing and living the magical¬†moments¬†of life together. ¬† Maybe I ruined the moment my husband was in desperate need of at that time. ¬†But, as I told him later that night, it’s pretty essential that we start asking ourselves the hard questions at this juncture, because I’m sick of the merry-go-round. ¬†It is fine for us to have a difference in opinion about what is and is not appropriate “behavior” for me as a mother and a wife. ¬†It is not okay for him to shame me for not following his definition. ¬†It is not okay for him to do this once… and he has done it many, many times.

As things become more and more clear to me, I realize that I have a decision to make. ¬†He won’t go to therapy. ¬†The pattern won’t change on it’s own. ¬†I can’t be our therapist. ¬†I can’t save our marriage. ¬†Our problems are fixable. ¬†This is what breaks my heart… I am a fighter! ¬†I don’t like giving up on people, especially people who I love and believe in. ¬†However, I realize now that it is not in my power to change him and that my compassion for him and the way he was raised can only take me so far. ¬†Trying to understand and explain away his abusive behavior is only hurting me. ¬†It is only a matter of time before my son starts to learn the same patterns that my husband learned throughout his childhood. ¬†And, I just can’t let that happen.

It’s been fairly dark inside my head this week as we have barely spoken anything other than necessary words to one another. ¬†I think we are both sad, and as usual the saddest part to me is that he is waiting for me to “get over it” while I am waiting for him to give me things he will never be able to give me. ¬†I don’t know what will happen, how this one will turn out… if I will feel it is necessary to go back into denial or not for awhile. ¬†But, I know that I just wrote this blog and that the fear of what lies beyond the “what if we don’t make it” thoughts are becoming less and less overwhelming. ¬†I know that my son gives me incredible strength and a will to live and keep fighting this fight that is unparalleled. ¬† I know that no matter what happens, I will be fine. ¬†Better than fine. ¬†I will thrive. ¬†ūüôā


Epiphany

‚ÄúI’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.‚Ä̬†¬†– Neil Gaiman

It’s no secret why this struck me. ¬†I’m fairly passionate about education and in particular the list of things that we aren’t taught. ¬†This quote stayed with me through the night last night. ¬†I also thought about it on the way to work this morning while listening to my Adele cd, given to me by my husband. ¬†I thought of my imaginary life… the one that I’d have lived if my college sweetheart had chosen me. ¬†I thought of the post he wrote on his most recent anniversary to his wife. ¬†“These have been the best years of my life.”

I don’t think I feel any differently. ¬†The years I’ve spent with my husband have been the best years of my life. ¬†I think it is possible to say such a thing, and still imagine better years. ¬†I thought at this point in my life things would be more defined. ¬†Thanks to my friend Walt Disney, I really believed that love and marriage and even friendship was pretty cut and dry. ¬†You care, you love, you marry, you’re happy. ¬†Life isn’t that simple. ¬†I’d like to start this new year off with a mission to accept the grey areas in my life. ¬†I think it may help my marriage. ¬†I want to be okay with wondering how my life would’ve been “if only” because the more life I live, the more I realize that nothing is as it seems. ¬†Nothing.

I have thus decided that this grey sea I swim in is not all that bad, and certainly not abnormal. ¬†I think I’ll start embracing the unknown parts of myself with this new understanding. ¬†Am I head over heals in love with my life and happy and 100% sure about every area of my life? ¬†Is anyone? ¬†I think my latest “key to life” revelation is that life is a series of in-between moments and it’s up to us to make the best of them.

Happy New Year!


End of Our Ropes

If I compiled every letter I’ve written my husband over the years, I’d have at least a short novel. ¬†It wouldn’t get published, though, because it’s fairly repetitive. ¬†I think this is a sign to me that I’m asking for things I’m never going to get.

Two friends of mine recently severed ties with their boyfriends. ¬†They are both in their 30s like me. ¬†I have many different kinds of friends, like we all do. ¬†Some of them are supportive and have been for years (and patient, might I add) and some of them, not so much. ¬†Earlier this year one of them essentially told me that I should just “get over it” or “leave.” ¬†Easy for someone to say who is not standing in my place. ¬†I believe that she meant well and tried not to take it too personally, but it stuck with me and stumped me for a few months.

I really do try and remain positive. ¬†I’ve been through a lot and rising above my natural gift for negativity is not easy, but I’m better at it now than I always have been. ¬†I didn’t want to write about this constant marital turmoil for many months after my friend gave me her very blunt opinion about what she thinks I should do with my life. ¬†Obviously, she isn’t the person I confide in anymore. ¬†Nor do I rely on her support. ¬†I still love her as my friend and she is supportive of me in other very important ways. ¬†But it changed the dynamics of our friendship in a small way, forever.

It’s a fairly simple equation there… I realized that I could not get that kind of support from her anymore, and I decided after a few weeks of wondering what to do – to just accept it for what it is. ¬†Love her anyway, set some new expectations, and move on and continue enjoying her as she is – no more, no less.

So why can’t it be like that with my husband? ¬†Why isn’t it that simple? ¬†I look at my friends who have just embarked on new chapters in their lives… they have decided “This is where you stop and I start.” ¬†They have drawn a line in the sand and kept it there. ¬†This is not without struggle and strife, mind you. ¬†Both of them worked as hard as one can work to “fix” what was broken. ¬†They both sacrificed, examined, and changed things about themselves along the way. ¬†They both grew from their relationships… and they grew so much that they realized individually that their growth simply could not continue if they remained in their relationships.

So, this is not the first time I’ve lived vicariously through my friends who are seemingly much stronger and braver than I am. ¬†I can’t draw that line in the sand, and although I’ve said in many ways, nicely and not so nicely, “This is where you stop and I start,” it hasn’t exactly held much weight because I’ve essentially “stopped” as well. ¬†Only I haven’t. ¬†I’ve kept growing, and the more I’ve grown the clearer things have become, and the clearer things have come and the less he moves with me, the more angry I get. ¬†The point that now, the anger is almost crippling. ¬†I am starting to believe that even at this point if he agreed to counseling or showed me any kind of valiant effort, it is already too late. ¬†And, as is evident by the fact that I’m even writing all of this down, I am only getting stronger and braver by the day.

For years, I internalized everything and the only thing any kind of dynamical dysfunction in our (or any other) relationship crippled, was me. ¬†After years of therapy and epiphany, I’ve stopped doing that. ¬†It’s improved my relationship with my entire family… I’ve forgiven my dad for so many things and accepted him as the human being that he is, imperfect like the rest of us. ¬†As I realized in all this therapy, however, just because it’s “easier” now and I’ve learned to cope with our dysfunction – it is still very present. ¬†That is why the holidays bring stress and too much family time sends me over the plank a bit. ¬†But I have medication for that… ;). ¬†I think in all of this self-analysis, one major realization I had was how comfortable I was with all that dysfunction when I met my husband. ¬†If I met him today, and the series of events that occurred even within the first 3 months of our relationship happened again, I’d have no trouble laughing that off as a “good try.” ¬†I’d laugh with my girlfriends about how this guy thought I’d be his princess, when I’m actually a QUEEN. ¬†I’d joke about his utter lack of selflessness, and about how pompous and proud he was. ¬†I’d have been sad because his good qualities are so immensely good – ¬†he has a good heart, he’s adorably attractive, he has an amazing perspective on life and the world, and his dreams are admirable. ¬†But it would be a brief sadness… and I’d move on to someone who was a bit more aware of themselves and of what it takes to please and love and show care for another human being.

So is it really fair of me to stop the relationship in its tracks and expect him to be different, when he’s really the same person he always was? ¬†This thought has kept me around as well. I’ve realized that it isn’t his fault. ¬†I understand that I’m the one who has changed. ¬†I understand that it’s not fair for me to expect him to just magically know what to do. ¬†So, gently (and not so gently) over the last couple of years, I’ve introduced him to the new me, told him what I need to feel loved, and waited and hoped that it would sink in and that he’d want to grow and learn these things. ¬†I believe that he can. ¬†And the hurt that I feel at the true, emotionally raw moments when I am able to feel the immense sadness that is the death of our connection and thereby our love, stems from the realization that he is not interested in changing because he doesn’t think he needs to. ¬†He thinks love is or isn’t, he doesn’t think it is something that you have to work on. ¬†I’ve tried explaining it all to him, so many times, in so many ways, and I am just tired now and tired to the point hopelessness. ¬†And the anger that turns to anxiety that turns me into a person and a mother that I don’t want to be… is becoming my line in the sand. ¬†And it’s getting easier and easier to imagine walking away from that line and leaving him behind. ¬†And he’s just letting it happen, and that breaks my heart.

I realized after our most recent, and most honest talk that we’ve ever had, that we are both at the end of our ropes. ¬†I guess, I thought we were hanging on to the same one – but I don’t think we are. ¬†We’re hanging on to two different ropes and swinging in two different directions. ¬†We’re both physically and mentally exhausted, and we’re miserable. ¬†And as he pointed out, there’s a little bit of hate in our arguments now. ¬†And somehow we magically agree, now, that neither one of us is prepared to remain in a space where hatred exists.

Every time I look at my son, I see my husband’s good qualities… and I start to imagine what life would be like for him if we were apart. ¬†It’s not a fairy tale… it’s not something I ever wanted to imagine would happen, but if we keep up the stress level that our relationship is creating in both of us 80% of the time now, he will learn the wrong things about love, just like I did. ¬†And neither one of us wants that to happen.

I hope that I can keep writing like this. ¬†I feel better every time I do, regardless of how scary the words are when I read them later. ¬†Truth isn’t always comfortable, though, is it?


Fears.

I have decided to list them.  So I can get over them.  It is high time I kick this blog in the ass.

#1.  People will judge me and label be as an unappreciative, close minded person and wife.  (I am not, by the way.)

#2.  I will be wrong sometimes, and I will sound like a fool.  (I will, and it will be fine)

#3. ¬†People will think I am crazy. ¬†(Hard when you’ve been told in many ways by the people closest to you that you are… when you clearly aren’t. ¬†And, by clearly, I mean… well you’ll find out)

#4. ¬†My marriage will survive this and I will regret things I’ll say in this blog. ¬†(I don’t believe in the cliche that you should never say anything you’ll regret. ¬†That’s bullshit. ¬†We say things we regret all¬†the time.)

#5. ¬†My marriage won’t survive and this blog will haunt me! ¬†(I am easily haunted)

#6. ¬†My marriage will remain stagnant and I will be writing this blog for the rest of my life. ¬†(No…. I WON’T.)

#7. ¬†No one will read it. ¬†(So what? ¬†It’s for me, not for you… well… that’s not true the entire thing started b/c I know there are plenty of angry bitches out there just like me!)

#8. ¬†I will get stronger. ¬†(The stronger I get, the more sense life makes. ¬†The more sense life makes, the more happiness I know I can have… the more I know I can have… the more I want.)

#9. ¬†I will look like a coward who just can’t leave. ¬†(He really is a wonderful man. ¬†I am just utterly unsatisfied and unwilling to accept his lack of interest in growing with me. ¬†I just want to be loved in little ways and big ways and all the time. ¬†I want to feel loved.)

#10. ¬†I fear that I am truly 50% of the problem. ¬†I know I am part of the problem, but I’m wildly convinced that after all my therapy and self-help, I must only be 20% of the problem now. ¬†That 30% cost me a pretty penny. ¬†And, they really are quite pretty when you really look or photograph them. ¬†ūüėČ

That is enough fear.  Time to write.


Greener Grass

Today, yesterday, tomorrow. ¬†RENT. ¬†“No DAY but today.” ¬†I try to live my marriage life with this sentiment. ¬†I love my husband on many levels. ¬†I am committed to him, that’s for sure. ¬†But I wonder, several times a day, if there is such a thing as a soul mate. ¬†I used to believe there was. ¬†It was easy, once upon a time, for me to believe that there was reason in every little event in my life. One¬†catastrophe¬†led to another epiphany and so on… and in many ways I do live my life like that. ¬† But in the truth, which is burrowed ever so quietly inside of my busy mind – the epiphany I sometimes feel I don’t have the strength to tend to is that I made a mistake.

As hard as I try I can’t bring the fire back. ¬†There are moments of passion, but I even wonder if they are real sometimes. ¬†I wonder if this is what marriage is like for everyone… the ebbs and flows…if they are unmistakably this frequent and confusing. ¬†Or if I’m missing out. ¬†If there is a true and single connection to be made out there while I sit and make the best of my choices here at home. ¬†I am aware that the grass really is always greener… I am sure that my fantasies would disappoint me if they really surfaced. ¬†The funny thing is that my fantasies are more about closure than excitement! ¬†Hmmm…. question for the therapist I’m currently not seeing anymore!

Maybe it’s the loss of my¬†innocence… the refusal to believe that life, and marriage, are just difficult – no matter what. ¬†What I wouldn’t do to step back into my teen years… for just one night. ¬†To feel that wonder again! ¬†To go on my first “real” date all over again – to let go of all the rules I had for myself as a young and way too good girl. ¬†ūüôā ¬†To re-live my college romance and grant myself that one wishful memory. ¬†I can’t go back and make different decisions. ¬†That’s for sure. ¬†But I want to.

I am thankful for the memories and the dreams that keep me dreaming. ¬†I have to be, they keep it interesting. ¬†ūüôā


The Key To Life

I think I’ve got it!¬† It’s a simple concept but oh so difficult to accomplish – and definitely takes a lifetime to achieve.

KNOW YOURSELF.

This has to be it.  Everything else is truly just circumstance.  Circumstances that you choose to take advantage of or not, but circumstances nonetheless.  The only way to truly live life to its fullest intention is to understand how you relate to others.  In this realization, you free yourself from limitation and everything that leads to limitation: guilt, shame, hypocrisy, etc..  The closer I come to understanding who I am, how I came to be the person I am today Рthe faster I move in the direction of becoming who I want to be.  I understand that my actions and reactions are primarily emotionally driven.  That knowledge allows me to step out of my emotional self, and begin observing myself from an intellectually constructive angle.  Does it make sense that I am so angry?  Where is this anger coming from?  How else could I show my anger?  What emotions or thoughts am I having that are mere results of my anger?  Does this anger ultimately offer insight into who I am?  The older I get the more I am able to actually pause long enough to answer most of these questions.  In doing so, I become closer to the person I see in the mirror when my mirror is clear.

I want more out of my life.  These days my anger is mostly about wanting more.  I have to figure out how much more Рwhy I want more Рand how I can find the motivation to get more.

I’ll keep you posted.¬† ūüôā