All I could see were the snarls and snags. I was quick tempered and critical. I was lazy. I wasn’t tidy enough. I didn’t see the fork on the counter, the full trash can, the laundry pile in time. I couldn’t fold clothes despite really trying to do it right. I talked about my feelings and thoughts too much. I was a nerd. I liked the wrong kind of music. I had too many opinions. Of course my ex was not the type to rub any of this in my face. But I knew I was not living up to his expectations. I knew it. Throughout our entire marriage I knew it.
At one point I waited around for an hour on Saturday morning thinking he would be “right back” after a disconnection. He was having trouble logging onto either Wifi or 3G, Skype or Facetime, I even got a text and a real land line phone call that day. I kept checking and re-checking, calling and hanging up dropped calls. I finally had to leave for the store so I could finish painting my daughter’s furniture and room in 100 degree heat. We connected the second after the roller was filled with deep eggplant colored paint. YES. Frustrating. But I painted and we chatted and it was okay. And the room turned out great.
So perhaps it will end up flaming the fire for a while, but enough is enough. She called me names, criticized my character without regard to his or my feelings, and aggressively insulted me. Maybe just maybe some of the truth in my words will hit a soft spot and bother her enough to get her to question her own motives, character, and behavior. Sometimes manipulative and mean people are so used to spewing without recourse that a slap on the face shocks them into seeing themselves from someone else’s perspective for a change. I’m not banking on it. But at least I know this one time, to this one person I did what I could to set the record straight.
Martin has been sick this past week. And as great as our relationship is and believe me it is getting more relaxed and stronger and deeper by the day…sickness has made it more difficult. That is just honest. It is not really a complaint.
I’m just a mom and I’m a single mom at that. And my kids mean the world to me. I’ve had a “time” with my 17 year old son lately but today we managed to get through some stuff and I’m proud of us because we communicated instead of butting heads. That is a growth step. And maybe I was feeling magnanimous or maybe Martin’s parenting philosophies are rubbing off on my a little tiny bit. But when my son got the text from his lifeguard work buddies a second year college girl to get a group together to go bowling, I said yes. And then…I said…why don’t you ask if your sister wants to go. Much to my shock and surprise he said, “Ok, she’s trying to get people to go so …”
It took WAY longer than I ever wanted it to. But I’m convinced there is no way around pain. I had to deal with it. It was brutal. But eventually I did. It was almost one year later that I started writing this blog, took that walk with my friend in the park, and started wrapping my head around my new reality. The pit I had been in for so, so long was finally disappearing.
But we are both feeling the separation right now. Since it is our reality and it has gone on for so long I think we scoff at ourselves at times and think…”No biggie, we can do this.” and then at a moment that is unexpected the feeling of sadness or longing hits us. I know for me sometimes I feel it in my gut like a wrenching. It’s that profound feeling that you wish you could change things and knowing you can’t like when someone is dying.
He is more three-dimensional in my mind than ever before. His girls did that. They made him more real to me like I’m sure my children have made me to him. They put him, his being, in context with the rest of his life. Like a sentence does to words or a paragraph to a string of sentences. You see the context and you understand better. I know I know him better now for the visit. I know I understand what he is giving up better now than ever before. And that makes me feel horribly guilty and causes me to think about ways I can give some too so its not all him doing the giving.