Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tears of a clown.

The tears. The TEARS. I can't take the tears. Don't tell me what a wonderful woman I am and explain how devastated you are that you have to leave my circle, my home, my LIFE.

Too little. Waaaaaaaaay too late. Like giving a whale a tic tac for bad breath after tooth rot sets in. A waste of time. A useless gesture. At worst... foolish.

I've seen these tears before. Don't tell me what a blessing I've been to you. Don't tell me I'm beautiful, sexy, fun and funny, sweet, and an unbelievable best friend - when you can't control yourself long enough to respect me as the woman you described.

For once, I'm not moved. I can't respond, except to tell you what a relief it will be to be away from you and watch your shadow fade into my rear-view mirror. In fact, as I explained to you over dinner, we'll both be relieved - just for different reasons. My reasons are obvious. For you, you can stop pretending that you ever intended to honor me and quit taking advantage of my love, patience, friendship, and help.

I'm no longer disappointed in you, because you showed me who you were and I didn't listen. Unfortunately, you waited until I was invested, and I boiled with the proverbial frog. That damn frog is the only way I can explain why it took me so long to jump out of this pot. I doubted my ability to see straight. That scares me the most. I'll never distrust myself again.

I thank you for every good time we had. They were just as real as the lows.

I created a category called "breakups" for this blog. It's almost strange to have to use it now with such finality.

I love you although there's no place left for you in my life. In the bittersweet end, I'm okay with that.

I stole the pic from here. So sue me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Under the wheels and into the rearview mirror goes HisSide in my mind...

Don't shop when you're hungry. You may buy too much.

Don't blog when you're angry. You may say too much.


Under the wheels and into the rearview mirror goes HisSide in my mind. I'd only consider hitting reverse to hear that "THUD" one more time...

I am tired, sleep-deprived, hurt, and angry. My exterior says I have this cocktail of negative emotions under control because my pressure-cook valve isn't at critical mass. I suspect my calm represents more emotional exhaustion than some enlightened state of "letting it go."

Last night, in an epic failure of manhood and maturity, HisSide erupted into an absolute meltdown after his ex-wife stole some money from him. She ran off into the night, leaving me the blindsided convenient target for HisSide's unchecked, unattended, and totally unhinged emotional ANGER.

Yelling in my face with spit flying. Balled fists. Threats of smacking me. Screaming "stupid," "idiot," in my face. The tirade was so long, so unprovoked, so surprising, and so BITTER, that I eventually cried. To which he responded, "You can save that act for somebody else."

You see, I learned to time these things with HisSide. I knew when it was coming. But this one hurt like no other. I paid the train fee and provided the transportation to meet her to split the check from the sale of their old home. I gave him the last change in my pocket so he could eat in the train station while he was there. I listened to his hurt as he described the way she gave him less than his half and literally RAN from the bank with the man she cheated with years ago during the marriage. I met him at the train, hugged him, rubbed his back as pain and anger took turns flashing through his confused mind. "I never thought she would do that to me." I played his favorite computer game with him when he wanted to take his mind off things. And I did my best to absorb the blow when the tirade against me started. Until enough was enough.

I don't want to get too sidetracked, but I had her number AGES ago. This is the same ex-wife who gave it to him up his ass five years ago when she scammed him into living in their old house rent free. I offered to draft a lease for him. I warned him he was placing himself in a precarious position. End result: She never paid a dime and the city took the house for a tax lien. I knew from their phone conversations she was a trickster. Strike one.

Fast forward five years later, the city finally sold the house and sent the check for the profit after the lien was resolved. "Don't trust her to give you your half. Get that check here and send her half to her. Not the other way around."

"But she would never do that."

"She fucked you on that house in the first place."

I was right, but somehow I paid the price for his folly.

HisSide is the only person ON. THIS. PLANET. to ever treat me this way, and yesterday was one of the lowest points of my life. Although I parted romantic ways with him over two years ago, I don't want to believe he has the capacity to treat me with such horror. But we've been here before, so why am I so hurt? I already know who he is, when he isn't the man I fell in love with. He's an inexcusable monster who I spent too long making excuses for.

How did I get here?

He screamed that he KNOWS I found somebody else since I broke up with him 2 years ago - an accusation he hurls when his Emotional IQ drops to Infancy. He's only half right. Although there isn't another man, I am open to dating and placing myself in a position to give love and get what I deserve in return. (Anyway, how stupid do you have to be to believe that screaming at a woman would make her want you back, anyway? Asshole.)

Is this what some people call the process of "falling out of love?" Nah. I don't believe that. I love HisSide as much as I did 4 years ago. To me, this is a process of placing the love for myself above any hopes that he'll grow up and grow a pair. I see how abused women get caught in a cycle. They skip this last important step and neglect to show their jerk THE DOOR. Love ain't they key. The key is RECIPROCITY! And I reminded HisSide that the doorknob needs to connect with his his ass ASAP.

I learned all I needed to learn about inviting madness and giving it a warm place to call home. I am remarkably thankful for the lesson HisSide represents in my life, primarily because I'll deeply appreciate the future joy of loving and getting a little tenderness in return.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Overheard during prime time...

Me: C'mon. Turn the tv off.

Him: I'm watching this.

Me: If I strip naked and stand in front of the tv, will you turn it off?

Him: Depends on what you're doing while naked.

Me: Hmph. I'm gonna sit down...

Him: Well if you sit here, I'll turn the tv off.

Me: ::blank stare::

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mothers and Daughters: Amen to the life coach

This blog is all about relationships. Although I primarily focus on my in-and-out relationship with His Side, I have been a spectator, advisor, player, winner, loser and radical fan of deciphering the code that governs all relationships.

A recent blog post about the tentative relationship I have with my mother led me, via a Google search for artwork, to a woman named Marion. She's an ICF accredited life and business coach with a cool blog called The "Second Half" of My Life. Marion managed to capture some poignant points about mothers and daughters in her blog post:

Mothers and Daughters: 9 Things They Should Know About Each Other

I am tempted to print and send the entire post to my mother in hopes of achieving the relationship we both claim to want. I haven't decided on the wisdom of possibly spinning mother into a tornado of twisted spitfire fueled by the offensive thought that I'm judging her. So for now, I'll invite you to see what Marion has to say.

I added the link to my sidebar because it deserves its own space in the landscape of this blog.
Happy reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mothers and Daughters: One relapse and recovery at a time.

For sanity's sake, I accepted the wisdom and spiritual guidance that I can't, shouldn't, and simply won't concern myself with trying to change another human being. I have my hands full with ME, so why partake in the silliness of believing I know enough to adjust somebody else's behavior. Aside from solicited advice and addressing outright abuse, I value my peace over misguided control.

My readers already know how I was slow to accept this reality in dealing with my mother. I took long... too long... in deciding it was more important to adjust myself than holding high expectations of what she needed to do to improve our relationship. That was the best decision I ever made.

Today, on top of a series of personal dilemmas with my job, my health, and other nuisances that life can bring, I almost relapsed like an alcoholic trying to socialize in a bar.

My 12-year old gave me a long and frustrating story of a verbal tirade about me earlier today - from calling me a liar, to once again, complaining about His Side's presence in my life. She lured my father and both of my sons into the fray. My body betrayed me as I felt despair, anger, and frustration wash over me. Heat pricked my entire body. My eyes stung with angry tears. I stewed in the car as I drove towards home, wondering why she picked this time in our relationship to attack again - and have the nerve to be WRONG. We just took a beautiful family trip together. Where is this coming from?

Apparently, my ex-husband didn't take my son birthday shopping during a recent visit. He was keeping my son because I was invited to an engagement late in the evening. Somehow that made me a liar about why my son was visiting his father.

But something happened during that ride. I can only describe it as a "calm resolve" resulting in a deep desire to remain free from the paralyzing emotion I used to feel when her own spite and control issues got the best of her.

I walked into the house and cradled the phone in my hand. I looked at it for a moment as if I expected the phone to give me the last bit of advice I needed to handle this. For a moment, I considered avoidance as a solution. But in too many ways, that silence would scream a lie I simply couldn't live with. How is cowering better than fighting the wrong fight?

So I made the call. Without judging her behavior or psychoanalyzing her into submission, I respectfully exerted my disappointment and offered an option to improve the relationship she claims to want with me. I explained the birthday incident sans the usual tone of trying to defend myself. Without blaming her, I gracefully laid out what I desire for her and my children:

  • Children shouldn't bear the weight of hearing their parents criticized. It isn't fair to them and it creates unnecessary rifts in the family.

  • Hearing an accusation against me from my child hurts and integrity says to approach the accused.

  • The fervent attack against me with little information, in my absence, turns an apparent misunderstanding into an unfortunate roadblock. And it hurts.

  • I expect the respect of a conversation before the fever-pitch of anger takes over.

  • I'm at a point in my life where I don't want to fight about these things, and your claim that "I get upset" is a function of the argumentative way you approach me with your opinion.

  • I want a peaceful relationship where I can come to you with girl talk instead of trying to avoid sharing with you.

And a miracle happened. She agreed. Not the bitterly angry agreement that gets thrown on the table to end a conversation. The inflection in her voice indicated she wants to do this differently.

She made her own request, "Don't lie to me. I want the truth." In fairness, I admitted that I simply don't tell her things to avoid her criticism, but I'll never look her in the face and lie. I went over a major issue she thinks I lie about, and for the first time since this problem started, we had a conversation that revealed things she simply didn't know about it.

I couldn't have asked for a better moment with her. For 10 minutes, I had the mother I always wanted, one who listened without criticizing, one who promised to value girl talk over controlling criticism.

I have no idea or preconceived fantasy about our relationship past this day. She may or may not keep her stated resolve about the way she communicates with (and about) me. The best part is IT. DOESN'T. MATTER. I did my due diligence in the way I chose to address her. I have to believe there's a reward, even if it's just keeping my blood pressure low, for acknowledging her right to do what the hell she wants.

Today was a win. Not because mom said she would do better... but because I left the decision up to her while guarding over my own integrity. That's freedom at its finest.

Photo lifted from this site for IFC Films.