There's so much I long to say and I feel like I can't. And yes, I'm okay, just tired.
Too tired these days to pretend this is fun.
When I was a kid, my Dad taught me what he thought was the proper way to be. He had given me a candy bar, and my friend showed up just as I was unwrapping the treat. I politely offered to split it with her. As things happened, the candy didn't split evenly, and I gave her the smaller half, sensing some disappointment from Dad.
I asked him why and he told me that when sharing, the smaller half always tasted better in his opinion.
I was a sensitive sort of kid, and I took that lesson to heart. I'm afraid it hasn't served me very well. I always believed that somewhere down the road there would be parity.
I am somewhere down the road and there isn't a hint of justice in sight.
I could never lie very well--people with bad memories shouldn't even try, I think. But I'm finding myself on an unlevel playing field, and I'm very much at a disadvantage here in this little piece of mud I call home.
Divorce? Attorneys? You know what I see when I think of that? Neither of us wins anything, and what, the lawyers get a chunk of change to buy wifie a vacation to a spa while they treat their girlfriend to a new bauble. (I hate attorneys.) sigh.
So I figured, "just move, Karen. Draw a line across the house and co-exist until you're done raising your kids."
I told myself, "Get your health back, get some job training, and then it when it's done, you can walk."
I never wanted the man's money. It's not even HIS in my estimation, but his father's.
And honestly, the lust that family showed for money always disgusted me. (His father shocked me once by boasting that he ironed his money--with starch.) That was a big red flag, right there, huh? There are dozens of examples I could give, but I won't bother.
But again, I was taught to be generous when estimating the faults of others. I ignored a lot of stuff. It was easy enough to do, because frankly, my husband was seldom home.
And while he was away, either working, or partying, I had the world of my kids.
I drew lines in the sands around them, circles of protection, and no one, NO ONE ever messed with my kids. And with all the insecurities that I have, that have been amplified and cemented into my psyche over the years, I know this one thing for a fact:
I am a damned good mom.
But I made a vow that preceded even my marriage to their father. As a kid who grew up with no one at home, I was going to make it different for MY children. I succeeded in different, but I am not sure if it's better.
But they are my pride and my joy. They have intelligence, wit, talent, & spirit. And they would be the first to tell you that I did a good job. Smile. They also have a fine sense of self-esteem, and in my son's case?
Well, he's fourteen, smart, and worshipped by his peers. I'm letting him enjoy that. Life will humble him soon enough.
But they are indeed my joy, and if you'll bear with me, I'll share a story that made my heart swell.
Friday night, my son had a friend sleep over. When they do this, I just pretty much keep myself occupied, but always some time during the visit, they'll come to sit with me "just to talk."
Once my son fell asleep during one of their marathon gaming sessions, so his buddy came out to talk to me, dropping onto the chair across from me, beaming,
"Let's have an intelligent conversation!"
"It's two-thirty in the morning son, and you want intelligence?"
"Yeah," he answered. "I can't get that at home." *wince*
So anyhoo, this time they both came to sit with me. I wasn't much in the mood, so I sighed and put down my book, taking off my glasses.
"What?" I asked.
My son seemed embarrassed.
"We want you to teach us how to talk like you."
(Was he serious?)
His friend added,
"It's like you do some sort of mental Tae Kwon Do! (forgive my spelling on that)You can slaughter an opponent with one sentence!"
I was amused and confused.
"Let me get this straight--you two want me to teach you how to be a bitch?"
"Well, we'll call it something else, but YES."
And here's the words that gave me my thrill:
"We respect you Mom."
It doesn't get any better that, and I sure don't want to lose it either. But I did realize that all of the put-downs I've endured have not made them true. I don't understand what my husband gets out of my unhappiness, but I guess understanding him is not part of the deal. I don't have answers either.
It's quite a quandary you know. This didn't happen all at once. It was a slow disintegration of concessions I allowed. If he didn't like something, I would shrug and say, "well, I can do something else." A gradual shaving off of my own identity, if you will.
But now the boiling point. My kids are passing him in maturity. They are no longer amused by popcorn and "Motel Hell."
They want intelligent conversation.
My husband thinks I brainwashed them against him.
The only thing that has happened is that my children are growing up, and I can no longer protect them from the shallow reality of him.
Roseanne Barr/Arnold/whatever once wrote:
"There comes a day in a woman's life when she wakes up and asks, 'what about me?' That is an angry day."
So yes, my days are full of anger, illustrated vivid by that damned hot August sun, increasing my claustophobia, and I am so damned tired. And I'm expected to fight the battle of my life, every single day.
My family, my friends, are disgusted with me for staying. But I realized something about myself this year.
I have some serious issues regarding abandonement, and when that happens, abandoning ANYONE becomes the greatest sin.
It has warped me into a more than questionable loyalty.
And all of these feelings I'm muddling through, there is the fact that he is sick. I have this fear that I will say the uglies on my mind and he will die. And leaving him?
I shake my head.
Just the idea makes me feel like I'd be abandoning a retarded child. As screwed up as I am, in many many ways he's helpless.
But I want to thank everybody for being tolerant of my cycles of despair, as well my rather dishonest tap dances of joy.
Over the years, he managed to limit my world so severely that all the friends I had left were HIS. But one day I plugged in a computer and happened on this site, and the embrace I felt from all of you woke me up to new ideas and newfound hope that I might be something more than the bad news kid he had let me to believe.
He controls a lot of things in my life, but not my thoughts. And he hasn't succeeded in chasing the lot of YOU away.
I can never say thank you enough to all of you, especially to Ron C for giving me a safe place to be.
And now? Today we are either going to buy new beds for the kids, or I'm going to talk to my attorney.
He likes to make all the decisions, I'll leave that one up to him.
Much love to all.
I talk too much.