Thursday, September 15, 2016

Once upon a time

Apparently this month's postings are following a fairytale theme...

For the last few weeks I've been watching the tv series Once Upon a Time, a tale of fractured fairy story characters thrown in to modern day and interspersed with enough flash backs into fairytale land  to make you dizzy if you don't follow it closely enough. One of the main characters is Rumplestiltskin, AKA Mr. Gold, AKA the Dark One, AKA the beast from beauty and the beast. (see I told you you'd be dizzy).

This Rumplestiltskin is a coward in his real life. He looses his wife to a pirate and kills the original Dark One to take over his magic and get her back. In the end she dies leaving him with a son who no longer wants to be around him in his changed state and who he eventually looses to a relocation spell. He learns to use his new power to make deals and get ahead in life. He eventually takes Belle in trade to pay off her fathers debts and turns her into a maid. She sees through him and learns to love him. She changes him and softens his heart. Then they get blown into present day.

In today's world they find each other again all the while we are seeing how mean and plotting he is and seeing how sweet and grounded she is. Toward season 3 they fall in love again and decide to marry. In comes the dagger - a piece of broken Excalibur - that is designed to control him and make him obey a master's commands. He gives it to Belle with a big speech about how she would never use it to harm him.

Turns out the whole thing was a lie. It's a fake dagger, and he continues to lie and manipulate her for their whole marriage under the guise of "he doesn't know any better". She tells him that if he would just give up this stupid ideal of power and trust her that he could have everything he ever wanted in life with her. She eventually realizes what he's done and banishes him all the while he's begging her for understanding and another chance. She knew he needed to be gone though - he was only hurting people more and digging his hole deeper.

He finds a way back to town but not before we find out he's dying of his black heart and all the evil things he's done. He again begs her to understand and find it in her heart to forgive his lies and deceit - he also tells her that he isn't good for her, that she was right to let go. You start to see the beast become a man, but not until he's destroyed everything good in his life and his heart is almost gone.

As much as my husband lives two lives between a fantasy world of his making and reality I seem to be doing the same currently. My life is split evenly between learning and living the pain of betrayed women who's love stories are shattered by lies and filth, and a world where everyone adores a perfect love story with a happy ending. When your life partner has done so many things to destroy your relationship and isn't worthy of trust or your love it's devastating to be constantly presented with movies, television and social media outlets weaving tales of perfect romance and women who are swept up and cherished for the simple reason that they are seen as precious, a prize to be won and protected.

These princes in the fairytales are seen as 'perfect men', they love honor and cherish, they rescue, they fight for truth and in the end there is always a happy ending. Even the men in today's movies while they have their problems always come out as heroes in the end. The stories are painful. I've never had that in my life... and it's looking like I never will.

It's been two months since my husband's last major indescretion. I still can't stand to have him near me or touching me, but we seem to be functioning on a respectful level everywhere else. Everything is different with this d-day revelation. I remember the first one in the hotel room. There was so much pain, but I worked hard to keep walking. My life fell apart, but I still had the strength to pull it back together and keep fighting. I was stupid and naive to believe that him having to confess to that aweful mountain of sin would be enough to push him to get away from the addiction. In many way's it's just gotten worse.

Sure he's in therapy now - three groups to be exact. Three separate programs to help him succeed and yet he's not working any of them. He's still acting out. There is almost no remorse any more. It's becoming more and more commonplace to talk the talk and even walk the walk all while falling apart in the shadows on his own. He claims to be in a better place. He claims that he wants to see us reach the goals we set at the beginning of our marriage... but I see almost no effort.

This time it's been so much different. Maybe it's because I was finally ready to give up and walk away. Maybe it's because I'm not staying here for him but rather for my obligations and the kids school opportunities. Maybe it's because I am tired of being kicked to the ground over and over. Maybe it's because I've finally given up. I see no reason to try to pick the pieces up after the last explosion. The pieces have been repaired so many times that there just simply isn't enough to piece them back one more time and what is remaining is continuing to crumble. We've succeeded in emotional separation even if physical separation isn't possible yet, and now I'm walking around in the gray dusty world after the explosion and I just want to curl up and sleep. The love is dying and I just don't have the strength to save it. In another three months of this who knows how bad it will be.

I suppose next month will be telling... and I'm bracing myself for the fallout. It will be three months since the last encounter (x3) for him and the straw that finally broke the marriage... and our anniversary and his birthday to boot. I can see his entitlement getting the better of him. I'm taking bets now against him... and that is just sad. And then after that is the holidays. He's never once in the whole time I've known him gotten through the holidays without screwing up something (or someone).  I'm so glad I'll at least be around family this year.

I'm beginning to think that along with never getting to experience real romantic love in my life that my happy ending has been rewritten as well.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Princess and the Pea

Today has been kind of a rough day.

I was coming back from dropping the kids off at school today and the radio DJs were helping a 7 month along pregnant woman find out if her husband was cheating by calling him at work and offering him a dozen free red roses - they just needed a name and a message to put with them. He gave them the name of a different woman than his wife. When confronted he got all flustered and lied and then said what every other cheater out there says when they get caught "I don't know what to say".

After 10+ years living with this addiction around me I've become numb to most of the references to infidelity that swirl around our lives in media and real life. But even if that crap has become background noise most of the time there is still that ultra sensitive trigger. That little irritant that gets under your skin. You know something isn't right but you can't nail it down. Like the Princess and the Pea. One tiny little seed under so many stacked mattresses and the little girl couldn't get comfortable and spent a sleepless night because of it.

There are a lot of peas in my life right now. The high and unreasonable heat season is back. While the rest of the country is cooling off and getting fall we still have 100 degree temps to deal with in the coming weeks. My 7 year old has had two potty accidents this week alone. First time in a year. Both of my kids are irritable and restless. I know this new school is a change for them and the work is harder. Three of my extended family members and my parents contacted me today to thank me for a kindness that I did for them and every one of them guilted me about living so far away.

Then my parents prodded deeper than usual into my husband's progress... which is pitiful right now obviously. Times like this I long to just blurt out every little detail of what is going on with my life and let them know how close we are to needing to crash on their doorstep... and every time I hide the truth and take the high road, protecting my possible future with my husbands character and stuffing my pain and frustration under the words "yeah addiction sucks".  Unless you've lived it you have no idea.

It's just another irritant in a long list of minor problems that are building and making life seem "not quite right". It's not just mental either. The last two weeks my insides have been showing signs of age and mistreatment. My gut is not quite right currently and I'm not sure what to do about it. Yet another minor ache that can't be nailed down to any one spot or cause. It just doesn't feel right and it hurts.

Then the health issues twist themselves into the realization of my mortality and just how much I've wasted my life over trying to keep this marriage intact. The more I allow the reality of what my husband has really done into my head... just how many women he's had sex with... just how much money he's squantered on filth... just how often he's put me and the kids at risk with no care in the world for our mental or physical health... I am honestly not sure I can continue with all of this -- and he continues to dig the hole deeper every day.

I keep thinking that one of these days the sun will come up and I'll be able to get off the lumpy bed and my test will be over and my prince will be waiting. It may all just be a fairy tale.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sundays

An addict's worst nightmare is a person with boundaries. - Anonymous


One of the boundaries I put in place this last time in lieu of my husband moving out or me and the kids leaving the state was that he was to find someplace else to be on Sunday after church and lunch until bed time. I didn't care where he went or what he did - but he needed to leave.

My main reason for the boundary was so that I wouldn't have to play 'happy family' all day Sunday. It already sucks that I have to put on a happy face for the service - though I've made sure the kids are sitting between us every week. We don't really do much after church other than nap or read or go for walks. I just couldn't stand having to stare at him across the room in silence knowing everything I know on a day that's supposed to be for family. My attitude just couldn't take that insult.

I say insult because this man has never really been inconvenienced by this addiction. He goes out and gets his needs met when he wants it and then comes home la de da forgetting every sick moment and choice - and honestly (and sadly) there are no real consequences for his actions. He just plays like nothing is wrong in the world and expects life to be rug-swept around him. And I've played into it. He's come to expect my acceptance of his stupitidy and trysts and my backing away from him to protect myself is just what the addict wants. I leave him alone, he leaves me alone. Addict is happy. Since he's not sober it's a perfect scenario.

In the mean time I'm now displaced from my bed again for months and so is my daughter now sleeping on the trundle. I've also been fighting depression and the lack of interest in work or keeping up the house. I spend long sleepless nights while he snores away with my gut in knots trying to make sense of this and figuring out how to move forward without him. It pisses me off to no end. He acts out - stuffs the shame - plays all nice - and the rest of us suffer while he turns a blind eye.

The kids are feeling it too. It is freaky how the topic of divorce comes up randomly and frequently - not from me but from them - and I've tried hard not to say a word to them about any of this. Last week the topic of conversation on the way home from school was about how my son has this plan. He wants to move back to his grandmas house with me and his sister while his dad stays here and works, and that he's ok if he changes schools and if dad only just comes to visit us once in a while. He said we could finally get a house with a bedroom just for me and we would be happy there. An 8 year old said this unprompted! The 7 year old also threw me off the day my husband confessed last month by randomly asking me that morning if people could still be friends after a divorce. These kids know something isn't right in their world and they are expressing that they aren't happy either.

I honestly hoped that this consequence would not only help convict him as a reminder of what he's so completely broken but also give him time to really contemplate and focus on his recovery. It's time for him to be by himself without us around him 'approving' of his crappy lifestyle and actions. He has to face reality that life is broken and he broke it.

It seemed like a win win - but whiney him can only see the punishment.

The first sunday I had to remind him to leave after lunch. He went reluctantly, but it was so much more peaceful here without him. I thanked him for giving us space. He left the next sunday after screwing around for an extra hour. I kept my mouth shut, but my glares were enough.  The third sunday he went in to sleep and I kicked him out after I realized what he was doing. He stormed out of the house slaming the door behind him. Last sunday he begged me to let him take a nap. I told him I had no control over him, but that he could sleep in his car and that I'd asked him to stay away. He threw a tantrum then went in to take a nap anyway. I confronted him with my reasons for wanting him gone. The addict was in control though. He went back to sleep and then instead of leaving after he sequestered himself in the kitchen until bed time. He washed the dishes out of guilt, but he ignored my need to have him out. No clue what next sunday will bring.

I've come to realize that this boundary is potentially the best one I've ever put in place. It's the first one that has ever really effected him emotionally and physically. I can see that it will be a good weather check for me every week to see if he willingly and kindly gives me space or if he tantrums and continues to damage my trust. This one needs to stand and I need to defend it to the end.