October 5, 2009
So my partner is currently on a ten day journey of learning in Vermont that I am paralleling with my own journey of learning here in our hometown. While he explores the pot-hued college scene to discover his passion, I am learning my well honed triggers and the unhappy outbursts they incite. I hung up abruptly the other day when he told me it would be too rude to talk to me with other people in the car. As he said, “I love you.” I said, “Whatever” and pushed the end button. I know, not my best hour. I apologized and felt pretty awful– not my usual way of being at all. I wanted him to make talking to me, in that moment when I was feeling ill and vulnerable, more of a priority than the possible discomfort of the strangers in the car. Not super rational. Certainly demanding. And totally understandable.
My wife said she loved me. That she would stand in the fire with me. That she was utterly devoted to making us work, regardless of what it took. She said a lot of things that sounded pretty and would make a Hallmark writer weep. What she DID was walk away. What she did was threaten and extort me. What she did was publicly spew her rage and sorrow at everyone in our world. What she said was worthless compared to what she did.
My husband said he would never treat his children badly again. He said he realized they were the most important thing he’d ever done in his life and he would spend his days honoring that. What he DID was run the moment he felt like someone else could take care of them. What he did was break their little hearts. What he said was worthless compared to what he did.
I realized after we got to talk as a family (finally) that I was just not interested in hearing how much I was loved, how much we were missed. I wanted to see it, too. He’s been gone for 5 days and today was the first time the children have gotten to visit with him. As soon as we completed that conversation, the energy coming off of them had changed, vastly reducing my stress level. I could visibly see them calm down — no more nervously biting their nails or clinging to me. No more slightly drawn shoulders to brace themselves.
I was too afraid that I was being overly demanding, overly needy, to say what was needed — to see their fear. When their Dad moved out, he didn’t talk to them for weeks. Of course their little hearts are waiting for another rejection. It’s all so wrapped together when the threads got tangled, I have trouble seeing what’s there.
August 4, 2009
I shocked my friend today when I said I regretted saving your life. The past 15 months, watching how your decision to abandon them has hurt in ways you will never understand, I have had to question who I am and the choices I made. I was so certain we could choose to give them the love and support they deserved, regardless of our decision to remain a couple. You always wanted to leave. If you couldn’t have your family your way, you didn’t want them. I thought it would be better for them if you were in their life and I made the necessary sacrifices to keep you there. You made sacrfices, too. None of that matters anymore.
I can’t predict the future. And I couldn’t predict it then. I did the best I could with what I had. I wish I had done better.
June 26, 2009
I feel so very broken by this whole legal mess. I don’t know why, I am very anxious about this process. I worry that I have been unfair to my ex. I worry that somehow I have made major mistakes that will create problems for my children. I am stressed over the debt I have created by doing this. I hate that he is legally less and less to his kids. My stomach feels tight and I perpetually feel like I want to cry.
I look forward to this being truly completed.
June 10, 2009
After years of amicable relations, my ex (mormon) husband and I no longer speak to one another. I filed for sole custody because making necessary legal decisions for minor children when the other parent won’t speak to you is challenging. I should say good riddance. I filed with the court a few weeks ago and he responded last week. Agreeing with most of what I put in the petition. He can’t really win. If he’d replied with disagreement I would have been frustrated, because we’ve really already agreed on everything. And by agreeing, he just made it all so real.
April 28, 2009
I joined the mormon church when I was 13, kind of. My parents were mormon when I was born. My dad had been raised in the church, kind of. I think his stories about sitting in the car at different country bars in other towns so grandpa could drink without anyone in town knowing, points to a less-than-stellar devotion to the church. Anyhow, my mom joined the church when they were dating or married because some of his friends told her about it. And then, being my mom, she expected him to show her the way. I think what she really wanted was a top, not a husband.
So, she threw herself into a patriarchal church to satisfy her needs for domination and then demanded that my father fulfill his role as head of household. His post-vietnam-hippie attitude didn’t combine well with spiritual mormon patriarch. He tried. He failed. One week they couldn’t watch tv because it broke the sabbath, next weekend they’d be out drinking beer with their friends. My mom blamed the church for their divorce. I blame them and their clearly incompatible personalities.
She left when I was two, relocated to the East where her family lived and continued to take me to church until I was 6. From 6-13, I was mormon when I visited dad and hippie agnostic the rest of the year. My sister was extremely concerned I would end up in hell (outerdarkness in mormon terms) but I wasn’t really concerned. Until I skipped church in an act of defiance and had my purse stolen. Never mind the weird logic that god would have someone break a commandment to get me to do the right thing, it seemed clear in my 13 year old mind. I signed up, almost immediately, and began an 11 year journey as one of the faithful.