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I Will: Clean-Up Crew

I spent a lot of time last year looking at my life, going over the things I was doing, and deciding what I really wanted and what I could afford to let go of. What I needed to change.

This year is the year of cleaning up. I will clean up my own messes.

When I left my wife three years ago, I created a ton of chaos in my life, most of it financial. I hadn’t gotten to the point where I could do anything about it. There was always a reason why I didn’t have to look at it yet. I was busy working, or I didn’t have any disposable income, or my child support was too high for me to do anything with what little money I did have.

Always something, right?

This year, I sat down and took a look at my life and all the things that I had up against me. I made a list of all the things that stood between me and being the successful, healthy, well-adjusted person that I want to be. It’s kind of a long list. I had tax debts due to math errors and bad paperwork. I had personal debts – not credit cards – but bank accounts and the like. Stupid debts. I had student loans in default. I had child support. When I had it all written out, it was all so entangled that I had to enlist help just to make sense of it all.

I called my dad.

He’s good at seeing things the way they really are, and he didn’t have the same attachment to all the problems that I did. The emotional attachments, the shame of having strewn wreckage over every part of my life. He helped me get it battered down to a set of steps. Now, I’m going through and plugging each of those steps into place.

My life is getting better, and I feel better for having actually taken the steps to make it be so. It’s a long path, and there’s a lot left to do, but this year, I will make the life that I want to be living.

This year, I will clean up my act.

Drifting

It starts with the silent dinners. How have I recreated my whole childhood home again? Walking on eggshells. Don’t speak, don’t trigger the beast, just drift, step aside.

Chink.

Happily-ever-after dies when his suffering takes center stage. There is no room in my home for me. I am not enough or I am too much. HE TAKES EVERYTHING OVER. There is no room for my anguish and sadness. There is no place to hide my face. There is no safe place. He has taken them all.

Blast.

Gave up a dear friend, she was toxic to our relationship, but I loved her like WHOA.  When my mother passed away in 2007…Michele would have known how to be present. She would have known what to say and when to be silent. She would have reminded me of things I had said. She would be encouraging. But I couldn’t reach out to her. When all doors where closed and all paths were blocked… I turned to Jesus… the first place I should have gone.

Thwack.

Work becomes more important. I am valued here. I am celebrated for my vision, my word, my inappropriate humor. I am secretly trying to think of ways to work overtime and contribute more to after hours events.

Zap.

I explain my desires, my needs. I dive deep, despite the risk, and ask for him to play the role of Daddy and let me be the little girl who needs to be safe and protected. He shames me. He has starved me out. I fall deep into self loathing and hatred. Trust has been severed. Heart has turned stone. I have shut down any trust I ever had. I never speak of my sorrows or pain to him anymore.  Initially he’ll try to help…. But then…. In the next couple weeks, when we’re arguing, he uses it against me — ultimate betrayal.

Pow.

He sucks the air out of the room. He belittles me in front of others.

He is constantly nudging me and giving me looks to act appropriately.

I can’t be me…when he’s around. I celebrate with joy when he leaves the house.

I run around foolishly and make a huge mess.

BANG.

I confront him. Air out my grievances. He doesn’t remember any of it. I am in a puddle of hormonal rage and anxiety.  I AM NOT CRAZY! God speaks to me clearly and tells me to commit to doing a 40 day fast. During the fast, he shows me his favor. He shows me my strength. I emerge as a warrior. If I can fast for 40 days, I can fucking do anything. My faith is stronger than ever. Jesus will never fail me. I need to commit to only relying on him for all my needs. Mortal men are the most pitiful of creatures. Why was I so blind?

Zip.

He leaves me a note by my nightstand. It’s this long paragraph of lovely words I’ve heard before; Something about him recommitting to us, to me, and becoming the man he needs to be for me.

((( Pause for rolling of the eyes )))

The time and energy for him to write that letter, he could have just taken action. He is all talk. TALK TALK TALK TALK!

If he wants to be the man for me… then bring me coffee in bed, don’t let me worry about putting gas in my car or its maintenance needs. Remove money as a concern for me. Obtain employment that can carry the family and cover us with health insurance so I don’t have to … be the man of the house. Be the spiritual leader that we need. Be the captain of the ship. Be honest about who you are what you need. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t be so chicken shit. Run interference for me so I can be the wife, mom, and Christian that our family and community craves.

((It’s not too much to ask.))

Smack.

Emergency room visits, doctors that are worthless, procedures and surgeries that do more harm for his crippling debilitating disease. Come to terms with the fact that I will his caretaker. Make plans for WHAT IFs. Keep accurate medical records. Organize it all. Learning to be knowledgeable about his health conditions. Understand his lack of memory is not his fault. Pain is all consuming. Find a support group. Learn to ask for help. Cry more. Learn to be ok with anger but try not to let it consume your soul. Ask Steve the hard questions. Write down his eulogy. Face the facts. Time is not on our side.

Whack.

He comes in this morning and interrupts my workout. I take my headphones off and he informs me that he can hear me laughing all the way on the other side of the house… it’s a 2800 sqft house. So what?  I can’t listen to my podcast and laugh in my house now? HE FUCKING TAKES EVERYTHING FROM ME!!!!!!!!

I asked him about having another baby. Nope. He took that away from me too.

I mentioned Viagra and invoked world war three!

Slam.

His only autonomy in our relationship is the ability to say no. No to my advances. No to all my solutions.

It’s the only real strength and control he has. He builds constant brick walls in conversation.

… his health issues are constant and corrosive.

The constant sacrifice enables bitterness.

There is no laughter, outlet. I can’t mock him, our situation, so there’s the alcohol.

Punch.

When he looks down on me and berates my music choices because there is swearing… that does not make me want to be better or do better. It just makes me feel as if I’m in a play and I have no idea what my lines are, what role I’m supposed to be play.. He just makes me feel like a total fuck up.

Wham.

A rift, a fault line separates us. We are on divergent paths.  I don’t know where to go from here. I have read all the books, signed all the contracts, invoked all the spells, prayed and fasted, repented for my wicked ways only to cover my face and cry, “ABSALOM, ABSALOM!”

TKO!