Monday, February 16, 2009
It is over.
After a very long and stormy marriage my husband has asked for a divorce.
It isn't a surprise.
I find the timing disturbing but this is how my husband is. He likes to make things harder, maybe he thinks it builds character, maybe it does but I don't feel like thanking him for it.
I find it ugly that he has been so emotionally needy. In some ways he is very generous and in some ways he is very selfish.
I find it ugly that I have been so angry at him. Inside me I feel like there was good reason but from a few steps away I just look mean.
He was actually a very good friend a long, long time ago when I was very young and it was appropriate to be silly and irresponsible. I thought he understood me, I thought we had a whole lot in common. I changed, I grew up, I became this person lugging around a whole life. He is the same.
So much time has passed and he has risen to the occasion on occasion and he has failed miserably a time or two. I am sure the same can be said for me.
I feel let down by him. Maybe it was never his fault but it sure hurt like it.
Is this Karma?
The only unconditional love I have ever experienced in almost 44 years came from my children. Aly might roll her eyes at that statement because she sure isn't feeling love for me right now but I know that there 's a little storm inside of her that only time and perspective can calm.
I told my husband that I didn't want anything. Child support seems appropriate but everything else he can have. It will be very hard to leave a house that I created, the walls I painted over and over, the kitchen I helped build, the floors I laid plank by plank while I cried because I was missing Stevie. It will be hard to leave a garden I created, my great-grandmothers rosemary, the memories of Easter egg hunts and Christmas.
The hardest thing to leave behind is Stevie's room...the last place she was herself, the trees on the walls I put up while she still had one good eye and could see. The closet that is still bubble gum pink and has little mermaid stickers. There is a spot on the wallpaper where the contents of her feeding tube splattered after a pretty unfortunate plunger incident. It is still there, bits of her on the wall. I know it sounds gross but it is what I have.
I told him I wouldn't take a thing because he made it clear that he felt responsible for me and didn't want that responsibility. He told me it wasn't fair that he worked and paid the bills and got nothing back. When I told him I would give it all to him he told me it was self flagellation and I was doing it only to get sympathy.
It feels like my husband is more worried about people feeling sorry for me than he is about what is really happening. He needs to be the victim in all this...he needs someone to feel sorry for him, to make him feel better. Don't feel sorry for me, I have what I need; self respect, strength, determination, and the next half of my life waiting to be lived
I don't begrudge him a new beginning with someone who isn't dragging around the memories I am. I want him to be happy but I want to have a little peace myself. I am not sure he will allow it. Sometimes when you are hurting you think that hurting someone else will make it feel better.
I am all outside myself. I am a woman so I express myself with words and magnified emotion. I say what I feel, and I tell the truth. It makes seem hard because my internal filters are not what they should be. I can be loud and opinionated when it is something I believe in. I think decorating what you think and feel is confusing. I love with all that I am and I fight hard for what I believe in and who I love. I am not delicate and I have a terrible temper. If I were a dog, I think someone would have shot me by now.
Steve is inside. He doesn't always say what he means so it is hard to know what he is really feeling. He pontificates. He likes to believe he is rational and reasonable. What is inside of him is not what usually comes out of him. This makes him angry because he can't understand why I question his motives. Most of my arguments with him start with "But you said..." His replies are always "But I meant..."
I know he loves me but in my darkest hours he has not been able to reach me. I don't understand why. I also don't understand why he takes the most difficult moments in my life and makes them harder. Why he feels so abandoned when I am happy.
It isn't intentional, he isn't that way. Most of the things he does that hurt me he doesn't even realize until the damage has been done. He is not a person who will apologize and make it better. He knows how to say he is sorry but only after it has been dragged out of him and replayed over and over. It makes me tired, and I can never find closure.
It might be me, maybe I expect too much. I understand that feeling when you have done something that you know has hurt another person and that person confronts you. Your eyelids get heavy, your heart starts to pound and you want to run away from it, pretend it didn't happen, wish it gone. I also know you have to swallow your shame and embarrassment and apologize with that beating heart and try to make it right.
I am not sure what you are suppose to do when you know you hurt someone but you did what you did because that person was hurting you...
I did something really awful to my husband many, many years ago. It went against who I was and what I believed in. I felt at the time that he deserved it, that I was evening a score. The funny thing is that instead of the pain and anger getting smaller it actually expanded.
I apologized and did everything I could to make it right. I earned his trust back because I was sorry with all of me. The words were not as important as the actions. Actions are everything, we are beings who need our five senses engaged in order to understand and believe. It felt like he forgave me, and it felt like I earned that forgiveness.
He tells me that I am a mean person, Aly backs him up...They tell me the reason no one else finds me mean is because they do not know me. My eyelids are heavy, my heart is pounding, and I want it to go away but I know I have to make it right, this time I just don't know how.
When I let Stevie go, I let a part of myself go. I didn't want her to be alone so I sent the best parts of me with her. What is here has to be rebuilt and I am doing that. There isn't much to work with and I am keeping what there is for me.
My whole life has been spent giving to other people, taking care of the messy things. My jobs have always been to comfort the sick, clean up blood, vomit, shit. Children are kinda the same, skinned knees, runny noses, barf bowls, poopy diapers. I am not complaining I loved my job and I love, love, love my children. I have spent 25 years of my life cleaning up messes, taking care of people, and in the process I forgot to take care of me.
I suppose a perfect person could be a loving wife and make positive life changes at the same time but I can't. I suppose a perfect person could be a patient husband and give his wife room to heal and grow, this new person might be incredible, but he can't.
Steve deserves more. I think he deserves a wife that never needs this moment, who can give and give and give. A wife who doesn't complain, who is needy enough to make him feel strong but strong enough to put herself neatly away when he needs to do what ever it is he needs to do.
He needs a house without children, a house without the heavy memory of a dead child, the remote to himself, sex when ever he wants it. He needs to be able to live his life to the fullest and have a partner who will stand quietly next to him, who adores him.
Steve has never liked the messy parts and he doesn't know how to be in a painful moment with someone. This doesn't make him a bad person. He tries but it isn't his nature. I am the opposite I am drawn to it, it finds me. I may not be good at it but it is my nature.
I read that this is midlife. Even if Stevie was still here Steve and I would still be here in this moment. Me changing, him not understanding. Dr.Northrup says that woman change in midlife dramatically, what they need and what they are willing to give are not the same anymore. A long time ago a woman in midlife was considered half dead, dried up, going down hill. Now women in midlife are changing careers, finding new partners, adopting children, building dreams.
I am not doing anything that adventurous I am just trying to finally get right with myself. I have neglected me for a very long time. It felt selfish and what I had to give I gave to my family. I am still giving just not in the same ways.
The house isn't spotless, Noah has to grow noticeably out of his pants before I think to take him shopping. I don't spend time at his school, I don't cook as much as I use to. I don't spend days trying to figure out how to fix my marriage, I don't feel guilty because I am not the wife my husband wants me to be. I gave my a part of my house to myself, I started a business, I wrote a book, I made a list of things I want to accomplish before I leave this planet and I am finally going to Europe.
In the process I pushed my husband away. I pushed because I am afraid he will turn me back into that other person and I will slip out of this new life and back into the old one where there is too much missing and too much hurts.
I spent the last two days in that vortex, trying to keep my family together but trying to be heard. I did all the talking, yelling and crying but he still didn't hear me.
He wants me but he doesn't want to do the work to find me.
He tells me I give him nothing, I have given him my whole life.