Tag Archives: marriage

Never let them win.

There has been a theme lately with one particular friend about paybacks.  This has been a lesson hard learned for me, but one I have a complete grasp.

Yes, I would love to punch that bitch in the face.  What I wouldn’t give to tell that asshole to go fuck himself. Oooohhhh, yes there are people and moments that take me to a place of total hate.

What I have learned, the most hard and unpleasant of ways, is that when dealing with people that think you are crazy, for lack of a better word, then there is nothing in this world that pleases them more than for you to go crazy. If you don’t already know, I am fluent in the ways of the narcissist.  Yes, it’s a gift that has been bestowed upon me more often that I care to admit.  The two most prevalent examples of this are my mother and my ex-husband.  Let me give you an example with each that demonstrates exactly the type of behavior they love to elicit from me.

This story was laid out in detail on the blog many many (OMG like YEARS ago) years ago.  For those who may have missed it here is the cliff notes version of the incident.

I was freshly divorced, maybe a year.  It was Christmas, and she had made it abundantly clear that if I didn’t want to join her for Christmas, she wasn’t interested in joining me.  I had decided to make a care package of gifts to give her, one of which was a picture of me and her when I was little playing around with a toy Santa sleigh.  I wanted to remind her of our bond, in hopes to help mend things. This setting boundaries thing was still pretty new to me (us) and I was just getting the hang of standing by them, while she tried to butcher them to pieces.  So, I was still trying to “bring her around” without actually setting foot in the lions’ den.  Plus, I think it merits mentioning that the first Christmas after my divorce (or actually during) her gift to me was a donation to a local charity…in her name…but presented to me. (???)

Before I had a chance to mail it she showed up on my doorstep, uninvited…unannounced.  As I said, I was still learning how to hold my own and keep my boundaries firmly in place at this time, and it didn’t take long for this visit to turn ugly.  She started out pretty cool, offering me a check (sizeable I might add) and telling me she missed me.  I can’t remember everything verbatim, but it was quickly followed by her saying I was a jerk (that is NOT the word she used, but it encompasses the feeling of her intent), to which I replied “but look, I have a box all ready for you filled with gifts!!”  Awww, I was so naive at that time. That gesture catapulted the conversation up a few dozen notches, she got in my face, I told her to back up, she wouldn’t, I told her to leave, more ugly words… As she was leaving I remember asking her “What do you want???”  Her reply “For you to apologize.”  Ok…so I said “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you.”  To which she slapped back with…”It doesn’t count if I have to ask for it.”

There were a few other choice words, I was trying to get her to see that the block between us was her…but she wasn’t having it (see what I mean about my being naïve) and then I snapped.  I grabbed the box, ripped it open, pulled out the framed picture and said “SEE!!! SEE WHAT I HAVE HER FOR YOU!! THIS IS HOW MUCH I CARE!!”  I do not remember what she said after that but I took that frame, smashed in on the sidewalk told her to fuck off and never come back.

The look on her face was all I needed to see to know…she won.  Yep, I gave her exactly what she wanted.  Me, losing my shit.  I just gave her the confirmation (in her own head) that I am so full of hate and anger that I cannot let go and I am the reason we cannot have a relationship.  Let me tell you, in the  moment of seeing the look on her face I knew that I had fucked up.  I went in the house and instead of being mad at her, I was completely and totally pissed at myself.  I know this scenario.  This is what I have been working on, preparing for, and I fucked it up.  Dammit, dammit dammit.

That was the last time I was ever going to lose my shit in front of her, no matter how dirty she got.  She pokes, she tries, but no matter what, all I have to do is look at her face and I can see her trying to get me and I won’t let her.  She will NEVER win that battle again.

Yes…that was the long cliff notes version.  On to the next scenario….

Just after the divorce, the ex and I were getting along fairly well.  I was doing what most new divorcee’s do, going out with friends and having a good time (on the weekends the kids were with him anyway). One day I was at his place and he mentioned a picture someone told him about me on Facebook (he doesn’t have FB he thinks it’s the devil).  It was a pretty innocent picture, some guy pretending to grab my boob and me looking all surprised.  There was not touching, my boob was not hanging out…and I was not dressed like a $2 whore.  Picture was just that… HE did not see the picture.  HE was only told about the picture and apparently it gave the impression that I was nothing but a 2 bit whore and I should keep that shit to myself.

I started off pretty calm about it…I mean, I knew the picture and I would not have been embarrassed to show anyone, my kids included who would have more than likely just rolled their eyes.  As I laughed it off, he got more agitated…that’s when the whore (that is not exactly how he put it) and watching my self comment came up.  Guess who snapped??? Well, I started to go off and as he stood in front of me I could see this calm look of satisfaction come over his face.  That mutherfucker….

I didn’t even finish my sentence…at that moment I turned and walked out.  You almost won that one asshole…but I’m getting quicker.  I knew then, he would never win that fight with me again.  That is, as a matter of fact, one of the reasons I asked for the divorce.  He has given me a few chances to lose my shit since then, but, thankfully I’ve learned to stay firm and remember what his end game is…and I will not fall for it.

So when this friend tells me stories of people treating him poorly, attacking his credibility or just disrespecting him in general (and trust me these are minor infractions) he adds how much he wants to take them down.  My response to him…never let them win.  They want to paint you as the asshole, then they poke you and piss on you until you get all huffy and become and asshole…they win.  If you throw the first punch, they win.  If you tell them they are and always have been a liar…they win.

Anytime some jackass pokes you to the point that you lose your shit…they win.  That is their end game.  That is their drug of choice….to poke you till you explode, then sit back and say “See…I told you he was an asshole.”

Is it hard to sit back while they call you names, make up lies, threaten you…yes it is.  Do they deserve to get put in their place either physically or verbally…hell the fuck yes.  If you do that, will they finally stop making up lies about you?  Threatening you?  Nope…they will probably never stop.  It may lessen, but they will never stop trying to make you into something ugly because that’s just who they are.  Ugly, sad people, lacking in confidence or even human decency.  That’s them, and it has not a god damn thing to do with you…unless you fall for the shit.  If you can take a moment and remember who you are dealing with, remember that they have nothing better to do than to see how far they can go before you lose your shit, then maybe you can step back and let them try, without a single fucking response from you.

Here’s the picture I want you to see.  This crazy fucker is trying desperately to get the world to believe that you are the biggest asshole that has ever walked the earth.  They will bring up ugly parts of your past, they will pull shit out of their ass, they will do anything and everything they can till you snap and lose your shit.  Then, they will sit back with the most calm look on their face and point….See, I told you so.  You might as well just throw those fuckers a parade because if you give them that…they win, and that’s all they want.

BUT…same scene, with you just standing there laughing lightly, maybe chuckle, look them in the face with not one negative thought word or expression. You just let them go until they are blue in the face…suddenly they look like the crazy one.  You win that one hot stuff. You win.

So please…please when dealing with nut-jobs, remember who you’re dealing with and

Never Let Them Win

What is Love? Don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me no more.

If you remember the 80’s you sang that title in your head…don’t lie.

I want to talk about Love.  I’ve been mulling this over in my head for days…but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around exactly what I want to focus on.

See, growing up the way I did, love was abusive.  I didn’t really know that at the time, I just knew when my mother beat me, or when she shamed me, or embarrassed me in public, it was all because she loved me, because she said so.

When I was married, I don’t think my husband ever told me he loved me.  I’m not sure he even said yes when I asked if he loved me.  In all fairness, I’m not sure I loved him…but the problem with that is that I don’t really know what it means to love. I was comfortable with him.  It was familiar and for all intensive purposes it was the kind of love I knew.

If you are raised to believe that love is abusive…or that the people who are the main and most important people in your life tell you that the abuse = love, but it’s not abuse, and you are making shit up or that they can love you this way, but to show your love to them you must do it that way…it’s hard to say  with clear certainty that I loved my husband.

What I do know, is I tried.  With all of my fucked up examples, all the books, the years of therapy, the tears, the begging, the KNOWING that neglect, emotional abuse, shame, abandonment, withholding of affection was not what love was, I still tried like hell to love that man.  BUT, if I can be honest with myself, maybe what I was really trying to do was get him to love me, the way I needed, not the way I was used to.

I love my kids…this I know for sure.  No matter what, those kids taught me the truest meaning of love.  It was through them that I learned that I was lucky enough to have had other people in my life that loved me in a true and honest way.  My paternal grandmother for instance.  I remember crying so much when she died…I remember thinking that was the last person on this earth (besides my kids) that truly loved me for who I was and that I was being abandoned and left in the clutches of an abusive mother and a love-less marriage. Damn.

Though, because of the negative and abusive way I was loved, and because I was fortunate to have had a few people in my life who loved me in positive ways, I was able to show my kids love in the best way.  At least I think I have.  I do those things I wish my mother had done.  I apologize when I am wrong, I let them have room to be who they want to be and not who I want them to be, and I tell them I love them…I tell them often, and I back it up with action, not abuse.

I wrote once about being asked by my counselor if I loved the Hunky Stallion.  At that time, I was thrown completely off.  I knew, I had not a single clue if I loved him or if I just wanted to be in love.  It was a reflective moment that lasted a super long fucking time.  Do you love him? Do you know what love even looks like? Are you just imagining a Disney like romance that doesn’t even exists? Are you following old patterns?  He’s damaged, you know this, are you looking for someone to fix or are these genuine feelings?  Love??? Bitch please, you don’t even know what love is.

Nope.  I am certain that my feelings at that time were not feelings of love…they were feelings of infatuation: an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.  At that time, it was more about passion, than intimacy and love. Then one day it happened.  Did he just say he loved me??? I mean, it wasn’t just me he was talking to but…um, I think in a roundabout way he said it.  I will ignore this because, um, well, yeah…I’ll just ignore it.  What the fuck??? Did he just say it again??? It wasn’t to my face…and he may have said I love “this” and not you but why don’t you just ignore it anyway…You know because, ew…feelings.

Like most people who have had bad relationships…I knew like I knew what the gates of hell looked like (um the door to my past relationships) that I was NOT going to be the first to say I love you. I was NOT going to even acknowledge it until he was in my face telling me he loved me without any distraction or misconception.  No fucking way was I going to be the first to say it…cause, well, you know that this isn’t really love anyway and this ain’t going to last so don’t put yourself out there and look like a god-damned idiot.

I don’t listen to myself very often.  Probably not at all…so I did it. Not to his face, geez, do I look like a strong, self-assured woman to you??? Nope I said it in a text…and I started by saying “listen fucker” ….and off it went. I went and threw that word out there…wondering where it would land, but not caring too much cause for once I knew that it was genuine and even if it wasn’t reciprocated, I felt good about letting it out.  I am used to loving without it being returned…and yet, I felt safe enough to know it would not be used against me, even if he didn’t feel the same.

He did not let it linger out there on its own for long.  He addressed it and we had a beautiful talk.  For once in my life, my love was not used as a weapon against me, to hurt me, to keep me in my place to be bargained and beaten down with.  It was received…and it was embraced.  For once, in my 47 years on this earth, I felt like Love was a safe emotion to express (to someone who did not come out of my lady parts).  I’m going to just let that sink in to my bones for a while.  I am not going to get all mushy and start dreaming of our wedding or a fantasy life that ends like a Nicholas Sparks book. Fuck that shit.  I am going to just revel in the peace of knowing that it landed in the hands of someone who will not abuse it, or me because of it.  That, for me, for now…is enough.

Realizing how much it still hurts

Since I’ve gone back to re read some of my old blog posts…I realize there is so much the still gives me pain.  Remembering where I was, and where I am not brings me comfort…but there is still some residual hurt in there too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not following through…
Not to long ago, I made a vow to get out of my dump, and bring back a little bit of joy…So what did I do to make that happen? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
The other day it occurred to me that I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself and hoping that my mood would change. Um…really?? I don’t know why I thought that would work…just wishing myself happy hasn’t really ever worked before. What I needed to do was inject some more positivity into my life…Do what I did before that changed my life, and my outlook, around.
I borrowed some books from the library…but that just wasn’t doing it for me. I was still sulking round…Then I fell and sprained my ankle…REALLY bad…My husband took the day off of work to take me to the Dr. (this is NOT his normal routine). It wasn’t broken, but I was instructed to stay off of it for 1-2 weeks…Ugh. I got some crutches, but really, who wants to use crutches to go to the bathroom…and you can’t use them when you get something to eat, or drink….Cause there was no one gonna be taking care of me all day long…

Hubs and the kids did a pretty good job…They tried…but stuff wasn’t getting done…and every time I tried to say something…I got the “I’m doing the best I can!!!!”…so on day 5, I had enough of sitting on my ass…so I started doing some stuff. LONG story short…I’m going into week 3 and it still hurts…I can do more, but it still hurts, and I’m still limited….

During that time, actually the day after I got my “instructions”…my Mom showed up at my door…(if you want to learn more about our strained relationship it’s in here). Go here if you want to find out how THAT went. We had the memorial service for my Grandmother…the one that passed in February…my Mom’s mom. It was a nice service…people shared funny stories, and touching stories…I read a poem about Hugs…It was pretty nice. Things are still tense with my Uncle, and my Mother….oh well.

Then I emailed my mother to try to re-open that door of communication. She shut me down. Then came back with “…apologized every way you asked…will not except you going into a rage when you don’t like what I say…have the right to express my opinion in a civil way…” then I was given her Terms…”want to have a real relationship…will not walk on eggshells just to make you happy.” My response to that was “Ok”…I’m done. I really really would like to have a good healthy loving relationship with my mom…but I guess that’s not happening right now. I have spent the last few week writing a letter…Starting with I wish things were different, I tried, I love you…I have gift for Mother’s day. Then I went into explaining why I’ve made some of the choices I’ve made the last few years…Basically why I have chosen not to discuss certain things with her.

That letter was very therapeutic…I edited…added more, took some out. I tried to make sure that it was putting her on the defensive…I made it about me and my choices. Then I decided to make two letters…One in with the gifts letting her know the other one was in a sealed envelop, she could read it if she wanted too. Then I said “fuck it” and just sent the gift with the first part of the letter. I came to realize that she is just not ready to listen to me, what I feel or think doesn’t really matter to her. She thinks that she has apologized for the past many many times…but in reality, that’s not what she’s done. She thinks that I asked for that…I haven’t. I’ve never asked her to apologize for the past…only to STOP continuing to do the negative stuff. Respect me…I guess that didn’t get through.

On Saturday…I broke down…BIG time break down….I cried for at least an hour…may have been two. I was feeling sooooo sorry for myself…My mother, my marriage, my friendships. I was pissed at my mom, pissed at my husband and pissed at my friends. I felt abandoned, crapped on and tossed aside. I wanted to know when it was going to be MY turn to receive…when were the people in my life going to start giving me what they have demanded of me for all these years. What did I do to deserve all this shit…Why can’t my friends come visit, when they know I’m stuck at home…Why can’t my husband drop me off at the door when I’m saddled with crutches, instead of making me walk from the parking lot across the street…Why can’t my Mom see what she is doing and stop making me pay for all the injustice that she feels she has endured????

Why?
I want to tell you all to piss off…and run away to start new…
Why can’t you see what you are doing to me?
Why is it so easy to brush me off, walk away, never give a thought to me…?

Ugh…It was ugly…But apparently very much needed. My husband listened…while I gasped for breath in between my wails…For that I am thankful.

On Sunday…I started doing something about my situation. I stared listening to positive podcasts…getting my mind back on to the path of gratitude…I feel like I’m getting warm, but the fire isn’t going yet…

I’m working on it…I’m not sitting around waiting for it to happen to me…I making it happen..I’m warming the fire…Ahhh….I feel lighter already…and I mailed my mother her gift.