Recognition, Remorse, Repair = Resolution

I woke up at 1 AM last night, on the nose. And as so often happens, my mind tried to resolve unresolved issues. Like my ex, who I will have to deal with until he signs the quitclaim he has to sign. The thing is, with him, that I’m sickest of, is him trying to use me to manipulate my son into talking with him. I don’t do it, won’t do it, but I’m so tired of him going around and around in long, ridiculous circular conversations about it. I’ve said I was going to block him, when this last legal thing is done. I hope I can follow through on that.

The reason I say “hope” is because I don’t know if I have the heart to cut him off from his only access to even know how his son’s doing. However…..his actions have been, and probably always will be, about control. My problem is that I know his need to control things come from the shame he feels that he’s not worthy of unconditional love. He was brought up in a household where love was earned, and could be taken away, and often was, on top of being extremely abusive both physically and verbally. This was an upper middle-class family, he grew up in material wealth, and was taught that it was what was important. To understand that, is to feel sorry for him, because it so messed up his own life.

However, he was so abusive to both my son and I, I have to eliminate him from our lives. Just have to. My son has, for all intents and purposes. And I will too. My idea in the middle of the night was that I would send him a letter, so that he couldn’t talk over me, or pretend he didn’t hear me. And tell him that he is cut out of my life because of he has never acknowledged, owned, or apologized for what he did to us. I will list some of the things he did, so he has to look at them.  He apparently does not know that I know he physically abused my son as well as emotionally and verbally abused him. My son told me, when he came to live with me. I will tell him that I know. Then I will tell him that until he is able to accept responsibility for what he did, he needs to stay away from me. And I will suggest, that until he can do it for his son, he won’t be welcome in his life either.

This way, I can eliminate him but also give him a path back. I cannot deal with his absolute insanity. His re-writing of history. His tales he weaves to manipulate and draw me back in. The lies. So many lies. I am grateful my son has been able to just eliminate him, because he knows that’s all his dad will try to do to him. I’ve kept that door open out of compassion for my ex, but I think I need to put it in proper perspective, and hold him responsible for his behavior in a much stronger way.

I’m going to prepare the letter to him, and send it as soon as the sale of my slip is completed. I just have to do something to keep the dogs from barking on my phone (his ringer is dogs barking), blind-siding me, filling me with dread, triggering PTSD from all the years of abuse I suffered from him. I need to take my power back, and put the truth out on the table with him, again. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but with the passage of time, he seems to think that the slate is wiped clean. I want to make it clear that until he can recognize, feel remorse, and attempt to repair the damage he did to our lives, and even moreso to his own, that the slate will remain engraved.

Once I figured out what I would do, I almost got up and wrote him the letter. Then, decided it didn’t need doing at that moment, and that I needed sleep more immediately, since a friend is coming over this morning, and because I have open mic night tonight, and I have to get to Walmart today too. I have probably a week until this sale is completed. Instead of getting up, I relaxed and fell back to sleep.

Resolution to issues is always a good thing. You can’t always get it with the other person, as in this case. But you can get it with yourself, and decide on a pathway that will give you peace of mind. You can eliminate toxic people from your life. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. All of them have a way back if they want to take it. Recognition, remorse, and repair. Real change. And if they don’t want to take it….well, love and light to them. I hope they are able to find peace with themselves and their actions but they are not welcome in my life, until they can do those three things. Recognition of what they did, real remorse for what they did, the kind of remorse that causes real change in behavior, and then, repair of the damage.

Resolution is a good thing. Love and light everyone.

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When Is An Apology Real?

I just got home from a long day trying to prepare the art center for the grand opening tomorrow. Hanging more art, and cataloging all of it, organizing the spreadsheets so that the we can know which gallery each piece of art hangs in. I am just amazed at the scope of this project, how much participation they have received, the volumes of art that is on display. I felt guilty leaving tonight, but my feet and ankles were just done after 8 or 9 hours of continuously being on them. So I went home, and hopefully will be of more use to them tomorrow than I could be if I stayed later tonight.

Most of the work I did today was fairly mindless, really, though. So I had a lot of time to think. I heard from the nameless one again….I know, I know. Ridiculous. I just kept thinking about how he keeps behaving in ways for which he has to apologize.  Why he can’t change his behavior, but he can’t. An apology which says, “I agree with everything you said” doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’ve heard it so many times. The behavior stays the same….I’ve begged him to leave me alone, and maybe he will now. I also actually feel genuine compassion for B. My anger with him had nothing to do with her, because I knew what he was up to.  He just managed to piss me off royally just by his arrogance, and his narcissism, and I just am so sick of it.  I was sick of it in December.  Didn’t talk to him for a couple months, but then the damn smoke alarm thing, geezus.   However, B didn’t know, apparently (even though I’d mentioned it before in my blog)…and he was telling her something else, from what I gather. I don’t know exactly what he was telling her, and I don’t want to know=. I was told he was not with her, but I guess she believed he was trying to turn over a new leaf. While he was not, while he was continuing with the same behavior he did 18 months ago, and it’s been pretty much on-going since I moved.  The only saving grace was that I am now 1500 miles away, and none of our conversations could be acted on.

Oh, I’m running on, just trying to think my way through the tangled web of lies, that somehow caught my leg and pulled me in. I just feel for her, to be blindsided yet again. But I’m so happy to be out of that triangle, and game that he plays. I feel bad for him, to not be able to change such self destructive behavior.

And I’m so happy to be having such a cool guy as L make me dinner next week. Such a big difference.

So tomorrow will be busy, and fun. Gonna get some dinner and rest. Love and light, everyone.

Just Wondering

This morning for some reason, when I was making my coffee, I wondered if my ex ever thinks about the times he would rage, and break dishes, and throw food all over the floor, and walk away from it, leaving me crying, scared and having to clean up. I wonder if he remembers ever, when he broke our whole set of 12 Norman Rockwell plates, which we’d purchased at $40 each from Franklin Mint. I wonder if he thinks about what he put me through ever. Or if he just pretends it never happened. I wonder if he ever regrets making us drive hours to and from my son’s hockey games, the whole time verbally assaulting my son.

I’d like to think he does, and regrets all the things he did to me and my son. But, I don’t think so. Most people would feel so bad, once they realized how out of control they had become, and how much they’d hurt people that loved them, that they’d have to make at least an effort to apologize. He’s never apologized to me, except once. He had started a fight with me the day before I was scheduled to have labor induced for my son. Big fight, almost physical, yelling, stomping. I went to my sister-in-laws house for the night and she came with me to the hospital, not him. He finally showed up at the hospital after I’d been in labor all day because his sister shamed him into it. After my son was born by c-section in the middle of the night, he apologized. It was the only time in our 40 years together.

Even S repeatedly apologized for what he did to me. Of course, it didn’t change him, so the apology was only sincere in the moment. But at least there was a moment when he could see what he’d done. And of course, then he went on to spew lies about me to his girlfriend,and tell her intimate things about us, which was very painful for me. Having to listen to the lies come out of her mouth and having him back them up was heartbreaking. But he knew it was wrong. He knew he was doing it to make her secure.

I have forgiven them both for all of it. Their own behavior is something they have to live with. My heart, my psyche has healed from it all. It was all a good lesson for me. One drawback to growing up in a loving family is that you are unaware that there are people out there who would do those things. The reason they do them is because of a flaw they perceive in themselves, not in you. But a loving family of origin also gives you a base of love to fall back on, a way to find your own worth again, and allows you to move forward. I was blessed beyond words to have that.

It’s coincidental, (if you believe in coincidences) that when I came out on the deck this morning in the still dark, and opened my email, the first one I clicked on, by mistake (I actually wanted to open the email above this one), was an email from the Daily Om. It was a lesson from the book A Course In Miracles about forgiveness, and how it is really our only function.

I’m an Aries, and one of my traits is I cannot hold a grudge. For me to be angry for a week over something is really stretching it. Luckily, I am also aggressive and persistent, and know what’s good for me and what’s not. Although with both the men I’ve loved, I accepted the bad behavior for far too long, and kept them in my life far too long. Even if it was just on the periphery. I can still say I love them both, which is important for me, not to hate those I loved intensely. I feel sorry for my ex, because even if he doesn’t face it consciously, he lives a life that demonstrates the effects his behavior had on him, being broke and all alone, and having no relationship with his son. S—I don’t know what effect his behavior has had on him because we don’t talk.  He’s disappeared. But I feel for him anyway, because the games he plays over and over keep away the people who love him.

It’s been a weird morning, thinking about this stuff. Funny what bubbles up. Maybe it’s because I had a date last night with a man who doesn’t seem to be a game player, or manipulative, or controlling. But I can’t say for sure yet, I’ll have to get to know him better to know that. But I think maybe it’s the contrast between him and my old loves that brought this stuff around this morning.

Anyway, it promises to be an extraordinary day today. It was 63 when I came out on the deck before the sunrise. It’s going to get up in the 80’s. People are saying it’s unusual to be so warm in December. I’m more than happy about it. I might be able to wear shorts to the artwalk tonight.

Love and light, everyone.

More Manipulation from My Son’s Father

manipulation

My ex’s cousin called me last night as I was leaving work.  I haven’t talked to her as much lately, because she’s been spending a lot of time in Boston to be near her kids.

She told me that my ex-husband called her sister in Florida on Easter, and wanted to know how he could get closer to my son. Also, called his sister, asking the same thing.

This is interesting, because neither of these women EVER talks to my son. The cousin has never met my son. My ex’s sister, who lives 35 miles away, has not talked to my son in 10 years. Just a lack of interest. So why he would think either of these people could offer any useful advise I don’t know. But then, I know my ex. He is doing it to build sympathy for himself, with the few people who will talk to him. It is not a case of wanting to know, really. Because he knows. I told him.

I told him that my son said his father should write him a letter. I explained to him, clearly, that he has to remember and acknowledge that he was brutal to my son. He was extremely emotionally abusive, and became physically abusive as well, though it was kept secret from me until my son came to live with me. But it was one reason my son walked from his father and never went back.

I told my ex that his son needs to see him go out on a limb for him. To write him a letter, that he can read over and over, that he can hold on to. Address the issues. Become vulnerable, to take a chance. I told him it may not work, but it may. If he doesn’t try, there is no chance. If he tries there is some chance that they will reconcile. My ex wants to find some for sure way that my son will respond positively to him. He doesn’t understand that it will take a long time for my son, even if he writes the letter.

I don’t know why he refuses to write to my son. Well, that’s not true. Because when words are written, they are recorded. They make him accountable. Another reason is because I’m the one who told him that’s what to do, a message I was relaying from my son. As with most people who are abusive, he doesn’t trust the people who he most should. He trusts his alcoholic cousin or his very aloof sister, more than me, who would love nothing more than for the two of them to reconcile, at least to a level where they would talk.

If the situation were reversed, I would have written a letter every day. I would have filled the mailbox til the post office asked me to stop. I would have taken that doorway, and run through it toward my son.

But my ex, instead, is simply trying to manipulate the emotions of anyone he can into feeling sorry for him. “Oh the poor man, he’s all alone. His ex-wife must be influencing his son not to talk to him.” Because he still thinks we are competing for my son’s affection. Even though he himself used to complain that I was absolutely non-competitive (he was a nationally ranked swimmer at one time, and was raised on competition, not only in sports but among his two siblings, who competed for their parents love.) I know my son loves me, and I would love if my son could love his father, and have a real father in his life. But with my ex, it’s all about manipulation. It’s not about the real business of healing and rebuilding his relationship with my son.

I have told my son that I’d really be happy if we were all at least speaking to each other before we all moved. He has promised me that he is going to tell his father that he’s moving before he goes. That’s something. That’s my son, once again, going out on a limb for his father, and speaks to the fact that my son still loves his father, even though he can’t bring himself to talk to him right now. That the abuse, and the chaos his father brings to his life is still hurtful, is still there. My son lived for his father as a child. He did everything and far more than his father ever asked him to, but he could never please him. He could never meet a constantly moving bar that had to be met for his father to love him. His father has done nothing to alleviate that pain.

I couldn’t meet the bar either. At some point, I realized that that moving bar was just a tool of manipulation, to feed his ego. My son knows it too. My son has found his way. I believe that the last 8 years of living with unconditional love, and none of the chaos, have allowed him to find himself.

I have been wondering, since last night, if I should call my ex and talk to him again about writing his son. But….no. His ego would be boosted to know people have talked to me concerned for him. And would do nothing to resolve their relationship, because as long as his ego is being fed, there will be no movement toward reconciliation. As long as he is the center of attention of his cousins, his sister, and me, he will have enough ego boost, that just complaining that he is so sad that my son won’t talk to him is all he will do. He won’t make a move toward him.

I know the man well, after 40 years.

I used to think when my son was small, that a 2 parent family is infinitely better than a single parent. And of course, that’s true if both parents are normal loving people. But if one is dysfunctional, and abusive, and so damaged, it is far better for a child to have one parent that can love him unconditionally than stay in the middle of the chaos a sociopathic, narcissistic, abusive alcoholic can cause.

I hope my ex can see the light some day. But my hope for him is slight. He has lost everything, his marriage, his son, his house, his business, his yacht, and lives in a 500 sq foot rented cottage with no heat now. You’d think at some point he’d rethink the way he lives his life, and maybe do a little soul searching. If it hasn’t happened with all that loss…I can’t imagine what, if anything, could change him.

I’m so grateful that I got out when I did. And got my son out. Just so grateful.

Love and light.

Difficult Emotions

Regrets, shame, guilt….Some very difficult emotions to manage.

I try, honestly, to live in a way I don’t have too many regrets.  It’s been a lesson I learned the hard way, so I try to always look at the big picture when I do something.  Sometimes, I don’t, or can’t.  Sometimes I get carried away and do things that I can’t be sure how they will turn out.  Don’t we all?

I tend to listen to my gut, my intuition.   Things have happened recently where I did that.  I couldn’t see the all the ramifications, there was no way to know what they would be, at least for me.  I followed my heart, my intuition.  I don’t regret it, for myself.  I warned others about doing things they would regret.  They made their choices.

Now I find out that these actions, which were far from mine alone, hurt other people, and have caused some of the other emotions in others.

I am sorry for that.  I don’t regret doing what I did, because the actions were something I needed. They helped me with my healing, they helped me to ease the pain of rejection and loss from the events of last fall.  That others were hurt, or feel guilty was inevitable, in that situation I guess.  I take no joy in that fact.

But at any rate, I am sorry for the discomfort of others.  The situation, from the beginning almost a year ago, was bound to hurt people, and keep hurting people.  I have retreated.  I have taken myself out, and leave the others to heal as best they can.  I tried to help, but I had my own healing too to deal with.  I know I did what I could to help.  And I did what I needed to to heal.  The fact is, those two things were never going to be the same thing.

I still believe in unconditional love.  I hope those hurt, and those immersed in guilt, can understand that it was hard for me too. I was always the odd woman out.  I’ll be fine, eventually.  I only wish the best for everyone, and ask the universe to work things out for the highest good of all of us.

 

An Apology

Sorry

For two days, I have been unsettled.  I knew why but didn’t want to write it here, because I also felt he was reading the blog again.  But I knew it was him, I knew I was feeling his upset, his angst.  It was mixed with Maggie, but last night I even messaged a friend telling her, what it was.  I was pretty sure I was going to hear from him, and after 2 months of silence, I did today.  It still freaked me out.  I do much better when I don’t hear from him.  It’s easier to move on when I can pretend he’s dead.

At any rate, he wanted to talk.  I thought he meant on the phone, but he meant face to face. I asked why, not wanting to find myself hanging from a limb again, and hoping I wouldn’t find myself face down in the dirt once more.  He asked if I was already blogging this, and quoted a reply I’d made to a comment not a half hour before.  I said, if you’re back with Betty, a phone call would suffice. 

We texted, as usual.  We didn’t meet, which I didn’t really want to do.  He called me, I ended up screaming at him, because he can’t be accountable.  He says what can I do now?  For either she or I.  I said a heartfelt apology with no “but but but’s”would be a start.  Change.  Be the man I always saw. 

As with all our conversations, it came to no good end.  We are mirrors of each other, just like his poem, each defines what the other is not. It was the typical push pull conversation.  Push pull push pull.  The complete story of Scott and I.

I never dreamed that Betty would keep reading the blog.  I assumed that she was not, that she’d found out what she needed to know, and would stop reading.  I didn’t mean to expose her to pain, as I tried to deal with my own.  So the rest of this blog is to apologize.

I’m sorry Betty, honest to God.  I never meant to add to your pain.  It was never my intention.  I felt I had to tell you what he had been doing, and tell you the whole truth.  I could not be party to another lie falling out of Scott’s mouth onto my head or yours.  The weight of the lies was breaking me.  I told Scott I hoped if it had been you that discovered the deception, that you would have told me,and that I would have wanted the details, I would have wanted a complete picture of what was going on. I was sure he would minimize our relationship to you, and while it wasn’t like yours with him, it was something.  There was something. I adored him, what he felt for me I really don’t know.  Something.

I didn’t put details of our relationship in this blog to hurt you.  The very last thing I want to do is to make someone feel as badly as I do.  That was me, trying to make sense of my life, trying to work through all these things we did that apparently meant nothing to him, or not much.  It was me, working through it.  That’s why I write, like I said in my letter.  It keeps me sane.  Sometimes I’m ok, sometimes I miss him so much I’m crying, sometimes I’m so angry at him.  And sometimes, I just wish we were friends, because he could make me laugh like no one else. And sometimes, I never want to hear his name again. 

So, it all comes out in the printed word.  It’s all here, but it was put here because this is what I do.  It wasn’t EVER meant to hurt you, it was never about revenge for my broken heart.  Writing is like breathing for me, I just have to do it when something is on my mind.

I wonder how he would have felt if you denied him to everyone.

I told him I don’t think monogamy is in his genes. 

 I don’t understand for a moment why he lied to me about you, and said you had cheated on him and gotten married.  I have no idea what the motivation was there.  He lied just to lie, because he could.  My ex husband did that, though never about other women.  He just loved being able to make someone believe something that wasn’t true. 

I know he thinks he loves you.  He calls you his best friend, and I have no doubt you were his best friend.  Too bad he couldn’t be a best friend back.  He wants me to feel guilty that you will never talk to him again.  I keep telling him, that he owns 100% of this fiasco.  No one else, but really least of all you.  I feel like I did the right thing, like I was the unlucky one of us that figured it out.  When he told me he’d never forgive me, I said, “Why would I care if you forgave me?  It’s me, whether I could forgive myself for not telling you.”  I told him, after I stopped seeing him, but before I knew you’d been with him the whole time, that I’d seen a picture of you on FB and that you looked like such a nice woman, and that I thought you just wanted to love him and be loved back, and why doesn’t he just try to do right by you. 

By the way, my friend who said you looked weathered, after I told her I thought you were really pretty, was just trying to make me feel better, I’m sure.  You’re beautiful.  Honestly.  If I’d thought you were reading this, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.  My friend just could see my pain, and thought it would help me.  I realize it was shallow of me, but it did somehow make me feel less 2nd best for her to say that.  I’m sorry.  It was wrong to publish that. Please pay no attention to it, it was just an attempt on my friends part to make me feel better.

I’m just sorry, for all of this.  I know I was the heavy here, and I can handle that, because to be otherwise would have asked me to be his accomplice.  But I never wanted to hurt you, I was never looking for revenge through this blog or the letter I sent you.  I have only tried to work through my own stuff.  I’ve never tried to crush you (Scott’s words).  I’ve never wanted to add to your pain.  I wish we could be friends. Really.  You have my contact information.  I’d be happy to har from you.

He says I’m obsessed, well maybe I am.  I think I’d be fine now, if he just didn’t lie so much, it makes me question everything, as I’ve written here enough.  I told him, I’ve come away with precious little from this, so I’d like to hold on to what little I have.  Whether or not it’s accurate in his mind, I don’t really care.  I do think that he has a knack for re-writing history.  I keep saying I don’t want to write any more about him, but then I remember something else, I need to find a place for it.  But I’m sorry, so sorry, if my words added to the pain he gave you. 

He told me you were angry at how he treated me.  I want to thank you for that, for your empathy, but mostly for your recognition that I really loved that man.  Hearing that relieved me, that maybe you don’t hate me, and you might understand where I’m coming from.

It’s amazing how much destruction can follow one man around.  Just unbelievable.  Just lay waste to peoples lives and hearts, to feed his own ego.

I have a date tomorrow.  I hope it turns out to be someone who can make me forget him.  I hope you are able to get past this soon, and move on with your life too.  I wish you the very best, all good things, and no more liars in your life. You’re beautiful Betty.  Scott’s an idiot for what he did to you.  I’ve called him an emotional adolescent and I stand by that.  If he could own it, there might be hope for him. 

With Love and sincere heartfelt remorse for adding to your pain, Deb