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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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.

Liz Gilbert on Truth and Kindness (and lies….)

I just saw this on Facebook.  It’s a post by my hero, Elizabeth Gilbert, on Truth, Lies and Kindness.  BOY, does she nail it.  Just nails it.  As someone who has had my life turned upside down by the lies of others, and who has been attacked for my passion to have the truth out on the table, this was amazing to read. I was accused of wanting to play God, because I insisted that the truth be told.  When, in reality, it was the liar that played God, manipulating me and others lives for their own benefit, with the most enormous pile of painful lies imaginable.  Liz Gilbert explains my need, and my pain, and my truth better than I have ever been able to.  Read on…..
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Dear Ones –

The biggest emotional trouble I’ve ever gotten into in my life always stemmed from the same dilemma — when I was torn between telling the truth, and being kind.

Both matter immensely to me.

Both of these virtues (truth and kindness) are top-notch, A-grade, golden-ticket qualities, recognized by every human society in history as being essential for basic goodness.

I want to be unfailingly honest, but I want to be a REALLY NICE PERSON.

But here’s the thing: I’ve traditionally had trouble figuring out how to be both. Because sometimes the truth really hurts people, and I never want to hurt anybody. So — for most of my life — when I had to choose between truth and kindness, I always went with kindness. Because my need to not hurt people was bigger than my need to be truthful.

Also, isn’t it a fact that most people — no matter what they may claim — actually don’t really want you to tell them the truth? (Or so my reasoning went, anyhow.) As a Ethics Professor of mine taught me back in college: “Most of us grew up in families where our parents DEMANDED the truth, but they couldn’t DEAL WITH IT…and so we all learn how to lie.”

Didn’t the world teach you how to lie, too, in order to keep things peaceful and smooth? So aren’t you doing people a favor, when you them what they want to hear? Isn’t that nice of you?

No.

Here’s the thing I have finally learned, after years of struggling and suffering over this subject:

White lies are OK. Other lies are not.

There is such a thing as a harmless little white lie. The best anecdote I know about this came from President Jimmy Carter’s mother, who — when her son was running for president — was visited down in Georgia by a pushy New York journalist, who demanded to know, “Is it true that your son has never told a lie? Seriously? NEVER?” Mrs. Carter thought about it, and said “Well, Jimmy has told some white lies….” The journalist thought she had Mrs. Carter in trap and said, “Aha! But isn’t a white lie just a lie, all the same?” Mrs. Carter said, “No, white lies are harmless.” The journalist said, “Give me an example of a harmless white lie.” Mrs. Carter said, “Well…remember when you came into my house today, and I told you that it was very nice to meet you? THAT was a white lie…”

Mrs. Carter was correct: If you can’t tell little white lies sometimes in order to be polite to people, than you’re a sociopath and a jerk — so don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. Tell your neighbor that her cake was delicious — who cares? The world does not hinge upon such things, but it’s fine to be polite.

But this is not what we are talking about here.

We are talking about bigger moments, bigger lies, bigger truths.

There will be times in your life when people need to hear the truth from you — real truth, that will have real impact on their real existence — and when you decide “protect” that person with lies, then you are actually not protecting them at all. What you are doing is demeaning both them and you.

As that same Ethics Professor taught me, twenty-five years ago, “Whenever you lie to somebody about something that affects their life, you are manipulating that person and infantilizing them. By denying somebody essential information that they need in order to make intelligent decisions about their own future, you are effectively making all their decisions for them. There is no greater act of disrespect you could offer to an adult human than to make their choices for them, by lying to them, or by withholding essential information.”

Or, as my friend Martha Beck has taught me: “The truth is always an act of kindness, even when it seems like it will hurt. And a lie is always an act of unkindness, even when you believe you are being protective.”

For years, I told lies to people because I didn’t want to hurt them. Some of this was because I am “a nice person”, sure. But some of it was because I was “a scared person.” And some if it was because I was “a controlling person”. (Which isn’t very nice, when you really think about it.)

It took years of terrible consequences and suffering for me to realize that I wasn’t doing anybody any favors by hiding the truth from them, again and again. By lying to people out of kindness, I was being neither honest NOR kind. What I was practicing, in fact, is what the Buddhist call “Idiot Compassion” — which is when your cowardliness and your weak-heartedness makes you pity people instead of respecting them. Idiot compassion is what keeps people in relationships with abusers. (“Oh, he can’t help it! He had a hard childhood!”) Idiot compassion is what makes people engage in “pity sex”. Idiot compassion makes you cover for people, instead of challenging them. Idiot compassion is at the basis of all codependency. Idiot compassion makes you say yes when you need to say NO. Idiot compassion makes you easy to manipulate, but also makes you a serial manipulator — because you are always controlling people when you lie to them. Idiot compassion is called “idiot compassion” because it makes an idiot out of you, but it also makes an idiot out of your victim, because what you are offering is not protection, but patronization. By building a house of lies — no matter how pretty it may look from the outside — you are keeping everyone trapped.

As my friend Iyanla Vanzant says, “Respect people enough to tell them the truth.”

Respect yourself enough for that, too.

If there is one lesson I have FINALLY learned that has actually transformed my life, it is this: Whenever you are called to choose between truth and kindness, choose truth.

Trust me, in that moment you will actually be choosing both.

ONWARD,
LG

(Very) Early Morning Musings

I woke at 4:15 this morning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I was asleep at 9:30. I lay in bed for about 45 minutes, just thinking about things. Moving, the foundation cracks, lol, the men I’ve loved.

The moving, the house selling, it will all be over soon. So, I just have to make my way through each day, and do what needs to be done. Taking it one thing at a time, I’m sure I’ll get it all done, easily.

The men, idk. I was thinking about my ex. His name is the same as my son’s so I don’t use it on here, because I don’t want to confuse anyone. But it’s Bruce. I was thinking about the fondness I still feel for S, and how I have none for my ex, who I was with for 40 years. I guess the difference is my ex, B, eroded that love every day for years with his control and abuse of me, and my son. I don’t wish him any ill, I don’t have to, lol. He’s done a damn fine job of fucking up his life with no help from me. I wish him love and light, all good things, but I know with his last breath he will blame me for his problems.

I thought about how, when he was in control, he used to occasionally have these 2 or 3 day brain-washing sessions with me, before my son was born. He would brow beat me, and yell at me, and threaten me for days. I couldn’t leave the house. I was his captive scapegoat for all the ills in his life. And back then we had very few ills. We had enough money, a decent home, a yacht, but still he had to make me feel less than human anytime I began to feel happy and secure. And then he’d say, “I love you, I would think you’d listen to me, knowing it was for your own good.” Geezus. It was for his. To have himself a servant who would do everything, who was dancing around trying to win his favor.

One particular time, during one of those brain-washing sessions, he decided that I did not deserve my 1 1/3 carat heart shaped diamond. He ordered me to give it to him. I refused. He got up from the couch as I sobbed, went in the kitchen and got a pair of pliers out of a drawer where he kept a few tools. He came back, and grabbed my hand and broke the setting, so that the diamond fell out. I am sure, 100% positive, that if I’d fought him he would have broken my hand. He was 6’2”, about 240 lbs, and had arms like most people’s thighs. Very strong, he was a nationally ranked swimmer at one time.

He put the diamond and the broken setting in an envelope and put it in a kind of jewelry box in our bedroom. Folded up tight, so it was about a 1” square. I always knew where it was. I believed that some day he’d realize what a good wife I was, and how I was trying so hard to do everything he asked (while he did nothing at all for me, but I guess I believed I didn’t deserve it) and he’d get it reset one day.

He never did.

When I moved out of the house in 2007, I opened the envelope and took the diamond. I left him the broken setting.

But that just illustrates how dysfunctional he was, and I was, and we were. That we managed to have my son after that is amazing. But thank God, my son is a blessing to me borne of that pain.

S…..well, he betrayed me when I loved him the most. My love for him didn’t die over time. It never had a chance to die a natural death. I grieved and grieved, and still do some days. It’s easier when I never hear from him, I’m much more able to see the dysfunction that surrounds him, and was part of our relationship so much more clearly. I know it would never have lasted, even if there were no B, because I wanted more that he’s capable of giving. It’s been almost 2 months now since I’ve heard from him, and I am fine with it. I have some fond memories, tempered by the reality of his nature. I can love him, who he was to me, I can be grateful for that time in my life. I am so happy to know that after my long miserable marriage, (and long miserable divorce) I can still love someone so passionately, so intensely.

I don’t think he and I can be friends, though. I’d like to be, but I don’t think B will allow it. Even if I’m in FL, 1500 miles away, she would be jealous. He says she’s not, I say, you don’t see it. She’s a master of the passive aggressive stuff. Never wants to talk to him again, until I do. Then she does. Never wants to be with him again, until I am, then she still loves him. Whatever.

I know that I can’t go there again. I can say never say never, but I gotta be real. He is never going to want to make the changes that I’d like to see in him. I think he is much more comfortable with the game playing, the push pull thing, and with misery and unhappiness than happiness, because he sabotages his own life constantly in an effort to prove to himself he’s not worthy. I will always tell him he is. I would, am, always here for him if he wants to talk. But I know he can’t trust himself, so he doesn’t trust me.

I will say, one reason I loved him so, was because he let me be me. All the time. Even though I talked too much, lol. He knew how to quiet me down. Take me to the beach, or somewhere, tell me a story, put on some music that was new to me and tell me about it, or take me to bed. But the freedom I felt with him, after being with a man who tried to control what I said, wore, how I wore my hair, how I walked, yada yada yada, was blissful for me. For that I will always love him. Now that I know what that’s like, I intend to find it again, in a man who is capable of loving, who seeks the light, and is happy and likes himself.

All good lessons with these men. Painful, but good. I know myself, I’ve found myself through the pain that I experienced with them both. I can say to my ex, I love you and I wish all good things for him, he is making himself pay for sins he thinks he must have committed, I am sure. I can say to S, love always and all ways, because that too is true. Because I do. I will. All the betrayal, really, that S orchestrated, was him, sabotaging himself, setting himself up to fail. He hurt me, yes, but for me it’s temporary. I can find my way out. I don’t look into the abyss. I walk away from it, even if I’m on my hands and knees crawling.

At peace this lovely morning. Nice to put things into perspective.

Love and light, everyone.

Blowin’ Away on the Summer Wind

summer wind

I walked with my cousin this morning, a short walk, just a couple of miles. The rain stopped, it was cloudy, and though it was very humid, it was cooler, not quite 80. It was a pleasant change. It’s was that way all day, til a short time ago.

We talk, deep and honest, always. I talked to her about moving, and when I talked about leaving my son in Denver, I started crying. Geezus.

The walk was nice, but I can’t even talk about that without losing it. I don’t know how I’m going to actually do it.

Then I went to the grocery store this afternoon. I ran into one of my best friends there. We have known each other 22 years, since our kids were 2 and in Story Hour at the library together. Her daughter and my son were born on the same day. My son is older, lol, by 3 hours. A fact he never let her daughter forget.  She was part of our small book club.

She had just come home from a big family vacation to Ireland and England, with some side trips, one to Paris for a few days, I think. I had called her to see if she wanted to go for a walk about 3 or 4 weeks ago and she said, “Um…I’m in Ireland.” LOL. I said, “Oh, I guess you don’t want to go then…..” And laughed. We talked a little, texted a little.

So it was good to see her, and just catch up briefly. I told her I sold the house while she was gone, and she looked happy and sad in the same moment. We talked about it briefly, because she had an engagement she had to get to, but I choked up again, talking about taking son to CO. I am a basket case. I so wish he had a father. Or I should say, a father who wasn’t a sociopath. Anyway, we are going to try to get the book club together to say goodbye the week after next.

I truly can’t believe I’ll be out of here in 6 weeks. I’ve feel like I’ve been talking about it forever. It’s been so often, my final escape from so much drama in my life, from men who can’t love, or won’t, who have caused me so much pain.  Men who have taken all I would give, and given me back nothing except pain, and heartache, and lies.

Now I look at it as just an awesome thing I get to do. I’m so over all of that. I think about it, and I think, the drama goes on, I’m sure. Just without me. Because, really….how could there ever be any trust there? Yeah, she lied, a small tiny lie to make him stop lying to her, to make him believe he’d been caught red-handed.  I seriously only objected to it because she involved me, and it just wasn’t true. But really, he’s the one who cannot tell the truth. How could she ever ever trust her heart to him again? So much like my ex. Just cannot talk without trying to manipulate someone.

I feel like, she’s just in her comfort zone with him, and willing to put up with his bullshit.  She was never going to talk to him again, twice now, til I did.  So she did.  What kind of foundation for a relationship is that?  If I’d told him to come here that night 6 weeks ago when he asked me so many times….what would she have done then?  Wanted him back?  I was leaving anyway….who knows?  Such a game they play.

Whatever. It’s none of my business. Sometimes I just go off on a tangent, it was part of my life way too long.  I still feel connected to him on some level, it’s weird.  But it doesn’t stop me from living this life.  If we are connected through past lives, which I feels sure we are, we will bump into each other again.  But this life time….I don’t think so.

The whole point, now, is….I get to retire.  I don’t have to work, unless I want to.  I intend to find a part-time job, grocery money.  I get to live by the water, which has always been my other home.  I get to do the things I love to do, that I have a passion for, and not spend the bulk of my time at a stressful job.  I will be so free.  As hard as it will be to say goodbye to my son, the fact that he’s not going to be living with me, makes me all the more free.

I didn’t do any packing today. Just normal house chores. Laundry, shopping, making some food so we’ll have food to eat during the week. Now I’m outside in the sacred space, lol. With a dark rum and diet coke and half a lime squeezed into it. Feeling pretty content. Sun is out, and it’s breezy. This mornings humidity is blowing away.

As are the last years tears, and pain, and drama. Blowing away, leaving cool, clean energy in it’s place. Life is so good.

Love and light, everyone.

Sorting, Cleaning, and Organizing a Shift in My Thinking

change-thoughts

This picture at the top is a description of what happened to me today. I’m having a glass of wine, after spending the day cleaning, sorting, tossing, organizing. My nightstands were first. Put the stack of books next to my bed into a box of books that will go with me. Put away the prism light, tho not too far away. Both my nightstands are covered in crystals, which I love. I’ll put them away for the pictures, but then bring them back out.

My dresser, yikes. I have so much jewelry! All but a few odd pieces are things I made. Necklaces, bracelets, wire-wrapped pendants, earrings. How to organize it, so I can still use it, and so it can be hidden for the pictures. I think I figured it out, we’ll see.

Then I went to the spare bedroom closets. I cleaned them out of junk awhile back. But today I pulled out pants and sweaters that I haven’t worn, mostly too big, and won’t need in Florida. Two garbage bags full. Probably take them to Savers, the proceeds all go to Big Brothers and Sisters.

Then I went after two ginormous stacks of papers in one closet, all from my divorce. I can’t tell you how much paper there was, for a divorce that lasted 4 years, went to the Supreme Court. There were filings, depositions, motions, decisions, appeals, agreements (that’s a laugh….every one of them agreed to, none of the agreements kept by my ex), bank records, personal and our business, accounting records, spreadsheets, tax returns, yada yada yada.

It made me unbelievably sad. I found the mortgage deed to our first house, paid in full after 15 years. Our cute little cape cod house, with the slate roof, and 150′ of lake front. The promise was so sweet, we had the world by the tail. Except for the occasional outburst that would land dishes and food on the floor, broken and sprayed all over, for me to clean up. We had a set of collector plates, all Normal Rockwell plates, $40 each I think. He broke every one of them one night. I always thought it was my fault, I’d caused it, that’s what he told me. Sociopaths can be very convincing.

It’s all gone now. He fought to keep my name off the deed of that house, and it was a blessing in the end, because once the first mortgage was paid off, none of the debt that caused him to lose the house in foreclosure was mine. His little plan for power and control backfired.I The universe is self-correcting….

Then I found piles of my old journals. Hand-written on legal pads and spiral notebooks. I wrote them because I couldn’t talk to anyone about what was happening to me, and to my son. I was embarrassed, ashamed, I thought it was my fault. I had to at least write it down, I had to at least release it to the universe. I’d never heard of blogging then.

While I was going through this, as if on cue, my phone started playing “The Prayer”. “Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace, to a place where we’ll be safe.” He did……

I went from the sweet promise of our first home, to hating every minute in that house. Hating to come home from work, never knowing what I’d walk into.

I found the mortgage papers for this house where I live now, after I found the demand letters from my atty to his, saying ok, the Supreme Court says pay her, so pay her. Thank God I left when I did, before he had gone through all the money we spent all those years working for. He still blew his portion, which was more than half. But I got enough to start over, and for that I am eternally grateful to the Universe.

I’ve been so happy here. My son has been so happy here. We had five good years here. Full of love and light and joy. Friends, and family. Spontaneous get-togethers. I think even Scott liked the energy here, he used to love to sit on the deck and talk til the wee hours our first summer together. Even our second summer, we still sat out there talking, though it was not as often, he had Betty then. I will be sad to leave here, but look forward to my future life.

Funny though, when I found all the stuff about my ex, the divorce papers, the journals….I just wanted to pitch them. Been holding onto them all these years, and now, I wanted that part of my life over. And I thought, I think it’s time to say the same about my loving Scott. I need for that to be over too, in my head. It’s still fresh, and I’m still attached by the energy, but it’s over. Today I realized that at the end of the day, I don’t feel much different about him than I do my ex. Sad for them, sad for the promise that never blossomed.

I had a bunch of cassette tapes I took with me when I left my ex. I put them all in a bag today when I came across them and I’m going to give them to him. I have nowhere to play them, he has a cassette player in all three of his cars. I also have a bunch of LP’s that I took with me. Vinyl records. But I’m keeping them, I want to get a turn-table some day.

My sister called me today. So full of excitement about my house, she got me refreshed as to the good things that I have in front of me. She’s scoped out windows for the house, she says her hubby is itching to go do work on the little house. I have gone to sleep thinking about my cute little yellow Florida house with the orange shutters and green trim, and the palm tree at the corner of the house. She can’t wait to help me landscape the yard, she has such good knowledge of what plants will do well, which ones won’t. She is a great gardener. We’ll take lunch breaks on the beach. 🙂 🙂

We talked about how fun it will be for us to live close to each other. We haven’t lived near each other since we left home. She exclaimed…. “I love your little town, I’ll be coming over there all the time!!!” I am looking so forward to being able to say “Hey why don’t you come over for dinner tonight…” Or lunch, or whatever. Just to hang out with my sis, my family. To be able to run to Long Boat and watch the sun go down with her and her hubby over the Gulf.

I’ve been chatting with a man all week, a different kind of guy. He knows I’m moving. He is kind, centered, from what I can tell, spiritual. We have spoken on the phone. He isn’t pressing for anything, except a friendship, meaning, he seems willing to let things happen in their own time. I have not told him of my recent heartache, it seems irrelevant to our very budding relationship. I’m not looking for a relationship. Just someone to do things with maybe and have some fun. It’s nice to talk to a man without an agenda.

I’ve run the gamut of emotions today, covering my life, really, my whole adult life today, in the cleaning out and organizing and shedding of those things which no longer serve me. The men I loved, I still love. Some more than others, for sure. I wish good things for them. I hope my ex can find some joy. I hope Scott does too. My life moves onward. Joyfully.

Love and light…..

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.