That Ugly Power and Control Gene

I shared a post on FB of the cover of the latest New Yorker mag. It’s a very unflattering caricature of the Cheetoman, hitting golf balls at the White House, breaking windows. It’s pretty funny. Someone commented that he is such an “unqualified” public servant. I replied, “he’s not a public servant, he’s a public nuisance.” Seriously……he only serves himself. Jimmy Kimmel had a video up from his show where he shows how the tweeter-in-chief has a habit of moving things when he sits down. At dinner, at his desk, or coffee table, at a conference…what ever. I think my ex used to do that a lot, especially when he was trying to show that he was working. Control issues, both of them. Gotta re-arrange the table setting to show it’s never right.

Then I saw a video, on FB, of Cheetoman in a ceremony to sign a bill, with everyone there, and then he walked out of the room without signing it. He thanked everyone, said we’d see some immediate changes, and then left the room. Pence tried to get him to come back, and DJT told him to bring the bill with him. He’s starting to lose his shit, really. It’s wild, but kind of scary to see someone in that position who is seriously losinig it.

Every day, there is more stuff about this mans inability to deal with his job. After dealing with my ex last week so much, I can’t really watch him much because I swear, he even looks like my ex. Same facial expressions, when I know he was trying to fool everyone that he actually had a clue what was going on, but didn’t. I really hate to listen to him. So most of the videos I just watch and shut the sound off.

It’s scary really, when someone is so hell-bent on power and control that they will lose everything, like my ex did. But to see that same personality type….with their fingers on the nuclear codes….and randomly tweeting in the middle of the night, constantly disrespecting our allies. Crazy scary shit.

I learned a lot about power and control when I left my marriage. I had no idea what had happened to me until I was in an online community for abuser survivors. Then, I found Brene Brown, among others, but it was her TED talk on vulnerability that really broke it down for me. I wonder if the orange one’s father berated and belittled him his whole life, like my ex did my son. Like my father-in-law did to my ex. And all of tRumps wealth and running for a job for which he is clearly unqualified, to say the least, was to prove to his father he was worthy. And I bet he’s still not. This is just random musing on my part, but he sure fits the bill.

What I’ve learned is that these people never can change. They will go down with the ship. You can’t save someone hell bent for terror. I tried, I kept thinking that one day he’d snap out of it, one day he’d see what he was doing. but he just consistently became more deeply imbedded in it. My ex would rather have lost everything than admit being abusive. The stories he makes up now, I just have to pick my jaw up off the floor. I gave up a long time ago setting his record straight. It only creates an argument to tell him, for example, that he had 16 years with our son, not just 6 or 7. He made up this outlandish statement to try to explain why his son wouldn’t talk to him, rather than face that fact that he was horribly abusive to him. Just made up a story, that he can tell people, so he’s not at fault, so he doesn’t have to face the shame.  I am so glad I had my moment of realization that he was never going to be able to change, and was never going to allow my family to live a normal life, and moved on.  Because, look at the life I have now.  It was worth 4 years in court, to salvage the rest of my life.  It was even more worthwhile, to see how well my son is doing, because I gave him a chance to see a different way of living.  Not in fear but in love.

DJT too, just tries to cover one lie with another. He’s a bully, to hide his own fear rather than face it.

Well, it’s whatever. I guess I’m a little retrospective today. That power and control gene is a tough one.

I have a nice day planned. Going out to the “Frankie and Johnny” show tonight to hear my good friend sing. Might even put a dress on for it, lol. It’s a beautiful day today, 80° and sunny. I probably need to do some baking for my son in the next day or two. And maybe for our new writer’s group. That should be fun. Think I’ll take a nap this afternoon too. I was up in the middle of the night again last night, and finally took an Ambien. I guess I got some sleep. You know those nights when you wake up and you don’t think you’ve been asleep, but the clock shows the passage of hours….That was me. I don’t want to be falling asleep at the show tonight.

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.

The Strength of Being Vulnerable, and the Sadness of Those Who Are Not

A friend (Megan, https://lovewillleadyouhome.wordpress.com/) wrote a blog today on vulnerability, asking was it a strength or a weakness.  It made me think of Brene Brown’s incredible TED talk on vulnerability. At the moment, it has 20,784,830 views.  Mine are maybe a dozen of those.  I sent the link to my friend, and watched it again myself.  Brene Brown is brilliant, funny and RIGHT on the mark.

If you haven’t seen this, please watch it.  It’s 20 minutes that can change your life, literally.  I dare anyone to watch it and not shed a tear.

I watched this, and I realized I tried to convince my ex, and S, that they were worthy.  Neither of them bought it.  Both are disconnected.  I tried, really hard, to get my ex to understand this, because he wanted a relationship with our son so badly.  I told him that our son needed to see his father go out on a limb for him, a limb he didn’t know wouldn’t break.  No guarantees.  But if he didn’t try, at least try, he gave up all hope. The fear of being vulnerable was not something he could overcome.  Maybe someday.

And S?  He wants to be free?  Of what?  Of any relationship that might cause him to feel vulnerable.  I believe this.

Neither of these men could take a risk, not knowing the outcome.  Both of them numbed their feelings, using assorted different methods.

Me?  I will offer my whole self.  My feeling is if you don’t put yourself out there, even not knowing the outcome, if you won’t take the risk, then you lose any chance for joy, for love, for creativity, for love and belonging. Let yourself be seen, who you are, without shame. Take a chance, and feel the miracle of connection. But you gotta love yourself first, and know who you are, so if it doesn’t work, you can just move on, with gratitude that you can feel as much as you feel.