One more adventure for the road before I get into what's next, though:
Things have been civil with BFO for a little while now, even pleasant at times... they never are when we disagree or need to collaborate on something, but we've had enough neutral going-through-the-motions interaction for long enough lately that I was starting to be lulled into complacency again.
Last night, I was blindsided by a cutting insult. I knew that no matter how I delivered my questions or comments that it probably wasn't going to be a completely peaceful interaction, but I wasn't expecting what I got. The insult was essentially that he didn't blame my choices for our son's difficulties... rather he blamed who I was as a person all together. My choices weren't the problem--I was the problem. Yep--that's what the man who I was with for 10 years (basically my entire adult life up to this point) said to me. I even asked him to clarify that was what he was saying... and he confirmed it.
It felt like a punch in the gut. I turned away and got into the car when I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. I resisted the urge to get back out of the car, chase him, and tell him how I planned to exact my revenge... I resisted the urge to give him the finger as I drove by him walking back from taking his trash to the dumpster... I did a little woo-woo-reiki-style-self-help on myself and as much as I wanted to hold my breath to keep from taking in any more poison I remembered to breathe...
It used to be more subtle, but that is essentially what our relationship was made up of for years... for years I listened to him tell me that I was wrong (not what I thought, said, or did incidentally... but what I felt, wanted, and needed... what and who I was). And I believed it. And after only a year of not believing it anymore, it was a struggle to fight against believing it last night.
Quite a ways down the road after Spiderman had fallen asleep and the pain had faded I got it. I got what I needed to feel okay.
I knew from the moment it happened that his insult didn't have to be my reality if I didn't let it. I didn't have to subscribe to his beliefs about me. I didn't have to take on any blame or responsibility that he offered... but it still hurt. And it was still confusing. And I found myself asking "why? why would he be so cruel?" to which the typical response might be something like "maybe you deserve it..."
but before I got there the little voice chimed in: "because he's hurt too."
Oh yeah, he's hurt too... He feels helpless, he feels disconnected, he can see that Spiderman is in distress and just like me he can't make it better for him. He doesn't understand me or the way I think and he's also in a position where he has to parent his son with me as a "partner." He doesn't want to do this with me any more than I want to do this with him. It's hard for him too.
We may have completely different ways of perceiving and reacting to the stimuli of the human experience, but the bottom line is that we are both living the human experience. He's hurt, he was feeling vulnerable... he attacked. Every animal does it, with whatever tool is bound to be the most effective... and after ten years together he knows exactly where to chop to take me down.
It's not okay, and I don't have to tolerate or be around it, but at least I have a comprehensive understanding of where it comes from as a means of keeping myself from taking responsibility for it. I wish I didn't need that, but at this stage in the game... only a year out the previous 10 where I lived believing everything he told me was wrong about me... I need to make sense of the cruelty to remind myself not to take it in anymore.
okay Universe, adventure month is over... and we are moving on! Turns out this makes a great segway because this month is all about relationships, and specifically "family." The "family" I was creating for myself changed drastically last year around this time, but that doesn't change the fact that I do, in fact, have a "family."
I mentioned in "dis-integrated" that I have lots of connections all over the place and that sometimes that's overwhelming. When I am feeling overwhelmed I find myself wishing all of my people could all be each other's people and just be in one place so I could feel supported and surrounded by them without having to do it all individually... And when I'm not feeling overwhelmed (well, I still want that... but it's less urgent) I am eternally grateful for the relationships I have with my people... they are my family. I have learned so much about myself, and life, and... (is there anything else really?) from a tremendous collection of personalities some who I'm connected to through birth and blood, others who I have chosen for myself and by myself.
|public love letters. sweeping the nation! (and/or other nations)|
I am committing myself to consciously remain in gratitude for them and I want the world to know how amazing they all are.