So my therapist keeps asking me how much longer—when I've come so far, when I've gotten myself so together, so mentally-hygienically clean, so strong—just how much longer am I going to put up with Ms., aka my better half's passive-aggressive bullshit? Based on the events of the past three days, I'd say I'm done. Tapped out. Reached my limit. The well has done run dry. And I'm scared shitless (Well, almost shitless.
I am pretty regular) but that's not important. What's important is that my progress is measured in forward steps, not backwards steps…
I guess I should probably bring y'all up to date on what's transpired over the past eight months. You know The Kid left under less than stellar circumstances. He was becoming a teenager. He was becoming a male teenager. Could he possibly be any worse a teenager than I was? No. To be brutally honest, he's not that street smart nor is he that resourceful. So here's the rundown on what The Kid's been up to this past year when he's been out of our care:
Starting smoking cigarettes
Experimented with alcohol
Experimented with drugs
Flunked out of the Ninth Grade
Lied, lied, then lied some more
Intercepted by Law Enforcement Officials at least eight times
Ran away from The Evil mother in law from Hell's house at least once
These are just the things we know about. See, he hasn't been as bad as I was! We've had the occasional phone call from him, but most recently this cryptic message on our answering machine:
Um, just calling to let you know—I might be able to visit friends—but I'm on my way out there. I'm going to be there in a couple days probably. I'm walking...'cause...I just got mad. But I'll be there in a few days and I'll see you when I get there.
Now last we heard he was living with Sperm•Donor, that sterling example of dad-hood, in Colorado. Yeah, I could walk from Colorado to the east side of Kansas in two days...if someone stuck dynamite in my ass...
Granted, it's been almost three weeks since we received that phone call and he hasn't shown up on our doorstep nor has he called to let us know his progress, or lack thereof. Ms., aka my better half, was under the impression that he wasn't really walking, that his father was driving him here with the intent to dump him off on us. Where she got that crazy idea I do not know, but like so many of the ideas she's got in her head lately, it's a notion based on not one shred of evidence or innuendo. This brings me to the realization that Ms., aka my better half is still bonkers. Worse than bonkers. I don't know what goes on in that fantasy world that revolves inside her head, but I know two things: I'm not part of that fantasy world and I no longer care that I am not part of that fantasy world.
She has not had a good year. She never, ever recovered from the betrayal of The Kid leaving us. It was a double sucker punch at the end of the summer when a letter arrived from their attorney, papers petitioning for custody—custody, not guardianship—of The Kid. The documents were notarized but there were no court stamps on them, which told me they had yet to be filed. We took them to our attorney the next day and after he checked with the court to see if they'd been filed (no) and had a brief conversation with the opposing attorney regarding why the petition was only for custody, not guardianship (because to get that they have to have biological parental consent in writing and for onceCrack•Ho was doing the right thing, the just say no thing)....
Our Attorney: So these two women here in Kansas will be responsible for him financially, medically, etc., etc. but he's going to reside in Nevada with his grandparents?
Their Attorney: Yes.
Our Attorney: 'Buzzer-like noise'—Wrong answer!
At which point our attorney hangs up the phone, pulls a paralegal off another task and has him immediately draft a document relinquishing all guardianship over The Kid back to the great state of Kansas. Bada bing, bada boom, it's signed, sealed, filed in the court and posted to their attorney, all before the clock can strike four. Ms., aka my better half, does not like to lose and this is one monumental loss…to her mother! At various points since then we've received the occasional Kid report from friends, relatives and once in a while, even from The Kid himself. As you can see from the preceding list, the reports are not good. These are just like kicks to a person who is down and I wish everyone would just keep the bad news to themselves. I do everything in my power to do nothing to deserve the silent treatment and sometimes I even succeed.
We try to create new patterns where the empty spots are. Take some trips. Do stuff that we like to do, not the kid-centric stuff we've done in the past. We miss The Kid's best friend, Good Influence Friend more than we miss The Kid but we also miss the kid The Kid used to be. When I get the offer to go full-time at work and get benefits, I accept. The company is growing by leaps and bounds (as of today our department size has tripled to handle all the technical support we must provide). She and I have our rough patches, mostly when we get "updates" on The Kid. I am patient, I know this cuts her more deeply than me.
Now Ms., aka my better half, suffers another major blow. She disagrees with some actions taken by the VP of her department. Gives an ultimatum. When the dust finally settles, she still has her full salary, but she is no longer Queen of her little work universe. In fact, she is shifted to a completely different department This is because the VP is smart enough to know that if Ms., aka my better half, is not completely removed from the department, the new department head has absolutely no chance of succeeding. The new department is one that Ms., aka my better half, has always expressed a desire to join—when she was ready to make the transition, not when the company decided they were ready for her to make the transition. She does not privately accept this new challenge with grace. She is bitter, resentful. She has experienced a complete and utter loss of control in all areas of her life. She no longer controls The Kid, she no longer controls 70 something people via her job, and she no longer controls me. None of her manipulations produce the desired results. She becomes vindictive and vengeful. I see her plot with a few loyalist employees. This is not the woman I fell in love with and I don't think that woman will ever return. In her place is a woman who has allowed life's stumbling blocks to impede her personal growth.
She doesn't care for my best friend, a person she happens to work with. She tries to maneuver me into the middle of a disagreement she has with my friend. I think that what she has taken issue with with my friend is wrong, and I defend my friend offering alternate scenarios for how this particular event-of-contention has come to pass. One of those alternate scenarios points the finger at Ms., aka my better half. She deems this a personal attack and I am yet again gifted with the silent
I can't remember if I blogged about this or not, but I'd moved out of our shared bathroom about a year ago because she's a total slob with baby powder and I got tired of leaning on the counter in the morning to do my make-up and stepping back to find a solid white line across the front of my clothing because she'd left the counter covered in baby powder. I'd asked her repeatedly if she wouldn't mind dusting off the counter when she's done, all to no avail. So I finally decided that in a house with four bathrooms, there was no need for her to be less messy and no need for me to put up with messy. I simply moved my stuff to another bathroom. After a week she said she missed sharing a bathroom with me and if she was to put on her powder in the shower so it wouldn't get all over the place, would I please move back? Hallelujah! She's seen the light! She really does love me. Bullshit, this week there is powder all over the bathroom in places I've never seen powder before. She must have popped the sprinkle top off the powder and turned on the fucking blow dryer! Guess who moved to the upstairs bathroom this week? I like it. There's room for my stuff on the counter and not only does the toilet paper never run out, it's always on the spindle in the correct direction! Not a mote of powder anywhere.
She uses my things and then returns them filthy or simply doesn't put them back at all so that I may spend countless hours searching for something that I'm sure I left right there. She used the handle of one of my tools as a cement stirrer for a project she completed last week. Didn't wash the cement off the tool, just put it away (thank God she actually put it away) for me to find the next time I went to use the tool. Friday I took her driver from her golf bag, rolled the handle in some especially disgusting mud that we have down by the pond, baked it in the sun and returned it to her golf bag so that she too may have the wonderful
experience of going to use a tool and finding that the last person that used it didn't take proper care of it. Imagine for a moment my terror, my joy, when Saturday morning she announced that she was going golfing! While she was out, I called my best friend, the very same friend that she attempted to drive me away from, and confessed what I'd done. I was really looking for my friend's answering machine. I wanted something she could play for the Sheriff's Department when they came to interview her about the circumstances surrounding my death. If any sort of bodily harm should befall me in the days ahead, shout it to the rooftops that Ms., aka my better half, is the guilty party. Seriously, this is the woman who hired a bunch of bikers to beat up her sister's abusive boyfriend. I know what she's capable of. But still I did not shrink away from what I'd done. Had no intention of pretending I'd done nothing. No, when Ms., aka my better half, returned from her round on the links, I merrily bobbed, nay, I skipped out to the yard and cheerily asked her how the golf was? She said it was very nice, it was a beautiful day out…and nothing more about it (as she stood there totally dismantling her golf bag and thoroughly cleaning it and all her clubs).
She leaves dirty dishes all over the house. I can handle one, I can even handle two or three but for crying out loud, how can you walk a dirty dish all the way into the kitchen and then put it in the sink when the fucking dishwasher is right next to it? She has promised over and over that she would do better on this. She wouldn't put dishes in the dishwasher immediately—no, that would be doing something someone else wanted you to do—but she would go around at the end of the day and "pick up after herself." Well, she was never able to maintain that for more than a day or two. When she flew off to Denver yesterday, I got a tub and collected all the dirty dishes she'd left around the house. Filled that fucking tub to almost over-flowing, I did. They're sitting on the counter with a note atop them saying, "My therapist wants to know how much longer I'm going to tolerate your passive-aggressive behavior. I guess I'm not tolerating it anymore…" This is right next to the anniversary gift that I bought for her last year, but since she wasn't speaking to me at the time it never got given, and in fact, she's spent so much time not speaking to me that the opportunity to give it to her has never arisen. There's a note saying that too…
The scales have tipped. The balance has shifted. I have no control over people, places or things. I cannot change her. I don't even want to try anymore. She's done nothing but demand change from me since the day we met and while 75% of the things she wanted me to change are all changes that have made me a better person, she somehow is still not satisfied with the person I've turned out to be, but ya know what? I am.
Listening to: nightly news
Smelling: cranraspberry & diet coke
Reading: what I've written here
last five reads
kim dearth the compassion of dogs alice randall the wind done gone joyce maynard at home in the world linda howard kiss me while i sleep brad metzler the zero game