Thursday, February 19, 2009

this post is for stacey...thank you for talking me down

So the roller coaster continues.

If anyone out there is interested in writing the definitive book on divorce, please dedicate at least one chapter to the Roller Coaster. More would probably be better, but at least address it somehow. It's the black fly in the Chardonnay of divorce, and very few people warned me about it.

All emotions are good in their own way and all emotions are valid. Don't you agree? Now - that said - I've had a really rough 24 hours. And it all came down to one emotion. Anger. From me. Lots and lots of it.

I've spent the last day going over my mental checklist.

Am I having ambivalent feelings about the divorce? No. Check.

Am I unhappy with the life I have now? No. Check.

Would I want to go back to the marriage we had? Hell, no. Check.

Am I upset that the FX has a girlfriend? No. Check.

Am I mad that I had to do damage control with my kids this week? Yes. Check.

Wait a minute. What was that mad word? Because I feel a lot more of that coming on. Mad. I am mad. Furious. Livid. But in a quiet and controlled kind of way. No head spinning or glass breaking. No yelling or screaming. Not necessary. I'm far more dangerous when I'm quiet.

I'm sure you're all getting really tired of my Ah Ha moments, but I had another one yesterday. A big one. I'm not mad that the FX is moving on. I'm mad that he's moving on with a clear conscience. I'm mad that he's moving on never once having acknowledged that he was an absolute and total shit to me most of last year. I'm mad that I never got to do my final summation in which I got to tell him exactly what I thought about the whole thing. It just moved too fast. First I was blindsided, then I was frantically kissing butt to stay in the game, then I knew it was over and I started pulling back and then it really was over. All in the course of eight or nine weeks.

When you're in a relationship and you have a fight, you get the chance to explain yourself when you make up. You get to say "good point" or "that was really uncalled for" and all of those things. But when you're fighting like mad for your marriage, you don't get that chance. You start choosing your words very, very carefully. (And wasn't it Erica Jong in Fear of Flying who said that people always try harder to save loveless marriages? I can't remember what her reason was, but I'm not about to argue with her conclusion). But I had listened to some of the most amazing things coming out of the mouth of this man I had been married to for so long, and they all were some variation of the same statement - "RC, this is all YOUR fault". And now, this same man wanted to be "my friend". He wanted to sit and chat over coffee. He wanted to keep me up to date on the office politics that had always bored me silly to start with. He wanted to have me ask about his day. Well, I don't know about you, but my friends don't treat me like that. They wouldn't be my friends if they did. And now, with no effort whatsoever made to even attempt to clean up the mess he had made here, he was off to do it again somewhere else. I just snapped.

I was sitting in my dining room trying not to explode when there was a knock on my front door. And lo and behold, there stood the FX to help Surfer Dude with a science project. He thought I was at work and I never knew SD had asked him over. We eyed each other warily.

And all of a sudden I realized that there was no way in hell I could carry this anger around for another day.


Anonymous said...

(((HUGS))) You have every right to be angry, you have a right and need to let it all out and be heard. Easier said, when you have the boys and have to struggle to stay on that High Road. I admire you for being able to process exactly what your feeling and what not to do. You put your kids first and that is the bottom line.

Thanks to Stacey too. I'm glad she was there for you. We all need people like that, to help talk us down.
Take Care!

Devon said...

Is the FX a man who always takes responsibility for his personal failings? No. Check

Is it possible to convince someone to look introspectively at themselves? No. Check

Is it abnormal for the fangs to come out when our children are needlessly pained? No. Check

You are so strong, you will deal with these emotions and be at peace with everything one day. I hope it is soon! Take care!

Maggie May said...

It is only human nature to feel this way.
Sometimes its best to let it out. The anger I mean.

Cath said...

Sometimes it does not hurt them (or the kids) to let them know that their actions have consequences, and sometimes that means they hurt some one. It may be they don't care, but it doesn;t hurt to let them know.

NO-ONE should swan around life thinking they can do what they like and no one will get cross with them. That's life. Not just good for you, but good for SD who will see mum has feelings, is no doormat and that THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR WOMAN OR ANY WOMAN. Good lesson for him I;d say - congrats on being a fantastic, balanced and realistic parent. Unlike some I could mention... ((((hugs)))))

-Ann said...

If I may be so bold as to tell you not to get too upset about not having a fair chance to fight your corner. It could be even more upsetting if you did get to fight your corner, only to have every word you said twisted around and used against you with a smugness and vehemence out of all proportion with reality. I just went through this process recently with someone (NOT my lovely husband, I hasten to add) and it has left me feeling even more enraged and powerless.

Sometimes, you have to take a deep breath, spout whatever curse words make you feel better, and let the asshole go off into that good night thinking he's right. It sucks and it hurts, but when someone is living in their own delusional land, there's nothing you can say to get through to them.

Rose said...

As you are realizing by now, there is no definitive experience in divorce, just like there is no definitive marriage. Sure, there are lots of commonalities in both but every marriage/divorce is unique. As you also know, regardless of how long the FX knew it was coming, there's no way he's adequately processed his role in your marriage and divorce and there's no way he's ready to move on this quickly. He's heading for disaster with the new relationship, whether it's sooner or later. And the anger? Some of it is grief, I'd wager. Not for the marriage you had, but for the marriage you wanted. You'll have to let that go over and over I think. I know I still have some grief for my first marriage even though I'd never have gone back to it. Good luck and treat yourself well. You know your instincts are good, so listen to them. And Devon and Ann both have great points!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know that your head neither blew off nor turned all the way around when you were talking with FX, and I love Rose's perceptive comments regarding motivation/feelings. Hang tough and thanks for the shout out.

Frances said...

Let out what you have to, keep the rest to yourself. Don't make things worse for yourself than they have to be.

Most of the people I've ever known in this situation have done what FX has done and wanted everyone to play 'Happy Families'
He wants easy fixes. He loves the kids, he likes the lady, he doesn't want it to be a secret. He hoped they would be happy about it.
They weren't. Anyone outside the situation would understand that. Even FX might understand it if it was someone else doing what he is doing.

But don't let it eat you. The boys will be fine.
They have to face the two of you going your own ways at some time, because you have no intentions of getting back together. That's what they are facing. Not a girlfriend, but one less chance at healing the family. Always the child's hope through everything.
The marriage collapsed, they lost their family. It isn't coming back and each proof of that is hard to take.

lv4921391 said...

yes, FX has the same kids, but that is it...he needs to live his live separately and not come to your house until and unless invited by you RC... the 3 boys should know that and not invite him over...

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Some wise words were written here and I can't add many of my own. Examine your anger and see what it is really all about. The FX falls short in many areas and he no doubt has disappointed you over and over again. Are you still hoping for a change? You wait in vain, so your anger is in vain. There will be no mea culpa, no admission of guilt, no asking for forgiveness. Set the boundaries, RC, and have him live by them. You be in charge.

Thalia's Child said...

You've been such a superstar about everything. Seriously, there should be an award for 'holy crap, got up, dusted herself off and got on with life', and you should get it.

Anger is understandable, and reasonable. I doubt FX will take responsibility for his actions, but at least you've (hopefully) set him in his place.

Kaycie said...

There is a certain satisfaction to telling the ex just what you think of him. I clearly recall the day I called my ex a "sperm donor" on my front porch.

I'm still glad I did it.

Sometimes quenching your anger is required to let you move on.

Indigo said...

What is even freaky is they start showing qualities you fell for years ago. You realize they were never that person, they ARE the person your divorcing - yet you recognize the other one. In the end they won't ever own up to being that person you came to detest and want to move away from. You know who they truly are, you lived with it for years. Sometimes that has to be enough. (Hugs)Indigo

Daryl said...

I sure hope you let him have it .. the anger I mean, tho I personally dont know much about your marriage or divorce but I do know I dont like people like him ....

Nearlydawn said...

Let me just say that I had a similar reaction after I had FINALLY stopped hurting over a very, very painful breakup with a Fiance.

He and I broke it off because of cultural and familial issues with his family's acceptance of our intended marriage - I didn't have the faith, race, and society standing they required.

My anger came in a flood when he called me from London a year or so later to inform me that he had "finally recovered, and found someone wonderful." I asked, very politely what she was like, only to find out she was probably my twin - caucasian, protestant, and from a working-class background. I don't think I have EVER been so mad at someone in my life.

I wasn't mad because he'd found someone...I was mad because he was going to knowingly break someone else's heart. I realized all to well that he didn't try control his desires for what he couldn't have - like FX, he was in it for an audience - a specifically forbidden one.

I can't imagine how crazy mad I would be if he had involved a child in the insensitive mess he created. I know how fierce the protection instinct is with my child. I would say, if FX left your house physically unscathed, he was a very lucky man.