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July 28, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in addiction, birthdays, family, food, marriage, separation.
6 comments

7-28-07.jpg This morning I made myself a birthday cake, complete with candles which I plan to blow out after singing “happy birthday” to myself. I also plan to cook a nice meal for myself: tomato-basil chicken and a salad, and maybe some pasta with olive oil and lemon. What do you think? I mean, my so-called “birthday lunch” with husband was a complete bust, and I figure I deserve something better. 🙂

I called our car insurance company this morning to get a new quote on my own policy, and I will be visiting a wireless phone service store this afternoon to obtain my own phone and plan. Once those are done, I will sit down and ask for a divorce.

The decision has been a painful one, and I honestly didn’t expect to reach it feeling as definite as I do less than a month into our separation. I really, really thought that I would take the entire 6 month period of my lease and give my husband ample opportunity to show me that he valued me and our marriage. And yet…and yet…

I have changed everything about myself for him. Some of those changes have been positive ones. While I have had many, many reasons to be angry with him over the years, I haven’t always handled my anger in the right way. I’ve thrown things and slapped him and been a right proper bitch at times. And I have been sorry afterward. I have never once felt entitled to display violent behavior, and I have experienced genuine remorse, and I have changed my behavior. And some of the changes have been very, very negative ones. I sacrificed my self-respect in favor of peace. I believed that staying in this marriage and being supportive was holy, and right, and good. I covered up the parts of my personality that made me funky and fun around my in-laws…for example, the first weekend I went to go meet them, I changed my hair color from cherry bomb red to a mousy brown on husband’s request. And the greatest sin of all – I sacrificed relationships with people I love and need to have in my life because my non-traditional family configuration made them uncomfortable. They never said these things, mind you. That’s the problem – they never SAY anything. But it was obvious nonetheless in tiny grimaces, uncomfortable looks, and dead silence when I would say anything that they disagreed with. They might as well have had a big cartoon-type word bubble above their heads that said “SINNER!” Whereas in my family, everyone says, “Oh, THAT’S complete bullshit! Where’d you get that dumb idea? Now, what do you want for dinner?”

I think the straw that has broken the camel’s back is the current situation with my car. As I posted, my car broke down while husband was driving it home from work. We had switched cars because mine gets better gas mileage and he has to travel further. I made it crystal clear that if I agreed to do this, he was responsible for any repairs. The repairs are going to come to $2600 for a refurbished engine and labor (don’t ask me, the car drove FINE when I had it). He says he doesn’t have it. I told him to handle it and get me my car back, or to give me the truck to drive. He said he can’t give me the truck because he has to get to and from work. I said so do I. He said, “You’re going to be mad at me no matter what I do anyway.” He also said that I needed to quit being such a bitch or he would just have the car towed to my driveway and I could worry about it. I said this wasn’t acceptable, and that he had agreed to take care of anything that happened while he was behind the wheel. He said he will, but he won’t have the money until the end of September. I said I can’t be without my car for that long. He said he would give me rides, and I could find rides to and from work with friends. And that quick, the lightbulb came on over my head. Once again, he has placed me in a situation where he is attempting to isolate me and make me dependent upon him, all while making it look like that it’s just a case of shitty things keep happening to us. Every situation that has drawn me further and further away from my home, my family, and my friends has been somehow related to his addiction and his acting out. The fact that I have ZERO savings after almost 5 years of marriage to him, when I had a pretty considerable nest egg for emergencies and my future graduate education set aside prior to the marriage, is a big, big problem to me.

No remorse. No responsibility. Only blame, shame, excuses, and a total lack of respect for my feelings and my boundaries. And I simply can’t do it anymore…nor do I any longer think it is the right and holy thing to do or that God intends me to stay with and support this man for the rest of my life, while losing MYSELF in the process.

I got a neat, neat comment from someone on the other site:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

{Angel},

How very sad for you and for your son. My heart longs to find words which will heal and sooth your pain, which feels all too familiar to my soul. Sadly, there are no magic healing words, your heart and soul must come to their own peace in your life’s journey with our Lord.

I pray that you consider for the sake of your son, and especially for your own sake, filing for and following through with a divorce as soon as possible; and getting counseling for yourself alone. You will not be able to begin your journey toward health and wholeness until you begin to free yourself from your husband’s evil. I pray from my heart that you will do this soon. I pray for you from my own journey from sorrow and suffering, in a marriage to another pastor who had serial affairs with women in his congregations, to a sense of wholeness and hope for new life, fifteen years after my divorce.

The day I was able to confirm my then husband’s actual acts of clergy sexual misconduct is the day I kicked him out. The next day I changed the locks, and the following day I was filing for divorce before noon. Not because I didn’t love him, Lord knows I did, deeply and with all that I was, but because even more deeply I could feel my own soul dying. The unique and beautiful soul God created and knew in my mother’s womb was being destroyed by trying to make sense of a world where evil was good (a marriage which was killing me by dishonoring me and what I knew to be right) and where good (nurturing and honoring the gift of my own unique soul first with God) seemed evil. As important as love and marriage and family and children are, please remember the great commandment to love God with all your heart and mind and soul. You cannot do this if you are bound up in your husband’s evil. It clouds your vision of God, of your self and of your son.

It is not just addiction which drives men like these. They have what some call negative empathy, an ability to use their understanding of other’s emotions to manipulate for their own ends. This is a life long personality pattern. It can be a manifestation of any one of a number of personality disorders. It can not be fixed by love or couples counseling, indeed these types of interventions only gives him more ammunition to use against you. Even an AA type program cannot get to the core of the problem. Remember the success rate for AA is only about 20%, the watchword there is the AA-ism, “The program works if you work it.” Your husband, over many, many years has shown no willingness to “work it.” Angel, you on the other hand can work toward a new and fulfilling life for both you and your son. I pray that God’s hand leads you on a journey which brings you new life and hope and peace.

God’s very best for you, Dorothy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amen. And thank you Dorothy. I needed that. I tried to click on your link to see if you had a site, but the link was broken. So God bless you, dear, and thank you again and again.

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July 26, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in addiction, birthdays, blogging, family, food, marriage, separation.
1 comment so far

My car broke down yesterday while my husband was driving it, and now it is in the shop. So, husband drove me to and from work today. Beforehand, he spent the day pacing around my living room making phone calls to the mechanic, the car rental company, his employer, etc. And all I could think, over and over and over again was, “I wish he would go away.” I stayed in my bedroom for the many hours he was here, just because being in the same room as him makes me so desperately unhappy.

This disturbs me. So, my birthday, in spite of the many birthday greetings, e-cards, and well wishes from my family members and my friends inside the computer and out (though not a single peep out of my in-laws, who keep saying they still love me…strange, huh?) was not really a happy one.

When I went to see MB last weekend, I tried to explain to her (without sounding like a complete fruitcake) that the very act of making plans to move out, and then the act of actually doing so, took SO MUCH psychic energy, that right now I don’t have anything left to actually do any of the “work” on this marriage that I keep saying I want to do. I had to dig very, very deep down into myself to do this, and part of the reason it was so hard was that every time I have been betrayed by his lack of fidelity and another relapse, I had forgiven him WITHOUT requiring follow-up action (I supposedly required it, but I didn’t leave when he refused, so…draw your own conclusions)…and with that act I chipped away at my self-respect, little by little. The parts of me that knew I deserved better began to shrivel up and die, one by one.

I asked husband after he had made yet another lap around the living room (he can’t sit still when talking on the phone, he paces) if he could watch Boy-o while I ran to McDonald’s to treat myself to a Value Meal cheeseburger for my birthday. He said, “I was going to take you somewhere better.” I said, “Oh, that’s nice of you. Okay, thanks.” I went back to my room and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I looked at the clock and saw I had to be to work in an hour and a half, so I went back out and asked if he was going to take me somewhere, or if I needed to go get myself lunch, since I needed to be taken to work. He looked at me blankly and then said, “Okay, let’s go.” He took me to my favorite local Mexican restaurant (they don’t know how to do Mexican food up right in this state, but this place is an exception), but he didn’t speak to me the entire meal. I thanked him for lunch, tried to engage him in conversation about things, made fun of the Tejano music over the loudspeaker, and generally tried to be witty and entertaining. He was silent the whole meal, and most of the time he had his face buried in his hands. I have no clue why someone would offer to take someone out to lunch and then be uncommunicative the whole meal. I tried to figure out of it was the whole separation issue, or if he was upset about the car, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he has always been this way. If it’s not one thing he’s worried about, it’s another, and I have never been, and will never be able to make it all better for him, no matter how smart or cool I am.

He absolutely will not respect my boundaries. I’ve asked him to please knock or ring the doorbell when he comes over to my house, but he continues to walk in if the door is unlocked. I’ve asked him not to call me “babe” or “baby”, but he won’t stop. I am so angry because it seems as if he just wants to pretend that none of this is happening. Which is exactly what he learned growing up, I suppose. “If I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not real” seems to be the MO over there.

My mom called me to see how I was doing, and I told her that husband had been pacing around and what I had been thinking while he did so, and that this was leading me to believe that I just need to go ahead and file for divorce and get it over with, because at this point, after this many years and this many betrayals, I don’t know if I will be willing to ever take the risk of trusting him again, even if he DOES decide he wants to recover from his addiction. And no marriage can exist without trust. She asked me if I still loved him…and I couldn’t answer. All I can think is that…for the past 6 years I have created this fake story in my mind about how wonderful our life together was, and I had mostly talked myself into believing it. My brain is screaming, “OF COURSE you love him! Don’t be an idiot!” And the part that knows better says, “Well, he did give you a beautiful son. And you have had some good times together. But maybe what you love is what he meant to you at one time, and not who he IS.”

More later, after I process some more.

birthday July 26, 2007

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, lyrics.
4 comments

birthday.jpg

“Roll out of the bed
Look in the mirror
And wonder who you are
Another year is come and gone

Today is your birthday
But it might be the last day of your life
What will you do if tomorrow it’s all gone?

You won’t be young forever
It’s only a fraction to the sum
You won’t be young forever
Nor will anyone

So look at your life
Who you want to be before you die?
Look at your life
What do you want to do?
Look at your life
Who you want to be before you die?
Look at your life
You haven’t got forever

Then tell me what really matters
Is it the money and the fame
Or how many people might eventually know your name
But maybe you touch one life
And the world becomes a better place to be
Maybe you give their dreams another day
Another chance to be free

You won’t be young forever
It’s only a fraction to the sum
You won’t be young forever
Nor will anyone

So look at your life
Who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life
What do you want to do?
Look at your life
Who do you want to be before you die?
Look into life
It all comes back to you.”

-The Cruxshadows

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32 is not old…but it IS too old to be wasting time with bullshit ANY LONGER. If I filed for divorce this week, it would probably all be wrapped up by the time my lease has expired…

The devil you know is still the devil.

Today is my 31st birthday… July 26, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, Episcopal, weight loss.
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…and to start this new decade off with a bang, I’m thinking about presents. I’ve received several in the form of encouraging words in the comments to my post about falling off the weight loss wagon, and those were the best because they prompted me to stand up, dust myself off, and hitch a ride on the next one that passed. I like this new wagon a lot better. In addition to a high speed Internets connection (essential, we all know!), it has a library, exotic belly dancers, tons of comfy and colorful pillows, trained dolphins, a masseur at my beck and call, and a machine that spits out an unlimited number of exciting and innovative healthy recipes that use only the ingredients I already have in my cupboards and don’t require me to shop for anything! MUCH better than that old wagon with its worn out papasan chair and stacks of old Reader’s Digest magazines in the corner. Nothing against papasans and Readers’ Digest – I have loved them both in my time, and when I first got on that wagon, I thought I was in heaven with nothing to do but sit and read all day! But let’s face it – those chairs are so hard to get out of, it can be easier to stay put. And let’s just say that repeated readings of the old Reader’s Digest “Drama in Real Life” feature made me a bit ummm…histrionic. 🙂 I guess in the long run, it could be a good thing that I fell off. I’ll just have to wait and see, won’t I?

Will asked me where I wanted to go eat for my birthday, and after lining up his sister and her husband as babysitters for the day, we spent some time scouring the websites of the restaurants in the touristy area of the capital city to the north. It’s a neat area with a little canal, and some of the restaurants have waterside dining. There’s also a big new movie theater within walking distance of everything, and as those of you who are parents can attest, movies + a toddler = no go. I’m aware that “dinner and a movie” isn’t the most creative thing on the dating spectrum, but get this – we’re gonna see TWO movies!! Whatcha think about that, huh?

In other news, I prepared my request to the Presiding Bishop’s office in New York for tickets to the investiture of Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori in November, at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The Epsicopal News Service says that the requests cannot be postmarked any earlier than August 15, but I want to be ready! They also say that requests will be honored first-come-first served based on the date the request was mailed, not when it is received. I guess that’s their way of saying, “don’t waste your money on overnighting it.” The minute I heard of the election, I knew I would have to do everything in my power to get myself to the investiture. It is, after all, an historic event. Even if we turn around 9 years from now and elect another woman as PB, she won’t be the first. So, I’ve already requested the time off from work and made hotel reservations. A little compulsive, perhaps, but organized. Yes. Definitely organized.

Oh, I’m so tired… June 5, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, family, life, worship.
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I tossed and turned last night thinking of all the many things I have to get done before we leave for vacation on Friday. This spring, like most springs of my adult life, has been incredibly full to bursting with familial obligations. This year they mostly centered around my little sister’s wedding, which went off last weekend. Showers were thrown, luncheons were had, music was selected, fingers were *snapped*, eyes were narrowed in displeasure, keys to the getaway vehicle were locked inside it, and the happy couple made it to their honeymoon destination in California intact. Now it’s my family’s turn. We’ll be off to A-Kon in Dallas, followed by 5 days in the Texas Hill Country around Austin, with a side trip to Sea World in San Antonio for the boy. OK, let’s get real: Sea World is for me, but I think Gabe will have a good time, too!

When we get back, we have husband’s family pool party and an engagement party to attend, my daughter’s visit with us to plan, and my birthday to acknowledge. Also a swing set, sandbox, and wading pool to buy. Also a mind to lose. And ummm…uhhhh…yeah, I think that’s it.

So, I think it’s fair to say that I *really* needed the reminder of Pentecost. Granted, I didn’t get to derive much inspiration from Father M.’s sermon yesterday, mostly because I was too busy building a Jenga-style tower of Prayer Books and hymnals with my monster and trying to keep him from noticing that Daddy was up front in the choir loft and therefore NOT in the back and playing with him! But the very act of putting on our red clothing was meaningful, and looking around the church at the sea of red made me smile. I thought of the day I was received into the church 3 years ago, and Boy-o’s baptism 2 years ago, and our move to this state 1 year ago: all three of these events took place at Pentecost. I thought of all the ways, ordinary and extraordinary, in which I have had “Pentecost moments” where the Spirit has moved in my own life and the lives of those I love. And I was so incredibly grateful for every single one of them – and every single one of you out there who read this. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

i’m completely zonked. April 2, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, Boy-o, family, road trips.
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we drove to slightly larger college town northeast friday night to spend some time with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Boy-o and i hung out with my sister-in-law while husband geeked out and went to a con for some LARP’ing (live action role-playing). i think i got the better end of the deal. husband hung out in a cramped hotel meeting room with gamers who don’t shower regularly, pretending to be something called a changeling. i went and ate sushi and hibachi vegetables, read some more of The Last Week, took a nap, watched the movie “Derailed”, walked 3 miles, chased their weiner dogs around the house with the little man, and took him to get a haircut. we drove back this morning to finish cleaning up the house for Boy-o’s birthday party, which we had this afternoon. i can’t believe he turns 2 next week!

next weekend i get to join in the geekiness when we head down to the state i grew up in to hit the opening weekend of our local renaissance faire. it’s an annual tradition for us and has been for the last 5 years. i make a pretty merry wench, if i do say so myself. 😉 i’ve been really lazy about posting pics of all our goings on, but seeing us in our renaissance garb is definitely photo-worthy, so perhaps i’ll remedy that next weekend.

happy birthday, darlin’ November 20, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays.
2 comments

we are not, i repeat NOT, having a repeat of last year’s red beans and rice fiasco. i know it was the thought that counted and everything, but when trying to make your honey’s favorite recipe for his birthday here are some do NOTS, in no particular order:

do NOT use 3 TABLESPOONS of red pepper instead of 3 TEASPOONS
do NOT use Minute Rice
do NOT burn the beans and then scrape the bottom of the pot

when i mess something up, i mess it up GOOD.

i have never been able… July 14, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays.
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…to have a mature, adult attitude towards my birthday.

every freakin’ year when july 1st comes around i vow ONCE AGAIN not to start counting the days until my birthday. i have to bite my tongue to keep from reminding everyone i come into contact with that my birthday is coming up and how old i’m going to be and what presents i want. see, birthdays were a BIG DEAL in my family growing up, and i’ve just never gotten over it. as kids, we basically got our way from dawn ’til dusk of this ONE DAY A YEAR. if we wanted chocolate cake for breakfast, that was fine. if we didn’t want to brush our teeth or hair on this one day of the year, that was fine, too. we got to pick between having mom cook us anything we wanted for dinner or going out and doing something that we would rarely get to do at any other time. like one year, my sister wanted to go horseback riding. we grew up in suburbia, not the country, and we didn’t get to go horseback riding as a routine thing. so dad found the nearest stables that would take you on a guided one hour horseback ride. another year i wanted to go ice skating, and so we drove 2 hours to the nearest ice rink. and of course there was cake and presents and stuff. as an added bonus, since we mostly went to catholic school, birthdays were “get out of uniform day”. i was extra special with my july birthday, because to compensate for the summer birthday and not having a class party, i got to pick one day in may AND one day in september to be out of uniform. put simply, birthdays just ruled.

then i grew up, and figured out that grownups don’t get summer vacation, and they don’t get to wear whatever they want to work on their birthdays, and yeah – they have to WORK on their birthdays. i’ve been trying to adjust ever since. so july rolls around and i try to forget my birthday is coming up. i try to keep my mouth shut and not tell anyone, but that just doesn’t work so well for me. i’m totally hopeless. in fact, this whole entire post goes against the supposed goal of giving my birthday less importance!

by the way, it’s july 26th. i’ll be 30, if anyone’s interested. 😉

we got back last night… July 11, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, family.
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…from a weekend in the large college town northeast of us, where we visited husband’s brother and his wife. husband’s little sister, who is getting married next month, is also living with them for the summer, so it was a great opportunity for me to watch the three siblings interact with each other away from their parents. i had a lot of fun – we stayed up until 2 am on friday night discussing Church history and denominational practices. they were all raised methodist, but the brother and sister-in-law have moved a little farther right to a non-denominational evangelical church, and husband and i have moved a little farther left to the episcopal church. i asked little sister if she and her fiancee had decided where they were going to go to church, since their relationship has been a long distance one and they haven’t actually gone to church together yet. she said they would start with the methodist church in the college town where they will be living. i assume if that’s not a good fit for them, they’ll figure it out from there.

this is what i asked for for my birthday this year. it’s kind of expensive, so i decided it would be better if it was the only thing i asked for. and it’s an important birthday – i’m turning 30! – so i feel justified.

moving is a pain in my arse. last night i got m… August 6, 2004

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, friends, moving.
4 comments

moving is a pain in my arse.

last night i got most of the living room packed up – i just need to track down about three more decently sized boxes for our movies and all my candles, and then that room will be finished. i took a bunch of old computer parts to office depot to be recycled – several monitors and keyboards and mouses and a couple of towers, as well as two old cell phones. ’tis long past time for the computer graveyard to GO! all we’re keeping is the one working laptop, two sets of speakers, an ethernet hub, and miles and miles of cat 5 (he won’t let me get rid of those cables, grrr!).

tonight i’m going out with some friends for a belated birthday celebration – s called to ask if i wanted to know what we were doing or if i liked surprises. i said that in the past i have not liked surprises, but hey, it’s a new year – let’s try something new. she also said that what we were doing would make will jealous?! so, i’m at a complete loss. my darling dearest is not the jealous type (even when i wish he would be!), so i can’t for the life of me imagine what is in store for me tonight.

lord have mercy.