Well, That Didn't Go Well...
The cat is out of the bag, no police were called so that is good. He is refusing to go but there is a lot of real estate between now and next week. The biggest obstacle for him is really now, me. I waver. I feel sorry. I allow my emotions to get in the way of what I know to be true. And the only thing that I really know to be true, is what has happened. That is the only predictor of the future that I really have. And the past sucked all the way up to the present.
He spent all afternoon begging, pleading, making wild promises. And he says them with such conviction, such adamant belief that it is hard not to believe him. It doesn’t help that I want to believe him...like with everything that I am.
But I see something that I haven’t ever really seen before...I mean I have seen it but I don’t think that I could own it. It is that I want him to like me, to love me, to value me. This is why we have had the relationship we have had. Because I have allowed my old wounds to show up in this relationship and direct where it goes.
I think I have entered every relationship in my life with the idea that redemption and salvation await me. That if THIS man will love me and cherish me, then I will be redeemed. And I didn’t recognize, or perhaps accept, until yesterday that this is the operative thread in our relationship that has caused such wreckage. I have taken him back time and time again because I believed that this was about me on some level. And it isn’t. This has little to do with me at all, except in a very backwards and fucked up way, I have allowed it to be directed by my pain, my past, my own trauma. Somehow, I believe that motherhood, or maybe it is just womanhood, brings a cross to bear. And that is the people who abuse us in our lives, deserve to do that. Most especially if they are your kids. They, as an extended part of you, are granted a right, a free pass, to belittle you, abuse you, take advantage of you. And I have just taken it, until now.
I am not sure exactly where I got so fucked up. Where I grew the belief that I deserved to be abused, lied to, treated with disrespect and I am not sure the where even matters. My search for the where has led me only to opportunities for more abuse so far. So I am changing the question...I no longer care where. I care about the question what now? What am I going to do about it?
See I have operated in this world with this idea that somehow I deserve the shitty treatment I get from people who are supposed to care about me. I deserve the manipulations, the lies, the mistreatment and disrespect. From employers, friends, my children, men that I have dated. And I have accumulated their bad acts and woven that into a story where I am somehow at fault. So I stayed in these toxic relationships to prove that I WAS worthy, and so that one day they could wise up and stop treating me like shit.
Today I see it differently. I am at fault but not the way that I feared and thought. I am at fault because I keep giving chances to those people, my son included, who do not really want to change and instead show me repeatedly through their behavior that they care little to nothing about me, my rules, my feelings, my needs. They just want what they want and I am the idiot who keeps showing up thinking this time it will be different...and I guess I am not a complete idiot because it does get different...it gets worse.
And so today I sit with a decision that I made to send him away again, this time until he is 18. And yesterday waffled like I always do. I so wanted to believe all his believable lies. He motivated to do and say anything to get his way. And me, right there with him providing him unfettered access to me, so he can fill me up with all his manipulations and deceits. One more time.
Except something happened to me a few months ago when I walked away from an abusive and toxic relationship, I saw that the thing that kept me stuck, wasn’t money or fear, or the other person. I saw that it was me. I am the one that stays well past any length, I am the one who signs up for this shit and then is so upset about how awful I am treated.
And even though it was so hard to leave that relationship, I did. It changed my life, it changed my whole world. And guess what? I am fine. I am better than fine because I no longer have to pretzelize myself for a living, for a day, for anything. I don’t have to do it. So I won’t.
And here I am again, the summer line up of Erin clearly seeing the wreckage of her human relationships. And seeing so clearly what my part in all of this is...I stay. I sign up. I think that my resolute staying power makes me strong and admirable. But what it really does is just make me abused.
It is hard to look at your closest relationships and see that they are abusive. It is hard to see that I am the instrument of my own demise. It is harder still to keep giving over the power to those about me that have no issue or guilt over taking advantage. Over and over again. What I have realized is that I can stop engaging. I do not have to do it anymore, even with my own child. I can stop accommodating him. I can stop believing him and all his bullshit. I can just say I am done, then follow through with all the actions that come with being done.
I love him. But I have allowed that love to hurt us both. I have allowed the love to be the thing that stands between us, besmirched and denegrated by my own willingness to continue to engage with someone who has no issue with making me out to be the bad guy. I used to be angry. Today I am just done. No anger. No sadness really. I can just see that the trajectory is the same, no matter what I do. I am not well enough, not yet anyway, to hold the line. So I have to move the line, transfer the line to someone who can hold it with him.
He is going back to Alaska Wednesday, and if he decides to run away, that is his decision. I will be boarding a plane for Alaska Wednesday morning and I pray that he will be on it with me. I pray that we can both walk towards a different relationship at some point in the future. I hope that my willingness to step aside and let someone else take the helm will be his salvation because I can see today that I am only part of the problem and right now that is all I can be.
Things have not gone well. And today I can see that as a gift. I only learn through subtraction. Addition is way too close to addiction for me. I always think I need more, there is just never enough for me. And today, I can see that I am enough, just as I am right now. Even though it is flawed and imperfect. I don’t deserve to be treated like this and so I won’t stand for it. And like the ending I created in another relationship recently, I will turn and walk away knowing that it is the only thing left to do. Staying in the relationship only keeps me sick and stuck in an endless loop that threatens not only my sanity and well being but his too.
Sometimes things don’t go well and that is the best news ever. I am grateful for the shitshow of yesterday and for being removed enough to see the hook that I bite every single time. It is time that I stop engaging, stop biting. It is time that I hold onto the belief that I deserve more from him and this relationship and that I do that by stopping my willingness to engage in the dysfunctional relation we have. We are both sick and neither of us has the power to heal each other because we can’t even heal ourselves.
I hate feeling powerless. I really do. It is so hard for me and makes me do all these weird controlling things that only keep me stuck. Today, I will not do that. I will just accept that I cannot do anything other than provide him this amazing opportunity he is being given and resist the temptation to believe all his believable lies. I know it won’t be different, because it never is. It is just another iteration of “well, that didn’t go well...” And truth be told, I am so very fucking tired of that story.
So I begin a new story today...”well, that is something different...” That is the new story I am spinning today. I pray that different is better than same. But as I know all too well, life is not a guarantee and happiness is something you work hard for. And in the end something you can only provide yourself. My son will be happy if he decides to be. And if he chooses misery, that is his right and his choice. I am done feeling like shit, it is high time that I enjoyed the life I have. And get out of the way of him doing whatever it is he is going to do, with love, light and hope that he will find his way...and trusting that whatever happens, I will be granted the skills, the love and self respect to endure whatever life brings to me next.
And when I question whether I have the strength to do it, I can just take a gander back at my life and see that I have survived 100% of all the days so far and really, I feel the best I have ever felt, even in the midst of a teenaged storm. I will be fine, and I pray he will too. What I see now better than ever is that I am not in control or in charge of his happiness. Only mine. And perhaps, if I am really brave to get out of his way, he will get busy living instead of choosing to live like he is dying. Again, no guarantees but I am now well versed in “well, that didn’t go well...” I know exactly what to do with that.
Find my part.
And then do that which I can to change myself.
And leave the rest up to powers with way more information than me...
Surrender to win. Why is it so hard to remember that?