Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
Actually the world is weeping with me today. As the tears stream down my face and I struggle to catch my breath, the sky is dark with clouds and I take small comfort in hearing the wind howl as raindrops pelt against my window.
I posted yesterday about visiting my husband over the weekend. All the emotions that stirred within me gave me pause. I tossed and turned each night this week, struggling with the idea of having a future again with this man. Could I possibly let down my guard? He had been given me needed space. No harassing messages. Was I safe? Was the pain starting to dull? Had he given up on me? Did I really ever matter to him? Did he miss me? Why wasn’t he calling? Was I beginning to romanticize our past?
After 3 days of silence from him, I came home from work yesterday to a box of flowers that had been delivered to my stoop. I pulled into the garage, checked the mail, changed clothes and straightened up the living room before retrieving the box. All this an attempt to delay the inevitable. These flowers were not from my husband. I knew it, but there was a tiny part of me that wished they were.
I opened the box to discover a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers with a note that said “Sending a big hug and smile your way. Miss and love you!” The note was signed by a dear friend who has been a wonderful confidant and support for me through the years. They were not from my husband but I accepted them with gracious tears and set about arranging them in the accompanying vase. I had not received flowers like this in years.
I went next door to pick up my son. I chatted with my mom about work and mentioned to her that I had not heard from my husband in several days and I planned to call and see how he was doing. Moments later, the phone rang. It was him. He listened briefly to little man’s babbling on the phone before asking me to step away so he could talk to me. I didn’t anticipate what was coming. He barely completed his first sentence before I broke down.
He told me he was moving to my town. He wanted see our son half the time. He couldn’t wait any longer for me to make up my mind and it was his son too…he deserved to see him half the time. He said I was dangling a carrot in front of him by not making a decision. There was no mention of moving back to spend time with me. No mention of trying reconcile and take it a day at time and see what happens. No mention of taking things slowly to see how little man might adjust to having his
father sperm donor (is this harsh?) back in his life. He claimed to be sober and healed of his addiction and ready be a dad. There was no talk of how I have endured a living hell and no apologies for what he’d put me through.
Instead the was blame cast at me for putting him in this situation. Poor guy has no home. I left his clothes and belongings (what he hadn’t sold for drugs) with his mother in boxes and bags. What kind of loving wife would do such a thing!? Here is a man who is trying to right his wrongs and go to rehab when his wife moves to a new town and takes their baby boy away from him. What an incredibly horrible human I am! I left when he needed me the most. I abandoned him and the vows I made in front of our family and God. Sure, he’d made a mistake, but so did I and “two wrongs don’t make a right”.
I was appalled and befuddled. Who does this man think he is? And why on earth can he not see that all of this is HIS FAULT! Every single minute of pain and despair is caused by him. He can’t see it. It’s not just that he doesn’t want to. I truly do not believe he can. Always the victim, this guy. He has the ability to snow everyone else into believing his perspective. The former version of myself included.
He went on to say he wanted some of the furniture. And that I was a gold-digger who only ever cared about the comfortable lifestyle he was once able to afford me. His claimed that all the other times I found out about his drug use I stayed – because we had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. But now that he’s broke, I want out. He wouldn’t even hear me when I explained how hard I tried to support him and how this time it was different because we have a baby.
Who is this man?
I had to talk to my parents and my pastor for hours last night to even be able to calm down. What is wrong with me?
I once wanted to raise our child together. I wanted to grow a family with the man I thought he could be. Now I’m not sure who he actually is, and I’m reluctant to let my child be around him. I’m not sure how to proceed. I don’t want to keep my child from knowing his dad. That doesn’t seem right either. I never thought it would come to this. I truly thought he had taken enough from me…my dreams, my security, our savings, our home, my job, my friends, my city, my dignity. Thank God for my family. I wish he could understand that his wife and child could be living in a SHELTER if it weren’t for them. If I am ever in a position to give back financially – women’s shelters are at the top of my list.
I did some reflecting last night and before falling asleep I realized that I am still living in a cycle. It’s a cycle that only now am I able to recognize. My initial instincts were to reunite with my husband so I could be with my baby regardless of my own happiness. I know this is not right. But my husband is playing on my need to keep the peace. It’s what I do.
I also knew that at some point today, or tomorrow or next week, I would get an apology from him. He would try to smooth things over and pretend that it was no big deal. Just another bump in the road. His words didn’t matter because he loves me. In some way I believe he truly does. I don’t think his intentions are always malicious. I’m honestly not sure he’s even aware of what this does to me. Maybe I’m wrong.
At 11:13 this morning, I received this text:
At least I am able to recognize the pattern. I think I may be making progress after all.