What do I deserve?
I’m not even sure.
I’m still decompressing from my failed marriage and I’m sure that will take a long time. Sixteen years married. Eighteen years together.
He isn’t a bad man. He’s a broken man who never learned the proper way to treat people. He never learned how to love.
A friend told me today to quit burying everything. But that’s what I do. It’s easiest on everyone. Usually on me, too. So that I don’t have to deal with the repercussions of what I feel.
I’m a pleaser. I learned that. I’m codependent. Alcoholic parent. Co-dependent parent. Co-dependent me.
As I drove home from work today I was reflecting on some of the things that I’ve buried and couldn’t react to…
During Lamaze class I was told (as so was the rest of the class) that my sciatic pain was NOTHING compared to his pain during a colonoscopy.
After giving birth I was looked directly in the eye after I asked if he’d stay with me in the hospital and was told, “What am I going to do? Sit here and stare at you?” Then he left, went home to watch tv and I was left alone with a baby in NICU.
Spending time in the hospital trying not to give birth pre-term during another pregnancy, I found out he was watching porn while was I was. He just laughed. He wasn’t concerned about me or the baby for even one night.
When I was working through the induction of labor for one of the kids, he left the hospital to get something to eat. He was gone for hours. I had to call him to come back. He was home drinking beer and watching a sporting event.
When my face was paralyzed from Bell’s palsy, he made fun of how I spoke.
There was no celebration when I became pregnant each time. No husband-wife trips to the OB to hear the heartbeat.
When the babies first came home, I slept on the couch because we were too loud. He needed the bed.
When our daughter had her tonsils out, despite his unlimited time off, he went to work and I took her to the hospital alone.
When stress was getting the most of me and I was having chest pains, he refused to take me to the hospital and asked me what I thought the neighbors would think if I called EMS. I didn’t call and prayed it wasn’t heart attack.
I vividly remember begging a friend not to leave because I knew he’d start screaming as soon as she did because one of the kids had bumped a glass of wine he had put on the floor (who leaves red wine on the floor when you have young children and pets?).
I spent years crying in the car on the way home, but had to “freshen up” my face before I got home because it wasn’t acceptable to ever be unhappy.
I stopped having friends over because he would stay and listen to our conversations and quiz me later.
I stopped going out because I was afraid to leave the kids home alone with him and they’d call me non-stop asking when I’d be home.
I stopped talking on the phone when I was home because he’d listen to my calls and get in on the conversations.
I’d get reprimanded when my raise was the industry norm of 2.5%, but could not say a word when he got a pay cut. I was told to demand more money, but he wouldn’t do a thing.
I’d keep moving from the moment I walked into the door until after he was asleep as he sat on the couch complaining about how messy the house was.
For a period of time, he was watching the checking account and comment on where’d I’d been spending money before I was two steps inside the house.
When my grandfather died, he didn’t go to the funeral because he didn’t want to miss work.
When my father had a heartattack, he wanted me to wait until the end of the week and see how his work week played out before I went to see him.
That was my life.
No one knew.
It was all about appearances. No one could know. I couldn’t admit it to myself.
Anyone who knew me would never have guessed. I was someone completely different when I wasn’t with him. I was closer to being me.
He was presentable in public. Everyone thinks he’s a nice guy. He’s not a bad guy. I still don’t think he is. But he’s not a “nice” guy.
I can’t even read this over. It’s too raw. Some day I’ll heal. Not now. Not yet. I’m not ready. I still jump when he says a word even though he moved out almost five months ago. I still let him affect my emotions.
It will take time. Probably a long time.
I had dated someone recently who was nice to me. But because of things he’s going through told me that he can’t give me “what I deserve.” Wow. What do I deserve? I don’t know. He was nice. That was more than I could hope for. That was more than I’d had in a long time.