Posts Tagged With: hurt

miscommunication is a bite in the ass

YBW came home Thursday ready to talk about the weirdness.
I felt better prepared because I’d written about it. He was ready to talk because he read what I wrote.
As it turns out, there was gross misunderstanding. (I can’t even feign surprise.)
He thought I was angry. He thought I was quite fed up with his YBW “shenanigans” so he was putting forth great effort to change his behavior. He also was feeling a great deal of fear after being hurt physically by me. It stirred up residual feelings from living with his second ex-wife.

I was horrified that he felt fearful of me. The only way I know to fix that is not to punch him in the arm anymore. This will be hard for me…it’s my “go to”. I don’t mean to hurt, it’s just a thing that started from having a brother and cousin and then the former husband as a way to make a point. Never hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get their attention and shift their behavior.
Is it a positive or healthy move? Of course not, but it’s what worked.
When I punched YBW in the arm, he was closer to me than I realized and the contact came swifter and with more force than I’d anticipated. He was actually hurt. But I’m realizing that he thought I was angry and hurt him out of anger. And that triggered his hot button of fear.

After we talked about the “kitchen incident”. I explained that I had no anger, that I was just messing around. Both Thing C and Thing 2 were in the kitchen with us, it was nothing more than us being silly about language and I never felt anything but playful.
The fact he thought I was angry and that it was my motivation to hurt him nearly broke my heart. That’s when my tears started. I honestly don’t think he believes me. That will have to come in time.

It turns out that when I was expressing that I noticed an imbalance in our being “handsy” with each other he thought it had to do with the kitchen incident and was under the impression that I was completely fed up with him being goofy.
He was trying to change to make me less frustrated.
It seems to me that he thinks I believe that he’s stupid, ridiculous, annoying, etc. I think he’s playful. Does that become tiresome occasionally? Of course it does. But I am self aware enough to know that I become tiresome occasionally too.

I told him that I liked him for who he really is. That if I’d been with him these six years it was because I liked his personality and for him to suddenly not be him was no way to “fix” anything.
He told me it would take a bit for him to relax enough to be himself and asked for me to be patient.
I told him that I would do my best not to rely on the arm punch.

Yesterday, things felt closer to normal. We went to this Salvadorian joint and had an early dinner yesterday, we came home and watched the Nats lose to the Marlins. We communicated realistically both verbally and physically. (And my bottom got patted while I brushed my teeth.)

Here’s my biggest thing:
I don’t know how to help him hear what I’m actually saying versus what he thinks he hears.
I don’t know how to trust that he’s not going to manipulate me if I make myself vulnerable to him.
Not because we’ve experienced either of these with the other. These are old patterns. Hurt caused by other people who came before each other in our lives.

I made a specific decision to trust him the first moment we were in the same physical space after months of dating over the phone and via email. In that moment I chose to be fearless. I have not regretted it in six years.
I know he’s not passive aggressive.
I know he’s not manipulative.
I know he’s not trying to undermine every forward step I take.
I trust that.
But I spent seventeen years walking on eggshells waiting to make the wrong move and suffer the emotional repercussions of that.
Waiting for “the other shoe to drop” is a pattern I work every day to break.

I am safe in this relationship. I know it like I know my own name.
I believe that YBW feels safe in this relationship. He’s trying to break his patterns too.
He’s been told he’s “less than” for so long he probably doesn’t even hear my words when I talk about his character and his kindness. He’s beautiful inside and out. That is his true self. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t believe that.
I can’t change that for him, but I can keep expressing it in the hopes that one day he hears my words and not the words left over from his past.

I’m still not sleeping through the night. But I am sleeping in the bed we share and I’m not struggling to lie next to him.
It’s progress.
There is a great deal of love in our lives. I love YBW like I’ve never loved another man. I didn’t know I could love someone who didn’t come out of my body with this kind of unconditional love. I waited my entire life to find him. He has no idea that he elicits that kind of love just by being himself.
All that love doesn’t erase the past. But I hope that it can heal it. I hope it can create a new kind of relationship upon which to build the rest of our lives.

I’ve been told I’m more stubborn than a mule. (Thanks, Mommie.)
This statement is true, however unkind it may have sounded hearing it my whole life. Therefore I will use that stubbornness as I continue to chip away at old patterns in both of us. Eventually I’ll get there. And I will stop feeling like I need to wait for the other shoe to drop. And he will start hearing what he truly is and perhaps even begin to believe it.
And I’m hopeful we’ll continue to love and be loved the way we do. Playfully and earnestly. Only it will be better because we will use our past lives as foundation upon which to build this new way of being.

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Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What are we doing?

My heart is heavy today.
Partly it’s because Thing 2 left yesterday.
Her being here brought me much anticipated joy! We did all the goofy things we wanted to do. We almost snuggled enough. We had good heart to heart talks that included tears and laughter. I’m glad she was here. I’m glad she went home to her friends, I know she was missing them. She’ll be back in a month and we’ll do it all over again!

Partly my heart is heavy because things feel weird with YBW.
We were being goofy in the kitchen a few nights ago and he thought I was hitting him with the dish towel so he leaned over and licked me from chin to hairline. A big, spitty-cow-tongue kind of lick. So after I wiped off my face and got the saliva out of my ear, I punched his upper arm.
When we went up to bed I was being silly and he didn’t want any part of it. That’s when he told me I had really hurt him.
He did everything he was supposed to do. He told me he didn’t like that I hurt him, and please not to ever hit him that hard again.
Then he fell asleep.

I haven’t slept in the same bed with him since that night.

The next morning I brought up the situation. I wanted to clear the air, make sure we could talk about it and understand each other’s points of view.
I apologized for hurting him.
It was clear that I punched him with intent. But I had no intent to hurt him. I think it was just one of those punches that lands much differently than anticipated.

We talked about what it means to be physical in non-sexual ways.
YBW tends to be very “handsy”. He is quick to touch or tweak various parts of me as we pass by one another. He’s quick to pet my hair or cradle my face in the palm of his hand. I quite love this about him. That small, silly physical demonstration of his affection for me.
Yes, sometimes it becomes difficult. There are times I’d rather he not randomly tickle me or grab my bottom as he follows me up the stairs.
In this conversation, I expressed my displeasure that it’s a one-way street. If I try to be playful and tweak at him he doesn’t like it. Now this is mostly because he’s extremely ticklish and most times it feels less tweakish and more ticklish to him.
But sometimes it doesn’t seem quite fair to me.

This conversation was…tricky. I knew bringing it up would create a scenario in which neither of us would want to touch the other for fear of crossing this imaginary line. I actually said as much.
We’re still working on hearing what the other says and not falling into old patterns of hearing what’s been said to us in our previous lives. I didn’t want to bring it up because I knew what would happen. But while we were near the subject, I needed to say what I was thinking.
That’s what grown ups do. They talk about ‘all the things’.

So, where that left us is days of no physical contact. Precious little eye contact. And me not being able to sleep next to him.
I’m just so uncomfortable around him. I don’t know if he’s uncomfortable around me or not.

Last night I was brushing my teeth and he was in and out of the bathroom. Normally he would run his hand across my bottom every time he passes me, but not last night.
He was already in bed when I got there.
I said: I’m going to try and stay in here all night.
He asked why I was leaving. I told him I just couldn’t sleep. Which is true. I lie there and simply cannot sleep so I get up and got into the other room. I don’t sleep much better in there, but I don’t feel quite as anxious as I do lying next to him.
He asked: Am I doing something to keep you from sleeping?
No.
Then I told him I kept waiting for him to touch my butt while I was brushing my teeth. I told him I didn’t like where we were. I pointed out that I asked if I could lean on him while we were sitting on the couch early in the day.
He replied that he still didn’t know when or how he could touch me but assured me I could touch him.

Two nights in a row I curled up behind his sleeping body, my face pressed against his back. Just breathing his scent trying to feel connected to him. Then got up and left the room.

I don’t know if Thing 2 being here inhibited us being connected, I was focusing most of my time and attention on her. The boys are here too, I don’t know if that inhibits us from being connected, YBW is focused on Thing G.
I’m not sure it’s as much them as it is us.

I honestly believe something shifted the night I punched him.
That however playful my intentions were, it landed in a very real way.
I don’t think he wants to really talk to me. I don’t think he really wants to have any sort of physical contact with me.

It’s hard to have an intimate conversation when there are kids in the house, but I’m going to try again to bring it up when he comes home today. We may have to wait till Friday when the boys go back to their mom.
I believe he’s struggling with this too. I don’t think it’s all in my head. But I’m going to have to take the initiative, because I can’t sit with it much longer.

One good thing about Thing 2 leaving is that I can go downstairs and sleep in my cocoon instead of the upstairs guest bed. At least that will be more comfy until we can figure out what the hell we’re doing.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

she’s not coming back

How many tears can you cry for one particular person? I suspect tears are unlimited, but I have grown weary of shedding them over my child.

Thing 2 got on the train Sunday to SC to take her GED test, she was to get back on the train to come home today.
She called me Wednesday with news of passing all four required components. She has successfully completed her high school equivalent exam. I told her I was so glad, that I knew she could do it and then I said: I can’t wait to hug you!
And she said: That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.
Then she told me she’s not coming back. She wants to stay in SC with her friends.
Roundhouse kick to my soul.

At that moment all I could think was, YBW forked out tens of thousands of dollars to finish the basement, to build a loo and kickass closet and bedroom for her and she just “isn’t coming back”. She couldn’t think of that before we started the construction?
I am aware that she believes she’s been here struggling to belong and it’s too hard to keep trying and she is comfortable with her friends and that’s where she fits.
She told me lots of things about why she made this choice, asked for respect regarding her decision.

I love that girl differently than I’ve ever loved another human being in my entire life.
I want what’s best for her but my God, I’m so tired of trying to decide what that is.

I am desperate to talk to my friend and mentor, but she is in the middle of a family crisis and I cannot disturb her. She would help make sense of it, or at least she would take my ‘lemons’ and make her delicious lemonade and I could have a drink of it which would ease me enough to decide how to feel about it.
I can’t talk to Sundance, my pain is too fresh. I can’t go down the rabbit hole with her right now, I’m not sure I could climb back out. I can’t let my negative feelings take over, I have to tread carefully. Not for the sake of Thing 2, but for my own sake.

I feel hurt and angry. Thing 2 came here desperate to start over. She needed new clothes. She needed to have her hair done because of a terrible cut she’d given herself was growing back a hot freaking mess.
She needed help being a girl in the real world again.
I was more than happy to provide these things, as well as the help, love, and support she’d been lacking. She’s my baby. I will always do what I feel is best for her.

I’ve been going over and over the concept of respect.
She asked me to respect her decision. Asked me to respect her.
She has not considered that she asks for respect without giving any.
She doesn’t respect me. She doesn’t respect YBW. I’m not actually sure if she respects herself.
I’ve always considered respect a two way street. I never expected to be respected unless I was respectful. I taught my girls that. Perhaps I taught it poorly.
Thing 2 doesn’t respect me yet asks I respect her. I’m unsure how to proceed…in deed or thought. I have no idea what the practical value of that realization is.

I am disappointed. I am disappointed in her. Disappointed that she is a coward and a quitter, she has let her fear and loneliness control her actions.
I am disappointed that I couldn’t help her any more or better.

I am acutely aware that she is in control of her own actions, but still feel the sting of their reflection on me.

I want my baby to be healthy and content. I don’t believe she’s healthy but her friends make her feel content.
Perhaps it’s time for me to just let it go. Finally let her go. My concern with that is what to do when she needs me after I’ve let her go. I’m not sure how I can trust her again.
She betrayed me.
She betrayed the home we created for her.

I don’t think I choose to make her come back. I have the right to, legally, but I’m not sure I’m willing to put YBW and his Things through anymore negativity. If it was just me, I think I’d force the issue and make her live where she’s supposed to according to the letter of the law. I’d suffer the indignities and let her suffer, because she’d come out the other side better off. But I don’t want to put them through it. I’m not even sure I want to put her through it.

Thing G said: I’m sad she’s not going to live with us, but I understand wanting to be with her friends.
Teenagers are a curious breed.

She deserves better than the life she’s settling for. I have fought the hard fight to give her a better life and she’s turned her back on that. Because she’s lonely. Because she wants to be with her friends.
I can’t compete with that.

I can’t do anything but love her. But what does that mean? Does loving her mean I allow her to disrespect me? Does standing up for myself mean I don’t love her?
This is where the question of respect comes into play and I just don’t have any answers.

I’m tired of fighting the good fight. Tired of trying to do what’s best for the people I love when it doesn’t matter or mean anything to them.
How about somebody respecting me? Fighting the good fight for me?

I want that girl to have the best opportunities to create the best life. She can’t see that. Perhaps she doesn’t want to. Either way, I think it may be out of my hands.
I remember a discussion with my friend and mentor regarding always loving, always having an open heart and open arms. I do love and will always love my Thing 2. I’m afraid I won’t always have an open heart or open arms. I’m afraid the hurt will close them. I’m not sure I could bear that. For either of us.

Categories: loss, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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