Apparently the theme for May is "waiting"

Just recently I read (sorry, can’t remember where) “some believe that depression is really anger turned inwards”. Maybe it was my generic horoscope on the web; who knows? I think that may be apropos to how I feel about this divorce, doltoid and the feeling of eternal waiting. Yet I don’t hate him, at least I don’t think I do. I actually feel sorry for him. He always needs something new. He’s not able to find enjoyment from within. I think that’s why he seems to just dump friends, hobbies, jobs and so on…the wife. Still, when he needs something from someone he’s left behind, he has a knack for cajoling them out of their memory of reality and getting them to help him in whatever way it is he needs!

Whatever I read, also said, “Anger doesn’t have to be the enemy. It can be an excellent signal that something isn’t right for you.” Actually, maybe his behavior does make me angry; his utter lack of any morals or conscience and his ability to use people. The article also asked, “How well do you handle anger? Do you express it at the time or bury it? Anger doesn’t have to be the enemy. Try viewing it this way and seek out ways to communicate it when it occurs. Stuffing it can only make things worse.” Actually this is very true. There probably is a lot of buried anger within. More on this in a later post.



Quiet Chaos

While drifting in thought as to how my life had come to this, it dawned on me that Ravenswood, our third “fixer-upper” was where I was happiest. We lived there from 1986-1990. It was the last time I felt real deep, honest-to-goodness happiness other than the 3-week trip to Italy in the fall of 2002. I had always been in love with Paris and France, but Italy swept me off my feet. Everywhere I looked was a perfect photo! It was a visual and culinary piece of heaven! But I digress. I’ll save Italy for another day.

Happiness I’ve learned is a very elusive little thing.  For most of my life, happiness for me was the absence of pain and chaos.

Our fourth fixer was a drain on doltoid because he started a new business, Midvale Products. That’s when the verbal abuse became noticeable. Prior to this, because of my upbringing, I just thought that this was life. Deal with it.

With the inception of his company, the systematic “grinding the value out of a person” started becoming a glimmer of something “wrong”. What’s so disheartening is that they don’t even notice the tenor of their behavior changing. When things were tough at work…I was the focus and cause of all of his problems.

I’d write it off to “oh, he’s upset about work”, not seeing it for what it was.  But then you don’t expect it, you don’t imagine that someone you’ve known, trusted and loved for 20 years could treat you badly and hurt your feelings, as if on purpose.  They don’t either. I always knew doltoid was selfish but didn’t realize it was paired with a strong feeling of inferiority. Before the business, he could come home and leave work behind him. Now, it came with him and the “bad days” became more the norm than the exception. His temper was legend at work. He could reduce grown men to sniveling pile of fear and 10 minutes later he’d have forgotten about it. Meanwhile the target of his wrath felt the sting for days. I had also never realized until then that he pathetically relied on my looks and achievements to bolster how he felt about himself.  I mistook what I felt from him as being proud of me.

But after a while all the bad stuff they feel about themselves becomes ‘your fault’ and they feel better so they continue and never look at the true cause of those feelings. I’m not saying I have no faults and prior to this we’d both worked VERY hard to make the marriage work.  But now something was different.  As the company did better, so did his ego. But I didn’t experience happiness. I was just out of pain and for a while things seemed “normal” so I thought I was happy. For me happiness has been the lull before the other shoe drops and chaos rages. It’s the peace one feels between the episodes of crazy making.



Dog Pause

Yesterday, I forgot to mention that Frost came up to me several times and put her right paw up on my leg as I sat at the computer. Then it was her left paw and finally it was her chin. Her brown/blue eyes looked up at me and I melted into a big hug around her soft, fluffy neck. We stayed that way for a few minutes and it meant so much. It made the alone-ness a little more bearable. Animals are so utterly amazing and dear. It reminded me of a quote by Karl Kraus that I found about a year ago and I wanted to share it with you:  "There are no words or gestures as reliable as the administration of dog paws."




It’s weird. Today, in the middle of nothing, after crying and feeling lost I suddenly realized why I felt so sad and utterly lonely. I no longer had any identity. I had always been doltoid’s wife and had done what he wanted. Now I was without an identity! Who was I? I had always been defined by something, someone...usually twit-brain and what he expected. But here I was. Alone. No one. Nothing. And no me!!!!! Who the heck am I? No wonder I felt so much waiting, drifting. ”I” had vanished.

Verbal abuse is extremely insidious. The effects evolve so gradually that you don’t even notice it. Part of verbal abuse is a slow but deadly process of isolation until your life revolves around the abuser. Neither party seems to be aware of it happening. The fear of doing something wrong, real or imagined is crippling so you wait to “read” the abuser. What kind of a mood is he in? You can’t make plans with friends because he/she may come home and have other plans. If you aren’t available he’ll get mad, sulk and possibly worse. You don’t want to make him mad. As an outsider reading this, it probably sounds ludicrous that an adult could not see what was happening. However, if this is what you grew up with, how would you ever know there was anything different?

I’ve talked to a few other women who have experienced this and broken free, and they’ve said the same thing. In every case so far, the abuser acts impeccable in public and everyone thinks you live a dream life. What’s good is that once the victim is really out of the pattern, they all see the process, if only gradually. Sadly it seems the abuser never really sees this and if it’s pointed out to them, they get angry and deny it. But I digress.

The longer I’m away from him, the more things I’ve been able to see; become aware of. I only wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to wake up. So much time has been lost. This post reminded me of a quote. It’s from Camryn Manhein:
"While We Wait…
Waiting, waiting, waiting. All my life, I’ve been waiting for my life to begin, as if somehow my life was ahead of me, and someday I would arrive at it."