Thursday, May 14, 2009

Acting on your best behavior, Turn your back on Mother Nature...

My mother was always the stronger personality of my parents. Especially when my father was struck ill at the age of 49 and basically spent the next 18 years slowly dying. My father was not an educated man and he dropped out of school somewhere around the age of 15. Knowing the things I know after raising my own children, and from working in education, it would seem that my father suffered some kind of learning disability. I am thinking he was probably dyslexic. He was a good man, a strong man, he was a hard working proud man, but he was not book smart. He gladly allowed my mother to run the house, gladly turned his paycheck over to her each week. Never questioned her judgement or decisions, and financially, she did well by them.

Deciding to buy a home with my mother, was, at the time, the right thing to do. My father was dying and she needed my help. I also did not want her to be alone when he died. Its been almost a year since my father left this world for the next. Alot of the drama and urgency of the last few years are slowly settling down and my life, while far from perfect is in a calmer place.

Lately my mother and I are having terrible arguments. We are both type-A personalities on some level. My mother is having a hard time with me moving on and rebuilding my life. She takes offense when I spend the night with the man I am seeing. I only do this when my 13 year old is away for the weekend with his father. She does not like when I deposit money into our joint account to pay bills. Our payroll schedules are different, and I simply can not put money in the bank when I do not physically have it. She is just not comprehending that. We had a real screaming fight last week. It got ugly. When she has nothing more intelligent to say, she resorts to being underhanded, mean and plain nasty. She brings up things from my marriage, she brings up my flaws, she fights dirty. She says things that can not be taken back.

On any given evening, after 5:30 pm my mother is also half in the bag on cheap red wine. She semi-blacks out. She denies saying the things she says. She blames it on me for not giving in to her. She blames it on the wine. She blows it off, saying, its over, let it go. I am starting to get truly tired of living in dysfunction. My "boyfriend" (oh, how I loathe that reminds me of the "monster") sees her really for what she is, and in a very gentle way, he often points out situations where she is unnecessarily mean to me without provocation. He does not want to spend time at my house anymore and it has alot to do with my mother and her behavior. I do not want to spend time there lately myself. This is not to be misconstrued that he goes out of his way to point these instances out, more that he will mention it when I am going stark raving mad over the things she says and I start to feel like it is all in my head.

I really feel as though I am going to loose him, and I will someday end up just like her.

Monday, May 04, 2009

But something told me to run, and honey you know me, it's all or none...

Sometimes I just cant help but throw myself a pity party. While I know that I was married to the wrong man and I stayed married for entirely too long, I still wish that I was married. Happily married to the right man. I know that this is not a recipe for successful children who don't have addiction problems. But I think it would have been easier to battle if I had an equal partner. Someone that I loved and respected and trusted. And who felt the same towards me.

I can remember the day I told my parents that I was pregnant and getting married. I was 20 years old. I was lucky, I had loving, supportive parents, and so did my ex-husband. I had only been dating him for about 6 months. I was in college, working part time at an insurance agency. My husband was in college, in theory, meaning he barely went, and he was working part time busing tables at a Chinese restaurant and sometimes making deliveries. We barely knew each other. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.

I remember my mother's face when she told me that while she supported my decision to have the baby and get married, that I needed to be aware of all that I was giving up. I was giving up the best years of my life, and that it was not going to be easy. I heard her, but didn't really hear her. I didn't understand the importance of really knowing someone before you decide to commit to a lifetime together, or more importantly, to committing to raising a child together. I think I thought I was playing house.

Neither of us really knew what it took to make a marriage work. We didn't understand the give and take. We didn't grasp the concept of compromise. My had a really great social life, lots of friends, we had lots of parties and BBQs. There was lots of drinking and partying. My brother in law once said to me that he didn't understand why we focused so much on our friends and not each other. The comment offended me. Until many years later when I realized I still didn't know this man I married many years ago. He worked nights and slept days. I avoided "sleeping" with him at all costs. I wasn't physically attracted to him. I secretly envied my friends and the relationships they had. I coveted their rock sized engagement rings, their big elaborate weddings, the nice shiny new things they were able to buy because they did things the "right" way.

Many years later, looking back through my 40 year old eyes, I see the mistakes that I had made. But it doesn't stop me from wanting a second chance at a beautiful life. I'm way past wanting the shiny toys and sparkly ring. But I want a partner, someone to share my life with. I am seeing someone now who is not the perfect man, but he is good and he is kind and gentle. He is tolerant. He is patient. He loves me.

Early on in our relationship, I would try to make him meet my friends and spend time with us. He was reluctant. I was anxious to meet his family and to be a part of it. He was reluctant. He tried to explain to me that he wanted to spend time with me. Not my friends, not my family. This offended me. I didn't realize that he was right, that it was important to get to know each other, alone, without the distraction of other people. Maybe it is my insecurities that I am not lovable and that if gets to know me, then he wont like or love me and that is why I insisted on surrounding myself with people, to keep me safe and protected and well hidden. This is something I have done all of my life and I am finally learning that it is not the way to be successful in a relationship. if he doesn't like me, well, then he doesn't like me. Hiding behind my family, and my friends isn't going to change that, it is simply going to prolong the inevitable. That's all.

So maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks. Or maybe its just time to take away the smoke and mirrors and just learn to let myself be me. Maybe I am something special after all...

You know it aint easy, you got to hold on...

I watched the film, "Rachel getting Married" this weekend. How very dark and sad this film was. I almost had to turn it off and walk away from it. I was surprised by how deeply I was affected by it. I usually love movies and or books with any addiction related theme. I guess I was just taken back about how hopeless it seemed to be for the Anne Hathaway character, to find a little peace and forgiveness for her addiction related sins. I guess that to me, she still seemed so hopeless and misunderstood that I questioned her long time ability to maintain sobriety. Especially when she seemed to truly lack any real support within her family.

Yes, I also was able to recognize the depths of pain and tragedy she brought upon her family. And I know how difficult it is to forgive the addict in our lives. But seriously... why weren't these people working a program of their own?

Not sure where I am going with all of this. Maybe it reminded me of the days when the Prince was living home with me, and stealing from us, and living with the fear of what was going to happen next and if I would wake up and find him not breathing in the morning, and which Price would be sitting at my dinner table. He seems to be in a really good place these days. I do not see him that often, usually just in passing when he is at the house borrowing my mother's car or dropping it off. We have not done anything socially together in quite a long time, and this has been choice. Sometimes, well, I don't want to take the chance of the Ugly Prince rearing its ugly head.

Maybe since my youngest son is fast approaching the age when my Prince was sucked deep into the dark world of drugs, alcohol and addiction, that I am subconsciously afraid he may go there too. The genes of addiction run through our blood like water. I am fearful. I am mistrusting. I snoop. I know if it is going to happen it is going to happen, and it is out of my control. I have been told that most if not all teens do some level of experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and that is to be expected. I know my youngest has some self esteem issues as well, and he takes the easy way out of most things. I know all kids have an inherent need to fit in. I fear he will choose the low road to find his place in this world, and I do not think that I am physically equipped to go there again.