November 30, 2003

Talk about out on a limb.  Here I go. 

I don't do this very often, maybe 2- 3 times a year, which is saying a lot since it's a place where I used to spend a great deal of my time.  I'm mad about things that have nothing to do with the people around me, so I'm trying my hardest not to take it out on them or have them suffer because I'm in a really, really pissy mood.

I wasn't even sure what I was angry about until around 2pm today.  I was just feeling really sullen and grumpy and dissatisfied and couldn't really put an ID to the frustration.  Then I remembered through some flash of memory that I dreamed about my ex-husband last night.  I don't think about him very often, primarily as an act of will and secondarily as an act of boredom because it really is an exercise in futility to do so.  Paul and I were married for 17 1/2 years the first time and almost 2 years the second time.  We've known each other since 1976.  We went to high school together, but didn't date until after he graduated.  Before then, we were just friends and had a lot of mutual friends.

Our marriage was not really a good one, but I was determined to make it work and he kept leaving and coming back and leaving and coming back, a total of 9 times in the first marriage with the 9th finally ending in divorce.  After he left (he requested orders to Japan, so he totally left), I had Delena from a relationship I was in that started up after we separated and when he came back from Japan, we immediately remarried.  After the relationship with Delena's father tanked in a big way, I pretty much just set about the task of waiting for Paul to come back as he always had.  Which he did, filled with promises of how different things would be and how much he missed and loved us all.  We'd been apart for 2 years, so I figured that was plenty of time for him to have slaughtered whatever dragons were up his butt and get down to the business of being a decent person.  We'd gotten through the mess of his (hotly denied to this day) alcoholism and his back and forth crap ("Oh, I love you," "Oh, I just don't want to be married..." "It's not you, it's me," "OK, I lied, it's you...") and his abusive nature and his psychotic upbringing and I thought we were finally on the road to a healthy, happy family.  After a year and a half, he came back from an Air Force trip and announced that for the two months he'd been gone, he'd had an affair, lied about where he was almost the whole time and wanted a divorce.  It was not negotiable.  I was completely blown away because just before he left, we'd been standing outside together in a nice hug and I looked up at him and asked, "Are you happy?  Is this enough for you?" and he smiled and kissed me and told me it was and he was and a few days later, drove right to that broad's house in California and nailed her on her couch.  >:<  Up the walls, on the kitchen table, in the bathroom out the back door and probably in the road in front of the mailbox like mangy dogs. I know because I got to read about it in the letters that she wrote to him that were forwarded inexplicably to ME ("Mrs. Paul Humphrey," right on the envelope) from the post office in town where he'd gotten a PO box on the side so she could write to him while he was supposedly not seeing her while we worked things out.

The man was in love and had a mission:  dump the wife as soon as possible and get more of that new stuff.  In one eventful weekend, his future was laid out for him, she found a daddy for her children and mine lost theirs.  I dragged him to counseling, got his first sergeant to intervene, begged, cried, but true love could not be subdued.  This was one of the few times that the other woman won.  She had no concern for our situation, what we felt or even what happened beyond her fervent prayer that we would *go away,* never to be seen again.  After a few months of careful orchestration, that was exactly what she got.  He proved to me that nothing I could do would motivate him to keep our family intact. The impact on the kids and on me meant zero.  He spent a couple of weeks going through the motions of promising to try, but I quickly found out that he had been in constant contact with her and actually had no intention at all of trying to make things work.  After nearly twenty years with him, of loving him, of making excuses for him, of praying for him and taking care of him, it was all gone and had amounted to nothing.  His attitude about it was amazing.  He couldn't figure out why I wasn't happy for him that he'd found his true love.  He was amazed I was so upset.  He couldn't get why I was making such a big deal over it.  "Oh, Kathy, always with the drama."  *insert eye roll*  I never got any kind of closure.  He never understood in any way or accepted any accountability for blowing my life apart and for dumping his kids.  It was just a matter of breaking eggs to make omelets.  He needed to get from point A to point B and stepping on other people was just the path that had to be followed.

It has always amazed me the way people can come into our lives and leave a trail of utter destruction in their wake and not even have the courtesy to sweat.  I know our marriage sucked and having had a good marriage since then, I can really tell how far in the ditch we were.  I'm in a better place and I am grateful for that, don't get me wrong.  It's a matter of this person that I truly loved with all my heart and trusted even more than I trusted myself wrecked my life and didn't even blink.  To this day, he's like a dog that shit on the floor about it.  If anything reminds him of it, he'll figuratively look high in the air and refuse to acknowledge it.  I did, however, marry him with the full intent of being devoted to him and working through any crises that arose.  When we married the second time, I made it clear that I didn't want him if there was any doubt in his heart that he wanted to be there. 

I've watched a lot of Dr Phil shows on adultery and the need for the "wronged" party to be heard and for the adulterer to really understand the impact of what they've done for there to be any healing.  I have done a LOT of inner work to try and get past the anger and the yearning I have for completion of that situation.  It's already seven years in my rear view mirror and sometimes, I go for months and months thinking that I've gotten around it and I'm moving on.  I think about how confused he was with conflicting feelings and a need for change and not knowing how to instigate it and how much I would not want to be judged by how I behaved in the worst time of my life.  I think in terms of karma and how after he left me, his spine when to shit (ironic, huh?) and he could barely walk and had to have all kinds of surgery on it.  I thought how right after they married, his wife got orders to Turkey and he and the kids went there with her for two years (you just don't fuck with a Witch, despite scoffs to the contrary) and he couldn't get work forever.  I thought about how of all the places they could go, they are now stationed at the same base where we lived when we gave birth to Josh.  I thought about how removed his relationship is with his own children whereas there are very few days that go by that I don't talk with all three of my boys.  I know I never would have become the person I am had I stayed with him.  I also know that I am 100% happier now than I ever was or could have been.  I know all that crap.  I also know that he trashed my life and didn't even blink about it and as far as I can tell, I'll never even get to hear him sincerely tell me that he's sorry for it.  That's all I want.  I want to know that he gets it and know that he's really sorry.  It's easier for him to forge forward and never look back and never think about whatever he had to do to get to where he is. 

Nobody else needs to tell me to let this go and enjoy what I have.  I've heard it 1000 times and ten times that many times, I've cried and prayed and released and thought it was gone away for good.  Then something happens.  I'll dream about him like last night.  I'll read something on the internet about someone we both knew during our time together and I can't pick up the phone and call and tell him about it because it makes his new wife too insecure for us to have any contact at all, so to make her happy, he won't even speak to me.  I understand that you have to do what you have to do to keep the peace, but that's  a twenty year chunk of my life that no one knows about except him and it sucks to not ever be able to even speak to the man.  Then I'll get angry all over again and think, "You stupid, stupid bastard.  You fucked it all up, didn't you?  You just fucked everything up and don't even have the good sense to try and make it right.  You stupid, stupid bastard."

Sometimes, and it's not that often any more, my heart feels empty and the restlessness is almost unbearable, just because I know he sees me as a hysterical, unreasonable person who was in the way of his pursuit of love and because I know he'll never, ever get that he destroyed my life and devastated my kids (again) and that anything I have become to this point was in spite of him and not because of him.  As his wife, I was nothing more than an inconvenient obstacle to overcome and I made things much more difficult than they had to be for him because I loved him and didn't want our family ripped apart again.  I was so hurt and angry and betrayed and there was never any room to work that out because of his adamant refusal to believe that he'd done anything wrong or that he was accountable for any of it.  He threw money at me to help me get out of the house and on the road.  He paid off the remaining $2000 on my used car and couldn't understand why I felt bereft.  He couldn't understand why I was so angry and vengeful.  He couldn't understand why I was behaving in such an uncivilized manner.  Hadn't he done ENOUGH???  WHAT MORE COULD I WANT FROM HIM??? 

But as the Highway 101 song says, "He's someone else's trouble now" and I'd like to say I wish them well but, well, I don't.  Fuck'em.

So now I'm sitting here tonight, working to purge negative feelings about someone who screwed me over 7 years, two sons, three careers and a lifetime ago.  That makes me think of the best friend I ever had in my whole life, Donna Petty.  Donna and I were that rare kind of soul sisters who were joined at the hip and loved each other through thick and thin.  We were friends for something like 8 years, through several relocations, even.  We always swore, knowing that we were both married to total assholes, that we would NEVER let a man come between us.  Then she caught her husband screwing her friend on her own couch while she herself was sleeping in her own bed.  In the aftermath, when she was planning to move back to California with me, he told her a whopper of a lie about me (to keep her from going, which worked, mind you) and she believed his dumbass self and dumped me cold.  That was in 1992 and good lord, I've missed her and cussed him every day since.  Again, I know that we all have to do whatever we have to do to live in our own skin, but he lied, pure and simple and she believed him and I lost my precious spirit sister, which pisses me off more at her than at him, because he was a lying sack of shit to start with, so why should I expect anything different?  (PS:  This is NOT the Donna Petty on the internet who is a real estate agent, trust me.  I've done the search)  I can't ever stop loving Donna (although my days of loving my ex-husband are way, way gone), but I have similar feelings for her as I do for him, "You stupid, stupid woman.  You fucked it all up."  We could have had so much fun and she would have totally loved the changes that have happened in me and the family that I have.  We could have shared 10,000 thing along this life's way.  She was my really, true Ya-Ya... and she fucked it up.

I know that we can never, ever depend on the people around us not to cut our heart out and those are the two times that I really was done wrong.  There are others here and there, some of which can also likely never be made up for and most of the time, the people aren't really trying anyway, but those (evidently) are the two that come for me in the night.  I guess we all have our shadows around us and no matter how much we try to keep the closets clean and our spirits in a good place, it's there and it hurts when the scar gets opened a bit.

Here's why I like Faith Hill.  I never did like her before, simply because her ill-advised wardrobe frequently made her look like a total whore and you can probably guess from all of the above that I'm not really into that these days.  There was a time when I could casually respect it, but since my time of being keeled over by one, it just doesn't sit well any more.

So I was on the Faith Hill hate wagon for a long while and then I kept hearing songs that made me say, "Wow.  That's good.  Wonder who that is?"  This song clinched it all:

If I had just one tear running down your cheek
Maybe I could cope maybe I'd get some sleep
If I had just one moment at your expense
Maybe all my misery would be well spent

Yeah.... Could you cry a little
Lie just a little
Pretend that you're feeling a little more pain
I gave now I 'm wanting
Something in return
So cry just a little for me

If your love could be caged, honey I would hold the key
And conceal it underneath the pile of lies you handed me
And you'd hunt those lies
They'd be all you'd ever find
And that'd be all you'd have to know
For me to be fine

Yeah.... And you'd cry a little
Die just a little
and baby I would feel just a little less pain
I gave now I'm wanting
Something in return
So cry just a little for me

Give it up baby
I hear your goodbye
Nothin's gonna save me
I can see it it your eyes
Some kind of heartache
Darlin' give it a try
I don't want pity
I just want what is mine

Yeah... Could you cry a little
Lie just a little
Pretend that you're feeling a little more pain
I gave now I'm wanting
Something in return
So cry just a little for me

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I need to take up drinking.  I've never been very good at it and I think I'd like one right about now.

Don't worry, Folks.  I know me and this will be allll better in the morning.  Three hundred and sixty two days or so a year, I'm all spiritual and evolved and f-i-n-e fine.  But sometimes, just every once in a while, it gets me.

I'll check in tomorrow, just so you'll know I'm back on the good side of town again.  :)