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I took my younger daughter’s senior pictures today, my attempt at capturing one of the last moments I have with her before tomorrow.  There are quite a few that I thought  turned out really well, I’m so glad we were able to do that this afternoon.

My husband is determined to go through with his plan of taking her laptop, tablet and phone away from her tomorrow evening for a month.  The laptop was something I purchased for her but the tablet and phone she bought herself and she pays for her phone bill herself.  She’s two months away from being 18 and I don’t think it’s right to take away the things she bought herself.  As a matter of fact it’s not right to take away a gift either but my husband seems to believe that the desired result will justify the means.

I had a chat with my husband tonight and asked not to be involved in tomorrows conversation and subsequent confiscation of the electronics but he wants me to be there.  I stated I was uncomfortable with this course of action and believe it will seriously backfire; by not being involved with tomorrows conversation I was hoping to leave a door open for her to see me as a parent she could still talk to.  He believes that we need to present a united front and that by both of us stating our concern for where her choices are leading her she will change her ways.

Uh huh.

Maybe I’m overreacting.  I hope so.

On a positive note, I met with a new friend today, a nail client who has asked me to consider opening a thrift store with her.  We met for lunch and will spend the next two weeks researching how to get a business license, tax ID and other legal paperwork accomplished, think of thrift store names and look for business locations.  This is a bright spot in life for me right now, a goal to work for and give purpose that is entirely outside of anything going on right now to my days.  I didn’t realize how much I needed that.

The saga continues, hopefully tomorrow will go better than I think it will…

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Remarkably, nothing much has happened since my last post.  Tempers have cooled and life has gone back to seeming like normal.

Except it isn’t normal.

My youngest daughter is just as fixated on Mr Wrong as ever, all the while amicably agreeing to communication curfews and orders to “go slow” in this relationship but never having any intention of doing so.  She has gone so far as to create a Facebook page with his and her names listed as though they were married and I believe she sees herself as bonded to him as if they are already married.  I also believe that the very next time he sees her in person he will ask her to marry him – and I believe that she will say yes.

My husband is fed up with her antics and came up with this grand plan to take her laptop to a techie friend of ours to hack into it looking to see what her communications with him are like and hopefully come up with something illegal (she’s a minor and he’s 20) that will get him arrested and/or kicked out of the military.  While this is exactly what I want to do as well, however, I’m convinced that those actions will only drive her closer to Bad Boy and farther from us so I’ve told my husband that I don’t have a better solution to offer but I don’t agree with what he’s planning.  Amazingly enough she reset her laptop to factory specs to get rid of a virus the day before the hacking was to take place rendering dear hubby’s plan utterly useless.

I am horribly torn between wanting to shield her from the consequences of her actions by forcefully stopping her from making this situation any more worse than it already is – and – letting her be the grown up she will legally be in two months and experience life in all it’s glory and agony.  Loving this immature, psycho boy in a man’s body is a Bad, Bad, Very Bad Choice and from what she’s told me of him will most likely give her a life ranging from moderately scary to death.  I don’t want her to live that life at all but I would rather be a part of her life and provide what comforts and refuge I can while she goes through it than for her to shut me out completely and walk it entirely alone.  I see those two options as my choices.

My husband feels that he cannot stand by and watch her piss her life away on this boy who “liked” Playboy on his Facebook page and steals her every waking moment so therefore he is the devil.  My husband doesn’t even know about the psycho part…  He is planning to “bust” her on the fact that she has ignored the communication curfew and take away all of her electronics for a month.  I’m fairly certain she will just move out at that point, especially since her best friend’s mom has already said she can go live with her as we are obviously too controlling, ugh!

The “busting” will happen on Tuesday and he wants us to present a “unified front”, sitting together and taking away her electronics together.  I suspect the world as I know it will come to a screeching halt immediately after and I’m not looking forward that at all.

At all.

Where do I even start?

My boss and owner of the salon I work at is a lovely Asian lady who is extremely fair and trustworthy in regards to making sure each of the three nail techs she employs gets an equal turn for work, she puts herself last in the rotation and often even skips herself to give us more work and I have no qualms whatsoever that she gives us our tips and earnings correctly – but honestly, she has terrible, horrible customer service skills.  I mean, she has absolutely no grasp of the polite niceities that are so important in our Western culture and while I know she means well she appears rude to many customers and several have turned around and left the shop because of it.  Add to that the fact that with the colder weather less and less people are coming in for pedicures and manicures and then top it off with knowing that the owner does not trust me to apply acrylic nails yet and I am making less and less money every day.  Equals stress for me.

The beauty school I attended is threatening to suspend my nail tech license if I can’t pay the remainder of the tuition I owe them soon so I’m going to vocational rehabilitation to see if they can help me either with my tuition or send me back to school for an esthetics license and/or to teach nail tech students at a beauty school.  It can take up to 60 days for voc rehab to decide if they can help you or not so more stress for me.

My marriage is tense, strained.  I have realized I don’t want to make it work.  My  husband may have worked very  hard to kick his pornography habit but he is clearly  still addicted to sex because it’s always on his mind as evidenced by the majority of his jokes an comments.  I’m so tired of hearing about sex in any media, it just makes me nauseous now.  My  husband is trying very hard to be a great husband, a nice guy and a good father and to a large extent he is succeeding but it’s a day late and a dollar short.  I realized that I avoid going to bed at the same time my husband does because I’m tired of the snuggling and the sex so I stay up late and am exhausted all of the time.  More stress for me.

My oldest daughter finally has a full time job at a call center, different from the one I worked at before I became a nail tech, and while she doesn’t enjoy having to work so late into the evening she is enjoying very much the paycheck that comes with it.  However, with her newly discovered grown-up-ness she is becoming increasingly intolerant of me and her younger sister – and of my sister who lives with us temporarily.  It is an chilling thing to know your child despises you.  Yet more stress.

But the most stressful thing is that my youngest daughter met a 20 year old guy in the Navy over Labor Day when she went to visit her best friend, our neighbor girl who joined the Navy right out of high school last year, and even though my daughter and this guy only spent two days together they have spent nearly every waking moment since talking, texting or Skyping.

For the first two weeks it was amusing and we thought it was just a phase that would pass.  After a month it became annoying.  At six weeks it was concerning, the two month mark came and went with a marked increase in the time they spent together despite our discouragement and now at about 10 weeks we’re terrified.

The things she has told me about him go from bad to worse – early on in this relationship he “ripped her a new one” for not telling him she was going to a color guard event and wouldn’t be available to talk to him on the phone that day.  Later, he found out that she fell asleep on the shoulder of a boy on the bus and completely blew up at her in a jealous rage.  She started cutting herself again sometime during the next week and she found a way go quit being in the color guard a few weeks later.

This 17 year old child of mine has completely changed from a happy, outgoing, friendly person who loved being in the color guard, going to school and working at her job to a withdrawn, introverted, sullen teenager who stopped being involved in everything she used to love and hates coming out of her room.  She’s asked to be home-schooled for the remainder of her senior year so that she will have more time “to work” but really it’s to spend on the phone with him.  She’s missed so many days of school that we’re getting letters saying just a couple more days of being absent and she won’t be able to graduate.  She doesn’t have any friends anymore except for him.  She gets angry with us for calling her out to the living room to spend time with us because it is taking her away from her boyfriend.  She’s lost about 15 pound since she met him.

We have talked and talked to her, telling her this is an unhealthy relationship, that his fits of rage are unacceptable and immature and that his behavior is controlling.  I tell her (privately) that he is just like her father was when I married him.  She looks us in the eye, smiles, says she understands and will break it off with him without any intention of doing so and spends a little bit of time with us before saying she’s tired and then she goes back t0 her room and stays up until 2 in the morning Skyping this guy.

My husband gave her a phone curfew of 11 pm because she doesn’t get enough sleep, doesn’t eat enough and forgot to take her medicine for several days so her migraine got out of control and we had to take her to the ER last week.  She agreed to the curfew while speaking to her father and then promptly ignored it that same night.  My husband then told her that she would bring her phone out to the living room to charge overnight at 11 pm for a week and she became so furious that she started talking about moving out of our home to her best friend’s mom’s house two doors down.  Less rules there…

When I went to talk to her alone after my husband said we were taking her phone away at 11 pm she gave me even more disturbing news that I can’t bring myself to share with my husband because he will absolutely lose it.  This guy is schizophrenic and has a second personality who calls itself “Nightmare”.  She has talked to Nightmare on Skype and calmed it down until the guy himself came back.  She said that Nightmare made fun of her and laughed at her, saying the guy was never coming back.  She doesn’t see the danger in this situation.  I was stunned and in so much shock I could hardly say anything and I had to find my few remaining sleeping pills to get to sleep that night.

This guy is actually worse than my husband was when I married him.  If I had divorced him when the girls were little would this have even been an issue now?  Is this my fault?  Or is this my reward for doing the “right” thing and staying married, to watch my little girl make a worse choice than I did?  She’s on a train, hurtling forward at breakneck speed and the bridge is out but she won’t listen to me, won’t hear me.

I don’t know what to do.  We don’t know what to do.  She is convinced she loves him and that he loves her and that everything will work out because they love each other.  He makes her feel needed because she is “one of two people on earth who can calm him down”.  But this isn’t Romeo and Juliet, this is serial killer and victim.

So I’m on the Titanic, knowing that this family is going to sink.  I’ve had to accept the fact that if I do divorce my husband it will be seen by all our family and most of our friends as my fault and I will be the horrible wife who just up and left a 20 year marriage.  I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will lose the house and possibly my car and I may wind up in a women’s shelter for a short period of time.  But to see my youngest throw her life away like this, to know this guy has the potential to kill her or worse, to make the remainder of her life a living hell, has really destroyed my heart.  I can’t just abandon her to her own choices like she wants but neither has anything I’ve said or done come even close to stopping her.  To try and corral her with rules she will just break will only push her towards moving out sooner and breaking all contact with us, possibly even dropping out of high school and moving several states away to be with him.

My depression is back, full force and I can feel that I’m heading down a very dark path.  I’ve started taking my pills again but what am I going to do when they run out?  Being a nail tech doesn’t come with insurance and Obamacare isn’t worth a hill of beans.  I feel powerless to help my daughter and I lack the desire to do my part to save my marriage but at least this much is different from when I was depressed before – I want to live.  I’m not exactly sure why, I seem to have a horrible future looming ahead of me, lots of pain and tears coming my way, but I want to live.

It’s official, I am now seeing a Psychiatrist.    They’re very kind and call their facility a “Mental Wellness Center” but still… I’ve entered into the Needs-Seriously-Professional-Help Level of Mental Illness now and I’ll be seeing a Counselor once a week and a Psychiatrist once a month.  Apparently the Psychiatrist will make sure my medications are appropriate for my situation and the Counselor can help me deal with my stress.  I’m telling my boss that my appointments are with a “Stress Management Specialist” and a “Medication Specialist”, ha, ha…

I had an hour and a half appointment with my counselor, a much more thorough session than I’ve had with any of my other counselors and even though it was an evaluation she seemed to pick up on what was important to me and what topics would be good to pursue in future appointments.  The week after that I had an hour appointment with my psychiastrist and she asked me many of the same questions – without looking at the counselor’s notes – so they could see if they both got the same or similar diagnosis after the evaluation.  They did.  While I didn’t recive any “official” diagnosis at the end of my appointment with the psychiastrist she did say that she agreed with the counselor on my being depressed and having General Anxiety Disorder.  The counselor said I am Hyper-Sensitive to Criticism (true) and the psychiatrist thinks I am borderline Bi-Polar II.

I have to say I’m somewhat relieved.  Half the battle is knowing the name of your enemy.

The psychiatrist also said there is no pill to fix my stress (I knew that…) but that the counselor would be teaching me coping techniques to deal with it more effectively.  And speaking of pills my “Medication Specialist” drastically changed my meds.  She upped my anti-depressant, ix-nayed the Xanax completely, and cut my other anti-anxiety in half with an eye towards quitting it completely.  and the psychiatrist is leaving my sleep med the same, which is a real bummer because my regular doctor had cut my sleeping med down from 10 mgs to 5 so I haven’t been sleeping well for most of a month… I was really hoping for a change in sleep meds.

After giving my boss an update from my Specialist visits he has extended my Performance Improvement Plan until the end of August because “of the efforts I am making to ascertain whether or not a reasonable accommodation is necessary” (to do my job because of my health/stress issues) so now I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll be fired any second now – at least for another three or four weeks.  Whoo hoo?

Today I’m feeling exhausted but OK, which has been the norm for the last three-ish weeks.  I am doing my job as best I can and I feel like I’m making less mistakes and improving my speed.  We’ll see how August goes and what they say on my evaluation.  My birthday is at the end of August, hopefully I don’t get fired as a birthday present…

The psychiatrist also said “Maybe this isn’t the job for you”.  (I didn’t tell my boss about that part.)  Maybe she’s right but at the moment all I want to do is go home and sleep – not get another job – and sleeping won’t pay the bills.    At any rate, I’ll keep my eyes open.  This job has excellent benefits and great pay but if I’m sacrificing my health then I’d be better off being a greeter at Walmart eh?

  I go back to the counselor tomorrow and once a week for the rest of August and I’ll see the psychiatrist at the beginning of September.  I have to say that after a week of the new med dosing I am feeling better emotionally, although still tired physically, and overall my mental state is much more positive, yay!  Now let’s see if I can stay on top of my work and not make any mistakes until my review at the end of August…

Stephanie is right – I do love my family.  Stephanie, thank you for your note and the gentle rebuke.

Your comment has made me realize that I’m actually still quite mad at him (and I’m not at all offended with you!).  I have read your advice over and over again and I can see that I’ve become very selfish.  I’ve grown tired of waiting, I wanted him to do things for me, my way RIGHT NOW because I deserve it  and am tired of always giving and giving and never getting much out of this relationship.  That, however, is not unconditional love so now I’m finding myself wanting, ha!, demanding what I am no longer willing to give.  Oh the irony…

Now, in spite of having spent the last 7 – 8 years watching the slow, gradual change that God has worked in his life to bring him to the place he is today I had stopped trusting God to complete the work He started in my husband and decided it wasn’t fast enough to suit me anymore because “I deserved better than this”.

Essentially, this most recent bout with discontent can be tracked to one particular disagreement that happened almost two years ago now:  For various reasons I wanted to leave our church and attend a different Charismatic, Christian church.  I didn’t have any particular church in mind, just any other church, preferably closer to home so our girls could get to know other Christian kids that hopefully lived in the neighborhood and could connect at both school and church.

Now my husband is of the stay-where-you’re-at-until-you’re-given-new-directions-by-God-Himself opinion, basically he believes that until God speaks to him in a loud, booming, audible voice “You will start attending church such-and-such  at the beginning of next month”  then we are to stay where we’re at.  My reason for leaving is logic-based, that if we are not continuing to grow as individuals and as a family then just maybe we’ve learned all that we can at this church for now and should go somewhere else where our learning can continue to move forward.

We went back and forth over this for months.  Why did I want to leave, why did he want to stay.  Finally he told me we would go and try other churches just to see what was out there.  He was serving as an usher and they asked for a month’s notice to replace him so he gave his months notice and on our last Sunday we sat in the sanctuary for a really long time after the service ended.  Almost everyone had gone home before he turned to me and said “I can’t do it, we’re not leaving”.  With that statement and decision he broke trust with me.  He had made me a promise that we would go look for other churches and then decided that this church has a higher priority in his life than I do so that promise to me wasn’t worth keeping… and it made me feel like I was insignificant to him and to our family.   When I look at it carefully I see that what’s really happened over the last two years is that I became angry with my husband and I have let that anger build to the point where I was one conversation away from kicking him out of the house about two months ago.  We did manage to reconcile that day and avoided a messy separation but my anger stayed in it’s crock pot, tucked into a quiet corner while it slowly heated up again and all I could see were his faults, magnified.

This is what I need to forgive him for, and I need to ask his forgiveness for my staying angry with him for all this time.h

Once again, Stephanie is right – I need to forgive him and stop judging him so harshly.  He is as God made him, warts and all, and he is trying the best he knows how to love me, warts and all.

The fact that I haven’t had mushy, ooey-gooey or passionate feelings for anyone or anything for a super-long time probably just means that my “feeler” is broke.  I think I buried it along with my heart in self-defense a long time ago and the fact that I’m “missing” having feelings is – hopefully – a positive sign of something deep inside starting to heal.

Oh – and Hiddinsight, I have been referred to a psychiatric counselor who does both counseling and medication management while keeping my primary doctor in the loop so hopefully that will be more helpful to me than my previous counselors have been.

I’m going to wrap it up for now, my pills have kicked in and it will probably be hilarious to read tomorrow what I wrote tonight but the pills don’t seem to change what I think, they just free me to write more than I usually would .

Have a fabulous 4th of July, I plan on spending as much of it as possible in bed getting lots of rest before I have to go back to work on Friday.

Again, comments are always welcome, I’m learning and growing and I’m sure I can’t be the only one out there going through this kind of stuff.

Or at least that was a saying when I was a child.  I always thought it was just because people who thought they were Righteous needed a reason to explain why they never got any rest without having to place themselves in the Wicked category.  I would like some rest… does that make me Wicked?

I haven’t blogged for a while.  So let’s try for a quick update – while my life has been pretty good since my last blog (hence the lack of writing – does that make me a whiner?) here is what I remember:

SUPER GOOD – I went to Reno with my best friend from high school and we had an SOO MUCH FUN together, we even went down to Lake Tahoe for an afternoon.  I saw my child exactly once for about 5 minutes as I brought her breakfast the first morning.  She never did tell me when and where they were going to perform so I didn’t get to see it.  I did not come home with a tattoo <slightly sad about that> but I’m still thinking really hard about getting one.  The best news ever is that my daughter did not get any migraines requiring me to take her to the ER but I’m still glad I went!

OK – I have continued to see my husband’s counselor with him, this last session wasn’t terribly productive, I think the counselor talks a little bit too much about his own life that I don’t see as applying to us but he did manage to bring up a question or two that was good food for thought until the next meeting.  That hour goes fast.  Thank goodness for the EAP program or I’d feel like I was wasting my money on the co-pays, ugh!

SAD – One week before school ended my youngest (musical) daughter, who has poured her heart into the three music classes she’s taken this year, was cut from her very favorite class, the jazz choir, exactly 5 minutes after her boyfriend dumped her so she had a miserable last week of school but she is very glad it’s over and seems to be feeling better about it now.  I’m debating on whether or not I should say anything to the choir teacher.  Half of me is mad at him, I’m upset that he seems to be unwilling to deal with the issues that go along with her head injury, I feel like he doesn’t believe she has a real medical condition and dropped her because he thinks she’s a flake.  The other part of me is relieved I don’t have to fight with him for another year about being a chaperone on all of her out-of-town trips and just plain ole doesn’t to talk to him anymore.  Yes, I’m a very non-confrontational person which means if I’m confronting you I’m usually VERY UPSET with you.

BAD AND GOOD – My husband has made great improvements in becoming a nicer guy but now that the two month “probation” period has been over by a couple of months most the things that he was doing to prove to me that he loved me for more than sex have pretty much evaporated.  All the “romantic” stuff is completely gone, he hasn’t given me a back rub in almost two months, hasn’t opened my car door for at least a month and I’m pretty sure that all his compliments dried up a couple of days after the two months was over.  In short, we’re very nearly back to where we were before the two-months except for a few certain things.  He has become more relaxed about my being late, which is one of his biggest buttons that I constantly seem to be pushing because I’m just not a very on-time person – never have been.  Also, he’s been quicker to apologize to both me and our children when he has spoken to one of us in “high emotion”, I’m getting a nice email from him almost every day at work and he is definitely being more open about how he feels when I ask him.  I know changing your entire self is difficult and I can see that he’s working hard at it so I’ll be content with the relationship we have for now.  No promises from me that this marriage will last forever but we just passed our 19th anniversary, that’s a pretty good record in this day and age.

BAD – I thought my job was going quite well… until I received an Employee Improvement Plan two weeks ago.  Apparently I have a month (two more weeks at this point ) to stop making mistakes or I will be “Disciplined or Terminated”.  Oh goody.  I think what’s really going on is I’ve not been “good enough” for a couple of the attorneys that hold some power in this office and they want me gone but we’ll see in the middle of July how that goes.  I can only do my best.  As punishment for my past mistakes (or perhaps so they can snoop through my desk easier) they took away my flex schedule which gave me a half day every Monday and I worked until 6 pm Tues – Fri so I could still have a full 40 hours.  I’m thinking that by my leaving at 5 pm they don’t have to stay until 6:30 to look through my work and check up on me – now they only have to stay until 5:30, ha, ha.  Unfortunately for me, I felt like I did my best work during that peaceful, quiet, uninterrupted hour between 5 and 6 pm when hardly anyone was in the office.  That’s definitely not going to help me during this month’s probation at all.  Can you get unemployment when you’re fired for “Unsatisfactory Job Performance after almost two years of employment?”  If I lose my job I lose my benefits and neither I or my daughter can get the medicine we need to stay on top of our medical conditions so yeah, I’m a little stressed.  Maybe I can start a daycare in my home…  although I did find a job with the County that I think I’ll apply for, the cut-off date for applications is right about the time my month of probation should end, then maybe I can give my two weeks at that meeting instead of getting fired, wouldn’t that be nice?

GREAT – I received and finished a transcription job last weekend and am waiting for the check to come, hopefully this week.  It should go straight to bills but I want to keep a little bit of fun money out for myself.  Is that wrong?  I earned it, 100%.  It’s outside my job and outside the budget… if only we weren’t so behind, ugh!

FUN – Speaking of being behind I have become a consultant for a direct sales company and am trying to get that going for  some extra cash.  I love having the “parties” with good food and meeting new people, hopefully this will help pull me out of the doldrums as well as help us get out of debt.

REFLECTING – So all in all my life has been, and continues to be a roller-coaster.  I appreciate everyone who follows my blog, I hope you’re getting more out of it than I am, lol!  I’m just writing it all down to sort it out, re-organize it and decide how I feel about it before absorbing my life’s events back into my head again.  Kind of like when you clean Grandma’s basement.  It’s so packed with stuff piled everywhere that the best way to deal with it is to pull piles out of the room, sort them into your Keep, Donate and Toss piles and then put the Keep stuff back in the room, pull another pile out and do it all over again.  That is what this blog is for me.  That oddball space where I can pull things out, write them down and try to decide how I feel about them, what emotions connected to each event should I Keep and which should I Toss.

And there I am, laid out bare for you to see.  What do you see by the way?  I hardly ever get feedback on my posts…  Am I just an interesting read and ya’ll go off talking about the crazy lady online when you’re done?  Talk to me…what are your thoughts about what I should do next?  Help please!

Our neighborhood is full of these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed squirrels that love to run across the street.  (No, I did not hit one…)  They almost get to the other side and then they notice me in my car.  Some pause before running back to the side they came from (those are usually the young ones who aren’t sure what to do) but most of them turn on a dime and scamper back to safety, back to what they know – you could even call it “the past”.  Unfortunately safety isn’t always on the side they came from because it’s a much shorter distance to the side they were trying to get to originally, but it’s unknown, like “the future”.  More often than not us friendly neighborhood drivers will slow down for them and laugh as they zip back and forth across the streets in front of cars and the brainless squirrels are safe.  But on the main roads our own safety and the safety of others does not allow us the luxury of accommodating a rodent with the Squirrel Mentality and they get… well, let’s just say I see far too many splotches of fur on the road…  😦

How many times have I had that Squirrel Mentality?  Running back as fast as I can to what I know, what seems “safe” rather than darting ahead to the Great Unknown where my goal lies?  When is it better to go back?  When is it better to go forward?

I need more sleep.  I want off my meds.  I don’t want to be married to a 7th grader (in his emotional maturity, not physical age).  I must get out of debt.  I need my body to stop hurting constantly.  These are just a few of my goals – the other side of the road.  But car after car after semi-truck after scooter keeps coming down the road and chasing me back to where I am…

I’m going to start with more sleep.  It’s Mother’s Day and I’m going to stay in bed all day tomorrow if I can.  We’ll see if that works out or not.  I don’t have a solution today, I’m just getting my frustrations out there and identifying with that tiny, pea-brained little squirrel.  I know why they run back to the side of the road they came from, I do it too.

 

Isn’t it supposed to be really calm in the eye of the hurricane?  I kind of feel like that’s where my husband and I are at… We’ve been working our way through several different issues and have worked things out just enough to have made visible progress towards a common goal (staying married) but I see a storm coming in that we each have separate goals as well and our separate goals do not necessarily play well with each other.  This could get ugly…but not today.

Sunday afternoon was no fun at all.  He was angry about several things and giving me the silent treatment…ahh the “good ‘ole silent treatment”, those few words pretty much sum up the first 10 years of our marriage.  Him being silent because he was mad at me and me being silent because I never knew what would set him off next…

But to be fair, God has really worked on his heart and the silent treatment is almost a thing of the past.  It used to be that when he was upset with me he wouldn’t speak to me for weeks and I would get the evil eye whenever he looked at me during that time period.  Then slowly, over the last 7 years, the silent treatment started lasting only 1 week instead of 2, and then it was only 5 days instead of 7, and then we reached a point where it was only 3 days and now, finally, the silent treatment lasts approximately 3 hours.  Nowadays I usually get a heartfelt apology before the day is over if he realizes that he was hurtful to me in some fashion.  So yes, there is definite growth and improvement in him and he’s really not the terrible schmuck you probably think he is from reading all of my other posts.  He’s just a regular guy with regular problems.  He still needs to get over them but nothing about my life with him is life-threatening.

I know we have more battles to face.

1.  There’s the whole joint counselling sessions that we will need to go to that he doesn’t think are necessary.

2.  There’s our extreme personality differences – we took a personality test while we were engaged and were strongly encouraged by the pastor NOT to marry because of the results.  Obviously we paid no attention to the godly advice we were given and went full-steam ahead into this 19+ year disaster we’ve called “true love”.  Ugh..  I’ll not get into those now, I think I’ve pretty much listed them all in one post or another…

3.  How we are raising our teenaged daughters has become a source of disagreements between us.

4.  Where we attend church is still a sore spot with both of us although we have managed to put this issue on the back burner for now and are focusing on the more immediate problem of our marriage.

But right now, at the moment, we are in a peaceful place.  The Eye of the Hurricane – hopefully will give us a chance to catch our breath, step back from our problems and refresh ourselves for what’s coming next.  Do I know what the future holds?  Uh uh.  But God does and I am choosing to trust Him a little more each day and that decision seems to bring the Eye of the Hurricane with me, wherever I go.  It follows me, keeping me in the center of that peaceful, restful place until it’s time for me to join the battle again.  In the mean time I just keep praying… save me, save me.

So I’m normally a very non-confrontational person but after writing my blog yesterday I was so upset that I confronted him on a few of the topics that bothered me the most.

Number one was me feeling like I did not have the right to say no to his sexual affection and what on earth happened to all the non-sexual affection we agreed on for this two month period that ends in a couple of weeks?

Number two was that if he wasn’t getting advice from anyone on how to treat me right why the <bad, bad words> did he wait until I said I was leaving his bed to pull out the manual on “How to be a Good Husband”, dust it off and put it into practice?  That, I think, is what upsets me the most – the fact that as far as I can tell he didn’t think that I was worth being nice to until I tried to move out of the bedroom.  And I never said divorce, I didn’t even say that he had to move out or leave the house, I just said I was going to move into the guest room and he was going to have to work on his sexual addiction and prove to me there was major progress in his life before I would sleep with him again.  But apparently that’s all it took for Prince Charming to come out of wherever he had buried him for the last 20 years – the thought that he would be cut off from his daily dose of sex.  Ugh.

Number three was the way he kept phrasing that whole “I’m letting you have more control in our relationship right now but…”

My husband has a silver tongue and while answering my questions last night he was very convincing that he was trying hard to change his ways and we’re both still getting used to the big, new changes in our relationship, and he didn’t mean the “control” statement the way I took it… blah, blah, blah…

I still don’t see that his heart has really changed – but to be fair he is putting quite a bit of effort into changing his words and actions towards me so Kudos to him for that.  His efforts do touch my heart but in more of a sad way because I know the outward changes will never last without inward changes and he has to want his heart to change regardless of whether our relationship survives this year or not.  I’d like him a whole lot more if he was pursuing living a holy lifestyle for his own sake instead of pursuing me for a sex “fix” (and so that he doesn’t have to be the first person in his family to get a divorce, now there’s a stigma that his immediate family would never let him live down.)

I left him tonight.  That feels really good to say, actually, but it’s not a permanent thing and yes, I did get his permission.  I am spending the night at a friend’s house tonight (Saturday) and am not going to church with my family tomorrow (Sunday).  He wants me back home at noon… why you ask?  Because I did, I asked why.  Especially since he and the girls won’t be home from church until closer to 1 pm.  Do you sense an ulterior motive here?  I did because yes indeedy, the reason he wants me home at noon is so I can have lunch ready for them when they walk in the door from church.  I feel like he’s trying to punish me for not going to church with him or maybe it’s that he couldn’t contain the control freak any longer – or possibly it’s a bit of both…  So yes Master, I will do my best to have lunch on the table when you get home tomorrow.

I’d like to buy a bucket of KFC and just leave it on the counter for when they get home and be out shopping myself because I really don’t want to be there spending time with him.  Why else do you think I asked for a schedule at work that keeps me out of the house until almost 7 pm Tues – Friday?  That particular schedule means that I don’t have to be home with my disapproving husband and ungrateful children for any longer than necessary before bedtime.

Me, me, me, me.  I realize that everything I write makes him look like a terrible, horrible guy and I’m the total victim with no faults of my own and that’s not entirely accurate.  (I know, shocking, isn’t it!)  I have areas where I’m not a great wife/mother/friend/person either.  Yes, sad but true.  And to be completely fair you’re only getting one side of the story so it obviously can’t be 100% his fault.  (But honestly, you keep choosing to come back and read about my life – so maybe you or someone you know deals with this stuff too???)

I’ve felt like a victim my entire life and now that I’m finally acknowledging and dealing with that particular issue – and trying to STOP being a victim – I’m realizing that I married a male version of my paranoid, control-freak mother.  I’m now terrified that my girls will marry a man like their father and then I’ll get to watch them re-live my lonely, heart-breaking life, and I’ll watch their children re-live it… it’s the saddest story ever told and it’s played out in thousands of people’s lives in America every day… but the thought of my girls, My Girls, living through what I’ve survived, well, that just destroys me.  Even though my girls are ungrateful as all get-out and extremely self-centered I don’t want them to have to live through a marriage like mine.  I don’t even want you – whoever you are – to have to live through a marriage like mine.  It’s not worth it.

And that is why my constant prayer is “Save me, save me, save me…”  Because in saving me I know God will save my daughters as well.

WARNING – VERY CANDID MARRIAGE POST…

So over the last week or so my husband has said to me several times:  “I know I’m the head of the household but I’ve let you be more in charge (of our sex life) for this period of time (the 2 months I gave him to deal with his pornography addiction and to stop being controlling and selfish – I want to see that he’s put serious effort into changing his ways)”.  That statement he has made several times makes me think that he feels like he’s “giving” me control that is rightfully his and aint he such a grand guy for doing so…  And then just the other day he said it again but added this little gem to the end “but the day after this is over we’re going to have sex 8 times.”

I wanted to throw up.

And then he tried to say it was a joke – because he’s not a young man any more and the best he can manage is twice.

I just may take up drinking…

The next night I asked him for clarification on that statement and he came up with some gibberish about “now that I like it more” he expected we would be having sex more often than once a week (as per our current agreement) but less than we were before the two months (which was at least daily, sometimes twice).  I don’t like sex any more or less than I did before I confronted him on his addiction, which is to say I could take it or leave it and be perfectly happy either way for the rest of my life.

His heart is not changing, he’s become a wolf in sheep’s clothing to make me think that what I want is important to him too and that his addiction is not in control of him anymore.  My heart is changing.  I want this marriage to work less and less with each passing day.

The “official” Two Months ends April 6th, a mere 15 days away and the whole Prince Charming Act stopped approximately a week ago, which means he “changed” for about 5 weeks, breaking his previous record of being super nice for 3 weeks.  It was amazing while it lasted but the “I Love You’s” have almost dried completely, he rarely says it in person but he will still say it at the end of phone calls although it’s more of an afterthought now because he says “Goodbye. <pause>  I-love-you-goodbye.”

The non-sexual touching requirement started as long nightly back rubs (which were really nice) where he carefully avoided my girly areas and have now become much shorter back rubs followed by longer periods of sexual touching and then he says “We don’t have to unless you want to”.  Really?  You mean I actually have a choice after all of that?  He’s started coming into the shower with me, uninvited, so we can “soap each other up” and “spend time together”.  This morning I said no to a joint shower and he said “Well can we have sex then?”  He is still sooooooo addicted and has been trying very hard to fill that void with just seeing and touching me but it’s not working, I know where this is going – we’re headed right back to me being his blow-up doll and after that stops being enough he’ll be getting his jollies on the computer again.

He is still going to his addiction counselor but says it’s “not very helpful” and encourages me to stop going to my counselor since I’m not coming home with glowing reports of major change in my life after my sessions with her.  When I mentioned that after our 6 free sessions through the EAP were over that we should go marriage counseling together he was completely shocked and made it clear that he feels that we shouldn’t need counseling past our 6 free sessions, in fact, he isn’t sure he wants to complete the 6 free ones…

My counselor gave me a book about boundaries, it was from the 80’s and a quick easy read.  I read it and then gave it to him and he read it and said “This is anti-men and pro-feminist, why don’t you find a Christian book about this topic?”  So I went to the Christian bookstore and found “Boundaries in Marriage” by two Christian doctors – Dr Townsend(?) and Dr Cloud(?), and I read it on the bus commuting to work and it was excellent, very much based in scriptures and balanced in dealing with both men and women’s boundary issues.  After reading BIM I can totally see how I’ve never really had my own identity (they call it “boundaries” in the book) and it provides an amazing, Biblical explanation for the “Two shall become one” scripture.  The BIM book says that each person has to be a whole person in themselves, so we need “two-ness” before they can ever successfully “become one”.  I don’t think I’m putting it exactly right so please to read the book yourself but I tried to explain it to my husband this way “Because of the ‘two shall become one’ scripture I gave up being myself to be you when we got married because you are the head of the household and I thought that was what I was supposed to do.”  His response?  “No, you gave up yourself to become ‘us’, just as I gave up myself to become ‘us’.”  I was flabbergasted.  What on earth did he give up about being himself when we got married?

Now I’m just getting mad.

I gave him the BIM book to read so he reads the opening statement and then asks me in an angry sort of way “Are you having me read this because I need fixing or is this because we both need fixing?”  Wow.  The book helped me see how my upbringing has created me to be a person with very few, if any, boundaries – essentially I’ve been a giant doormat my whole life.  I told him this and that the book is helping me deal with me but I want him to read it for himself AND for us.  He says “OK, I guess I’m just a little paranoid, sorry.”  So he has the book but I never see him reading it…

Oh – to top everything off my eyelids have started twitching.  For about a month my left upper eyelid would contract randomly and just feel weird and just yesterday my right upper eyelid started doing the same thing.  I looked it up online and stress is listed as a possible cause of eyelid tics/twitches.  Wonderful.

Anyway, a miracle is still possible, I totally believe that because anything is possible with God, but if He’s going to do a miracle to fix my husband He’s also going to have to do a miracle to change my heart as well because I want less and less to be a part of this marriage as time goes by.  This isn’t worth it.