A Mish Mash Post

Yesterday I woke up too early but the real reason I was tired is I went to bed too late. When will I ever learn? Not today evidently because I did the same thing last night.

This morning I got up because I had put a TV on Craigslist for free. Someone e mailed me back and said she would be here before 11:00. I had a feeling that she wouldn’t show up. What the hell is wrong with people? What has happened to integrity? If someone is giving you something for free,  show up! Or at least e mail and say you changed your mind. I would like to call the woman and give her a piece of my mind but this person knows where I live now and I don’t know thing about them.

Today I had planed to go through some things and declutter. My injury from work is preventing me from doing any housework so I had planned to go through some drawers and baskets of crap. I started with one basket and took about 6 pieces of paper then that was the end of that. The basked it still beside me and weighs about 1 oz less than it did in the beginning of the day. Only 20 more pounds to go. Today wasn’t a total wash. I got my eyebrows waxed and replaced a headlight in my car. No. That is a lie. The car dealership replaced the light. I just sat there.

So now it is after 9:00 and I wonder if I will stay up too late again?

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The last few days I have been starting posts and not finishing them. Maybe today I will actually hit “publish”.

A few of you have been saying that you are having trouble with commenting. I have removed all restrictions but enabled comment moderation to see if that helps. Spam doesn’t bother me as much as readers having trouble with commenting or not being able to comment at all.

I put a chicken in brine this morning with the intention of putting it in the rotisserie tonight but with my back pain I think I will try cooking it tomorrow night instead. It is too heavy to lift. My husband is going to put steaks on the BBQ instead.

OK. Speaking of my husband. Here is the thing with our relationship. He was raised in a home that was really abusive. Not just the sort of stuff many of us grew up with. It was really, really bad. It is not my story to tell but I can tell you that he was adopted and his biological parents had Child Protective Services called 6 times when he was less than 4 months old. The neighbour had called because she heard a baby screaming and crashing and yelling. CPS came to investigate but the investigator was a drinking buddy of his adoptive father. Nothing was ever done and the abuse continued. (We got this information through documents that were released to him this year.) Anyway, his father tried to kill the family twice. He killed someone once while drinking and driving. He is a horrible man. His mother was no better. She did leave with the children, literally in the dead of night, and left the province. She did things to my husband that are unspeakable. She is dead now. Anyway, my husband miraculously came through all of it. He raised his two daughters on his own. (Their mother lost custody and guardianship, something unheard of with women at the time.) My husband worked at the same job for over 35 years. He is kind and patient and a humanitarian. He cooks and cleans and gardens. We connect on so many levels. He knows me better than anyone. I joke that he is my “house husband” now that his is retired. He looks after me.

BUT.

There is always a but. He has no skills at all when it comes to conflict. He turns into someone I do not even know. I look at him and it is not even him that I am looking at. His eyes change. I don’t think it is a split personality but I do not know how else to describe him when he gets angry. We have been together coming up 9 years and I *DO* see changes for the better in him. He doesn’t anger as quickly. When he is angry he can be so mean and cutting that I feel like my soul is being ripped out. It frightens me. (He has never laid a hand on me in anger.) When he does get angry he comes back to earth a lot sooner than he did when our relationship was younger. And he is also seems to be more aware of himself after he cools off and is willing to make amends. He rarely actually says that he is sorry but he shows it in different ways.

So therein lies the problem. The bad times are really, really bad but are slowly improving. In retrospect I should have seriously considered leaving a long time ago. We can’t go back in time so it brings me to now. At times our relationship is so bad. A lot of the time it is great. Some of the time it is just whatever. So do I stay? Do I leave? Leave when he does seem to be better better ever so slowly? Relationships take work. So much work. But abuse should never be tolerated. During this time I am also changing. When he is in a fighting mood I just keep repeating over and over that I will not be engaged with words and to leave me alone. I do get immature and say. “blah blah blah” to drown him out. Sometimes he goes over the edge and sometimes he just steps back but the mood continues so I just go to elsewhere in the house.

For now, I stay. I have never met someone who is so connected to my spiritually, mentally, politically etc. Do I leave for the 10% that is really bad or do I stay for the 90% that is good?

32 thoughts on “A Mish Mash Post

  1. you have to do what your heart says to do.. we can listen- we can commiserate- we can rant and rave with you- we can cyber hug n rock you when you cry.. what we cant do is call how much abuse you’re willing to tolerate.. oh yea- and we can LOVE you, happy or sad. You are my Friend and I am here for you through thick and thin.

  2. Gosh, I think if 90% is good that would make me stay. IMHO, if there’s no physical abuse/drinking/drugging/cheating/gambling/insert other preventable problem, I think 90% is pretty damn good. Although I have to say reading about him calling you a fat cow made me gasp in horror, one must consider the whole picture and not just isolate a small part of the story (we all have some ugly behaviors). Of course this decision is up to you…if that last 10% is an issue that particularly damages you, then you might make the decision to go.

    As for craigslist, I only do curb alerts now which works fairy well. I put the free item out on the curb, post my address, and people just pick it up as they drive by. I take the ad down when it’s gone. That way I never have to let creepy people in my house or waste my time with appointments where they never show up.

    Birdy, I wonder if you’ll email me about something. I’m starting a job in home care and have some concerns about safety. Do you do anything special to protect yourself when you’re with clients? Like let someone know the address of the client, carry pepper spray, have some type of “panic button” app on your phone, etc? I’m an independent contractor for an agency based in California (I’m in MN), so there is no business headquarters in town, nor do I have any coworkers…I’m the only nurse they’ve hired in this town. I have no idea what safety precautions to take as I’ve only ever worked in hospitals before.

    • Violet, my laptop literally fell apart a couple weeks ago and I no longer have your e mail address. Or maybe I do but I have no idea how to import my e mails! Send me an e mail to birdieisblogging. It is a hotmail address dot com. I have a few ideas for you.

  3. A good therapist can help him learn the skills he needs so that he doesn’t react in the way you describe and you don’t have to be scared and he doesn’t have to feel ashamed afterward. Just sayin’.

    • He will not go to a therapist. No, that is not true. He did go a couple years ago to a therapist that was paid for by my employer and she just told him to read a book by Dr. Phil. And then she dismissed him early because she had a teleconference with her next patient. I thought maybe my husband was just copping out but when I went to her she did the same thing.

      • I’m sorry you and he had that sort of experience, but there are others out there who would not do that. I have worked with a few, and my life and perspective were better for the effort. It may be worth another shot, if not for him, then for you. Life is too short to walk on eggshells and be frightened of someone you live with.

  4. Sometimes it might be better to donate a free TV to a local charity such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill. If you have several items they will even come and pick them up! Your chicken sounds wonderful. I love barbecued chicken and roast chicken! I agree with Elephant’s Child, dear Birdie. It is your decision. But I will support you and stand behind you in your decision. Sending you much love and many hugs.

    • I have thought about that but the TV is old and super heavy. It needs two or three people to move it and I can’t lift anything over 10 pounds right now and my husband has arthritis in his back and neck. Even my daughter is on crutches from a severe sprain from dance practice.
      And Norbert won’t help. He never helps with anything. 😉

  5. I’m sorry Birdie. I couldn’t live with someone who scared me anymore. I grew up scared of my father and I was scared of my ex at the end of our marriage. I don’t want to live like that. It’s too hard. I hope you’re ok. Sending hugs.

    • Deb, you bring up such a good point. I too had a father that I was terrified of. You so much as coughed wrong and it set him off the deep end. I worry that is part of my problem in this. My husband gets angry and I revert back to that little girl that wants to fix things. As soon as things get tense I instantly become codependant and feel powerless. It is an issue that I am working thorough and not just with my husband. It is how I feel with anyone who gets angry with me. I have dated several men that I broke up with because they had anger issues, men that made me feel like a little girl.
      It is so complicated. It is so confusing. I think through all of this I am getting stronger. I do know I don’t put up with my husband’s shit like I used to but I have so far to go.

      • What you say is so true. When faced with anger like my father’s I revert to how I felt as a child, bowels tighten up and my heart starts hammering in my chest. My body remembers more than my mind.

      • So therein lies my problem. He is definitely way, way over the line but if I reacted differently from the beginning and standing up and not taking his shit would he be acting this way at all? Or would we even be together? I do know that when I do not react like I used to the situation diffuses. When I just walk away or just keep repeating that I will not be drawn into him surly mood it doesn’t escalate. But then sometimes it does like last week. Sometimes I get weary of having to be the one that makes changes in this relationship but I think that is true for most women. Most of the time is it that woman that are reading the self help books and going to counseling or writing long blog posts about our moods and personalities!

  6. I’m with Elephant’s Child 🙂

    My hubbo would like to say that he’s sure 100% that we’re meant to be with each other, but I have always said 98%, with a 2% shadow of a doubt! I can understand about poor social skills, I call the hubster names when I get angry or flustered and he hates that, very often stops everything and says “That’s not okay. You can’t do that to me. Apologize.” I think I’m learning better ways to express myself, but it’s tough overcoming the scars/lessons of our childhood.

    We all have stuff to work on the big factor is whether we are committed and making good enough progress to not hurt those who matter to us too terribly in the meantime. Guy I was with in college had a really screwed up childhood and while he seemed pretty well adjusted he had issues, issues that he wouldn’t address. He had developed his style of coping and existing but wore his childhood scars like a badge of honor instead of embracing a brighter future. He was sucking the life outta me and it got to a point where I was getting scared and the arguments were coming all too frequently and a lovely therapist helped me see that things were that bad but it wasn’t my fault as he lead me to believe and she helped me find my way to moving on. Not saying “same thing” just my personal reference point/tangent 🙂 and hoping that you aren’t being made to think that you’re crazy or it’s all on you. It never is. Any relationship is a co-authored piece of work!

    Soooo….. It’s a grey thing. Not black or white, no one can know but you what is right and when it’s right etc. I just hope things get better for you both 🙂

    • Hannah, I know you struggle with depression and anxiety but you really are wise beyond your years. Whenever I read your posts I forget that you are still as young as you are. I wish I had the wisdom that you do when I was your age. Hell, I don’t have it now most of the time!

  7. Of course the choice to stay is your own, but here’s my two bits.
    Go to marriage counseling together. If it doesn’t change anything, then exit stage right.
    Life is too short to live with someone who makes you feel like shit even 1% of the time. We all have our own level of bullshit tolerance, mine personally, is very low. Mostly because I saw how my mom was treated by my dad. I remember telling her at 10 that she was weak for not standing up for herself. You have a daughter in the house who may be influenced / affected by your arguements. Is she learning that husbands should cherish their wives or is she learning that it’s okay to verbally abuse someone? What would you advise her to do if she were in the same situation?
    Marriage is hard but no one should make you feel “less than.” It’s not what love does. He had a shitty childhood (who didn’t?!) but he’s a man now and you can’t lean on that crutch forever. He has to own his behavior. You both do.
    Find a counsellor and try to make the 90 a 99. That’s my advice.

    • I am thinking about talking to him again now that things have settled again. Will keep my fingers crossed. You are right. 10% of the time is way too much. Something has to give.

  8. I’ve found I can only comment on your posts if I click on the actual post then I can.

    You know I’ve had issues throughout my life with an abusive mother and I can’t help but feel I’ve become a screwed up person that doesn’t cope well with my partner and kids at all.

    • Joey, I only know you through blogging but I happen to think you are awesome. I do however think it is very interesting to hear from someone who knows that their childhood has affected their life and that of their family in a negative way. You are putting a face to the whole mess. As I said, I do not know you but if you truly don’t cope well I see how we have to have gentleness and compassion. I am curious if you think you are abusive at times? I think the biggest part is awareness. My husband is becoming aware. He was not at all aware when we first met. I challenge him and we have spent a lot of time talking about how *both* us drag our baggage into our relationships. I don’t know if I like the word baggage because it makes it seem like it is such a simple thing to let go of. I prefer to think of our lives like a woven blanket. We have fibres in it that cannot be removed. We have to know that they are there and are affecting the blanket in a negative way, making it ugly. We can repair that actual fibre but it cannot be removed.
      And at the end of the day. I don’t know shit.

  9. No one can decide what’s right for you; only you. But I would like to strongly suggest that you read the book I’m linking to below. You will find you and your husband in it. I’ve read it word for word and it helped me understand myself in the past (in my previous marriage) and my ex-husband. It will shed insight into so many questions you may have and even answers you are looking for. Please consider it. I guarantee you won’t regret it. In fact, I think everyone should read it. It’s an incredible read.
    Here’s the link:
    Why Does He Do That?
    As far as percentages go, my answer to the question “Is a relationship ever 100% good?” is no. Every single relationship has its troubles and it is a constant work in progress. We work together with our partner to make one another happy. Good communication and compromise are key. Along with respect.
    But when it comes to abuse, 0% is acceptable. There is no room for abuse of any kind in a relationship. It should be 100% abuse-free. There is no room for compromise on that. After many therapy sessions, reading books strongly recommended by trained professionals on the matter, oodles of soul searching and a river of tears, I finally learned this.

  10. I say try counseling before you leave. As everyone here says, it’s your decision. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot together. Counseling would probably help both of you. He probably needs some one-on-one counseling. A good counselor could help him recover from his trauma. The things people can do to their children. It’s horrible. Take care, Birdie.

  11. I agree on counseling – Mr. RK and I have had difficult times before, and we have worked through it. Trauma counseling can be a wonderful thing. If he manages to be great 90% of the time, that’s pretty amazing.

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