Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wow, sorry so long!

Okay, okay, so telling her may not be the best idea, although I still believe she would handle that better than blindsiding her. But I'm also open to the idea that my judgment may be off on this one, and that the general consensus surely wouldn't steer me wrong. I think the idea of telling her seems reasonable because our parent/child boundaries are so screwed up right now. It feels as if we're more like allies in this craziness because we both understand when Bub is "being Bub" and she knows she can count on me for understanding and support after he's gone off on one of his tangents and she is left needing to vent her feelings. But in an effort to allow her to feel comfortable talking about anything and everything, I think I've failed to enforce reasonable limits and expectations regarding our mother/daughter relationship. I think she views us more as equals just trying to get through this together, and therefore, has no real sense of respect for my authority as her mother. Which I can certainly understand considering how she's routinely seen my authority undermined, and respect for me is almost nonexistent, especially during the "lectures". Plus, I've never really learned how to enforce my authority or command respect with any consistency anyway, (heh, ya think?!) so that's one of the first things I plan to learn about through counseling once I'm out. That and boundary setting, I need to learn how to set and enforce personal boundaries. (now there's an understatement!)

Anyway, this week has been crazy, and honestly, I've been through the whole gamete of emotions in the last few days, from complete and utter hopeless desperation, to that of, well... I'm not sure where I'm at right now. In fact, I had gotten to the point of almost posting, "I just can't do it." and leaving it at that. But I didn't, so I guess that's something right? I still don't know for sure if I can actually do it, and I just keep thinking of more and more crap to worry and stress over. Like this; it occurred to me that if I were to leave now, Bub would get the standard six week visitation privileges this summer, which is only two months away. That can't happen. I really don't know if he would even pursue it, but I simply cannot take my chances. I believe to the very core of my being that what he is doing to Em is abusive, so the idea of her being forced to endure him alone for six straight weeks, without me there to support her and reassure her that she's not bad or wrong or stupid, well, it just can't happen. Plus, he can barely take care of himself, as he depends on me for everything, so how could he possibly be her primary caregiver for even six weeks time? So, I either have to make sure that the standard summer visitation does not get enforced (for this year, at least) or I may need to wait. For the time being I'm waiting for a response from my lawyer about whether or not I can request the court to hold off on custody/visitation determination until after she's had some counseling, and the counselor can advise the court about what is in her best interests. Like I said, he may realize that he can't care for her full time for six weeks, but if he does decide to go this route then I need to be prepared to fight for what I believe in. So, in all honesty, after I came up with this concern, I spent a day or two assuming that I would have to wait, that I couldn't possibly still go through with it. But then I guess I realized that I was just trying to come up with excuses, and that wasn't gonna do me any good whatsoever. The bottom line is, I have to do this, one way or another, so why bother putting off the inevitable? Which is all fine and good in theory, but now I have to actually take some real action. And I don't mean the baby steps, I mean the stuff that there's no turning back from. Oh god, are we to that point already?? Okay, just breath...

So Bub got pinkeye this week, (hehe, poor baby ;D) which made for a couple of really tricky days. See, I had planned to meet with the DV advocate from our local women's shelter on Thursday, just to talk and see what kind of support and services they provide. This is the woman I've been emailing for some time now, but had always put off meeting in person because I don't tend to handle "in person" very well. I just hadn't felt like I was ready to take that step until now, and I was actually supposed to meet her last week, but Em got sick. Anyway, Bub informed me that would be taking off from work Thursday due to his eyes, so I cancelled my appointment with her again, to which she responded, "This man is very talented, it seems he can manipulate the situation even without knowing exactly what he is manipulating?" (Ain't that the truth!) And I also had an appointment to see that duplex on Thursday, but I didn't feel the need to cancel that appt. as it was in the morning when Bub would surly still be sleeping. Anyway, he woke up Thursday morning feeling miraculously better (I guess the antibiotic drops prescribed by his doctor decided to kick in) so off to work he went, YAY! So I contacted Carrie (the advocate) and told her that I could make it after all. I also went to see the duplex, but determined it was not a good fit, which is probably just as well since I still wasn't completely prepared to take that kind of major step. Anyway, the meeting with Carrie was very covert, since they run the women's shelter, it's location must remain top secret, thus I needed to be "brought in" rather than given directions. So we met at the local Walgreens parking lot where she could then let me follow her back to the safe house where local battered women can come to get away from abusive relationships and start over. It was all very surreal, and my tears started almost immediately. But the women there are wonderful and easy to talk to and best of all, they understand the absolute mind fuck I've been going through all these years. OMG, what a relief it is to be understood and validated like that! You know what's funny? I have no doubt about how absolutely crucial a support network is when dealing with important personal issues, that much I learned from my experiences with 3fc. Yet it never really occurred to me to reach out for support on this particular issue. I honestly thought that my experience was unique and that no one could possibly understand. And they may never fully understand considering my unwillingness and inability to express implicit details about some of the more humiliating aspects of my dysfunctional relationship, but at least I know for sure that I'm really not alone, and that I don't have to live like this forever out of some sense of guilt or obligation. Free will; what a concept.

So anyway, the meeting went really well, I just sort of cried and talked and felt completely drained by the time I left two hours later. But I left knowing that I have a place to go if it ever gets to be too much, and if nothing else, a place to come and just talk whenever I want. I felt comfortable and safe and Carrie immediately recognized what a major step my being there at all even was. In fact, when I finally asked for a face to face meeting after having put them off for a few months now (they had left it completely up to me about whether or not to meet because they didn't want to push me into anything) Carrie said the whole office was just ecstatic and high fiveing. They completely understood how shy and timid I am, and how difficult it is for me to discuss any of this, (especially in person) so when I finally asked to talk in person, they knew what a monumental step it was for me. They were so encouraging, trying to get me to see the steps I've taken, and how much it means that I've taken them. And it's true, I actually have made some really major progress for me, even if it doesn't really seem like much. But coming from a place of defending my complete resignation to continue living this way, and trying desperately to accept it as my lot in life, to actually talking about it in person, meeting with a lawyer, making plans, looking at new places to live, discussing it with my mom, OMG! For me, these steps are HUGE! Plus, like I said, I'm in a different place mentally now. So even the fact that I'm willing to consider anything other than accepting this way of life is huge in of itself. Y'know, Bub's always telling me how I need to face my problems head on and how annoying my fear of change is, and of course, he's right, but I also find it mildly amusing that his "words of wisdom" may just come back to bite him in the ass when all is said and done. I wonder if it will ever occur to him that the problems he's been encouraging me to face and the changes he's been riding me to make, all have to do with him? Perhaps I should thank him for ultimately pushing me towards this conclusion through all of his lectures and badgering? (I know, I know, not my style, but what a nice thought!) Maybe, all along, he really has been "teaching me" how to be strong and decisive like he is; now wouldn't that be ironic?

Oh good lord, how freakin' long is this post gonna be? I'm finding it more and more difficult to find the time to post as much as I'd like, so when I do, they seem to be real doozies. Of course, it doesn't help that I tend to ramble on as I do, which doesn't bode well for for my true intention of merely updating my situation and sharing my experiences. And I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I needlessly agonize over my choice of wording, meticulously re-reading and over-correcting it to death before I'm finally willing to put it out there for all to see. So, to all for bearing with me for this long, thank you. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me, and thank you for just being there, as your presence alone is more than enough.


Blogger chryscat said...

You're right, woman. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.
I am SO glad you've found an advocate who can see what a shitty situation you've been in and can help out.
I had to do all my stuff alone, and it sucked. Period.
You are moving in the right direction. And I know it's hard. But you have GOT to see the light at the end of this clusterfuck and know how good it will eventually be in your own life. Not a semblance of one controlled by Bub.
But YOUR life.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

Bev -

I am so glad that you were able to keep your appointment with the advocate went so well. You know from experience that support means everything and having a group of ladies who know where your coming from and can actually help you is just a god send. That's so awesome.

I know that things may not seem like they are falling into place perfectly, but hon, they never will. Pick your date and time and get outta dodge baby. Bev, this will NEVER be a perfect situation, you just might have to dop it another way, but your still going to have to do it. You can't put it off.

What's my tagline say?? "if you really want to do this, you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse"

I am there for you 100%. You can do this.


11:01 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

Glad you met with her and at least found some peace.

As for wanting to tell Em in advance, remember when you told her you were thinking of it and she was all for it until Daddy started showing her some attention and then she told you never mind? The way Bub seems to have a great Radar, I'm afraid the same thing would happen again if you were to tell her and she may not be able to keep the secret this time around.

3:42 PM  

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