Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving was spent with Bub and his parents as always because my side of the family here in AR always either celebrates the Saturday after Thanksgiving or does their own thing. This is fine with me, I’m comfortable with his parents and I’ve acquired the ability to humor Bub’s… um, shall we say eccentric mother, unlike Bub and Em, she irritates them to no end. Plus, that was to be how I got my Emmy-pie back home anyway. Dinner (or lunch since ex mil insisted we eat by noon) went well, no problems there other than mil freaking out about how I made the mashed potatoes. Apparently neither milk nor pepper has a place within according to her. See where the need to humor her comes in? I reminded her very gently that this was how I make the mashed potatoes every year, and every year she has survived… so far. Well that’s not how I make mashed potatoes, she says. To which I replied, that’s why you don’t make the mashed potatoes anymore. Snicker, not only was she quiet after that, but she also ended up eating quite a helping of my repulsive mashed potatoes. Poor dear. Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff shall we? So I let Bub talk me into doing him quite a favor, being the die-hard people pleaser that I am. He still doesn’t have any furniture in his apartment in Memphis because he hasn’t had the money to move his crap there, so he asked if I would mind taking the bed his mother was giving him from her house to his apartment about an hour away. I gave in eventually, like he and I both knew I would, and we loaded it up in my minivan after the festivities were through. New chick met us there as she and her son had spent the day with her family elsewhere, and were planning to follow us back to the apartment. Bub had to ride with me (Em stayed behind with Bub’s parents) because new chick had her son, his friend and a carload of her own crap that she was taking back to Memphis with her. That’s fine, no big deal, she knows Bub and I still talk a lot and she seems to tolerate it thus far. Now for the drama, in true redneck, ghetto fabulous fashion. After a quick conversation with her, Bub gets into my car all in a huff stating that he and Lori (new chick) are fighting. Oh shit! And I’m supposed to be stuck in the car with him while he’s mad for the next hour? I immediately notice myself becoming tense at his current state of agitation, and then it starts. He’s pissed, he needs reassurance, validation and justification and he needs it from me, right NOW. He feels wronged, he feels disrespected, he feels unheard, and I feel like I’m in the effin Twilight Zone. My chest is tight; I’m shaking all over, close to hyperventilating and crying like an idiot. I am keenly aware of the fact that his anger is not directed towards me; yet there I am anyway, right back in that place with him, as if nothing has changed. I feel like a deer in the headlights, complete flight or fight hypersensitivity, and no awareness of my surroundings other than his anger and our close proximity. Perhaps if I’d been able to think clearly I’d have pulled over and asked him to get out of the car in my newfound strength and freedom. Yet that never would have been acceptable back in the day, and as I said, that’s precisely where I seemed to be so the thought never even crossed my mind. Of course now I’m fascinated by my excessively PTSD-like reaction, but in the moment it was incredibly disorienting and scary, the worst triggering episode I’ve had with him since leaving thus far. I finally manage to tell him that I needed a few minutes to collect myself and he flippantly apologizes for upsetting me, although I’m sure it never occurred to him to question or wonder why I was so upset. So after a few I begin to offer my opinion because that’s what he is waiting for and expecting me to do so that he can justify himself some more; all part of the same old routine. He blathers on, tearing apart any solution I try to offer, discounting any opinion that contradicts his own, again, per usual, and exactly what is expected of me. And then… my freaking tire blows, right there on the interstate, three lanes over and in the midst of post turkey day Memphis traffic. I somehow manage to navigate my way to the shoulder without mishap, whereupon we get out to assess the damage. Tires’ shot, no repairing that, but at least I have a donut and three boys to take care of the dirty work, since new chick was right behind us and pulled over as well. So while the boys are doing their manly duty, I head over to new chick’s car to make small talk and get out of the cold and wind. I can tell she’s not a happy camper, but dammit, I was cold! Thus ensues the tirade; new chick freakin’ lets loose! I will be damned if he’s gonna talk to me like a @%!$ 3-year-old! I’ll have my shit packed in your van (since I would be coming back to AR) so fast it’ll make his *$%^# head spin! Oh shit! Now I’m stuck in the car with her while the boys are changing the tire, and she is HOT. Was he always this way, she asks, how did you deal with him when he was like this? Ug. I try in earnest to extract myself from the precarious situation by saying that I really don’t need to get into the middle of this but she says no, I’m asking you direct questions, I need to know what I’ve gotten myself into here. Yes, I tell her, this is how it always was with him. How did you put up with it?, she asks. To which I replied in all my smart-assed glory, I didn’t, I left the bastard! We both had quite a chuckle at that, which seemed to calm her down at bit, and she proceeds to vent all her Bubba induced frustrations on me. She then tells me how he reminds her so much of her first husband who was controlling and completely overbearing (and broke her back in a violent rage). Wow. And then my absolute favorite part, the thing that made this whole dysfunctional nightmare worthwhile, she says to me, he’s quite narcissistic isn’t he? OMFG! Can you spell V-A-L-I-D-A-T-I-O-N? Dayum, new chick is a whole lot quicker than I had given her credit for, or I’m just a whole lot slower than I wanted to consider, but let’s not go there, shall we? Anyway, vent vent vent, laugh laugh laugh, and then the boys are done and its time to hit the road once again… alone…in my car… with Bub. I tried to make pleasant small talk at first, but he was having none of it. So what did she say, he asks. Oh shit again! Will this godforsaken day never end? I obviously can’t tell him everything she said, but he wants details, all of them, and NOW. So there I am, trapped in this sophomoric hell, and its up to me to diffuse the situation as well as save my own ass so I’m not in even more trouble later. I can honestly say I would literally have rather been anywhere else in the world at that very moment then there with him. I tried so gently to explain my perception of her side of the story, that perhaps she was feeling a bit smothered and disrespected. Which he then proceeded to tear completely apart with his self-righteous logic in order to justify his actions to himself, per usual. And that’s how he continued until we finally, mercifully, got to his apartment. Of course, first chance she got, new chick then asked what I told him about what she had said to me. Double ug. Anyway, we unloaded his crap as quickly as possible and I then got myself the hell outta dodge. Driving no more than 50 freakin’ mph with that impotent little donut on the interstate all the way back to his parent’s house. Where I then had to stay the night because the crappy little donut wouldn’t have gotten me the two hours back home and there was no place open on Thanksfreakingiving to get a new tire mounted. But at least it was finally quiet, and by god, it wasn’t me who was in for the all night “talk” that was sure to ensue in that tiny little apartment somewhere in Memphis.

Soooo, that was my Thanksgiving, how was ya’lls? ;-)


Blogger Wien. said...

Talk about living a nightmare! Holy smokes. There's so much running around my mind just after reading this. If she's smart, she'll get the heck out of dodge. (and no, you aren't available to be her moving van should she ask)I felt to bad for you to be put into the middle of their blissful relationship. I would hope that if they don't part ways that they will keep it civil around Em. Is there a way to get that man out of your life, and only deal with him regarding issues with Em and Em only? He makes for a good read, but your health is more important.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bev, WHY do you purposely put yourself in situations like this? You are legally FREE from him, and do not need to be his friend/chauffer/therapist/mover/whatever. You are co-parents to Em--that's it. No more no less.

You are so much smarter than this! Just say NO!! Think of yourself FIRST for a change! Bub created his own mess, and you shouldn't have to rescue his ass all the time!

(Sorry about the rant--I just sometime wonder if you really WANT to be free of him...)

8:46 AM  
Blogger B said...

I know anonymous, its the peace-maker in me.

Most of the time I quite enjoy the way things have evolved, he stays happy with me, which makes my life 100x easier, and I remain entertained. Its odd, I know, but it works for us, except during times like these when I'm reminded of how glad I am to be away from this everyday chaos. To be able to hang up the phone or go home at night really does make it all worthwhile.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

Well, you know now that his "change of heart" was just bullshit and that he really hasn't changed at all. I'm happy that new chick picked up on it so quickly, but I hope it doesn't evolve into her calling you everytime he goes on one of his rants. I'd stop answering the phone at that point... when either of them calls. If he wants to talk to you about Em, then he can leave a message. I agree with wien, it's makes for an entertaining read, but it's not worth messing with your mental health. Just say no, there's no need to give a reason.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bev, I was the anonymous person yesterday--forgot to sign my name.

I think I got so frustrated with what happened is because I see ME in you. I would cut off my arm if it meant keeping peace in my world. And that is wrong--I'm not being true to me.

Sorry if I seemed harsh...


9:43 AM  
Anonymous jill said...


First, those nails are ridiculous on a 10 year old.

Second ... I agree with Jen (harshness and all). I don't even think you truly believe "it works for us", but these things take time. You've come a tremendous distance already and Rome wasn't built in a day. I get the "anything for peace" philosophy - I also lived it, but there comes a time when ... well, you'll see. I'll miss the stories though!

9:57 PM  

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