I talked to her last night for about an hour and a half, quite peacefully, and intimately as well, which opened my eyes and heart to keep things moving towards peace as far as my efforts were concerned.  She was the one that reminded me that at some point we have to stop being enablers.  I do not think she knows just how ironic that statement is in my life now as I have woken up enough to see my enabling behaviors that I need to keep under control, for many reasons, though most important was for the sake of my soul.

The irony, for me at least, is that as I have begun to put my foot down with enabling in many ways, she gives me ideas of what I can do to stop it while she is enabling in ways I just can no longer do and will only continue to impede on his growth and health if she cannot do what I had the courage to do, so to speak.  She, who could not do what I did while she was married, out of fear and such dependence, is oblivious to the mirror she should be looking at, instead of his or mine.

I love her as if she is true family, and we have had some wonderful times along with some painful ones, so I do not intend to sound as if she is awful, because she is not.  She, though, is definitely one I learn a lot from in some of the most unexpected ways, regardless of whether she intends a lesson or not.  However, that does have its disadvantages, as they may not always be the best things for the type of person I really am, whether positive or negative.

One thing she said that hit me hard last night during that time, other than the statement about stopping the enabling, was the fact I seemed so much more calm and relaxed than I had been frequently within the last, oh, I don’t even know how long anymore, and she didn’t specify a time length either.  She also said how nice it was that we weren’t snapping at each other every single time we spoke.  The final confirmation as to how I should be acting, came when she confessed that, when I picked the kids up from her house her initial statement that it had been a pretty good weekend wasn’t totally the truth, which I had wondered by the way she looked, sounded, and even acted that night when I spoke to her then.

Little does she know just how difficult it can be to not lash out in some way to the comments and interactions that happen, not only between him and I, but between her and I as well, because some of my thoughts can be so sharp and brutal, that I would be seen as, and teeter on being, a truly vengeful woman.  If I give in to the thoughts, I would be giving further validation of what was, and is not, reality, and for the sanity and serenity of my life, that is something I just cannot do. 

The fact that our children have already picked up our habits in a way I would have never wished on anyone, is what helped me realize that I must take a really steep high road throughout the “bad guy” reputation I have to accept as part of placing healthy boundaries, was what took the proverbial cake, in a way, for I knew before I even had children, I would not let them repeat the same misery I had known, whether it is the abusive ways I had lived through as a child, or the abusive ways I lived as an adult. I do carry guilt for not realizing sooner that I already had let them live that life and was grooming them to live it as either the abuser or victim as an adult until it invaded not only my dreams, but even during my most lucid states.

I now have to enable in one way, giving of myself that I may not truly want to, because I know I’m strong enough to stand my ground when it needs to be.  My boundaries are more firm than they have been before, especially once I was able to look at the entire 35 years of my life on a large scale to analyze and find something that made sense.  The pieces started to come to into focus while I was in the hospital with my daughter for those 5 days years ago, and I began truly looking for my soul, because I knew I was feeling the same as I had in my relationship with my mother when I was younger, though I was a capable adult that did not need someone else to survive.  I wanted to know why I felt like I was a child again that was beginning to believe she really was not able to live up to the expectations and questioned her own abilities that were being pushed to the side, even though she didn’t know what she could do differently because everything was so vague.

I felt so scared during the time our daughter was struggling with her health, and emotional waves just over took me to the point of a deep enough hole that I had an overwhelming urge to truly connect with the ones I loved in case someone’s time ended sooner than I would like.  When I reached out for the one that swore, and still swears to this day, that he’d be there for me if I really needed something, he turned me away and made excuses for his rejection, minimizing the reality that I was at an emotional breaking point and needed help of some sort.  I thought I needed my husband, but what I have learned is that I needed a life partner as much as a friend, something I had tried to make what our marriage was based on.  I had assumed his view of a marriage was the same as mine, though as I was reminded many times to never assume, as it makes an ass out of you and me, here I am deciding it is time to stop being an ass, because I am tired of him hiding behind me like that. 

I have taken the brunt for long enough and am determined to put the things I have learned since then into practice, because I will not take blame for doing enabling things that divert the attention from where it is truly needed and help him project things on me.  I was and am tired of being a dartboard for him and simply done with being an easier target to avoid things he does not like within his own mind. In essence, I am done being a victim of a bully that I love unconditionally by trying to control things I couldn’t, which was done because of his inability to handle uncomfortable and painful things.

I refuse to feel like that ever again, and while I feel guilt and shame for not being strong enough sooner, it truly is motivating me more than anything else, because I refuse to let our children live the life and feel the way I allowed and perpetuated any longer, simply because I had guilt for abandoning my own family before and swore to not do it again, and the fear of what might happen if I just did it again.  I cannot and will not, even if I am not perfect, I am striving for progress, not perfection, at keeping myself and my children healthy, including communicating of boundaries and respect…of that, you can take to the grave with me.

Advertisements