Day 684

Well I may not be drinking, but I’m stuffing my face with ice-cream every night after smoking pot and then scrolling Facebook, making impulse purchases like it’s going out of style.

So yea, my life is not ideal right now.

With C out of the house for the last two weeks, it’s been rough.

The days have been long and frenzied, with overload at work and overload at home, no time for any of it but somehow juggling through it. The tiredness of late work nights make it worse with the kids too, plus without dad around they’ve been a handful (and understandably having their own reactions to the whole situation).

It’s just been awkward and hard, for all of us.

And surprise surprise, he’s angry about it. Today, he would barely look at me when we met at the boy’s talent show.

After an hour in the hot August sun, listening to kids sing pop songs (some of the little ones crying or running away, C saying “I hear ya kid!”), we tried to rally the boys with ice cream as a fun surprise. Which then turned into a nightmare after little C dropped his Italian ice and big C refused to get him a new one.

I privately disagreed with his choice but to the boys, I supported him which meant tag-teaming to try to get both boys to the car as little C screamed “I WANT ANOTHER ONE!” over and over at the top of his voice while rage-crying, in full meltdown mode, all while the rest of the parents were quietly, happily eating snacks with their kids. I know I shouldn’t care, but it felt like everyone at camp was judging us as we carried a explosive screaming 5-year-old to the car.

He then proceeded to scream for the next 20 minutes while I sat with him in the car, trying the whole empathetic approach to no avail. Manhandled into his car seat, he screams and kicks my seat the whole way home, another 20 minutes, only calming down after a few minutes in the house.

Big C then gets back with the groceries (Boys having refused to go home in his car, he got to do the grocery run…) and the rest of the evening he won’t talk to me, he won’t look at me, he’s just stonewall-angry. A familiar place for me although it had been awhile.

We divide up the evening’s duties and he leaves after the boys go to bed.

While leaves me to my bad habits.

So I’ve decided to write here instead, then go to bed early for a change.

I’ve been avoiding this because I don’t like whats going on right now. I’m not proud of any of it, I wish it weren’t happening, I feel like a bad parent and person and I’m questioning everything.

And the boys are pushing back so hard right now, I find myself feeling really desperate and lost and ugly inside – without the wherewithal needed to be a good mom to them – keeping boundaries, being a calm stable influence when they need it most.

It’s been hard not to project anger at both work and home, with big stressors in both environments right now, and I’ve fucked up a couple times.

This experience is humbling me in ways I didn’t expect, and at times I feel like I’ve lost the ground underneath me and don’t know where to put my feet.

I think C is feeling similarly.

I find us back in the familiar dance and wondering what I’m doing to perpetuate it.

Something happens where I feel hurt by C (or in this case, I was literally hurt by C). I approach him about it. He gets defensive and finds a way to get angry with me for my way of handling how I feel. His anger “wins” over mine somehow, and I end up feeling like I’ve done something wrong. Many times, I end up apologizing – if only to feel I’ve done my best to turn toward him rather than away.

In this case, I asked him to leave – and while initially it seemed he was willing to do anything to make things work and could understand the need for it, now – he’s angry.

Well, guess what. He had a rough week. I had a rough week. Life is shitty right now.

But I’m not going to apologize for it.

Day 670

So unsure of everything right now.

Recent circumstances have shown me, more than any other time in my adult life, how different everyone’s mental landscapes are. One person’s interpretation and memory of an event can be completely different from another person. Who’s to say who is “right” or who is “wrong”?

The reactions of family and friends to a situation I thought was black & white have caused me to question my own judgment and the judgment of others at the same time, leaving me with little ground to stand on.

I have a thought, it makes sense to me… and then I question it’s validity.

There are many moments of paralysis. I don’t know how to BE, right now. Who am I, outside of the reflection of myself in others’ minds?

As anyone would, I tend to reject the negative impressions I feel others may have of me, but right now I’m inclined to give their perspective more credence. Not because I dislike myself but because I’m less sure of my own perspective.

Is this the ego-work I so wanted to embark on, a year ago?

Advice from the comments section of this article makes some sense:

Take your time. Love from your heart. Be still. Observe. Listen, before you act.

Also, this perspective is interesting given the advice I received from my religious parents (“Yes, he gave you a black eye, but you really need to look at your own part in the dysfunction”):

For the record, he has agreed to separate while he works on his issues with anger and alcohol. And he has been absolutely wonderful since the incident.