I am so blessed to have a handful of wonderful friends in my life. One of them has planned a little weekend get-away for me, with her, to celebrate my upcoming birthday! I am so excited! We are going to meet up today at a hotel and get ready for an evening out at a winery, followed by dinner and then I have no idea what else she has planned. But I don’t care, I just need to get away! I am looking forward to it! I love my children and my dogs, but I am looking forward to the next day and a half, where I don’t have to take care of another living thing, except for me! I am excited to spend time with someone who loves me, for me, and who appreciates me as I am. And to spend time with someone who wants to spend time with me.
I mention this because I rarely do things for myself. I’m busy. Money is always tight, and I have so many responsibilities. I just always put my needs last. My friend knows this, so she just took control of the situation and planned this. I love her for this. And for so many other reasons. I also mention this because the rare times I do go off to have some me time, which often involves toting the kids along, I spend countless hours “preparing” for my departure. I cook. I clean. I organize. I do this to lesson the guilt I feel about leaving my husband to do everything by himself. I don’t know why I am like this. I hate that I am like this. Even now, after this affair has come to light, I still do these things for him. I spent the entire day yesterday, cooking and cleaning. I will be going on this rip alone, no kids en-tow, so I tell myself I am doing all this work for them. So that things will be easier for THEM in my absense. But I’m lying to myself because there are other reasons too.
What is one of those other reasons? My soon to be ex-mother-in-law. She is not a nice person, if you do anything she disagrees with. Wanting to divorce her son? Oh, I’m terrible. I’m selfish. Being mad that he has treated me poorly and had at least one confirmed affair? Well. In her words, “you need to keep your mouth shut and your legs open.” I’m still in shock over the vulgarity and blunt sexism of her comment. No wonder my husband thinks the way he does. He was raised by a cold-hearted bitter bitch who embodies everything I hate about sexism and double-standards and close-mindedness. In that same conversation where she told me to keep my mouth shut and my legs open, even of I know for sure he is sleeping around, she also told me that when I go away and leave him alone, I am selfish. She said cooking for him is how I show my love for him. He lied to her. He told her I make him cook his own meals and do his own laundry. He likes playing the victim. When I confronted him about this, he lied to me as well. He said he never told her anything like she explained it to me. Layers and layers of lies. I have always left food for him. I cook tons of food and prepare individual meals for him so, in my absense, he can eat well, and with ease. I make sure the fridge is fully stocked, the dog food bin is full. I scoop the dog poop. I do all his laundry. I clean the house, from top to bottom. He told her none of that. He made I seem like I just run off, worrying about nothing and no one but myself. Reminds me of the stories he told me about his ex-wife. And the more I think about it, the more I think she was probably a really nice caring woman and that he just lied about everything. Stupid me.
I would like to mention that I was very hurt, initially, when I told my husband what my MIL said to me. When she told him she did not say those things to me, and he seemed to believe her, what I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t, was , “Really? Why is it so hard to believe she would say these ugly things to me? After what you told me she has said to you? She called you a fag in high school when you told her you wanted to become a nurse. So you joined the Marines instead, to show her you were no fag. When you told her her friends’ sons used to bully you as a kid and beat you up and pee on you and she told you to leave her alone so she could visit with these bitches and to quit bitching and whining and be a man. Really? So you can not believe she would say all the ugly things to me, who is not of her flesh and blood? Well fuck you. AND FUCK HER! But I did not say any of that. I cried instead. After nearly 21 years of proving myself to you. PROVING my love. Proving I am nothing like your fucking mother, this is what I get. And I’m called A LIAR? YEAH. FUCK YOU. And FUCK HER. Oh. Unless of course you were lying about these stories all along. Which, is quite a real possibility. But you had to learn how to lie somewhere. How to say ugly things and then say you never said them. You just never planned on marrying someone who would eventually prove to be much smarter than your conceited dumb ass or your stupid bitch of a mother.
I told myself prior to leaving for just this one night, for this weekend get-away, that I would not do any of this. But I did it. I did it all. The floors are clean. I vacuumed. I washed. I dusted. All the laundry has been washed and folded. There are two meals already cooked and in the refrigerator. I grocery shopped. I premeasured the dogs’ meals. I’m ashamed that I broke the promise I made to myself. In my head, I am justifying it this way: I can go, with less guilt. I can enjoy my time away without worrying about my kids and nephew eating well. Without worrying about the dogs. The house is nice and clean so they will all be comfortable. And no one can say I did not fulfill my obligations and that I just ran off to be selfish. He will not be able to say I left him to do all this work alone, while I ran off and had a carefree good time. You see? This is what the aftermath of 21 plus years of mental abuse looks like. Perpetuated by a cold heartless mother-in-law and a narcissistic husband. And the worst part? Even while I was doing all that I was doing, I kept telling myself that I can not control that he will likely tell his mother tomorrow morning on their weekly phone call (she lives in Europe) that I left him alone to care for the kids and the dogs, all by himself and he had to do everything. I will know he is lying. He will know he is lying. But I did all this anyways.
I still have a long road ahead of me, with my recovery. One step at a time. At least I can say I recognize the wrongs I am doing. After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? I’m saying all this to show that there is no quick fix. And when people say, just leave him and move on already? That annoys the crap out of me. It’s not that easy. I have kids to consider. And my dogs, who are like my kids. I have no way to support myself or the kids or the dogs. I have no place to move to with all the kids and the dogs. And lastly, I’m still in an abused mind -frame, and it took 21 plus years to get there so it is going to take some time to learn how to rethink all that I’ve come to know as normal….
Please be patient with me. I beat myself up enough over my wrongs. I don’t need any assistance there. And for those of you who read this and think I am still asking him to love me? You are wrong. I’ve been emotionally abused for over 21 years. Do not judge me. I’m broken and rebuilding. If it does not fit with your timeline, well that’s not my problem.
Wish me well while I try to enjoy my birthday weekend celebration. ❤️