- Power and Control. I had a conversation last night, via IM, that resulted in me figuring out that a.) either the person is really truly full of shit and is "playing both ends by the middle", or b.) the person is really truly way deep in a relationship where one person has taken over complete control. I was reminded of me, years ago... how much I defended the situation I was in with IFKALP, thinking that I still bore a major responsibility as a cause for what was happening to me. I was bossy, therefore I pissed people off and so deserved to be called on shit or "taken down" a notch. I was guilty of forcing someone to be a father when they didn't want to be and so I owed him something. I was too hurt by previous relationships to be "passionate" or to give "all". I was "cold" and so caused pain. Granted, there were kernels of truth in all those things. But people wonder why some people stay in abusive relationships, and I'm going to tell you why. It's a combination of things, but I daresay that the more common combination is fear and guilt.
- Fear -- fear that they can't get out; fear that if they do manage to get out but then get dragged back in it will be worse than before; fear that no one will really stick by them and help; fear that they can't get out without help. Fear that they can't stand on their own. And not for nothing, but these are well-founded fears. Because generally, people only help as long as it doesn't take too much work or effort. They help as long as they think they understand. Policeman, especially in NY don't help at ALL, because they always feel that it's more trouble than it's worth. (I firmly believe you can't just send your average NYC cop into a DV situation. They should automatically send specially trained to respond to a call, like they send specially trained personnel to a hostage crisis... but of course the logistics of that, especially in NY, are impossible.) The court system is overloaded at best and archaic at worst, and again, most people who are the every day minions of "The System" aren't especially trained in the psychology of abuse. Or don't really believe that there *is* a psychology. It's even worse when the abuse is not physical but is emotional or economic. No physical scars. And once you, as the abused person, makes a break for it and they system fails you or friends fail you and you're sucked back under, it *is* worse and it's that much harder to get out the next go round. And of course a huge portion of the time, you can't "see" where you are... can't see the forest for the trees. Add to that, I bet that there is a liberal dose of...
- ...Guilt -- over some mistake you made, some promise you broke, some situation you caused. Maybe it's a "biggie". Maybe, when you really break it down, it wouldn't be such a big deal. And if the person, like me, is an "over-thinker", someone especially conscientious about "doing right" (a "rule-follower" I like to call people like me) you're especially fucked because you are more than willing to bear responsibility for the wrong you think you did. And the other person? The one in control? The one most likely to be a "rule-breaker?" They will never ever let you live that shit down. And so you stay, to "make up" for what you did, to "make good" on promises you broke. And when people try to tell you "Hon, seriously. In the long run, it's not a big deal" or "NO, stop thinking you fucked up because you didn't" or "It was an absolutely natural progression to what was done to you" you can't see it. Won't see it. Not until you learn how to forgive yourself and move on. Not until you realize that you don't have to live with guilt forever... guilt should NOT be permanent baggage, and that suffering and martyrdom are for suckers.
So if this is the case with this person, the fear/guilt combo... there's a long long road ahead and there ain't no room for co-travelers. Which kind of sucks, because having traveled that road I know where all the landmines are. But I also know that my "help" won't do much good... not until the blinders are off. I could wait... but I don't have "years", which is what I predict it will take. And besides, as the bearer of "bad news", in the Things-You-Don't-Really-Want-To-Hear category, I would become the hated thing so I think I'm just gonna cut my losses on that one. At least that's what I'm saying today. I am obsessive, you know. But... on the other hand, I do recognize my "thing" for folks in mental distress so maybe I'll be able to quell the obsession. Time will tell. Thank God it's summer. Thank God for those metal gates. CLANGCLANG.
- That little conversation stressed me and woke me up enough for me to finish PITA's flier, but of course I finished at 4:30A so the whole reverse sleep thing didn't happen for me. And when I got up, it was cuz the Sun woke me when his alarm went off at 6:50. Then, I went to itch my tired allergy eye and I must have rubbed the cornea too hard cuz it blew up. My eye was bloodshot red and you could see the cornea was swollen. Drats. So here I sit, typing wi' me one good eye, with a black patch over the messed up one, aaaarrrrggh! I figured an eye doc would give me drops and a patch, so fuck it, I went to Rite Aid and bought drops and a patch. Now I know why pirates are so cranky.
- The Sun and his class went out to the beach today again; the one near us. And it's a BEAUTIFUL day and I so wish that I were there with them, with sand between my toes and sun on my face.
- It's Friday. My lawyer, who has been trying to "broker" this visit with IFKALP is now on vacation, the Law Guardian is probably in court all day and as of 12:23 PM I STILL don't know the answers to a.) where is The Sun staying with his dad and b.) When the FUCK am I supposed to pick him up? And then I was hit with realization that IFKALP conveniently turned The Sun's phone off right when he knew he was coming. So had I NOT gotten the Sun a phone, I would most likely STILL not know where they were staying, AND not be able to get in touch with him. Not that the Sun feels comfortable calling me when he's around his dad (cuz he said so) but at least I got used to the idea of knowing that there *was* a cellphone. (And I admit I was vehemently opposed to the Sun having a cell, initially. But now I'm used to it. He doesn't answer it all the time--never has--but he *does* like the idea of being able to call when IFKALP isn't looking.) But I gotta tell ya, I fully expect to have my Tuesday hijacked while I sit around waiting to hear when I should go get him. I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I'll keep you all posted.....
And in answer to the question of what the schedule *is*, I realized I didn't actually say what the proposed schedule was just in case people want to know. And so you can pray for me at the appropriate times. What was offered is that IFKALP, who is supposedly flying in on Sunday, will meet us at the Karate tournament whenever he gets in. Hopefully this means he gets to see the Sun do his thing. He will pick The Sun up from there to spend the night, and then he will bring him to school on Monday morning. I meet the Sun at school, and get on the bus with him and his classmates to go to the rehearsal, then come back with him, clean him up, feed him, take him back for the performance at 7:30P. His father, who will be in attendance, will collect him after the performance and take him to spend the night again, returning him on Tuesday.
But on Tuesday, NYC kids have a DOE half-day and so I had taken the day off because I knew that all the violin kids should be tired, and may not make it to school that day. When I found out that IFKALP was flying out Tuesday, I offered to have the sun stay with him a little, but I've no idea WHEN IFKALP is leaving, so I don't know what time he expect to drop him off.