Hey, guess what. Now I know what that really means. Bedtime was like 4:30 this morning. My body is very slow, my brain slower. Bustelo isn't strong enough. The voices are kind but I'm forgetting what they're telling me. Oh yeah, now I remember.
When I dropped the Sun off at school (ran into my friend OneHalf who doubled back with us for a block or two... which is nice) and started walking up the hill on Madison Avenue I kept thinking to myself "IFKALP stresses me". "No" said the voices, "you stress *yourself*. Why do you do that?"
*sigh*. They are right. Why do I? He can't physically hurt me. He wouldn't at this point anyhow. But he will pick a fight. He will try to take over. So this is about Power and Control, and about me feeling helpless. Yesterday, at the Sun's recital (which I have to talk about a little) the Registrar (who I swear reminds me so much of my maternal grandmother, but infinitely nicer, that I feel very close to her) said to me "Oh, I saw that your husband will be chaperoning (the concert rehearsal)!" My face must have read !!!?!!!?!!!! because she kind of backed up... "Or your sister's husband?". And it hit me what she was talking about. "No", I said, "that's The Sun's dad, but not my husband".
IFKALP had called and spoken to someone about chaperoning the rehearsal; he wanted to volunteer. The registrar asked me how did he know about the concert and rehearsal, and so I had to backtrack and explain to her about the impending visit, and how I had emailed a PDF of the letter outlining the day. I told her, seriously, I can't be in the same room with him, do you mind telling him you're full? She said sure... she would take care of it, without a problem.
And here's where it begins. Because even while she's assuring me that it was OK and that she would redirect him, I begin to second guess myself. I know the Law Guardian would probably have a major attitude with me and would demand to know "what's the harm??"
Am I crazy? The man gives me the willies. It's the implied threat of physical violence and not the actual experience. I once wrote a post about what that feels like, and I saved it as a sort of essay and maybe I'll dig it up and edit and post it someday. But it essentially comes down to a long period of time dealing with someone who had raging temper tantrums, with occasional bouts of physical violence that slowly escalated. Which basically means that while IFKALP raged continuously about *everything*, he rarely resorted to the physical but each time he did it was scarier than the the last. So the first time he spit on me. The second time he shoved me. The third time he kicked the door in and pinned me to the wall. So in my head I'm avoiding that 4th time, because how far would it go??? It's like watching a punch come at you in slow motion.
And so at all costs, I avoid being in a situation that would set up that fourth time. And of course, like most bullies things happen when there's no one around. The worst part about all of the above was that most people rarely saw him even be nasty or degrading to me. They wouldn't hear the growled threats or veiled insinuations. He had a knack for getting at me when no one was looking. The consequence of that was feeling that no one believed me. Or that I was making too much of something. Except I'm not a normally paranoid person. Obsessive, certainly, but not paranoid. So perhaps I've become obsessed with the idea that he would hurt me.
Yet, there have been enough incidents that thankfully people have seen, that let me know it *isn't* just me. And once I started talking to the right people; people with experience, I began to see it wasn't just me. But having to deal with him always brings up this internal debate: "Is it me? Or is there something to what I'm feeling?"
The thought of being in the same space as IFKALP during a karate tournament is unsettling, but I know that in that predominantly male-testosterone-imbibed environment, nothing much will happen. And I intend to stand very close to big people. But in the more female environment of the violin concert rehearsal, I don't want him there. Because he will hover over The Sun, and not be very effective in watching the other children (who he doesn't know) and will not work with me and the other parents to be nurturing and supportive. He might... if I weren't there. I supposed I could leave him to it, and I'm sure the Law Guardian would argue that. But why should I? This is something I enjoy being a part of. I know these kids. I love watching them play. And I love that in the "village" that is our school, we all take turns pitching in for our kids, and our kids know us and respond to us. And besides, I took the day off to do this.
Then it occurred to me, well, "my girls" will all be there and so maybe we could negate him. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, and maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. But usually when I end up convincing myself of that, something happens.
I was comforted though, by the actions of the school principal. I told her that IFKALP wanted to be a chaperon, and her response was to schedule his requested parent/teacher meeting (with both The Sun's regular and math teacher, *and* herself at the same time) in the middle of the school day, because she said that based on her own experience with him, she didn't want him around the kids.
See... those things make me feel better. Particularly since I found out that the principal had a similar but more intense situation in her own family...
In other news, at least for today I sort of feel those old familiar metal gates finally clanging into place. It sucks. I miss the feel of sunlight and hope, and now that I know the difference it hurts to be back in the dark and cold... but it's familiar and comfortable. I'm tired of shouldering all of this emotional shit by myself, so very tired of being on my own, but on the other hand I know how. It's what I do. And I can a little while longer, I guess. Sugarcubes are fun but they cause diabetes if you have too many. But that's how I feel at this moment... and things could change.
The bottom line is that in all honesty, a lot of this has nothing to do with anything but my own issues with not being "The One." *Anybody's* "One." And therein lies the ultimate in baring issues, friends. Why am I not someone's "One"? Why won't anyone fight for me? I would... I would be honest and loyal and fight to the death. I would give all and be all... and there was a time when I could do all that without wanting anything in return, without even expecting it. But that changed, over time. I think I know when. I was in the process of being left, and I begged, please don't. I've loved you and defended you and withstood a lot of shit for you and our relationship, would do anything for you. And the response was "But I never asked you to."
Ah, I know that's it because I'm crying now. And this happened *years* ago. Way before IFKALP.
What the fuck do you say to that??? Do you answer "Well, I wasn't doing it because you asked or didn't ask. I did it because I loved you and believed in you, in us. Doesn't it count for anything?" I think I blinked, and that was all. What would be the point of saying anything? You get to realize sometimes, that words don't mean shit. They mean everything, yet they mean nothing in the end. And sometimes actions count for nothing, too, so what are you left with? Muchanuthin'.
And there is when the first metal gate came down. A few gates later, and IFKALP came into the picture, and because of those gates is why I could tolerate him and his rage and his bullshit for so long... because for a good while it didn't penetrate too deeply. If it hadn't been for the Sun, the Sun that God threw in the mix right when He knew I needed it, there would be no light inside at all... which is one of the reasons I knew I had to have him. I knew that if I didn't, there would be no light at all pretty soon, and I had him despite his crazy ass father. I had him for me. For my own sanity, to save my own heart. Which takes me to why I fight his father. You CAN'T HAVE HIM, FUCK YOU. He's MINE.
...Don't you just love it when issues are all related to each other?....