“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
You are in a fog that is so thick it feels like slogging through peanut butter. Every single step is sticky, like quicksand, like tar...all smeary and dark. You do not know what to do, what to feel, how you will ever find your way out. Again.
You have just been D & D’d for what you hope is the final time. It has to be because you realize you will not survive another one. The frequencies of the silent treatment punishments have become greater; the anxiety of what will happen next is off the charts. There is no denying that he saw you see him...or “see through” him. There is no denying what you know and now you know too much to even consider going back for more. But you want to go back for more. You feel like you want it more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. Like a child at the circus, you’ve grown accustomed to the turmoil in the three rings. You’re a juggler and a clown, tossing your own emotions into the air; round and round you spin in the lion’s den...and the lion has blood on his teeth. All your instincts are shot to hell. You barely sense the danger.
This time all you did was express dismay that he burned some things that were important to you. You come home from work and he’s there and the things are gone. He’s supposed to be helping you clear out the lean-to to stack wood for the winter. You show him what to take out and what to leave alone. Of course he does the exact opposite and the things you asked him to leave alone are gone. Up in smoke. Poof! You realize he did it on purpose because he thinks they are connected in some way with your ex-husband. He is wrong. You paid a woodsman money to cut some beautiful rounds out of a huge old maple tree that almost took out your barn in a storm. You planned to make those rounds into some outdoor tables or something artistic. You love to do these types of things and it is yet another thing he steals from you that is gone forever.
‘It’s All About Him,’ you know that he is a Destroyer and it will not change. You also realize if you don’t find the strength to get out of it, you, too, will go up in smoke...you’re so almost gone anyway.
You know all these things, including that his choice to bolt out the door and begin yet another silent treatment because you spoke up for yourself is a ploy and is the horrible punishment he knows you dread most. You were silent treatmented all the time as a little girl. You never knew the reasons, what you did wrong...You tell him this one day when he’s acting “so into you.” You regret ever uttering the words.
You know that someone who professes to “love you madly and wildly” would not behave this way. You worked hard to understand that love doesn’t equal pain, yet for the past six years you got used to the idea that love equals pain. He put that cloak of pain and shame around you almost from the get-go, you realize that, too. It didn’t fit very well, but over time you got used to it and he kept clipping and stitching until it felt like a perfect fit. Oddly, it began to feel comfortable. And though you’re an intelligent woman, all rationality has gone out the window. You are wearing the cloak and it is so heavy you feel weak. And weakling that you are, you call him less than 12 hours later to apologize. Of course his phone is off. You leave a lame, tear-soaked message and literally hate the sound of your own voice. That panicked voice you’ve grown so used to. You use it again when you pick up the phone later. Same result. You say “This really must be it...I have to be done. I must be done with this,” and you pray for a miracle that will make the words true.
The miracle finds its way to the surface of your foggy brain. You remember today’s reading on the forum. It involves involves writing it out, writing a letter to him and one to yourself. That’s just in Step 1. There are 6 steps; the rest of which your cognitive dissonance brain does not recall at the moment. But that's okay. One step is enough...
So you write this to yourself: He doesn’t work—hasn’t since April of 08. He doesn’t give me money or presents—not even a birthday present. He take things from me without asking. He respects no boundaries. He read my writing journal. I do not know where he lives. I do not know the arrangements for the car he drives. He constantly goes back on his word. His word means nothing. He says things He doesn’t mean and/or remember. He keeps lowering the bar and I keep accepting it. He treats me horribly. He has weird fetishes and is weird about sex. I am not attracted to him because of the marathon sex. He does not enhance my life at all. He has systematically ruined my life; torn it apart to shreds. He has helped me solve the Dad funeral dilemma (he’s vanished again). He is mentally ill and I am not equipped to deal with it. I wish we’d never met. I don’t even care about anything any more, that’s how dead I feel inside. These feelings of wanting to call him and engage in the dance and drama do not make sense...
You feel a little better, though the obsessive thoughts return. They’re out of control and somewhat surprising. You thought you’d be better equipped this go around, especially since you’ve known for a long time that this is what you HAVE TO do. You face the truth: Aside from your sister, you’ve kept him a secret from your family. The whole relationship and prior D & Ds had become an embarassment and therefore a secret. That alone fills you with shame...
You used to know what a good relationship felt like because you had one with a husband of 20-some years. A good man, kind and decent, who you tossed aside for a "prince" who turned out to be a toad...no a lizard. The karma of it all. You begin to understand what your ex-husband went through to disengage from a woman whose head was so easily turned. You truly understand that there’s no going back. Choices and consequences...you’d give anything for your old life back. But you realize that’s not possible. So you must create a new life. Change the script. Try with all your might to stick to No Contact...one minute at a time...