Waking up in my parents living room on their couch every morning, living on their couch every day, and going to sleep on their couch was very unsettling for me. I know that didn’t matter to my parents. My feelings during the process of my trying to finalize my divorce and really needing privacy did not matter to them. All that mattered to my parents was that they got their way. I was in their house, and they got to watch what I was and was not doing as I was living on their living room couch. That’s what they wanted. To watch me and have me be physically there. It did not matter to them that I felt depressed. As long as I was physically in their house that’s all that mattered to them.
I felt like I was being watched. My dad walked out of his bedroom to get his cup of coffee from the kitchen but really wanted to see how I was doing. He walked up to me asking if I wanted a cup of coffee.
I don’t want the attention. Please go away...
I was feeling hurt, angry, and surrounded by the nosy and inconsiderate people wanting to tell me how to live my life.
I acted like things were fine to get them off my back. I told my family things were fine as I was looking for a legal way to finalize my divorce, as well as, looking for a job because I didn't want anyone to see me falling apart.
I remember telling Dean in a text message that things were fine when they were the exact opposite. Yeah, I told him I wanted to leave Texas but that did not mean that things weren’t ok. Though it wasn’t ok. I really wanted Dean to be there for me, but he clearly wanted distance from me because I left Washington. His feelings were just as valid as mine were.
I really wanted a friend during this difficult time. I wanted to vent with someone who understood what I was going through without being given religious advice. Which meant that I couldn’t talk with anyone. Most of the people I knew had not been separated or divorced and those who had been there were religious. So, I was not going to bother discussing how I felt or what I was thinking with the people in my personal life. No during this time, I was to feel hurt and work on healing alone.
If my parents had their way, I would still be married to my ex-husband simply because I would still be married. Not successfully married but married. It really doesn't matter if I'm happy or depressed. Why should it? My parents are in love with each other, but they are not happy with the way their lives turned out. So why should I get to be happy? I should be just as unhappy as they are.
I can hear my parents now...
"You should have known better before you chose to marry him."
How would I have known better? I was taught to be abused. This was a normal kind of relationship for me to participate in. To always be small.
"It doesn't matter how you were treated by them as long as they love you."
The only time it felt a little ok that I was stuck in the living room was when my cousin in law asked me if I was ok. We were sitting across from each other on the living room couches. I didn't understand at the time what the difference was when she asked me if I was ok. I felt that she was being genuine and really felt concerned for me. I think she could tell that I wanted to cry. I told her I was fine and just thinking about all the stuff I had to do about getting the divorce.
My sacred place to cry was in the green Honda Accord. I would drive somewhere and pour out those tears that I had trouble holding in. I cried in the shower because the water pouring onto my body muffled the sounds of my tears pouring out from my eyes as my body shook from the heavy tears.
Why I was crying...
I was mad at myself for falling for my ex-husband. I was mad at myself for working so hard to marry him and get out of my parents' house to get away from the toxic household. My ex-husband was either worse or just as bad as my parents were with me as all three of them have been mentally and emotionally abusive of me. I was mad at myself for not finding a way to stay in Washington for myself. Yeah, Dean was a factor, but the fact is Washington was stunning. I loved those mountains. The nature in Washington felt cleansing to me. I did not like that I was no longer ok with the friends I had in Washington. Every time they went hiking and never asked me if I wanted to join them... I could tell I was losing their friendship. But what I did I do? I went for my own walks in the parks to be surrounded by trees and mother nature surrounding me and helping me feel a little bit better. I find it much better to do things for myself than to just 100% be in my own pity party. I mean, yes, I was feeling terrible for myself, but I was still getting up to do things for myself.
The job interview at Stein Mart in Katy, Texas felt terrible. The lady interviewing me for the job wasn’t listening to what I was telling her. She was only consciously present in the office with me when she told me about the people, I knew who great working for Stein Mart then left the business for something better. I was trying to hold in my laughter when she brought up the fact that the only sensible, strong, and thoughtful woman working for Stein had left the job. Of course, she left the job for something better. The business Stein Mart was dying. She was better than the business of Stein Mart. I always knew that. The woman interviewing me was looking for a job that would be better for her. No one really wanted to work at Stein Mart. Anytime someone said it was a good job they were lying. The customers treated you terribly and the managers let the customers treat the employees badly because they wanted money.
That is a terrible way to live life and work. Anytime someone in management let the customer act out and treat me terribly in the process I knew the management were not trustworthy. The management just lived in fear of not making money, so they sent the employees the message that it's ok to get abused by the customers as long as the bills were getting paid.
What a lovely example to set for your employees. Really. Top notch. You wonder why I don’t bother being open with the management and sometimes the coworkers.
But honestly this goes back to my childhood.
My dad kept telling me that I could always talk with him. But when I actually bothered to talk with him? I regretted it. I felt like he wasn’t there for me and just wanted to tell me how to live my life according to his view of how to live life. My view of living life always fell short to him. I found myself feeling doubtful of who I knew I wanted to become because he said I would not make it instead telling me to build myself and follow my heart.
No, I'm sorry... my heart lies to me. I can never trust what my heart wants only what my head tells me to do.
There was a time in my teen years I turned to my dad knowing full well that I don’t turn to my dad for important matters in my life. I just don’t feel that I can turn to him because all we really do is butt heads with each other. We never agree on how to live life. He always acted like I was being stupid for the decisions I made about anything I chose to do. But for my first best friend I decided to go against my better judgment and be there for my first best friend Simon.
I went into my parents' bedroom one evening and told my dad what happened to Simon. I told my dad that Simon’s dad (my uncle) punched him in the eye after being honest with his mom (my aunt) about something. Simon got a black eye for being honest with his mom. I really hated that. My dad actually told me that it's possible he deserved that black eye. My dad said that it sounded like it was possible that Simon was being disrespectful towards his mom and that he earned a black eye from his dad.
First of all… the entire time I was growing up in this family household I learned that “disrespecting” your parents literally just meant that if they didn’t like what they heard from their child’s mouth then we are automatically disrespecting our parents.
What I remember growing up was… anytime I bothered to actually tell the truth about something I was being disrespectful toward any adult but mostly my parents. Now as a child I was already quiet but after learning that I could not tell my parents what I was really thinking? I learned to keep being really really quiet. Because my honesty is apparently disrespectful. So why should I say anything? All my parents wanted to do was yell at me for being honest.
Secondly… It is never ok to beat your kid. Never. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like what your child says or what your child does, you don’t get to abuse your child ever.
That was the first and last time I turned to my dad because I learned who is as a human being. I felt I could not trust him. If my dad was involved to help me with something it was because he came to me. I stopped turning to him for help.
It is really important that as the parent you ask your child why they said what they said or did what they did instead of just pushing them or knocking them down just because they are physically smaller than you are. Your child is trying to grow into an individual, a person, a human being. So, let's stop beating our kids up when they are just trying to figure life out. Or were they supposed to figure life out as soon as they popped out of their mom's womb?
As human beings we are learning as we grow up. Being pushed down by the people we were supposed to trust is not making living life any better.