Lately, I’ve experienced a lot of change, but the other night, someone else did, and it wasn’t good.
Since Scott’s picked us up from San Diego and brought us to Texas, there’s been barely any laughter, mainly because he’s been a totally different person than the man I married (and not in a good way). The oppression was intense, but I, finally, made it through it with the help of God, my AA friends, and laughter.
Before I heard the teaching by Curry Blake that rocked my world from death to life, I’d made it to the AA room here in Harlingen, and that’s where my laughter broke free!
To laugh on and off for an hour was (and is) total liberty, and in going back (on purpose) to find people to know, I’d made friends. Eventually, through tears, Katie opened up about how she’d missed my laughter and asked if she could go to a meeting with me to hear it. Of course, I’d said, “Yes!”
You see, in order to laugh, I need to hear or see something funny, and after being here a few days, I realized Scott NEVER talked, something I’d never noticed before. (Maybe, I was always talking.) Anyway, a marriage without any communication is crappy, so for almost five months, I’ve been in a crappy marriage, but I was determined to bring laughter into my home for Katie and had hoped it’d rub off on Scott. Well, it totally backfired (or worked).
The other night, some of my friends came over for a game night to change the atmosphere with laughter, and Katie and I’d been SO excited to have fun, until the last (or first) minute, and then, something happened.
Her father was different.
All this time, since being in Texas, Scott’s been very isolated right in front of us, and it’s been hurting Katie very deeply, but as soon as our first guest showed up, Scott acted “differently:” smiling, talking, paying attention…it was enough to send Katie to her room, crying, and she barely came back out. The rest of the evening, Scott carried on with his “front.”
By the end of the evening, my friends all thought I’d been crazy for ever being unhappy in my marriage because Scott was “so wonderful.” Afterwards, one of them even asked me to tell Scott “thank you for being so kind and welcoming,” but instead of relaying that message, I asked Scott about his change. Immediately, he shut down and went back to the way he’s been this whole time.
The next morning, he continued on sulking and sleeping. I left for church, but as I was driving, I changed my course and went wherever the road took me. I ended up at some fishing/camping park about forty miles away, and in that time of driving, I was able to think.
Now, when I “think,” it’s a mixture of prayer, questions, answers, strategies, memories, etc., and one thing I thought of was the countless advice about how I need to be careful in how I talk to Scott so that I don’t “wound” him.
…”wound” him. As I thought about that, I thought about all the silent abuse the kids and I’ve endured.
I thought about Katie feeling forced to stay in her room during her game night because her dad made her feel so uncomfortable.
I thought about Nathan living 1600 miles away from me, partly because he couldn’t stand the “disconnect” feeling from Scott.
I thought about Carolyn, how, as soon as she graduates, she plans on moving far away, not so much because of Scott. She’s the only one he’s bonded with. From the beginning, he’s always spoiled her above the rest.
And I thought about me: the way I used to be and what it’s like now, and the conclusion I came to was that, in the process of protecting Scott so he wouldn’t get hurt, the kids and I’ve been wounded, maybe past the point of healing. It just didn’t make sense.
Then, I continued on in thought about the reactions from my friends and how they thought he was the greatest, probably dismissing any and all of my heart cries, which made me want to isolate and run. I’m not even sure why that hurt so much.
Although time seemed to stand still while I was on my adventure, it actually flew by, so I headed back home, dreading my future.
When I’d arrived, I found Scott sleeping in the bedroom. I knew he was upset because I’d brought his “change” to his attention, but I believed he needed to “see” it, so he could find out what had happened. His only answer was, “I was happy,” which leads me to believe that all the other days in this marriage, he’s been UNhappy, so my question is…why are we together?
I mean, if we’re both miserable, maybe it’s not meant-to-be. Anyway, the day continued on in the same manner, until I lost it…not in a MEAN way but in an HONEST way.
It’s like, everything I’d wanted to say came out. Again, I wasn’t being mean; I was being matter-of-fact, explaining how his actions had affected the whole family and how he needed to own up and start mending these relationships. I spoke to the fears and worries I knew he had but hadn’t opened up about and let him know he wasn’t less of a man for being afraid. There’s more to the conversation, and even though I did most of the talking, he actually talked some, too, which created our FIRST conversation.
It was good. There were tears and even some change, but to be honest, it’s hard to be excited about it.
For months, I’ve followed advice, kept quiet, and watched my family crumble. If only I’d done this sooner, but… And now that “change” is in the air, am I supposed to just perk up and welcome it? If so, I’m not. My guard is up. My feet are ready. And my arms are in position: one in a stiff-arm out in front of me and the other over my heart.
Do I regret? Yes. Do I dread? Yes. Do I feel stuck? Absolutely. Do I want this to work out? Of course. Am I confused? Maybe a little. Do I want to hide? Every minute.
Is this how I want to live? NO.
There’re many questions, but at least, I have answers.
So, game night was a success for Scott and a failure for Katie. For me…at least there was laughter in my home.