I will be moving soon. If was honest with myself, this has been a long time coming. And yet, I cannot bring myself to begin collecting boxes and pack.
The houses we own are on the market, and in a handful of days, we’ve had several showings. I expect an offer any day now. He is under contract on a new home. I am still waiting to learn when I can move into my rental house.
There is so much to do.
It is hard to accept that my life is about to change, and the relationship that I left my marriage, my children, my security for will soon be over.
Correction: it is over.
At least I think it is.
We’ve called it quits a dozen times. And somehow, we end up in bed together nearly every night. He kissed me on his way out the door this morning.
Yet, we had an explosive argument–or two–this weekend during which he screamed about how done he was with me, how he wanted to get as far away from me as quickly as possible. I responded to him with tearful begging. “Please stop being so cruel,” I pleaded. “Please stop being such an asshole. What the fuck did your mother do to you to create this?!”
“I don’t know,” he solemnly responded.
He knows he is a narcissist. I keep forgetting that every little thing he does has a hidden purpose, a concealed intent. Even the kindness. Even the sweetness that I so want to linger inside of.
But I am not sure who he is anymore. Is he the man who holds me tightly at night, his warm chest serving as my pillow, his gentle kisses on my forehead calming me as I drift off to sleep? Or is he the man who hits me where it hurts the most, with cruel comments about my body, my past mistakes, my unloveableness, who calls me names, who withholds affection, who interprets everything as a ‘trap’ typical of women.
I don’t know anymore.
As I told my sponsor yesterday, I’m feeling a break from reality. I don’t know that I can trust my own thoughts let alone what he tells me.
It’s not unlike a song I recently discovered that contains the line: “And if you say something that you might even mean / It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe.”
I continue to gain weight.
Emotional eating strikes again. Depression strikes again. Or maybe it’s a lack of sleep. Or both. Or stress.
I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought food for the first time in several weeks. He’s shared his meals with me, or I’ve eaten out (a lot). But for once, I shopped.
I filled my small basket with gluten-free pizza crust, individually wrapped chicken breasts, roasted corn, butternut squash noodles, a yellow tomato, baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, a Bob’s Red Mill brownie mix, some dairy-free, sugar-free, everything-free chocolate chips, and fresh almond butter. I was only slightly annoyed at the total bill. I was more delighted by the colors I saw in front of me: bright yellows and oranges, deep greens, crimson reds, creamy whites.
When I got home, I put away my groceries and discovered that he, too, had done grocery shopping. The freezer was filled with Hot Pockets, and microwaveable pot pies, some frozen vegetables. The fridge had some sandwiches piled in it–homemade with bread and meat. There were some fresh bananas on a shelf.
He’s been cooking less, himself. His dinner has been cereal most nights. His choice. There was a time when I would have been crushed–he ate cereal most nights at the end of his marriage. He conveyed this information to me as an indicator that his wife was no longer caring for him, no longer attending to her basic responsibilities.
I still remember the evening he called me in a rage. He’d come home from work to find his wife had not cooked dinner, the house was a mess, and she was outside in her garden. I’m so mad, I want to throw her off the property, he said.
I know he’d attempted to drag her out of the house once. I read it in an email she wrote him during one of their separations. He was abusive to her, too.
I still hate that word: abusive.
I hate that it applies to him. I hate that it applies to me.
I hate that I’ve had to educate myself on narcissism, and narcissistic abuse, and survival techniques, and gaslighting, and what he’ll do with his next supply. And how much it will hurt me.
I think my desirability waned in his eyes when I grew more self-assertive. He told me as much a month ago. In a discussion about what changes I’ve made that have been ‘not good’ for the relationship, he cited two things: 1) I don’t do anything for him anymore, and 2) I’m being very self-assertive.
I am grateful that I started this blog so long ago. While I’ve not written every day, it serves as a record. I cannot deny my own words from six months ago. My mind, however, likes to alter my memory. So in reading my own words, I force myself out of denial. Oh, yes. I had forgotten about that.
They say denial is a survival mechanism. It protects us until we’re ready to face the truth. I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to see the end of this, the end of something I so desperately wanted to work because I lost so much to get it.
Correction, gave away so much to get it.
Because I gave so much of myself away that losing him feels like I’m losing myself.
And that’s maddening. That’s what makes me feel crazy. That’s what makes me feel stupid. So stupid.
But then that itself is a type of reality check, isn’t it?
I should not have to give away so much to get anything. I should not have to give away my relationships, my security, my belonging, my sense of self, my finances, my future to get something. At least, you don’t do those things when getting something good.
It’s ok, I tell myself.
Moving is ok.
Stepping into the uncertain is ok.
At least, I think it is.