Sunday, October 14, 2007

the post in which all three of my readers will vow to never return.

I have a type "A" personality. I've known it since I learned the term, even before I took the stupid test to determine if I was, in fact, right.

Now, having my type of personality has many advantages. I have absolutely no problem going after what I want. I am head-strong and determined. I don't have any problem getting my point/position across to other people. I'm highly organized and plan every single second of my life. All good points, most of the time.

However, having my type of personality in a relationship proves to be a bit of a challenge at times. There is a very thin line between making the most of a situation, and trying to control the entire thing, so I've learned. This weekend is one that will go down in history as an example of this very thing.

I had everything planned out. It is the first beautiful weekend of the season, and since I've been hibernating for the past few months due to the unbearable heat, I had every intention of spending as much time outside, together, with my family, all FOUR of us. As I said before, Tim is on vacation for the next week which means that we actually get to see him, for a change. Which is nice. For the past few weeks we've been strangers, passing in the hall, or in our case, the car. I work the 8-4 shift at my job and he generally works the 4-1 a.m. shift at his job. Our days off would be completely opposite, so that one of us is always home to take care of the boys (mainly Bumpo since he is still under tight supervision with his current illness and all the pollutants currently in the air around here. We just don't feel safe leaving him at daycare, or with a sitter). So basically, we haven't been spending very much quality time together. Which is weighing on all of us. Which is why this weekend was so important to me, why I planned every second of it. Why it killed me when those plans had to change.

**WARNING: in these next few paragraphs, I come across as a complete bitch, and completely contradict myself on a regular basis. So, for those of you who have me pictured as some person who never does anything wrong, be warned (not that I that I actually think people like that, read this blog, or you know, actually exist) Because, seriously I can't believe the way I've behaved. It's dreadful. And I can't believe my dear Tim is still here to put up with me. Or that I know and fully realize all of this, yet continue to behave this way.**

Tim found out yesterday that a very dear family friend was very sick and basically about to die at any given moment. Now, in my defence (not that I have much of one) in the seven years that Tim and I have been together, I have never heard him even utter this man's name. Now, all of a sudden, just because he's dying, he is the most important and the greatest man to ever exist in my dear Timmy's life. Never mind the fact that Tim didn't even know who he was when his mother called with the news.

That aside, however, I do not take this man's life for granted. He has touched my husband's life, and that should be enough for me. Apparently, when Tim was growing up, this man was like a grandfather to him and they were pretty close. Then, twelve years ago some big blow-up happened with this man's wife and Tim's mother hasn't spoken to him since. Well, recently, Debby (Tim's mom) has been trying to repair old friendships that she has let fail due to her insanity, which is how she found out about all of this.

So, yesterday, Tim blew off his plans with us (which I was completely understanding of) and made the trip to Daytona to say his goodbyes to this man whom he cares about so deeply. I figured that was the end of it. This man is pretty out of it, from what Tim said but did know he was there to say his goodbyes. I never thought for an instant, that Tim would feel the need for a repeat performance the next day.

Meanwhile, I'm here at home, with my dear sweet little boys telling them that even though our plans for the day had to be rearranged a bit, that we would no doubt, do them tomorrow. Because daddy would be there with us, and we'd all have fun together. Well, today has come and Tim is once again in Daytona, with his mother, by this man's bedside, and reminiscing with old friends of his mother. Instead of being here, laughing by the pool, watching Bumpo ride his bike while Bob is off building forts with his friends, helping me in the kitchen with tonight's feast, sitting down to watch some silly movie together, taking turns wrestling the kids back into the bathtub and then into pj's for the night, being there to tuck them in together, letting him take this shift of bedtime stories while I go tidy up the kitchen and prepare their lunches for school tomorrow, and then finally being able to enjoy some alone time with this man. The man that has become a near stranger in this house. Instead, I will once again be doing these things alone, all the while wishing he was here to join us, and cursing this near single-mother lifestyle I've been living over the past few weeks.

Now, while I know I should be completely understanding and supportive, I feel very hurt and betrayed by his actions. You have no idea how ashamed I am to admit I feel this way, but I do. Part of my type "A" personality I guess. Once I get plans made, I get my hopes up, and once my hopes are up, there is nothing that can kill me more than having to rearrange those plans. Especially when it comes to family time, especially in it's current state of non-existence. I don't do well with adjustments. As a matter of fact, if I were a superhero, back-up plans would be my kryptonite.

A major reason things have gotten so blown out of proportion is because of Tim though. Part of me is incredibly hurt and feels as though he just doesn't get me, even after all the time we've been together. Tim didn't even tell me he was going to go back down there today, as a matter of fact, even when I asked him if it was a possibility, he gave me some non-answer (partly because he was basically still asleep, and I too should know better by now than to ask him anything when he's in that state) leaving me to plan like crazy, completely unaware of his intentions. By the time 10:30 rolled around this morning, I knew what we were going to do for the entire day, and I was excited. Then, one phone call from his mom again changed everything, and I went completely berserk. Actually crying because my plans, my dear plans, were again ruined. And upset with him because, in my head, he was deserting his family, people who have been there for him throughout everything, to go and visit this man who he hadn't even made a single peep about in the entire time we've been together. AND, he was choosing to do this by HIMSELF, with his mother (of all people) to comfort him, as he so needed. So, this man, who was important enough to him to ruin family plans, (after all, we're easy to reschedule with, we're always around, we can sit on that shelf for another week while we wait for a chance to be with him again) was not important enough to send an announcement to after Bumpo was born, or even add to our (imaginary) guest list for our upcoming (just as imaginary) wedding. As you can tell, I am still battling how I feel about this entire situation. Part of me is completely steamed, while another part of me is seriously beating myself senseless as this is a completely stupid and selfish thing to be mad about. And I do NOT, in any way, like what it says about myself.

Am I really that shallow? Am I really this needy? Or am I just sick to death of other life events interfering with the already seldom time I get to spend with the person I love most in this world? So much so, that I'm actually jealous over a man who is about to loose his life? Or instead of being the supporting person I should be during this difficult time in Tim's life, I'm actually resenting him, and therefore being the opposite of what he needs right now. Or, am I just hurt that he didn't even ask me, didn't even consider letting me go down there with him, to be there for him, instead of shutting me out completely? Or am I scared, scared that we are drifting apart, too far apart for it to be repaired, which is why he didn't ask me to be there, because he's so used to dealing with things on his own now. Or, even yet, am I looking for a rational way to defend my irrational behavior? Deep down, I know it's a little bit of everything listed above, and that's the scariest part.

No wonder I feel sick to my stomach.


Amber said...

Well. Not knowing you or Tim or his mom, all I can offer are objective thoughts

First off, from what I've read of you both in the past, I doubt this means that you two are drawing apart.

Is this the first time Tim has had anyone he's been close to die as an adult? People react in different ways to death. Death brings about our own fear of mortality every single time. Dan frequently sends me "breaking news" about this or that actor/famous person who has died. He gets upset about it, even though he's never even met said person.

If Tim is reminiscing with his mom about the past, that is another powerful draw for him. Only the people who were with you at that time can share your memories of growing up. I know there is tension between his mom and him and you and apparently everyone his mom knows. Still, nobody but his mom can remember certain things about Tim.

I remember that I found it very hard to understand why my ex went to visit his mom almost every day when she was dying in the hospital several years ago. He had always said she was such a bitch, that she hadn't protected him from the abuses from his father OR his stepfather, that he didn't even love her, so why did he suddenly go to visit her so much when she was dying?

Well, again, it's our own fear of mortality. We just cannot believe this is happening to this person who was once as alive as we are now. Maybe if we sit there long enough, they'll wake up. Maybe if we do not go, they won't.

Yes, this is irrational but it's also very true.

Plus, I think there was is probably some mother/son bonding going on there. Sharing memories. As much as I found that hard to understand at the time when my ex was visiting his mom so much because I just hated her ass.

But she was his mother. And you only get the one; fucked up as they sometimes can be.

And...he's probably not asking you to come because he knows you and his mom do not get along and she's going to be there.

So, bottom line, I don't think this has anything to do with you or the kids; he loves you, he isn't going to visit this man because he doesn't love you all; he does.

But because when someone from your past dies, it brings up tons of buried feelings. It's very powerful; I know, I've had too many family members/friends die and it sucks.

If I were in your shoes and Dan and I had been working separate shifts and not seeing each other much and suddenly he ran off two days in a row to visit someone dying with his mom there, I'd be very likely to feel the same way you do right now. Your feelings of abandonment are normal, please don't beat yourself up about it. :)

But be aware that for him, this is about his own mortality. People tend to take for granted the people from their past; we believe they'll always be there, even if we don't have contact with them.

Then one day, they die and it can be quite a shock, even if you hadn't seen them for years.

My son's MIL got news on her cell phone during her daughter's wedding shower that an old friend from high school's ex husband was found dead at 48 in his apartment.

She completely fell apart, even though she told me as I hugged her that the guy was an asshole and she was glad her friend had left his sorry ass

Still, they had all been friends together in high school. It wasn't about him, per se, it was about her and the stark realization that we only have a finite amount of time here.

That's what, IMO, your Tim is going through right now. And, for whatever reason, men seem to react differently than women do. We tend to look to those close around us for comfort. They often go out on journeys somewhere. Buy a motorcycle and drive to Mexico, you know...that kind of thing.

They tend to run off in a geographical panic and we tend to turn towards those around us and inwards in our panic.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, my dear! :) Best to you and yours. Oh and you mentioned the imaginary wedding; if you're not already legally hitched, 25 bucks down at the courthouse gets it done. *grins at you*

April said...

This is why I love you and your blog, Amber. You have such a wonderful way of putting everything into perspective.

I so feel like such a big, big baby over the way I behaved yesterday. LOL

But thank you, thank you, for truly understanding how I was feeling and taking the time to make me feel better about the whole situation.