Friday, August 21, 2009
Psyching Myself Up to Grow Some Balls
I was determined to have a carefree week this week, without the boys, but instead my emotions have been all over the place, just like the weather.
It started on Tuesday. Ex had to work and asked me to pick the boys up from camp and be with them until he got home. Bit of a pain, to be honest, but of course I agree because I am trying to be flexible and supportive and heaven forbid I upset the apple cart by saying no. What I hadn't anticipated was that he would be dropping the boys off at 7am and I had to drop them off at camp, as well as pick them up. The boys were excited to see me, exuberant to be home and made it quite clear that they did not want to go to camp. Johnny Drama was particularly obnoxious, refused to sit nicely to eat his breakfast, preferring instead to lob small toys into the living room from half way up the stairs. So the morning quickly deteriorated and 45 minutes was wasted trying to get him to sit quietly for 3 minutes on the 'naughty step'. What a great start to the day.
Getting them to camp was a fiasco. Cue tears and histrionics, with repetitive cries of 'I miss my daddy, I just want to see daddy.' I realise that this is a delaying tactic - the most successful one they could employ in the circumstances - but I still feel guilt-ridden about the situation they are in. And also angry. Angry that their father hasn't taken time off work to be with them in the only week they are with him the whole summer. It's not asking much is it? Five measly days? Anyway, it's no longer my position to have an opinion on his priorities so I quell the rage within and, as usual, keep stum.
The day is spent preoccupied with damning thoughts about ex and sorrowful thoughts about our boys, who worship him so much. I arrive back at camp in the late afternoon, trying to shake off my dour mood and plaster a smile on my face. I take the boys for ice cream and everything is fine, but my nerves are still on edge and I snap at them without reason and then internally berate myself. Once back at daddy's flat the boys settle down to play, with Scooby Doo blaring in the background. There are repetitive requests for daddy, which continue to jangle my nerves. I don't feel comfortable being with them in his place and just want him to get home so I can 'love them and leave them'. I have no idea what time ex is intending to be home, assume it must be soon, so send him a text requesting an eta. I receive a blithe reply that he should be leaving just after 7 and home just before 8. This knocks me for six a little. I had no idea that he wouldn't be home to see them for bedtime for a second day in a row and my fury at him skyrockets.
Suffice to say, bedtime is a shambles and the boys refuse to lie quietly to listen to stories. I end up having a stand-off with Johnny Drama who, after lights out, is still bouncing all over the bed in a hyperactive state, being particularly belligerent. I try to keep my cool but my temper surfaces and I huff and puff, screaming and shouting at them to behave. 'Daddy doesn't shout at us at bedtime', whispers Captain Underpants. Which throws me over the edge. Oh yes...your daddy is a fucking saint, isn't he? Externally I attempt a demeanor of being calm and in control. Internally I am a ball of fury and just want to smash through ex's belongings with my bare hands, destroying everything in my wake. I can't trust myself to speak to the boys anymore for fear of shrieking, 'JUST GET INTO BED YOU FUCKING LITTLE SHITS" and bursting into tears. That is the sort of mother I truly am. A beast. A hideous monstrous woman full of vile thoughts and a temper she struggles to control on a second-by-second basis. I hate myself. But I hate him more.
Just before 8.30pm I finally hear ex's key turning in the door. 'Lie down boys, daddy's home now. He'll be in with kisses in a minute.' I leave with a brief goodbye to ex, not trusting myself to speak for fear that I will erupt. By the time I have driven home my fury has reached a crescendo and I am tempted to trash my own place, just to relieve it. This is not just about ex being late home and me having to step into the breach on my 'week off'. I know that. This is all about the underlying tension I feel about trying to be amicable and supportive, but ultimately feeling that I am being taken advantage of. This is all about the undercurrent of fear about my current financial predicament and the fact that I feel like a child having to ask for money for any financial expense not currently within my 'allowance', of which there are many. This is all about my own uncertainty and lack of confidence in standing up for myself - the guilt I ultimately feel about walking away from an incredibly unhappy marriage and the impact this has on my children and our future.
My morose thoughts continue to dive bomb through my brain for the next couple of days. I am distracted and feel a permanent weight sitting on my chest, making it hard for me to breath. It's time to take action. It's time to get a proper financial agreement legalised after 12 months of our separation. It's time to stop feeling like a 2nd class citizen because I am not contributing financially, right now, to this situation. It's time to start believing that my current role of stay-at-home-mum has value and that it is in mine and the boy's interests for me to stand up for my rights as a wife of 11 years, so that we can all move on.
It's time to grow some balls and tackle all of the uncomfortable and sensitive issues that ex and I prefer to avoid like the plague.