Sunday, September 4, 2005

The Dam Bursts

In effort to be better at follow through, I feel a "cleansing" blog is in order.

It's not going to be pretty.  For anyone.

So I hope you have your waders on.

Ok.  In the past several months I've become a bit, self destructive.

The diet, forgeddaboutit.

I've turned into The Girl Who Ate Abilene.

Not only that but I've become the Girl Who Bought Abilene too.

If there's a vice, I've done it.  I've drunk a bit more than usual but for the most part I'm proud to say I haven't sunk into that pit.  And hopefully, with this newfound commitment of honesty, I won't.

As you may or may not know, Steven got a new job earlier this year selling cars.  He's doing well, really well.  It's shifted the balance of the money control of our house.

Before Steven found his niche, he didn't have a whole lot of luck with jobs and the major financial responsibility fell on me.  Which worked for a while because I was so busy hiding from myself I was working A LOT. 

All my money went to pay bills, and his money was more of "an allowance" that he got to spend freely.

I come from a family where the Mom worked and Dad stayed at home.  My first marriage with Dan followed this same pattern.  To me, money was my independence - and, unfortuantely - my control over the people in my life.

They couldn't leave me if they needed me.

So Steven's work habits, while they caused a lot of dissention for my family, didn't really bother me.

When the power shifted, I went through a phase of resentment and entitlement.  This lead to me doing what I wanted, when I wanted and letting the bills get taken care of by Steven.  There might have been something to my trying to drive him away because now that he controlled the money, I felt that he controlled me.  So I rebelled.

This comes from the fact that my mother was pretty controlling for the very same reason.  I remember being a kid and asking her for stuff and she'd say, "Oh, you don't need that".  This triggered the deprivation, which triggered some ugly nasty feelings.  Therefore I decided that I was going to make my own money and no one could tell me what I could do with it.

So I made my own money.  And, for a very long time, I made sure I was responsibile with it.  This worked through my marriage with Dan and up until I met Steven.  By the time Imet Steven I was a self destructive mess and I didn't quite care about the money.

Which was easy to do around Steven, since he was basically a free spirit who did what he wanted to do all the time.

And this worked out until one event that would shape our relationship and the power balance therein.

Steven has a bad habit of lying to me.  I don't say that to be mean to him, it's just a fact of life I've had to come to terms with. 

And I haven't really come to terms with it.  It still remains the biggest variable in our relationship that will probably end it one day if it doesn't stop.

We were living together by this point, in Gardena.  I gave Steven the money to pay the rent.  After being homeless, I can tell you that come hell or high water I will ALWAYS pay the rent.  Period.  Anyway, Steven made the very bad miscalcuation of taking that money to a casino and blowing it.

I don't think I've ever forgiven him for that, which has lead to my behavior in the recent months.

Pure and simple, it's been payback.

I've paid for him to play for six years, I get a few months to do what I want to do.

Plus there has been the ongoing problem with his extracurricular activity that he often lies about.  Gambling.  Pornography.  Those types of things.  So my chasing after my "emotional porn" in these celebrities who can't hurt me like Steven can was partially payback for that too.

It's not very grown up or mature, but that's the basis of it.

There are no excuses.  But this is full disclosure time, people.  And this is part of what I've been doing to self destruct and why.

My marriage has suffered greatly because of it.  Steven would make remarks about how bad he feels that this is the best job he has ever had and we don't have anything to show for it.  He makes passive aggressive remarks like that, that are effective, because deep down I do feel guilty that anyone has to support me. 

I would never make a good housewife.

And it's part of that guilt that makes me angry at him for needing him so much.

After the whole Hal thing I probably would have dropped the American Idol concerts.  I really thought I was pushing Fate a little too far. 

Turns out, I was right.

I went through with it mainly because I had spent money on the tickets and felt obligated since my sister wanted to go.  But when she decided she didn't want to make all six venues, I was thrilled.  I was just then pulling out of my self absorbed spending frenzy and truthfully I wanted to get rid of all the tickets but the Phoenix ones (front row center was just a little too tasty to get rid of).  We ended up straddled with three of the six venues we originally bought.

I pretty much decided it was my last hurrah.  I would go, enjoy it and then back to being the responsible Ginger we all know and love.

Unfortunately, I ended up face to face with two major emotional meltdowns that had me even wondering if I was going to stay at my job or stay in my marriage.

The first night I left town Steven tells me that he won't be home that night because he's going to help a friend of his move.  This struck a dishonest chord with me and I knew that he was lying.  I told him, "I think you're lying."  He swore up and down he was telling me the truth and launched into this huge story about everything to make his case.

That was night one of what I truthfully meant to be the last hurrah.  It went downhill from there.

Except for the night in Phoenix, that was very cool and worth the money I spent on it.  For someone who has hidden from life for years, I was right in the middle of it.  I'm not going to apologize for it. 

Vegas was a HUGE miscalculation on my part.  Like I suspected, that much time alone with my sister proved combustible.  She got her feelings slighted and we had a huge screaming fit in the Sahara buffet that almost lead to us getting kicked out.

Essentially, she accused me of trying to steal her company.  I put my phone number, along with hers, on the business card in the photo we gave to Constantine, and she - after a few kamakazis - turned to me and asked me if I planned to tell his mother I was the owner of the company if she called.

Which I would never, ever do, and the accusation offended me greatly.

I ended up having to apologize for my inconsideration not asking her to put my number alongside hers on the card, but she has never apologized for how she made me feel.  Nor will she.  I don't even know if she remembers the altercation.

I can't seem to forget it.

So I come home and I don't want anything to do with the person who, in effect, was my best friend.  Someone hurt me, I backed off.  That's how I operate.

I had to really, truthfully examine whether or not I was going to continue working for her.  What she did threw me back to my childhood when I was always playing catchup to impress her or my mom, and never succeeding.

If she could believe I would be so vile, then apparently she doesn't know me at all.

And I will never ever be anything more than someone on the outside looking in on my family.

Dealing with it has been a long, lonely process. 

And if that weren't bad enough, I caught Steven in his elaborate lie. 

Which made me even consider if I wanted to stay in my marriage.

After six years we can't escape from these behavior patterns.

Marriage therapy, yeah yeah yeah.  I doubt sincerely it will work considering Steven is a master manipulator. 

I just need to work things out on my own and deal with it from there.  If he's along, he's along.  If not, he's not.

I can't allow my mental health to hinge on other people anymore.

It's getting me no where.

But I haven't wanted to blog about Steven for a very long time because his family happens to read my blog.

My family doesn't, but his family does.

Ironic, isn't it?

Anyway, so I've spent the last few weeks angry.  Angry at myself.  At my sister.  At Steven.  Wondering if I need to just kick everyone out of my life to finally make a stand that I won't accept being lied to or disrespected.

I've come out of the other end of that deciding to keep my job, but keep my boundaries on how much I allow my sister into my personal life.

I'll stay in my marriage, but no more lies or else it will lead to a separation.

I've had to draw the line with the people I need in my life the most - and it has been a very, extremely scary thing to do.

I haven't blogged about it, because that's scarier.

So there you have it.  In a nutshell.  Emphasis on nut.

Now I'm going to submit this before I delete it.

Let the chips fall where they may.


onetoughcookie43 said...

Hey Ginger. Wow. That was a lot to be holding in.  I hope that by letting it out you feel better. I just recently started therapy for myself and it is the best decision that I have made in a while. My therapist gave me a passage to read that I am going to pass on to you. It is not advice nor does it neccesarily have anything to do with your situation. But I too deal with people pleasing and it helped me to see why I am EXTREMELY loyal to people even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
And I quote:
" The so called "loyalty" is more the result of fear and insecurity than anything else; nevertheless, the behaviour that is modeled is one where no one walks away just because the going gets rough. This sense enables the adult to remain in involvements that are better dissolved.

Since making a friend or developing a relationship is so difficult and so complicated, once the effort has been made it is permanent. If someone cares enough about you to be your friend, your lover, your spouse, then you have the obligation to stay with them forever. If you have let them know who you are and you are not rejected, that fact in itself is enough to make you sustain the relationship. The fact that they might treat you poorly does not matter. You can rationalize that. Somehow, no matter what they do or say, you can figure out a way to excuse their behavior and find yourself at fault. This reinforces your negative self-image and enables you to stay in the relationship. Your loyalty is unparalleled. There is also the safety in an established relationship. It is known and the known is always more secure than the unknown. Change being difficult, it is often more preferable to stay with what is."
Like I said this applies to me but it really opened my eyes to why I might deal with some life matters in the way that I do.
I wish you peace in finding your way through this and no while it won't be easy, it will be possible to find your way.

yakima127 said...

OMGosh, you have said so much in this entry.  I have no advice (my life is a screwed up mess and I can't seem to sort that through, either) but I hope that putting it all out there has been helpful to you.  Boundaries are a good ting.  Now, the hard part is sticking to them when the people in your life step all over them...keep us posted!  And by the way, the emphasis on "Nut" is the basis of my whole journal!  JAE

sjburgess51 said...

<<<<"Marriage therapy, yeah yeah yeah.  I doubt sincerely it will work considering Steven is a master manipulator.">>>>
 You are right about the therapy, it wouldn't work for Steven if he won't take it seriously or gets a sense of satisfaction by conning the therapist.  
 Pornography disolved the marriage to my son's father.  I cannot tolerate the humiliation of women that porn promotes.  If men would treat women as Jesus treated them, life would be good.  Respect, love, care, thoughtfulness, truthfulness, honesty and my favorite word .... gentleness ... it's all there in the Bible.
 I sincerely hope things can be worked out but I understand as a woman how it feels to have your body and soul denied by the one you love.  :*(