Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Decision

I've actually wanted this since last summer. I had a car that he blew the clutch on, and he offered to fix it despite my wanting to sell it (1990 Toyota Camry, old as dirt and not worth the time and parts-money). So I said, fine... and he got it torn apart and it sat for months (6? 12?). Last summer, I texted him from NM (was there for my nephew's birth) asking if he could return the parts and get his money back. Nope- the store had a 30-day return policy and it was waaay past that. So I asked if we could list them on and make a little of that money back. He said, "It sounds like someone has talked you back into wanting to sell it..."

My old girl.
The thing about that exchange that bothered me was that it felt like he didn't trust me to be able to stand up for myself, like I'm some kind of silly fluff-headed woman who needs a big strong man to take care of me.

Those who know me with any sort of familiarity know that this didn't go over well at all. I realized that I wasn't obligated to tolerate being treated like I was stupid. Despite his robust protestations to the contrary, he really has treated me like I am unable to think about a situation rationally, to weigh the applicable information, and make an informed decision.

I've spent much of this marriage not being trusted.
My ability to find work.
My awareness of what is going on in my head and heart.
My verbal representation of those thoughts and feelings.
The validity or legitimacy of what I ask for.

This... (dunno what else to call it but) confusion in communication has been so prevalent in the last three years!!

For real, this happened:
"I'm mad and I need you to just not talk to me for a while!"
"Ok..." which was then followed by a text message, a Facebook message, and even a handwritten note asking if I wanted to go to a movie.

By raise of hands, who thinks I actually needed to be more clear and should have included all forms of communication, both spoken and written?.. or should he have been smart enough to figure that part out?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Family Reunion

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a 3-day family reunion. It was my dad's brothers and their kids. I needed the time away and it did me a world of good!

Before the reunion, "stressed" didn't even begin to touch how I felt about being home! I felt tense, short-tempered, irritable, angry, frustrated, hurt, betrayed, undermined... I thought for sure, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

But 3 days of laughing and talking, playing with little and playing new games, great food and new recipes, calm and peace did me a world of good-- I really needed the peace!

My mom, two uncles (and corresponding aunts), six cousins (and five spouses.. a couple of which I hadn't met before), and over a dozen of the next generation were in attendance. We had littles running all over the place- splashing in the water, making chalk drawings on the sidewalk, watching movies, playing with toys.... I loved it!

But something I noticed.... something wonderful!
Those little kids were all pretty young- all under 10. There were a couple of tinies that were just barely walking, and if you've dealt with kids that age, you know that they fall- and not always the cute little bounce to their butt. Sometimes, the fall includes a whack to the head or a bruised ego... and crying. And here's the thing I noticed: No matter who the parents were or where they were, someone was there to pick up the sad little one. Even if the adult wasn't one of his own parents.. or her direct aunt or uncle.. someone was always willing to rush to the baby, pick him or her up and snuggle and dry tears. We were all there for each other.

As I was driving home, a 6-hour drive, I had a lot of time to think about this. And I realized something- This is how I think heaven would be- we're all there together, people we know and love, people we worry about and care for (the kind of caring that involves actually doing something, not just the feels). And no matter what hurts, how or why it hurts, there's someone... Someone there to hug the hurt away, dry the tears, and set you down to continue your adventure!