Last Sunday, after I posted my meal plan for the week, I received a text from the ex. It said: “L’s underwear do not fit. I have been paying child support, you fucking bitch.What have you been doing with the money? I’m tired of turning a blind eye to your lack of parenting. I’m done being nice.” After I responded that I had just bought him new underwear and he must have accidentally grabbed an old pair out of the laundry before I could get rid of it, there was more unpleasantness, more name calling. I chose not to engage or respond. But the words stuck with me. They followed me through this week and zapped all the energy I had out of me to do anything more than work, parent, repeat.
Even now, those words sting me. They make me sad and depressed. I know I shouldn’t give them power. I know they are not true. I know that I could have said a hundred million things to refute it, but I said nothing. Part of me is proud I didn’t engage. The other part feels like I rubbed a healing wound raw once again. It makes me feel weak.
I never stuck up for myself. Words that I should have said, situations where I should have reached out, I did nothing. I waited it out. Thought we could get through it, that it would get better. That instead of him just noticing and harping on all my faults he would recognize what I did do right. I always felt guilty. I always tip toed on egg shells to prevent getting screamed at or demeaned or called names. When I decided I was done, I went about it the wrong way…. the wrong order…. I stood silent instead of telling anything. I thought that the way that I had treated people would speak for itself. That they would think there had to be something more to all of it. They didn’t. They completely believed him. He downplayed any of his faults that he did admit to. They asked me for answers. I was stung and mad from their lack of belief in me. How quickly people who I considered family and friends turned their backs. So I was vague if I spoke at all. I never said any of it.
I could have. I tried to once. I told someone, “It was worse then I ever said. I never told anyone anything because I thought relationship problems should be private. But he was mean….. so mean to me. He would….” And she interrupted me and said, “Well, I’m sure you were mean too.” I stopped. I gave up.
I felt like I stopped when I didn’t respond. The guilt and sadness I feel has been overwhelming.I could replay the tape that has been playing in my head this past week. The tape where I list everything wrong in my life and with me. BUT…. I have to stop it. No longer react. My family needs me happy and strong. I need to try and let go of things I can’t change. Create distance and cut ties where I can from unhealthy people, and I am not begging or pleading for anyone to be involved in my or my son’s life. Close the ranks and focus on making us a happy little family and dealing with the things that I can influence. It starts now. Again.