April 19/20

Dear Diary,

I don’t know why I keep talking to him. Well, I do, sort of. But, like, I know it’s dumb. He’s so mean. Everything I say just turns around on me to something horrible. It has been this way for a long time. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I’m still afraid of him. I noticed that yesterday when I spoke to him. I immediately revert to that hiding in a corner trying not to breathe too loud or move type of thinking as soon as his ugliness starts. (Incidentally, this is behavior born of my childhood not him. He just ignites? triggers? provokes? it.) Part of me wants to be angry with him, but at this point, it serves no purpose. It’s wasted energy. Yes, I was wronged. Was I innocent in the relationship? No. I also didn’t keep score, but I think physical violence trumps whatever indiscretions I may have committed especially given that he is actually guilty of everything he accused me of and I was not. Being mad at him for not recognizing that that was fucked up or even really being sorry for it, isn’t going to make him do or feel either of those things. It has been a positive for me to talk to him in that I can see that he’s so far gone now that he doesn’t even do the nice guy routine anymore. He has no desire to attempt to win me back or right his wrongs. He only wants me to submit to him. I don’t even know what to think about that. I imagine that the whole lack of nice guy routine has something to do with me not just taking the beating and continuing on quietly. I’m not sure though. I may never know. I’m not even sure I care. I’m curious certainly, but in the way that I am curious about most psychological things. I like knowing how minds work because it helps me understand people and better contribute to their lives in positive ways or at least try not to negatively impact them. I guess the lesson I really need to take to heart here is that this man keeps showing me that I don’t matter. That he doesn’t love me. I am sub-human to him. Inferior. Property. I could do everything exactly as he demands, when, how, precisely to his instructions and it would still be this. I’m not interested in becoming a whole different person that someone else chooses. I need to choose me. I need to choose my kids. I need to be the best version of myself and the best version of their mother as often as I can. At the very least, I need to be working consistently toward those ends. Being the person he wants me to be serves no one but him, and if we’re being honest, it’s not serving him well in my opinion. I try to take a step back from it periodically and ask myself what he contributed to my life in positive ways and I can’t really think of anything anymore. Even when I think I miss him or want him, I can’t put a reason behind it. I think it’s just a habit. Something I’m used to. I’m sure it’s akin to general loneliness and longing for human contact, but I felt that when he was with me so I don’t really know why I think he’s an answer to those feelings. (Also, a person isn’t really the answer to those feelings. That’s obviously some shit I need to work out in myself.)

In other news, the kids are coming home tonight and sleeping there for the first time in a month! I’m excited to be in their faces, but also so so proud of them for advocating for themselves in this situation. Their dad and I talked about it the other day. I was telling him that it sucks, but I also know it’s best. We all need the time for our own reasons, but also it’s important to me that they did not feel powerless in this. I have asked them a few times when they plan to come home, but always with the clarification that I’m not asking to force the issue, I just need to to know so I can plan for groceries and such. Also, it helps me know when I’m available to pick up extra work because bills are lazy and will not pay themselves. (So rude.) Not that it’s been helping. I’m definitely in the position of not knowing how I’m going to get our bills paid, but I know I’ll figure it out. It’s just been a chaotic time, and as much as I tell myself that I’m ok, I am but I’m not. I think I would also do well to learn that it’s ok to not be ok. I don’t have to be ok 100% of the time. I’m allowed to grieve, to mourn, to process, to freak out, to cry, to be not completely together all of the time. I need to allow myself to break so that I can actually put myself back together. Yes. That. That is what I need to do. Maybe Monday? I have Easter things to do tomorrow. I guess it depends on what the kids decide about sleeping tomorrow night and until they go back to school. We’re all off so I kind of hope they spend it with me, but also, I’m good with the solitude to come undone. Whatever happens, I’ll make it work. Being a parent really requires scheduled breakdowns. Who has time to figure out when? I guess I can always just go old school with it and hide in the bathroom to ugly face cry. I dunno. I guess we’ll see. I’ll let you know how it all shakes out.

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