Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yeah, Somehow I Knew It Would Return To This

Mrs_C is working a later shift this week. She's been working 12 until 9pm and is on call. She's been doing that shift in higher rotation because a couple of guys are off recovering from surgery (injury repairs) and her idiot management won't hire new people or allow them to train people up (trying to save a nickel). Yesterday one of her brilliant managers (remember: these are the decision makers, people) had to ask her what a cooling tower is for. Doorknobs...

Anyway, I get home last night after exercising (approx 9:40pm). I don't even know how the conversation got there, but within moments of getting in the door she was on me about "Being more upbeat and enthusiastic" when I see her, and being more positive about our marriage. I'm "OK. I will be more enthusiastic." I will see about making sure that I work at being upbeat. I can make a few easy changes - psych myself up a little, change the music in my MP3 player to all upbeat positive message stuff. That sort of thing.

Even though I'm a little irritated by this, I can do it. I'm prepared to make that effort - give the Wal-Mart morning cheer and get out there!

Here's the kicker. After I gave a response in the affirmative, and said I will change, and said that I was unaware that I was not positive enough, and that I will try harder (I was changing out of my exercise clothes into a bathrobe in the bedroom as we talked). I turned to walk out of the bedroom with my exercise clothes gathered up to take down to the laundry (didn't want to put sweaty damp clothes in the hamper). As I'm heading for the door she says "Oh, so now you're walking out to go pout?"

I turned and asked "I gave you a positive response. I said I would alter my behaviour. I said I would be more upbeat. What more do you want at this time. What is the magic response that will tell you on an emotional level that I mean what I say?"

Blah, blah, blah, blah - 15 minutes.

It went on for awhile until it simmered down and I got to go shower.

We went for a walk. Perfect evening - warm, humid, no mosquitoes. After the initial walk (30 min) she wanted to keep going - it was soooo perfect out - i was OK with continuing. An hour and half of walking later (after a 1.5 hour exercise session [8 mile run included], I'm a little tired and my legs are a little wobbly - it's about 11:40.

We sit and talk for a moment before going to bed. I'm pretty exhausted - I've been up since 6:30am. All of a sudden she's on me further about the positive attitude thing because I'm just kind of sitting like a lump drinking my water. She's telling me I don't treat her very well. She's telling me how my negative mood when I come home from work determines her mood and that it's because of me that she gets defensive and unsure and that's why she lights into me. So I have to change my attitude because otherwise there's no point in being married if she's the only one that has to put any effort into our marriage. That I make all the grandiose pronouncements about being committed and then put no effort into making her feel better or more secure or feel special or that I want to be with her.

I'm clueing into what has set this second rant off. I say that I'm positive and that she's mistaking my silence for something other than exhaustion, and she's mistaking the little clenching and jaw movements for anger - that I'm just getting used to my new dental splint.

She tones down a little. She says "I'm so glad you told me that because otherwise how would I have known?"

We go to sleep.



You've heard it all before.

So have I.

How long did that last?

8 days? 9 days?

Take the magic weekend out and it lasted 6 days?

We're back to I'm to blame.

I know you all said it. I know that it's "I told you so" time.

I'm just mighty dejected that it took that short a time. I really expected that it wouldn't be that quick or that direct a path. I thought if it were going to revert, there would be a couple of weeks of grace. A small blowout - short period of forgiveness, then holidays as a family and that would set the stage for a bad blow-out after we returned in late August. Much the pattern of last year's August (see the very first posts on this blog).

I knew it would work out like this. That the last effort was doomed. I just had to whack that mole one more time. I just had too much problem with:

1) Hurting her (still don't want to do it)
2) Leaving while a person is asking for another chance (I've had to ask for so many additional chances in my life that it's hard to deny that of someone else)
3) The hassle
4) The kids reaction
5) Being ridiculously optimistic

Let's see how my will holds out this week. I need to talk to my parents about that rent and damage deposit. Good thing payday is tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"standing idly by"

"just standing idly by, as a friend, for when the proverbial shit hits the fan." - CP

why is it i feel pretty much the same way?

had an "almost conversation" in the garage yesterday

she told me that when she got mad at me last saturday about me wanting to go exercise she should have said "Fine. Do whatever the hell you want. I'll make my own fun without you. I don't have to wait around for you."

when she noticed the small frown on my face, after her saying this with no small bit of edge in her voice, she said "I meant, that's what I could have said then. But I didn't. I was just illustrating something I could have said. I should have handled it better. I will in the future."

She bought a book by Doctor Phil that she's reading. She puts great stock in its advice...

When Pissy talked about her husband's ex
"When he told her he was leaving, she did everything she could think of to get him to stay.

and I mean EVERYTHING...even sexual stuff....and this from a woman who wouldn't even have sex with the lights on..."
well... dread: intransitive senses : to be apprehensive or fearful

I'm waiting to see how long it takes for her to meet any of the demands i made. Better not be long.


In other exciting news, I picked up my new dental splint today. It's sort of like a football mouthguard except it's molded plastic and only for my lower teeth. I had one before but it broke. Now the headaches I get from clenching my teeth while sleeping will go away.

Well, they did last time.

Still holding.

Thank-you for waiting the vigil with me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Weekend Away

On Friday Mrs_C suggested we go away for the weekend. That would have been someplace between What Do I Do? and Yes, I'm a Twit.

We had only agreed in principle and I was deciding whether to go or not (and looking up possible locations) when I wrote Yes, I'm a Twit. That decision, and my expectation that I would agree to go was part of the subtext to Yes, I'm a Twit.

There are some pics of where we went on the other blog Monday, June 26, 2006 Weekend Away - Some Pictures.

I know you are all thinking "Well, she reeled him in good with this one", or, at least, I'm thinking that, however, I did it anyway. I went away for a weekend alone. No distractions. Talking, but not "garage conversations". She is at the very least saying the right things.

We talked for the whole weekend. We had fun. We saw new things. We didn't have kids with us. We talked more. We cooked on the deck of the condo, we drank wine (yes - we got it on too), I broke diet a bit - we had ice cream and souvlaki and many good things that were within diet. We discussed how we believed we'd arrived at the situation we were in. We discussed candidly our motivations, feelings, and emotional state surrounding any number of events and times since we we began seeing each other. The whole ball of wax - or at least as much as could be fit in this weekend.

It was apretty wonderful weekend. Should have done it long ago.

When I told my friend (the one whose email I quote on the other blog Friday, June 16, 2006 An email I received) and the one that inspired the the title for the post Thursday, June 22, 2006 SUCKER, she said "It's amazing what people will say when they're desperate." My friend's a hoot - I think you'd all like her.

Mrs_C is saying that she recognises her behaviour as completely unacceptable. That it is irrational and unstable and says she has treated me like shit. She says that because she recognises just how vicious and miserable she has been, she will let me go without causing a commotion if that is what I decide to do. She says she wants to stay together, that she loves me, and that she wants to try to make ammends for what she has done. I have always said I don't want ammends. That sort of power imbalance and reparative based interaction is improper. I don't want someone kissing my ass ro sucking up - I'm uncomfortable with it and don't like it. All I've ever asked for is change in behaviour.

Yes. I'm very concerned it is some kind of game, even though she has declared herself past playing games.

My daughter broke down and cried on Monday evening of last week when her mother told her that we might be splitting (Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Monday, Monday). She's been hiding in her room a lot. A marked contrast to her reaction when her Mom went out the door. Kids are strange that way. Was my daughter really happy on the day her Mom left, or was she so stunned she didn't know what to do? Did she base her reaction on mine? On my wife's on Monday? Did they not believe their Mom was really gone last Saturday?

Son has been escaping a lot into his computer games and staying away with friends.

CP: I love my Mom too. I rely on my parents a lot when my own compass is fucked up. That, to me, is the major thing that a parent is there for (beyond basic creature comforts). A child is not fully developed. It is up to us as parents to use our experiential filter to help children interpret events and make the right decision based on a larger experience set than the child's. That is why modelling is so important. That's why the effect on my kids of all of this is such a huge factor for me.

My Mom independently gave me roughly the same advice as CP (an amusing coincidence...). Make a set of conditions which have to be met. Mrs_C should:
  1. See a doctor to assess her medical/mental state. Is she Bi-Polar or something similar?
  2. See a counsellor regularly (not here and there, but at least weekly). Those visits should be together with me and solo.
  3. Eat on a regular schedule (Mrs_C skips meals all the time)
  4. Stop attacking me
  5. Allow me to sleep - not wake-ups or interuptions

I put these demands and a couple of others to Mrs_C. The above and:
  • Pick an activity that is hers alone - not for us, and not for the household, just hers and do it.
  • Have a set bedtime that allows both of us to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  • Get some friends and spend time with them

(also: Mrs_C said she wants to try a modified version of my diet (she can't eat some fo the stuff on the list). She wants to do it, not for weight reasons, but for health (this goes with eating regularly and quitting smoking). She wants to exercise as well.)

I have come to realise that part of my problem is that I run from conflict when it is involves people who are emotionally close to me. That conflict avoidance has been the source of a bunch of problems in our marriage.

My tax and business issues and spreading out the payments and hiding it from Mrs_C was to avoid the conflict with her. Buckling in fights all the time was a conflict avoidance thing. Running up my credit cards recently was also trying to paper over conflict with money.

I told Mrs_C that my action in return for the above stated demands is that I would fight with her. I would actually hold my ground and put up a fight instead of trying to placate, smooth over, problem/conflict solve, avoid subjects, or give in.

I have not said that I will be staying. The above demands were made in the context of "Before we can consider anything, I have some demands."

A warning bell for me:

Mrs_C said that she wanted to only have us discuss things for right now with our marriage counsellor. She said that she knew I talked to some other people, and on the internet and that she was of the opinion that other people's opinions were colouring mine to the point of getting me worked up and angry.

Mrs_C cited the example of her sister telling her that she shouldn't take it from me and that Mrs_C did all the work in our marriage and that was the problem. Mrs_C said that her sister would always seem to move quickly from the topic of our marriage to her own and seemed to be projecting her own issues onto myeslf and Mrs_C. This was Mrs_C's reasoning as to why I might be getting bad advice off friends.

I told her she was wrong, and that the times i came home all pissed off were when I had been writing in my journal and reflecting on my own feelings (not 100% accurate, but I wasn't going to give that ground - sometimes I had just finished writing a piece on this blog - only semantically different from writing in my journal, in my opinion - there is a huge crossover between the two).


For information on the lawyer visit, click here. I am legally safe even if I do move out.


I still haven't made up my mind what the hell I'm going to do.

I am trying to stand up on my own two legs in this situation. I am setting my own boundaries. I am setting my own conditions. Am I brave or strong enough to hold my position? Time will tell.

I want to see how Mrs_C carries through. I share your collective skepticism about the sudden conversion. She has a couple of tiny bursts of weird emotion pop up since last Monday, but she is keeping it well contained.

A few of you have stated your skepticism about whether Mrs_C can carry through for any length of time. We'll see. Summer time is here. I had planned on being out the door in a few days. She's bought herself some time with this latest maneuever. Even if my actions belie my attitude, I'm not in a particularly forgiving mood.

I've got some plans about life that I want to get underway, and I'm not going to sit around waiting. I've done that long enough.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yes, I'm a Twit

On the post below...

Yes, I am an idiot.

I stand by what was posted. I stand by my conflict. I stand by being fucked in the head. I stand by being ravaged by emotional conflict. And I stand by my own weakness in the face of my wife.

I stand by the contradiction of my words and actions.

I stand by asking for an anchor or two to hold me down.

And I continue.

I still have a list of furniture to furnish my apartment. I still have an appointment to view the one they will be giving me (if I take it). I still have my list of change of address notifications. I still have a stack of packed boxes of crap under the guise of "cleaning".

But I still I stand by my internal conflict.

What Do I Do?

So I asked Mrs_C why we went from splitting to staying together (see last post) in 40 quick hours. She said "I'm sorry if I misinterpreted what you said." The background:

On Monday we had been talking about our son and some of the problems he has/had - he's his own person. He is capable, intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, polite, nice, and an incredible human being (see the post "My Son") - and an incredibly maddening human being. But he could give a shit about popularity or social games or systems of authority. He will challenge anyone or anything - politely - but resolutely. He has been this way since he was tiny. He operates in his own universe of right and wrong, of motivation and un-motivation. He will happliy ignore almost anything that doesn't fit with his view of the multiverse. You can see where he would have problems at school and with the school hierarchy.

On Monday we had been talking about our son and some of the problems he has/had. In the context of splitting, Mrs_C asked "How are we going to deal with his trials and tribulations? It'll be a lot harder." - I said "Don't worry, we'll deal with it together." Some emphasis on together.

Mrs_C says she thought I meant we would stay togther.

You know - this made perfect sense last night when i was talking to her, but when I read the above words on the page, it looks and sounds really lame as explanations go...

Anyway, it all made perfect rational sense and perfect emotional sense to me last night when I asked and we talked. She said that she would accept, without any trouble, whatever I decide. That she understands that I could not live in the conditions that her emotional instability and neediness created. That I could not live with the atmosphere that our children were living in. That she understands that I care about her, and that I am motivated to leave primarily out of fear and anxiety over the way she treated me when she "got going". That she realises that she was wrong to do what she did. That she understands she needs help. That she needs assessment and therapy. And a bunch of other things.

Mrs_C was completely different on Monday and Tuesday. I'm hyperattuned to differences in her frame of mind and those two days - and even yesterday - were like nothing else before. She feels different. My gut, my heart, and my soul say there's something different about her.

My head.

In my universe head and heart are two different things. Emotions, to me, are like the weather. Little understood, uncontrollable, changing by the hour (you'd have to live where I live to quite understand weird irrational weather - we have days that see 80F evening, below freezing night with snow, and back up over 80F by noon (in June...) there are special warnings on our airport for pilots because the wind can change directions so quickly so often.

My head.

My head says "You've begun a course of action. Your reasons were rational and considered when you started. On examination they are all still sound. Follow through on your course of action."

My head.

My heart and my soul.

They have two different views of reality at this life altering moment. Life altering for at least my nuclear family. Life altering for many more.

I believe in redemption.

I believe in all the goodness the world can provide. With all my heart and all my soul.

[to be editted in the permanent version of this post]
My mind, however, belongs to a more cynical place. While I believe in goodness and light. While my heart bleeds for the downtrodden and the hungry, my mind exists in a far more brutal place. What do I do? I'm not just a computer guy. Think about "Willie Horton ads" and "swift boat dudes for truth" and you will begin to understand what kind of computer and media/multi-media guy I am. Except I work for the good guys and they work for the bad guys. I see power and backstabbing and backbiting and the worst a non-bullet oriented society can bring. My daily role is to sieve my opponents work and destroy them. I have seen so much lying and skulduggery that my mind has to be divorced from my heart.
[/end of editable section]

And now I make a decision about Mrs_C.

I asked my son if he had sensed any change in the last few days. He said "Not much, but I haven't talked to her much, so I don't know."

Head or heart?

Head or heart?

Head or heart?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


That's what my friend wrote in black and red letters on a sticky note and stuck it to my forehead when I was telling her about Sunday night and Monday's accusations surrounding sex.

That's what I feel like today.

On Monday night Mrs_C had said that we would split. She would move out and I would stay in the house with the kids. She proposed that we not split until son is finished his exams. I replied that was my original timeline, and had not intended to bring up any issues until then anyway.

It was after midnight, she asked "So what do we do?" "How do we live?" "Do you want me to sleep downstairs on the couch?" "If we sleep in the same bed can I still cuddle up close to you if I'm cold?"

I was exhausted on Monday night. I said "I think we go to sleep. I think we get up in the morning and I think we go to work. I think we come home and eat supper and then go to daughter's event (she was singing in a choir). And we see what we do from there."

We did that on Tuesday. We came home. I was sooooo tired. We went to bed at about 9 pm.

Wednesday: She sends an email to me about her planned vacation days. She's been supposed to send me a confirmation for months now. It arrives yesterday. She phones me to ask me if I received it. I say yes I did. She repeats the days. I say "yes, those are the days I had tentatively originally booked. And thanks for the confirmation." I think it's kind of weird considering we won't be going together anymore, but maybe this is just a bit of clean-up related to arrangements.

I come home from work. She's talking away about her newfound change in attitude and her newfound focus on happiness and her intention to just leave some things sit (ie dishes, laundry).

She asks me how I'm doing. She's asking me how I'm feeling, and whether I'm OK, and how I was coping at work. I realise that her whole demeanor is heading toward a "conversation". I tell her "I'm just taking a couple of day break from things and we'll get at dealing with it tomorrow or the next day."

She tells me about how difficult it is for her. That she loves me, and that she would do anything to make things sort out.

We're talking a bit while I get my food ready and prepare to go exercise. She's telling me some things that she's been thinking about. That the situation is sort of unreal. I say that I understand the unreality of the situation.

She talks about her reactions and how she realises that she's not taking enough time for herself and that her reactions have a lot to do with how she could make thing better when she was young - clean and work harder. I talk about what my counselor said about our earliest successful coping mechanisms being our default solution. Hers to deal with an abusive mother and essentially absent father (uninvolved) - work hard to please her Mom - clean, clean, clean - household work. Mine - clam up, pull in, withdraw, leave.

More conversation. We talk about some of our feelings and general anxiety. All of this is skirting the issue of the separation.

I talk about my journal a little (she is aware of the existence of my journal - she is aware I write my feelings in it - she is unaware of this blog).

I had reworked the end of my last blog entry into my journal - I said something like:

"It's sad that it's lucid [her name] that I'm dealing with to arrange the break-up with. The lucid [name] - the one I loved.


I'm preparing to leave the woman I loved."

She gets tears brimming in her eyes and says "Are you making preparations to leave still?"

I'm stunned. I'm bowled over. I am absolutely flattened.

What do I do?

Exactly what you would expect me to do when faced with a situation that is utterly unexpected. Hedge my bets until I figure out what the fuck is going on.

[SUCKER]I say "I was only referring to my journal entry. I wrote it the morning after we had plans to split.[/SUCKER]

I continue eating.

As I contemplate the universe this morning I realise that I got badly played. That she knew exactly how to maneuver me into a series of little steps that led to me making a bunch of statements saying I care about her, and that I'm concerned about how she's doing, and that this is all difficult for me, lull me into security with her talking about her newfound manner of living.

And then boom.

She nails me - "Are you making preparations to leave still?"

Fuck me

I am a fucking and complete moron. I am one dumb shit. If I was my boss and this was my work, I'd fire me.

Fuck me

I also realise that she played two of my desires to maneuver me as well. I really want to go exercise - its a real crutch for me at this time - withholding or delaying it is quite anxiety/upset producing for me. I like to avoid anxiety and upset. Also - she knows that I consider the "conversations" to be torturous and I try to avoid them when possible. Avoid messing up my exercise (which she has done regularly), avoid a "conversation".

Trap me. It's another game. Last night she said she was going to stop game playing. How's this for proof? I intend to ask her today how we went from splitting to not splitting in a 40 hour period, when I wasn't asked about it during that time.

I started looking at rental properties this morning.

I've resolved to continue with the process. She will obviously not be moving out. So I will proceed. I hope to maintain my strength.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday, Monday

Read Hell Weekend parts 1 through 5 first

[Addendum added - look for marked section]

My son calls after school. Goes to computer gaming centre with friend.

On my way home I call Mrs_C to see if he's home, otherwise I will go pick them up. I do so with Mrs_C's concurrence.

We get home. Mrs_C's sister and one of the nieces are there visiting. I begin supper - it is already heading toward 6pm. I have things well underway by the time sister and niece leave. Mrs_C comes into the kitchen and makes some comment about this holding me up from going to exercise and that she should have kicked her sister out earlier and done more supper prep work because she knows how important my exercise is to me.


Can you smell it coming?

I can.

Well, I ignore it - maybe I can get through things and keep it from erupting until after I'm back and deal with it then.

The kids' meal is ready and my stuff is still grilling on the barbeque. Mrs_C comes out and offers to let me go eat while she finishes the last of the stuff I was doing - enough of my food was ready that I could eat (along with stuff in fridge). She said she wanted to give me the gift of the time to eat and go exercise. So I went to eat. She was acting weird, but whatever...

I went out when I was done and happened to offer a technique thought to her (having done more vegetable grilling with this particular grilling rack than her). She countered with her idea and then said "No, no, you're right. Why would I argue with anything you say - you're right. You know these things."

I say that its not what i meant and leave to change into my exercise clothes.

I am leaving and the last of the grilling is just done. She rips into me that if I really cared about her I would have called her to come eat, and would have said I would finish it.

I pointed out that contradicted her claim that she was doing the finishing as a loving act toward me. We get into a bit of a dispute over this. I say "Whatever, I'm leaving"

She comes back with some comment or other and it escalates further back and forth.
[editted section]
She was trashing me about not being considerate of her ever. I said it wasn't true. She said "Yeah, well, it was like last night when I wanted to make love in a gentle giving and loving way and you just used me. All you did was bend me over the bed.
I snapped "No, were done. We're finished. It's over."

She said "Fine!"

I turned and walked away. I went to exercise.

She phoned on my cell phone. She asked if I really meant it.

I said "You ambushed me! You ambushed me completely with all your stuff about doing things for me and making it easy to go exercise - and then you attack me. How can I live like this? I can't live like that"

I said I was going to come home. She told me to stay and finish my exercise and think about it, whether I really meant it or not.

She phoned after about an hour and asked me if I had made a decision, because if I meant it she needed to go talk to her sister and would need the support of her family. I said that yes, I meant it. I said that I had wanted to say it to her face and not over the phone.

We talked for a few minutes and I said I would be home in a few minutes.

When I got home she had already talked to daughter and said that daughter was in her room very upset.

We talked.

Talk, talk, talk, talk.

She was more honest this time. She said she had no idea of why she did some of the shit she does, and that she actually meant to be nice but that something just came over her and she couldn't believe that she had pulled the stunt she had. She said that the whole thing on the weekend was all game playing as well, and that at various times in our marriage she had been consciously game playing as well (she cited a few instances of egregious behaviour). She pointed to her recent behaviour as being similar to the stupid stunts she played before we were married to get me to say i loved her - the breaking up stuff and all that.

We discussed some of the logistics of splitting. She tried really hard to get me to forgive her and say it's all ok. That I should let it go and she would try to be better. She said that it was because she wasn't reassured that I really loved her. She said that's why she had been playing all the games. That if I only showed her that I loved her she wouldn't feel the need to do what she did.

I said that I had already done that a lot. I also said that if in 18 years I hadn't been able to get it right (making her feel special - showing that I love her), the likelihood of me doing it at this point was low. So she would just be mad at me again, and we'd be back to the same place.

We went for a walk around the neighbourhood - it was a beautiful night. We talked. We talked about some of the things we were going to do and accomplish together that we didn't do. The traveling that never happened. We cried about the loss we were experiencing. We mourned.

We went back to the house and sat in the backyard. I cried when I saw all the stuff I had built for her and the kids in the yard. I cried when I saw the neatly tended rows of her garden. The playhouse and tree fort - the shed we had built together.

We cried.

There was a lot of holding each other, soft kissing, and crying.

She kept working me to get me to say I'd stay.

I didn't.

We went inside and finished cleaning up the kitchen. She asked how we would do this. Would we sleep in the same bed? Would we still hold each other?

It was awful. Even she said "I always thought there'd be a lot more anger". It was so very sad.

It was even sadder that it was the lucid Mrs_C that I had to arrange the initial elements of our break-up with. The lucid Mrs_C - the one I loved. It was her I was leaving late last night. Not the bizarre crazy one.


I loved the woman I am leaving.

Hell weekend - Part 5 (father's day)

Read Parts 1 through 4 first

Warning - this post has some sexual content (not rude, but somewhat explicit - it is relevant to the context of this continuing narrative)

Sunday morning came at about 9:30am. Mrs_C woke me up and asked me if we should go for Father's Day brunch.

Well, this and that and this and that and we managed to get out to brunch and wait through the line and got to brunch.

I went off diet in a really serious way. I figured screw it - for $16 I'm not just eating a plate of fruit like I normally would. So eggs and bacon and roast beef and omelets and other stuff later I had had my fill of Father's Day buffet.

Funny things is, I remember thinking all that sort of things tasted so good to me before. Now, it was fine, but not quite the buzz I used to get.

I've changed from my buffet king past life. Healthy buffet choices - I wasn't a pop and potato chip guy at all (that would be ZERO [except mix in an alcohol drink]) - but big quantities. I liked my meat. Liked my sausage - I still make homemade sausage with my brother-in-law in his massive backyard smoker.

Around 1pm we went to the mall to pick up a card and stuff for my Dad - the day before had precluded my ability to get anything for my Dad. We got the card and token gift and went to my Mom and Dad's place.

We visited for awhile.

We dropped the kids off and went to the grocery store (one of these massive jobbies with everything from furniture to food [not Wal-Mart])

I have had the beginnings of a fibromyalgia flare-up for a couple of weeks, but have managed to keep it at bay.

The flare-up became bad at the store. Mrs_C kept us walking around, I tried to tell her that it was bad, but she just kept on finding one more thing to look at - always on the other end of the fucking store. I almost thought it was deliberate. Finally I had to end it and say we needed to go.

We went home and I crawled into bed and slept. Mrs_C offered to do some massage, but it was too painful and hypersensitive for that. Even just feeling the sheets on my skin was enough to overwhelm my senses.

She woke me up around 6:30pm. I was a little pissed because it didn't leave much time to cook and go to her parents place and the kids both had homework. But Mrs_C had been working in the garden and had lost track of time (funny how when I am out running errands it's a fucking issue, but if it her in the garden, then, well, whatever...)

I cooked, we ate, then we went to Mrs_C's parents place.

We visited. It was an OK visit.

We came home, the kids finished their homework (I typed out the last of my daughter's research report for her from her research notes). We prepared some food for the coming week - my diet stuff - fresh vegetables, fruit, etc. - the kids also take it for lunch now. They have perhaps the healthiest diet of all their school comrades as a result of this diet. I suppose that is one of the gift side effects of the diet.

We went to go to bed. We talked in our room - Mrs_C made some comments about my body and the shape its in - she says she likes how I look. She has lost weight as well - because she refuses to eat when she's stressed. Also, because I do most of the cooking and in my family food = love[mom] (can you hear a key reason for my weight issue), it is a great weapon to use against me. Generally, refusing to eat my food is like refusing to accept a hug, kiss, or gift from me.

She has lost weight as well. We were comparing bodies and changes and admiring each other - she's still an attractive woman no matter what I feel about other things - I think she's hot.

The discussion turned sexual - the sexual conversation was not huggy kissy, it was to the urgent/wild side of things. We began to get it on. It was bolder, "hotter", rougher - not pain rough, but more sexual and "hot" sex than loving/embracing sex - you know what I mean.

As she had made a number of comments suggesting that was the manner she would like to do things, I moved us into a position she had "thought up" herself a couple of months back - her bent over the bed with both of us standing on the floor and me behind her (you get the picture).

As we were engaged for awhile in this I noticed she changed in her demeanor. I stopped and suggested we change to kiss and face each other. We did. Everything went well. After she orgasmed she suggested we do something, uh, "non-standard" that we have only ever done once before. She had previously not wanted to repeat said sexual act because of potential discomfort. I have concurred. Sex should not involve discomfort or pain (unless, I suppose, that's what your consentingly into...). I demurred, and we reached mutual satisfaction otherwise.

I did not want to participate in the act because I didn't want to cause her discomfort. I had actually expected that she would try and dangle this in my direction at some time as some kind of sexual "bait". I had previously decided that the answer would be no, and especially in the circumstances we were in. And considering that she had trashed me (see Monday, May 22, 2006 Incidents Of Note) about it previously.

There was some gentle conversation and as we both had to work in the morning, we chose to go to sleep.


Read Hell Weekend Parts 1 through 4 first

"If you have ever experienced “blanking out”, trouble staying focused in the present, extensive forgetting, gaps in memory, not feeling real, or/and feeling as if you were watching yourself from outside of your own body, chances are you have experienced disassociation. This reaction allows you to mentally escape from or block out the wretchedness from the offending trauma."

"A number of factors tend to affect the length of time required for recovery, including the degree of intensity and loss sustained from the occurrence. Events that last longer pose a greater threat. When there has been a loss of life or a substantial loss of property is involved, it will often take longer to resolve. A person's coping skills and thinking processes with emotionally challenging situations determine their perception of the trauma. People who have experienced and handled other extreme stressful circumstances may find it easier to cope. Those who are faced with other emotionally challenging situations, such as serious health problems or family-related difficulties, may have more intense reactions to the new stressful event and require more time to recover."

"The most common reactions to trauma include:

  • Denial which allows you to function while the threat is occurring
  • Your feelings become intense and sometimes are unpredictable. You might be especially anxious or nervous, or even become depressed.
  • Mentally you may find difficulty with concentration; solving problems; making decisions, memory disturbance; flashbacks. Inability to attach importance to anything other than the incident.
    You may disassociate. Dissociation is a feeling of detachment from the experience, feeling “outside your own body” as if watching someone else experience the event.
  • Physically, you may experience fatigue, insomnia, under activity, headaches, nightmares, hyperactivity, startle reactions, exhaustion, and diarrhea.
  • You experience a change in how you perceive your surroundings, resulting in a feeling of numbness, detachment, and of being cut off from their immediate surroundings. You can make a distinction between what is and what is not real, yet; you feel removed from the immediate situation.
  • Your thoughts and behavior patterns are affected by the trauma. You might experience vivid memories of the event. These flashbacks may occur for no apparent reason and may lead to physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, or feeling you can't breathe.
  • You may experience an overall feeling of fear, guilt, emotional numbing, over sensitivity, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, violent fantasies, feelings of helplessness, forgetfulness of details.
  • Recurring emotional reactions are common. Anniversaries of the event, such as at one month or one year, as well as reminders such as aftershocks from earthquakes or the sounds of sirens, can trigger upsetting memories of the traumatic experience. These 'triggers' may be accompanied by fears that the stressful event will be repeated.
  • Relationships with family and friends may become tense. You may have more frequent arguments with family members and coworkers due to a higher level of irritability.
  • You may become withdrawn and isolate yourself from others.
  • Reactions may change over time. Some who have suffered from trauma are energized initially by the event to help them with the challenge of coping, only to later become discouraged or depressed by generalized anxiety or panic. All of the above conditions may deplete essential energy reserves through chronic sleep deprivation, which, in turn, could degrade coping capacity."

Hell weekend - Part 4 (aftermath)

Read Parts 1 through 3 First

She's come back. The kids have literally run for the basement. I give her a hug. Her body is rigid. I say "Let's talk. In the garage."

It's about 8 pm.

We go out to the garage (if you are wondering - it's an attached garage). We talk. We talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

We talk until 2 in the morning.

I can't even tell you what the hell we talked about. It was all the usual. It was who did something right and who did something wrong and who did something.

The emotional devastation of this discussion is impossible to describe. I want to describe it to you and give a taste of just how horrifying and excruitiating an experience these hours were, but I can't even remember the details of the conversation.

I have a very good memory for the most part. I can remember things in detail since the day I turned 3 - yes, the day I turned 3 is the day my conscious existence starts. I can remember many things before that, but sorting it all into a coherent and chronologically catalogued set of memories doesn't start until my 3rd birthday.

I can't remember a goddamned thing about the conversation. She had me tied up and spun around and tossed and turned and I don't know what. I was agreeing with her by the end.

Brainwashing. Stockholm Syndrome. I have an understanding of it.

Things had ground down by around the 2 am period. We were going to bed. She had said that she loved me more than anything in the world and didn't want to split. I agreed that I didn't want to split. I agreed that I would try harder to make her feel special and to give her the emotional connection she needed..

The thing that caused me more trouble than anything was the pain she was in. I couldn't cope with the pain she was in. Or appeared to be in. The tears. The sobs. Mine didn't matter to me - I didn't want her to be in pain.

The conversation was unreal.

If there was an emotional ploy or guilt trick left unused, I don't know that it exists. Or at least I remember thinking every now and again about the specific tecniques she was using to knock me down. I was beginning to disassociate. I was actually observing the discussion from outside. I was judging the nature of the words and making judgements about their utility as argumentative props and tools.

It had stopped. But I still can't remember the details, only my observations.

As we were getting ready for bed she looks at me and says "Make love to me".

I began to cry. I couldn't cope with it.

I cried a racking cry that hurt to release.

She realised immediately that she'd gone too far. She said "No, don't cry. We don't have to. I'm not making a demand of you, I just wanted the closeness. I just wanted so much to be close to you. We don't have to."

I was fully aware that it wasn't a demand. That is not why I was crying.

Over the years she has pulled out every bit of my emotional being - like pulling a mussel out of its shell - and exposed it to air. And minced it. And then shoved it back in, or let me gather up the bits and try to recover.

Sort of like when you hear about the rapist demanding their victim pick up the clothes scattered around and put their clothes back on "Why are you naked? Get dressed!!!"

This conversation, on top of all of the rest over the last year or two, had left me with nothing left to be extracted for torture.

Emotionally it parallels my fibromyalgia pain. At the worst of it, the fibromyalgia pain was so bad, and the muscle spasms so racking, that all I had left to allow me to continue was my will and my rationality. By abandoning my body and my physical experience I could survive - survive by just cutting out physical experience. The pain endured and clawed at my consciousness every minute. I knew it would not kill me, but I knew that it might end - if not that day, then the next week, or the next year. I had rationally arrived at goals and I knew I had the choice of either abandoning everything for the pain or choosing to follow the choices I made and brutally enforcing the dictates of my will against my own body.

She asked me to make love to her.

I began to cry.

I cried because I had nothing left to give her, and to ask me to make love was too much. There were times with my fibromyalgia that it did become too much for even my will to sustain - usually at the end of a very long day - up at 6:30am kids, work, taxi, teach, cleaning, household chores - by the end of the night I would just have no will left and it would be all I could do to crawl - and I mean crawl into bed and just shake. I couldn't hold the pain at bay anymore.

I couldn't make love to her. There was nothing left in me to make love to her with.

She realised she had gone too far. She held me for awhile and we went to bed.

I slowly drifted off. Someplace around 3am she woke me to snarl about some discrepancy she had been able to extract or cause by jumping all over me during the 6 hour discussion. A discrepancy in her mind about how and why I didn't take her to the barbeque.

She announces she's leaving again. This I time I say to myself "Fuck her!"

She gets dressed - all I can think about is how much I need to sleep. I watch her get dressed. She does it in these short, angry, bursts of motion that she uses when she gets angry or pissed off at me.

She's verbally whipping me about how I don't really give a shit about her or our marriage and how self-centred I am.

I get out of bed and follow her down to the front door - only because I know that I'll pay for it if I don't. I've lived around this drama queen for too long to miss when the applause signs are supposed to be obeyed.

She makes some demand about me saying I love her and me saying I never want to leave. She says that I should say it or she's gone. I say "GO!" She whirls and slams out the door to her car.

I'm thinking "Please stay away until at least tomorrow so I can sleep."

I go to sit on the couch in the living room until she really does leave.

I do this because if I don't - if I go back to bed - and she comes back in, my suffering will be incalculable. I will never be allowed to sleep. I know in my own mind that if that were to happen I would have to go to my parents house. I need to sleep. Oh god, I need to sleep.

The lights in the driveway don't go away. I wait. And then the lights go away. I don't look out the window. I think - OK - she's gone.

The door opens. It her.

She says in a quiet voice with a tiny element of embarrassment "I tried to leave, but I have no place to go"

I say "You could go to your home. [pause] Let's just go to sleep."

We go upstairs and fall asleep.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hell weekend - Part 3 (she leaves)

Read Parts 1 and 2 first

I drive son's friend home and begin to return home. I'm trying to figure out in my mind how to deal with the situation, and how to address things with the children. I'm writing, tearing up, and rewriting speeches in my head.

I want to be balanced. I don't want to promote Mom hate. I want the kids to have as controlled a crash as possible. I want the kids to understand that shit happens, and that even if things have gone to bad - and their Mom takes off, that they should understand that things that have transpired between their Mom and I were a two way street, that I'm not perfect and have done things to upset their Mom over the years, and that even if their Mom walked out, or seemed to be the source of the tension, they shouldn't hate her. That in their lives they need their Mom. And that they should consider that their Mom may have valid reasons for doing what she does that aren't apparent at first.

I didn't have a very good feeling about things, especially given the last group discussion that involved the kids Monday, May 22, 2006 Incidents Of Note, so I was stalling for time to see if something would occur to me on how to deal with things.

On the way to drop her off at home, Mrs_C had given me $20.00 to buy something for supper for the kids on the way home from dropping off son's friend. I said I could afford it (and could), but didn't argue when she put the money in a spot on my dashboard - it's not like we needed another thing to argue about. I was going to get food, go home, and see whether anything could be sorted out. And if Mrs_C has left by the time I'm done getting the food, it will give me more time to think and probably a good starting point on precipitating a real split.

On the way back I get a call on my cell. It's Mrs_C - she says she is leaving in about 10 minutes. She's telling me how I'll be better off with out her, and how bad a person she is, blah, blah, blah.

By this time, I have the feeling she's playing for an audience - this is a drama moment. This is starting to sound and feel like the various times she "dumped me" when we were dating and I begged her to come back.

Also, by this time I couldn't give a flying fuck what she does.

I'm saying non-committal things like "We need to talk" and "We should really talk this over".

However, my daughter hears me responding and says "Is that Mom?"

Mrs_C repeats that she's leaving in ten minutes. I'm at the major turn-off that leads to our house. I'm thinking that if she leaves, and I had the warning of the call, and I don't make an effort to have kept things together - what will my kids think of my commitment? I say to Mrs_C "I'm at [street name], I'm coming home". She says "Then I'm leaving right now!"

I tell my kids yeah - it is their mother - but no other details.

I go to turn. Slowly. I stop unnecessarily at the light to allow traffic to go by. I turn slowly and meander my way down the street toward the next turn-off. I have an idea of how long it will take for her to leave. As I approach the turn-off to our street, there's Mrs_C's car. She makes a fast turn and boots it down the street we're on. I pull to a stop at our turn-off, hesitating. I know Mrs_C has seen me. Daughter says "Wasn't that Mom?" I say yes - and slowly accelerate down the street giving Mrs_C lots of time to lose me. She does. When I'm certain she's out of view I ask the kids if they see their Mom's car anywhere. They don't.

I take this opportunity to tell them that their Mom left to "Think things through". That I tried to go home but their Mom hung up on me and took off. That I tried to follow her, but she drove away too fast. I tell them that I don't know if she'll be back today or the next day or few... I also tell them that I have no idea if their Mom has actually split, or if this is just a drama festival.

They're all "Oh". And that's about it.

So I ask them what we should get for supper. Do they want pizza? We make decisions about what to get. Daughter wanted one kind of pizza, and son said it sucked - the usual haggle. My solution? Get it all. Get the kind of pizza each of them wants - one store bought, one from a nearby pizzeria. Son said he liked the riblets he had at my Mom's place the night before - we got them too! We got it all.

I dropped the kids at home, put the store bought pizza in the oven, and zipped over to the pizzeria to get the other. Came home and everything was ready. We ate.

We talked. I described how things could be different with a split. Talked about joint custody and separate vacations and all the details of how things would work. Talked about how we would probably have to sell our house and get two smaller houses.

But it was a joyous little meal - the three of us. I told them that they could eat as much as they wanted of whatever they wanted. That this was a bagging free meal (Mrs_C usually harps at the kids about how they eat, especially when it comes to stuff like pizza. Ok in principle, but she carries it a little far).

It was strangely giddy and free. The kids (especially daughter) couldn't stop giggling.

My son's other friend called - he wanted to come over. Son said "My Mom just walked out the door, so it's not probably going to work for a few days. My Dad got pizza and we're just eating and figuring stuff out." Son's friend said (I was told shortly after) "Oh, sounds good. Celebratory feast, is it?" (says what son and his friends think of the configuration of the universe). Son and daughter just about peed themsleves laughing over this friend's comment. They both thought it was kind of mean and cruel in one sense ('cause it is their mom), but still thought it was funnier than all creation. Thay laughed so hard they cried.

I talked about separate vacations. Daughter says "oh, you mean we wouldn't all go together as a family in one group?" I say "No. I think the wounds would be too fresh to try that." She says "Good, because if it was gonna be like vacation last year I don't want to go. I would to stay with Grandma and Grandpa instead."

I just about fell over at all of this.

All my fears about how the kids would take it were whirled away and flung in a corner somewhere. They seemed happy and bubbly.

What the fuck is this? Their Mom just walked out. Their family is collapsing, and they're happy? They're not fighting or picking at each other at the table? They're both positively bouncing.

We are enjoying our supper - they to their pizza - me on my diet food (fresh vegetables, tofu, salads, fruits, nuts and seeds [twigs and bark...]).

And Mrs_C walks through the door. I look at her, I look at the kids. I say to Mrs_C "Let's talk in the garage."

As I rise, and walk toward her I see the kids literally leap from the table and run for the basement (rec room).

Hell weekend - Part 2 (scheduling the day)

Read Part 1 below first

In the 9:30 - 10:00 am period I was also trying to rouse my daughter from bed (son was at my parents overnight visiting and doing some work at their place). A friend of daughter's called to invite her over in the early afternoon.

Mrs_C got called in to work to look after a development there (2 hours call-in).

What was going to be a straightforward weekend had hit a minor scheduling snarl which should have been easy to untangle, but Mrs_C was dragging her feet on making a decision.

While waiting for a response on how things would be scheduled between going to the art show, the call-in, daughter going to friend, picking up son, and my exercise I did dishes and cleaned the house.

This made it easy for Mrs_C to put off a decision because there was activity to divert attention - the time slipped away. She also put off making a call to her sister (parent of nieces) to see if they would go at the same time as us. Mrs_C wanted to do her own thing but felt obligated to do all this and go with her sister and instead of making a quick decision. The easy window for me to go exercise was slipping away as was the ability to juggle everything else.

I broached the subject and insisted on getting a response on timing because I wanted to go exercise. This opened the flood. Apparently when I had put her off on going to this barbeque I had told her in her mind that I was embarrassed to be seen in public with her. [you should feel how my heart is pounding and stomach flopping with anxiety even just typing this now that it is all over]

I will spare you the about an hour long bizarre logic train and discussion involved with this supposition. It also meanders into my exercise being an excuse to spend time away from her and that I seem to be arranging things to maximise my time away from her. She wouldn't listen to me pointing out that my plan for the day would maximise time together and provide the largest amount of time for all the things she wanted to do. She was on her tear and there was no escape.

She was saying things like "I know that I am too fat and too ugly and you're embarrassed to be around me," and "I'm just too stupid for you to want to be with me, and I accept that." She would cut me off and argue and divert when I tried to address any of these statements or the other stuff she dragged into the situation - always with the most bizarre twist you can imagine.

Even saying I would defer my exercise to any time she wanted over the weekend wasn't good enough because the conversation was now about me trammeling her with my agenda - that she had priorities too, but they always got put off in favour of what everyone else wanted to do and that her priorities had been put off for the entire period of our marriage and even before we got married (she didn't move to a different city because she wanted to be with me).

It ended up that she had put things off so long, and ranted for so long, and wasted so much time, that her sister had left without her. She was going to be late going in to go to work, and the entire window for me to exercise, and then us to go to the art show, and then her go to work had been wasted on her ranting fit. Daughter had already advised her friend that it would not work out for her and daughter's friend to get together.

I went to exercise, she went to work (took our daughter with her). I met them at home after we were both done (2 hours) and we were to go to the art show.

Someplace in here she says she's going to leave and live somewhere else, and I would stay in the house because I couldn't afford to find my own place (not actually true, but it let's her skewer me one more time on financial issues). She also was still in her "I'm fat/ugly/useless" mode (none of which is true, by the way - let me underline that!). I say "What about the kids?" and she says "They should stay with the better parent, and there's no argument that you are the better parent." I respond that the kids need both parents in their lives and that we need to discuss this a little better than the scenario she is thrusting onto our family's lives.

Mrs_C had also by this point been saying stuff about not even going to the show with me (I wanted to be there for the nieces - I like them, they like me). And then about not going to the show at all - she told daughter and I to go without her. Daughter said that she would not go without her mother. Mrs_C gave in. We went.

When we arrived at the show she refused to walk with me. Our poor daughter (10 years old) was just fluttering around her mother trying to facilitate Mrs_C having a good time (daughter had hid in her room, but had heard plenty - including the "I'm to fat, too ugly, and too stupid rant"). Mrs_C tried to put daughter off from hanging around her (daughter REALLY wanted to go to the art show - 10 year old girl with mega artsy crafty tendencies - cousins in their early 20s with booth at art show - cousins are brilliant [high marks, degrees, ethnic dancers - like my daughter] drop dead gorgeous [really, really, really gorgeous] and "artsy stylin" with similarly attractive artsy friends - all wearing great "artsy/hottie fashion" - they take daughter out for coffee and dessert, art shows, shopping, movies, and play-days when they are in town [and they are completely sincere in enjoying time with her - these are wonderful young women] - daughter thinks the sun rises and sets on them and wants to be just like them).

We wander around show - put on a reasonable show for the nieces when we get to their booth (they don't need to know what's going on) - we wander a little more.

It may sound stupid and inane, but it was horrifying to be in the middle of all of this. I was ready to run in circles screaming and moaning or just puke. I felt awful for the girl (daughter). I tried to pry her way from Mrs_C, but daughter wouldn't go. I was really worried that this was an indication of how things would turn out if we ever split.

It's all a little fuzzy at this point. Someplace in here Mrs_C tells me she wants to go home and for me not to be there - and that I should go pick up son. Someplace in here she tells me she's packing a bag and leaving to think about things while I'm out doing the taxi run. Someplace in here it also is the case that it is sprinkling/raining and we need to pick up son at an outdoor sporting practice instead of the initial plan of me dropping Mrs_C off at home. We do so - pick up son and his friend and their equipment.

I drop Mrs_C at home, she has said things (so only I can hear) in the vehicle like "You drop son's friend off, and I'll pack while you're gone - take both kids with you to do the drop off" and "So - you're ok with this?" My response was "NO - we need to talk." It's not that I had a problem with her leaving, I just was concerned about the kids and how they would take it - especially daughter.

But the inevitability of it all just cruised forward. I had by this point decided that even if I ended up losing my daughter (in the spiritual and connection sense), that I could not go forward this way. That I would have to abandon her to the maelstrom - to try to hold on would kill both of us - if I let go long enough to regain myself, maybe I could rescue her, or find a new connection to her in the future.

(One or more of you have said to me that I have to save myself first in order to be there for my children. Someone compared it to putting on your own oxygen mask first in the event of cabin depressurisation.

I had talked to a friend of mine last week [the guy I went on the Asia/Pacific business trip with last summer before first announcing I was leaving]. I had asked him about the actual logistics of packing up and walking out the door - how do you do it? My friend said that there was no right setting - you just had to do it when you were strong enough. He said that he had left his first wife - with his children crying at the door. There was strain and some resentment from his kids. He said that now - five or so years later - his kids want to stay with him and don't even want to go back to their mother's place [our jurisdiction's joint custody rules again]).

I dropped Mrs_C off at home - daughter tried to get out with Mrs_C - Mrs_C said "NO". Daughter asked "Why?" Mrs_C says "Just go" and closes the vehicle door. And we left to drop off son's friend.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hell weekend - Part 1 (prelude)

Our story begins on Monday. Mrs_C phones me at work and tells me that she has booked off early on Tuesday and Thursday - she calls as I'm proofreading some stuff and I hear Tuesday and Wednesday. No matter she says she getting off early on those two nights to finish the redecorating of our daughter's room. This has zero impact on my existence other than the usual frenzy surrounding Mrs_C renovations.

On Tuesday I get a snap invitation to a barbeque. This invite has to do with getting "sniffed" by various people with regard to my additional duties and money. I tell Mrs_C that I will be going to this BBQ on Thursday. She says "Oh, will I be going too?" I say no, I thought you were working. I really did think she was working that night - I knew she could have asked for extra time off, but... You see, almost every other time I tried to take Mrs_C to an event related to my work - events which often involve less socializing and more active "working the room" - she hates it and wants to leave early, pouts, whines, and otherwise ruins both my ability to work the room, and my fun (I like "working a room" - I'm really good at it).

(historical tangent/rant)Several times she has pulled out of events (like fundraisers and such), that I had bought tickets for, immediately before we were to leave - literally as we were dressing and going she would spaz and have a fit about going and "being on display" and such. Or she would say she had nothing to wear to the event. On several occasions I felt badly that she had a wardrobe she felt was out of date or not up to snuff. She would point to all the stuff she had bought me (and the kids) and say things like "I'm never the one to get any new clothes because I'm always buying things for you and the kids. I end up spending all my money on you." I would point out that we hadn't actually asked for new stuff. Anyway, the fact that she only bought shit for us and didn't buy clothes for herself became and example of how she loved us more than we loved her, and that she was just our servant. On a number of these occasions in response (not immediately of course - enough time lapse that there was no obvious direct linkage to her rant) I went out myself and bought her new seasonal wardrobes (I have very good taste in women's clothing - not so good on the guy clothing front). The only problem with buying big chunks of her wardrobe is that it became an example of how I was trying to control her by even determining what she would wear... or that I was imposing my tastes on her, or that I had missed some variety of item.(end of rant)

But back to our story, Mrs_C seemed a little miffed she wasn't going (but not much), but I don't need to be rattled going into this BBQ and we would both be under a microscope - she would be very rattled - I know her. She hates anything where she thinks people might be judging her. I am also of the opinion she would have pulled out before going.

I go to the barbeque. It's fine, I'm a hit. A really big hit - let me repeat how much I owned that event.

Things are stable arriving home.

Friday: something's in the air, but I don't know what because it's very vague. I'm hyperattuned to the potentiality of an impending storm, so I can tell something's brewing.

I'm having a bad fibromyalgia day. That's been coming for awhile and it broke on Friday - pain, spasms, difficulty moving - the works. Stress (see the last several entries) and the weather (cloudy rainy).

Mrs_C kindly helps with a bit of massage, but I can see she's unhappy I'm not going to be able to perform sexually - I have to tell her straight up that it's not going to happen.

Saturday: I get up earlier than her. I go to read the news and eat my breakfast/drink coffee while on my computer. You see I'm not allowed to have the newspaper delivered anymore because all it is "clutter" - she has a fit if there is ever a newspaper left lying around. So I read the news on my computer.

While I'm reading I get a call from one of Mrs_C's nieces inviting us to an art show that our other niece has a display at (both adults - early 20s).

Mrs_C gets up awhile later and comes down - I can tell she's pissed about something by the way she comes down the stairs and slaps laundry baskets around. I figure she thinks I'm looking at porn or some such.

So I quick hop up and say let's go have coffee in the living room together. We do. It's tense even though we are exchanging pleasantries and banalities.

I say I've got to go exercise (it's ~9:30 am) and that I should get going soon so we can fit everything in that we need to during the day.

This is the beginning of the downward slide.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gonna Use My...

I was reading your responses to my last post, and thinking - yep - I got owned pretty bad in that last "conversation".

Went to bed last night and Mrs_C was all over me. She had also made her intentions clear the night before (night of blah, blah, blah [see below]), but I was really tired - I also had no will or ability to "get it up", quite frankly. As I have mentioned before I don't do so well in the "service" department in the aftermath of these sessions. Mrs_C seems to get some kind of emotion rush related turn-on, but not me.

Anyway, that and your various comments got me to thinking today. I thought - Mrs_C is not on me that aggressively otherwise. Her specific actions within that context were also out of the ordinary (usually it's me trying to work her up, not the other way around).

I remembered one time in the fall when she said she was going to use every wile and trick she had available to her to hold me in the marriage.

And I thought about her out of character sexual forwardness and "aggressive" come-on (not that I mind - in fact it would have been welcome - for years - instead of me always being the one to have to try to get her to participate).

Yeah... deked after the speech and tossed a sexual fishhook.

What will arrive today?

A new shirt? New exercise outfit?

She says she's being nice when she does all this. Trying to make everything work.

Booked a joint appointment with the counselor today.

See how that goes when it happens. I committed to at least starting that process, so I intend to go through with at least the motions of attending while I figure out how the hell to make the next "I'm leaving" speech. BTW - we don't pay for the sessions - they're covered under benefit plans - so we're out no money.


I've been approached about the possibility of getting paid more with only a minor increase in duties (there's some hurdles to jump through in internal processes, though). My operation here now believes I'm underpaid - they recently figured out what it would cost to hire the 3 staff it would take to replace my skillset(s)(no, I am not bullshitting you). So that's OK. A raise and more recognition would be OK ;-)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Well, That Didn't Quite Work Out As Intended

Context: I've been thinking every day about a/the scenario in which to drop the bomb again and how to introduce "hey honey, i'm leaving" into a conversation.

I'm trying to wait until after kids exams are done now that all the shows and recitals and festivals are done.

This is quickly written and i apologise if any of it seems flip. It's not. Especially when living it.


It's the big taxi day for the kids (from after work for a couple of hours). My son had imprecise instructions on where he's going for his stuff. I call to let Mrs_C know that I'm taking a long time for a good reason... we fianlly find the place he's supposed to go to

I get home. I eat (about 7:30) and get ready to go pick up my son right after. I advise Mrs_C I'm heading out - her reply is curt and a little snippy. I say "It's not like I planned to be given wrong directions and be late in order to avoid you."

She says "I don't care if you're avoiding me or not."

blah, blah, blah

Apparently she was up until 5 am the night before, while i slept, thinking about how i don't show her the level of feeling and emotion i should and never have. blah, blah, blah. yeah - maybe now i'm a little insincere, but i am still trying to do the best for the kids and still trying to avoid a rupture that would destroy all the members of our family - including her and I.

I'm thinking this is actually opportune (sorry if that view seems cold). I can introduce the concept of "we're finished" in a "conversation/diatribe" she instigated and maintain the "moral high ground".

After a bit i cut it off and leave to get my son.

I return. blah, blah, blah. emotion this, sincerity that, consideration this, cadbury's a bad person and has been since we were married. i say "well, we don't seem to agree on anything sand it doesn't look like we will so what's the point?" she says she's done everything for me since we were married - at the expense of her own personal well being. i ask "how's that work?" you were kind a bag lots of the time. she says "maybe i was but i showed my love in other ways and you didn't". she says - "look at all the shit i bought you, like lots of your clothes" (i respond by pointing out that 2/3 of her clothes were bought by me). i ask if she really wants to do a tally of everything nice either one has done through our whole marriage. she says no.

blah, blah, blah - i've never been sincere in my emotions or intentions or actions toward her.

at this point i've had it. i've been steering things toward "nothing will ever work between us", but i am piqued by the suggestion that i have been insincere since day one, and insincere prior to about a month or two ago. damnit i've tried. (mrs_C says if i really loved her i would have tried harder)

i launch into a solioquay about how i felt when we married, and how i tried through our marriage, but things haven't worked. sure i've made mistakes and i admit that, but my intentions were always good, and i can't live with where we've ended up and that's why i was always suggesting counselling because i don't think we can make it.

it was a speech of beauty. it was perhaps my finest performance ever. sincere (for real - there was a lot of emotion in it) - a choice excerpt below:

"I've never wanted to be a man like other men. I wanted to be different. I saw the damage done to you by other men, and the damage that wasn't done by them was done by your mother. i tried to heal that - tried to heal you - to staunch the open and gaping wounds with my body - and with my soul"

a shakespearean actor should be so good (and i should know, i've worked with more than a few them in theatre). i am a great public speaker. on a good day my voice is somewhere between Barry White and James Earl Jones with the white guy tones of Gregory Peck - with all the righteousness and passion of Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

there was emotion and passion and sorrow woven together with words that i don't know where they came from (my soul, i guess). i've written scripts for plays and speeches for politicians professionally, and this was a doozer by any standard.


i had intended this speech as a eulogy - a powerful requiem for our marriage

she was overwhelmed by it all and said she really loved me and would do anything for me

i weakly replied that i was referring to how i felt in the past and that we didn't seem to be getting it straight now

she said she would never doubt me again

i said - uh, we're not out of the woods with some serious issues

she said "i know, but i will never doubt your intentions"

i stumbled and stuttered

she had been paged into work earlier and left

the rest of the evening was calm with no reference to the earlier conversation


i have no idea of whether i did actually overwhelm her with emotion or whether the terrible inevitablility of my logical progression was utterly apparent and she just blind sided me (remember my son's comment about "master manipulator")

yesterday i figured overwhelmed

today, on sober second thought i'm figuring blind siding

time to try again

Friday, June 09, 2006

Visit To The Joint Counsellor

I went to the counsellor the other day (solo). The same counsellor Mrs_C went to see (solo) as noted at the beginning of Monday, May 22, 2006 - Incidents Of Note and in Monday, May 15, 2006 - Errata and answers. The counsellor is good - over 20 years experience.

I am skeptical of the results, though. After listening to her spiel I think I can accurately predict the outcome.

The counsellor's key starting point is each partner understanding and acknowledging the other partner's emotions and feelings (whether on consideration you believe they are valid or substantive, or not) - you have to acknowledge and understand them.

This looks like open territory for Mrs_C to tell me that I'm not understanding or acknowledging her feelings (see further: almost every other blog entry to date). Then to use that precept/pretext to berate me for hours.

I talked to the counsellor for a couple of hours. We went extra long. A number of things came out in the session. Mrs_C had not described many of the things that are issues (or at least I think they are issues). I said that I considered anything that caused a tongue-lashing of more than 30 minutes in duration to be an issue (the counsellor agreed). I said that I considered anything that caused a "discussion" of more than 1 hour in duration to an issue (the counsellor agreed). I said that I considered anything that had been described by Mrs_C as a cause for Mrs_C threatening to leave me any of the times she did so as an issue. The counsellor agreed these were reasonable arguments for something to be considered an "issue".

She did warn me that having to be "right" is an element of bad communication in a relationship. She warned me that trying to establish a "logical basis" for a discussion based around a set of "factual assumptions" or "postulates" could be considered overtly hostile in a discussion.

She said that communication, acknowledgement, and understanding had to come before any application of problem solving techniques or processes.

I understand what she is saying.

I also consider it crap.

Complete and utter crap.

At least given the context of my current relationship. It looks to me like an excuse for Mrs_C to derail any discussion into some endless mind and soul numbing experience of "understanding" and "acknowledgement" of the validity of her irrational and erratic emotional state instead of fucking rational discussion based on some semblance of logic.

Our next appointment is a joint appointment. I await the outcome, and experiencing the counsellor's deft words in altering Mrs_C's approach. I await the shining light of God coming down and making me understand what the magic words and actions I'm supposed to be able to put forth to make the magical "emotional connection" with Mrs_C that I am supposed to not be able to make right now.

Yes. I know I sound negative. And I am. But I can only see the possibility of me having to sublimate myself further to Mrs_C's vagaries and emotional turmoil.

But I will go. Hope springs eternal. I will put a solid effort in, and I will not sabotage the process.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sorry I Am A Bad Blogger

I have been advised (in a nice and positive way) that I am not a good blogger because I do not reply to your comments on an individual basis.

This is true. After having it pointed out to me, I realise that yes, this is bad blogging etiquette.

Henceforth, I will reply appropriately to your comments.

My excuse (i always have one handy):

I feel self absorbed enough by posting about me, me, me. I feel awkward about continuing on down that path too far in comments. I will attempt to strike a balance.

I try to maintain bi-directional conversational interaction by visiting and posting on your blogs very regularly.

Also, many times your excellent posts and comments prompt elements of future posts, so replies are subsumed in a new post.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Absence Makes The Heart Grow... What?

Mrs_C was out of town on a work related trip. I was so relaxed. I slept sooooo well.

So did the kids. Why did it only take 30 minutes to get them to bed and another 15 minutes for them to fall asleep when it's usually a 2-3 hour trial to get them to bed and sleep? (yes - i start at 8:45 and usually end around 11 - 11:30 - sometimes later with my son)

Could it be that they didn't have to endure us being out in the garage having another 3 hour "conversation" earlier in the evening?

Could it be that no-one yelled at them for being lazy? Or for not picking up their laundry? How strange to have someone call you to your room in an even voice and say "Hey, can you pick that stuff up, please?"

She's most likely back today. It will be an interesting contrast to observe.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lawyer Visit Report

I return from the lawyer visit feeling considerably better. The divorce laws in our jurisdiction are painfully progressive - no punitive elements, all based on principles of fairness and equal division of assets and parental access (usually this helps women more than men). Here's the scoop:

1) Property and income would be split down the middle. Mrs_C actually makes about $5K/yr more than me, so I'm OK (I wouldn't be asking her for support payments...).

2) I would get half her pension (and she half mine - but hers is worth more than mine), but I wouldn't take that either - I would request we just retain our own.

3) The law in our jurisdiction has full joint custody as the starting point of any separation and divorce, so I'm safe there. Outside of being able to show I am a danger to my children, there is no way Mrs_C could do anything to stop joint custody.

(theoretically she could take me to court and some initial judge could make a whacked out ruling [not likely to happen - but hey, maybe they would lose their mind in the middle of writing the ruling], but it would be overturned on an appeal)

4) There is nothing I could do (assuming I maintain my present state of mind and actions) that would affect the above.

  • Having an affair could only affect the declared date of separation (the date of effective property split) - not that I am intending on having an affair.
  • Even that previous unfortunate event with Mrs_C would not affect custody. Relations between spouses are considered separately from relations with children under our divorce laws.
  • Even if I were to leave the house, and the kids were to remain with their mother in the house we currently own, while I set up my own domicile it would not affect either a property split or custody.

I was discussing the property division with my lawyer (a woman). I was saying that I was thinking of only taking 40% of the value of our property because I had paid less of the bills during the time I was unemployed and underemployed.

She stopped me and said "I thought you told me you were looking after the kids?" I replied in the affirmative. She said "So, it was entirely your decision to stay home, and if you'd been offered a job in that period you would have dumped the kids at the first possible moment and taken the job - and your wife would have agreed you should do that?"

I had to say "No". On both counts. I was running my business, but I had the opportunity to get a more fixed hour job at one point - we decided that it would be disruptive to the kids if I did. Me being home for them after school most days, driving my daughter to pre-school and then to her grandmother's place, covering the days Grandma couldn't look after her, lessons, all the doctor's appointments, sick days, every school skit/concert, parent/teacher interview, school volunteering - all were my bailiwick.

I realised for the first time that it was not just me being unable to get work - the mythology that holds in our house - it was a joint decision. It was not just me "wanting" to run my own business and Mrs_C "supporting me" (as she said not three days ago) - it was a joint decision. She said I should not accept the job I was offered - it paid only slightly more than I was earning in my business (about $32,000) and would have locked in my hours. Just for the record I consider the business to have paid about $4000 per year more because it (being primarily home based) covered a bunch of bills that are now paid out of pocket (and business related expenses/write-offs).

She said two days ago (when she was in a snuggly mood) that she always liked me being home all the time before because then she could have as much of my time as she wanted. This stands in direct contrast to her statement of the day before when she said she had to support me while I was "slacking at home" running my "loser business" while she "paid the bills".

Sorry, I'm getting off topic slightly.

The bottom line is that I am also now fully considering the value and priority we placed in our marriage of the childcare I provided and the fact that it was indeed a joint decision, and that I shouldn't be guilty or embarrassed that I earned less in that period because at least part of that lower earning level was a joint decision.