Beets And Betty Davis Eyes

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BEETS

Several years ago, in preparation for an upcoming trip to Scotland, I started working ernestly on our family trees and found we are related to many Kings and Queens from France, England, the Netherlands, etc. Needless to say this has provoked many interesting conversations around our house.
Andre: Beets? Beets? You know I don’t like beets.
Me: You are going to have to try them. They will taste great.
Andre: I know what happened to the kings in our family
Me: What
Andre: Their mothers fed them beets
Me: Eating beets has never killed anyone
Andre: Want to make a bet? I bet if you analyzed their stomach contents you would find beets.
Me: Why Do you think that?
Andre: Anything can be hidden in beets
(Not to be outdone) Paul: Yeah the color hides everything
Andre: I am sure they were poisoned with beets
Me: Doubtful. Who would want to poison them?
Andre: Their mothers
Me: WHATTTTTTTTT?  Mothers would not poison their children.
Andre: Oh yes they would
Me: Come on, Andre. You are letting your imagination run away with you
Why would a mother do that?
Andre: Because they want the power.
Me: What?
Andre: Women didn’t have power and they wanted it. It’s been that way through history. Mothers always want to find a way to control their children. You can’t deny it can you?! And beets were the way to power.
Me: You will still be eating your beets.
Andre: Drats. I thought this little history lesson would change my history with beets.
Me: No way, dude.

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BETTY DAVIS EYES

The things your kids share with you in the car.
Andre: I think it would be awesome to be able to read someone’s mind.
Me: Why is that
Andre: Because you could do all sorts of wonderful things for them like buy them the puppy they have always wanted.
Me: Andre, you are the one who wants a puppy
Andre: I’m just saying…you know there would be one time when it wouldn’t be so good to know what someone is thinking.
Me: When would that be?
Andre: When they are sitting on the toilet going to the bathroom. I mean the things that go through your mind when you are on the toilet…well they are just not things you want others to know
Me: Is that why you spend 30 minutes at a time in the bathroom?
Andre: Might be

 

Power

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I ask B to share with me the emotions he has  felt on this “maybe” divorce journey as part of the 365 Days Little Buddha Challenge. My intention is just to listen in hopes of greater understanding and clarity.

He says that he feels under appreciated, under valued, and like he has been in a rowboat rowing all by himself.

I ask what would it take to make feel him feel that he was valued and appreciated.

“For you to focus on the family instead of yourself. I work and have taken on a lot in the last 5 years.”

What would that look like I ask?

“I don’t know.” It always comes down to I don’t know. Or I want to have the last word in our relationship. My word is the final word. And I know that at 56 I do not want to become a caricature of who I want to be and who I am.

And as I ponder his answers I realize that everything he has said I feel the same way about. Exactly. Undervalued. Unappreciated. Unloved. And when you have two people who are intrenched in those kinds of feelings it seems like there is no chance of moving on.

I wonder how exactly he feels I focus on myself. My writing? My genealogy work? He has work, the gym where he works out with Gwinnifer, Rotary, Boys Scouts, his various  industry organizations and playing the bagpipes.  Yet, he does focus on the things he likes to do with our family. Boy Scouts. While I focused on getting the kids to their therapist once a week for years, hippo therapy, diving lessons and meets. I write and research…that is all I do for myself except clean house at least two hours everyday, make dinner, lunches, do laundry, grocery shop, taxi the kids around, work in the garden, paint all the rooms in our house, etc.

I think having two children with special needs has impacted our relationship in ways that most families never experience and it has increased the stress in our relationship. In addition, it has made it difficult to socialize with others who do not understand how we must live. So we have isolated ourselves as a couple and I have isolated myself as a person.

And as he says these things resentment screeching out of his words like nine-inch nails on a blackboard; I realize once again there is no way to get over this. Even if I bowed down and “obeyed” like he says he wants in a woman, it would never be enough because he will never see anything but what he wants to see/ how he wants to feel…resentment (which he denies), cheated, and all the un-everythings so that he can justify his feelings about wanting a new life, a new wife, and find a way to feel comfortable in his mid-life crisis which actually started 7 years ago when he bought a two-seater Mercedes convertible for a family of six.

And so I inch that much closer to the demise of a relationship in which one person never expressed his needs or told the truth and one who expressed all of it. Constantly. Who asked the deep questions that B couldn’t answer in an attempt to learn about his wants but never could because the information was top-secret and I never had that kind of clearance.

It is time to make the kinds of chances that break hearts. It is time to make the kinds of changes in which it feels that you have been eviscerated and your guts are hanging outside of your body for the world to see. It is time to let go and get on with life unhindered by 30-year-old anger and disappointment. For every time I talk with you I feel horrible about myself afterwards. I’m selfish. Not appreciative enough, skinny enough, loving enough, a good enough mother, a good enough wife, a good enough partner, a good enough person. Like I am nor will I ever be enough. For anybody and certainly for you.

“You took my power,” he says.

“If you really felt that to be true it was your responsibility to get it back, instead of blaming me for not having the guts to do what you should have done.”

So here it is. The power that you accuse me of stealing.The power that you’ve always had and were afraid to control.  It’s all yours and it always has been. Let’s see what you do with it.

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Assigning Meaning To Things

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I am hurt and I am pissed and my therapist says I have no right to be. Sigh. I hate it when she is right.

Let me explain.

Right before B stated he “might want a divorce” I had ordered a chandelier from Pottery Barn. I rarely do such things. It was extravagant. It was sparkly. It shined from every angle.. And it would look oh-so-right in my dining room instead of the $25 builder installed light that has been hanging there for the past 10 years. So after much thought and angst I bought it. I am just not a big spender and this was wayyyy over my usual $50 budget for such items.

It arrived in a huge box that sat in my living room for many weeks. And then B dropped the bomb mentioning the chandelier while he listed all his dissatisfactions with me and our life together. About two weeks after his “I might want a divorce” pronouncement he said he was going to put up the chandelier and I told him not to…that I didn’t want to have to leave it in the house should we decide to divorce. I told him that if and when he felt our relationship was in a good place and we would stay together then he could put it up as a sign that things we going to be alright. And so the chandelier was moved out to the garage where it remains to this day, silently sparkling away in its huge box its beauty wasted on  all but the occasional insect who might pass by.

While I realize nine months is not a long time to deem a unhappy marriage “cured” I am beginning to resent the chandelier and all it stands for. Everyday when I back my car out of the garage I see that ugly box sitting there as a reminder that the light is the sole determinant of whether our marriage is healthy or still on the rocks and I have left it to B to make that determination. And I am mad. I am mad at the chandelier for all the meaning I have given to it. I am mad at myself. And I am mad that I have given B the power to determine the state of our marriage all based on whether or not the damn thing gets hung.

My therapist says that the chandelier is not indicative of our relationship and it is not fair to all involved that I have pinned so much meaning on it. That, “come on, you know B does not attach meaning to things like a chandelier whereas you do.” That he probably doesn’t even get its significance to you and your relationship. But I’m not so sure. That whether our marriage is viable has NOTHING to do with the chandelier. And that I should let go of this meaning I have assigned it and love myself enough to hang it up even if it means taking it down in the future because I LOVE IT. Because it sparkles in my dreams. Because it is just plain beautiful and deserves to be in the place that it was intended to be instead of hidden away in a dusty garage.

And while I know my therapist is right I also wonder if I can ever hang this chandelier or if it will always remind me of this unhappy time in my life. Can I ever trust that my relationship with B is healthy again or will I always wonder if the sparkle is blinding me to all the things that B is unable to say/do that has made him get to this point that he wanted to leave? Right now I have no clue. But someday I hope that the sparkle of that chandelier will be indicative of the sparkle in our relationship. That is my dream.