Saturday, February 25, 2012

Equal Opportunity Enabling

21 year old Drummer lives in our home still. He went off to college (45 mins away) for a year and a half and then came back to work on being a rockstar. He is quite good (i am biased, of course) and they had a LOT of initial interest from big names but nothing has quite panned out. We had given him a year to live here and try to make a go of it. (It has been over a year.)

In the meantime, he has started dating Sweetie and has gotten engaged.

Sweetie is a good girl and I love her.

She lost her mom to cancer last year so she is really broken hearted and devastated.

She has some issues that were there before her mom's illness and death. She has been diagnosed bipolar and is on med (I do not know that this is a valid diagnosis - wannabe Dr. that I am ;) but that is the current situation). She is headstrong and prideful and super sensitive. (My family would say Drummer is definitely marrying his mother! :)

Drummer is my son and I love him deeply, but he has some major issues as well. He has never been diagnosed with anything, but he is EXTREMELY moody (mood disorder?) and has massive aggressive anger problems. He is very volatile.

To me they seem like a very combustible combination. In my humble opinion, I think they are signing up for a world of hurt. But oh well NOMB (none of my business), didn't we all?

Mr. M is constantly accusing me of enabling Drummer. He say he has no rights in the house and that I wear the pants in the family and that I have f**ked up the kids and that if he was here and had more authority (and if the kids would listen to him), it would be totally different. He would've told Drummer to "pack his f**king sock" and "get the f**k out".

Mr. M also frequently points out how I am harder on him than I am on the kids. I have higher expectations on him and set firmer boundaries with him.

These are 2 of our "hamster wheel arguments"... the ones we just keep climbing back into and spending a ton of energy on but going no where, fast.

I am so saddened by Mr. M's enabling accusations. I do not entirely disagree with him... he has some good points... but I feel like he has a lot of accusation self-pity.

I will admit that I can be bossy and dominant and that probably from day 1, I have tried to wear the pants out of fear that no one else will... but he is not taking any responsibility for the fact that he routinely takes OFF the pants and walks away leaving them empty! Am I the problem for filling them?!? Should I just let them lay there empty? Who would earn a living, pay the bills, and parent the kids?

I also pointed out to Mr. M that HE has benefited as much as anyone from my enabling. He wants me to enable HIM but not the kids??? Sorry! It appears I am an 'equal opportunity enabler'... I spread my dysfunction around equally!

That's the back story.

This morning, Drummer got up and cheerfully made eggs and tortillas. He ate them and had finished. After, he then brewed a cup of tea and sat down to read his book. At this point Mr. M announced that "someone needs to empty the dishwasher". He cares deeply about mess and he would end up doing it if he didn't delegate. I felt it was as good a time as any to assign a task to Drummer. (He lives free, eats free, has a car with paid for car insurance, he rarely cleans his free car or free room and has to be asked to do HIS OWN dishes etc. etc. etc.)

I asked him to please unload the dishwasher.

He said he would later... he was going to read and sip his tea right now.

I said he should please do it now.

He said he's do it in about 1/2 hour.

I said no... now please.

He said later would work.

Mr. M asked him WHEN he would like to do it.

He said about 30 minutes.

Mr. M said he would be OK with that. (This frustrated me a bit because I didn't really care if it got done, I was trying to show Mr. M support and that I was trying not to enable, so I was mostly DOING this to make Mr. M happy because!)

I said it needed to be done now and that we needed to have our talk about expectations and chores and his attitude (after a meltdown last week).


He started screaming and yelling and cursing (he DID get up and begin unloading the dishwasher AS he was doing this) about my pridefulness and my power trip.

I told him he lives for free and I thought it was reasonable to ask him to contribute on a timeframe that might not jive with his.

"Dad is being the reasonable one... he understands that the task can wait 30 minutes." (Screamed.) He also accused that I have never done a dish in my entire life! (Really?)

I reminded him it is the home we own & pay for.

I was calm and firm.

The screaming and yelling continued. I told him I felt like it was a fairly extreme reaction for having to do a task on someone's time schedule other than his own and that he had lost. (By that I meant that he was having a huge problem with the fact that he felt like he had lost.) He spun this around that I only care about winning and that I am only happy when I am winning and someone else is losing.

Mr. M was sitting the making the bank deposit statement and chimed in that he was being rude and abusive to his mother.

He launched into a full-on attack on his dad that he is a drunk and how can HE presume to tell him what to do etc.

Drummer was out of his mind and Mr. M and I were actually being calm with low, rational voices... he ends up storming out of the house.

Mr. M and I end up on the hamster wheel (I enable Drummer too much, the way Drummer has turned out is MY fault, why won't I kick him out?, and how come I set boundaries with him - Mr. M - but not our kids?).

Drummer ends up texting me a little bit later that he overreacted but that I started the fight and if I hadn't started the fight, none of this would've happened. He said I was pig-headed and obstinate. He threw in a couple f-bombs for emphasis. He said if I keep threatening him with moving out, I will be excluded from all the special things in his life (this was a threat that I will not be invited to his wedding etc.). [BTW, this is a child for whom we WOULD be paying for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon... One of MY dearest friends is throwing the bridal shower, my friends and I are hosting a "dress trying on" brunch for Sweetie, Drummer just asked if Sweetie could STAY here - or at my folks' - over Spring break and all summer so she doesn't have to live with her dad and his new wife as they sleep in he mom's bed just 14 months after her mom DIED in it!]

I texted back that this made me tremendously sad and would be a huge loss for me - and also for him, Sweetie, and our whole family.

I cried as I typed this.

I was so sad that he could disintegrate over a simple reasonable request.

This adult male living for FREE (with car, insurance, food, and all privileges) in our home went to CRAZY TOWN about being asked to put dishes away on NOT his time schedule.

This feels like such a failure as parents.

He is about to get married and has NO adult skills, is entitled, ungrateful, and has out of control anger issues. I am frightened for his future and regretful of missed opportunities. I am not sure how to move forward. I was SO hoping to offer him this chance to live here for the rest of the year to save money so he & Sweetie could get a good start on their marriage (don't ASK me how they are going to pay for shelter and food with him earning $0 as a rock star).

Oh and, he is has been working part-time for Mr. M in his business while Mr. M has been injured and needing help (and is now due for shoulder surgery in the next couple weeks and will be needing MORE help) - and yet can curse his dad out about being a drunk but then saunter in on Monday expecting to earn $10 an hour under the table from said drunk!

Eventually, Drummer cooled down and texted me something about the book he is reading and that he didn't expect that plot twist. Just like that he had cooled down and was extending the olive branch. He will want everything to be as if nothing ever happened (kind of like when Mr. M gets drunk and sobers up and comes home and we play like everything is "FINE"). I couldn't bring myself to reply like I normally would. I didn't have anything to say.

Meanwhile, I came home from going to the bank and Mr. M was leaving (as a result of our fight). I asked if he would be setting up the tent in the yard before he left. (Girlie had asked him three days ago if he would - for a friend's birthday sleepover - and he had said he would.) He said "no" he wouldn't be doing that and that Bub and I could figure it out. I reminded him that he had committed to Girlie and he said that it was too bad but Bub and I would make it work. I told him that I WOULDN'T make it work... I hadn't committed to Girlie and she would be deeply disappointed as she was counting on him. He didn't seem to care. I promptly pulled the drapes and climbed back into bed and sobbed in the dark for a while (so unlike me... maybe YEARS of therapy is finally kicking in?). I was devastated that he could let Girlie down like that over petty anger with me. Again, just like the dirt biking accident, I can make a LOT of excuses for crappy things he does while drunk (he is sick, its a disease, he doesn't act like this when he is not drinking etc.), but when he is "sober" and acts in pure narcissism, I am flabbergasted.

Since he is not used to me sobbing, I think this shocked him (when he is drunk, he couldn't care LESS if I cry) and he immediately got Bub and they went out and set up the tent. (Girlie and her friends are outside giggling in it as I type this :)

Mr. M and I "made up". I went out with a friend for dinner. Mr M's feelings were hurt that I just bailed (I did it nicely... I just did what I wanted to do for me). I came home. We watched TV for a while. Life goes on...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AA Visited

I've been away a while.
Not wise.
Writing is good for me and keeps me honest.
We were a little under the weather.
Things have been going ok (status quo).
I've been kinda melancholy - generally, for no reason other than just the usual.
You know.

Mr. M asked me to go to an open AA meeting last night. It is a co-ed speaker meeting. They usually have really top notch circuit speakers. Last night it was a fill-in... kinda mediocre... but everyone's story is unique and personal and therefore valuable and special.

Mr. M has been wanting me to go for a LONG time and evenings are tough because we still have kids at home... when HE goes to meetings, I am here, at home, holding down the fort.

I have been away a long time and I noticed a lot of things:
I am over-all still very attracted to alcoholic men! I was hoping all my years of therapy were curing me and my "picker" would be getting healed so I would be more attracted to healthy guys.
AA still reminds me a LOT of church; it has its own language, there is still an "in crowd", people KNOW the culture and understand the "rules".
I LOVE the people watching... it is SO good! This meeting has all ages. It is a very "hip & cool" crowd... a little of a "pick up" meat market... good looking people flirting like crazy.
I am sanguine and a people-pleaser to the bone and even though this was a rare gig for me, I wanted to meet with people and connect and say "hi" and make friends and have people like me!
I truly love the program and the LIVES it gives people back... maybe for the first time!
I noticed about myself, combining the "in crowd" and the people watching, and my people pleasing, that I still notice and CARE that I belong and am accepted and am "part of".
There was a whole row of teen girls behind us and they whispered and giggled and chit- chatted throughout the whole meeting (during the speaker) and I was hyper aware that it was bugging Mr. M's sponsor and that it was rude... I was able to (mostly) just release it and not worry about Sponsor or Girls and just keep MY side of the street clean (practicing acceptance).
Likewise, there was a drunk kid (maybe 20ish) there and he was talking loudly and laughing loudly, inappropriately and even mockingly at the speaker... MANY, this agitated me! But Alcoholics are pretty tolerant of this behavior... they have a lot of grace because they were all in this guy's shoes once (including the speaker, of course), so no one cared and his friends kinda kept him in line, so again, it wasn't MY business! (Imagine that! ;)
Also, it was a GREAT reminder to hear the speaker and to appreciate HIS story and lessons and message even though he wasn't a marquis-level speaker.

Good stuff! All great things to experience and notice. I was glad I went.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meeting My Little Girl

I have gotten hypnotized a few times recently... trying to get in touch with stuff locked in my subconscious that I am too heavily defended to allow myself to get in touch with.
Now, I am a skeptic but I thought I would TRY something "out of the box" and different. I was skeptical about acupuncture and it has been one of the BEST pain relievers EVER. I was skeptical about kinesiology and likewise, it has been miraculous when my back pain flares up. So I have learned to at least give things the benefit of the doubt.

I don't FEEL hypnotized when I am under... and yet the FEELINGS and the physical reaction to the feelings are so different and so intense... I KNOW I am clearly tapping into SOMETHING. It has really been the only time in my entire life when I have seen my "little girl". I have always read or been told about the 'inner child' work and have never been able to see my little girl or to relate to her if I could picture the face of that little girl I have seen in old photos... I CERTAINLY do not relate to her as ME. But for the first time I did. I saw her and I knew her and I cared about her and I KNEW it was me. I could lovingly caress her little head and tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.

This week, the hypnotherapist (not my normal Dr.) had me go back to a time when I first felt I didn't have value or worth. I couldn't do it. She had me mentally go down a hallway and picture doors with my ages on them and go into the door with the age on it when I first felt those feelings. I walked down the hallway in my mind and somehow knew it was age 3. My little girl could not go in. I tensed up. My chest tightened. I couldn't breathe. SO WEIRD! I couldn't go in. (When the therapist told me that I am a grown up now and nothing behind that door can hurt me now, I started CRYING! - I have no idea what I am afraid of but man, does it feel powerful!) She asked if grown-up me could come alongside little girls me and if we could go together. That was better but when grown up me said we could go in together and that I would protect Little Girl, I discovered little girl me did not trust grown up me. This makes sense because I have not been very gentle, acknowledging, or protecting of the little girl at all. I have tried to ignore and disown her my whole life. No wonder she isn't ready to rush into believing I am trustworthy!

Eventually, she took my hand and walked me deeper into the room. It was like the woods with tall trees and sun dappled shade. I thought I saw a rabbit hutch maybe? Art supplies? (My conscious mind remembered my mom telling me she had dropped me and my brother off at a baby sitter when we were little and I think I recalled there were maybe woods involved? - Am I just thinking of things I have been told and trying to fill in the blanks???) So I can't go any further or see anything of value, BUT there were tons of feelings involved... again, tight chest, shallow breathing, rigid body. I did NOT want to go.

So the therapist had me take my little girls to my 'safe place' (caribbean beach!). We laid there together and I asked her if she couldn't SHOW me, could she tell me. She said "bad man". And grown up me instantly thought "no... that's ridiculous... that's just what I THINK I should be saying or remembering" (Again - am I just thinking of things and trying to fill in the blanks?). Well, you can imagine, Little Girl didn't feel to heard or protected so she clammed right up. Of COURSE she did! I had promised to protect her and take care of her but I didn't. The first chance I was give, I didn't listen to her and discounted her. I stopped and tried again. "There is a bad man? What did he do?" She didn't tell me but I tried. Baby steps. I ended with just being nice to her and trying to show her that I can be a safe place for her and that I WILL protect her.

This week I am supposed to get a picture of her and put it in a locket and wear it all the time to remind me that she is always with me and I need to protect her. I would also like to try to be mindful of being nice to her and extra gentle with her this week and we'll see if next time I get hypnotized she will trust me more! Its a tough thing because I don't really want to face and feel whatever is lurking hidden... and yet I do... and I feel like I am ready... well at least more ready than I have ever been. Scared but excited and hopeful (and yes, still skeptical.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Thank U"

I love this song & lyrics by Alanis Morissette.

"Thank U"

How 'bout getting off these antibiotics?
How 'bout stopping eating when I'm full up?
How 'bout them transparent dangling carrots?
How 'bout that ever elusive kudo?

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you silence

How 'bout me not blaming you for everything?
How 'bout me enjoying the moment for once?
How 'bout how good it feels to finally forgive you?
How 'bout grieving it all one at a time?

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you silence

The moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
was the moment I touched down

How 'bout no longer being masochistic?
How 'bout remembering your divinity?
How 'bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out?
How 'bout not equating death with stopping?

Thank you India
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you silence

To me, this song speaks about gratitude for even the tough stuff.
I particularly love the 2nd verse... it speaks so much to where I am in my journey right now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Playing With Fire (Part 2)

I am not planning to have an affair... this is not in my nature. But I AM vulnerable and sad and lonely and scared and needy. Since this is my online "diary"... I get out all my crap; embarrassing, inappropriate, immature, selfish though it may be.
For a little background on this particular situation, you can read "Playing with Fire" Part 1 here.

Otherwise, here is what happened in this last month.

Dec 22
I got a text from older, married client (OMC): "Hope you have a nice Christmas."
Me: "Thanks. You too! I hope it is full of love & fun."

Then nothing until
January 16
When I get text: "I hope you are starting the New Year off well."
Me: "So far, so good! Just got back from a lovely weekend in the bay area. (I love it up there!) Did you AND THE FAMILY have a good holiday"? (Emphasis added here only... but SEE, I am TRYING to bring up the family!)
OMC: "We did (mostly), I like the bay area also. I return Jan __, I expect a full report about your new wine world."
Me: "That's a long trip... where ARE you?
And of course, Sensei... But I can tell you in 2 words: 'pinot noir'. Mmmmmm! ;)
OMC tells me where he is and why he is gone so long.
I ask if he is doing some wedding planning with his daughter.
OMC: "Yes to the wedding stuff. Yes to the films, and yes to pinot noir"
Me: :)

Jan 31
OMC calls.
I ignore.
I text later (it could've been a work call, after all): "You're home! How was it all? Sorry I missed your call... in meetings..."
OMC: "We'll catch up over a glass of wine. Do you have any time for me?"
Me: "Absolutely. What about you, Traveler?"
OMC: "Miss you"
I tell him to set something up.

DEFENDING MYSELF: I have never initiated with him.
OWNING MY PART: But I HAVE responded and flirted back.

I am terrified and guilty and yes, enjoying it.

I am probably making more of it than it is. But to ME - no matter WHAT it is for OMC - this is a BIG deal!
I do not DO things like this!
I am a good girl.
I am moral and obedient and a pleaser.
I am just SO darn vulnerable.
As I said before, I am enjoying being DESIRED and sought after and pursued.

I tell my self that he has never done anything like this before either.
I tell myself he is equally scared and wimpy and it probably won't result in anything on his end either.
I vacillate between this and the fantasy that it WILL develop into something and I will say "I am not an 'affair-having' kind of girl" and that if he is really unhappy in his marriage, he should get through his daughter's wedding then leave his wife. Separately. If that is where he is going, he would need to choose that first. Then we could maybe see if there is something there... they would need to be entirely separate. In my fantasy, it is all morally acceptable because we do NOT have an affair... we are 2 divorced people who decide to see if we can make something work. [Keep in mind that I am not even actually attracted to him and his is 16 years older than me!!! Yet I am planning our marriage 3 years from now! I totally SEE that this is just a distraction from my pain and loneliness for 10 minutes, so bear with me, I am just journaling - a peek into the CRAZY inner workings of my whacked out brain!]

But it is JUST as likely that the reality is he could be a guy who does this all the time and is just having fun. (OMC is acting like it is no big deal, nothing to hide... but I doubt he is showing his wife his regular texts and "I miss you's" to me. - Which brings up a possible option: Maybe I can try something like "It is so good to have a FRIEND like you!"... something like that... since HE is acting like it is nothing and no big deal, I can too! Maybe then it will dissipate - no harm/no foul...)
Maybe he is just looking for a safe and easy roll in the hay and he sees I am fragile with no defenses. However, I am not a "roll-in-the-hay" kinda girl. I have been devotedly, loyally married to one absent alcoholic/addict for almost 24 years. I have never done anything even remotely inappropriate in all that time. (In fact, I tell Mr. M EVERYTHING, so it is soooooooo weird to keep this secret from him... I find myself wanting to tell him all the time!)

So I don't know what OMC is looking for in this and I don't know if he is sleazy, or vulnerable (like me), or somewhere in between. But I DO know that I am on thin ice:
* I am feeling totally apathetic toward Mr. M
* I am just stuck in the HABIT of being married to him
* I am stuck in fear of the unknown
* I am stuck in guilt abut my kids - how devastated they would be if I left and how much they count on ME told hold everything together
* I am stuck in guilt about what poor Mr. M will do if I leave him (oh, the hubris of my grandiosity! "he'll DIE without me!" - when he'll probably be just fine and maybe even thrive - oh, wouldn't that just KILL me???),
* I have a lot of fear that no one will love me and want me if I leave Mr. M. (I will end up alone and sad and bitter and Mr. M will stay sober, meet 20 year old hot and firm Fifi and she will live happily ever after the life I wanted!)
All not super great reasons to stay married. And all reasons I am even MORE vulnerable than usual. I shouldn't even be PLAYING this game but I am not quite willing to give it up yet.
(If it makes anyone feel any better, I have told two "live" friends so they can hold me accountable.)

So again, I BEG:
God, can I for once not have to be the Guardian of Morality???
Can I please just be weak and vulnerable and can OMC please decide this is not right? He is married. He is a moral guy (at least everything I know about him has led me to believe he is).
Or can GOD please stop it and protect me from myself and OMC?
I am TIRED and lonely and sad and bereft and VULNERABLE.
This is a little treat that feels SO nice... a guilty pleasure. I am telling myself I am just indulging harmlessly.

If you are the praying type, I would love some prayer for:
* OMC to be drawn to his wife and her to him... for healing and wholeness in their marriage... for him to back off.
* For ME to be strong and NOT vulnerable and NOT drawn into this.
* BUT, I need the above things to happen while still protecting the BUSINESS relationship! At this point, I NEED to keep OMC's business to pay my bills... so I need an exit strategy from this flirtation while keeping the business part in tact, if possible... OR a replacement of income in some way.
* For me to be clear about my next steps with Mr. M... but that they would be made independent of ANY "feelings" for anyone else.
* That I would make the next best steps for ME - not based in all the fear and "stuckness" I wrote about above.
* That God protects me from me!!!!!!



Heard a GREAT quote today and thought I would share:
"Worry is temporary atheism."

Since I live a LOT of my life in fear & worry, this is a wonderful (needed) reminder, asking me - WHERE is my faith? If I believe in my Higher Power and I SAY I trust Him, but worry and fret and live in fear and scarcity, do I really even believe??? (I am certainly not trusting.)

So this was a good reminder for me.
I pray I can keep this in mind and not lose sight of it...