Saturday, July 31, 2010

The second post of the day

I couldn't work at home this morning, the place was a mess, Connor not here, so I set out for breakfast at a cafe with my computer. Soon after a dad came in with his severely intellectually disabled child and sat at the table next to me.

Every interaction that I overheard made me feel close to tears. That the dad clearly loved him so much, that the boy was really trying to read and write - unlike my spoilt, yet perfect child who never tries at anything.

Having grown up with an intellectually disabled brother, you would've thought I'd have something to offer, but more often than not, when I encounter families with disabled kids, I over-identify and become emotional. I really wonder at myself. If they can handle it? why can't I? Maybe its because I know first hand what has to be overcome to keep going in life with a child like that? Maybe some unresolved childhood survivor guilt, that I am OK and I couldn't fix him. Or maybe I am just a sook. But I would be hopeless in a professional role with disabled kids. How would the parents react to a carer who just kept bursting into tears????

Husband-Missing (Or missing the spot where he used to be)

It started as a commment on Et Tu Husband then it just blew out into great big thing that was all about me so I decided to admit it and make it a post. Bernadine was admitting that in one aspect she missed her husband. Now I think I am through the frank outright missing my husband phase... I've had the rebound relationship...etc.... but I was having a similar (or sort of aligned) thought about Simon today

Here's the thing:

He still feels at liberty to laugh at me - calling me a cougar (for no discernable reason) or suggesting my latest craft endeavour is a substitute for sex. In fact Anything I confide in him, or try to negotiate like an adult, he turns into a joke - like an annoying little brother. Sometimes even using a little high mocking voice. (e.g. "whooo! little bit touchy there" when I asked him not to go through my drawers ostensibly looking for something for Connor)

Today I was trying to work out why it annoyed me so much, and it was this. We USED to laugh at each other and that WAS fine, because we knew deep down that we loved each other and were there for each other. Now this trust is long gone, and I can't rely on him, I don't love him, and he irritates me intensely. I no longer feel that is is appropriate for him to laugh at my expense because he's not giving me the safety net for my fragile ego. He is no longer. as one commenter put it, a safe compassionate witness to my life experience.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I can't undo that

But like sleeping beauty's fairy godmother, I can soften it a little....

You won't die of marriage, you will just go to sleep for 20 years....

Before I fell asleep this is what I heard

  • There is no his and hers in marriage
  • There are no roles to play
  • Each person is perfectly and completely respected in the role they choose
  • That you don't know the person when you commit, is the most beautiful aspect of all, ie that you trust and grow together
  • There will be hard times and you may have to work at it, but never will those hard times eat at you from the inside out, consume your soul, or leave you as a shell: When marriage is working it is not that hard
  • You will both make mistakes, but you will never disrespect one another or lose trust and faith in your partner
I expect there are some of you out there who still quite like the concept of marriage...

Monday, July 26, 2010

My take on Marriage

In recent years it has been my tendency to blame Neil for my jaded view of marriage, but as I sit here in the school playground - admiring the yummy mummies... and daddies I start to realize the other latent influence in my life EX23 is just as culpable. But I'm jumping ahead of myself. Here is my *current* cynical view

Women in Marriage:

  • Are subjugated,
  • Lose all their decision making power,
  • realize too late the job of child rearing:
  1. will be all theirs and
  2. will severely impinge on their careers
  • Have to turn a blind eye to cheating husbands
  • Have to deal with daily put downs from same
  • and are made to feel unattractive by same

Men in Marriage:

  • Discover that their sole function is wage earning machines
  • Have to come home after a stressful day to do a second shift and be unappreciated
  • Their wives are increasingly reluctant to have sex with them and give up trying to look attractive
  • Whatever they do is not good enough
  • If they divorce they have to give away the proceeds of their lifetimes' work
  • They ultimately "treat themselves" to extra-marital affairs

My granny used to say "Sex was a lot more fun before everyone knew about it". To me Marriage was a lot more palatable before I saw the underbelly. And affairs were a lot more fun/romantic beforel I was affected by them.

Now I know there are men wandering about who have such scant regard for fidelity - ie that its on the "nice to have but not essential" list, and women who are too weak, deluded, desperate to say no. I can't really bring myself to commit to one.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm with Miranda

Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City

"Believe me, I would love to be one of those people who's all, "we loved, thank
you, you enriched my life, now go, prosper," but I'm much more "we didn't work
out, you need to not exist."

I'm with Miranda on this one. I am sick and tired of managing Ex's. Neil occasionally signs off his maniacal legal demands with "I hope when this is all over we can meet up as friends over coffee". Like HELL we can. If I had wanted cosy coexistence with you, I would still be living in the spare room. I FLED. For a good reason.

And take note all you young things. If you have a child with someone they will always "Exist"...


I warn you, this isn't going to be an insightful post. I am self-pitying, premenstrual and yes slightly drunk. I have had a terrible day. It is becoming increasingly difficult to visualise my future.

But then, when could I?

I guess when I was happy, I lived in the moment. For those 3 (4?) years when I was pretending to be in a relationship with Neil where did I actually think it was going to end? Happy reconciliation, kids, family home, world travel, sexy matching careers???

Perhaps more likely I thought we would co-exist amicably, see the least possible of each other, maybe even find lovers outside the relationship, but maintain the all important "family home"

When I split up with Simon where did I think it would end? Happy supportive co-parenting
No I don't think I thought that far, I just needed to be AWAY from his toxic, controlling influence, at that stage Connor was so young I thought of him as part of me, I had no idea I had to negotiate with Simon for-the-rest-of-my-life.

So about my bad day. This weekend I holed up in my tiny overpriced rented accomodation and tried to catch up on the work I had missed with a whole week of family admin: Getting Connor into a new school, buying a car, changing my address on my bank accounts, THE LAWYER in final rip-off settlement with Neil. Moving my stuff about from friend's places, storage etc.

I had a couple of dates arranged with girlfriends at the end of the weekend to look forward to. Then on Saturday night EX23 calls me with a tirade blaming the fact we are not together on me, talking dirty, being incredibly rude to me. But mainly putting me down at an incredibly low point in my life when you might expect an "old friend" to pick you up. He's an ego manic extraordinare. I attract them. I realise he is probably sick and it is definitely over between us. Whatever "it" was. I am so sad about that. Then today both my friends cancel. Finally, Simon delivers Connor back and I have to endure 3 hours of tantrums about how he wants to be with Daddy, he doesn't feel safe with me. This is the child I fought for, the only person who means anything to me in this world. I am so excruciatingly and exquisitely trapped. I am almost ready to give Connor his wish and lodge him permanently at Simon's which is madness. Simon is mentally ill and Connor is the only thing I have ever truly fought for.

Absolutely noone is here for me on this side of the world. I want to run back to my folks.

But even that is sad and regressive, they will die, then where will I be? I can't believe that a girl with such potential could screw everything up so comprehensively? I should be safely ensconced in my family home with 2.2 kids a white picket fence and a cheating husband by now.

So what of the future? a slow decline into menopause or even senililty - my memory is shot to pieces, decreasing control over my child, my career, my life? a crippling mortgage? a loss of ability to do sport which had been my main means of meeting people. Yes, it emerges this week I have the early stages of Arthritis. How to go on? How actually to put one foot in front of the other?? and why bother?

But still on the work front a batch of new projects are looming. I have to front up, be the boss, do my thing. With zero enthusiasm. Someone please paint me a future....what do sports people who become crippled do? what do maiden aunts do? I need role models, ideas I need to move forward.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Over the past few days I've been wondering

Is control a good thing, or a bad thing?

Here's the thing. I have been taking comfort in the fact I have no control over my life in a "Let go and let god" kind of a way. That is, there are certain things I just cannot control and I will hurt myself trying. However I am wondering where the boundaries lie. By which I mean, at what point does this become abdication of responsibility?

i.e I can't control when I feel too tired to get out of bed and go to work!

So I turned to for the answer. Broadly it seems anything to do with controlling your diet, or your anger, is OK and controlling your life is OK until it becomes OCD. Having anyone else control you is toxic and bad and you need to learn to say "No"!!!

I think as my ex husband's psychiatrist said, we all need some level of controlling behaviour to function in professional roles, but the trick is not to let it get out of hand where we need to control other people to feel in control of our own lives. This will never be me. I always follow the codie route in that regard.