DD made a comment to me last night that kind of opened the gates for us to talk about DH and his issues - especially with anger. I have always tried to never say anything bad about their dad to the kids, especially when I am at my whits end with how he acts. But, as he was on one of his temper tantrums last night we all just sort of gave up with him. He ended up out in the shop with DS, later, which is what gave DD and I time in the house alone to talk. She said she was never marrying a guy who yelled, especially at his kids. I said good, I hope you don't! I also said she she and DS will both be able to be out on their own soon and won't have to deal with it anymore and she said there are times she counts the days until she goes to college and she doesn't know how I stay with him. That is the first time the topic has ever come up between us. I told her it is not easy at all, and that in fact, just before she was to start kindergarten I was going to divorce him, but that after meeting with an attorney I was told that DH would get primary custody because he was the one who was at home with the kids (this was when he first got sick and didn't work for 2-3 years, but still had his business, which didn't make any income) and I was the one working. I had just returned to work, with a low paying job and there was no way I could have afforded to live on my own and pay him and child support. I ended up just sucking it up and moving back in. As the years have gone by (over 10 yrs now) he has gotten quite a bit better the past 5-6 years or so. As his health got worse, I'm sure he somewhat realized treating the person who he is 100% relying on to support him, probably isn't the smartest idea. But, gradually over the past couple of years his anger and shitty treatment has moved on towards DS. But, like I tell the kids - they will be able to move out and start their own lives soon and can get away from it. I'm stuck for better or worse, sickness and health and unfortunately stuck with the worse, because of the sickness. I can't exactly leave a guy who has no means to support himself. People like DH do not see that they have a problem. He was literally so hysterically screaming (and ya, I'm sure that is good for his health!) that when I got out of my car home from work yesterday afternoon, I first thought there was some woman inside our house screaming!
When he tried to talk about it this morning and I told him this cannot be good for his health, his reaction was it's all our fault. If we'd just do things "right" he wouldn't have to get mad. I said the only one who is responsible for how you react to stuff is you. His response? He doesn't believe that at all. So, then I tried a different tactic - I said do you really think yelling and screaming and telling the people who love you that they are worthless, stupid, etc is going to resolve it? His response? If we didn't do stuff wrong he wouldn't have to act like that and according to him us doing stuff "wrong" is the same as disrespecting him as his name calling is to us. So, really there is no way to try and have a logical thought process discussion with him and honestly, I gave up trying to do that years ago - the only reason I was trying this morning was for the kids sake. But, they are both old enough now, that they realize it too and for the most part they don't even care anymore either. They just let him rant and rave and shut themselves off to taking it personal, as I did years ago. (it's amazing that these 2 kids turned out as happy and easy going as they have -thank god they take after my personality and not their dad's) And yes, we know he needs counseling, etc. He tried that 12 years ago when I left him and of course it was the counselor who was all wrong about everything. So, I'm not really posting this to look for advice on what to do with him - just letting off a little steam, I guess. Letting you know how my end of week is going. I know it's not going to change, I just needed "someone" to vent it to :-)
Which leads me to a post I had started writing yesterday morning - before the big meltdown yesterday afternoon.
You know those people, when asked if they have any regrets or if would they change anything in their lives, if they could, and they say “oh no, no regrets or I wouldn’t change a thing”? Maybe those aren’t real people – maybe I’ve just seen this happen in movies or read it in books and think this is how real people are. I honestly can’t remember. I just know I’ve heard it numerous times. Is that really reality for most people? Because there are sure a lot of things I would change if I could go back and do it all again, with regrets and all. And there are things I would go back and change that most people (including myself) probably wouldn’t publicly admit they want to go back and change, for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or coming across sounding like a total ass.
But yet, deep down there are things I if I could go back in time and change I would. But, you say, that might mean you wouldn’t have the children you have?! This is true – changing one thing would/could mean changing everything. But, who’s to say I would be any happier – or any less happier?
Since getting on Facebook a few years ago (I was kind of late to the game) I have been reluctant to seek out old friends from childhood and high school (especially high school). I’m not 100% sure why that is. I have a hunch it’s a combination of things. I’m kind of a quiet, loner type, not a social butterfly, so I felt no real desire to reestablish communications with them after 25 years, though I was of course curious about how their lives turned out. Human nature, I guess. But for the close high school friends I had had….I gave up trying to stay in touch with them about 5 years after high school. I was always the one (and only one) trying to keep in touch and one day I just quit, with all of them. And not a one of them tried to contact me. We didn’t live in the same city anymore (though still within very reasonable driving distances), everyone was moving on with their lives, ok, got it. But apparently they (before I got on Facebook) had been trying to find me on there.
But, gradually I have reestablished contact with 3 of my good friends from high school. Two of them sought me out and one of them I sought out after the others sought me out. I’ve also sought out a few grade school friends. But we moved a lot when I was in grade school, so it’s understandable that I wouldn’t have kept in touch with them over the years (though one we have known each other since kindergarten and have always at least sent a Christmas card, she lives far away in another state now).
In learning about their lives I find myself feeling jealous and wishing my life had turned out like theirs seem to have, at least on the surface. Mostly jealous of the fact that they all live in very nice houses, go on vacations, etc. While I’m still stuck in the piece of crap manufactured home that we moved into 24 years ago – a house worth 1/3 to ½ of their homes values. And it’s not looking likely that I’ll be improving this situation any time soon, if ever. They are all married to men with white collar occupations (though one is divorced for many years now from a blue collar guy and now with a white collar guy) and all but two of them do not have college degrees. They have clerical of medical assistant type jobs. Obviously their husbands are the bread winners and have good jobs. Some have kids, some don’t, though I realize those that don’t have a big advantage over those of us that do, in potentially having a lot more money! Kids are darn expensive.
If I could go back and make one change in my life, I would have married a white collar guy with a steady occupation. Not to say all blue collar guys or jobs are bad. There are many that are high paying and guys that work for the same company/union for years and have very steady, nice incomes. But my DH hopped from job to job the first several years we were married and then got the brilliant idea he should be self employed, which at the time seemed an ok idea – since he couldn’t seem to get along with any employer for very long. I honestly don’t even begrudge that he got sick and can’t work. But, if that had happened to a white collar guy, he would have been able to get disability pay for the rest of his life and we’d at least have a bit of a supplementary income, rather than me having to be the sole income for the family.
I married way too young, and was just way too impatient to get my adult life started and I did not think very far into the future, at all. Well, in some respects I did – I knew I wanted to get my Bachelor’s degree, even though I got married after 2 years of college and I knew I didn’t want to have kids right away. I did do those 2 things as planned, for the most part (though it took me extra years to get my Bachelor’s due to financial hardships we faced – medical and from DH’s job hopping). I was able to look down the road and see I needed/wanted that, but I just didn’t look at how being married to someone with no education was going to seriously affect how my life would turn out. I guess I figured DH would be like his dad – work for a company for years, be in the union, and have that decent pay and get a pension when he retired. I didn’t have a problem with that, but DH just couldn’t do it.
So, maybe it’s just that if I could go back and make a change, I just wouldn’t marry DH? No, I don’t think that is it. Regardless of the fact that there were years that DH treated me like total dirt and I really should have divorced him, a white collar guy could act the same way (and I'm sure there are those that do), so that is not really the issue. I just really would not marry a blue collar guy for purely financial reasons/stability, knowing what I know now. I made my bed, so to speak, by making the choice I did so many years ago, and I live with it the best I can. But, boy there are times I just want to delete Facebook and just go back to my secluded little life where I don’t know any better……….