I’m a fairly easy-going person. I’m not just saying this. People tell me. When the office orders pizza, I’m the one who responds, “I can pick off what I don’t like.” I’m not allergic, so that nano-drop of pepperoni oil isn’t gonna kill me, even if I gag a little in my mouth.
I also understand that no one has a perfect memory. If I tell you I hate ketchup and you present me a burger with that puke-inducing condiment, I will eat it with a smile. The next time, I will tell you, “Please, no ketchup.” I don’t have a perfect memory. Case in point, I emailed my dear Revis congrats on his Bengals win over my Lions. He reminded me that his team is the Panthers. My apologies, dear. I get it.
The fact that I’m easy-going, doesn’t make me a push-over. If you continue to bring me a ketchup slathered burger, despite my reminder, I will wonder what value I bring to our interactions.
Furthermore, despite the fact that I’m easy-going, certain things do hurt me. “Seriously, Jaded? But…but…your poetry, it’s so CHEERFUL.”…I know, looks are so deceiving.
My ex is one of two people in this world who makes me violently ill. I’ve been thinking a lot about him, and I haven’t been feeling well.
For the last 10 years of our relationship, I let him keep me in a perpetual state of confusion. After I accepted his proposal, I became his property. It was probably like that for our entire almost 14 years. I mistook control for security. I am a horrible interpreter of emotion. Despite my confusion, my sane mind kept me from: mixing our finances, co-signing on a house we couldn’t afford, and marrying him. Thank you force. See? No push-over.
One of his tactics was to ignore a response. Then he would deflect an angry response, from me, back at me, in the form of guilt. In short, if I was angry, it was my problem, get over it. Nothing was his fault, at least when it came to me. My hurt or anger was dumb, invalid. I would never hurt you, stupid, don’t you know that? Oh, and stupid is a term of endearment, don’t get angry, now.
During our last year together, I drove in for our annual party. It was something we threw to honor the start of hockey season. On the way, I realized that I forgot the keys to his and my mom’s houses. I called him to ask if he could please leave the light on and the door unlocked. I apologized for my stupidity. The light was key as the steps were wobbly and the deck was slippery. His response, “Sure babe.” I called him again when I was about an hour away. His response, “No problem.”
I arrived at 1 AM. The light was off and my immediate reaction was, “Sh!t, the light burned out.” So I butt navigated up the wobbly steps and across the slippery deck. The door was LOCKED. Double Sh!t and WTF? Neither he nor my mom answered their phones. In my mom’s defense, she has a hearing aid, and it was out. I slept in the car.
Later that morning, I nonchalantly asked what happened? His response was, “Sorry hun, I forgot. Maybe you’ll remember your keys in the future.” Thanks teacher, let me peg an apple between your eyes. I was dumbfounded.
Before I knew what I was saying, the retort, “I hope those heathen kids from next door shoot your light out. Then you will have to ass climb your butt up those stairs and across the deck. At least you’ll have your key.”
Silence. Pin drop. Explosion.
The tirade began. He told me that I better pull myself together, because guests were arriving in under 3 hours. He continued by saying that my anger at this situation was unacceptable, and that I better grow up, and how dare I make this about him, because he did nothing wrong. He didn’t deserve this. I fought the urge to tell him that I only had one father and he was dead.
I drank a plenty that night. If I did a shot for every time I heard what a wonderful guy I had, I would have died from alcohol poisoning. I simply smiled, nodded, and refrained from saying, “I wish you were me, just a few hours ago.”
The next morning, it was as if the incident never happened.
“Hi, how are you?”
Incident deleted. Memory erased. Invalidation completed, until next time.
Except, memory not erased. A recent happening caused it to flood back. I’m not saying this was abuse. I don’t know what it was. I feel that sick sense of confusion.
My questions: What makes someone abusable? Some are repeatedly abused by multiple people. Others never experience it. What is the denominator?
Your input is most appreciated.