I know enough now that I should be writing when my mind is so cloudy. I’m fraught with tension, anxiety and sadness. It is taking every ounce of my being not to reach out to Scott to “fix” this.
In reading back on my posts related to Scott, I know how I sound. I realize what I haven’t done is take a really hard look at myself in the mirror. Scott’s mirror, too. When I do this I always worry I am going to spiral into such a depression I won’t be able to crawl out again, but I also know the hard work is the necessary work.
Unfortunately, Scott echoes much of what my x told me about myself: I am controlling and critical to a fault. I make him feel like he is always wrong, that he can do nothing right and that it’s never enough for me. My boys say the same thing to me.
I can sit here all I want and defend myself. I don’t wonder why Tony was so impossible to separate from, I know it clearly: he saw my shit and somehow knew how to manage it. My friends say because he had the best of both worlds. I say part of it was his own personality coupled with the way he thought he loved me. He would do anything to please me. Anything expect leave his wife.
Initially with Tony, I never felt it was one sided. Some times one or the other was angry and one or the other apologized or reached out to smooth things over. Tony never indicated I was controlling or critical, but I must have been the same person then as I was before him and after him. It sucks so badly that the only benchmark I have about how I want to be treated in a relationship is from an affair.
There is a part of me that feels I need to remove fairy tale Tony from my equation. Bobby too. That leaves me with no one but my x and my childhood (pre marriage) relationships as models. And Scott. But I can’t help thinking how wonderful Tony always made me feel. Ho he brought a sense of sincerity, seriousness and kindness coupled with patience and humor.
I am not going to make excuses for myself in this post. I am going to do the work and get out the things I know I must continue to work on, for my own benefit and any relationship I am in (including my kids).
I know my challenges:
- I like control, I have a very hard time not being in control and not being right on top of it.
- I am critical of almost everything at first. It must come out like a complaint every time to those around me, even though I often times am just speaking directly. My directness is too much for many people.
- I lack patience.
- I am judgmental.
- I am lot to handle because I am so complex and moody.
- I have become extraordinarily forgetful and I think part of this is I’m not paying attention, I lack the laser focus I once had. I worry I may get early onset dementia all the time.
- I am, in fact, almost always depressed and find it hard many days to get motivated. Now, more than ever, I do – but fuck its hard all the time.
- I am overly anxious about my life change – leaving my kids, selling a home I have lived in 43+ years and changing coasts for a job I am overqualified for at a company I don’t love in a city I don’t want to go to.
- I do not do alone well. At all.
There have been so many things in my life that kept me on cruise control that my worst traits were also my best.
- My control came out as confidence more often than not.
- I was too busy to let depression consume me with a busy job, commute, home and young children.
- As a leader, directness and transparency was a valued trait that I was rewarded well for.
- My life didn’t really change all that much, other than the normal course of events (until divorce and my subsequent breakdown).
I believe, though maybe I’m wrong, if I can begin to alter the worst three traits: control, criticism and judging, I will find I am a better person. I thought I was doing better with these things, but, according to Scott and my kids – I am not.
So this is why I have a hard time determining if Scott is good for me in the longer term. I want to believe in fairy tales, but I no longer believe that’s going to happen. I am trying to live within my means both financially and emotionally.
I cannot discount his anger and lack of emotional IQ, those are really big concerns for me. I don’t believe that my behavior creates his reactions, those reactions are built upon his own history and he is responsible for his reaction. I am responsible for mine. I don’t think you can ever really identify when the chicken and egg come first, and I can often see when I am at fault, but it doesn’t excuse his behavior.
Scott deserves credit for so many things. I believed in the beginning he saw me, at least I felt that he did. I believed we were aligned with both long and short terms goals – and we are, but our path to them may be divergent. We both place importance on many of the same things.
The space between our behaviors is where I get lost. I think about how I can change myself to be a better person, and I feel that I can do that because he is supportive of me in many ways. On the other hand, every time I make a wrong turn, I feel threatened with argument and abandonment. Should I expect him to love me unconditionally? That doesn’t seem reasonable or fair. So what is it I need to work on to behave difefrently to bring out the best in him?
When I am happy and positive, he is happy. He really has no expectations other than to be happy and at ease. He says often that he’s worked so hard to get to this place where he enjoys life and doesn’t have a lot of responsibility that he isn’t going to let anyone or anything disrupt that – which I do. On the other hand, I have so may expectations, and when things don’t meet my expectations I try to control the situation or become hyper critical. I know I need to let some of this shit go, and stop wanting everything to be perfect, but even if I did – would Scott be fulfilling to me? Would he nourish my soul the way I need it to be nourished? What in the actual fuck does that even mean to me?
I can’t even figure myself out.
I can’t have it all, so what is the absolute non-negotiables I can’t live without?
Would figuring out those things help me to relax and loosen my death grip on everyone around me, including myself?