Loyal readers may have noticed I haven’t blogged about my ex in quite a while. Did you happen to wonder why that is?
Maybe he’s been so horrible, it was too embarrassing to even consider writing about his antics.
Maybe he’s just sort of faded back into the background; not troublesome, but barely even present. Forgettable.
Maybe I’ve finally matured to the point where WHATEVER he does just doesn’t matter to me.
Nope, nope, and I haven’t even matured to the point where I can keep a straight face while my children sing about boogers, so, um, NO.
The reason is that I haven’t been able to wrap my brain around recent events. But I’m gonna try. (If it doesn’t work, I’ll teach you the booger song.)
I don’t know if you can tell from this little site of mine where I focus on ME ME ME 24/7, but I can be a tad self-absorbed. You’re shocked; I understand. (Note to self: That whole thing where I get so incredulous when Chickadee just makes shit up and then acts shocked when I accuse her of lying… might be genetic.) (I slay me!) Anyway, like everything about my life, it’s complicated. On the one hand, I could compete with the best of them in a professional navel-gazing contest, yes. On the other hand, I really am fairly sensitive to others’ moods and feelings most of the time.
Perhaps the largest challenge for me in navigating the day-to-day life of being post-divorce has been to shut out my perceptions of how my ex is doing. Once we got past the initial ugliness and strife, he was still bubbling with anger just beneath the surface, for so long. Gradually that gave way to a resigned martyrdom that was less frightening but no more pleasant.
And so I pretended not to notice. Did my best to be pleasant but not empathetic (because a single kind word was taken as an invitation to pour out his troubles). Hid my own feelings as best I could–good or bad–for fear of being cross-examined and judged. Meanwhile, every bizarre blip of unexpected behavior (from HIM, silly) made excellent blog fodder.
So. The recent silence. It’s because… I think he’s happy.
It took me a long time to figure out that that’s what it is. Because it’s been a really long time since he was happy. For the first time in years, he seems okay. And he’s not prying into my life, looking for ammunition to use against me. He’s just… being. Being pleasant, even.
I want to tell you that I’m thrilled for him and it’s wonderful to see. And I am and it is. Mostly.
I’m relieved that he’s better because that will be better for the kids, and it’s even easier for me, in many ways.
On the other hand, after having my heart broken repeatedly and scrabbling together a life here where I could so rarely depend on him to step in with the kids in any way that didn’t involve toys, a teeny tiny part of my brain says it was a lot easier just to dismiss him. Not hate; that’s too strong. But there was a dismissal there that I’d become accustomed to. He could barely take care of himself, much less the kids. I would figure out what worked for us three and he could do whatever.
Now he’s tending to himself in a healthy way. I see it in him. I see it in the kids, who are happier with him. We chat on the phone when he calls for the kids, or during drop-offs and pick-ups. And I see little glimpses of the man I once loved; blurry, like reflections in rippling water, but recognizable nonetheless.
Then there’s the little glimpses of how complicated the future will be, as we are still bound together by these two little people who will (God willing) link us for the rest of our lives. It is better for ALL of us that he be whole. I do hope it lasts, even as it makes me vaguely uncomfortable.
The tiny voice that hopes he falls off his rocker again so that I can go back to sweeping him under the rug? Eh, it’s mostly kidding. This is kind of like those smelly vitamin supplements, you know. Weird and sort of off-putting, on the surface, but ultimately good for you.
Or maybe he’s just a pod person. At this point I’d believe anything.