Old Yeller

Before I knew it that silence grew louder and louder and then I realized that was not silence at all, but was me screaming. I did a lot of screaming. I didn’t do all that much crying. I know I have said before that sometimes I feel like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday, one of my favorite movies by the way, where she hadn’t cried since she was 3. I am not one of those people who break down in crisis situations. I do not, weep and get nervous and indecisive. I don’t sit in a corner and get teary eyed or lose my voice or show much emotion at all. I am stoic. I get down to business. And in much of the last twenty years or so, I have come to realize; I am who you want in your corner in a crisis situation. I am level-headed, I am direct, I get shit done. Some would call me heartless or that I am not dealing with my emotions, but I disagree. I am dealing with it, just not in a vulnerable, girlie kind of way. That has been one of the hardest things to learn. Vulnerability. I’m not a fan of it just yet. So the next few weeks proved to be filled with yelling, arguing, nasty comments. My snake tongue was in rare form as we spit horrible comments back and forth to each other. Friend Guy was a yeller too. He didn’t hold back in telling me how cold and hard I was and I didn’t hold back in telling him all the terrible things I thought about him. Where did that happy couple go and how did we lose them so fast. I quickly got a job and went back to work full-time. Going to work became my saving grace. I was safe there. No one could touch me, or upset me or yell at me. I was really good at my job as well. I received all the accolades I was missing from home. I was not a good stay at home mom or wife. I needed more. And working gave that to me. He unfortunately tried to get a job at first, but then it seemed to tail off a bit. He and my children became comfortable with me working and them being at home. I remember one night coming home from work around 6:30 and the three of them who had been home since 3:30 all looking at me, sitting around and finally asked, “So what’s for dinner?” Are you kidding me??? I think this happens to every single mother/wife at least one time in their lives, but when it happened to me….I snapped. I was not going to carry everything. I was not going to work, take care of the house, raise the kids alone, pay for everything, AND make dinner! It wasn’t going to happen. A new routine began with Friend Guy and me fighting, when it got to the point that he could not take what I was saying, which was usually “get a job” he would leave. And not just go for a drive, but leave, like for a few days. That really got under my skin. How could you so easily walk away from us and not speak to us for days at a time. What I have realized is that I was no angel. I pushed and pushed and pushed and when my quick wit and sarcastic stinging words jabbed him right where I wanted it to, I didn’t like the backlash. I’m not saying it was all my fault, but I was not going to stand for raising a man when I was looking for a partner in life. I didn’t want to fix him or change him or teach him, I wanted him to come to the table complete and be equals. I’m not even sure if that really exists in relationships, because I would think at any given moment one of you is more equip to deal, handle, figure things out then the other, but at some point the tide then shifts and the roles change and you go in and out of who’s handling what right? Christmas came and went, Valentine’s day came and went, Easter came and went and then the next big fight came and I could see him begin to throw his clothes in a bag. The dance where he left and didn’t speak to me was coming up next and I was no longer interested. It had only been seven months from our honeymoon and I could feel the end nearing. At first I tried to stop him from leaving. Throwing out good old Catholic guilt at him. Saying things like “we are a family, you don’t just walk out” and “I love you don’t do this” and when I realized he had already made up his mind, he was leaving and there was basically nothing I could say to make him stay I said the final words “If you leave…..don’t come back.”

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