I love how in the movies a character, usually portrayed by someone who looks a whole lot better than I do in blue jeans, will experience a transformative moment, immediately understand the whole point and the lesson in one fell swoop, and then BOOM! Off she goes to live happily ever after. More likely than not this is how she will cope with every new learning experience forever.
OK, sometimes we'll see a character who takes the entire damn movie to learn the lesson, but what I never ever see is the character who learns it, forgets it, learns it some more, backslides, remembers, and continues to do this same tango forever ad nauseum.
Why is that? Am I just doing it wrong? Or are the people on the screen portraying something so patently un-doable that lamenting my inability to do the same is a pointless exercise?
Yesterday I wrote a completely tongue-in-cheek sarcasm-ridden paean to my ex. No, it didn't go live. Nor should it ever see the light of day. But god DAMN it felt good to write it.
It felt commensurately HORRIBLE to read it and understand how far I have failed to progress in my self-stated quest toward elightenment and compassion.
I continue to presume that I understand the reasons why people do things that affect me. Good or bad, I assume intent. Maybe sometimes I'm right, but how would I KNOW that? Its not like I ask for confirmation or anything. "Do you refuse to actually speak with me on the phone because you prefer parenting via text messages?" And see, I'm still kicking around in the shallow puddles of hostility.
It still hurts, though. I want to be better at this coparenting while divorced gig, and the truth is, the whole thing pretty much sucks ass right now. My ex lately communicates solely via texts on the cell phone. He still has yet to acknowledge the existence of SG. On the rare occasion when he's had to be within the same vicinity as my husband, his main tactic is to simply avoid looking directly at him. Is this because he hopes it will make him ACTUALLY disappear? I have no idea. And I assume intent. We speak on the phone and he speaks in monsyllabic monotone, and the writing on the wall screams "I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU."
How do you parent your kids with someone who you've never been able to truly discuss problems with?
I don't have the answers. And I'm not really pleased with the way I'm reacting to things. I don't feel I've grown very much as a person. That bothers me. I recognize so many times that I've ignored the high road, done and said things I take no pride in, wanted to continue to spread the pain around rather than let the healing begin. I still seem to take an unreasonable amount of time wanting another person to be other than they are, which is a bloody useless effort.
If I had any balls at all, I'd calmly set some boundaries and leave him to respect them or not respect them. If I gave some decent thought to what everyone's going through, I'd acknowledge that there might be a lot of reasons he's doing the things he does that have nothing to do with the motives I've so handily ascribed to him. Maybe he's in pain. Maybe his job is stressful. Maybe he's having relationship problems. Maybe the autism diagnosis is hard for him to wrap his head around. Maybe a lot of things -- maybe none of them. But the point I keep forgetting is that it isn't at all about WHAT HE IS THINKING. It is a thousand percent about how I'm reacting.
Maybe this is how the process of personal growth really goes. Maybe I'm supposed to figure these things out one painful step at a time and everytime I think I have a grasp on something I'm supposed to then get complacent and lose sight of things.
Maybe. Or maybe I AM just doing it all wrong.