Monday, April 21, 2014

Part V - About Leaving

Ellie Goulding is singing on my Spotify station, "This love will be your downfall," and I wonder aloud back to Ellie, "Oh, Ellie, where in the Hell were YOU 18 years ago?"

My Achilles heel (and, apparently, Ellie's) thinking that I can pacify the disturbed and soothe the needy, and that I reflexively feel that is something I should have to do.

That's what really got me in trouble, because the worst thing about dealing with someone who's emotionally crippled is how they think they need you, and how they convince you of the same thing.

And they really do think they need you when what they need is:
a parent
a cheerleader
a cook, maid, secretary, financial adviser...

But they don't need YOU.
They don't care that you're smart or an artist or that you're good with dogs or that you know how to use a level and you're really good with a power drill or that you can locate the alternator on your Japanese car and that you're a damn fine customer service rep with a knack for explaining the concept of "proportion" to little old ladies who are frustrated with the copy machine.
That you are three quarters of the way to two college degrees. (No, that scares them.)
Not unless it's a bragging point for them.
Not unless it comes in handy for them.

They don't need YOU, because "You" come with feelings and friends and a family and needs of your own, and so they systematically strip the part of you that makes you... you until all that's left is a weird, compartmentalized shell that houses:

A driver (someone has to pick up the auto parts)
A scapegoat (for when someone has ordered the wrong auto parts)
A verbal punching bag because now the store is closed and they still don't have their auto parts. Or door hinges. Sanding belts. Enough ranch dressing for their fries. Whatever.

You are introduced as "the wife" when you are introduced at all.
You become sort of an extension of his body that just so happens to walk and drive to the parts store independently of his body when it needs to be done.

Eventually, if you have a good friend, or you had a good upbringing, or you see those hokey public service announcements in the year-old Woman's Day magazine in the doctor's office, or maybe you are just strong enough to be holding on to some vestige of your self-worth,
you'll hear a familiar voice that whispers to you when it's quiet,
"This feels wrong."

You'll discredit that voice for a while,
until you realize it's yours,
and it's right.

Hopefully, you leave.

Later it will seem so obvious that you weren't the problem.

I mean, it's just sense,you can't make someone happy who is clinging to the boat anchor instead of the life raft.
They're Hell-bent on going down, and they'll think nothing of taking you down with them,

and they won't even be grateful for the company.

No comments:

Post a Comment