So I've been doing a lot of grieving of late.

Nobody died, but it's about my marriage and mostlly Monday-morning quarterbacking. Y'know passing judgement and/or criticizing something after an event has occurred. It's a bit different from l'esprit de l'escalier but they do intersect a bit, but I'm digressing in hopes of coming across as more erudite than I really am.

I believe the genesis of this newfound grieving is coming from two dreams, their mental and emotional fallout, but I had a bit of an epiphany on Saturday afternoon after browsing /r/books on reddit, perusing a thread on Jennette McCurdy's memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died then finding the following text in a comment:

From there I remembered a conversation I had in late April of '21 with my friend in Matawan where I complained about Leah, what she said to me and there was silence. A moment later Matawan said, "That's abusive."

And I was surprised and grateful for that.

Surprised because mind-games, moving goalposts, never being satisfied despite my attempts to please Leah were the norm for me and I figured it was 'okay'. My biological father doesn't have a healthy relationship with my cunt of a biological mother, she rules his life and exemplifies someone who observes her dictum of, "When I saw 'jump', you ask 'How high?'" Mind you he's had some release, pun is not intended but appropriate, by cheating on her with at least two women from New York City. Not surprising considering the fact that my paternal grandfather had a long-running relationship with a "Mrs. Monahan" where everyone whispered behind my paternal grandmother's back about infidelity while tutting.
At least I only considered fucking around with someone, Edna LaMontagne-Voegele to be explicit, to 'get' Leah but I never did. Long-time readers of my writing will know that's a whole other bag of worms and, had I done anything and something grew from it the abuse would probably have been different but similarly awful. I reminded myself that I was married, Edna LaMontagne-Voegele was married, and it'd only cause grief for more people.

Grateful because that reaction was an explicit demonstration that I had a friend, that I was stuck in something thorougly toxic but I normalized it in hopes of remaining sane, and most importantly it was possible for other people to give a shit about me and my well-being. Before that sentiment I was thoroughly isolated, didn't know any better since it seemed to be a repetition of a married relationship of which I was familiar.
Not to mention being thoroughly ashamed of myself for being in that situation and allowing myself to become completely helpless and at the so-called mercy of another human being. To keep this in a kink context, I will never be submissive or anything else to anyone. On the other hand, I'm reticent to be a dominant because I don't want other people to feel like I felt.

Sometime after I went to the party on the 20th I had a phone conversation with my friend Rameen. I think I was giving off bad vibes that night and explained what was going through in my head, my lack of a sense of personal worth, some regrets over having a small home in Toms River and now living in a room in the 'hood about thirty minutes north. Rameen affirmed that I left a very bad situation, she acknowledged it because she knew how bad it was by the time when I asked if I could impose at her Easter gathering because Leah told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was not welcome in our house for Easter.
Rameen welcomed me.
When I told Leah that I had made other arrangements Leah said I could stay but I declined.
Also the fact that a few hours before I went to Rameen's Easter I went up to meet my friend in Matawan in-person for the first time. That was a good day.

Again there was affirmation I had value to others, therefore I should value myself. People outside of my situation, beyond my therapist, knew this was a bad deal even though I kept defending Leah and making excuses for her. Not to the extent that I was spouting, "She built the Autobahn! She designed the Volkswagen!" ktp but I'd try to be reasonable and fair with her.

What's weird is now I have a social network, but I'm still isolated since gas is expensive, inflation is running rampant, friends are far-flung or just unavailable, when being around people could be therapeutic. It's why I dislike online meetings through Zoom and others.

What makes the situation complicated is Leah seems to still want to be friends in a way and it is fucking with my head. As if this newfound kindness and generosity will paint over her sins in the marriage, absolving her and having people move on rather than realize how she was party to many awful things which happened behind closed doors and her refusal to compromise. Sure, Leah did things for me but in the end it was quid pro quo rather than a sacrifice. I don't mean a sacrifice in a negative way, but in being selfless and knowing such a sacrifice wouldn't be for naught and would be returned. Maybe not immediately nor in the fashion they would hope or expect, but through the other person's own 'language'.

As an aside, my therapist said I should reach out to Catholic Charities and see if they could help me. The first woman I spoke with was kind, she listened to me, took down my information and noted the abuse I rattled off then said someone would get back to me. Her superior got back to me and said I was shit out of luck. I took this as her being misandrist with how abused men are disregarded and, tacitly, told to 'man-up' and take care of oneself instead of asking for help. I never felt more hopeless.

Until I read that bit of a comment, I had a glimmer that leaving and living in the 'hood is good. Just I allow yself to be distracted and look back like Lot's wife. And like her, I freeze up and find myself unable to act because there are so many mixed feelings. Trying to right by myself and embrace good things.

Yet I'm still ashamed, not wanting to always bring up Leah but I guess I have a lot of shit to still process and throw away for my own sanity. Just don't want to always feel like I'm being 'the misery guy' or, worse, still Leah's husband.
I'm not mad at her. Anger just kills a person from within and that energy gets wasted being thrown at someone who really doesn't give a shit. I still don't feel my value as a human being. What bugs me is how I tell myself this is something I can only tackle on my own, but then I wonder if that's my rational for keeping myself isolated and wallowing in misery so others don't see it. Misery is misery, even if it is less than before.

Valid xHTML Transitional!