names have been omitted or changed in this post
In tall boots, gray skinny jeans and a light chambray top I headed across the parking lot toward the local hardware store. The sun was shielded from my face with a camouflage baseball cap and sunglasses as I passed numerous shoppers leaving with tools they needed for various weekend projects. I headed inside through the double doors that automatically opened and made my way past the displays of yard knick knacks, garden benches and watering cans. At the back was a small counter with a window where keys were ordered and custom made. I waited patiently at the counter for someone to show up and soon noticed a built red haired guy with a beard approaching. He said his name was Jon, smiled and asked if I needed some help. Thank God for Jon, I thought noticing how masculine he was and then blushing that I had taken note. I went on to explain how the past set of severe thunderstorms had partially knocked out my electricity in my kitchen… the outlets weren't working nor was the dishwasher… but everything else was fine. I further explained to him I needed to access my breaker box to check it out but… and then rolled my eyes… because SOMEONE had lost the key to the darn thing… IMAGINE THAT… that someone being ME of course and I needed it unlocked.
He chuckled appreciatively with twinkling eyes but then admitted "Man, you are in a pickle."
"I know… so I thought I'd stop in and see if you had any ideas. I need the lock cut off. I don't want to have to call a locksmith unless I absolutely have to, you know? Would bolt cutters work to cut it off?" I asked him.
He gazed at me with empathy and replied "Yeah… but honestly… " He trailed off then was straight with me "They would work… and I don't want to you take offense to this but… I don't know that you will be strong enough to use them… I mean, it's going to take A LOT of strength and force to cut through that lock." He explained.
I nodded "No offense taken. I kinda figured that but wanted to check." I sighed. Ugh, I thought.
He nodded and softly asked "Do you have anybody to help you? A husband? Boyfriend? Any guy?"
Silence. All my life it had meant being indebted to be helped. I'd pay a locksmith to do it… paying people meant no "I owe you's".
"No, I don't… " I exhaled "I just have an ex that would relish the fact this has happened." I replied with a grimace.
He chuckled then nodded ruefully "Ah, I hear ya! I have several crazy exes. Well… " He trailed off… "I don't mind selling you the bolt cutters if you really want to try them… but honestly, I would call the locksmith." He advised.
I nodded, appreciating his help and honesty, graciously thanked him and departed.
It's no doubt we sometimes miss being married. We may miss having a partner who listens to our woes at work, who graciously lets us vent to them after a long and particularly trying day with the kids. Marriage means we have someone at the ready with chicken noodle soup when we are sick with a cold or the flu… it means we have an "emergency buddy system" built in… if we need to go to the hospital there is a person who loves us ready to bundle us up and haul butt to the emergency room. Being married means we thankfully have someone to help us with our resume and all the nuances that go with it… should I include this or omit that? Can you please proofread it? Being married means we have someone to look forward to vacations with and plan ahead… to take photos with and splash in the ocean with… to try new foods and kiss under the setting sun… to buy the kitschy matching t-shirts, sweatshirts and glasses from Hard Rock Cafe and not care that yes it's cheesy. Being married means cooking that special persons favorite meal and surprising them with it… extending, sharing all the love we have to give with someone we thank God for everyday. Marriage is maybe being sarcastic one minute, finding humor in difficulty and kissing the next… marriage is a culmination of so many sweet moments scattered in the hard, in the challenging and the everyday and ordinary.
Yes, we may miss all these things about marriage and more… no doubt, that is perfectly reasonable and expected... because there are aspects of marriage that are great. The truth is… we wouldn't be divorced if there hadn't been some serious issues in our marriage that far outweighed the positives. We'd still be there, side by side, bickering over who has more of the blanket and whether the temperature is too hot or too cold… but likely the issues in our marital relationship were far more glaring and serious than that.
I look back on my own marriage and see tiny nuggets of good memories here and there. I see comforting hugs when he arrived home from work, I see a man who up until things began unraveling in the last year or two who would fetch anything I desired for dinner if I didn't feel well or cooking was out of the question due to hectic schedules. I see many times where I prepared homemade lasagna for him because he loved it and basked in his praises and enjoyment of it. I see a man who somehow despite wanting to pull his hair out and claw his seat in frustrated terror taught me to drive and took me car shopping when we dated. I see myself cheering on his accomplishments as he worked his way from the bottom up. I see road trips filled with fun memories like basking in the glorious beauty of the California coastline and sharing delight over playful dolphins along our boat-rides in Florida. Positive memories we've shared exist, yes, they do.
I find myself looking back and seeing two people in him. Two polar opposite sides based on his behavior. I miss the opposite of the evil obviously. I miss the person I thought had my best interests and at times appeared to. I miss the person who at first glance seemed utterly devoted and enamored. I miss the person whom I wrongly believed I could share all my quirks and anxieties with. I miss the man who I thought I could let in my heart.
But reality is that there is the other side, the side that is checked out, that doesn't want to be bothered because you're inconveniencing him with a request, conversation or just some attention. There is the shut down of your valid worries with a "it's fine!" and walking off. There is the constant influx of his mothers presence in the marriage... despite your verbal protests he shuts down and says no one will criticize his mother's presence. It's ironic as your own mother kept her distance due to his obvious disdain for her. Everything is negotiated with the dark side that creeps out... everything is "let's make a deal" because he does nothing "just to be nice"... like cattle you've been bought and each and every day you must pay up. He values his home, cars and self perceived status as more important than human life.
The truth of the matter is: when we miss a narcissist or narcissistic sociopath we aren't missing who they really are. We are missing the facade, the fake, the phony one.
It's like missing the devil
when he isn't beating us and
is acting like an angel
the rest of the time.
We are missing who we thought they were, who they portrayed themselves to be long enough to snag us like a coveted tea pot. We are missing who they fell back into character as… when we began to show any displeasure, strength and independence that we might just up and jump ship. Like a fish he (or she) had to reel us back in with glimpses of good.
It's okay to miss who you thought they were.
Who they pretended to be.
Just remember that's what it was… pretend.
Who he REALLY is? He's the person who grabbed you inappropriately and sneered your vagina belongs to him. He's the person who expected sex when you had a 104 fever and felt like death. He's the person who told you yes, he'd be happy to help hang that heavy picture in the dining room... if you have sex with him first. He's the person who despite knowing you were raped told you via email that he will lie to your daughter that you prostituted yourself just to have a roof over your head. He's the person who left you on your own when you had a serious illness to navigate. He's the person who allowed his sister to call you a five letter word that ryhmes with witch in front of his entire extended family and your children at Thanksgiving because you worked at your family business and per her opinion didn't have a "real job". He's the person who gleefully enjoyed all the nude pictures of women his best friend sent him and was irritated when you were disgusted by him and told him to not ever do that again. He's the person who had no use for church, for God or leading his family in love and biblical teaching.
That's the REAL person you married.
And thankfully he's the person you're now divorced from.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 201