So, the thing that is driving me crazy about my life right now is that there are literally abusers everywhere. I’m so damn sick and tired of dealing with them. Tiptoeing around them. Placating them.
Maybe this is true for everyone, that they have a lot of abusers in their life? I kind of doubt that, but who knows. Y’all tell me. I know why it’s true in my life. I was raised by an abuser and then repeated the cycle. My mother is an abuser. My exes are abusers. I’m not sure if my first ex’s wife is abusive, exactly, but she’s loud, convinced her rough way is the only way, and dismissive of those who feel differently. I don’t know her motivation well enough to qualify her as an abuser but she sure isn’t always super pleasant to deal with, especially in my vulnerable, hurting, sick of a-holes state that I’m in right now. I even have an abusive cousin that I have to deal with in an on-again, off-again kind of way.
The thing that frustrates me about most of them (sans the cousin) is that I can’t really get rid of them.
My mom, is, my mom. I guess I could just cut her out of my life. I have before. But I feel responsible to her. Honor your parents and all that. The thing that sucks is that I am completely miserable around her. She is super toxic. She gossips vilely, about everyone. No one is exempt, and no one deserves balance. She depersonalizes and villainizes every single person she’s decided not to like, and that is almost everyone. I try to redirect her the best I can, but it’s so draining and vile. A long while ago, I decided to introduce movie watching during our time together(right now, she has an invite to come over once a week for dinner). I thought a movie would deflect talking. So what I got instead is two hours of her screaming at whatever characters she doesn’t like and saying things about how she hopes they get beat up or die or whatever. How is it that I hardly drink?
The cousin I mentioned is this super manipulative alcoholic that’s been perpetually homeless for pretty much his whole life. He had a hard childhood. He did. But he banks on that hard childhood to not grow up, to abuse a number, a large number, of people along the way of his own life, to do the rounds and go from person to person doing what he can to get them to support him for the moment. He has impregnated at least three different women that I can think of. The last one he knocked up he hooked up with because she was supposed to get some money from the government, a couple of thousand dollars, that he wanted to get his hands on. He knocked her up in the process of all that. He has never held a job. He’s been in and out of jail his whole life. He tries to use physical intimidation with anyone he thinks is scared of him, and guilt trips with everyone else. The thing that blows me away is that this guy has had chance, after chance, after chance, to start setting his life straight, and all he has to show for it is another story about how the world’s out to get him, and a request for the next thing he needs from you. When you don’t deliver what he wants, he gets all pissed at you and super disrespectful. He threatened to kill my brother one time. He stood outside a window at while the same brother was inside McDonald’s eating with his family, flipping him off and such. What kind of idiot?
Anyway, I tried to help him out for a long time. I didn’t really get that he was abusive. I knew he was an alcoholic. Everyone gave him crap about it, so I figured I didn’t need to. If he came around asking for cigarettes or money or a ride, I gave it to him. We(my almost ex-husband and I) did a decent amount for him, actually. I think the reason why he started getting pissy with me was that he had asked to stay with me and I said no. He never actually confronted me, which I find hilarious, but he blocked me from his facebook. It took me like a year to figure out, because I don’t follow his page in the first place.
Eventually, he re-added me, then got angry at me again, and sent me some stupid messages. I told him off this time. Like a typical abuser, he tried to deny/lie/minimize his behavior, and I pretty much told him, Come with respect, or don’t come at all. But really, I’m done with him.
He still tried to contact me recently about something he wanted from me. I deflected him. I don’t know if he’s eventually going to get that it’s not happening here, or if I’m going to have to spell it out for him and deal with the fallout.
I’m always trying to avoid fallout with these people, desperate for peace. Desperate to avoid them siccing other people on me (mom), trying to humiliate me(cousin, ex number 1, maybe ex number 2), ultimate guilt trips(my ex 1 threatened to kill himself, my mom blamed a suicide attempt on me, the cousin is always threatening to kill himself to get stuff from people), whatever. There is always some horrible price to pay for not toeing the line an abuser sets out for you.
Ex number one is much of the same. He is super vulgar, super power hungry, and always looking for a fight. For a long time, I was decently willing to oblige him. If you’ve read my blog, aren’t surprised by this. Years ago, my breaking point was when we actually got into a fight at our son’s school. As I left, he stood in the parking lot, screaming at me that I was a whore. I decided that day I was done fighting with him, and I haven’t since. Mostly, I have figured out how to handle him, and other than that, I avoid him like the plague. It’s not that I haven’t stood up to him when I had to. He’s super lazy and hates working. He would let child support rack up until they were ready to throw him in jail, and then ask me to drop it. I did, twice. The third time, I said no. I told him the hard truth-gently. You deal with it. It’s between you and the courts.
Now, these issues are coming up again that make me feel afraid. My son is turning eighteen. He has severe developmental delays and is vulnerable. My ex already got super pissy about child support maybe not ending because my son is still in school. My ex wants to share guardianship with me, which I’m highly uncomfortable with. I don’t think what’s best for my son has ever or will ever be on his radar. But my son as a source of money? Sure. My son as a pawn to use against me? Excellent. A court battle to gain control if I do a thing to work against his wishes? God, yes, please. He would love it. So, here I am, trying to figure out how the hell to navigate this, and it’s just so frustrating.
He stood in my house a couple weeks ago bragging about how when a restaurant makes his food wrong a couple of times, he will go in and smash the food on the counter and smear it around. The thing that blew me away was how these places kowtow to him afterward. It would generally get him kicked out, but then they would send him free food coupons! One time, he did it where his wife worked. Whenever he went back in afterward, they would go get her to make his food! Talk about special treatment.
When I processed all that information afterward, I thought, what an excellent example of successful abuse. Entitlement-You can’t make his food wrong-at least not more than once. Punishment/Justification-You made his food wrong, he gets to punish you for it. Reward-he acted like an jerk and you gave him free food coupons. That’s definitely the power and control he was seeking.
It’s messed up because his rough around the edges wife is the one who actually takes and cares for my son on his weekends. She is also the one who will fill in for doctors appointments and things when I can’t. His dad sure isn’t going to do the work. I am entirely sure that if he didn’t have a wife to caretake our son for him, he would be much, much less a part of his life. I have often joked with my spouse that she should’ve been his dad.
My soon to be ex is probably the mildest of all of these. We are working together fairly well through the divorce and child support proceedings, although I have no doubt he’s painting himself the victim and me the evil witch to anyone who will listen. He has a highly manipulative way of telling things to other people to make me look like the bad guy, without actually saying anything inflammatory. They get all pissed off and given the chance, they’ll disrespect me. He, of course, claims innocence, cause he never actually said anything, did he? I’m very careful to remind myself he’s no friend of mine, no matter how jovial he acts to my face. I also am constantly concerned about the effect he will or is having on our children. Mostly my angst about him has to do with them. He is a narcissist, and I am well aware that when they stop feeding whatever his emotional need has at the moment, he is very capable of turning on them.