There are a few things I skimmed over or didn't outright state in yesterday's post because it was very stream-of-consciousness and painful to write, so here are a few things unpacked.The Thomases Moving Here
We started talking about this so early in the relationship that we didn't tell anyone simply because "it would sound crazy". Um. Well. I should listen to that voice. It did seem to be perfect: they have friends here, Lynne has family here, Adam and I would help care for Caitlin, Children's is a great hospital for Cait's condition and much closer than they are to their current hospital, they'd be able to have social lives. Lots of benefits for them. The benefit for Adam and I, of course, would be financial. Cutting our rent in half would cover that Judah-shaped budget hole, and we'd have money for Elayna's tuition without scrimping. So we've passed up a *lot* of opportunities over the past six months to keep that space in our house available to them. Even painted Judah's old room purple for Caitlin. We had so many plans; we even knew which art would go where, and where Michael's Doctor Who toy collection would go. Our future story was very detailed. Hence the shock.Caitlin
The very first comment on that post hit an unspoken nail on the head: cbpotts
said "...it gets you professionally, personally, financially, even maternally."
Anyone who's followed me for any length of time knows how deeply I love parenting, and what a shock to the system Elayna's departure has been. I was so looking forward to having a little girl in our home again. He called me her almost-stepmom a few times. I liked Cait from the moment I met her, and easily grew to love her. She's fond of me too, and was reportedly looking forward to me and Nicky (she's seen videos of him) being there in February after her surgery.
The loss of Cait hurts, too. Very, very much.Model Rape Survivor
Survivors know this one. It is the idea that the model rape survivor should have a certain set of socially-acceptable reactions on their way to recovery, which should be totally linear and completed within a few months. Model rape survivors should not be angry. They should not have setbacks. They apparently shouldn't have anxiety over seeing their rapists at a con. (He wasn't there, as far as I know, but his roommate, who harassed me and a few friends last year, was.) And when triggered, they should magically be able to direct that to people other than the people who, unwittingly or not, triggered them.
All of this, of course, is some bullshit. There is no one true path. There is no cheat code. Yeah, that sucks. Yeah, I'm not perfect. I never claimed to be. I'm actually doing incredibly well on almost everything, by reasonable standards. But Judah basically re-sensitized my triggers. Which is a normal and expected thing. And after that one incident, I dismantled that; Michael and Lynne hit the same buttons repeatedly in future conversations and I remained totally calm. Which Michael refused to acknowledge even when pressed directly during the breakup call, but the good thing about a relationship conducted extensively in Gchat is that there's documentation of everything.
Yes, I leaned on him very heavily in June and July. But after Judah's stuff was gone from here and the legal balls were rolling, after I got my social life to where I wanted it, after I processed all of the post-Judah stuff, I was making great progress, and it became all about me supporting him - which, as I say, I didn't begrudge, as I love him, and I am a caregiver at heart, and he had helped me; why wouldn't I help him? But that one aberration, that one death throe of ridding my system of Judah, that one normal and expected thing, was A Bridge Too Far. Because I was supposed to be Good For Him at All Times, and those boundaries didn't allow for normal human emotion. Four-hour phone calls
On chat last night, a friend pointed out something I'd left unsaid; I think many here know it, but it deserves to be highlighted. I am phone-phobic. It's a big stressy thing for me to even pick up a phone to schedule a doctor's appointment. Adam makes all the phone calls in this house, because he hates phones a little less than I do. Illogical, I know, but phobias are illogical. Pretty much all my friends know to text, not call, because I straight-up do not pick up the phone.
I tell you this so you'll understand that being on the phone for four hours a day is a) a big lifestyle modification and b) not one I would ever have requested. Is why his story of me
days holds no water. Anyone who knows me knows that there is no world in which those requests would have come from me. Things I Won't Say
He's chosen to be publicly cruel. I won't.
You'll see that even now there are gaps in this narrative. That's because there are a lot of things that aren't my stuff to air, although they would explain a lot about their behavior. I'm very aware that Cait's surgery is next week, and the reactions some explanations would bring would hamper their ability to care for her.
My hope is that Michael will eventually get help; I'm not going to pull shit that would hamper that. I do love him and think that he can get better if he chooses to do so. And I am not the petty one here. The things I've spoken of are things that affect me directly and tie into other things in my year-plus of awfulness. I will explain things that will explain me. I won't get into their shit. And I won't swipe back at them.
We all have our choices to make after this. Mine, as always, is to be kind, even when I'm not getting kindness in return. Could I get into a vicious slapfight? Oh hell yes.
But that's not the person I want to be. And that's what's important now: making the choices I need to make to be the person I want to be.