I wish I could say that I had been excitedly publishing my wedding plans for months in this blog. The truth is, I start this blog at the end, not the beginning.
The truth is, I would have been afraid to anyways.
It doesn’t matter if my (now-ex) fiancee promised and swore up and down that this wedding would happen. That just this once, he would keep his promises. I guess deep down, I knew he wouldn’t. So I was afraid to say much about it, to plan it, to do things to get ready for it -to enjoy it- the way other brides get to. Because you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And sure enough, every other week or so, he’d have a mood swing and the wedding would be off. Most likely our relationship would be off and he’d bee packing his stuff. And then a day or two later, a couple of weeks later, or maybe the next day, I get a text from him, “Hey, what was the title of the book you wanted to read, again?” Or I come home and find him sitting in my living room in front of the computer, looking at me like I’m crazy when I’m surprised to see him there.
I shouldn’t have let it stall off my wedding planning and set-up. I shouldn’t have even let it it get to me. After SIX YEARS of this, it shouldn’t get to me.
But it did, every time. And every time I stopped the wedding stuff until he decided it was better and back on again, AND until even later, when I decided he was better and it was back on again. And then finally I realized that I was out of time and not ready. Not to mention that the money was gone–spent on a boat and an obscenely priced car stereo system purchase during his manic states.
So I decided I was going to ACT like it didn’t get to me (even though it always does). I did not stop preparing for the wedding even when he packed his stuff, or reduced me to tears, or told me it was off because he didn’t love anyone, could never feel love. I told myself that logically he always flips back (and he always does) and just to keep forging on. Sir Ernest Shackleton is my freakin’ hero!
And it was working. I kept my happiness journal every day. I just said “ok,” and worked on my rational thinking, no matter what he said or did. I pulled out my CBT journal every time I couldn’t breathe. I found a cake maker, I reserved the reception hall. I got our daughter her flower girl dress, and started working out the food logistics with one of the bestest friends I ever had. And the more I got done, the more antagonistic he got. And I just took it and took it and took it. So I don’t know what happened.
I just snapped.
After a particularly bad weekend that included him yelling at me about the way I walked in a parking lot because he didn’t like the customer service we got from Sprint, he sent the following texts,
“I’m starting to seriously think we are better off not being together.”
“I don’t want to get married.”
“I need you to clean the computer.”
My intention was to be calm and logical about it and just tell him, again, “Ok.” I really don’t know what keeps happening though. When it next came up, and I calmly told him I wasn’t working on the wedding any more, he was surprised. I think that was the thing that broke my camel back. The last thing he said to me about it was that he didn’t want to get married and here he was surprised to find out that we weren’t getting married. This stuff…these awful things, wouldn’t stop coming out of my mouth. Nothing outrageous–no accusations of baby eating and associating with communists–just told him exactly how he had been making me feel over the last year or so since we set the wedding date. And it’s not like, I hadn’t told him before. I did, calmly and logically, careful to use my “I” language. Was I too nice? Does he need me to act like an angry little child before he believes a word I say? Or did the noise in his head just drown out my voice? I don’t know, but he was surprised. And… because he was surprised that we weren’t getting married, that I seemed…upset, for some reason…I just flipped to the darkside. The. Words. Would. Not. Stop. Coming. Out. Of. My. Mouth.
Even the next day, when he tried to send me some harmless little text message–his way of saying, “We are gradually, over the course of the next day or so, forget anything ever happened (including any wedding plans),” the words kept coming! I said things at this point that I knew would set off his depression and anger–the “stepping on eggshells zone” –and I just kept going. I wound myself up. I couldn’t concentrate enough to use my CBT. I had a bad dissociative episode and got lost in my own neighborhood for hours. Three days later and he came over to drop off some paperwork–but first he wanted to talk. He held out all his dysfunctional signals for me to take and start pretending everything was ok again, and instead of taking them and getting on with things again, the Words came again. I left him dejected and tearful sitting in his car out in the parking lot. And I wish I could say that I don’t care. But it’s the opposite. I feel awful. I feel like an out-of-control monster. But the Words won’t stop.
Which brings me to the whole point of this post. See, the thing I never got, the thing that always rubs me the wrong way, is this little piece of wisdom you get, not just from CBT media, but from a lot of sources. That if you love yourself, and are careful not practice irrational thinking in your relationship, your relationship will be good. Happiness is in the journey.
“To be loved, I have to love myself.”
“The right person will be attracted to me.”
“True love can occur if I like myself first.”
“Reading minds can lead to misunderstanding.”
Forgiveness. Take responsibility for your feelings. Stop bringing up old hurts, and they magically won’t be a problem in your relationship anymore.
“Rejection doesn’t mean I’m unlovable.”
“I have a lot to offer the *right* person.”
“Sometimes love may take time to find.”
“I don’t want to enable others.”
Well, which is it? If I’m all shiny and happy, will I have good relationships? Am I supposed to WORK on making things better? Or is it that I’m supposed to avoid negative people, even if it’s my loved one, in order to stay happy? What if your loved one refuses to cooperate and no matter how freaking happy and understanding you are, they remain negative and combative? Is there a zen way to reject someone that keeps bringing you pain? Or are you supposed to be so freakin’ zen you can find your quiet spot and somehow win them over? Is it then your fault if your relationship continues to suck? Are you just NOT happycalmunderstandingemtionallywelcoming the freak enough?!!!
I can’t help but feel these relationship gurus-counselors-psycologists-experts are really saying, “Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t and we don’t actually know why. BUT if we don’t mention both at the same time, maybe we can keep fooling you into thinking its all one way other the other instead of Just. Completely. Random.”
“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist.