Wednesday, October 20, 2010
enough is enough...
How many times have you heard that phrase? Have you really understood what it meant? At least by the person that said it?
We live in a time of control. Of time tables. Of deadlines. Of limits. If a person can’t get their work done, they are labeled as lazy, or a procrastinator. Always ten minutes late? Some researchers say it’s because of an inability to control impulses. Like eating the last few bites of anything on your plate even though you are full. Impulse. Lack of control.
I get stressed out when my calendar gets too crazy. Rushing gives me anxiety. I hate not being on time. I don’t enjoy nagging my daughter to "Hurry Up! We’re going to be late!” as she tries to get the perfect twist of her bangs to clip back when getting ready for school. As I stand there watching I don’t see any difference between the first clip and the eighth. But apparently number eight was a winner because now she’s ready to go.
I have lists that run in my head. Sometimes it keeps me up at night because I am thinking of all the things that I need to get accomplished the next day. It’s a catch 22. There are times during the day that I run out of steam to get everything done. Then I don’t sleep well. Then I am tired.
It gets rather annoying.
But enough is enough. I’ve started taking things off my schedule that aren't absolutely necessary. I’ve learned that you don’t have to eat that last slice of pizza. It’s okay to leave things on your plate. I've been okay with saying 'No'. I’ve learned that when you feel that you’ve given something your best shot and it hasn’t worked out…you walk away and say, “Enough is enough.”
It’s a big sentence considering it’s only made up of three words and fourteen letters.
Enough: adj. occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.
My big enough is enough happened ten days ago. After trying to communicate that I was unhappy and have continued to be unhappy with my relationship with the man I was dating for some time. I didn't mean for it to go the way it did. Normally, I would get to a point where I had to say something. We’d talk. Time would pass and nothing would really change and then many months later I would end up getting to a point where I had to say something. We’d talk. Time would pass and then many months later I would end up getting to a point where I had to say something. We’d talk…
Do you see a trend?
Do that for six+ years! Oh yeah…I had a enough is enough moment last weekend. Like an Oprah ’Aha!’ moment and I called it off. For real. No going backwards. No accepting of lame apologies or excuses. No listening to any of the banter that kept me caged in a codependent relationship for six fucking years. Everything that I've been unhappy with came rushing in and smashed through the wall that I've been building in my brain to keep all the bad out.
How did I get here? I am SO much smarter than this!
How did I get to a point to let myself be manipulated and then demeaned? I deserve more than this!
How did I allow myself to be mentally abused? I AM better than that!
I didn’t grow up as one of those girls in high school that felt ruined if she didn’t have a current crush or boyfriend. I dated, but it didn’t define who I was. I had friends in college that always had to have a guy taking her out or she would cry. That wasn’t me either. I've had my share of broken hearts. It’s never easy. It’s never fun. But sometimes it’s takes as broken heart to find out more about yourself in order to make it heal.
I’ve done quite of bit of soul searching in the last few months. During that time I discovered that I had become complacent about my level of unhappiness. I didn’t speak up for what it was I wanted. What I needed. I became disheartened by having to ask for approval, for acceptance, for love. I was in denial, no doubt about it. I shielded myself from the real truth and pretended that everything was okay. But it wasn’t. I did not have the mental strength or fortitude to put it to rest and move on.
But I did.
Yup. Finally. I finally got up the nerve to address it head on and say, “Enough is enough.”
Each day gets a little easier. I have moments of weakness when I want to call, to reach out…but why? And each time this urge comes about there's been a sign that has kept me from picking up the phone. A total stranger rings the doorbell. I answer with red rimmed eyes. She asks, “Is everything okay?” I apologize for my appearance and tell her that I’ve a recent breakup with a long time boyfriend. She nods in understanding. We talk for bit about why she’s on my doorstep. I sign the petition. We share a few laughs and as she’s walking down the sidewalk she turns and says, “Stay strong. If he didn’t try to win you back, he’s a fool and you’re better off without him.”
Words from a stranger. Perfectly timed.
Yesterday I sat down in my office to check my e-mail. I picked up the phone sitting beside me and dialed his number. There was no answer. Thank God. In the next few moments though I got a text ‘Hey. You okay?’ ‘OK’, I responded, ‘You?’ I don’t want to let on that I’m having a tough time this morning. I feel empty. Sad. I want to keep it brief, impersonal, but I have things that I‘d like to....no, need to say to him. ‘Can we talk? ‘Sure. When though?’ he answers.
During this brief exchange the dogs start to bark frantically. The kind of bark that lets me know someone is in the driveway. I had forgotten that I asked my window cleaner guy to help me move some stuff that’s too big for me to move alone. He is standing on my deck. It interrupts the messaging.
“Are you okay?” Chuck asks, concern on his face, "You don't look like yourself." I haven’t showered yet although it is mid morning. I’ve dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. I know I've had better days. I briefly explain the recent turn of events. As I fill my mug, I offer him some coffee. We have a nice talk. I’ve known Chuck for 10 years, maybe more. He’s a sincere and honest guy. He’s had his problems and his demons but he wears them as a badge of honor. He’s a This is where I’ve been-This is where I’m going kind of guy. He shares with me a story of when he saw my boyfriend at a bar years ago. They were talking. They got wasted. They got into a debate that turned into an argument. My boyfriend does that. He likes to push buttons. He likes to get a reaction, especially wilst drinking. Chuck doesn’t stand for that shit. He wouldn’t stop pushing so Chuck knocked him off the barstool. "I just brushed him off and he fell." Chuck told me. The bartender came by and said she was going to call the police. Chuck said not to bother, he was leaving anyway. “No. Not because of you…because of him.” she gestured to none other than my boyfriend.
I had never heard this story. Apparently Chuck had been asked not to share it. “She doesn’t need to know where I am…all the time.” Really? With the amount of freedom the guy has I had no idea what bar went to with friends was a secret. Perhaps there was more to the secrecy than I’ll ever know. Chuck told me, “I liked him, or tried to, Nance, because you did.”
A sentiment that has reverberated through everyone that I’ve spoken of this to. “It’s you we like. It was never him. We liked him because you did.” Brooke told me, “You’re a Rock Star! Don’t ever be a groupie. Especially to him. YOU’RE the star.”
Now this may be banter to make me feel better. And I admit that some of it does. But at the same time, if that had been the case, shouldn’t some of my friends said something to me about their worries of my mate before? It might have saved me some time that cannot ever be replaced. 2,390 days to be exact. 2,390 fucking days.
Now granted, it wasn't all bad. We did have some fun. I enjoyed my time spent with him. Early on. So you can shave off a few of those days for that purpose...but geez, that's a lot. A LOT of wasted time. All things have their time and place. It’s like the saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Perhaps I was that horse. Not yet willing to drink. Not quite sure if the water was just right. I wanted to wait. I had hopes. Hell, I'm an optimist.
I once read something from my fellow blogger Mike who wrote, 'It brings me great joy to see the light in my fiancées eyes when she smiles…' I never got that from my boyfriend. I would hvae never gotten that from him. I don’t know if he even noticed if I smiled or not. As it turns out I've been living the life of a battered woman. Always there to take a little bit more.
He sent a note yesterday. One of apology. One of supposed remorse. “I feel so bad to have caused you grief and sadness. I miss both you and Boo each day I’m not there. I love you both." Bleck. Make me puke. "I do wish the best for both you and Boo and hope that I can send you things, such as gifts and messages and funny jokes and maybe we could hang out sometimes…”
Did I read that right? Are you fucking kidding me?
Hang out? Send us things?
Yeah…lets hang out over a pint of beer and discuss what a fucking joke I’ve become. Lets go and have a discussion at the pub while your married ex-girlfriend with two kids sends you text messages about how she 'listens to your voicemails and dreams of your hands on her and how you rip her clothes off at a party in a closet.' Lets talk about the return reprimand of “why do you do this! You know Nancy sometimes checks my Blackberry” when she asked why she should use the other e-mail address.
The other e-mail address? Well now. There’s a whole lot of nothing good going on with that, I’m sure. Granted, this is not breaking news. That e-mail? That came a year ago. The e-mail change request was in March. Nothing new, but the hurt is still there. The hurt never goes away. It just gets buried until…well, now.
Sure. Lets go ‘hang out’ and be best friends. Sounds like a great night out. Bah.
Get a grip buddy.
You had plenty of time to ‘hang out’ with me. You just took it for granted. You messed up. Big time. You don’t treat people like that and then expect to be friends.
No. You cannot send us gifts.
No. You cannot send me messages or funny jokes.
No. I do not want to hang out with you ever again.
No. You gave up the right to be my friend.
I think my response shocked him. ‘Wow’, he texted. Apparently he thought he had subdued the real Nancy into a pile of mush without backbone that would say, “Ok honey. Sure that sounds great! Should I pick up your dry cleaning on the way?”
“I don’t believe that we will never speak again or that we won’t be friends (at least I hope not)….” he writes in the letter. Friends? Talk? Seriously?
I have half a mind to send Annas husband the transcripts of her messages. I wonder if he might enjoy her prose. I bet that would make for some wonderful holiday season fodder. Perhaps each of her kids could draw out pictures of their whoring mother on their Christmas stockings.
But I won’t.
I can think of that and it brings me pleasure to think of it, but I won't. You see, I'm human. I get hurt. I have thoughts of retaliation but I’m not cruel like my boyfriend or his texting girlfriend in Washington State. No, Karma is a bitch. I’d place bets that both will find out that you can’t dodge Karma.
Enough is enough.
Fourteen beautiful little letters to live by.
“I hope you can forgive me.” he writes. Forgiveness. Perhaps someday, but not today. Not tomorrow. Not anytime in the near future by my predictions. This isn’t the only texting experience that I’ve had to endure. There have been two…No, five altogether, not including the hookers called from the land line. Five. Yes, the man (if he could have that title) has had plenty of opportunity to straighten up. He’s had a chance to fly right. I've forgiven him many times. Already. But no…he chose to make me believe that this was indeed MY fault. Because I ‘couldn’t fulfill him sexually.’
Excuse me? Come again?
Please tell me you didn’t say that. And to my face.
Fulfill him sexually.
Get a load of that.That is the excuse made for all of his indiscretions. That is the basis for all wrongs commited towards me. He has continued to use me for two thousand three hundred and ninety days because it was convenient and comfortable for him to do so. And I allowed him to do it because Bear loved him and would sit watching television holding his hand.
I’m so glad I finally found my mind that I’d managed to misplace. I am sitting here wondering how I could have possibly been attracted to such a man? Why would I have put up with all of this for so long? Why would I believe anything that he ever said to me? "I hope you can forgive me."
I’m actually a bit happy to hold onto this anger for the time being. It allows me to stay focused. It keeps my head clear of ‘woe is me’ thoughts. It creates a mantra in my mind…
Enough is enough.
I have had enough. Enough to last me my lifetime, thank you. I might have this sentiment tattooed on me so I will never. Ever. Forget it again.
Footnote: Yes, to those of you might have already guessed. This is the same friend who told me that ‘My blog doesn‘t matter.”
As my mother might have said...Good riddance to bad rubbish.