I’ve sadly come to believe that when he’s being very good, while it may be genuine, at some point it seems to tax and tire him. Almost like some inner voice is reminding him about how good he is, and look how unappreciated his goodness is, which of course becomes fuel for the never ending resentment. When he’s being good, I’ve almost come to expect that at a certain point, it will make him irritable.
When things are good, when things are going well, when we’re close and getting along, that also seems to unsettle him somehow, because I can almost count on him creating distance as a result of a window of closeness. Over time, it gets to the point where in every window of good, you’re watching for the specter of impending pain. You know it’s there, waiting to spread its shadow into whatever light you’re trying to absorb.
In the beginning, I saw the appearance of the bad incidents, not as warning signs, but instead as either an anomaly, or something that could be figured out and changed. I didn’t see it at all as the introduction to repetitive and toxic dynamics that would fill up the years of my life.
Has he changed? Not so much. Right from the beginning, he’s always been very good and very bad. Like Longfellow’s little girl: