I’ve wanted to write more about how I ended up in the house out in the boonies, and there is more to that story. What happened prior to my being left in that house has played a significant part in some PTSD issues.
But what I’m thinking about this morning is how quickly the summer went by. Planting flowers. (hurray!) Getting a garden in again. (healthy and more learning curve) Visits from grown kids, grandkids, and two of my sisters. (had been too long) Back to swimming (heavenly)
And lots of familiar and predictable stress, arguments, loneliness, frustration, and emotional fatigue. That stuff is never ending.
With a passive aggressive husband, you have to take the extra energy for what should be simple and straightforward in life. At least, I imagine that it is for other people.
Like… asking a question. I ask him a question, he answers, and I have to wonder if he’s being truthful, or if he left out some information selectively. Most of the time, he might be truthful, but he tells enough small, stupid, medium, and big lies over the years that I always have to wonder. Somewhere deep inside, I pause and I wonder.
It’s the having to look and watch and be aware of the subtle, almost imperceptible signals that keeps you tired. You know how you feel after driving a good stretch on a busy freeway or driving for hours on a trip? You could easily think that since you’re just sitting in a car that you shouldn’t be that tired, but it’s the speed, the other drivers, watching for signs, and other small things you barely think about consciously that factor in. By the time you get out of the car, you stretch, and if you were in enough traffic or put on enough miles, you can feel tired.
It’s kind of like that. Someone looking from the outside doesn’t see or understand how wearing and tiring it can be to be married to a passive aggressive man. But it is. You get little breaks now and then, but all it takes is for him to walk through the room with a certain kind of sigh, looking around to see him standing and watching you (he might have an innocuous look but you’ll know instantly that he’s resenting what you’re doing with your time and feeling sorry for himself), or have a shared life situation that you need to decently communicate and cooperate about (kids, pets, chores, finances etc.).
Poof. You’re tired. You deal with it. You try to pick up and go on with the day. Just when you think you have it figured out, and everything inside of you wants to not be with him, he can walk in the room again and seem entirely different. As though the evil twin was there before. This time he’s smiling, cheerful, funny, and helpful.
The cat jumps on his lap and purrs. He lets you know that he changed the oil in the car. He tells you a joke he heard from a client and makes you laugh. He asks if you want to watch a show together later that evening (Be careful on that one! You know it will probably develop a complication and fall through).
It’s such a relief when you’re tired.
You go back to tutoring your daughter, while part of your thoughts figure out what to make for dinner, and wondering where to find a better doctor for one of your sons. Dishes done, still need to mop the floor, don’t forget to switch the laundry. Tick, tick, tick, tock, the day is going by.
Then it’s bed time, and you’re finishing a reminder list to pick up a science notebook, bananas, and milk. You find yourself practicing all the tricks to be calm, to breathe slowly, letting your thoughts and heart lift in quiet prayer. You try not to think about another day come and gone.
I just emptied out three more bins that were stored in the outbuilding. About 98% of it will go to the thrift stores today. You start another day, and keep looking for ways to change yourself now. More bins to go. More walks (maybe even a swim or two if weather allows), and praying that strength and health will build.