After a couple of days—weeks, months, I don’t know—of intense “discussion” (as my grandparents would say), Rango has finally said what so many before him have: I’m too much.
I suppose I should clarify that. Initially, it was that it’s not me, per se, who is too much, just my emotions. My overt expression of exactly what I’m feeling at any given time, especially when it’s not in line with how he would feel or express something, or how he thinks best suits me to feel or express it.
And when my expression manifests in ways he doesn’t like or understand, it makes him uncomfortable.
There is absolutely no expectation on his part that I behave in a set, specific way. He just doesn’t understand why I am often so stressed, why I hang on to issues and analyze them into unrecognizable minutiae, and why I am so prone to outbursts of tears when I’m overwhelmed by emotion.
For more than two years, I have done my best to find some full-time/part-time balance of student and employee, plus being a full-time mom. In all but one of the two-dozen classes I’ve taken in that time, I’ve worked for and gotten an A. (Algebra is still the bane of my existence.) My first real job in 15 years is for a prestigious state agency, and it challenges me and engages me constantly. My ex-husband has been out of state for most of that two years, barely in contact with our children and leaving me to care for them while cleaning up his emotional mess—all while berating me bitterly and randomly, usually about money.
I try to explain that I am still trying to learn to stand on my own two feet, and Rango counters that I don’t have to do it all on my own, that I have him.
Without question, he has been a huge support since we started dating. He has been the constant male figure in the boys’ lives, and he has been incredibly supportive of my schooling and work and time with GOAL. He understands fully when I need to take a little time to myself or with the Castration Committee, like I did last weekend.
He doesn’t understand why I berate myself about having gained some of this weight back, about not having time to work out even if I were cleared for weights after a lingering wrist injury from October. Another apparent blown disc is reminding me every day of how far down that slope I have slipped. Seeing pictures from four and five years ago compared to pictures from now is devastating to my ego. My head knows I was living in misery when the skinny girl pictures were taken, and that’s utterly dichotomous to the pictures of me with the Governor or addressing the Georgia Senate.
I should be easy on myself for holding all of this together as well as I have, and I should be nothing but proud of the accomplishments I’ve made. But somewhere in my fucked up head, I am often embarrassed to be me, to see how far I fell down a hole I never wanted to think of again, and to feel the snap! of one tenuous thread and to know how that can bring the whole damn thing crashing down around me.
Even now, while I’m writing, I’m crying. There is just so much that needs to come out.
I’m writing while he and the boys are asleep. I’ll wake them soon to go about our busy day of haircuts and errands and homework and cleaning and cooking and hopefully going out tonight to see a friend’s husband’s band because I was too damn drained last night to do it. I also know I am choosing this time to write because I don’t want him to see me cry. I don’t want him to tell me again that it’s too much.
I also know I choose this forum, because he doesn’t read what I write. Like so many before, he’s not a reader. If I send him something specific, he will read it, but he doesn’t seek out that side of me. Truthfully, that’s part of the reason I haven’t written much in the last year or more. If I couldn’t get the approval of the only person whose approval mattered to me, then why devote the energy there? There was already enough to deflect my attention away; it wasn’t efficient or productive to waste the time and effort.
Except it never was a waste, was it? DH hated that I wrote, and that I wrote away from and about him. Like Absolem and Bounder after, he would tell me I was a good writer, that I should do it, but that I shouldn’t write about things and in ways that made him uncomfortable. I should steer clear of truths that made him feel bad.
It was too much.
I feel what I feel. I pull it out and examine it and play with it. I may spin it all around like a Rubik’s cube and put it back in, or I may hang it on a shingle for the world to examine for itself.
But it is mine, and I have my reasons, and absolutely no one ever gets to tell me otherwise. Not if they want to stay.
I struggle, and maybe I’m struggling more and differently than when Rango and I met, over drinks on a holiday weekend when my kids were having rare visitation with their father. But there is a lot more at stake now—logistically and legally and emotionally—and I will never again be content to let anyone else be my sole support. It’s not that I’m unwilling to let anyone else be supportive; I simply will not put myself in any precarious position where I am unable to support myself.
I appreciate that he sees me as beautiful no matter what, that the size of my ass doesn’t tip the scales out of my favor. But if it is the weight of my tears that are too much, I can’t help that. All I can hope is that, in the end, both weigh less than Osiris’ feather.