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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two Different Worlds, or A Closetful of Skeletons

Not too long ago, I heard from my ex-husband, about the death of one of his friends, and my best friend's ex-husband. I never cared for the fellow, so it did not mean much to me, but I tried to be polite in my email response to my ex.

His reply made me realize he was still feeling sorry for himself because I left him THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. Now THAT is holding a grudge! I give him the championship, because I have never known anyone else who could hold out that long and never forgive or forget.

Looking back, I know that he and I were from two different worlds, psychologically. I was immature at best, lacking in self-confidence, and not ready for the responsibilities of a home and children. He was totally unaware of his effect on other people, perfectionistic, and emotionally unkind and manipulative. That is not a great combination of qualities to mash together in a marriage, and it was a disaster.

I would knock myself out cooking, cleaning as well as I knew how, and when he would come home, he would find fault, telling me I should have done X. No positive feedback whatsoever. He did the same with our children, and that was all he knew how to do, having been parented in that same fashion.

Then he decided to go back to school, and I supported that decision. I said but wouldn't it make more sense for me to go to school, and then when I made money, I could support him while he went? He said, "No, you can live in my shadow". I heard: "You will never grow as long as I have anything to say about it. I will always be in control and you will be my slave".
Along with attending school and working full-time, he got a night job, to build himself a boat. I did not want a boat, and was left caring for house and children alone 24/7. I was almost entirely isolated, while he met new people, did new things, and learned new information. I was in a world of cooking, diapers and dirt.
When I left him, I wanted to keep my children, but my ex insisted he would have me declared an unfit mother because my daughter once had a bad diaper rash. I did not realize that I had the upper hand, but I did know that if I kept them I would always be dependent upon him, and that he would spy on us and try to destroy whatever happiness I could find. So I let him have full custody (Big Mistake).
He proceeded to have a girlfriend move in within one month of my leaving. Hmmmm, you think maybe they knew each other before I left? Hmmmmm. That sealed the deal, and I was on my own. For 18 years I ran scared, never committing myself to a relationship, terrified that I would end up in another unhealthy marriage. I cried every night for many of those years, over the loss of my children.
After the children became teenagers, they sought me out and we tried to live together at various times and in various places. They questioned me about my adultery, and I told them the truth. I had had an affair, hoping my ex would leave me, but he did not, and I had to leave after all.
Now I see he never understood me at all. In his eyes he did nothing wrong. I was the culprit. I betrayed him. He never did a thing to me. When he beat our children, he told them I left because they were bad, and that I would not care one whit if they told me he was abusing them. So of course, they never said a word. He was an excellent liar and manipulator, and undermined their self-worth extremely effectively. They are still recovering.
If you have bothered to read all this, I applaud your efforts. I just had to get it out of me and into my journal, which is the function of this blog. Thank you.


Osprey said...

/me writes his name on my hit list.


Enjah said...

"Living well is the best revenge." -- George Herbert

isisoisis said...

hi, I ran accross your journal because of an old post of yours. I was looking up an ancesters name... emma lafluer, g-g-grandmother. the french is slightly diffrent for grand mother and grandfather but I can;t do the accents... was she married to a Joseph Larachell? if she was I can tell you more.

But.... I read your latest entry... sounds like we were married to the same guy... I kicked mine out and got restraining orders. My kids wouldn;t tell me until he was out of the house for 5 months. But controling me are all the same... there is no good way to deal with them, no way to get out that doesn't have reprocutions. I talked to a woman with an abusive husband last week. She asked me what he had done after he left. She replied to what he had done to me and my kids with "that's why I don;t leave, lord knows what Dave would do."

I hope I didn;t impose too much on your blog. Orgianally if it was the Same Emma Lafluer, I could tell you more about her. though it was a common name for the late 1800's to early 1900's in Quebec and New York state.

Mystery Mimmi
When I was small, I heard tales of my French great-grandmother, who came from Canada. To me that made her French Canadian, which meant she could have Indian blood! I was thrilled and loved this difference. The rest of the genes came from Ireland and Scotland (Mom's family was Scots-Irish), so this French Canadian influx (possibly "native American") was refreshing. Sometimes the family tree looked a bit odd. Dad's tree looks like an hourglass ===8-O!

Anyhow, Mom said she and her brothers and sisters called these grandparents Mimmi and Pippi. What wonderful, affectionate names!

Emma LaFleur is still a mystery figure. In later years, Mom claimed she came from France, only passing through Canada. In fact, she said, Emma came from Paris (giving the family a touch of Parisian grandeur).

Whether Emma was a woman of the Ojibway, or of the Parisi, she added that air of mystery to the family roots, and it is welcome.

Enjah said...

Thank you for your comment, isisoisis, no I think she was married to a Quinlan, so maybe another Emma ... nevertheless, same sort of his/herstory, only this one takes a turn toward the Irish.

isisoisis said...

no probem.
I know my grandfather's generaltion liked to ignore the quabecquios side fo the history and skip right to france, it was more accepted as classy instead of trashy. But Quebec has a very rich history. That side of my family actually came to America in the 1600's . There is a LOT of info on the ineternet on the families that colonize Quebec... 1 because Jesusiets are great record keeper and the frech love thier stories of thier past. So there is a lot of good history. My Emma was actaully Mohawk. Lafluer being a dit name and a name the Frech gave to a lot of native peoplemakes it hard to make the distinction unless you know. But why the idea that all French Canadians are part Native as well is because French diplomecy was to intermarry with the local tribes as well as traders taking natave women as wives for trading reasons more profitable to have a woman who speak s the languge of the people you are trading with and a woman who knows the best place to trap beaver, ect. And than there was the law that wasn;t changed until resontly... if a native woman married a non Native in Canada, they were stripped of the trible statis and considered what ever thier husband was. Which is strange, since the Eastern people are matracal and you are what ever your MOTHER is in Native ways, But the laws said you were what ever your fatehr and husband was. So.. marrage cirtifactes will say these women are all white. Gencide comes in so many diffrent ways.

robyn said...

my goodness the LaFluer stuff is very interesting.
Me thinks we have some native blood.
but that takes away from you amazing story...I know how you suffered. I was terribly sad for you. The loss of your children was huge.
All I can say is E you are a very good woman...good.