Not much. Robert blew another $50 or so after telling me that he was through. That it was over. That he was never doing it again… For the millionth time. Yesterday he came out and woke me up by sitting on the foot of my bed to tell me for the millionth-and-first time that it was over, etc. Now I’m just waiting to see how much money he blows this time.
This all makes me sound like one of those housewives you see in those Made for Lifetime movies that won’t leave their abusive husbands, and in a lot of ways, I am I guess. I learned it from my mother and her disastrous string of what you could generously refer to as “relationships” that she went through while I was growing up. Most were definitely alcoholics. All were violent in one way or another.
And yet my mother would break up with them, very publicly from time to time, involving police occasionally or whatnot, and then get back together with them as if nothing had ever happened. These weren’t relationships that she just fell into either, as happened with me and Robert, she went out looking for them. She met most of them at the Salvation Army or “The Sally” as was the local slang term for it. As a kid, I never understood why we always seemed to be down there. It was because she was on the lookout for her next fuck.
I remember Mike the best. He was one of her last relationships and they were actually “together” for quite a while. I don’t remember when they met but I remember when we were living in the house. The one where we left everything two days into summer vacation and fled to the woman’s shelter that didn’t want to take me because a 12 year old boy was too threatening for the other women. From there we moved in with my sister and then it was hotels after that. And lo and behold, Mike also returned.
My mother had literally left everything behind, including our bikes which were everything to us kids, in order to “escape” a violent situation so that we could go from living in an actual house (something that was extremely rare for us) to ping-ponging between trashy hotels, while getting back together with the guy that kicked all this off because she was supposedly trying to get away from him.
Yeah… “Mike” went on for years. I remember we were living at this one hotel and she had decided to “leave” him again. We were all packed up in the station wagon while she was talking to the manager at the front office. All of a sudden she just took off like rocket. I guess she had literally slammed her foot down on the gas because she had seen Mike and was trying to get away from him. Why, I don’t know. They got back together again shortly after that.
Eventually Mike seemed to go away. Thing is, I don’t remember when. There were so many false endings with him that I simply stopped caring to keep track. I can’t remember exactly but I think she might have even married him at one point? I don’t know. Really. But I do know that by the time I started high school he was gone for good.
After that it was mostly one-night-stands. My mother would have guys over and we’d have to hide out in our rooms while they made out or had sex in the living room. There weren’t any other live-in “boyfriends” that I can recall.
Things were quiet after that. Not good, but quiet. At least I wasn’t being woken up by a screaming match in the middle of the night and being sent out to call 911.
Beyond the quiet, it didn’t really feel that much different. My mother’s boyfriends were her boyfriends. Even with living with them for years and her even marrying some of them they would always remain simply her boyfriends. None of them seemed to give a damn about us kids, other than when they wanted another beer. There was no attempt to bond or even interact at all really. Looking back on it the situation was really strange. You married a woman with three kids but had no interest in even getting to know them?
I know one of the issues in my life is that I never had a father and I’ve been looking for something to fill that gap in myself. Honestly, I never had a mother either but that’s for a different discussion. I’ve gone so far as to actually look up my biological father. Well, at least I think it’s him. It’s so exhausting being alone and sometimes I really want to try to reach out and make contact with him if just so I can have some kind of family in my life.
And then I remember that this man married my mother, had two sons with her, and then vanished into the either never to be seen again. I don’t even remember seeing any pictures of him in the family photo albums. Before they got lost during one of our many, many moves anyway. How insane must he have been to do that? I mean, he married my mother. And would he even want to hear from me if I did try to contact him? I don’t think I could take the rejection. I already hate myself enough as it is. To learn that neither of my parents even wanted me.
When I was in my early 20s’ my mother actually came to me and told me that I had ruined her life. That everything bad that had ever happened to her was because of me. I had driven all of her husbands and boyfriends away and it was because of me that she was alone. According to her, I was completely out of control and she told me that she was going to go out and find some guy to move in just so he could kick my ass. My ass that was almost always locked in my room quietly on my computer because my anxiety and depression wouldn’t allow me to do anything more. She never did it of course, but it still hurts me that she actually blamed me for her life and decisions. Even for decisions from when I was little.
Robert said the same thing to me yesterday. He was angry. I was angry. There was yelling. Doors were slamming. I stomped on a bag of chips and threw them at him. He threw a roll of paper towels at me. Both of us were on edge and stressed out. And then he told me that I had ruined his life. Not that I was ruining his life by trying to get him to stop doing what he was doing, but that I had already (as in past tense) ruined it.
We’ve discussed my mother at length and the terrible things that she said, let alone did, to me over the years. He knew that she blamed me for her life. And then to hear him say the same thing? I dunno. It really, really hurt me to hear him say that. He seems to be trying to go back on it today though. Like he’s trying to make up for it without actually saying anything about it. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
Right now I’m laying in bed eating Wintergreen Life Savers and enjoying slightly low blood sugar.
And… now I’m crashing.