Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Martyr and the Hero

This always happens.  I end up looking like the bitch of the year, the selfish mother, the cold wife, the disrespectful daughter.

It is my oldest child's birthday, and true to PTSD form, any extra *intruders* (though well known family) are about to enter the home, the frequency of our status quo goes from high buzz to high peaks and low valleys, explosive.

We fight.  He slams something, the gate? It shatters.  Along with my heart.

It used to be just him.  But it is both of us now.  Both of our demons feed into this mess and ruin holidays, ruin children, ruin marriages.  I'm beginning to lose my resolve.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Enter the Martyr.  My mother.  She comes in, sensing tension, swirls about my kitchen, being perfect.  Its not often she gets to play the queen, scars hidden.  So I let her.  I need the break.  So I, in quiet surrender, go to my room to calm down.
I practice this self love and mindfulness crap I'm trying to learn and let me tell you, this self love shit is in its infancy and I really need to get good at it. NOW.

So I'm in my room tapping my the side, the pad of my hand, then my head, then my face, then my chin, the notch in my collar bone, my side.  "I DEEPLY love myself even though I am feeling powerless". I do it again.  Harder, more intense.  I am pretty sure I bruised my chest.  Fuck this.  Its not working.  At least not fast enough, so I fall over into my bed, and there is my big fat black cat, sleeping off the hell too.

I think I'll join him.

So as I'm petting him, talking to myself "I am really having a hard time"  and all this be your best friend crap I'm REALLY trying to learn, I really WANT to learn....

Enter the Martyr.

"Pull yourself together and get your ass out of bed, for your son's sake" in the coldest, snottiest, holier than thou tone I've heard in a while.

The kids were playing.  Since there were people here, I thought I'd spend a few moments alone.  Jesus Christ MOTHER.  Perfect mom.  HOW many birthdays and celebrations were ruined by her and my father?!  She can't find it in her self to sit down next to me and gently say, "I'm sorry you are having a hard time, lets go celebrate and you can do this later..."  What mother is so fucking icy and cold?????

The Martyr is.  And the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.

Right here right now, I resolve to NOT be her.  I will NOT.  I will comfort, and love, and tend to my children and their emotional needs with compassion and empathy, not pity and self loathing.

So in the mean time, while I look like the BIGGEST party pooper in the world, a mother ruining a 9 year old birthday....throwing a tantrum like it was MY party and I'll cry if I want to.....

Enter the Hero.

My husband.  He watches the martyr work her magic, and he is well aware of her scars, and her imperfections, after all, he saved me from HER husband.... He is also well aware of his own scars.  Yet, he lets this all fall on me. As usual. He does this with his own blood.  I am the bad guy.  I am so much the bad guy, that I actually feel so much the villain, I instigate with the best of them.

No excuse for me.  No, "I'm sorry, she'll be okay in a bit"..... Like I have done for him a thousand times  before.  Instead, he looks like the good guy.  Combat Petey was just here destroying my personal property, and now, he is replaced by docile, good guy, everyone loves the Hero of the day, J.....

Fuck. This. Shit. This unfair, victimizing, blaming, underhanded, passive aggressive, BS!

So ensues a feverish fight via text because what I really want to do is rip into him, but I can't because of the aforementioned visitors, the birthday, the children etc.   But I get my point across, and I'm done, and I slide my cell phone into the deep recesses of only where I know because I don't want to remember what I just said to him, and with his TBI, he won't fully remember the daggers either....not fully....

I beg him to just excuse me for a few minutes for christ' sake.  Like I have for him.  Except much more profane and I'm sure there was a "I'm not coming out until you do".

There also was the feeling of "YOU GO BACK TO TREATMENT!" in my sentiments laden with sarcasm and seething with hate.  I don't hate my husband, I hate what he has become.  I hate that I am the scapegoat, the bad guy, when all I do is fight fight fight for him.  For us.  For his brothers in arms.  Shit, I don't want to fight anymore.  I want to love myself.  I want to be the mom I was when it was just me and Sim.  Sweet, nurturing, teaching, loving, patient.... proud.

What happened to me?  What happened to us?  Has the martyr and the hero become two of the biggest villains in my head that they are actually turning me into them?  Stay with me here.  Like attracts like.... What we have here is a big ball of negative energy and some unseen competition... Demons from the husbands past long long ago, let downs, being left, those are big things....

My demons, being let down, being left emotionally as a child, assaulted, negated, gaslighted.

But that is not me anymore.  I pulled myself together.  I bid farewell to my mom.  Well, it was a glance, I couldn't even look at her.  And I know why.  She doesn't.  All I want from my Mother is validation.  That is all I have EVER wanted, and that is what I look for now, 32 years later.  I will never get it.  She won't ever understand, nor will I, and it kills me, because right now, sometimes, I just want my damn mom.  "Cut the cord Katie" echoes in my head....her words....not mine.

If I cut the cord Momma, I will go far away, and you will hate it, because you will no longer be "needed" in that way....and that will hurt you.  I know you.  You know me.  It is called co dependence.  And I love you anyway.

As for the Hero.....  I hate hate HATE with all my cells to fight and feel on the verge of leaving him.  And that is what it feels like when we fight.  He is in a constant state of "You can do better, so just go", thus he gets pushy with me.  I am in the constant state of "If you tell me I am going to leave you one more freaking time, I just might....."  But the truth is, we can get to a better place.

GODDAMN I know we can.  We have seen our share of ups and downs, and this is only preparing us for a life long of marriage.  You cannot know good without the bad.  This I know.  But I worry he will give up hope, so it is my job to be super hopeful....be the positive force in his life.  God knows he needs  it.

So this self love and acceptance and emotional freedom technique and EMDR I'm doing....I guess it got me through this evening.... although one thing, is you should not tap so hard you hurt yourself....tapping harder does not make the message stick better.  Lesson learned.


  1. This is well written. It makes me want to take a bunch of pills and forget my morning.
    I just would like to pass a bill that states that life should not be so effing hard.

  2. Noooooo taking pills to forget! That's bad idea! Life isn't hard like this EVERYDAY, and hopefully, we start seeing the light here soon, that goes for you too! If you are in crisis, please contact your doctor, or, if you are a Veteran, the Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 press 1. if you are a loved one, you can also utilize that number. Also, you can text that number, honest, I tried it to see if it was true! It is! If you are a caregiver, family member, a lover of a veteran scorned, whatever, you should check out familyofavet.com And yes, work on passing Bill of Life not sucking so much :) But, continue to look for the good. Peace