Friday, April 24, 2009

Beaten Down

is how I feel today.
Yesterday, I felt somewhat empowered. Somewhat uplifted. Somewhat optimistic.
Today, I feel so broken.

I just feel like my life's a mess.
And while everyone has been teling me that it's not me that's the problem, I can't help but feel that perhaps somehow, in someway, I brought this on myself.
The closest comparison that I have been able to come up with has really been to compare it to the dynamics of an abusive relationship. The abuser perpetually beats down the abusee, and the abusee just becomes too despondent to leave, or to change the situation. It just becomes a way of life. And it has been for the past 4 years.
If I followed her rules and listened, I didn't get hurt, but as soon I stepped out of line, I was put back in place.

When the hubby and I were first married, she endlessly blamed me, yelled, and hurled a numerous amount of insulting tirades my way. She made me feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed in her house, understandably enough because it is her domain. My friend E once said, "There can only be one queen in the house."
When we were finally able to afford our own place, things got a little better because then, we were no longer under her roof. However, I was still under her control because I worked for her. I put up with it, I played the game. I did what she wanted and it was smooth sailing. I needed to because the hubby was pursuing his dream of becoming an LA City Firefighter, and I was the one supporting our family.
I thought we had gotten past our issues, my MIL and I. Yes, we've had a few minor flare ups, which all have ended with me swallowing my pride and apologizing even if I wasn't at fault.

However, this last time, I think was the straw that broke the camel's back.

She didn't like that I asserted our right to our own life. She didn't like that I openly planned something without her. I marched to the beat of a different drummer, and stepped out of line. I broke free. And that was just not acceptable to her.

So she punished me. She spread rumors and lies about me. She made me look like a horrible, evil woman, when really, all I wanted was to provide my husband, her son, with the best birthday possible.
And now, she is cold and mean to me. All because she didn't get her way, like she's had for the past few years. When she enters the room, you can feel the tension as it permeates every inch of the office. She talks to me in a cool, harsh tone, while she wamrly and lovingly speaks to everyone else. I have been banished.

And now, here I am. I have fallen out of grace.
Her grace. And it brings forth a mixture of emotions.
Sadness, anger, guilt, shame, excitement, helplessness.

The old me, the younger me, would have cried and asked for forgiveness. Grovelled at her feet.
The new me, older and a bit wiser me, has a lot more self- respect, and self worth, that I no longer want to be under her control.
She can say that this is all I know how to do. She can say that this is all I can do.
She can say that she has more integrity than I do. That I don't know how to be a friend. That I'm rude and mean spirited. She can say that I'm just after her money.
She can say that she hopes when I have kids, they treat me poorly. She can say I sabotaged her and her business. That I'm abrasive, disrespectful, and rude. She can say that I never invite her for coffee, or pick up her weekend phone calls, or that we never invite her over. She can say all these things, and she has.
But I'm stronger now. Stronger willed, and stronger in spirit.

I may cry. I may feel helpless. I may have my days where I am so overwhelmed with self pity that I just want to hide under a rock. But I also do know that I will make it. That I am worth more than the way she treats me. That I love my husband and he loves me too. I know that I took the high road. I know that I sat there and agreed with everything she said, and said "I'm sorry you feel that way about me."
That I acted like an adult. I swallowed it and ate it, even if I wasn't at fault.
I know I did all that. I know that I didn't need to insult someone to compensate for what may be lacking. I know that I'm a better person than what I've been given credit for.

I don't deserve this.
Yet, here I am...

Life is GRAND!
Super Panda

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Things will get better, I'm sure. Way better. Just hang in there and call if you need company or whatever.