Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.


I didn’t write yesterday because it was so crappy. I still don’t want to write because this morning already started off on a bad note. Or bang, perhaps.

7:30 AM, Sunday morning, I hear banging on the walls. I ignore it, falling back to sleep only to wake up again in 5 minutes. I’m thinking it’s the kids doing something silly, so I get up to tell them to knock it off.

Nope. It’s Will, fixing the door frame on my son’s closet with a mallet. “Will, why are you banging on the wall before 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning?!”

“I’m fixing Eddie’s door,” he says without looking at me. I say, “That’s inconsiderate.”

“Well,” he says, “It has to be done.”

“Right now?!” I ask, irritated, and go to the kitchen to see if there’s coffee.

The banging stops. He comes through the kitchen saying, “And you say I’m inconsiderate?! There’s a lot of that around here.” He goes outside. There’s no more banging.

I play mindsweeper, consciously willing the exchange out of my mind, but I cannot. When he comes back inside, I say, “I’m sorry for being cranky.”

“It doesn’t matter,” he says. So now, I’m writing.

Yesterday was a near horror. We went shopping for living room furniture together. It went pretty well until lunch at Long John Silvers. We started talking about our oldest, Marc. Well, I thought “we” were talking. Turns out, he wanted to talk out loud and have me listen.

After attacking my observations, which I thought he wanted (the ol’ bait and switch), I said, “I am feeling like you aren’t hearing me, aren’t listening to me.” He replied that he was listening to me and repeated the last thing I’d said back almost verbatim, then said, “I don’t agree.”

“Fine. I don’t care if you disagree, but I’m not attacking your viewpoints which I disagree with. I’m letting you say them, and I’m contributing my own ideas,” I say.

“No, you’re not,” he says. “You’re not hearing me either. You’re telling me things that I don’t agree with.”

So, of course, I stop to consider what he said. Then I say, “I don’t think a conversation is necessarily an exchange of the same ideas. I have different ideas, and I’m sharing them with you.”

“What’s the point?” he says.

“The point is that both of us parents can grasp an understanding of the other’s viewpoints, and we could do it without interrupting and rolling eyes or flat out saying we’re wrong,” I say.

“How did this conversation turn into something about YOU?” he says.

WHAT? So anyway, the rest of the Long John Silver’s conversation was wasted.

But we tried talking about Marc again in the car, later, after stopping at a military supply store where I waited in the car so I could catch a break.

The rest of the afternoon was more wasted time. He fell back on his old line that I made Marc my best friend, and that’s why I’m ineffectual with him. (I don’t think I’ve been ineffectual; I think I’ve done pretty good.)

When I told him that I was dropping out of the conversation, he pulled out his big guns to suck me back in. I resisted. He asked me where I was going to live when I left him according to my emergency plan. I told him an emergency plan was not a permanent solution; it was designed for emergencies only. I didn’t tell him where I would go.

He said, “Well, when you leave, I want to keep the house. It makes more sense for me to have it and I want the kids to be able to visit a house on the weekends or whenever I get to see them. You should plan for that.”

I ignored him. He got louder and brought in the cats saying that there’s cat hair all over the house and the fleas (which only he has felt biting him – I haven’t seen them or felt them and neither have the kids) are horrid and “Am I going to have to clean the house or are you going to do it?!”

“I am not participating in this conversation,” I said.

Finally, he calmed down. It didn’t take long after I dropped out of the conversation for him to calm himself, but I was keeping the corner of my eye on his hand which was leaping from his lap periodically. He didn’t make a move to smack me, but I was worried about it.

When we got home, he went to his dad’s apartment and the next thing I know, his father is driving Will to a friend’s house so Will can drink. He came home drunk, but fortunately, there were more people in the house than me and the boys. He talked to them for an hour or so, then fell asleep on the couch.

I guess that’s what the banging was for this morning. He wanted me up because he didn’t have the opportunity to say what was on his mind last night. We’ll see, but in the meantime, I’m going to go about getting myself ready for my afternoon engagement early so I can leave at any time.