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Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Two Minutes

The kids stay in one house and my ex and I change places.  I work first shift he works second shift and he gets them on weekends.  Perfect for him.  Stability for the kids.  Steals sleep from me, but the kids need it so I do it.  Over all it works.

In the last few months I have seen my old home get stripped of my influence.  New furniture, books vanishing, hockey flags on the walls and on the windows as curtains.  It is hard to come to the house five days a week and see things I worked hard to set up just disappear.  Oddly some things I did are still here.  The butterflies on the bathroom wall still fly.  The leaves on the kitchen cabinets are still clearly there.  Both are removable but remain, so some of my essence is still here.

The hardest part however is not seeing so much I organized change it is two minutes of my day.  After work I go back to the house we shared and spend the afternoon and evening with my children.  The kids have their own bedrooms and just one house.  They are not shuffled back and forth which I think is better for them.  My ex also has the house as his mother owns it.  I am the one who shuffles from one location to another.  I take the burden of moving from home to home.  My ex returns home from work around 12:30 am and pulls into the driveway behind my car.

Here is the beginning of my dreaded two minutes.  He could wait in the street and beep, he could text
me to let me know he is almost home and I can get in my car and pull out as he pulls up.  There are ways we could handle these two minute where there is little to no contact between us.  However he thinks they are stupid so he won;t do them.  So instead he blocks me from leaving until he pulls out of the driveway to let me leave.

He comes into the house and typically one of these things will happen.

  1. He will complain to me about how the house looks
  2. He will be upset with me because of a request I made that in his mind is unreasonable.
  3. Rarely we will have a real discussion about something involving the children.
  4. He will talk to me about something he loves that I no longer pretend to care about.
Sometimes those two minutes feel like an eternity.  I am amazed at how quickly I can be exasperated in that time.  He can start an argument with me the moment he walks in.  I would prefer not to see him at all for those short moments of time.  It seems so petty that I don't want to see him, but I know the tension between us can explode within seconds and make me so upset that I am screaming all the way home, a ten minute drive.  I always wonder what others think of the crazy woman driving around 12:30 am who is going mad in the car.

Somedays he just reminds me that he is selfish and really just doesn't care about others.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  He comes in all smiles and says, "Guess who was on the Howard Stern show today?"  Now you need to know that I am not a Howard Stern fan.  I have never pretended to be a Howard Stern Fan.  I don't like to talk about him or his show.  I don't care about anything involving him.  I almost stopped watching America's Got Talent because he became a judge.  My ex is very aware of how I feel about Howard Stern.

So I tell him as I am trying to walk past him to get outside to my car that I don't care, I just want to go home and sleep.  I have to work in the morning.  (I don't even get six hours of sleep some nights because he may not be home until 1 am and I have to work at 7:45 am.  When he gets home I want to leave so I can go home and get some sleep as quickly as possible.)  He looks at me and says, "I don't care that you don't care!"  And it hit me, that was a huge problem in our marriage.  He didn't care how I felt.  

Those two minutes are fast approaching tonight.  Will he be nice, will he be selfish, will he be mean? I gave no idea.  The one thing I do know is that he will pull in the drive way behind me and I have to wait for him to back out of the driveway so I can leave.  Trapped until he allows me to leave.  Two minutes of anxiety.  Two minutes of terror once.  What will it be tonight?


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