Friday, November 13, 2009

A stranger here myself...

While the ex is moving out, I am trying mightily to just "deal" with my life in exile until he's all moved.

It occurred to me this morning though, that this is really a terrific metaphor for our entire relationship. I have always been in exile in this relationship. Because I have the mental health diagnosis, and because I did not resist I have always been relegated to "the couch", the couch being where the person in the wrong usually has to go, except I haven't done anything wrong. I am NOT minimizing the lesser points of living with someone who has ADHD and anxiety, but I'm working my program dammit.

My ex, however, is miserable and self-flaggelating and spent our relationship blaming me for it in every way possible. For three years I have been with someone who was unreasonably rigid, disapproving and selfish. Every interaction with our home environment became about his misery. My needs in the home were always in exile because they were not traditional. But for him, someone always had to be wrong, and usually that person was me.

This issue of exile hit me hard this morning, suddenly, as I went into my usual, fearful, panicked tidying of my tiny little corner of the livingroom so "disapproving daddy" wouldn't get on my ass when I got home. I was suddenly pissed that I had let myself be turned into this. I live on a couch in my own damn livingroom, because the angry person that has been shitting on my soul for a good couple of years put me in a position of choosing my soul or him...and here I am trying to get to work, already under the stress of my typical ADHDer morning disorganization and I'm desperately trying to clean the livingroom before I leave the house, folding up my blanket that I had been sleeping in, and trying to hide my pillow, and oh no, there's slippers, I better put those away.

I abused my own inner voice with the concessions that I have made in this relationship, and it wasn't even worth it because I'm the one in exile after all of this. My inner voice did not deserve to be abused for refusing to conform to tradition.


There are all kinds of expectations for relationships that make no sense, and that most people in our culture probably take for granted/assume they should be adhered to. My inability to conform to many of those has been increasingly a problem, the older I I have less and less interest in spending that much energy kissing someone else's ass for no payoff. Some may be scandalized by this comment, but there are still many expectations for women, especially in relationships that are ridiculous. The complementary roles for men are not much to write home about either. And I decided long ago that I did not want to live that kind of life, and yet here I am again, because I did not trust myself or trust my needs.

One of the things that I gave in on before we even moved in together, was having my own room. Yes, I wanted my own bedroom, but he thought that was "weird". Instead, he got an office. "We" got a bedroom and he got an office. But you see, it is "normal" for people to want an office, and "not normal" for people to want their own bedroom when they are in a relationship. I should have held out for the bedroom instead of letting an abnormally unhappy person tell me what was "normal".

If it is easier for me to do household straightening in the afternoon, instead of the morning, which is the worst possible time of day for probably most ADHDers to add more to their schedule, then I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING THAT instead of letting someone else's anger bully me.

No matter how many weeks I cleaned the floors, the bathroom, the dining and living rooms, because those, for whatever reason, were things that were easy for me to remember to do in the natural course of my week, why were our lives ruled by his anger about the dishes being done only by him? This was not a matter of a poor non ADHDer being oppressed by one of those terrible, unorganized ADHDer people.

I had taken his needs and wants into account in my days and weeks, I had planned space for his needs in my journey to re-organize my ADHD life...but I'm here on the couch. He's got the office, the bedroom. My filing cabinet was moved, by ME into HIS office, because he made me feel like shit for wanting it in the living room where I could remember to see it and interact with it.

I'll sum up the rest of the minutae with this: nothing was every fucking good enough. And I'm sick of living that way.

The last time I lived with someone I was in a relationship with was ten years before I ever met him...why? Because I decided all those years ago that I did not want to live with an angry person anymore, who was unhappy about themselves, and who was judgmental about me and my needs and wants.

Hmmmm. So who am I more pissed at, him or me?

ME. I am WAY more pissed at me right now. And he, typically, thinks it's all about him, lol.

I'm seriously about to make a list of concessions that I WILL NOT VIOLATE AGAIN. There are certain types of self-abuse that I seriously need to never allow into my life again. After a lifetime of avoiding absolutes, I am ready to commit to something, and THAT, that is what I wish to commit to. If I am going to live in exile, it needs to be on MY TERMS.

Just because my desires are non-traditional does not mean that there is something wrong with them. And just because someone is angry, and more pushy, does not mean they have a more valuable right to be accommodated.

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