Time to Cut the Umbilical Cord

Wow. I’ve been out of the Broadway house for a month plus some – where did the time go? We’re also almost a full 3 weeks without any contact, which has been a mixed bag of emotions between loneliness, anger, relief, and hope. If anyone thought I was a rollercoaster before… 🙄 It’s getting easier with each passing day. The weekends are the toughest because we were always busy, always camping, going to the farm, or just something. Now… not so much.

It’s not that I’m actively hiding from making plans, but after settling down from moving, I came down with my first case of COVID and today is my first day back to work since last week. Not bad after 2.5 years of avoiding it, but I suppose it was inevitable at this point; not if, but when. Oh well, it was nothing more than a mild cold that I thought was bad allergies at first. I slept through most of it.

Through sleeping it off and trying to stay hydrated, I mainly just watched an endless stream of TikTok and swiped through dating apps. Found my ex on Match, while another found him on Tinder. He’s using a terrible picture and has nothing in his profile. I had a dream the other night that I asked him if he wanted a better photo for his profiles, hehehe. His ex and I have a bet – she says 6 months before someone is moved in, I say before the end of the year. We’ll see!

Through my healing journey, I’m still researching and watching/reading things on narcissism because hello ADHD and my ability to hyper-fixate on anything at a moment’s notice. In doing so, a lot has started to make sense and has helped me understand the WHY part of who he is and why he is the way he is. Majority of the signs point back to his mother, but a bi-polar schizophrenic dad didn’t help either because he had NO stability in his life.

I never got to meet his father, he took his life when Dave was in his late teens, early 20s I believe. His mother, on the other hand, I came to know quite well and with all of my research and learning lately, a few more things are starting to make sense. Such as his codependency with his mother, her enmeshment in every aspect of his life, and the emotional incest that’s likely been happening since he was a child – it’s just nuts. And kind of gross if you really look at it. But I’ve long since thought that because he’s an only child of divorced parents, one deceased and the other remarried, this explains a lot of his actions and well… I’m only seeing things that back up that theory.

Now, emotional incest is not of any sexual nature, but unhealthy and blurred boundaries between a parent and child, more so when the parent treats the child as the emotional “partner” they need. Here is everything I know about his mom from the last 8.5 years.

  • born in 1957 in IL as a “river rat,” dirt poor with (2) older siblings already out of the house and on to college – she was the “oops” baby from a one-night stand between their parents after their divorce
  • She hated her mother and it always sounded like the love was returned right back to her. They never got along, even as she was dying. She barely talks to her sister who is in a nursing home (and mean as can be) and I’m not sure how often she speaks with her brother, but it’s not often at all.
  • She is well educated and book smart – she’s currently the top auditor for a major credit union, hoping to retire by the end of this year.
  • She divorced his dad sometime in 1993/1994 and he ended up taking his life (via carbon monoxide poisoning) in 2006 2 days after Christmas, so Dave would have been 20 when he found him.
  • After divorcing, she had dated a few men that they moved in with and eventually separated and moved out – Dave was left to fend for himself most days while she worked – he remembered as young as 10 being dropped off at the river with a small trolling boat, some sandwiches, and a time to be back at the dock waiting for a ride. (with his pal, Kenny – they used to terrorize their trailer park and surrounding neighborhoods according to him. It’s where he met a lot of his “older” friends like Poke)
  • They had shared custody of Dave up until his death and he would go with his dad every other weekend, she remarried a farmer and moved about an hour north so they would share driving duties
  • Dave and stepdad did NOT get along because the stepdad had rules and expectations for him, multiple fist fights were had, or so I was told
  • No consistency when he was with dad – it was either a great time or they couch surfed, slept in the shop, and sometimes went hungry – just depending on if his dad was manic or not.
  • When he wasn’t with dad, he was going to school, working at a body shop, attending tech college classes, working on the farm, and partying pretty hard – he admitted to losing the V-card at 13 to a 17 year old, who he then moved in with shortly after. Lots of drugs and alcohol and he tried to never be home as much as possible.
  • From what he’s told me, his mom completely changed when she married the farmer, no longer imbibing in alcohol as often as before and ended up becoming a fat and happy housewife with a job.
  • After his father’s death, Dave disappeared for a few years, but eventually came back mid-twenties, got someone knocked up, they split and he moved into his trailer, where I met him at 27, in January of 2014.
  • I didn’t meet the parents until 5 months later (Sun, May 11, 2014) for Mother’s Day brunch, which was about an hour or so of pleasantries. Just the weekend prior I had met his daughter (2) at that time.
  • My golden birthday was that year – June 28th – and Dave planned a cross country bike trip with some friends so I wouldn’t see him – his mom took me to Los Aztecas for dinner that night and it was more just pleasantries, talks about family, etc.
  • When I moved in with Dave, Nov 2014, is when we became “email” buddies because Dave was tired of his mom “butting” in, asking questions, being nosey, but if I was email buddies with her, that took some of the weight off of his shoulders. That December they had court for his custody battle (I wasn’t a part of any of this at this point)
  • We bought our house in 2015, where his parents gifted us the down payment of $25,000. The entire process was handled like a cold business transaction, but how was I to know different?
  • From that point on, her and I connected via phone, text, and email when it came to family dinners and functions to plan, holidays, work issues, relationship issues, you name it.
  • Until Dave started to have a “problem” with in in 2020/2021 because “he missed his parents and never talked to them.” Mind you, he was rude as fuck to them anytime they called and he NEVER reached out to them unless he needed something usually.
  • His stepdad caught COVID real early before testing was even a thing (Dec 2019) and has been having long-term issues since then, he wanted to start spending more and more time with them, dinners, events, etc.

Which brings us up to current events and things that have happened since him expressing his desire to spend more time with his parents. I did enjoy spending time with them, but on a very limited basis. His mom had a knack for cornering me and playing 20 questions with things I wasn’t always comfortable with sharing, but I had no choice. Of COURSE Dave never “saw” this happen, but it was literally every single visit. She also doesn’t know how to let Rae just be a kid and not get in her face every 20 minutes or so, but again, he never noticed her lack of wanting to go over there or did and ignored it. There were very few boundaries with her unless pointed out, argued about, and then she would passive aggressively agree to follow our rules, but generally quit shortly after.

I thought this was just normal family life. I grew up in dysfunction so I had NO idea what any time of normal parent/child relationship should be, but seeing Dave with his parents and how much they’ve helped him (and continue to do so) made me so appreciative for them and for being the family I never had. But as time went on, through custody issues with his ex, employment issues, relationship issues, the lines began to blur and anytime I brought this up to him, he would remind me of the lack of family that I had and I should be thankful. He would constantly berate and put his mother down for perceived slights, but the second I start to show contempt for being forced to go to these events and complain about his mom cornering me, I’m the one with the problem. “She just wants to help.” “She’s done SO much for us.” etc, etc etc.

Little did I know just how often she would transfer money to his checking account, make a payment on his credit card or make his child support payment for him. His ex would constantly bitch about his mom and him being a momma’s boy and still taking her money – I brushed it off because I didn’t see it and he didn’t bring it up. I should have known better when we began dating…. he was unemployed, but his trailer was well kept, he always seemed to have money, so I didn’t question it too much. I really, really should have.

They say hindsight is 20-20 and it really is. I can look back at the most recent events, like his stepfather getting ill, and just how much his mom controls HIS life – won’t let him drive, has his medications timed out, she works from home to monitor him… it’s just crazy. It seemed all sweet and wifey like, but armed with the knowledge I am now, I can see how unhealthy it is. She’ll also hold favors she’s done for Dave over his head to get what she wants from him: landscaping, vehicle work, or even just for dinner. She does it in the most sweet, passive aggressive way that you legit think she’s this sad old lady, but really she’s just working on getting her way.

I can look back and say I’m really thankful I got out when I did this Summer because if her plans go through and she retires at the end of the year, her intrusive behaviors will only escalate I’m sure. I’m still really, really surprised that she just went radio silent on me like she did, especially after I called her right after the separation, crying and pouring my heart out to her, asking what to do. She gave some sort of “I’m not the right person for this, I couldn’t make it work with his dad” and that was that. The last I’ve spoken with her. I did text her my surprise and disappointment, but explained I understand why Dave is the way he is – because of her and now his mental instability is now her issue, which I’m sure is what mommy dearest wanted all along. Now she can have complete control over him, while grabbing him by the balls because he JUST started working again, has child support to pay, and can’t afford it entirely on his own.

As mad at him as I was and still am at times, I’m starting to understand it. I would never wish him bad fortune or anything – I was head over heels in love with this man and his daughter for over 8 years, I could never wish ill upon them. I do, however, wish he would get help for his anger issues. Lord knows I’ve tried and have talked about attending therapy for at least the last 5 years or even talking to his GP about his anxiety and anger, but only to be met with rejection or anger about the topic. Ultimately, his anger with the world stems from him feeling inadequate and really hating who HE is as a person. And I think we all get there at some point or another, but it all depends on how long we choose to stay there.

He did me a favor by officially ending our relationship because I’ve told him from day one that I was never going to be the one to leave him. I don’t give up easily and even after years of his verbal, emotional, and mental abuse I was willing to try, try, and try again, but he was done. By doing so, I was forced to reckon with our past issues and try to figure out where the disconnect came from.

As I was packing and going through our filing cabinet to separate my personal files, I came across a “Cute Notes” folder in the way back. Every year since 2014, I would give him a love letter on New Years Eve, for him to open at midnight. Kind of a cute way to start the year. I also came across hundred of other little notes and things I’ve left him over the years, but one common theme I noticed as I went through them is that as time went on, there were fewer and fewer letters and notes being written. It got me to thinking about all of the emails and apologies I’ve written him over the years for things I perceived were 100% my fault. A lot of them were done through email so I was able to retrieve and print them all because I wanted to reread them. Dating back as far as 2016 various letters of apology, but more recently I sent scientific information and explanations of the various things I was dealing with while attending to my mental health. Not as an excuse, but to hopefully get him to understand. Turned out to be a complete waste of time – he never wanted to understand, just blame, gaslight, and control.

I intended to record a new podcast episode last week about this subject, but since I came down with COVID, I’m going to try and get to it this week so stay tuned!

Until next time… XOXOX


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: