Thursday, April 06, 2017

Reflection: Ignoring me

I look back on my life a year ago or a few years ago and feel so sad sometimes. I wonder, "how did I get here? How am I a divorcing mom of 2? What happened to my husband of so many years? Why is this happening? Why did it happen?"

And then I think through the steps one by one. The slow decline.

I had another memory.

We were traveling. On vacation.

We were walking along the touristy area where there were a fair number of people. We went into shops. I was pushing the stroller, with your son, who you barely knew or paid attention to at the time.

You were walking with your daughter. Who you are great with. Who adores you. And you have a special bond. I know this and I am happy about it.

But when she is the only one you talk to and care about, that is a problem.

I asked you several times, Can you stay close? I'd like to enjoy this and have a conversation with you. But you would walk ahead with our daughter as though I weren't there.

At one point I was mid sentence and you walked away. When you eventually turned around, 20 or more feet ahead of me, I held my arms up in a "What the heck?" gesture. I was angry. I didn't know how to articulate what I was experiencing. I tried to explain how I had been in mid-sentence when you walked away. I was upset. And while I was in mid-sentence explaining this, you walked into an ice cream shop. I finished my sentence anyway.

You turned around and yelled. You told me I was unreasonable. You yelled lots of insults. I felt very much like you were treating me like I was a mother and you were a teenager and I was interrupting your fun. That's how you spoke to me.

People were staring. I felt so embarrassed. I tried to get you to leave the small shop. I tried to at least get you outside where people wouldn't see and hear you. But you wouldn't leave.

I walked outside so you would hopefully follow. But you didn't. You finished getting ice cream for yourself and your daughter. Not me. You walked out and didn't even acknowledge my presence, showing your daughter how you ignore me and pay attention to her instead, like so many other times.

It was a horrible, sad, dark day. Other stressful things had happened. At the end, things were better, and I said it was a nice trip overall, you said it wasn't a good trip, you wished we hadn't gone. It wasn't worth the effort or the money or the energy. But you'd barely put any of that into it. You only had to sit back and enjoy the ride. And I felt like shit. Because I had worked hard to make a nice family trip. And you told me how terrible it was.