Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where Are the Boundaries?

All these years, I haven't been able to tell a soul about what happened to me and now that I've started, I can't shut up. So, having announced that I no longer have a filtering system...
There are issues about to pop up concerning my daughter's upcoming marriage. I am so confused and disheartened that it has begun to affect my work and my sleep. You see, my daughter doesn't want a wedding and I believe it is because she is trying to find a way to avoid inviting her father, yet, she wants a celebration. She is clearly torn and I've tried to bring this up with her but she is adamant that he has nothing to do with her decisions. I think it's all my fault and I can barely live with myself because of it.
Four years ago, while I was still married to him, her father tried to convince me I was crazy and encouraged me to find a therapist. I believed I was responsible for a variety of things going on in my home, not knowing he was actually responsible for everything. Right about then, I told him about my DID because I needed his support. It played right into his wicked plans.
He was so sympathetic towards my problem. He sat in my therapist's office and told us both that he would help me recover in anyway I needed him to, and that he would be here for me as long as I needed him to be. I was so vulnerable and I needed his support, so I relaxed a bit. That was just a few days before he moved out and filed for divorce. It was all a set up; he'd had other plans all along.
At the time he moved out, my daughter was graduating from college. His timing was soooo bad; she was devastated. She and I had no idea what he had been up to and we walked around in shock for months. She insisted she didn't want to "walk" at graduation, nor did she want any kind of celebration. She refused to let me even have family over. Three days before graduation, she called and told me she was going to her graduation and she asked me to come. She had invited her father, too, and I insisted I would be okay with it. I was prepared to deal with the devil himself if it meant easing some of her heartache.
That day was terrible. My daughter spent most of her time throwing up in the bathroom instead of at her celebration dinner. I wanted to die. I shouldn't have agreed to it.
Since then, she has dealt with a dichotomy of issues. The first is that she very much wants a relationship with her father, but needs to finish the one she had as a child, with a family. He never gave her time to establish a relationship with him that didn't include me, giving her closure to the "family" she loved so dearly. The second is that he will not allow her to build a relationship with him, alone. He moved his girlfriend in just a day or so after our divorce was final and they were married a few months after that. Since then, he has continually tried to force her to "meet" the new stepmother. He tries to sneak her into every meeting they have and refuses to allow her time to come to terms with it before he pummels her with it again. She has told him of her feelings, he sees only his side of it. In his own words to me, said the day he moved out of our home, he yelled, "...I guess you just don't get it. I have a big f---ing ego!"

So, here we are. My daughter has lived with her boyfriend for 2 years. She is afraid of getting married because she's afraid it will ruin their relationship - and they have a wonderful one. She won't have a wedding ceremony because she's afraid her father will bring his wife, tho she is planning on inviting him (only) to the reception and telling him she doesn't want HER there. We don't talk about it, but we both know he will bring her as a way of cornering our daughter and forcing her to meet his wife. Her wedding day belongs to her and he has no right to use it as a means of manipulation for his own purpose. He cannot see (or refuses to see) that it will ruin the fragile relationship between the 2 of them, once and for all. I don't want that for her. As long as she believes she wants/needs him in her life, then that is what I want for her.

Here's the scoop on the WIFE. She has 3 troubled kids, the teen aged boy has threatened to kill my ex, so he had to be removed from the home. The other two have molested my niece's 2-year old son and their mother's response was, "I don't know what everyone is so upset about, it happens to everybody. It's no big deal!" (there is it, that's why I hope she vaporizes). She is also a bit of a ho. She brags about threesomes and making it with her best friend's husband, etc. My ex is a functioning alcoholic and he found her in a bar. Before we were divorced and while we were trying to reconcile, this woman bragged to a group of women, my cousin being one of them, that she was "holding out for money", that is why she was dating an "old" man. She pursued him like water flushing down the drain. (good analogy, huh?) Anyway, she knew he was married and had a family, but like him, she thot only of herself. To make matters worse, she writes in Christmas and birthday cards sent to my daughter that she "loves" her - even though they've never met. That infuriates my daughter. Where are the boundaries?

By now, are you wondering why I think it's all my fault? Well, in the beginning, I was trying to deal with alters who seemed to be flip-flopping like fish out of water and my ex had turned all my family against me by convincing them I was crazy (well, I did cry in front of my mother and sister), and that I was going to hurt him. I had no one for support and so my T suggested I talk to my daughter. He met with her and both of us together and determined she would be a strong support for me. And she has been, but it has been very hard on her. I wish I'd never allowed her to get into the middle of everything, but my T often reminds me that when you are up to your armpits in alligators, it's hard to remember to reach down and pull the plug on the water. And then...

Then there is all those months when my 21 year old would spend supper with her dad and then come home and lay on the couch with her head in my lap and sob like a baby. I wanted him to vaporize. I kept telling her it would be okay, that she deserved a relationship with him and she had a right to love him and be loved by him - no matter what he did. I told her he still loved her. I was wrong, he only loves himself. By the time I realized I had made a mistake in encouraging a relationship with him, it was too late, she had been hurt many times. Now, she's numb and in denial of wanting a relationship with him. I can't do anything about their relationship, but I seem to always be in the middle of it while trying to stay out of the way- I feel responsible for her pain. My Colors are spiking.


Ivory

2 comments:

castorgirl said...

Good grief, it does sound like your all better off with keeping your ex-husband and the new wife at some sort of safe distance.

Can you trust your daughter to do what is best for her at this moment? She may not want to face the potential fall out from a wedding, but she can change her mind about that later.

When we married we decided that it was to be a small wedding in the backyard with only immediate family. We did this to try and eliminate many of the dramas that both sets of family potentially brought to the occasion. We were then going to do a larger celebration later if we wanted to. Even then the day still didn't go well, but at least it was more on our terms.

Maybe your daughter can find a way of getting married (if she wants that) in a way that gives her more control.

I would say something about the new wife's reaction to the abuse, but it would just lower me to her level... grrrrr will have to suffice. Ok I can't resist one little dig - I hope she and the children find out what is not such a "big deal" in jail one day.

Take care

Ivory said...

Castorgirl,

Thank you so much for your input. I needed to hear someone else say what I have been telling my daughter all along. I suggested Las Vegas to her, and they all thot it was a wonderful idea. She had planned on his parents, sister, her girlfriend, a couple of their closest friends and me, going with them. It would have been wonderful.

Then, she let her conscious get the best of her and let pressure from friends/family override that little dream and the wedding is now at the court house (still only parents) with a reception afterwards. I won't say anything to her, but I know him, he will ruin it for her, he likes grand entrances.

I feel as if we are all on a wire that's about to split.

AND then there's my family. She is so upset with them all for the way they've treated me, she isn't inviting any of them - even to the reception. [one more reason for me to feel responsible]

As for my ex and his new bride...

You said it all!

Thanks again, I appreciate your perspective so much.

Ivory