I can’t talk to M about much of anything anymore and it scares me. We are moving so soon and so much rides on him for that….
I keep trying in a delicate, but honest, way to point out my concerns, but just like 13 years ago, everything is an “attack”. Every word of concern gets met with, “I AM NOT A BAD PERSON!! I AM NOT A BAD PERSON!! I AM NOT A BAD PERSON” screamed repeatedly over my trying-to-stay calm voice and words, until I have no choice but to hang up the phone. Obviously, this doesn’t result in anything productive and does the very opposite of reassuring my fears.
This experience throws me clear into full force PTSD as I’m hurled instantly to 13 years ago…trapped, scared, nervous, with a 3 month old child to care for. My knees shake, my head spins and the frustration at not being heard, not being counted, not being considered, not being able to even TALK is overwhelming and terrifying to my core. What am I doing?
Mark, he who I’ve watched struggle and kick for years, fighting his way past and beyond all that once haunted and controlled him, is yet again unreachable, irreproachable, impossible to reason with. And I am left feeling two options: return to that horribly handicapping environment which threatened my sanity or continue raising my children far away from their loving father.
Even the choices alone don’t feel like choices. They feel like steel walls closing in on me fast, boxing me in tight, with the “rules” written in graffiti all over them in bold black paint. Rules from my childhood; rules from my relationship with Mark 13 years ago.
- No matter what M does or says, it’s always absolutely fine.
- No one is to question, doubt, or worry about M’s behaviors or choices. They are all as close to perfect as could possibly be.
- No one is to point out (kindly or otherwise) any fears or, God forbid, discrepancies in Mark’s choices.
- If you see an elephant in the living room, no one is to speak of it, question its presence, or for God’s sake call it an elephant. Nothing is what it appears and only M knows what it really is, so he cannot be questioned or expected to communicate with the rest of us.
- It’s M’s world…only his reality counts…the rest of us are just graced with the opportunity to live in it…so SHUT UP.
- If you speak or imply any of the above, it is a direct “attack on M” and he will kick and scream accordingly, deftly playing the offense is the best defense game to the point that you’re wasting every word you can actually get into the conversation, trying (in utter futility) to insist that you’ve not attacked or insulted M.
- Every word you say that is not an ass-kissing “M, you’re the GREATEST!” is, in fact, going to be considered an attack.
- Your actual words will not ever matter. They are ALL an attack on Mark, unless they are a direct and undisguised compliment of his person and character.
- M will hear what M hears and it’s not up for discussion… What M hears IS what you said, no matter how far off it may seem (to you) from what you’ve actually said.
- Questions, doubts, fears (authentic or otherwise) will NOT be tolerated or spoken of EVER.
- Unless you are complimenting M on how wonderful he is, you must SHUT UP AT ALL TIMES.
I am afraid. I am rendered paralyzed to act and terrified to speak of my concerns…while the walls close in tighter on me.