Mr. Curry and I were in a fight last night, which derailed, as it often does this last year, into a fight about how we fight, who is doing what wrong and how often they do it and why it makes us crazy and unable to get anywhere. You interrupted me! I told you how I felt and you responded without even acknowledging my feelings! You talk too long! You take to long to get to the point! You changed the subject! You already said that! Are you having fun yet?
We agree on certain rules: no cursing (which if we are alone sometimes is jettisoned and a few shits or damnits come out) no name-calling (maybe the most important rule which we always stick to) no loud shouting or screaming (occasionally a shouting begins but we catch it). Outside of that, our arguments have deteriorated to the point where we really can't get anywhere when we are talking about an emotionally loaded subject. Our lives have a tremendous amount of stress, and always have, and there is no doubt that this greatly weakens our ability to think clearly and carefully when touching on painful problems. We have had incredible, overwhelming financial stress, which some of you would simply not believe, as many of you probably have not seen my past posts on my medical crisis and the ensuing surgeries, or Mr. Curry's loss of the business he worked so hard for; these two things left us absolutely crippled financially during one of California's worst financial times of stress than I can remember. And I can't wait to have a baby until things are right. I'm 35. I have Stage Four Endometriosis. It's happening soon or it's not happening. The mental illness in our family is the other specter, the thing that also reveals our status in society: poor. The poor get shit for help when it comes to mental illness. We get help, and I AM very grateful for that. But who can stay grateful when their family suffers? I have been dogged and as thrifty and clever and determined as I can to get the best help for our family, but it has been a long road and one full of psychologists so painfully uneducated or out of touch that I could talk them under the table about the latest treatments and research regarding our issues. It is the result of incredibly stubborn people and love that endures and rises back when killed that we are the family we are.
But problems in our marriage simmer. Threaten to boil.
I've read that the most stressful kind of stress is the kind that we feel powerless over, and I know this has been true for my entire life. My father's rage and untreated mental illness, pathological lying and abuse were terrifying and horrible, not just because they were, but because as his daughter, I was helpless before them. It was one of the greatest realizations of my adult life, to truly internalize that to take charge of your own life means always looking over what you cannot control, and focusing in on what you can do, what you can ferret out come hell or high water to make things better. I recognized that the essential truth was that a victim who perceives themselves, who identifies as a victim, is always a victim, and that the world is absolutely uncaring and aloof if you feel you can't do anything to help yourself. In this way, it was also one of the greatest challenges of my adult life, to accept that I, and only I, could change my life. To someone who has grown up with little self-worth or self-esteem, being hurt and terrified and feeling stupid, ugly and rejected by the world at large, the idea that you alone are responsible for your life is simply terrifying. Who would put me in charge of anything? you think. Does this mean no one really loves me, if they are leaving me to deal with this? you believe. You feel abandoned and furious and resentful and terrified out of your mind at what you will find when you look at yourself. You don't understand why other people don't put up with your problems. You are still a child. You are looking around and pointing fingers and assuring yourself that surely, this can't be all your fault. The debris of your life seems fateful, not something you let happen, or even more hard to contemplate- something you created. This is the emotional landscape of a person who is either fresh out of a terrible childhood, or who has never faced what their childhood did to them and gone after the help they need to be a whole person. It was mine in 1995.
I faced my own terrible truths with the help of a therapist I found after my son was born. I am not, and have never been, the type of woman who calls people 'my angel'. No. But Dr. Thorpe- that woman is my angel. She, with her fantastic over-sized double lined spectacles, wild curly untamed hair, thin awkward frame at 6 foot easily, great enormous smile and shining eyes, bumbling ways and tiny office- she saved my person-hood. She did the one thing I absolutely needed most: she saw me as loveable, wonderful and full of potential, and she demanded that I work hard to grow up. Over four years with her, I did. I wept, I sobbed, I spoke of my gut level deepest fears ( was I irrecovably fucked up, is what I really, really wanted to know ) and I did my part. I did the homework she assigned me: wrote myself reminder notes to listen every night to the tapes she gave me, dutifully did my journal entries (which felt pointless for months..until they didn't) and read the books she told me to. I was as honest as I have ever been in my life, to the point where I would leave her office and feel like vomiting, so terrified and mortified that I had told her the things I did. But I kept at it, like a drowning swimmer keeps twisting to find the break in the water to the air: because I had no other choice to live. Because I had a son who I REFUSED to bring up with a broken jagged edgy loveless mother.
So Mr. Curry and I must find another angel. Another person who is meant to do what they do, guide couples in deeply troubled and dangerous waters to a place where they can love, honor and respect each other again in the way we all yearn for, and our children deserve to see.
I want to move past the opening arguments and get to the make up sex.