Dunno - can't think of a picture to go along with this. Had three things happen the past few days - and they're kinda different, but when I thought of them this morning realized that they are oh so the same.
1) Yesterday morning the X called me - "do you have a minute to talk?" I was jumping into the shower but asked what was up. He goes: "I had an awful week at work..." A bit stunned, I thought to myself "ok, this is strange - where do I go with this?" But, I sat down and said "Ok, tell me what happened."
Two thoughts ran through my mind: 1) he really has nobody to talk to; 2) I'm a social worker. This is what I do - so just do it.
So, I listened to his troubles, gave him a bit of my perspective, some advice, and encouragement. Then jumped into the shower.
This is how it was throughout our relationship. He would do/say something really horrible/mean/hurtful - but not even realize it. "I'm just being honest>' would be his response. I'd be like - "tell me, why do you keep saying these things if you know they bother or hurt me?" "Well, it's just how I feel. Just being honest." He never saw it. So I'd be all in emotional turmoil, then the next day, hour, minute - he'd be like it was nothing.
So, I can see that he sees nothing of what is going on, none of the conflicts, none of the oh so subtle insults: "Well, I have an important job.." as nothing.
But what do I do with this? I can't, just say "I don't want to hear it. Tell somebody who is NOT your ex-wife." Well, I could - but it's not me. He needed to talk. But again, he's getting the continued benefit of our relationship -- probably the best thing (for him) that he got from it - my listening/supportive ear. And I don't have the balls to just tell him to fuck off. I feel sorry for him, but what does that get me? From him? NOthing. Nothing physical, emotional, spiritual. Nothing. And I don't ven get the "Well, you've done a good thing" feeling for myself - 'cause I really feel kinda used. But it still comes back to my feeling sorry for him - and thus not wanting to give him another kick in the butt...
Then this kinda seques into my conversation w/my shrink about X's comment Re: "Important job." She was just like: "Why does it upset you? WHy don't you just think - 'I'm so glad I'm not with him any more! and move on." So, I don't know. I should be separate from him enough that when he makes stupid, dicky, hurtful comments like that that I do just think "whatta dick" and brush it off. But still, here I am, still thinking about it.
Then last night I"m talking to my mom - tell her about X's difficulty getting home last Friday because of the rain & how our sitter had to stay 'til 10:30 & I gave her overtime. My mom: "But HE should have given her the overtime." Me: "But he paid for her car service!" Thinking... whoa, wait a minute, why am I even discussing this with her. It's none of her business.I't's our thing, the X and me - and we are separate, and we pay for separate things & that's that. Mom: "AMY - he needs to be paying for that! Why are you doing it." Me - in a This Is The End of This Subject Voice: "Mom. Because I Did." Mom: "Ok, ok, ok." But I know it's filed away. And it bugged me because I even responeded to her at all.
So oy. I know that some people have a very easy time with this. EX did/does. It's over - this is hers, this is mine - we co-parent together, but that's it. But I feel/know that this whole thing really feels like it's taking much longer than it should. That I'm having difficulty finding the line, that he's having difficulty finding the line... and the peanut gallery doesn't even know what a line is! And the fact that I come from a family with the worst separation anxiety this side of the Rockies... well, doesn't help.
I wonder if/when this stops being a work in progress and we can just all go on our merry ways...