You know something? I've really let one of my ex's...
...off the hook. I had quit bitching about Mark Colletti years before my most recent ex dominated the BULLSHIT column of my life. But, Mark...er, the Bugman...has really left his own personal brand of hell firmly ingrained in every aspect of my life. Rick took center stage for a while at one point, but there was a time and a place, when and where Bug was the hideous, cowardly bastard who screwed other women and liked to toss me down stairs, holding me by the hair so that he could leave me with a HUGE bald spot that angered my mother for years. (That was as close as I ever got to family support...IN MY LIFE.)
The name Louisa May Wilson pops into my head. That was the 40 year old hoe that Mark spent his evenings with the summer I was pregnant with my daughter...yes, she is his daughter too. I was 21, scared and living in a state 700 miles away from my friends and my parents. She was 40 something. My 22 year old husband was nowhere near done sowing his wild oats. He came home with hickeys, left me alone night after night and even left me stuck in a bathtub with a broken foot and an extremely small hot water heater. I sat in that tub, 8 months pregnant with a broken foot, all wet and cold. The jack ass said he was going to the store down the street but he never came back until the next morning. By then I had to go to the hospital.
This was the charmer that came home long enough to start a fight so that I would finally say, "OK...just leave." Then he would grab a clean shirt, his Paco Rabanne cologne and a razor and bolt out the door with intense anticipation and the gusto that would be his downfall in this fun story:
When he got home he would inevitably either make something to eat or bring food with him. Regardless, I seem to remember an inordinate amount of chili, cheeseburgers and bowls full of whatever frightening food he had concocted that night, hanging on my walls. That was so annoying because I HAD to clean the mess. He wouldn't do it and I couldn't let the kids grow up thinking of food as wall deco.
I adored that guy. Don't know why, but I did. And then, as tends to happen after a person stops feeling the pain, I couldn't get it back. I tried, I really did. Maybe I should have tried harder, who knows. At the time, the best idea, or so I thought, seemed to be to leave him. And then all hell broke loose and that demon has never forgiven me.
Over the past 2 or 3 decades I have seen that Bug fewer times than I can count on one hand but he sees me all the time. The problem is, he sees the same thing he saw in 1986. His view of me then wasn't the clearest view of the real me. It couldn't have been because by then, he had become one of the people who my family had shown over and over again how badly one could treat me and not bother a soul. My parents told the kids, the kids told each other and eventually everyone told other people in our family circle that treating Margaret like shit is not only accepted, it's encouraged. I've finally figured out why they're doing that.
I was watching a really crazy documentary called the 'Wild and Wonderful White's of West Virginia'. OMG...you gotta see that. Anyway, it's a fascinating little film that leaves pretty much everyone who watches it feeling SO MUCH BETTER about themselves. My family does it because, like a drug, it makes them FEEL better about themselves. Apparently, it's much more addictive than opiates because these yahoos have all been mad at me since I was 4 years old. I can't fight an addiction in one other person, surely fighting the addictions of my parents, siblings, kids and insane ex's with their ridiculously nasty current spouses would take more than just myself. I doubt any of your larger villages could fight such powerfully inculcated coping mechanisms.
And the sheep in them all! They follow each other as blindly as any other cult follows the more vocal members. And, that is exactly the phenomenon that Bug has taken full advantage of for decades. And his archetypal scheme generally involves assuring that my children and other vulnerable and trusting followers ONLY see me through his Bug colored glasses. He's suburb at that. His accomplice is good at it but only because she is simply THAT ready, willing and able to assist Bug with gusto in his plot to paint me as whatever it is that best serves their purpose on any given day.
Over the years, I have made life easier for that Bug every chance I had. When he and his hideous cohorts needed me to do something, I would try to make whatever it was as easy as possible for everyone concerned.
Here are some examples of the things that I not only allowed...I made it as easy as possible for the Bug...usually because, in the end, it was easier for my kids. Anyway, here's a smattering:
1. After Bug and his freak wife kidnapped my kids and generally made life miserable in their attempts to get out of paying child support, I spoke to a very wise woman who said, "You know, you should just give them what they want. They won't stop doing stupid things but it will make them think they got away with something and they might be nice. But more importantly, it'll make life easier on your kids. They don't WANT the kids, they want to get out of paying you money." I thought about it and it made sense to me. I went to Chicago and gave him custody of the kids. The kidnappings stopped and from then on, I had my kids without fear of their lives being uprooted without the constant worry of the tug-o-war. It was well worth the $275 a month that he never paid anyway.
2. Bug and I were married in the Catholic Church. After his current squeeze bitched at him for years because she knew how important that church bond was to Bug and his family, they decided to get an annulment. According to the church, Bug and I were still man and wife. I understood how important it was to Bug and the Amazon woman so I was more than happy to sign the annulment papers so that I would no longer be a hindrance, in any form, to their happiness.
3. I stopped speaking to Bug's family for years even though we had our own special relationship. They were my children's grandparents and they adore my kids. I'm their mother and a friendly relationship between us is the mature and decent thing to do for a loving mother and loving grandparents who want to do the most beneficial thing for our children...and now for THEIR children as well. But, when it made Amazon woman insecure (No, I don't know why either) I simply bowed out.
4. Bug and his childish cohort have spent years talking smack about me to anyone who will listen, even if it's simply to say things like, "Only an idiot would drive a Mustang." OVER AND OVER AGAIN to my children, knowing they know I drive a Mustang. The same thing was done this way, "Only idiots watch soap operas." because I used to watch All My Children. Those are just 2 examples. The kids told me about lots of the comments but I'm sure that some of the underhanded tactics went over their heads. When my kids were at that house, they were supported more when they joined the "I hate Mommy" cult and they were either ignored or at least not "rewarded" when they didn't. Nothing makes my kids more attractive to Bug and his squeeze than when they jump on the "Mom's evil" train. Yet, I remind my kids to call Bug on his birthday, I always make sure to ask if they are all OK and never, ever speak ill of those 2 yahoos. Years ago I made the mistake of doing that to my son and the pain in his eyes never allowed me to do it again so I refrain from such petty and hurtful behavior.
There was a time in my life when I drank too much. Health issues put an abrupt end to my drinking days over 20 years ago. I may occasionally have a drink or two nowadays but I don't even enjoy it anymore and haven't really done so for decades. I don't care anymore, you all know what I like. I've never hidden it and I'm happy to admit to it. After years and years of these yahoos bitching about MY drinking...I'm one of the few who DOESN'T drink now. They sit there and suck vodka, beer or whatever (nightly) and then talk about me and my drinking while they do it. I don't call them all hypocrites. I just sit here and wait for karma to kick them all in the ass. When it does, I hope I don't forget to laugh.
And if I EVER mention the fact that others are obviously talking about me...people will turn it all around on me and say, "You always say that, you're just paranoid." Well, no one in the world treats me like this except my family. And I'm not imagining this...people have been mad at me since I was 4 years old. I don't know anything except I screwed up and EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is mad at me refuses to tell me what I did. They find it easier and more morally correct to simply call someone else and tell them what I did. Those two will chew on that until it looks nothing like the original incident and then they'll tell 2 people and those 2 people will tell 2 people, and so on and so on. Before you know it, my entire family has had a fix of chest pounding and feather spreading so they have reinforced the importance of the ritualistic skewering of Margaret.
I couldn't have verbalized this when I was 5, but I had certainly noticed it by then. It has always been OK for my parents and siblings to make comments to and about me that would be addressed as a disciplinary measure had the behavior been directed toward someone worthy of respect. I learned to smile a lot. (An interesting aside, when I was doing stand-up, my father advised me against doing self-deprecating humor. Really? He's the one who TAUGHT everyone to deprecate my ass!)
Once it became acceptable to disrespect me, it became acceptable to let others in on the joke. The really evil part of that phenomenon is that I usually brought the new people around in the form of boyfriends, dates and husbands. My family actually went out of their way to bring these guys in on the family joke. The guys I brought around would always, predictably, react in one of two ways. They either took the bait and joined in on the festivities...or they were appalled and would ask me what the hell was wrong with my family. Of course, I liked that reaction better. Eventually, I would pay attention to see how quickly a guy would choose his destiny. Bug was in my life before I figured out that entire concept but looking back, Bug immediately joined the "Margaret Sucks" club and never looked back. Even worse, he brought others along with him. And even worse than that, he has tainted my own kid's perception of me. And he calls himself a good Christian. That makes me want to puke.
Yeah, today Bug is a maliciously malignant immoral menace. Given the choice of a high road or a low road, Bug, like his co-workers, stays as low as possible and slithers along, perniciously damaging lives subtly and over years. It's one thing to sit back and do nothing, at least you won't make matters worse. But how do these people consistently get away with this behavior? They've convinced each other that I am personally so bad that all the other rules of social decorum can be tossed aside where I am concerned.
Blow me...you bald and nasty piece of eye booger.