It has recently been brought to my attention that my writing is not enjoyed by all of my readers. In fact, it’s “disturbing” to some. Well, thank God it’s a free country and this isn’t Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451!
It was New Year’s Day and I was enjoying my first meal of 2014 at a diner in Burbank when my phone lit up with an unexpected telephone call from David’s older brother. Surely, I thought to myself, this was a butt dial but when the phone continued to ring, I became worried so I cautiously answered. I was concerned that something had happened to David because why else would his brother be calling me?
I excused myself from the table and answered, “Hello,” as I stepped outside into the unseasonably beautiful, eighty-degree weather. After the next three minutes, I speculated that this telephone call was actually intended to be a voice mail and I couldn’t decide which I would have rather listened to – a verbal judgment that I could actually respond to or a lengthy, opinionated voice mail. I also wasn’t certain what his brother’s goal was – to rebuke me for my blog’s content or to offer financial assistance to “get this thing over with” in his reference to the divorce paperwork.
In my shock at the direction that this conversation was going, I neglected to say very much and that’s probably for the better. He initially asked me how I was doing. I was so taken aback by this question; I think I responded, “Um, I’m okay.” What did he want me to say? “Oh, well, you know, your brother and I are going through a divorce and life really sucks and I’m going to play the victim in this whole damned ordeal.”
After expressing his great disdain for my blogging, I replied that I do not write it for him, for David or for any of their family nor do I force any of them to read it. I also told him that I still loved David and his entire family – that hasn’t changed, as I never wanted for this to be the outcome of my marriage. He made sure to use the past tense when informing me that his “entire family loved” me. In particular, he told me that he disapproved of my non-usage of David’s actual name, which completely baffled me. I quickly ensured him that this was not out of malicious intent but to protect his privacy.
He attempted to state that he was calling me as a friend and I swiftly corrected his usage of the word friend as that was certainly not what we were anymore – it was not what any of his family was to me any longer or I to them. I couldn’t help but continue to speculate on everything that wasn’t being said, the inaudible thoughts, seeing as how his brother was quick to go from 0 to 60 as soon as I denied him being my friend. I actually felt like I was having a confrontation with David at that point, the kind where it didn’t matter what I said, he was only going to hear what he wanted to hear and he was going to twist it to fit whatever hidden agenda he was harboring. In fact, my statement was turned into, “We were never friends.” So. Not. What. I. Said. Or. Meant.
History certainly repeats itself as I can recall many members of my dad’s family writing my mother off when she finally decided enough was enough. I took a queue from my dear mother’s horrid experience and the grace with which she handled her divorce. I do not proceed to speak poorly of any members of David’s family. While it was certainly not his brother’s place to get involved, I do understand the need to protect one’s kin and the sometimes, brash actions that follow such instinct.
As his brother expressed his anger toward me, I firmly asked him, “You’re mad at me? And what could you possibly be angry at me for?” Even if the conversation were still one of a calm demeanor, I wouldn’t have received a legitimate answer. I can only imagine that the anger stems from some distorted truth that David has conjured up to make me out to be the bitch and I assume that David and the majority of his family actually believe it themselves.
It’s an inexplicable phenomenon really – a marriage only works when both parties want it to work and David made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want it to work, but somehow, that’s my error? Somehow, my father’s addiction to drugs and his abusive behavior over the course of a twenty-five year relationship was also my mother’s fault. God forbid we recognize our worth and go make a better life for ourselves, one void of the abuse and one where the good actually outweighs the bad.
I have never once denied my part in the heartache, in the verbal battles or in the insecurities that were sometimes utilized as harmful weapons. I presume I’m just supposed to be wallowing in the sorrow of it all still or perhaps I was supposed to stand by my man – the man that would rather stay out all night, placing dollar bills in the bikinis of downtown strippers or the man that locks me out of my own apartment and pukes all over the bathroom stating that it’s my duty to clean it up since I “owed” him money. And adding insult to injury, “I’m sure we can find a few other things for you to clean around here,” he spitefully said to me.
David was one of the most vindictive people I had ever met in my life and he once told me that his entire family followed this suit – is that going to stop me from continuing to write you may be asking? Absolutely not. I began this blog with the intent of keeping my Mother’s spirit alive, to draw the parallels of our experiences in words, music and pictures and most importantly to remind at least one human being that he or she is never alone. The knowledge that I have already done so is enough to keep on going because even if one or two or three people don’t like what I have to say, I know I speak the truth. I understand that any vindictive behavior is based out of defensiveness and the need for control. Any further inflicted pain has no validation and therefore, I will not give it the courtesy of my time or energy. In other words, I’ll listen to the voice mail shall there be a next time.