Cinderella, I’m Not!

Okay, so the latest word, is that I’ve had to deal with some disappointment the last few days–big disappointment!–but I haven’t let it derail me. Yeah, I must be doing better because I’m not sobbing, the Old Man still has his balls intact, and I’m not drinking to ease the pain. My husband, the controlling man that he is, made a great error in judgment the other day. He doubted me and my convictions. You see, I’m a woman that has an extremely high tolerance. I can put up with a lot (when you’re married to a controlling man who likes to call all the shots you have to), am willing to give up a lot to keep peace, but there are a couple things in my world that are completely off limits: My friends and my children. A man is never going to tell me who I can be friends with, and is never, NEVER, going to make me choose between them or my children. They will lose. Up till now I thought I’d been clear enough about this and things have been going well. Up till now.

My oldest son, Jud, has his parole hearing next month. The plan has been in place for months that if he gets paroled and it’s in agreement with the courts, he’s coming here to stay with us. This has been something that has been talked about to death. It’s a no-brainer. Where I am my children always have a home when/if they need it. The stipulation to his coming here, of course, is that there is no alcohol or firearms on the property. We’ve known this for some time. I felt it wasn’t that big of a problem because my husband won’t be using his guns till he hunts next winter anyway, and can keep them all safely at his father’s. After speaking with my son’s correctional counselor the other day, I told my husband that I felt it was time to remove them. I was unsure how soon they would want to come to inspect the house and didn’t want the worry anymore. An argument ensued. It was nothing more in my eyes than another one of his I-call-the-shots-and-no-one-is-going-to-tell-me-when-I-have-to-do-anything. It ended with his telling me that my son is not welcome here because it’s creating a big argument.

I could’ve begged for what I wanted and gotten it. I know that. I know that because I’ve spent years doing it. He makes a decision or takes something away, I cry and pout, he gives a bit back, and then I’m made to feel grateful while he gets the opportunity to play the good guy for doing the right thing. I guess I’m beyond that. Maybe I’m stronger now. Definitely not medicated or sick anymore. I didn’t beg. I refused to beg. Instead I sat down and wrote my child a letter telling him that he would have to go to a halfway house. I had to hurt my child for no reason, which I now find to be completely unforgivable. I then removed all of my husband’s clothing and personal items from our bedroom into the spare, and made it clear that I was done. The first time, in all the years we’ve been together, that I’ve done that. 

My husband is an idiot. Controlling men usually are. Because they’ve been able to dish up the bullshit and we’ve continued taking it, they naively assume that it will continue forever. Cause what…we like being someone’s damn dartboard? I think he now realizes the seriousness in it though, because he’s finding it difficult to buy or bargain with me. I made it clear today that I didn’t want the early anniversary gift he bought me, didn’t want to go out to dinner with him this evening, that what I did want he took away from me, so I now want nothing at all. Thus began the game of fancy side-stepping the facts, where he began to twist things around to make it look like he’d just been, you know…misunderstood. “It’s not that I didn’t want him to come here. It’s just that you told me I had to get my guns out of here, and I didn’t see why it had to be done so soon.” All I heard the whole time he prattled on was “It’s all about me. It’s all about getting my way. It’s all about my calling the shots and saying, where, when, who, how, etc…” Ladies, that’s how you know when you’ve taken your power back. It’s when the controlling man becomes the insecure coward that he is.

I think I’ve figured out what the problem is. Books. I read too damn much. It started with a fat volume of fairy tales when I was small, which led to anything and everything I could get my hands on that was written about relationships after. I bought into the whole ugly duckling becoming a swan and Cinderella bullshit. I was positive that Prince Charming did exist, and that someday when I was ready for him he would find me, be able to look past my common background, tomboy exterior and bad attitude, and see me for the Cinderella I knew I had hiding just below the surface. I spent years in my teens reinventing myself, grooming myself to look more pleasing to the eye, and waiting for him to come and rescue me. I thought for sure I would be able to spot him. He would be kind, thoughtful, generous, and his beauty would take my breath away. He came. Or so I thought he had…many times. 

I’ve spent years purchasing glass slippers in the hope that one of the many pairs I’ve owned and dropped would be the lucky one. And many have retrieved them and promised their undying love. Not a one though bothered to prop me up, put it back on my foot, and walk away with me into the sunset. Some have bargained with me in giving back the shoe. A few have tried to steal it….and the other one too. A couple have tried to wear it themselves. One beat me over the head with the damn thing. In short, all I’ve gotten from hobbling around on one damn foot my whole life waiting for him was a bad fucking back! Glass slippers have not been a lucky commodity for me. 

Yeah, Prince Charming doesn’t exist, and Cinderella, I’m not! I’ve come to the conclusion that the best I could hope for is someone mediocre in comparison, and frankly, I don’t think that’s acceptable anymore. I fear that for me happiness may never be found in another’s arms. With that thought though, I have to remind myself that I still have a pair of my own to wrap around me. Those, and my children’s.