After a long break that included a little foray into story-telling, I think it's time I come clean with you all.
Life sucks. Okay, probably only at the moment, but I'd be lying to you if I said it differently. My wife has been writing me e-mails, combining hints of wanting to finalize a divorce settlement, with abusive little asides about me and my family. This is the perfect combination to drive me crazy, which her unerring instincts can somehow understand, despite the difficulty she has otherwise, to even understand who I am.
On one hand, without a settlement, the divorce process will likely take over a year, most of which time is just to get a court date. With a settlement agreement, it might only take weeks. So there's significant incentive to agree. However, the financial situation is complex, with us co-owning a house that's probably not worth our investment, at the moment. Too, there's some doubt that we could agree, even if the situation were simple.
On the other hand, I've had more than enough of being insulted. I'd like to be able to be assertive, to at least tell her not to talk to me like that. The problem with that route, though, is that it seems to me that my only recourse, when she laughs in my face, will be to leave her alone. In fact, I haven't replied to her e-mails for several months now. That won't get us an agreement, though.
So it feels a lot like being caught between a hell and a hard place. My lawyer can't help much, because it's not legal stuff that's in dispute. No one else can help me, except to commiserate; only I can endure (or not endure) my wife's ... demeanor. I'm not subjecting anyone else I care about to that.
The result is a renewal of the emotional dynamic that I used to survive, when I was living with her. Obvious, useful steps are avoided, because they only seem to benefit her. Steps like paying bills, dealing with my taxes (I filed Federal taxes a month after the extension expired; I still have the state taxes.) On top of that, I spend weekends indoors, reading or in bed, or both. I keep myself from enjoying my time off, keep myself away from nature and sunlight and the outdoors, because it doesn't make sense to me to do good things for myself when I haven't done the "important things", the chores. I sleep late then run to work without showering, my bathroom is filthy, my kitchen only somewhat better.
Work is pretty much the same as it was. I'm mostly idle, which gives me plenty of time on the site, but zero job satisfaction. At least I get paid, though, right? And it all goes to pay the mortgage for the house she's living in, my rent, the cars, insurance for all of the above, and so on.
I've avoided writing all this out for a long time. It didn't feel like it would help. I know that my many (and valued) friends will speak up to support me. I wouldn't stop them; that's what we're really all here for, after all. The problem is that I can't really feel like that will help, at the moment. It's not that I don't value you all, it's that what I need is to reach a certain place inside myself, and you guys can't help me with that.
I need to reach a place where I believe in myself. Not just a little bit, not in a reasoned, intellectual way, but as an obvious 'given', that can't even be questioned. Somewhere, there is a Myself that has a right to exist, to make mistakes, to be loved anyway. The best I can do so far is something conditional, that's allowed to exist as long as it doesn't cause too much trouble. I can't live from there, not when I get attacked.
I know this sounds somber, and it probably is going to end up as a pivotal point in my life. But I'm not trying to worry people; I've been much worse. I've had months of detoxification now. I'm not having suicidal thoughts, like I was last fall, that brought me here. I think I can face my wife again, stronger now. But I also think it's going to take some help, long-term, for me to make the shift that I'm talking about.
It's just making me really happy I have this metal codpiece on my bunny suit, that's all. ;-)