Monday, February 09, 2009

The benefits of growing up.

I've always considered myself a person who was just cool with who people are. There are people in my life and even in my own family that I don't always agree with. But I love them and I respect their choices (even when they don't necessarily respect mine). I feel like everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions about most things, providing what they decide to do isn't hurting defenseless children or animals.

Lately though, I find myself trying to change people's minds about things.

I know a girl (I wouldn't call her a friend, although at one point in my life I might have) who is in a miserable, miserable marriage. Not just a normal marriage which ebbs and flows and sometimes is fabulous and sometimes sucks butt. I mean she's in a marriage in which every single day of her life she's unhappy. Every single day of her life she has to look at the stoolwad of a man she's married to and wonder why it all went so horribly wrong and why he just didn't turn out. Every day of her life she's out working, two jobs, and supporting him and their children while he sits at home, wasting his life and being unproductive and not even caring for all the children he fathered.

It makes me absolutely, 100% insane.

I want to shake her. I want to shake him. I want to understand what makes someone's self esteem so low that they think that it's okay to be treated that way. That it's acceptable to be a part of a charade like that. To watch someone as they waste time and waste their life and the lives of their children. To watch as those kids watch. Those kids who think that this is the way that men treat women and that there is no teamwork at home.

And it's absolutely none of my business.

I know it's none of my business, which is why I stay out of it. But I fight the urge to call her and scream at her. I fight the urge to call him and scream at him. I desperately want to adopt those children who, to my knowledge are not being beaten or slapped, but are, without a doubt, being emotionally neglected in a dirty little apartment.

It's none of my concern. It's her choice. I don't agree with it, but it's her choice.

My husband, also, has been making me take pause lately about certain things. He and I generally agree on issues (we don't talk politics anymore though), but lately he's been holding back in dealing with some things. Things which, honestly, don't have anything to do with me anymore, but which he is still trying to champion for me.

I don't need him to do this. I'm ready for him to move past it.

I can't make him move past it.

I encourage but don't push him. I give my opinion and I want desperately to respect his.

But I don't. Not on this.

I suppose I've been self-centered. People have their say and it's their right to have their say. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean you are wrong, but at the same time, I'm just going to sit in the corner and think about things that pertain to me.

Or maybe I realized a long time ago that I can't right all the world's wrongs.

Or maybe, just maybe, I see myself in these people who are hurting and desperate and lonely. I see myself ten years ago as a little girl with two little babies and no one to hold her hand. I see myself as someone who didn't know how to forgive and couldn't handle the harsh reality of what my life actually was and probably would have continued to be.

I don't know.

I just know I don't like this growing up crap.


kristi said...

Yeah, well, unfortunately we can't make people see what is right in front of their face. I feel like my husband and I could get along better sometimes. But I absolutely will not put up with a man who won't work....that is my deal-breaker. My daughter sees how I am and if she is like me then she will have WAY less of a rough time than I did growing up. I was so freaking clueless.

PaintingChef said...

I think what you described is one of the worst situations in the WORLD to be in. But I think in the end, you make your feelings known and be there for your friend as much as you can without feeling like you are enabling the relationship. Its such a fine and difficult line to walk and at times I've done it well and at other times I've really screwed the pooch on it. So I know you are in a really difficult pickle. I'm so sorry. It's hard to watch, especially because of those kids.

Kimberly said...

It's easier to be young and full of righteous indignation all the time. This "growing up crap" is crap indeed. Perspective, wisdom, blah blah blah. It's all very well and good, but in some ways it makes everything harder. Because you can see so much more clearly...and that can hurt.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

It's not growing up - it's being responsible. That's what I hate. I'm responsible for me, the husband, the three little ones. Oh, and my mom. And someday the in-laws. And ugh. What happened to just being responsible for me? Those heady self-centered days.

Tell your friend how you feel and that you're there to help. And past that? That's all you can do, hon. Many hugs.

A Spot of T said...

Definitely a sign of growing up is learning to realize what we have control over and what we don't. No one says it's fun but once you realize it it makes the blood pressure go way down.

Lil Mouse said...

what is being self centered like? hmm... i can't recall a time i didnt wait hand and foot on someone else.

elle said...

Sometimes, though, caring and being concerned when it doesn't concern you can change the course of someone elses life. Sometimes it takes those who are strong enough to use their voices to stand up for those who can't. No, it's not our place and it's not our business, but just sometimes we can make the world a better place.

NGS said...

I realized I was growing up when I stopped talking to my best friend about her jerkface husband. I support her, her decisions regarding her relationship with said jerkface, and love her dearly, but every time we discussed him, we fought. It was easier just to not bring him up. It hurts because we're not as close as we used to be, but at least we talk. Sooo...growing up does suck.

But it's so much better than the angst I felt when I was 14!!

Patience said...

"stoolwad of a man"! Nice description!

My sister was once married to a stoolwad. He had her so mentally beat down that she was convinced she couldn't manage life on her own. She, like your friend, worked two jobs while he occasionally worked odd jobs and bought beer with the money he made.

Then he got arrested for something stupid, spent about a year in jail. During that time, she realized that she really could deal with life on her own, just her and her kids! And when he got out of jail, he had no place to go!!

Hooray for her!!

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

My ex-husband (father of my 8-year old)hasn't worked in 2 years, probably more. Clearly, he doesn't help me out with child support, but whatever. He is 36 years old. Has a 21 year old live-in girlfriend. That works 2 jobs. While he? Sits on his ass and plays on the computer. She? Is stupid. And, I? Couldn't keep my mouth shut. I told her he was never gonna change. I told her I knew it was none of my business but that she shouldn't put up with it.

She's still there, so, clearly, she's still stupid.

I'll be taking him back to court soon and unless he brings almost $10k with him to court, he's probably gonna go to jail. Again.

I am Trish Marie said...

I have two differing opinions about this. Part of me thinks that you can't make someone see what they don't want to see. The other part of me kind of wishes when I was stuck in a bad relationship someone had slapped me upside the head, and said "What the hell are you doing with that tool?" Cause you know, I wasted a lot of years, and it took me a long time to get to where I am now.