storm warning

Saturday, August 06, 2011

His weather is constant.

Moody. Angry. Tense. Stormy. Silent. Glowering. Critical. Unforgiving. Disappointed. Turbulent. Dour.

Separated by unpredictable, unexplained silences.

His sunny days are for other people. His audience finds him charming. Erudite. A pleasure.

I have built my weather proofing with skin toughened from 20 years of this inconstant and perpetual storm.

But for her? I shield her the best I can, when I can. I intervene. I step between and deflect. I remind and caution. I divert and disperse.

The gift I thought I was giving her when I chose the immovability of a father, the never abandon you, the pendulum weight of responsibility and duty, all gifts I thought I wanted for myself?

They batter me. They wear me down as I place her under the aegis of my breastbone and hold my hands over her ears, staring at him.

These are no gifts. They are dead-weights, millstones as albatrosses flying over our heads. They are bloated, fetid road kill.

I do not know the people he wants, the wife he would prefer, the child the would shine over and thrum approval. Those females, those not us, are neat and tidy, aiming to please him and show gratitude or appreciation.

I only know that they do not live here, do not live inside us. We are not Them.

"Start no fires", I whisper into her ear, as I open my weather annealed skin to drape over her as best I can.

5 Baleful Regards:

Sonia said...

You open your pain to us with such vivid descriptions that I feel it on a level that moves me to tears. I am sorry that this is the experience you are having and the one that your precious little one will take with her into adulthood to exorcise in ways that we can only imagine.

I miss hearing of the man that stood in the storm of your life with you and provided what seemed to be shelter; why must this shelter crumble now? We all hope for relationships with whole, loving and compassionate people, but I now know that the whole among us are few and all we can hope for are loving people who will do us no harm intentionally or not and are as dedicated to healing their soles as they are to supporting us in our own healing journeys.

I pray that you both find what you need to be kinder to each other; to usher your child to adulthood as whole as possible. We receive these little whole miracles and have to work so hard not to break them.

Be blessed and please continue your creative output... said...

I have had a lot of similar issues/moments in my marriage. You have my sympathy.

Jaelithe said...

Why is it so often so much easier for mothers to understand and embrace their children's imperfections than for fathers to do so? I have never understood it. But I do understand, better than I'd like to, that it's a non-trivial reason why many marriages fail.

Anonymous said...

This breaks my heart for you. When I read this I could envision myself in your shoes, as I was once in your shoes. I am since divorced from this man, but I will never be free of him and I often worry that I left my children defenseless against him when they are alone with him. I'm teaching them as best as I can to grow strong against the "storm" that is their father, but it breaks my heart that I must even do it. It breaks my heart that others feel this way, as I know just how painful it can be.

jwg said...

Please take care of yourself. It's the best gift you can give your daughter. Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe and her needs will be met.

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