Two days ago I had an overwhelming urge to speak to Craig again. We haven’t spoken properly since November other than the odd text here and there, so I texted him a quick hello. He texted back asking how I was and said we should meet up sometime to catch up so we arranged it for that lunchtime and I couldn’t wait but it was very different to before. I didn’t want to see him because I fancied him, or because I wanted him, it was a feeling that I needed to see him desperately but I didn’t realise until now that it was because he had something for me; that he was going to mirror something back to me and that there was a lesson in there for me.
Craig has lost his spark, it was quite sad seeing him and I just wanted to give him a hug because he has become who I was eight months ago. He’s depressed and miserable and totally controlled by his ex. He can’t move on with his life because she stops it at every turn, or at least tries to. She threatens to stop him seeing his son if he dates anyone else, even though she is dating, and she screams and shouts at him when she doesn’t get her own way. She is totally mirroring the way Tom was with me and still is occasionally if he thinks he can get away with it. Craig’s ex controls Craig with her anger and Tom still has a degree of control over me because of his anger.
My advice to him was that despite the possible consequences he must stand up to her. No matter how hard it is, he must not give in to her demands, even when she’s being nice because she’s not a nice person and she’s playing him for her own gain. I did take my own advice on board because at that point I was getting an inkling as to why I needed to see him so badly. I realised I haven’t been standing up to Tom enough because like Craig, I fear the possible consequences of that. I fear his anger.
Today the test came…
Tom has been saying to me for two days that he wanted to take Annie to school with me today as is going home to visit his mum and so won’t see Annie for five days. Last night I told him what time I was likely to be around, turned up at the agreed time and he wasn’t dressed. I said to him that I thought we agreed the time and he told me to stop screaming at him and said he didn’t think he was meant to be going with Annie in case it upset her! I seriously do wonder sometimes if has something wrong, mentally. How can we make firm arrangements just 48 hours before for him to think they’ve changed without us talking about it?
I digress! At that point I knew he was in one of his moods and no matter what I said or did, it wasn’t going to go well, but we got in the car, once he was dressed, and went off to school. All was okay until we drove home and I asked how he was getting to the airport today to which he replied, ‘I don’t know. Are you running me?’ I just feel that if someone wants my help I think they could at least say, ‘Could you’ and ‘please’ but rather than have a row with him, I just said, ‘You can ask me, you don’t have to word it in such a way that the assumption is that I will’ I told him how he always asks a question by somehow turning it to the other person, so he has no responsibility for the decision, so I said, ‘Would you like me to run you to the airport or are you going to ask someone else?’ He said, ‘Do you want to run me?’ Arrrghh!
I probably should have just said no at this point. If he’s asking if I want to, then no I don’t but instead, because now he was pissing me off, I said, “All you have to say is yes or no. Maybe even a please wouldn’t hurt. It’s just manners and common courtesy.’ He went mad! He went straight on a rant saying, “Manners? Was it manners when you started seeing someone else four months ago!” to which I laughed because that’s a fucking pathetic argument in my book. He went on and on about how I showed him no courtesy regarding Phil and that the airport scenario is not important but me sitting him down and telling him about Phil properly, is. I told him it was none of his business whether I was seeing someone but his rant continued with him going on about how much he does for me and I can’t even run him to the airport without demanding manners and I just thought I can let this go on, or I can take control and stop it now, so I did. I told him to get out of my car and I went home.
Once home, I texted him to say ‘Let’s get a few things clear, you don’t do things for me, you do them for your daughter. I’ll ask my Mum to babysit Tuesday night rather than you having Annie because I don’t want you to do anything for ME anymore. You do have to ask if you want something, it’s manners. In answer to your question, no I don’t want to give you a lift to the airport.“
He replied, “Good to get all your trivial angst out on me and not the people in your life that deserve it. Thanks for noticing what I have always done for you and YOUR kids, it would never be returned by you, that’s for fucking sure. You always make such a big deal over the smallest. You reveal a lot about yourself regarding this and your house and make a huge deal of very very small things. You would think that we’d be at a stage after 9 years where you could do me a turn after all the ones I do for you. But no. Poor you, needs her delicate ego kissed by a man who has been kind and decent and generous to her for years. You don’t need to get your Mum to have Annie, the sky hasn’t fallen in yet. It’s not that big a deal.’
‘Can you give me a lift to the airport please?’
There was so so much I wanted to say in response to his text but instead, I bit my tongue and just said, “Actually I don’t think that’s a good idea, I’d rather not.”
He replied back with “Ok, well I don’t want to fall out over it. The point is you are demanding hyper respect from me regarding a simple matter and you have shown less than zero to me regarding real life matters. I’m a human being too. Treating me like I don’t matter is hurtful and it doesn’t matter what I wrote in the emails and how diplomatic I am around you. You seem to insist on it. I have to keep telling myself I’m a good guy because I nearly went under recently with this childish ‘why should I’ nonsense. All because you have more respect for the shit on your shoe than you do for me. You can have all the boyfriends you want. You don’t have to go out of your way to disrespect me to hammer it home. I get it.”
The point is though, I told him to get out of my car and I didn’t run him to the airport and while if anyone else were to read that and think ‘Big deal, so what’ it is a big deal because I always run him to the airport, even though we’re not together, rather than face his anger. Now I’ve faced it and it wasn’t even that bad! It doesn’t need to affect me anymore because I can walk away, close my mind to him and carry on with the happy life I’ve carved out for the kids and me.
Everything he tried to throw at me in his words and his texts are now like water off a duck’s back. They annoyed me for about ten minutes but then I realised how little power his words have. He may think my need for manners is insignificant compared to what he deems to be important but that’s Tom through and through. The world revolves around him and that’s where it ends.
Had it not been for listening to the overwhelming urge to see Craig, this may not have happened. I may have backed down but instead, the advice I gave to him, I was really giving myself. I trusted my intuition to go and see Craig, even though I couldn’t work out at the time why I wanted to see him so badly, and it paid off. My intuition at its best.