HUGE DAY for me!!! (Pt. 1: I stood up for myself!)

Well, Internet, it’s been a crazy, exhausting, amazing week in so many ways… but today… well today was definitely a culmination of all of it. I think I’ve cried, laughed, been proud of myself, proud of Beanlet, proud of Jack, cried again, laughed some more… yeah, that’s just today.

I honestly think there’s so much to say today that I can’t fit it all comfortably in one post… I hope you will all forgive me if I bombard The Twitter with Post Announcements for a few days. But I have to share…

I stood up to Beanlet’s dad.

I was respectful, calm, adult, and used every Non-Violent Communication technique I could muster. And I think he heard me!

Beanlet’s dad and I met when I was 19. We got married when I was 22. Beanlet was born on my 24th birthday (yes we have the same birthday). We separated a month before my 27th (Beanlet’s 3rd) birthday. I learned a lot of bad habits and behaviors in those years. Three years, two relationships and a Major Depressive Episode later, I still have a hard time expressing myself to him. We never communicated very well…

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Marrying someone is absolutely NOT the biggest commitment you can make to another person. Having a child with someone is a MUCH BIGGER one.

So Beanlet’s dad and I are trying to get along and find some kind of happy medium. Here’s the thing: he is very jealous of his time with her. VERY inflexible. About a month ago, Beanlet asked me if she could go to church with me on a Daddy Weekend. I told her she had to ask Daddy. So when I dropped her off later that night, I reminded her to ask Daddy something. His response? “No. That’s my time.”

So today, he called me up. We had already spoken in the morning to clarify the Beanlet pickup/dropoff schedule/situation. So I was a little surprised. But then, he started to tell me this whole story about how Beanlet was invited to someone’s house to see their chickens and a new dog. This had been long discussed and finally was arranged – for tomorrow — a Mom weekend. He *just* got the email.

Okay, whatever…

I have absolutely ZERO problem with this. Just like I had absolutely no problem last month when Beanlet’s cousin was having a birthday party on a Mom weekend. Her dad picked her up and took her to that too… I didn’t even make a thing out of it.

But today, I couldn’t quite do that. My response? “Sure that’s no problem. Just let me know what time you’ll pick her up. However, I just want you to notice the difference between my reaction to your request and your reaction to similar requests.”

We talked for like 10 minutes, maybe 20. I didn’t cry or get upset or yell. And I made sure that he did not have or get the impression that I was being in any way vindictive or “trying to teach him a lesson”. I explained over and over that I was happy to accomodate them. I knew Beanlet would totally dig it. I want her to go. I just wanted him to take notice of the fact that his reaction would have been totally totally different.

I was shaking when I got off the phone. It may not sound like much, but for me to express my opinion like that — to him! And without making it about anything else and without sacrificing anything! But I didn’t cry. I didn’t lose it. I was — well, maybe calm isn’t the right word, but something close to it.

And I think he heard me. I think he realized that I had a point and that Beanlet deserved better. *I hope I hope I hope* But at least I feel strong and like I made a breakthrough. Because, ultimately, I can’t control his understanding, reactions, behavior, anything. Those are on him. But I can be honest, authentic and communicate as fairly as possible. And if I’ve done that, I can feel good. And I do.

More later…

{Still to come: why Jenny, the Bloggess is my hero for the holidays; my BloggerBody2011 calendar arrived – Jack’s already got his faves; Lessons in Parenting (or how being honest & authentic with my kid rewarded us all 10 fold); and *maybe, just maybe* why Jon Stewart is no longer *just* my dream man – but what’s BIGGER than “dream man”???}


About Katya

Teetering on the Edge of Crazy but the view's pretty rad out here View all posts by Katya

One response to “HUGE DAY for me!!! (Pt. 1: I stood up for myself!)

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