I am no innocent little girl. Hell, I’m not even a girl anymore, as much as I’d like to think I am. I have always been a fighter. I stand up for myself and I like to stand up for the little guy. Sometimes I go overboard and sometimes I go just far enough. However, as with the case with my husband, I went overboard at times. If he wanted to have a fight with me, dammit, we were going to have a fight and I would take the gloves off.
Whenever my husband would come home in a drunken stupor and start a fight with me, I never sat quietly and took it. I always fought back. Sometimes I would just stand up for myself and other times I would throw verbal blows that I knew would hurt him. When he got into that mode of calling me a bitch and telling me what a bad mother I was…I hit back hard. I used to call him a fucking asshole, fucking idiot or some other word that went well with fucking. For the most part, we took our fights to the patio so our son was not woken by the angry verb slinging. I think we only woke him up that once, thankfully.
In the beginning, when we would have these fights, I would go to bed in tears. I used to cry myself to sleep more times than I like to admit. I am not a crier. Sometimes, I just could not handle the conflict and the hate. I hated that we hated each other so much that we called each other those names. I did not feel like he could tell me exactly what was going on in his head, so instead he just got drunk and picked these fights. I could never really get that information from him. Sometimes bits and pieces would come out of him when he was apologizing the morning after. Yet, nothing of substance was ever said. If he needed something from me, I never heard him say what.
I wonder if he really thought I was controlling. I feel like I controlled some things, but didn’t have a problem letting him do what he wanted to do. I never kept him from his family, rather his family did not really care about us. They lived twenty minutes away and would pass by us on their way to see another relative, but never saw fit to stop and see us or our son. I know this hurt my husband, but the blame always came on me. I am not sure how it was my fault. I always invited them. In the few years we lived close, they came to visit us 5 times. We went to visit them one or two times a week. They had some valid excuses, like they were busy, or they didn’t like to drive on the Bay Bridge. You know, stuff like that. Totally valid. Right?
I was always the one to pay the bills. I always decided what was for dinner and cooked it. I always decided what our son would wear for the day. I would decide what we did on my husbands day off, unless he didn’t feel like doing anything because he was tired. I decided that we were going to move. Now, except for the last one, those decisions were made because someone had to do it and responsibility was not taken by anyone else. The decision to move…that was joint. I asked for my husbands input and I thought we could sit down and make a pro/con list to help us decide. I gave him all of the information I had about Georgia and the area in which we would be living. Gave him the statistics as to how many Latinos lived in the area and the jobs available and the cost of renting a house. He listened, but he was undecided. He needed to think about it.
We talked about it for a couple of months. He still did not want to sit down and work up a pro/con list so we know we are making an educated decision with both of our inputs included. But one night, he came home from work, sober, and said, “Let’s move. Let’s do it.” I was happy, but an uneasy feeling washed over me.
“I still think we should sit down and do that list. Let’s just put everything on paper.”
The reason I wanted to do this…so I wouldn’t get blamed if something went terribly wrong and the decision was a bad one. It needed to be mutual. I wanted him to want it, but if he didn’t then we would stay. And honestly, I did want to go. I wanted to be closer to my family. Have a house with a big yard for the kid to play in and less crime surrounding us. I grew up on a farm, not in the city. I wanted our son to have a similar experience. Exploring the land and being creative in his play like the mud pies I made growing up. Man, those things were delicious. If we stayed in California, we would not be able to afford a house, ever. Not even to rent. We would always be scraping by. A lot of my desire was based on what was good for the kid. It was a bit selfish also, in that I wanted to be closer to my family and for him to grow up with his cousins. The cousins (aunts/uncles included) he was surrounded with in the Bay Area never really paid attention to him or came to visit us. They did when we went to visit. They love our kid, but not enough to travel over the bridge whether by BART or by car. I used to think it was because they didn’t like me, but I think they were self-centered. I really don’t have the answer to the “why’s” of that situation… I just thought he would be cared about in Georgia, amongst my caring and loving family. And I was right. He loves his cousins and they love him. They always want to be around him and play with him and take care of him. My brother and his wife want to steal him since he’s such a cool kid. (He really is a cool kid. Not sure how that happened, but he is a ball of awesomeness!)
I think I do have a controlling personality at times. I don’t think I was drastic about it though. My husband has been telling me that I always have to win arguments. What he fails to remember, is that I do admit when I am wrong and I do apologize for it too. I’m not going to say it happened often. There were times that I’d apologize and he didn’t believe me. I was sincerely admitting I was wrong. I think it came out that way because I sucked at it. It didn’t come easy for me. We even had an argument about my sincerity.
So, I will take a moment to say to my husband….
I am so sorry. I am sorry for calling you those names. I am sorry for not trusting you in times I should have trusted you. I am sorry for taking control over those things that you clearly had under control. (Remember the scooping of the fireplace. I was such an idiot. I am sorry for that.) I am sorry I give you a frequent hard time about the girl you are seeing right now…I cannot help myself. I am angry and hurt about it. I will try to do better by you. I will try to apologize more often when I know I am wrong. I will work harder and better at our marriage if you want to give it another try. And I hope the same from you.