Friday, December 15, 2006

Emotions: Vacillation

Since our separation several weeks ago, my emotions and conditions have vacillated back and forth between two extreme states. It is perhaps somewhere in between that I ultimately need to land, but that goal seems to elude me at current.

When our marriage began to deteriorate, I became severely depressed. I was the product of two prior failed marriages. But both of my previous wives had serious family defects and also had mental health issues of one degree or another. But my current wife appeared to be from a solid family that was strong and together and was reasonably free from any mental defects that I could determine.

I had viewed my wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Ray or Taray Lynn Ray or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly, as sweet and fragile and so as I saw her becoming unhappy and struggling with our marriage, I began blaming myself and beating myself up. I believed largely that this was entirely my fault in some way though I could never really pin down what specifically I had done wrong. This really depressed me, so much so in fact that near the end of our marriage I could barely get out of bed or motivate myself to do things. How unattractive that must have been to my wife in the midst of everything else wrong.

So once our separation occurred, I spent the first days and weeks absolutely beating myself up. I blamed myself from start to finish. I really spent a lot of time hoping to get answers from my wife as to where I had failed. I wanted to focus on fixing me but could never get an explanation as to why she decided it was time to end things.

There's no denying that we were having problems, but we weren't yelling and screaming at each other and barely fought. We had started seeking counseling and the counselor was optimistic that all of our problems were solvable. My wife seemed willing to try to work things out. And I tried to put myself into the counseling totally because I didn't want to lose this one.

I have been seeing our counselor on a weekly basis since our separation and the first few sessions I spent beating myself up and blaming myself for everything that went wrong. The counselor was telling me that I shouldn't be blaming myself, at least not entirely. She noted that it was not common to see men who were willing to come and really devote a lot of work into counseling.

But then my feelings began to shift. I began blaming my wife more and more for our breakup. I was left asking questions like whether or not she ever loved me and whether she married me merely to support her and her children. I blamed her emotional involvement with her ex husband near the end of our marriage as well.

And her reactions were completely irrational. The best reasons I could get as to why our marriage ended is because we disagree on money handling and she's more permissive with children than I am. So why then was a total communications black out necessary? Why could we not exchange belongings without a police escort? Just nothing seemed to make sense. And all I could remember was 10 or so days earlier when she displayed concern for me so strong that I had never felt more loved and how that could completely change into our current state in a week and a half's time.

The next few visits with the counselor were spent with her telling me it was okay to be angry and normal to vacillate back and forth like this. My counselor seemed to share some of my shock at my wife's actions and she told me to stop trying to rationalize and reason them because they were irrational. The counselor had been working with my wife since well before we met and became involved. I trusted her knowledge of my wife and opinions in those matters. When she told me that I was learning that my wife wasn't really the person I believed she was, she seemed to be saying that my wife wasn't the person the counselor believed she was either.

But then books I was reading and a course I was participating in suggested that regardless of whether it was her fault or not, that I should bear all of the blame and fault, at least in interactions with my wife. And I began to really feel that way again, like I couldn't do anything right and I ruined such a precious person to get to the point where someone so sweet could become so bitter and angry.

This brought about a new level of desperation. If only I could talk with her and tell her how I feel and all the things I realized I was doing wrong in our marriage that hurt her. I wouldn't apologize. Instead I would show her that I understood the emotions that she was going through. Maybe we could make progress that way. But my efforts were scorned.

And when I felt she couldn't be more ugly to me, I completely lost my cool and fired off an angry e-mail. I then also demanded the last of my property back which she is making use of. In the original explosion that occurred as she was demanding that I leave, she had threatened me in some ways that I could not understand, not only because I didn't believe they were reasonable, but they were a vicious and hateful side of her I didn't know existed and I had been contemplating for some time taking some actions that were parallel to her threats. So I notified her by e-mail that I could no longer sit back and that I would launch equally vicious claims against her.

And that was the last straw. That set in her a rage that resulted in her request for a protective order by the courts. These orders are severe and normally used in cases of family and domestic violence.

But so I remain vacillating back and forth between blaming her and being very angry and blaming myself and being very depressed. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. I know without hesitation that I failed her in many ways. But all the reasons I get angry surely aren't my being completely unreasonable either. She failed me in many different ways as well. I just can't seem to settle on any balance of the two. I swing from blaming her almost entirely to blaming myself entirely, back and forth, usually a few days in each place before swinging back again to the other.

And so the roller coaster began and continues and will likely show itself in this blog over the upcoming weeks and months. Today I'm really depressed. The protective order signifies a loss of hope. And it forces in me an acceptance that this really is over with. And that I don't like. Perhaps its time for a bit of irrationality on my part. Perhaps I should deny the truth and just convince myself that somewhere and somehow hope remains. My intellect knows better but my heart says to hope.