Broken

Her mother brainwashed her. That fact is the key to everything. That is the origin of everything, and it only amplifies what I’ve been saying for years now: How kids grow up is of paramount importance.

Several weeks ago, my ex-wife and I had an argument when I attempted to talk to her about some serious topics on my mind. During the argument, she said something in passing, probably without even realizing. She said something that she said even back when we were together (also in passing):

She referred to her stepdad, as her father.

She never says, “My stepdad,” or, “My stepfather.” No, she consistently says, “My father,” when talking about her stepdad Jeff. For several weeks now, I’ve been dwelling on this, far more than I’d have liked to, but I can’t shake the obvious fact of where this stems from:

She only calls her stepdad “My father” because that’s how she actually sees him, and the only reason she sees him that way is because her mother brainwashed her to think of him in that way.

As if I need more reasons to hate single mothers: They always actively try to diminish how their kids see their father. They always call the father by his first name instead of saying “your father,” or, “your dad.” Or sometimes single mothers will even keep referring to the father simply as “him,” or, “that man.”

This seriously fucks up a child’s development. Every. Time.

During the argument in which my ex-wife called Jeff her father, this most recent time, I tried to get her to realize how deranged it is that she criticized Jeff so heavily during our relationship, and (accurately) pointed out all of his major personality defects, but then she was suddenly okay with him once she left me, AND became cool enough with him to even bring our daughter around him, frequently.

At this point, I deeply regret consciously choosing to avoid laying out everything I know about Jeff when we were in divorce court.

It could not be more obvious that my ex-wife suffers trauma from her childhood. And at this point, I have finally, firmly, opined that her stepdad was the guilty one. I still don’t know, exactly, the full extent of what he did that scarred her so much, but I do know some details, such as the fact he threw objects at her, yelled at her, blamed her for things that weren’t a big deal/weren’t her fault, etc. Did he do anything more serious? I don’t know, but it’s now my solid opinion that the answer is yes.

Why did I begin this post saying my ex-wife was brainwashed by her mother? Because despite the undeniable fact Jeff was abusive, my ex-wife’s mother assisted in this abuse by manipulating her into seeing Jeff as her true father. Verbally and physically, her mother did everything in her power to diminish my ex-wife’s real father’s role in her life, and in her mind. Her mother did everything in her power to separate her from her real father (who I think is a wonderful guy), which was successful, because my ex-wife saw her real father less and less often as she grew up.

And of course, what adds to her mother’s abuse is the obvious fact that her mother hooked up with Jeff in the first place, and never left him, despite all the shit he did. Shit that her mother was perfectly aware of the whole time.

Less than a month after my ex-wife left me, I was talking to her mother over the phone, and to my surprise, her mother actually admitted, to me (of all people), that she often wonders if it was a mistake to have stayed with Jeff during my ex-wife’s formative years despite how toxic he was to her.

I think this is the final piece of the puzzle. I thought I had all this figured out a long time ago, but somehow, I overlooked this tiny detail. Without a doubt, my ex-wife’s mother brainwashed her, and the fact she refers to Jeff as “My father” proves it. If her real father was equally as horrible, I would see this whole situation differently, but from everything I’ve heard, and from everything I observed, her real father is a great guy, and he deserves to be called “My father” a LOT more, leagues more, than Jeff deserves it.

No wonder my ex-wife is broken. No wonder she’s broken beyond repair. Now, it makes even more sense why she has so many emotional problems. Now, it makes sense why she has a distorted perception of reality in general, and why she can’t remember things correctly in general. It makes even more sense why my ex-wife keeps scapegoating me for her emotional damage, even though it’s an obvious fact she was damaged long before she ever met me.

Read this text exchange. I’ve shared this before on the blog, but read it here again. This conversation started after I first told my ex-wife that I had feelings for her, shortly before we started dating. She was talking about her boyfriend-at-the-time named Dylan…

Her:

I really want to stay friends with you. I know we haven’t known each other for very long but I do consider you a good friend. I respect the hell out of you, and I really appreciate your honesty. There are only 3 people that I really respect. I’m not mad or upset that you told me. I was just shocked. It also brought back an uneasiness I’ve been pushing down for awhile. I talked to my cousin and she was bluntly honest with me and confirmed that she also saw what I was afraid to admit to my self. I’m sorry for rambling for so long. I’m terrible at talking about stuff and getting a coherent thought in my head when I talk about something I have trouble talking about.

Me:

What did your cousin see that you were afraid to admit to yourself? What do you mean by ‘uneasiness’? I’m sorry. I just don’t quite understand everything there.

Her:

She said that even though I love him and that it’s making me blind to my own happiness. She said that she can see me growing as a person and trying to better myself. But she worrys that he has no problem working the job he hates and has wanted to get a better job but isn’t willing to put in the commitment to getting to a better place. That I’ve fought so hard and long for one thing that brought me happiness at that time, that I’m afraid to let it go because it’s the only thing I know. She said that some day that he won’t be enough. And I’ve been thinking about it all day yesterday and today. I only slept about 2 hours last night because I realized that she was right. And I’ve slowly growing less happy.

Me:

:/ I’m sorry.

Her:

Yeah I’ve also fucked my self over because I can’t afford an apartment my my self there’s no one I can move in with. Well, besides my parents but I will be homeless before I ever move back in with them. I refuse to be treated like a slave again.

Me:

I’m still looking for a place but I know that’d be inappropriate since I’m a dude. So what did you mean by uneasiness? Do I make you nervous?

Her:

I really dont care about you being a dude and living with you. Your trustworthy in my book. As long as your honest and dont pull bullshit, I dontt care what gender you are. Because there is nothing I hate more than being lied to straight to my face. I’m not an idiot and I see right through it. It doesn’t matter if your family or friend. No, no I guess uneasiness isnt quite the right word. Its more like a fight or fliet defense. I was so used to getting my self into trouble by talking and saying the wrong thing that i slamed down a wall to any response or thought because I was always wrong and  it was a usless battle to argue. That only made me more worked up. So no its not you its just a really annoying defense I us to try and save my self some pain. That I no longer have any control over it. When my brain doesn’t know what to do it shuts down my thinking and I just stand there blinking like an idiot. I can’t make a complete thought to save my life. It’s pissed my step dad off quite a few times. Had a few things thrown in my direction because of it.

Me:

And I brought that back? Sorry I’m still a tiny bit confused. I think you’re saying this shutting down thing is what you did when I told you how I feel. Yes? Haha sorry if I’m miles off

Well I mean it is just living together. Don’t really see what lying and honesty has to do with it. It’s not like borrowing money or something. Well, dude or not, it’s still inappropriate because of how I feel about you and you’re not single. I wouldn’t treat you any different than I have for all this time, but it’s still inappropriate even if I was a chick

Her:

No your right. Well no you’re didnt bring it back, the last time it happened was with my mother when she told me if I moved out I was going to get pregnant and be left alone with out enough money to support my self.

 Well it does to me I would never room with Kay for instance. I wouldn’t consider her as a roommate. I trust her as much as how far i can throw her. She’s nice and we’re friends and all but… I won’t live with someone I don’t trust. Honestly I don’t feel like I should keep dating Dylan. And knowing that I can’t live with him much longer. I gave up going to college  for him just so I could move out and I really wish I hadn’t. I know going to college doesn’t mean I’ll get a job as what I want, but I loved going to class. And I’m definitely going to need sometime to a just. I would want to be friends because I have fucked my self up so so many times because I was lonely. I realize now that Dylan and I were so broken as people that we needed each other to help get back on our own feet. And that brokenness and building our selves up was the only thing keeping our relationship working.  I not going to jump into another relationship. I need to teach my self that not to rely someone else for my happiness. I thought that I had but I now realize that.

See how she makes no hesitation to be honest about her parents (meaning her mother and stepdad)? She refused to return to an abusive situation.

But then right when she decided to leave me, she’s suddenly cool with her parents, forgave them for everything, and suddenly I became the abusive one.

Take a quick look at this post my ex-wife made on her social media TWO YEARS before she first met me…

The part I circled in red is “August 11, 2014”

To address the elephant in the room, I most certainly have considered that maybe my ex-wife was delusional about her parents as well. I gave this a lot of thought both when we were together, and after we separated. But I’ve known these people personally, and I’ve had long conversations with other people, such as my ex-wife’s grandmother, and all the arrows point to the same thing: She was very accurate about her stepdad and her mother when she used to talk about how they were when she was growing up.

Why This Means She Is Permanently Broken

This means she’s permanently broken because her mother is both blood and family. Jeff is family. Jeff, her mother, and the rest of my ex-wife’s stepfamily raised her more than her other blood relatives raised her.

Family is damn-near impossible to quit. Family is damn-near impossible to be completely honest about. Family is damn-near impossible to separate one’s self from, even if one must do it for their own sake. Family is always a part of us no matter how terrible they are.

These people, as much as they either damaged her, or turned a blind eye to the damage done to her, are the only support my ex-wife has. She used to have me, but she doesn’t anymore. Her simps and boy toys and sugar daddies very likely could never be her rock; not like that. The odds of her finding another man, a man she is fully committed to, who can free her of these people, is astronomical.

My ex-wife has accused me of trying to isolate her during our marriage, so that “I was the only one she had.” But this is a gross distortion of the truth. Firstly, my opinion of these people, and what I openly say about them, has been consistent from when we first started dating, up to this very day; in fact, my opinion of them has now gotten worse. Secondly, she has family that is actually good (despite them turning a blind eye to her trauma), but she chooses not to be as close to the good relatives. Thirdly, I didn’t even want Jeff, or her mother, or the other step-relatives to be out of her life, I simply wanted them to improve; to GREATLY improve. I never liked them, for sure, and I never hesitated to criticize them (in private) but I wanted them to change. Because I understand how impossible it is to separate one’s self from family, physically and emotionally, no matter how terrible they are as people. Even I struggle with it to this day.

Even if I had wanted her to kick them all out of her life, it sure as hell would not have been for the sake of “isolating” her. But she needs to believe it was for that reason, because she isn’t strong enough to be honest with herself.

My ex-wife is deranged and deluded. It’s not her fault. She didn’t ask for this damage. It’s not her fault that she has problems that will never go away. Don’t get me wrong, I still fully hold her responsible for her own choices and for her character, but I still understand that she was dealt a bad hand early in life.

Women crack like glass. Once they’re damaged, there’s no fully repairing them. Just like glass, you can put the pieces back together, but the cracks will always be there, no matter what. Men, at least, can bury pain in anger, or just bury it under our innate sense of duty (meaning we’re built to deprioritize our happiness). Women aren’t built like men. Once they’re damaged, they’re always damaged, and their damage never stops weighing them down.

So, now, as if my sense of wanting my daughter to have the best possible childhood wasn’t already tremendous, that sense has grown even more. It’s even more urgent in my mind.

My ex-wife’s problem is that she knows what her stepdad and her mother have done. She knows what the rest of her relatives have done, both the good ones and the bad, by turning a blind eye. It’s tragic that I’m the only person my ex-wife has ever been close to who has recognized, and has been honest, about what these people have directly and indirectly done to her. But she can’t hold it against them, because family, for all human beings, is impossible to quit. I don’t think people can change. I didn’t want her to quit her family when we were together, but I sure as hell wish for it now. At the very least, it would keep our daughter from being emotionally damaged by them. My ex-wife will never completely heal, or be able to bury the damage they’ve done, but separating herself from them would certainly heal her a little.

Broken.

Always broken.

She and I would, at the very least, get along as divorced parents if she were honest with herself like she used to be.

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