May 25, 2009

Great Expectations

Contents under pressure: Venting required!
I met my husband online (how techy of me, I know). Before we got together, I felt that in the spirit of full disclosure, that I would list my failings, so that the future Mister would not be surprised, and think that he married someone other than the person he had been talking to for over a year. Likewise, I described in great detail the intricacies and difficulties inherent in dealing with a moderately autistic, bipolar adolescent. Scary to let it all hang out? Yes. But I felt it was necessary. I did not want the Mister to feel that he had been sold a bill of goods, yet received something of lesser quality (think of it as the premarital Lemon Law).

Anyway, we've been married almost eight months now, and most of it has been good, very good. I love him with every fiber of my being. But... (pause for effect) sometimes, the boy or I (or both) do something stupid...or careless...or unkind. We can't help it. We're like that. We're human, after all...and a bit goofy.

That's when things get hairy. I then feel that I. Am. Found. to. be. Lacking. If the boy has committed the wrong, no matter how large or small, I have the same feeling about my son and myself, as a team: We. Do. Not. Measure. Up. Now, none of this is said, exactly. We are most likely, when we are not meeting expectations, to first get "the Dad look" - you know the look I mean. The DAD look - all judgmental, face frozen in this look of abject disappointment. The dad LOOK. (The same face that I'm sure they instruct new teachers to master during in-service training days). Then, when the Mister explains our offense, it is said in that stern Dad tone, the tone that says, "I mean business."

The boy and I are not stupid, thank God. We understand the look, and the tone, and we immediately try to make amends, to strive to NEVER AGAIN, SO HELP US GOD do/say whatever we did to elicit that response. Of course, that may not be clear when I am seen rolling my eyes, or when the boy says, "Yeah, right", and stomps off into his room, door not exactly slamming, because he broke it (that's another story).

The time period following the look and the mini-lecture with that dismissive tone is when it gets dicey. No further conversation takes place; the Mister goes to his Man Cave, silent and secure in the fact that he is the boss around here, and we certainly know who is in charge now.
Now when he goes off all happy with himself and then returns to his activities, that should be the end of it. And for him, it is. All. Is. Right. With. The. World. But I am left with this lingering sense of insecurity, the "I am just not good enough and I never will be" sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. The silence speaks volumes, and none of it positive. I hear loud and clear that I. Am. Not Above. Reproach.

It was a lot easier being single...then I only disappointed myself.

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