EX-MIL strikes again. Of course.

Sometimes, the little things in life really hurt.  Things you thought you were over, but they just resurface every so often.  Maybe to see if they can pick the scab off, make that old wound sting just a little.

I’m tired – Tired of holding my damn head up and being the bigger person.  Tired of acting like people’s shitty behavior doesn’t affect me.  Tired of the idiotic things people say to make themselves look better.  Grow the hell up.  You’re 70 something.  Not 16.  We aren’t in the Mean Girls Club.  We don’t need to say rude things, just close enough for other’s to hear.  Then act like we’re so prim, proper and polite.  No thank you.

It’ll never change though.  I basically have 3 options – 1. Hold my head up high and continue.  2.  Move away.  3. Wait for some people to die.  I’m going to just stick with Option 1 for today while I wait for Option 3 to occur.  These people will NOT chase me out of my home and the place I love.  Not today, not two years ago, not tomorrow.  They’ve taken enough from me.

Last night I was working.  As usual. Waiting tables for the evening after my 8 hour office shift.  Same thing.  Different day.  In comes my ex mother-in-law.  Yet again.  3rd time in the last week or two.  I miss the days she didn’t come in when I was working.  I thought that offended me – Nah, this is way freaking worse.  She’s moved on to purposely sitting in my section, generally the farthest table from the next section because then I cannot give it away.  We don’t have a host, it’s seat yourself and it’s very clear which side is whose if you just observe for a brief moment.

Whatever.  Come in.  She’s been on “okay” behavior lately.  I smile, greet her, tell her I’ll clean the table off.  (Because you know, she picked a dirty table at that.  Which proves my theory it’s on purpose.)  At the table next to it a friend of mine is sitting who also happens to cook with me right now, with his friend.  They’re both about the ex’s age and I’m aware they all went to school together.  We just choose not to talk about it/him/then.  Because, I don’t need to bash him – he bashes himself well enough from his actions and behaviors.

She stops at this table and tells both men “hi”.  The one that isn’t my friend – Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve saw you.  I heard you got divorced.  He nicely says that yeah, somethings don’t work out, it just took him 15 years of trying to figure it out.  She could have left it at that, right.  Just shut up.  No, while I’m literally cleaning her stupid table for her – “Well, you know, T got divorced after that time too.  It took him long enough.  He was way too slow.  Slower than all his other relationships…..”.  I walked away.  FUCK. YOU.  I have no idea what else she said.  I wait until she’d shut up and sat down to help her.  Then fakely smiled and pretended all was great and I cared about her demands.  Sometimes, I think she just comes in so she can boss me around and feel good about herself.

I eventually texted my friend as I had basically moved his table down to the basic service list and wasn’t visiting much as he was the only one near her – Sorry dude, at least you can cook and not talk to your mom.  I have to wait on my exMIL and pretend to be nice while she talks shit about me.

My next round they stopped me – He tells me he totally gets it and just explained to his friend what was going on.  His friend than says he had never realized THAT was my ex and he’d dated his sister in high school and the sister and whole family were a shit show back then too.  Of course they were, not shocking.  As they’re leaving both tell me they have no idea how I’ve held my cool through the evening as she continued saying whatever that they could hear.  Well, it’s my job.  And I won’t let her win.  Giving her to someone else, it shows I’m uncomfortable – she thrives on that.

Nope, she isn’t winning.  I can keep my customer service face 100%.  I can smile.  I can be friendly and get you all that you demand.  Just like any other customer.  Do I cry alone after?  Maybe.  But, all she sees is the fake, statue with a smile and friendly attitude.  The fake statue that her son and my marriage taught me.  The girl who learned how to get screamed at, yelled at, called fat no matter how skinny I was, be threatened, spit on, hit – And then immediately get out of the car and walk into the store or the kids sports event with a smile and act like all was great in our life.  To then stand next to him while people praised how great of a guy he was and how well HE was doing raising these kids.  To answer the door to the police and tell them I have no idea why someone would call, everything was fine, see… Smile, shake hands, pretend.  The girl who stood tall while he screamed, spit on me, hit me, and just took it.  Never flinching.  Not crying.  Not even washing the spit off until he was done.  Staring straight ahead – Because emotions – They made it worse.  And after, after he was done, after we were home, after the police would leave – I’d turn on the shower and I’d sob and beg God to just let my life end.  I guess he taught me some great skills – He is the reason I don’t break under pressure, the reason I stand tall to assholes.

Until one day I couldn’t stand tall anymore.  Until I stood up for myself, for the kids, and said enough is enough.  Yep, it took me exactly 15 freaking years from start to finish.  HE was slow?  HE WAS?  Lady, I filed as you know – I WAS SLOW.  I took more than any person deserves.  He wasn’t the one that learned or FINALLY did it.  He’d of never done it.  His life was literally freaking perfect.  His words I’ll never forget – “I never thought YOU would leave ME.”.  Seriously, he’d beat me down so much he couldn’t believe I was strong enough to leave.  I wasn’t.  I wasn’t strong enough to leave for me.  I was strong enough to leave for my kids.  I was strong enough to turn around and literally walk away, when he said “I am the most important person.  YOU need to remember that.  Those kids are almost adults.  I AM FIRST NOW.  NOT THEM.”  I remember that clear as day.  Just standing quietly in the garage.  While the whole neighborhood could hear.  Days after my son was life flighted and could have died.  And he wanted to be first.  I remember laughing in my head and thinking – WTF has my life came to.  And then, when he took a break from screaming – I just looked at him, silently, with the dead stare and calmly said – “I want a divorce”.  And he laughed, told me to go for it, I’d be nothing without him.  And I turned around, I walked to my car, I called the attorney, did my consultation right then and there and paid my retainer on a credit card.  All from my car, in my driveway, with tears streaming down my face.

I did it though.  I got free.

They’ll never be free.  They’ll always be jerks.  Obviously, if two years later they’re still being assholes and pulling this kind of petty shit.  They will always live in their mental illnesses, in their fake perfect family.  Living behind their family money, their nice stuff, their titles and name.  Nobody knows how ugly their family is behind closed doors.  They don’t realize the addictions, alcoholism, craziness that’s hidden.  They’re living a lie and no matter how awful they are – They have got to know this.  It’s got to suck.  So they pick on the rest of us.  They project the fact they suck.  (Typing this, I’ve realized something.  It is a projection.  They always said “I’d of been nothing without my ex.  He built me up and gave me this life.”  This isn’t farther from the truth.  I got a college degree.  I worked my ass off.  I budgeted.  I literally put the time and work in.  He didn’t give me shit really.  However, his mom really wouldn’t be anything without his stepdad.  She was a divorced, single mom that didn’t have anything.  She then scooped up the main attorney in town, became his secretary, and built her whole life on his success.  So really, if it wasn’t for him, SHE wouldn’t have had anything she has today.  She never wanted a real job or a degree or anything.  Just the money, name, “right address”.)

Geez, that turned into quite the novel.

Tonight will be better.

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