Sunday, May 11, 2014

It will always hurt. No matter what.

I know a lot of things about Matt. He's intelligent, he's shy, he's a hard worker, he's a good dad overall, and he's also really terrible when it comes to feelings. Specifically, when it comes to feelings towards anyone else, or anyone else's feelings, he just doesn't have that capacity. I don't know why, it used to be there, but it's gone now and I know that right now, I suffer the most. I'm mindful enough to know that someday, the kids will pick up on this and I don't know what I'll do when that happens.

I feel like I am a pretty good about being selfless. Sure, there are times when I'm selfish but people can be that way sometimes. Not all of the time, there are definitely times where you have to ignore what you want and feel and do for another person. You just do it. It's not something someone teaches you, something inside of you as a person triggers this and we have the ability to ignore it, which hardens us over time, or to go with it and maybe grow into a better person.

It is currently 10:20 at night and I'm alone, downstairs, feeling all kinds of sorry for myself. My babies are tucked into bed and adorable as ever. My husband is sleeping soundly upstairs as if nothing in the world is wrong.

But it is.

You see, today was Mother's Day. I don't expect grand gestures. I'm leery of them by nature and I don't know why. But there are only three times a year where it's nice to be recognized: my birthday, our anniversary, and Mother's Day. I don't know why every year I give my hopes up thinking that this year? This year Matt will finally take a few minutes to figure out how to do something nice for me. At the bare minimum, he could easily call my mom, ask my friends, or even ask our own kids what can he do to make the day a little bit special.

But no.

He doesn't do any of those things. Instead, he acts like an asshole all day to me, snaps at the kids, and never once says happy Mother's Day. No card, no flowers, no nothing. Doesn't offer to take us out to dinner, doesn't offer to make dinner, doesn't do anything nice to say, "hey- you work so hard keeping this family together, let me do this while you sit and relax."


Instead, it takes Jackson asking him why he didn't do anything nice for me for Mother's Day. Why did you get mommy a card? Or a present? And that? That breaks my heart. It physically pains me to think that Matt is teaching Jackson that this is how you treat someone you love. I have to work double time to re-write the lessons his father gives him.

So Matt, feeling shamed by his six year old, runs to Target to get me some shit card and a book off the clearance rack as if that's some kind of penance. It's not. In fact, I left it all on the counter with a note that said, "too little, too late". That was around 7 tonight. He's avoided me since but I see that it's all gone. I hope he feels shame. I hope he feels like once again, he's let me down. I hope he understands that yet again, I sit down here crying because it's yet another year where no acknowledgement at all happens. Even if he had said he didn't get me a gift because we don't have money, but that he really appreciates what I do and how  hard I work at being a mom and a wife- that would have been enough. I would have understood and I would have at least felt like I was loved.

But tonight I feel none of that. I just feel really sad.

In my head I know that Matt just isn't wired like some guys. In my head I know that these things don't come to him and he has no idea how awful he is sometimes. In my heart though, I still hold hope and it hurts every single time. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result? So maybe I'm insane. But every year, I hold out hope that he'll remember how badly I felt the year before and he'd think maybe he should do something differently.

But no.

Every year it's the same. Every year it hurts.


Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Aw hun I'm so sorry you're having a rough night. I've got no answers for you just virtual hugs and cookies. I've known people that are the same way. Both men and woman and never figured it out myself. I hope tomorrow brings you some smiles and a fresh start.

middle child said...

Sara, i am so sorry. You deserve better. You do so much for your family. Men don't always get this. And other men are as you described Matt. I don't get it. Bless Jackson. ♥

Kattrina said...

I hate that feeling. Ivan is similar to Matt and has a VERY hard time "celebrating" me. I'm not sure why - but for some reason if it's my bday or Mother's Day it puts him in a bad mood. For my birthday he wouldn't even wrap my present (that I had picked out and bought with him) and he golfed all day. A few days after I had a nice "chat" with him about how he did a horrible job and that he could really do better and he could try again on Mother's Day. Although he'd never going to be the guy that does a huge celebration, he did do a lot better. He wrapped his gift and he came out to visit my nun-friend with me (although he kept saying he wasn't going to go) and he wished me Happy Mother's Day numerous times. He didn't volunteer to watch Evan so I could go for a run, but small steps. I'm not sure why he's like that, but I figure he never had a good example. It could also be that he's completely selfish and heartless, but I like to blame his childhood instead - makes me feel better. Everything works out a bit better if I give him explicit instructions (wrap my present, etc.), even if that ruins the fun. Last year he was in a horrible mood that day and got me no present, so there was only room for improvement. Hopefully your kids made you feel special, because you are an awesome mom and deserve such a special day!!!

SpiritPhoenix said...

Aww, I'm sorry sweetie! I understand somewhat. I was never a Valentine's day kinda girl. But after being disappointed year after year, I waited until I was calm, and told him that I just wanted some sort of whatever. Now he always gets me the same thing a dozen dark chocolate truffles. Granted it's not a surprise anymore, but I feel like he heard me.

Just find a time to sit with him when you're not pissed/sad/etc, and tell him how you feel. How important it is for you to feel appreciated and how little effort it would really take. You can also ask him if there's a time he'd like you to acknowledge him for something and you aren't currently doing so. Who knows maybe it's a retaliatory thing for something you're completely unaware of. Or it could just be him.

Sometimes we all need a reality slap across the face. And this might be a good time for him.

Hugs to you, I know you're an amazing mom! And a really cool lady in general.

Julie H said...

Scott used to tell me that I wasn't "his" mother. That was his justification for not getting me anything. He usually gets me a card now (years later) and did this year. It would have been nice if he would have got me a little gift to go with it or had the kids get me something though. He did clean quite a bit of the house and took me out to dinner this year though, so that was nice.

My kids didn't BUY me anything but my youngest made me waffles all on his own :)

Julie H said...

PS the year I lost a ton of weight and became confidient is also the year things started looking up for me. It's like me being overweight was no longer a barrier for me moving on in his head or something so he stepped it up.

Sara Lehman said...

I am so sorry dear. I am in a similar situation. My husband wouldn't buy me a card or a gift if he had to. Happy Mothers Day? Forget it. It does hurt. It makes me angry. I raise our kids, on my own, while my husband is painting or reading or getting some "deserved" time alone. (But I haven't had a moment away from our 2 kids since December 19, 2013... 2 hours of peace. I hold onto that memory like its no ones business...)

Yesterday he said something shitty to me and I said "Br prepared dear. On Fathers Day I am going to accidentally smash your finger with a hammer..."

Maybe we should get our hubbys together and then smack their heads together like coconuts and let them knock some sense into each other.

Joelle Burnette said...

Well, that just sucks wrinkly old balls, doesn't it? What the hell would men do without us to help them figure out how to be humans? Money is short in our family, too, but Mark makes sure he and the kids take care of the one gift I really want...for them to clean the house. I hate cleaning, and they all know it. Well, that, and cooking. My hubby has been one whom I must "remind" what to do year to year. It's taken more than 20 years of marriage, but he's finally starting to get it (but why can't he remember I like dark chocolate with almonds or raspberry filling???).

Still, I do think it's a gender thing. Each year, my daughter is all prepared to make breakfast in bed for mommy (with daddy's help because she is 13 and still needs a driver to the grocery store for ingredients). She plans days in advance to determine what and when they will carry out their mom day tasks. Whereas, my teenage son sort of puts effort into helping to clean the house (after waking up at the crack of noon), and he writes a last-minute note on a piece of construction paper. If he treats his future wife and the someday mother of my grandchildren that way, I'm going to kick his ass with some major guilt). I love getting homemade gifts from my kids, but that's a bit weak. At least use a f#%king sparkly pen or draw a picture, right?

I, too, try not to get my hopes up each year. This year, I'm so busy anyway, I told my hubby, the less he does for mom's day, the less I have to do for him for dad's day.

I think you need to learn how to express some wonderful Jewish or Catholic guilt. I never forget mom's day with my mom, but my sister forgets mom's day/birthdays/anniversaries most years (unless I call her to remind her to send a card, or at least make a call)...and yet, I'm the one mom gives total shit to if my card arrives late, or I don't call her early enough in the day (I'm west coast, she's east coast.) This mother's day, I had called my mom, and as I was speaking to her (early CA time), my sister called her mobile phone 20 minutes after I called (my sister lives on the east coast closer to our parents, so you do the math). Mom did manage to give me guilt for not flying five hours to take her to brunch.

So, Sara, screw the rest of it. I think you are a spectacular woman and an AWESOME mom to your kids...even when Matt acts like one of the kids. Being a mom is like doing a mitzvah (good deed) do it because you want to, not because you expect to be recognized or rewarded. I saw all the effort you put into that birthday party for your son. You made a great day for your that made him smile and created delightful memories. You, Sara, do the best you can for your family, and while it's nice to hear a periodic thank you, you (and your faithful readers) know you are a great mom.

Happy Mother's Day, Sara!!!! (a little late)

Your fellow mom,