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7:52 a.m. - 2010-02-07
A very tricky dance.

Good morning! It's a comfy 9 degrees, it's also 5:00am as I start this and I don't mind either the low temp or the early hour, I just about slept the clock around and am feeling so much better that I am finally realizing just how ill I was. Beanie suggested my mental fog was in part caused by the bronchitis and it turns out she was correct. The odd thing is that I didn't feel all that sick. At least at the time. Yeah, a little rough and a lot stupid, but no fever or nausea, none of the usual markers that yell, "Yo! You are sicker than a dog! Go lie down, you doofus." So I kept chugging along until I got the opportunity to take a nap yesterday afternoon and ZZZzzzzz….I was out for the next 11.5 hours. I'd surface briefly to take a drink of water and back out I'd go. Didn't even get up to make a bathroom run.

(It's now 7:00am. Taking this up after a long snug on the couch with fresh coffee and my book…)

Despite being so dippy I have gotten some things done. Did some cooking. A marinated London broil on Friday and a braised chicken yesterday. That chicken cooked in cheap wine and good herbs was THE juiciest, most tender bird I've ever eaten. Thursday I did get to the gym and Mick and I went to tango lessons. We are really awful at the tango. We have exactly ONE move that we manage to pull off correctly, unsurprisingly it's one where I take the dominant position. I think we've given up on the idea of Mick leading. Once again I'm the leader on the dance floor pulling my guy around only needing him to make minor course corrections if we're going to crash into something. I know there's no law, it's just traditional that the guy leads, but taking the lead secretly makes me feel angry and resentful.

Maybe I'm reading too much into things here, but having to lead while we dance pushes a couple of very uncomfortable buttons for me. One of the things I loathed most about my marriage to Mike was the way he forced me into taking charge of everything. He was a purposeful screw-up, a deliberate deadbeat, so happy that he could euchre me into being the only adult and he could yippee-skippy along being a childish idiot. Not once, not ever feeling responsible for his behavior in any way. Leaving me on the spot and holding the bag made Mike feel great.

This is not the case between me and Mick, he steps up in many ways and takes on his share of stuff. For the first time ever I can relax. Case in point- I was able to sleep like I did yesterday and know Wolf would be fed properly and be kept safe, the pets wouldn't starve and the house would be standing when I awoke.

That would NOT have been possible with Mike. The man was inept menace. Sleeping in and leaving Mike in charge was not an option. I don't mean that I'd wake up to a messy kitchen, I mean I'd wake up to wounded children, scorched furniture and/or a flood. Example: the ONE time I went to bed early when Alex was a teeny guy and left Mike in charge, Mike dozed off and unsupervised Alex decided to stand up in his rocking chair backward, and tipped over smashing his face into the bookcase knocking out one of his front teeth, splitting his lip and bloodying his nose. Imagine waking up to blood and screams and a hysterical child, racing across town to the ER and then being harshly questioned and accused of neglect and abuse. All because I was exhausted from working a 60 hour week and I'd left our son in the care of his idiot father who was too goddamn clueless and careless to bother staying awake to watch our boy as he'd been asked to.

And everything was like this! The children, the pets, and our home were in actual danger. All the time. Alex's knocked out tooth was only one of the many, many dings, scratches, bruises, and near fatal poisonings I'd had to swoop in and prevent or mop up afterward while Menace Mike stood there with his thumb up his ass. To say nothing of the fires, car accidents, near drownings, choking, and the less lethal but still painful stuff like shampoo in their eyes, being under-dressed for the weather, being fed the wrong food, letting them play with knives, bb guns, power tools, fiberglass insulation, wild animals… Then there was Mike's inept use of our household goods. The broken washing machines, the wrecked cars, the busted TVs, the clogged drains, the ruined food, the scorched beyond saving cookware, the broken dishes, the spilled chemicals, the ripped up upholstery… And the continually overdrawn checking account, the bounced checks, the shut off utilities, the evictions…And all the hurt feelings, missed opportunities, stepped on feet, and forgotten anniversaries and birthdays. The tiniest lapse in my vigilance and disaster was a given. Disaster stalked us even with my constant watching, fixing, stopping, and corrections, but without me struggling to be on top of every single thing every single minute of every single day the mayhem would have been a 1,000 times worse. This was proven time and again in the harshest ways possible. Because Mike would not take on the responsibility for doing anything right. He was willing to let everything go to bits, to even have the kids be hurt because he wanted to be a perpetual clueless Peter Pan. He loved believing he was off the hook. He adored never owning up to the messes he made. He reveled in his 'freedom' that he got at the cost of my sanity and the children's safety and did everything he could to keep it going.

So anything that smacks of abdication of responsibility on Mick's part and I am awash with fearful resentment. "Okay fine, I'll fucking do it! Of course. Again. Like fucking always!!!" Which is unfair to him and me. I can count on Mick. He doesn't deserve any sort of mistrust or to be blamed for things he never did. I have to give over immediately assuming that just because Mick doesn't catch onto something right away that I am being forced into becoming the weight-bearer for it forever. Mick is not the ex. Mick learns. Mick grows. Mick eagerly expands his world, his skill set. Okay, sure, he might not ever be Fred Astaire, but his not leading on the dance floor doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly be dumped on and have to take over doing everything again. That my days of being free to take a nap and trust that the house won't burn down and Wolf won't end up dead are over. Sheesh.

And here I thought the only thing I'd be learning on Thursday nights was the tango.

On the way to being educated, ~LA

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