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10:40 a.m. - 2010-04-14
What Goes Around Comes Around, You know It, Kids.

In news from the home front (my home front, that is) things between Mick and me moved into a new place this morning.

Call it karma or hubris or cosmic justice or the wheel of life finally spinning Mick his turn at 00, but our future just got a whole lot better because recently his past came calling and bit his ass hard enough to bleed.

One of the things I liked about him at the start was his unshakable belief in himself. His belief that he was allowed to pursue and get stuff. Mick was allowed to have whatever he wanted. Not for free, he didn't feel the world owed him everything and should lay it at his feet on a plate with no effort from him, but that he was allowed to go for it. Never a doubt whether he was worthy. He was the first and only man I'd ever met who had not a shred of doubt he was allowed to have me. Not once did it occur to him to ask himself if I was out of his league. Mick doesn't have a league. As a consequence Mick never once tried to cut me down, make me less, denigrate my talent or looks or brains. You know, to make me small enough to fit inside his world. He wasn't threatened by me. At all. Ever.

You 'True Blood' fans will understand when I say he was the Vampire Bill to my Sookie.

The relief! The peace! As Sookie could relax in the mental silence of Bill, so could I relax with Mick. I didn't have to tiptoe around his shaky ego. Never had to play dumb or slouch or apologize or pretend, I could be my whole self without ever being made to pay for it. First time that a man wasn't out to punish me for 'my crime' of being bigger or better or smarter or faster than he was. For 'rubbing his nose' in his own self-perceived inadequacies and needing to hurt me for it. Mick just didn't pull that crap. First. Time. Ever.

So like Sookie having to deal with Bill being, you know, dead and the scheduling and menu problems his being a vampire put on their relationship, but she was willing to accept that for what she gets out of the deal- that blessed mental quiet, I've been willing to take on Mick's shit for the seductive pleasure of never having to be less than who I am.

Unfortunately the flipside to Mick's unshakable belief in himself was his wholesale failure to comprehend that everyone is different. No empathy. None. Not only couldn't Mick walk a mile in someone else's shoes, he refused to believe there were any other shoes. Mick knew exactly what he'd do in any and every situation and when others didn't do as he would have then those people were wrong. Not different. Not operating under different circumstances or values or priorities. Just wrong. That's it. End of story.

To say this was maddening to me is an understatement. Being privy to everyone's mind messes and emotions means I'm walking in other's shoes all the goddamn time. Even when I know I wouldn't have done something a certain way, I can't sit in judgment of someone who did, I lie cheek and jowl with everyone's junk and am forced to see the world from 1,000s of perspectives. There's never, ever, ever just one 'right' way. Upshot? Ms Shades of Grey has been living with Mr Black and White and it hasn't been easy.

Even more hurtful and maddening than listening to Mick be a dismissive noogie about everyone else, I've also had to deal with his arrogant pontificating about MY life. How Mick wouldn't have stood for the abuse. Why, if he'd been the one who'd been raped and then had it pooh-poohed and ignored by his mother he'd have stabbed her right in the heart! Sure would have!

At 7 years old? With no one to turn to, no place to go and with a 4 year old sister to take care of? He'd have just flat out murdered his mother?

Oh yes, Mick would insist. Absolutely. And that I hadn't meant I was some kind of cowardly defective. A chickenshit loser with no guts at all. Mick knew what the ONLY way to behave was, the ONLY course of action. Yup. And I got that same lecture and dismissive disgusted attitude from him about every decision I'd made prior to meeting him. HE wouldn't have put up with Mike's crap. HE wouldn't have stayed. HE was right, right, right and cared nothing about what I'd been feeling, how low I was, how much of a struggle I'd gone through. Nope. Ol' Mick had nothing but contempt for me and my supposed 'cowardly' choices. Refused to even entertain the idea that he wasn't 100% correct about how he'd have behaved. Mick's way is the only way and that's why he thought he was entitled to sit in judgment of me and my life.

Another goodie that came with Mick's lack of empathy was his near constant whining about how unfair my scars and fears were to HIM. Boy howdy it sucked for him to have to live with PTSD Girl. Why was HE always having to be 'punished' by my wounds? Did I have any idea how much it fricken sucked? HE couldn't watch violent gruesome shit on TV with me in the room! HE couldn't barge around screaming and yelling and slamming doors over every little thing anymore! HE had to get 'attitude' from me when I woke up puking sick and terrified from another night of vicious nightmares. HE was such a victim! HE should have to put up with this? Why? HE didn't rape or beat me, why should he have to change one iota of his behavior so as not to make things worse for me? Could life be more UNFAIR to HIM?

I shit you not.

His freedom and inalienable right to be an absolute asshole was being restricted by my need for kindness and peace. Poor, poor Mick was having to pay freight on my baggage by having to behave like a gentleman. The unfairness of his bitter situation galled him to no end and he was never shy about letting me know it.

Then the other day…Knock! Knock!
"Who's there?"
"Big colossal fuck-up from Mick's past!"
"Mick's massive failure of responsibility and good judgment here to mess with your life just when you thought things were smooth sailing!"
"But…but I wasn't around when he fucked that up!"
"Too bad, girlie. Your plans and life are derailed big time."

And so we talked. Yes, I was plenty disappointed by this setback. But hey, life happens. We'd get past it. Wasn't the first time I had to clear away some sudden unexpected rubble that fell into my path. But what hurt was the expectation that I was to suck it up and not lay blame. I wasn't supposed to make a peep about how his poor decisions from years ago were messing with my life now.

Major honking hypocrisy, anyone? Time for Mick to get some new shoes.

When I asked him why he'd done such a dumbass thing Mick started to explain about where he'd been at when he signed up for this stupid shit. How he'd been so low, his life was a wreck, his heart was totally broken and the consequences and fallout from this piece of stupidity just didn't matter because his life was a meaningless slog and…holy shit.

The balloon went up. Ohmygod. The blinders came off. Oh.My.God. The big picture snapped into focus. Oh Jesus, LA! I am so sorry. For the first time ever Mick was wearing my shoes. In my shoes he walked back through all of it. His past. My past. Our life together and what he'd been doing to me.

He gets it now. I know he does. This life lesson came at a steep, steep price, but to me it was worth every penny.

Walking the rocky path, but with a much lighter load. ~LA

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