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Disengagement: Making Room for the Positive

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

It's Monday, so I thought a little venting and processing might do my week ahead some good!  Though far from perfect, I would say the past few days have still been on the upswing around this house.  Yay!  While I've been working on disengaging, MR. ED continues to step up, slowly but surely.  We've been able to spend better time together focusing on the house, the dog, relaxing, and time spent on our own work and hobbies.  We even started building our own DIY headboard together.  It's our anniversary month, so we decided that we are going to start a tradition of tackling a DIY project together every year in August...something just for the two of us to celebrate our anniversary.  I can tell we are both really trying to focus on the positive stuff...the things that brought us together in the first place before the SKIDs became a point of contention.  The more I disengage, the more I feel like myself again, and the more MR. ED seems to enjoy being around me and I around him.  I do believe we're getting somewhere!

SS10 also asked to have a birthday sleep-over with a couple of friends at our house this coming weekend.  That definitely brought a smile to MR. ED's face and I will be happily standing by in the distance with a good book and my puppy as HE entertains the boys with pizza and video games.  I'm learning that some disengagement can be entirely positive, too.  Just because I can manage a sleepover doesn't mean I should!

SD17 is still on her path to self-destruction, but it seems like she is finally starting to get resistance from all directions:  

  • MR. ED is standing firm on the "No Driving/Sell the Car" policy. 
  • GM (who sold MR. ED and SD17 the car) stopped by, looked at the car (minor bumps/scratches/dents here and there), listened to the story, shook her head and said, "Well, she doesn't need to be driving right now."  OMG...did the heavens just fall in?  GM has been a HUGE enabler, but finally...she sees the light!!  
  • The purple bike?  SD17 left it out back of the restaurant while her sis picked her up and it got stolen. Now she has no car, no little purple bike.  She will now be walking 1.3 miles to work, one way at least...this week in 90-degree weather. *ROFL*  Natural it.
  • SD17's boss came out one night while MR.ED was picking her up from work.  Apparently, he asked SD17 why she isn't driving anymore and got some of the story.  The boss told MR. ED that he told SD17 she's a good worker but should stop lying and disrespecting her dad. She lied and said she was at work that night she ran down to some dude's house and wrecked the car, so the boss told MR. ED he is more than welcome to come by or call the restaurant and check to see if she is there anytime. He told her he didn't understand why she is hanging around that guy (he also works there...awkward!) and should be dating young men more upstanding like her dad.  I'm sure that falls on deaf ears, was unexpected.  I say kudos to him for taking it upon himself to reach out to the parent of his minor employee and present a united front.  I'm sure he sees and hears A LOT while they're at work, and I assume his conscience, and maybe fear of liability, got the best of him.
  • SD17 has been telling MR. ED that she is done with smoking pot.  Lies...all lies.  We found out she's now vaping pot and it's way more potent than the regular stuff.  So, last night MR. ED and I had a fairly cordial talk about it, both reiterated that we absolutely do not condone any illegal drugs in this house or on her person when she is in the car/with any of us anywhere, and I asked him what HE plans to do about it.  We talked about a number of avenues, and he simply said, "I'll handle it." I said, "Ok," with a smile.

Although I obviously cannot completely disengage from the illegal-stuff-in-the-house issue, I chose to leave it alone for the night.  I'm finding that it helps to sometimes delay my engagement in lieu of focusing on the positive around me at that moment. Also, the less I engage, the less opportunity I give SD17 to use me to deflect from her own bad behavior and poor choices.  So I gave MR. ED a kiss goodnight.  I gave him a kiss goodbye this morning.  I will ask him about it this evening, but only after we sit down to enjoy a nice quiet dinner together.  <3

I did make a comment to SD17 on her way out the door to school this morning.  She was walking around in her nasty dirty shoes all over the floor I spent hours cleaning yesterday.  I said, "Please don't wear those through here again.  I just spent hours on these floors yesterday and unless you are going to volunteer to clean the floors from now on, I expect you to follow the rules like everyone else."  She said, "Ok," and left.  I sensed some wind may have been let out of her sassy, entitled sails after her interaction with MR. ED last night.  Fingers crossed.

MANTRA OF THE DAY:  Do not allow toxic people to overshadow all that is good, healthy, and positive in your life.


CLove's picture

Preach sister!

All around awesome weekend with friends, and some disengagement for me as well. Baby steps of prgress on your end! Awesome. For me, 5 steps forward, 10 back, but progress is being made either direction.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

I can absolutely relate to the "5 steps forward, 10 back" model of progress!  All we can do is keep at it and find some peace in between the growing pains, yeah?  I hope you have a great week! Smile

Siemprematahari's picture

This is all great progress. Wishing you many more happy and peaceful disengagement days. See what removing yourself from a toxic situation does for your soul......It's a beautiful thing and I know your marriage will benefit from it.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes, I hope others who may be sitting in a pile of chaos can see...stepping back can seem like you're giving up, but it can actually make things better in some situations.  It's hard when you start out caring deeply about these kids and things take a negative turn, but in the end...they are not my kids and I am not their parent.  I'm trying to remember I got into this relationship because I adore MR. ED and want to share the rest of my life with him long after kids are all grown and gone.  SKIDS were a part of the package that I was happy to accept, but they will grow up and leave.  You are absolutely right...protecting my own peace, happiness, and my relationship should be my main focus and I can see the benefits already from re-focusing my energies.  It's not a perfect system, but the outlook is definitely looking like happier days ahead with MR. ED. <3

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Seriously, I am so thankful for all the good, bad, and the ugly feedback on ST! *ROFL*  Its all good because it gets me thinking outside the box and trying to see different options of dealing with things.  When I came into this situation years ago, I was just winging it as far as SKIDS go and spent those years spinning my wheels trying to figure out what my role was even all about.  I've made a lot of mistakes, but so has everyone else in this house.  I'm just ready to forgive myself for being human and anyone else in my family who is trying to move on to brighter days.  Venting is wonderful, but I'm definitely here to pick up some pointers and apply them!  Thanks so much! Smile

Ispofacto's picture

"the less I engage, the less opportunity I give SD17 to use me to deflect from her own bad behavior and poor choices"

This X 100


ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes, I'm realizing this more and more!  When I do slip up and engage more than I should in this situation, I feel the blowback quick!  It's almost like she's waiting for me to give her ammunition now.  This is one of those things you start seeing so clearly once you pull back.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

It's been interesting to see how this dynamic changes when I'm not their scapegoat to deflect from her poor choices and avoid THEIR crappy communication issues.  It shouldn't be about me...and now a little more every's not.  Thank goodness! Smile

hereiam's picture

You are doing really well with this! And, hopefully, MR ED will keep up his end, as well.

Now, about this DIY headboard, what are you doing, exactly? I love DIY projects!

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

The DIY headboard is something I've wanted to do since we moved to the new house.  I was going to do a tufted one, but we decided on a plain fabric headboard with big decorative pillows instead.  So, basically we used some 2x4's (to make it sturdy and give it a little depth) and plywood we had stashed in the garage to make a frame...easy peasy if you've got power tools and some wood screws!  Now, I just have to spray adhesive on a bargain store egg crate mattress topper or thick foam for cushion, cover it with some batting (using a coupon at Joann's), and top it off with some upholstery fabric (found some nice ones 60% off at Joann's).  If you like DIY's a big impressive sense of accomplishment with no super special skills needed kind of project.  I like those! Smile

Oh...and if you are ok with a non-upholstery decorative fabric, they've got some nice ones at Joann's for $6.99/yd...use a coupon...and it ends up super cheap!  Sorry to ramble, but I love thrifty DIY's, too! Smile

hereiam's picture

Sounds awesome! And it's great that you and your husband like doing it together.

I do all of my projects solo. DH can do electricity, some plumbing, etc, but he's not so good when it comes to building stuff or painting.