I Love You
Three little words. Three simple little words. But they are trapped. They are in my head, swirling around every time Treun and I are together. They stand between us, neither of us saying them. Me definitely feeling them, him I think feeling them.
Why can’t I say the words. Simply look at him and say, “I love you.” How hard is this? Apparently it is the hardest thing in the world.
Or I’m a coward.
I’m not sure which.
Ok, I’m pretty sure that I’m a coward. How will those three words change our relationship? Will it put big old brakes on it? Will it move it to the next level? I’m not sure so I’m in this weird holding pattern where I think it and feel it yet do not give utterance to the truth. The words are locked away.
Bubba is being abusive again. He wants the kids for the weekend and I want to get them back earlier than we normally exchange them because it is too late for the kids. They have school the next day and it is just too late to get them home and get them dinner and have them in bed on time. Shane will be going to bed late and that is never a good thing.
Because I had the audacity to tell him that it would be to his children’s benefit to meet earlier, he attacked me. I know that is why; he hates me telling him anything. He especially hates for me to tell him what is in the children’s best interest. It is still about power and control in Bubba’s world. He doesn’t understand that I don’t care about his power plays anymore.
I told Treun about the latest email. He is boggled by how Bubba can be so nasty when it comes to his children. Treun doesn’t understand how a father can be so unreasonable about something that would be good for his kids. Yeah, I’ve been trying to understand it for two years now and I still don’t get it.
Treun and I took a drive today. It is something we like to do, just drive around and look at houses and the countryside and talk. He said something today that really has me clamping my mouth shut about love. He said, “I think our arrangement works good. I have my space and you have your space. With all the things you have going on, I think it is good that we each have our own space.” I know he’s concerned about being lumped in with the friends/boyfriends that Bubba has proclaimed has sexually molested the kids. It is utterly baseless and one of his much-used sentences since I left him. He has repeatedly accused my friends/boyfriends of hurting the kids. He never does anything about it so I know it is just about power. I’m afraid that Treun is worried about being caught in the cross-fire. It is a valid concern but I hate that it is stopping conversations from happening.
I won’t bring up love or the future or that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I did tell him that I’m not about to let Bubba put my life on hold for another decade until Shane is of legal age. Treun has a glowing record at work. He’s been in the work force for 30 years and has a ton of character witnesses if he’d ever need them. We have nothing to worry about in this instance, but the fear is there. For both of us.
I know that once Bubba has some concrete information on Treun, he will try to hurt me with his knowledge. I have to toe the line, follow the parenting plan to the letter. I still feel like I’m on trial, still being judged by the family court. Everything I do or say is suspect. Bubba has threatened to take me back to court. While I don’t welcome it, I’m also not afraid of it like I once was.
I know the people at Shane’s school will stand up for me and how I parent and the fact that I am an engaged, caring parent who is fighting for her son. I know my boss would stand up for me and verify that I’m an amazing employee. I have people on my side.
I want to protect Treun. I don’t want him touched by Bubba in any way, shape, or form. This man, this amazing man, does not deserve to be in the cross hairs. I think he is beginning to understand that a relationship with me puts him there. It makes him a target just by association.
How do I begin a new life with a wonderful man when Bubba is just standing there, waiting to pull the trigger of his imaginary gun. I know he can’t truly hurt us because there is nothing we’ve done wrong. I also know how manipulative he is. He can make our lives a living hell if he chooses to. I have no doubt that he will choose to. That is who Bubba is.
Once again, my life is reduced to fear. I’m afraid to tell Treun that I love him. I don’t know how to get past this fear. I want him in my life for the rest of my life. But I have an understanding of what loving me entails. It encompasses dealing with a psychotic ex-husband and very wounded children. That is not something to enter into lightly. Treun is a good man. I know this. For now, I guess I live in the status quo and don’t say anything.
I play the coward. It is a role I both despise and embrace. Until I can say the words, this is the role I play.