Jon and I talked yesterday evening about Lora’s belongings and our general feelings. It was an illuminating talk that developed in a way that was somewhat relevant to exactly what we talked about.
Jon was in the bedroom gaming while I was in the living room reading. When I took a break to run to the bathroom, I also popped in to see him. I was originally planning on asking him when would be a good time to talk about Lora and therapy (I’d mentioned to him the prior day that I wanted to talk to him about both of those things, and he asked if we could do it on Sunday, which I agreed to). But when I approached him, he let me know that he and Lora were texting back and forth about her stuff, so that moment was actually a good time to talk.
I settled in and asked how the talk about her getting her stuff was going. He said it wasn’t going well. She was saying to him that she still didn’t feel ready to come take care of anything and suggested that she comes and starts cleaning/looking things over at the end of August/early September, when Jon and I are vacation.
Did we call this at a thing that could possibly happen? Oh yes, we did.
And who is surprised? I’m not surprised. Interestingly, Jon didn’t appear surprised. Even more interestingly, Jon was not OK with that, even a little tiny bit. Jon also said that he was flat-out bothered by it, because he really wished it were all over and her stuff was already out and it was done. He just wants it to be over.
It looks like any fears that I’ve had about Jon and Lora getting back together any time in the near future can be laid firmly to rest. To hear his tone of voice…Jon is finally running out of patience with Lora. I kind of hate to say it (because it feels petty and vindictive to me) but I’m incredibly happy about this development.
So Jon was establishing to Lora that no, waiting until the end of next month does not work for him. Not one little bit. It’s a no-go. Totally not going to work. He said he wasn’t sure what to do if she said that she didn’t think she could handle things before then. I said the following:
- Given the improvements that I’m having in physical therapy, and my increased ability to actually do physical things, we can pick a day (before we leave on vacation) and let Lora know that all of her things will be packed up in boxes and out on the stoop by X time of day. I now have enough physical ability that Jon and I could together pack up her stuff into boxes, starting now. And then get up early on X day and cart it all down to the stoop.
- While I do understand that the whole situation is hard for Lora to deal with, there were actually more feelings at play here than hers. Which is part of why leaving her stuff here for her to “start looking through” (!!!) at the end of next month is completely unacceptable to me. Jon said that he understood that. I said that I knew Jon understood that. But I wasn’t actually sure if Lora understood that. Jon said “Chances are good that if you think Lora isn’t thinking about other people’s feelings or taking them into consideration, you’re right”.
I am so glad that I was sitting down for that statement. Because I’ve never heard Jon so bluntly and firmly make any kind of comment about Lora’s inability to think beyond herself to the needs or feelings of other people.
It made my day.
Jon also told me that it was likely that he and Lora were going to meet somewhere for coffee on Tuesday, to talk things over, get a sense of closure (he hoped), and establish when her things would be removed from our home. We’ll see how that goes. I think the forecast for Tuesday will be high on bullshit, with a series of shit-storms and closure located far beyond the horizon.
Moving on, while Jon and I were talking, he and Lora continued texting (which I was fine with). At one point Lora mustn’t have been satisfied with texting, because she called. Jon sent the call to voicemail. She called again. He sent it to voicemail again. She called again. Jon muttered “Will you fuck off?”, sent it to voicemail, then flipped his phone over so that we could finish our conversation in peace.
I did a little happy dance in my heart.
Not because he was ignoring Lora. But because he was finally, finally laying down firm boundaries and not allowing her to rule his life.
He did eventually call her to talk to her (after we finished talking). When that was over, he came out to give me a recap. He told me that she’s freaking out, because it’s “completely unfair” for us to force her to divide her things up, when she doesn’t yet know if she’s staying in our area and moving back in with her mom. Having her things back at her mom’s is going to be “totally inconvenient” to her. Jon told me that he pointed out to Lora that if Lora currently feels like she cannot come back and go through her things while Jon and I are anywhere near here (this was news to me, but Lora seems to have decided that the ONLY time she can come deal with her stuff is when Jon and I are a thousand+ miles away, on vacation, and thus there is absolutely ZERO chance of her seeing us), then having her stuff here is actually less convenient than having it at her mom’s. Her mom’s home is a four hour bus ride away (whereas we’re an hour bus ride away). But as she’s currently unemployed (and refuses to come deal with her things while we’re in this part of the country), having her things at her mom’s would actually be more convenient, since there isn’t any need to have people be in a different part of the country for her to go there and decide what she wants to have with her. And she has no job to stop her from going there whenever she wants.
I think that maybe Lora tried to up the ante of what her needs are in order to prolong things and lost that gamble spectacularly, because Jon is actually calling her bullshit and neatly outmaneuvered said bullshit.
I also think that now that Jon is getting time and distance from Lora, he’s seeing more and more of her behavior as really unhealthy and unreasonable.
Another thing that I brought up when talking to Jon was the therapy revelations that I’ve had thus far – namely, the one about Lora screaming at Jon being strongly reminiscent of my mom screaming at my dad, and how hard that was to handle. He appreciated hearing that, because he did notice that there were things that I…we won’t say overreacted to…but that I had a much stronger reaction to than seemed warranted, based on my reaction to similar circumstances that didn’t have the same “female figure screaming at male figure” dynamic that occurred when he and Lora were having a disagreement. I told him that I wasn’t disavowing ownership of my responsibility to be reasonable in any way, but acknowledging why their dynamic was extra loaded and triggery to me, when Lora got verbally or emotionally abusive. So my initial reaction may be extremely strong, but I would do my best to breathe through it and acknowledge that a lot of my pain is based off of past pain and try to work through that to come to a less emotionally-explosive place.
We also worked out that if I had things I wanted to share with him after therapy, it’s fine to let him know, and then he’ll decide if he’s able to go there with me that night, or if he needs a day or two to ready himself. I told him that I didn’t think any therapy progress would ever require something like me coming home and screaming at him (Because that’s just not a thing that I do. Ever.), BUT there were times when I may learn things that it feels needful to share with him. He understand that and thinks it’s a good thing, so long as he gets some say in when we have that post-therapy discussion.
I told him that if Lora ended up back in his life (and thus potentially a part of my life), I would need to pull of those kid gloves that I mentioned in a previous post. I told him how I do understand the need to be gentler with people who have had a lot of emotional trauma. But that I strongly felt at the end that Lora was using her past emotional trauma to avoid taking responsibility for the current emotional trauma that she was inflicting on Jon and me. And once someone starts to use past trauma as a carte blanche shield so that they aren’t responsible for the emotional trauma that they are currently inflicting on other people, then all patience, compassion, and latitude cease.
Jon agreed with me that Lora was deliberately trying to skirt responsibility for her abusive behavior at the end. He also noticed the way that she was only willing to talk about her behavior on her terms, which were “Yes, I did a bad thing, but it’s all in the past now. I’m not going to do it anymore, so it doesn’t require any sort of discussion or even culpability, since it has passed and I’m not going to do it again”. I think that for Jon – knowing that I was at my limit, and watching Lora carefully maneuver herself to not hear that I had hit my limit – seeing Lora do everything in her power to avoid responsibility for her behavior was a wake-up call. Especially since he knew that I needed (and wanted) to tell her that I was done, and that we couldn’t live together anymore. It wasn’t a game. It wasn’t a negotiable thing. It was a thing I needed to be able to stay sane. And Jon knew (and Lora should have known) that literally all I wanted to say was that Lora and I couldn’t live together (or have an emotional relationship) anymore. Which isn’t to say that those are light things to say. But I wasn’t demanding that they break up. I wasn’t out to tell Lora that she was a horrible human being. I wasn’t making any commentary on what I thought they should do. I was unable to continue to live together under the current circumstances. Period.
All I wanted to do was tell Lora what I needed, and get the wheels moving for that to happen. And Lora refused to give me that.
In the end, Jon gave me that when he broke up with Lora. And I am deeply grateful for that. Even though I would have gone with Lora and I no longer living together, but him staying in a relationship with both of us, if that was what he wanted.
I’m really, deeply glad that he hit his limit and finally realized that a relationship with Lora was going to continue to be abusive and unhealthy.
I’m glad that he and I are talking about that a bit. At last.
And I’m glad that he’s holding firm with her that he things MUST be out by the time we leave on vacation. The end is in sight.