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Just back from my walk, all sweaty and breathless. My brother-in-law should be dropping my son off soon to spend the weekend, and Fella has gone up north for a massage, which he badly needs, and then to take supper to his grandmother.

I walked in the door and remembered to check for phone messages (yay! I’ll get into the habit of it yet); one is for Fella, from his cousin. There is mould in her basement and she won’t take her young daughter, who has serious health issues, into the house until something is done. Can he give her some advice or contacts? Will he be at their grandmother’s this weekend so she can go over and talk to him about it? I almost reach for the phone to tell her that he will be at their grandmother’s tonight; then I remember how much he dislikes this cousin, and resolve to give him the message when he gets home instead, and let him have a pleasant meal with his gran.

*****

My blankets have been oppressing me.

Too bunched up.

Too heavy.

Too light.

Pulling me down.

Pressing me.

Twisted.

Caught.

******

Another late morning — was up watching TV with Fella last night till my eyes wouldn’t stay open — but at least I slept without battling my blankets after changing the sheets and removing the quilt made for a double when I’m in a single.

*****

It is painful almost

uncomfortable

To live with someone

Who is compelled

to blame and condemn

for past situations

Needing somehow to bring

these emotions

this finger-pointing

into the present

and force me to

take responsibility

for what happened then

and where we find ourselves

I don’t accept this blame

and bristle at the condemnation

But mostly I see no point

to them

And wish to let them go

And step forward

without them

between us.

*****

I try to see myself clearly by looking at people and conditions in my life as if they reflect something in me that I’d otherwise remain unaware of.

There’s that fine line again — between taking responsibility for what I have a part in creating, and not accepting blame for attitudes and situations that are not my doing.

I’m always juggling these perspectives.

I’m not responsible for Fella’s habit of verbal abuse or his need to blame, condemn and resent — but I am responsible for these aspects being in my life, because I am still here.

Obviously then there is something I have to deal with concerning blame, condemnation and resentment. Walking away from Fella — will that abolish these things from my life? I doubt it.

They are also in me, and I need to root them out. I saw this so clearly during a verbal exchange the other day when he kept insisting I wear a crown of thorns because of the furniture we bought a couple years ago that neither of us likes. He swears we bought it because I was tired of shopping, while I say I went along with the purchase because I thought he liked and wanted the furniture. We seriously misunderstood each other — we both did — and were trying to please the other — this is not a bad thing! so we’ve learned that we need to communicate more clearly and remain true to ourselves even while trying to please the other. We’ve learned an important lesson; so why not stop pointing the angry finger?

He got quite worked up, insisting that indeed it is I who am not letting it go because I refuse to accept blame. “You didn’t want to shop anymore. You made me go back and buy it. I didn’t want to,” he repeats loudly over me when I remind him that we stood there together and told the lady (“a crook,” he says) to order it in for us. No one twisted his arm, or mine.

I guess what he is really so angry about is that he agreed to order the furniture in spite of misgivings that turned out to be correct. If the furniture had ended up being satisfactory, he wouldn’t be complaining or looking to blame someone else.

I don’t like the furniture either (it doesn’t clean easily, it’s falling apart) but don’t really care how it got here. I’d gladly get rid of it and bring the set Dad gave me, which we were using before we bought this new furniture, over here. But that’s not the ideal solution either because though I prefer that set and was perfectly happy with it, Fella doesn’t like it.

He seems to think we have no choice but to live with this furniture we don’t like, because it cost us money. It can’t be wasted.

Whereas I don’t think we owe anything to the furniture or the money. We’ve lived with it for a couple years, given it a chance; it’s enough. We don’t have to suffer it forever.

These are the kinds of conversations that make me feel imprisoned. They make me yearn to live alone, to escape the need to accommodate, to dance around another person’s ideas.

How much freer I would feel if my partner would agree with me that Hey, we’ve learned a hard lesson, now let’s work together toward a solution, let’s keep an eye out for a set of furniture we both like, try something different, and that’s that for that!

But no. Any time the subject comes up, the old complaints about how it’s all my fault we got the furniture are repeated.  And we cannot move away from them. They must be dragged along with us into the future. They will be thrown into my face again and again, forever. They will be repeated to anyone who will listen. I can’t get him to stop doing that. So what can I do?

What I can not do is allow him to drag me down with him into the cesspool of blame that keeps you stuck in the same place forever as if your feet are planted in cement.

I have to disengage my emotions from this person, and not permit his attitudes to colour my attitudes.

This requires actual vigilance and effort, which is one thing I struggle with in relation to Fella. I have to work to remain positive and hopeful about life, to see people in a  respectful and tolerant light. Living with an angry person is like standing on the edge of a crumbling riverbank as high water rushes by, always adjusting my footing to keep myself balanced so I don’t get swept away.

So, while on the surface it seems, for Fella, to be all about who is to blame for the purchase of the furniture, it’s clear to me that what it’s really all about is a powerful need to blame, condemn and resent. That is what’s underneath the bullshit details.

So that’s one thing I’m working on, in myself, using affirmations. I can’t change Fella, or make him see things as I do. I can change myself. So I walk down the road, eyeing the clouds and the beautiful blue sky, repeating out loud that “I am willing to release the need for blame, condemnation and resentment. I release them and let them go. I forgive myself and others. I am free to love and enjoy life.”

This really brings up all kinds of garbage: blame, condemnation, resentment, anger, spite. Out there under the sky is an excellent, clear place to observe my own thoughts. To see how I too have blameful, resentful, angry, spiteful thoughts, instead of believing they only come at me from another person. Oh yeah. Doing affirmations is a powerful exercise for me because it exorcises a lot of my own shit.

Walk, Ms Kitty. Walk.

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