I’ve become depressed. For today anyway. Mostly I lay down and read. I did go for a walk. I did cook soup. So, some efforts where made.
Yesterday I’d invited my ex and my son over for Easter dinner. In a way it was good. I’d already told my ex I was still kind of sick, so would just do a basic ham and bake some potatoes. I also bought wine and dessert. He was to bring veg.
It was OK. Everyone chatted. This time I was nice to my ex – I didn’t put him down or criticize as I did last holiday, so I felt good about that. I think the depressing thing was how he was at dinner reminded me so much of the past, of how impossible he was. He was in a bad mood, but trying to be polite also.
He has this weird philosophy of life that I hate. He has to work very very hard, but at his own self-directed tasks. Other people are obstacles to him accomplishing all this work. And the work seems useless to me – like Sisyphean tasks. He is endlessly rebuilding his old house. He is the messiest person I ever met, and he hates to spend money on furniture or anything that people usually buy. His house is such a wreck. He doesn’t clean, won’t pay anyone to clean, and he has hoarding tendencies, so it’s filled with junk. It’s just so odd – he devotes himself to this house, and yet it is always such a shambles, he can’t really have anyone over comfortably.
He mentioned his mother. He always does, at holiday meals. It’s like he longs for her to come back and for food to be as she would have cooked it. Ham should have pineapple. I happen to dislike pineapple, so don’t cook it like that. She never had smoked salmon, so he doesn’t like it when I serve it. He’s at the same time very emotionally entranced by food, guilty about it, and wanting his childhood foods.
He was upset that some students took up some of his day (he teaches a course at a college), so presumably he didn’t get in his quota of “work”.
I guess….I want to be understanding, and I kind of am. But his attitude just reminded me how awful he was to live with. People always being in the way of his “work”. The stress about the food. And I felt judged, for only cooking a ham and potatoes. For not going all out to ensure I had many complex dishes. That is kind of women’s unspoken duty, in his philosophy. Not that he said it. But I felt that.
Besides being afraid of his temper, I was extremely lonely living with him. He does not value connections and doesn’t value talk about feelings very much. Everything is about his work. Which never pays, he’s always fairly poor, rarely working full time, but always completely stressed out and overburdened by his projects.
I know he has severe issues. But he hasn’t worked on them, as I have mine.
Anyway, the dinner actually went fine. I was glad I’d made the effort. It can be rewarding just to feed people, and eat together. I really want to do more of that, but maybe with different people.
I feel I’ve really failed in not establishing another family, finding someone who shares some of my own values. Who clings to their ex like that? Not that I see him that often. But there’s no one else really.
I thought I did well with the conversation. Even some topics that get me mad, like a high profile sexual assault case here where the accused was acquitted, I skated over OK. I was able to have my opinion and state it, without fighting with his opinion or my son’s opinion too much. This is a new skill, that I pay attention to the tone of the conversation, and don’t attack people’s opinions.
When they left, I was so wound up I couldn’t sleep. Finally I took some gravol and did get some sleep. And today, I was so depressed I could barely move. It was similar to how I’ve sometimes felt after therapy – needing to lie in bed for hours, doing nothing much. Maybe it’s numbness. Or being dissociated somehow. I was surprised that happened, because as I keep saying, the dinner was OK and had it’s good points.
Doing nothing most of the day feels bad once I come out of that state. I feel cut off from the world and stuck in my own stupid head. I start to doubt that anyone would ever want to hear from me or talk to me.
Tomorrow I hope things will feel more normal once again.