Wednesday, May 27, 2015
BOSS VS EMPLOYEE OR ROTTEN LOGS WE ARE NOT
Hanah is staying in Santa Rosa now. Last Monday Sonny went to get her, and she spent half a day with us (she is not an early riser and, after working for 13 hours the day before, she wanted to sleep in, so she arrived at about 1 o'clock in the afternoon). Fortunately, it was the Memorial Day holiday, so Taka was at home and Sonny didn't have to go to school.
It was sweet to have Hanah with us! We planned the day: lunch at a restaurant of her choosing, then the older folks would return home, and Hanah and Sonny will go to the movies, after which he'll take her back to Santa Rosa.
The day got away from us! By the time we finished eating lunch (or an early dinner), it was too late for kids to go to the movies. So, we went home, watched a film there, and after Hanah loaded her backpack with a lot of foodstuffs from home (in addition to claiming for her own the restaurant leftovers), they set off for her home for the summer. Sonny called at 11 to tell us, he was going to spend the night at Hanah's apartment, since it was already so late.
I liked the fun day we spent together and prepared to have an easy, quiet evening.
Taka came to the living room. He was not happy and had some loaded questions for me. I was not feeling well for the past few months and spent nights on the couch in the living room. I would really understand his frustration at that, if it wasn't for the fact that, I really WAS NOT FEELING WELL FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS!
What was lacking, was any kind of concern for my well being. I am, actually, very used to it, but it came to me at night in Arcata motel, when I lay in bed next to him in agony from the allergic rash, and he, knowing about my discomfort, didn't move a finger to help me or had no desire to do so, that it would be wrong to continue our marriage in the same way! So, I did what Mr. P. suggested, and began talking to Taka about it.
Oh, he huffed and puffed and kept on trying to avoid the issue, but, little by little, he began to open up and become genuine with me. He said, it was not in him to be sensitive to the needs of others, beyond what HE THOUGHT, was good for them. He kept quoting a Japanese saying, which goes something like: "you can't carve rotten old logs" - meaning, we were too rotten and old to be able to make changes in our characters. I told him, I was not THAT old and, certainly, not rotten, and that in the past couple of years I've seen wonderful changes in our relationship.
That conversation went on for a long time. I spoke to him of my need if not for his love, then for, at least, his concern. It looked, like he was getting my point. Then the topic switched to the way he behaves with Sonny. I expressed my apprehension about, what I perceive as, the aggressive and even hostile attitude Taka shows, when dealing with our son. He said, it was his way of showing attention, and could I talk with Sonny to make sure, that he shares my feelings about his dad's methods.
It was getting late. Taka had to get up early the next day, so he became impatient again. He irritably suggested that, I make an appointment for some other day to talk more. An appointment to talk to one's husband! That's it in a nutshell: we are more like a boss and an employee!
I replied: "Why don't you show me an example, how to make such an appointment?" I wanted him to catch the bitter irony of such a proposition, but it was lost on Taka. He simply suggested to meet on Wednesday night!
I may be delusional, but even this seems like a step forward to me. I am not the only one, who feels all alone in this marriage. Taka must feel pretty lonely and misunderstood too, but the only way the two of us are going to become happier and closer, is to be
One of the Al Anon's sayings is: "principles over personalities". We both need to practice taking care of each other in the ways that won't detract from either of our needs and dignity.