Friday, July 27, 2012

Right Now: A Fight With The Ex

Here's where I am right now in my who-gives-fuck emotional shitworld:

1) Had a fight with the ex over the phone. More on that later. I'm fairly certain it was 100% not my fault, except maybe for some of it.

2) Weak as shit about some things. Just don't fucking ask, okay? Because it's so completely wrong in so many ways, but about some things I have the emotional intelligence of a 12 year old. Just ask my parents.

3) A bit drunk. Assuming I can type acceptably well through the whole rest of this post means I'm not nearly drunk enough. Just fuck me already with your syphilitic dick, Charles Bukowski. Even though I'm fairly certain you didn't die of syphilis. It just sounds good, saying syphilitic dick like that.

4) Dumb as fuck. Because you know what? I'm gonna go ahead and post this shit on Facebook like there's no tomorrow. Please refer to #3. Students read this crap. The ones who bother to read English, that is. Those are the one ones I love the most. And also some other ones, for various reasons which they'll never know. I think I said once before how love is the only thing that gets us through the day sometimes. Also the occasional V-neck or sundress or skinny jeans. What the fuck do I care? Mind you though, my students, the hot pants are totally not working for me even though I get it in a theoretical sense.

5) Worried sick my kid has some life-threatening illness that may or may not be All My Fault. More on that later, too.

6) Practical. Because you know what I'm gonna do right now? Pour another delicious drink and fetch the laptop charger. It's after 1am and I've just locked myself into some seriously problematic writing here.

Are we lit?
** Update** Right, I'm back. And you know what I just discovered? Fucking fuck-ass cats chewed through one of the cords to the computer speakers. You know what I did instead of wringing their fucking necks? I thought, well it's not the first time they've done this. I've gotten pretty good at MacGuyvering cords back together.

First world crisis.

You know what else? I have ample gin to see me through this post, but not enough tonic. It's a First World Crisis here, people. Never fucking ask me the sort of almost-trouble the tonic issue has gotten me into before. Thank goodness for all the tobacco I have around here. And please, forgive my mom and dad. They rightfully harp on at me for the smoking thing, only obliquely refer to the booze thing, and never mention the Other Fucking thing (refer to #2), unless it's dire. Or apparently so.

Dear Mom and Dad,
Don't worry about this one. Seriously.

So. The fight. Which is the reason I'm all fuck-you pissed off in the first place.

The House of Ex looks like this in my heart.
Today I braved a call to the The House Of Ex to try to talk to my kid. You know what? I haven't talked to my kid properly in like 2 weeks. More on that later.

I dealt with the MIL, because that's what I do. I'm a champ at empty conversation in Turkish. I managed to call at a good time, a quiet time, walking on campus with some co-workers as we moved from the campus bar to the minibus. I was tipsy enough to be able to enjoy the call, yet sober enough to manage it. For once, when I gritted my teeth to make this call, the boy was at home with them. Not that it matters so much.

Because every time I call the House of Ex to talk to my kid, he doesn't want to talk to me. The Ex and the MIL think this is hilarious. The Ex threatens the kid with stuff he never knew he could have if he doesn't talk to me, as though talking to me were some sort of punishment. The MIL encourages shit behavior by laughing at everything the kid does, even when it clearly sucks.

It always is.
As for the 2 weeks thing, here's how that went down. A few weeks ago, FIL needed some treatment on his back, which just wasn't getting any better. I feel for that, you can be sure. But they couldn't take the boy that week. It's not like the Ex looks after the boy, as I'm sure you've all worked out by now. I have a job and shit and look after the boy on my own. The Ex has had a job for a few months, not that it matters because his mama does all the looking-after. She did it even when the Ex wasn't working for a year, just drunk all the time and sleeping or playing computer games most the day because the poor dear was Depressed after What I Did (kicking his loser ass out of the house before he broke my jaw or whatever).

Anyway, they were all missing the boy and the boy was missing them, as is to be expected. So it was decided (note the use of passive here, as though I'm absolving myself of this, which I'm not) that the boy should "stay with his dad" for the 2 weeks preceding our trip home to the US. Note the use of quotes on "stay with his dad." Yeah. Anyway, according to the MIL his "dad" misses him very much, and how is his "dad" to survive being without the boy for a whole month? It's very "sad" for his "dad."

He's that guy you see when it suits his fragile constitution.
The ridiculous use of quotations is meant to be ironic. Because when I left the boy with his "dad," you know what his dad did? He had just woken up at 1pm, grunted at me as he does, and promptly left the house to go hang out with his tea dickheads or whatever. LE calmly explained to me that this was because it was too hot for his dad to hang out with him. His dad would hang out with him later, when it was somehow more comfortable or convenient. Then he (LE) started being a jerk to me, and MIL laughed at it all, so I just left because who the fuck needs that shit?

I told LE I love him even when he's being an asshole and making me sad. Probably that was a fucked up thing to say in like 10 different ways but I don't suppose it serves the kid to lie to him either.

And that was 2 weeks ago. Every time I've tried to talk to the kid since then (twice they've cajoled him onto the phone-for-his-mama punishment), he's either said he doesn't have time to talk to me (ha ha ha ha ha ha in the background) or he's just hung up the phone. Finally, today, I managed to get a few sentences out of him, but they were all halting and stammered because he hasn't used English in a couple of weeks. He also sounded like he felt like he was doing something wrong for talking to me, but maybe I'm just reading to much into it.

Because before I managed to talk to the boy tonight, his dad was hollering at me. Quite why, I'm not sure, but I offer you some back-story.

It must have been this fly.
A few weeks ago, LE was playing on the street when something bit him on the neck. Unlike the other time he was crying on the street, this time I could tell it was for real and I went out in the braless boobie nipple shirt and everything, though I put on some flip-flops to avoid that other particular awkwardness. The neighbors all thought it was a bee sting but I could see it wasn't. There was no stinger and whatever it was that bit him took a wee chunk out, like a horsefly or something. LE and I iced it, and put some magic medicine on it (it's lavender and calendula, if you want to know the magic), and the next day it was gone. No swelling, no itching, no pain.

But then, either it's Lo and Behold or it's WTF, the fucker swelled up and started itching the boy's neck again a few days ago. So naturally, LE needed a trip to the doctor. In fact, I was all behind the trip to the doctor, because what the hell kind of bug could have bitten him that caused a reaction almost 3 weeks after the fact? Mostly I was hoping the doctor, or shall I say "doctor," would tell them (us) there was nothing to worry about.

Bwa-ha-ha! Stranger! You're a fucking idiot! Did you forget which doctor this is? Sorry, I mean "doctor?" Apparently the Ex, in all his wisdom and unparalleled "parentin'" had noticed a  wee swelling in the back of the boy's neck. On the lymph nodes. So the doctor did an ultrasound on that. Only the doctor wasn't qualified to interpret the results. So BE read the results to me in Turkish over the phone. Really fast. Without moving his lips very much. With my friends raising their eyebrows at me kindly in an "Everything ok?" kind of way.

So from what I could understand from the results in Turkish, the boy either has cancer and is going to die, or he's fine and it's nothing to worry about. I suggested BE go to another doctor with the ultrasound results and check it out.

Look, it's possible I didn't word it right. Maybe I said, "How about going to another doctor to make sure? I don't think we're qualified to work this out." Or maybe I said, "Can you take him to another doctor tomorrow or Saturday?" or maybe I said, "Get a second opinion."

No matter. BE started yelling at me. And cursing and saying a whole bunch of other shit. I didn't know why and asked him why. He told me to take him to a doctor in America and I told him there are just as good of doctors here, covered by insurance. Then he started yelling incoherently and I was asking him to stop yelling at me and my friends were looking at me, mouthing "Are you okay?"

Brave Face is crumbling.
Of course I'm okay. I'm always okay. My Brave Face is like nothing you would believe. And they didn't really believe it either but they pretended they did.

Then the Ex hung up on me, because that's what he does. So I called back and LE answered. And he hung up on me. So I called back like 3 more times with the same result. The last time, MIL answered and said, "LE doesn't want to talk to you." I said "I understand." I said it all wicked sarcastic but goodness knows if she can get such things.

By the time we got back into town, I had decided I should find out why the Ex got so mad at me. Naturally, deep down I wanted to have it out with him. I rehearsed the conversation all the way down the hill, but naturally it went all wrong. The Ex claimed I'd "ordered" him to take the boy to another doctor, like who am I to do such a thing and what kind of fucking mother am I? Rather than dicker with denials about ordering anyone to do anything, I popped off about how they never let me talk to my kid, how they all enjoy it so fucking much when he doesn't want to talk to me. In his mind there's goodness knows what, but in my mind there's the fact I haven't talked to my kid in 2 weeks, worsened now by the possibility he has lymphatic cancer or some shit.

I pointed out how I have my phone set up so the kid can call his dad whenever he wants. All he has to do is push the green phone button, and the star for favorites, and there's his dad's number. His dad is far from my favorite, obviously, but the boy is pre-literate and that was the best I could do. I make sure he talks to his dad every one or two days. Not just because I'm I righteous asshole, but also because it seems to me that's how it should be.

I miss you, little man.
It's a running theme in the garbage disposal of my head: 2 weeks without the little boy who goes everywhere with me. Whose little hand is always in mine. Whose little furnace body is squirming against me on the minibus and into me in bed at night. Who I discuss superheroes with every fucking 5 minutes. Who has started telling me he likes what I'm wearing or that I made a good dinner, sometimes. Who I can't stop smelling. Who I think about and worry about incessantly even when I believe I'm doing other more worthwhile, grown-up things. And all I get is a precious few seconds of his squeaky little voice on the phone for the last 2 weeks, telling me he doesn't want to talk to me and his fuckass babaanne laughing in the background, trying to take the phone from him to tell me in her fake-sad gleeful voice that he doesn't want to talk to me.

Having a kid is exactly like being crazy in love with someone fickle, only without the sex part. His babaanne is like the bitchy girlfriend I want to punch in the neck for taking him from me. Only rarely do I wonder why it has to be this way, why it has to be her or me. Did I make it this way? Really?

In marriage, as far as I can tell, the Fight is always a river tumbling under the surface. But apparently this is true post-marriage, too. It's just that while I was talking to the Ex, he started riding the Fight Rapids all on his own, about how I'm not good enough, and I had no idea what the hell was going on. The Ex hung up on me again.

Then I called back and he was all "Hang on," and there were some pocket-call noises and I assumed LE was at least holding the phone. Then I heard my Ex saying "Allo, allo," and I answered him in English and he hung up again.

Only it wasn't the Ex making strange sounds on the phone. I called back and he was all, "My dad was trying to talk to you and who the fuck is the man you're with?" I couldn't be bothered with the Jealousy Fight, a major Tributary of the Bad Wife and Mother Fight, which are all just offshoots of the You're Foreign and You Had More Enjoyable Sex With Other Men Before Me Fight, which are nothing compared to the Amazonian You're Tougher Than Me So You Don't Love Me Fight, so I just told him to put his dad on.

His dad is good. His dad is reasonable. But his dad was upset as hell, because the Ex had  told him I said they enjoy it so fucking much that LE doesn't want to talk to me.

Of course, when I said this, I was referring to the Ex and the MIL. FIL generally stays out of their petty teenaged bullshit. But of course he took such a thing to heart. He's a nice man.

Not wanting to tell him his son was a dick and his wife is a cunt who treats me like shit when no one is looking, I told him instead that his son became irrationally angry for no reason and had misunderstood and that I had said no such thing, of course a 5 year old child is entitled to be fickle. He told me it made him so sad to hear I believed they were all against me in some way. And of course that made me feel bad because he's the last guy in the equation I want to feel sad. Generally, though, he's the first one in that fucked up house to have the sense to be sad and feel guilty about the things his son and wife do to upset me.

Turkish bugs are scarier than normal ones.
And then he proceeded to bawl me out that I hadn't taken the boy to the doctor immediately after getting bitten on the neck by a fly. Didn't I know that this is Turkey and it's really hot right now and bugs and animals and trees and everything are all super-dangerous? I ventured that since the bite hadn't shown any signs of being swollen or itchy or hurty for two days, it was safe to assume it was okay. But he countered that this is Turkey and it's really hot right now and I don't know anything. Then he told me they'd been planning all along to take LE and the ultrasound results to a real doctor long before I'd "ordered" the Ex to do such a thing.

Apparently there was some crazy going on the crazy House of Ex that was causing the problem. Certain people in that house handle their Big Feelings with the deftness of wolverines.

Something's not right in that house.
So even though FIL was bawling me out, I didn't want him to be sad anymore because he's the guy who's been in my corner all along. I told him he was right and that if a fly ever bites my kid in the neck again, I'll be sure and take him to the doctor.

And then I reassured him that I didn't think they were all against me. I also thanked him for talking to me, and that I felt better after talking to him

He was still upset and told me that the Ex and I have to keep the peace for the boy's sake. I refrained from reminding him that his son is the shitdick who started this in the first place, and instead told him that it was good to hear his voice and that everything he was saying made me feel better and less worried.

Which was true. Believe me. Nonetheless, I couldn't help thinking that, Turkish-wise, I was handling the fuck out of this particular situation. On the phone, no less.

So then I continued the night out with my friends. There's was no amount of rakı that could make all this shit in my head okay, so I've just had to continue drinking at home by myself.

I've worked 2 hours on this post. I'll have to check tomorrow if it makes sense. As for the original list at the beginning, I am now:

1) Mad as hell at everyone, and embarrassingly weepy. I even smacked the wall and I keep crying a lot. I cried on the way home from the restaurant, and then again in the cold shower in a way that if I were Ben Stiller it would have been hella funny. I'm not even sure which of the things in my shitworld (listed below) is making me cry. The last time I cried about anything was when my cousin died.
2) Feeling weak because of some other shit I don't want to talk about.
3) Considerably more drunk, which still seems like a fucking good idea.
4) Dumb as fuck. Because you know what? I'm gonna give this a once-over tomorrow and still post the fucker on Facebook because I just really want to be the sort of person who does shit like that.
5) Worried sick. How could I not be? And for fuck's sake please don't assume this list is in order of importance because it's not.
6) Practical. Because I really need to believe that right now.



Ayak said...

If you want my opinion you need to stop letting your boy stay with the in-laws/"father" because they are clearly working on turning him against you. Poor little kid will at his age do whatever he's being asked to do just to please them.

The bite sounds like it could be a spider or some other small insect because they often don't materialise for a couple of days. I'd get another opinion anyway. I'm sure, and hope, its nothing more serious.
Finally please stop beating yourself up. You've been through a lot, you think you're not coping but you are. Have more faith in yourself and don't let these bastards get to you.
Sending you hugs (( x))

Stranger said...

Thanks, Ayak.

I often wonder if I'm being paranoid when I feel like they (especially the MIL) are trying to turn him against me. And then I wonder if that's what they're trying to do, what's the goal? What's the endgame? To take him? They had their chance to do that already, I think. Maybe they just want me to suffer? Or it gives them pleasure somehow? Sick fucks.

Poor little kid. I hope he works it out someday.


Ayak said...

He will work it out when he's older, believe me. I went through similar experiences with my children when they were around his age. Kids like to please but they aren't stupid.
You are also trying to keep everyone happy and trying to be fair. Time to stop and think about yourself and how you feel about it all....take back control!

(Sorry if I come across as a bit blunt...I just know how you feel and want you to do the right think for you and your boy) xx

UNchecked other said...

Stranger, you've always made me laugh with your witty take on life a la Turca. This time, though, your description of the little things about LE (talking about superheroes, holding little hands) made me cry. There really is no love as visceral as a mom has for her child. In that one paragraph, I can see how wonderful a mother you are. Yes, yes, despite your self-confessed little mistakes. You're not perfect--nobody is--but it's clear you love your son so passionately and unconditionally, and would do anything for him. LE is so lucky to have you as a mom.

As for the out-laws and the ex, I suggest that they go to a chestnut vendor and nut up, because what they're doing with the fake-sad/glee thing is just cowardly.

Chin up.

You're a force to be reckoned with. Your presence in LE's life is more than enough to undo the shitastic things the outlaws and the ex may brainwash him with.

Stranger said...

Hee! Shitastic.

Thanks. I hope you're right.

Anonymous said...

Owww, Stranger, tough spot to be in. Whatever gets you through!

Yeah, I bet he'll work it out (re comments above.) If you can take the high road, it seems a good way to go, for the boy... my maternal family was always nasty about my dad and the paternal side, and the paternal folks always said nothing, but just loved and supported me like there was no tomorrow. It took until I was in my teens, but I did see the difference (and I don't even talk to the maternal-side assholes anymore.) I love my dad's family for behaving appropriately and showing me what was right.

If you can manage it, don't ever descend to their level of behaviors; LE will see the difference over time. He's stuck with them; he's in their house; he has to act the way he thinks they want him to behave and he needs to fit in where he is (or that's how I remember feeling.) It takes a lot of biting one's tongue, I swear, but you've already proven yourself to be one tough woman. Fuck it and keep doing what you're doing, 'cause you're doing a hell of a job managing everything. A hell of a job! Keep ya chin up!

Anonymous said...

when i was reading your blog i felt really sorry for: sorry that you married the wrong guy who took you his country where the food awful (even you didn't tried ayran but looks gross, that was good enough for you) camels are everywhere and moreover you hate the country you live in, then want to go home so badly because people are not good in your perspective.
apparently you have a deep anger for turkey, may be you are right to be angry and using "f" word constantly, i don't know. please, please don't get me wrong, i am not mad at you or any other things but i hate generalizations...
i hope you and your baby will be happy somewhere that you love, obviously this will not be turkey.
i wish you good luck...

*another anonymous, not the previous one.

Stranger said...

There are camels everywhere?


Anonymous said...

keep up the good fight, kiddo!
yes, chin up!!