Silly Grins

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


“Your wife doesn’t beat your kids, does she?”

“No, she beats me.”

“Well, my wife, she goes after the kids. And my instincts say protect at any cost. My instincts take over. Not my logic. Not my reason. That primal drive that goes from zero-to-sixty in less than a heart-beat when I see the blazing dilations of anger directed at my children accompanied by a full set of gnarly adult teeth bared in a snarl below that set of  wide open sockets of irreconcilable maternal rage. ” 


“What happened?”

“Had I been trained to control my anger in a reflexively aggressive manner, you would be reading about it in the paper." 

"Don't go there. Man, you don't want to go there. Not worth it."

"I know. The bright side is, thanks to the table between us, I missed. And now I am paying the price. Just, I don’t know how much it is going to cost until the physical account is tallied. The minimum price is bound to include a few sessions with the dojo approved ding-repair guru.  The body-therapist is good. He’s got experience and should be able to give me his opinion. A lot better than running off to hospital to endure having a number of unnecessary and costly diagnostics performed on my dairy air.”

“You must feel ashamed of yourself?”

“A bit of that, for sure. I let myself down. Funny thing is, I’m still hoping she gets the message that there’s a difference between disciplining the kid and attacking him.  Especially considering the fact that all her rage, all that hellish energy she was directing at her child was triggered by her own actions. She knocked over  her own glass in anger. And then she became something else.  Blame it on that wicked temper of hers. Maybe she was furious that I let her know I was not going to help her clean up her mess. Unfortunately, the torrent from the river of fire in her mind was directed toward her kid. And I attempted to step in front of that. She triggered my primal ignition switch.”

“I guess the fact that my wife beats me is something to be happy about. There really is a bright side to everything.”

 A or B?
 Which is it? Take your pick...

“And this?”

“Daughter is the youngest. The bright light.  And she sees all. This is how she expresses it. She doesn’t have the vocabulary, but she’s able to connect the visuals.  Only two cards from which to choose. Pretty simple. "A" or "B". But it has to be a choice. And it takes two. That is the divide between wife and I. She lives in a world tormented by an undeveloped, shadow child-side that appears to be taking over. Alcohol doesn't help.”

“My mother-in-law says she first saw the rage when she was three. Daughter who sees all, she’s not too far from that age. Hasn’t even started school.”

“And your daughter, she can see this?”  

“Guess she gets that from my side. The contrast on the photo has been turned up to that you can see what the "B" side looks like. All frowns. She made extra effort to point out the fact that there's a crack down the middle of the heart. Her gift can be a curse.” 

"She drew a few more of these on other pieces of paper as her way of coping. She's handing them out. One for Grandma. One for Grandpa. This is how she is coping. There is no easy way. And I'm not going to ignore the mess. Not going to buy my head in the sand while son gets ripped to shreds by maternal demons."

These are the cards...


  1. Got nothing to offer on this. I know it's not looked for or expected, but still. How do Grandpa and Grandma feel about their cards?

    Don't envy 'him' at all, but sounds like he's got his priorities straight at least. Small mercies...

    1. Some stuff is cultural, just the way some families are, and some stuff needs addressing. Everybody is choosing 'A', but the catch is that choice requires more... a lot more cooperation and far less, if any, condemnation in order to avoid what looks like default mode, which is the 'B' side. Grandma and Grandpa in-law are saints. Big hearts and small mercies.


  2. Sounds like my ex-wife. Trust me, it's never going to get any better as it already sounds like she's got the imprint that lasts forever. I'm so sorry that the little ones are caught in the middle as I know you are too. You have the power, my man. You have the power. A woman like that can bring out the worst in you; make you do things you never imagined.

    You can say it's none of my f@#king business, but since you blogged it, it kind of is.
    Exit strategy fast... for the sake of the kids.

    1. (Slow response due to message initially getting placed in the dreaded SPAM box)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and for the follow up that was in the in-box.

      Can imagine Wifey sounds like many ex-wives as well as quite a few who are yet to have the prefix bestowed upon them. Yeah, that 'bringing out of the worst' has happened to a degree. And maybe it even brings out a little of the best.

      I'll attempt to humor you.

      Once upon a time, as the urban legend was told in the halls of learning, there was a man (maybe named Dr. Richter) who performed tests with rats. Apparently, hope for a brighter future gave the rodents incentive for them to swim for up to something like 60 hours before dying instead of going under after the first 15 minutes. The way I figure it, as long as my hope flare hasn't burned out, I'll actually be able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as I don't panic and just keep moving. That or die trying while leaving a cynical trail of blog posts.

      I do plan on sticking with this at least a while longer if for nothing more than the fact that this whole blog experience is based on the concept of five posts about the relationship. The first four were written within a week. Only one has been 'published' so far. The 5th post is going to write itself when the time comes. Until then, there's still a lot in-between.


  3. The kids are sponges soaking up everything around them. Handle this stuff wrong and you'll be seeing the reflections in their actions for the rest of your life and blaming yourself.

    1. "You'll be seeing the reflections in their actions for the rest of your life and blaming yourself." Something Wifey has been told on a number of occasions by me. Now it is my turn to be reminded. I do appreciate the reminder.

      Thank you.

  4. Being the 'rager' in my partnership, I will be the first to admit that is has taken me till the ripe old age of 32 (in a few weeks) to unlearn some of my learned behaviors. Being the crazy wifey, I have learned that I can bring the worst out of my mister but I can also bring out the best. I know we care for each other deeply or we would not illicit the feelings of good (and bad) between us.
    I hope that for your kiddos sake things can be smoothed over and your wife will learn from her mistakes.
    Trust me, it's a long hard battle but if she is serious she can improve. I thank my lucky stars I started to notice that I was the crazy one and that I have had anger management issues. Now I just continue to work on them, not an easy task.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. Being able to recognize what's going on is such a big hurdle for people. Anyone who pretends that it is easy is trying to sell something, from my experience.

      Caring. Even if those intense feelings are kind of extreme at times, it's good that the care is still there. Nice hearing good news.

      Kids. My worst fear is that we continue to set bad examples and they end up following suit with partners who are no better... simply out of conditioning and familiarity.

      But I'd be lying if I was that pessimistic. She does have some serious anger issues. At least her issues are up front. A lot of people hide things and don't know. She does know. So there is hope.

      And even if men are not always so bright and women not always so sane, we're learning. Maybe the hard way, but we're learning. (Wow, there's an echo in here... here)

      Love is definitely the best show on earth.