(Copied and pasted from thinking about things last night in Word.)
According to R, I don't.
I am physically incapable of doing this thing, let alone mentally incapable.
Now, in some respects, this is a good thing. When R needed help, I refused to give up until he had it. When the AC was crying every 40 minutes after we started weaning him, I didn't let it go until we found the problem, and I was bolshy about it. When I think my children in class need something, I don't just let it drop, I keep going. If there is work that needs doing then I will try and keep going until it's done. There are things on my list of things that I'm not giving up on now, which look like I've given up on them, but I haven't, and they will happen.
The thing is, I have patience. I have all the time in the world. I can wait and wait and work and work and I *know* that it will happen because usually it just needs hard enough work.
When it came to the marriages, I didn't give up on He-Ex1 until his mother took over, and then there was no work for me to do. But I didn't give up on him, I worked to make sure everything was in place for him before I left - and my leaving was the last bit of work I could do for him. He had to reach the bottom, and she was preventing that.
I didn't give up on He-Ex2. He left, he filed for divorce on the same day we were supposed to be going for counselling, he decided it was over.
I didn't give up on She-Ex and R! I supported him and tried to support her when she would let me, encouraged him to think of ideas to show how much he cared about her, but there was no point after she'd left.
I didn't give up on the relationship between R and BG. Now he's in a place where he can sort it out for himself, it's been so much nicer, but I will never give up on that, because he is such a wonderful father to the AC, and would be to the BG, and is, to the best of his ability. The systems that are in place now are ones that I worked hard to get in place, so it feels good to just leave it to them now. I know R is thankful to me, he tells me lol! I accept the She-Ex the way she is, so I don't expect thanks from her.
I suppose that really, I could have given up on these situations a long time ago. I could have walked away earlier from the Ex's and saved a lot of heartache - maybe even saved my own marriage to He-Ex2 without the stress and pressure from the others involved - but he had decided when the AC was 1 that he was looking for something else anyway.
And that's the thing. Relationships, marriages, even friendships, only work when both people are trying. If the other person isn't trying, isn't even prepared to try, then there is not point, and that makes them already having given up. When I moved to here, that was, apparently, me giving up on the marriage.
He-Ex2 had already filed for divorce - but my moving 15 miles was me giving up, he said.
I don't give up.
I wanted the AC to have a strong relationship with whoever was in my life, and that meant choosing carefully, so, when eventually I did, I was determined to do it my way. And now, R and AC are inseperable. It's taken 3 years to get this far, but we did, because neither of us were giving up on having a strong family environment for both us and the AC to live in. At the end of the day, family is all there is. It's composition is up to R and I now, and it has to be that which is best for the AC.
R says that sometimes I should just give up, let things go, and the time I did it, it was certainly empowering, to tell someone that I didn't want anything to do with them and their rudeness and obnoxiousness anymore. It was a toxic relationship, caused by the other person pouring poison onto it and anything else that person touched because of the way they felt about the friendship, so it was better to say what needed to be said, and just walk. Was that giving up? Not by the standard I mentioned earlier - the other person had already given up, decided not to try, decided to be antagonistic, rude and horrible, and others were suffering because of that persons inability to let go. So I let go. One of the best things I ever did. There is still suffering, but that will be solved soon, and then all will be well. Perhaps not so much giving up then, as fighting on in a different way....
In those situations, I'm still glad that everything turned out the way it did. That giving up wasn't an option for me.
I know in other situations it irritates the heck out of R, because I won't give up if I don't understand something, or if I can't do something, I'll work until I do, even if it's days, weeks or months later.
That warrents a blog of it's own though.
School beckons. Another day at the pixel face!