I am going to skip the inline....too confusing after one or two. No problem.
Not trusting you is a big deal...no question. And as we talked about it is not the little stuff. It is what seem to me to be oddities in what you do and say on important issues. I feel as if I give you the benefit of the doubt and get burned for it or maybe just get left with unresolved questions. I can elaborate some, and I have tried at times, but you seem to get indignant and defensive. So I kinda stopped trying to explain or to get you to. I'm actually not sure what you're talking about honestly, but I do remember clearly that if you don't get the answer you want, you get mad. Plus, you don't seem to respect that I am different from you, and that I don't do things the same way, and that I don't like being interrogated, and neither do most people. And please don't forget that I've been functioning at an average of 60% capacity for the last year. I may not be able to follow through with something. I may not get to something right away. I may change my plans. I think you take things like that as some conspiracy against you. And do keep in mind that a person who feels like he/she is always in trouble is going to be a little unpredictable. I constantly vacillate between being myself and staying out of trouble. It's a conflict that's with me all the time. If I'm myself, I could get thrown out because I'll inevitably do something you don't like. If I try to stay out of trouble, I forget who I am and become some robot just to keep the peace with you. And you're still not satisfied. It makes me nuts. And I'm still reeling from you telling me that you'd "forgotten that [you] don't trust [me]" when things were going better. I really wonder if you know how much you put me through the wringer each and every day with the things you say.
I would never begin to say or even think "they should be so happy that I paid for blah blah blah" or "they should not be so excited to leave since I bought them blah blah blah." I am actually a little insulted that you have thought I would think that. Sorry. It sounded like that was exactly what you were saying. I won't say an occassional bit of gratitude would be nice rather than what often appears to be a deep sense of entitlement. As I said tho...kids will be kids...often lost in their own heads and worlds. And I don't begrudge them a little entitlement...they are good girls and an occasional thanks does come through. It could simply be they have little concept of the near constant trade-offs made each day. They do understand that they can't have and do everything they want. They've actually done without a lot compared to their peers, but I try to not involve them in money problems too much because they've seen and heard too much of it already. They also aren't likely to talk to you about money, particularly after hearing you say crazy things about money/purchases. And saying that I'm "made of money" after I've asked you not to over and over is one example. It may be simple sarcasm to you, but they see it as you insulting me because I've bought something, even if it is a soda. They know I'm not "made of money" or even close, so they wonder why in the hell you keep saying that. [Kid2] & [Kid1] want to go to the movies...I think they deserve that simple thing especially when they can get themselves there and back, but $40 isn't nothing and represents a sacrifice somewhere by someone. Do I expect anything in return? No, I wish I could do more. I would spoil them rotten if I could and I do feel like I am failing at times as a result of not being able to provide everything they need... I heard you say they were glad to be going...my thought was they considered the whole relationship bad and with out any positives for them. Which disappointed me because I thought (hoped) in some ways I might have contributed positively to them beyond being an ATM and that perhaps [Kid3] and I and [Kid2] and I might be friends or have some other connection, even if uneasy and unclear. So you'd spoil them rotten, but you can't cut them any slack on the dishes? You can spend money on them, but you get pissed if they use something that "belongs" to someone else? That is something you may not be used to, but I am. Living in a houseful of people...comes with the territory. I actually wonder why you don't have a similar opinion, but from what you've told me about your upbringing, I see the difference. I didn't have a room of my own until I was 15, and many kids don't. Kids have to carve out their own territory and fight for it. Those skirmishes over someone taking something that supposedly "belonged" to someone else are part of it. The frustration over someone using all of the shampoo you thought belonged to you is very normal to me, although it is aggravating. I get picky over the things of mine that were more expensive because I get in trouble with you when I buy them (or need them because I'm allergic to almost everything else). These things are what I consider everyday frustrations with living with other people, and they flare quickly and die just as quickly, to be forgotten minutes later. [Kid3], for example gets furious when she's told not to touch anything of [his kid]'s, but she then sees [his kid] getting into her things, climbing the steps of the bed to first see if she is awake or shining the flashlight in her face, then climbing down to play with [Kid3]'s dolls.
As to the stress...I don't see it. Not that I am blind...they just have never expressed their stress to me, at least that I recall. And if one or another is quiet or moody, well they are growing girls and it could be the snakes growing faster that their noggins. Seriously if you don't tell how much I am stressing them I don't know it. And I might need to be told more than once or twice or thrice and reminded periodically. It just is not at the forefront of what I have going on most times. Why in the world would they talk to you about their stress? When [kid2] was worried about failing, you said the dumbest things that did nothing but make her cry. And that's just one example.
Most couples are going to fight sometimes... it seems logical a couple would fight more when under stress. We have been under a lot of stress. Have we handled it badly? Sure and not just me either. Have we handled it better that a lot of folks would? I think so and not just you. I think we've done a lousy job all around. I'm not sure what "I think so and not just you" actually means. I don't think we fight fairly. I try to do everything right by not accusing and by using the "I feel" statements that are supposed to be "correct," but you grind me into the dirt.
The walking on eggshells I just don't get. I am not a tyrant...I generally do not strike people or things. I do get angry, sure...I raise my voice and bang things a bit. But I have heard plenty of doors slam in that house and I don't recall slamming a single one personally. Now made extremely mad I say hurtful things...that may be the only point I would concede here and I agree it is not small. Your eggshell reaction I guess it is at least partly the PTSD causing you to go to far in appeasing and avoiding. Maybe the girls are learning it from you. Or maybe it is kin / not-kin thing. Where instinctively the mammal young believe the non genetic related male of the same species will kill and eat them. My PTSD reaction...I feel like I'm in a very similar situation that caused the PTSD in the first place. I'm less fearful of physical violence, but many of the same circumstances are there. Can't be myself without ridicule...check. Accused of being crazy, so therefore nothing I say is true...check. Ridiculed for my opinions, yet they are followed, and then when the outcome is undesired, it's my fault...check.
The things that tick me off are the day to day stupid things. Especially the ones I have asked you to correct. It does not seem unreasonable to me to get a little help around the house...keeping it from being a pigsty, not wasting money, respecting other peoples possessions, etc. I don't believe it is your contention that these things are unreasonable, but you do very little to make them happen, which is quite frustrating. An occasional mistake is one thing and I easily overlook those, but that is often not what is going on. You don't give me credit for jack shit. And honestly, you don't let anything slide.
Back to the "Big fat liar" subject. Again you have insulted me. I do not want you to say what I want. I like arguing with you when we are doing so playfully. I want you to hold your convictions strong and dear, however stupid or wrong they are. So I'm supposed to keep talking about what I think just so you can make fun of me? It sounds like you really get off on telling me how wrong you think I am. I hate it when you are right and I am wrong...very humbling although I try not to let on, very humbling , but very impressive. (Fortunately for me you are almost never right). I hope you understand that this is a hell of a lot of emotional abuse. The things I am talking about are far more serious. My concern of trust is mainly about the weird things you do. Weird is not the right word, but it is all I can find. It is things that I would not expect in 100 years a person to do...they hit me out of left field and are that much more troubling as a result. There is no way it would occur to me to ask you not to do these things...it just seems common sense not too. And then they will sometimes get followed up by "suspicious" events. And there is no way to prove one way or the other what really happened...so I must trust you, but the thing smells fishy (is outside of my realm of understanding) so I have trouble. I want to believe you, but I don't want to be a fool. I don't know if my lack of trust on these things is a deal-breaker for you and I don't know if the continued possibility of them happening is a deal breaker on my side (I don't handle the chaos well). Maybe you can see where I am coming from enough so that you can agree a conclusion of "he does not trust me period" is (or at least might be) too simple. If so, then maybe we can find a solution. I will never be able to give you 100% blind faith so if that is what you want there truly is no point. The email to [former mutual friend] is the most recent example of the kind of things I am talking about. Has it occurred to you that maybe you're the "weird" one? And I admit, talking to [former mutual friend] was probably not ever wise, but when I tried to get your advice, you bit my head off. I can't talk to you about things that are wrong, and I can't afford to join things to make friends, and you were encouraging (pushing?) a friendship with her on me since the beginning. Not to mention the fact that she badmouthed [BM] with a furor. I find it hard to believe that she and [BM] were ever even friends. So sure, after many things [former mutual friend] said, I thought I could vent safely. I had done it before, as had she. And someone who forever talks about getting together and doing things, yet not thinking of themselves as a friend to that person doesn't make sense to me. Why would she constantly want to come here or have us to her house or meet us somewhere if she was not building and nurturing a friendship? That combined with the things she said? Oh, but I'm the one who fucked up and made everything worse. I feel like I've been dropped ass-first into a world of weirdness, yet no one will explain the rules to me. I just get vilified when I do something the inhabitants don't like. So I think she played both sides and got her kicks from it, but now she'd backtrack and sell her own mother just to make herself come out smelling like a rose. I'm sure she's thrown me under the bus, so to speak, just so she doesn't get called out on being a duplicitous, treacherous she-devil.
In general I do trust you. I I have faith in your judgment. I have demonstrated that faith and trust following your advice and suggestions repeatedly. Did I do it blindly? No...I treated it as wise consul, sometimes not following it when my own self pointed another direction. Yet you were so happy to tell me that you didn't listen to me. Then you told me you listened to me, but liked telling me you didn't. And then when all of the mediation shit happened, you were really quick to say that you always listened to me. Hmmm....I smell a rat.
I won't argue your point on the counselor although I don't agree with it. Communication again. If counseling is something we decide to pursue then we can solve the problem by choosing a person and schedule together...I honestly think there are only about two who will fit the requirements anyway. So if the guy says something you don't like, will you just chalk it up to him having some kind of bias? If I repeat something he says, will you call me a "pawn of the medical establishment?" It's funny that you'll tell me that things in print aren't to be believed, but if it's a something YOU read or find out, it's the gospel. Oh, but that's right...I'm not as smart as I think I am. I'm not as good at this stuff as I think I am. You think counseling will help you learn to stop seeing me as some dog you can kick around?
I have accomplished very little today...