So, the car we bought last summer comes with the Sirius/XM option.
I never paid attention because it would involve signing up for something, so I just keep the dial on the local college station.
Apparently, there is a trial or something, because my son, Joey, activated it. I’m not complaining. I found a station I liked. Randy and I listened to early 80s music while running errands.
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel played and the song triggered a memory.
It would be nice if my only memory of In Your Eyes was of Lloyd Dobbler holding a boom box over his head. But it’s not.
My second husband had narcissistic personality disorder. He was more charming and more subtle than my father, but they were cut from the same cloth.
When we first started seeing each other and were in the discovery period, we had stars in our eyes. In Your Eyes was peaking in popularity at the time and I adored the song. I was 26 years old and falling in love with my boss. This was the beginning of a 4 year span that would tear me down as much as my narcissist father did in my childhood.
If I had known then what I know now, I could have seen what was in store for me. I didn’t though.
All I could see was a man who was older and gentle. A pure and caring soul.
I wrote out Peter Gabriel’s lyrics and gave them to him. I fully expected that he would recognize the song. Seriously, what is more romantic than having your eyes compared to the doorway of a thousand churches?
He thought I wrote them.
My second husband wrote lyrics and music. He played acoustic guitar. Imagine, if you will, a computer programmer who aspires to one day be as cool as John Denver, but doesn’t quite hit the mark. That was my second husband.
He freaked out when he read those lyrics. I didn’t know it then, but looking back, I would have seen that he was freaking out. If I had known then what I know now. These can’t possibly be the exact right words, but they are close.
Second Husband (before he was my second husband): These aren’t too bad.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Second Husband: A little amateurish, but with some work, they’d be okay. Serviceable.
Me: Really? Because I think they’re pretty good.
Second Husband: You really won’t grow as a writer until you can take criticism.
Me: Ummmm, I didn’t write those lyrics. That’s a Peter Gabriel song.
Second Husband, visibly relieved: Oh, okay. That makes more sense. I didn’t think you could write like this.
I should have seen then, how threatened he was by the thought that I might have some talent, and how he immediately tried to tear it down. I didn’t, though. He continued to tear me down for the next 4 years. He was more subtle than my father. My father’s approach to life was barrel through and hit it with a hammer. My ex wrapped his criticisms and put downs in concern and “helpfulness”.
By the time I escaped, he had nearly convinced me that I was mentally ill enough to be a threat to myself. He and his doctor buddy were pushing to get me on lithium.
I did escape, though.
I escaped and I found Randy.
I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now. If I had, then perhaps I would have taken a different path and then my reality wouldn’t have included Randy or Joey or my stepdaughters and grandchildren.
4 years of being miserable is an acceptable price to pay for my life today.
It’s not perfect. I am still a walking bundle of anxiety. But I spend my days with a person who always builds me up and never tears me down.
I found my resolution to all the fruitless searches.