Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weathering the storm

Turns out Sandy is more than just a na├»ve-girl-turned-leather-clad-vixen in a delightful 70s musical. Starting Thursday, we began hearing rumblings of The Perfect Storm – a category 1/2 hurricane being egged on by a high pressure system and headed directly on a collision path with a low pressure system from the Arctic.

By Friday, the camping and automotive sections of Target were stripped bare of any flashlights or lanterns, and people were grappling over canned carrots and the remaining packs of water at Giant.

Everyone was preparing to secure their home and hunker down and wait this out. Everyone except Charming. Who decided getting on an airplane Sunday morning and flying directly into the storm was more important than being here with me and our new home.

You see, he and his boss were scheduled to interview some mid-level FAA execs in Atlanta and obviously – despite the fact that half the east coast was about to shut down – the interview had to go on. Nevermind that it was dangerous to fly out. Or that if the storm hit Atlanta bad the execs wouldn’t be able to meet. Or that his boss got out early and could have conducted the interviews on her own. Or that he could have been skyped into any meetings he really needed to attend.

No – it was absolutely critical that he put the stupid interview above my fears and his own life and our relationship.

I cried and I begged and I was violently nauseous from fear and desperation, but he rolled his eyes at me and headed for the airport.

And so I spent last night with the sofa pulled as far away from the living room window as I could get it, huddled under a blanket, with my legs soaking wet from hourly trips into the basement to try to stop the flooding in our back drain, crying and scared and alone. Every few minutes I’d leap up from the sofa and run to the door to see if that loud noise was the tree in the front yard beginning to fall.

And he had the nerve to call and apologize AFTER talking to his boss and determining that maybe – just maybe – he should have put me first just this one time. Maybe next time she can give him permission to take a shit, too.

We fight occasionally, but this feels different. This has really damaged my core of trust in our relationship. If he was willing to ignore my fear and desperation in the face of the worst storm in the past 20+ years and put his job first, when else might I not come first? Just how low do I rank on his list of Important Things? What kind of catastrophe is it going to take to make him listen to me? Can I have a child with someone who isn’t willing to even consider putting my health and my safety above a non-essential work trip?

Fortunately the house seems to have weathered the storm just fine (although I haven’t checked outside for damaged siding or anything yet), but I shouldn’t have had to be here alone. I shouldn’t have had to come to terms with the fact that he was so determined to prove that he could make his own decisions and be independent from me that he refused to even listen to me. I shouldn’t have had to listen to my life partner – to the man I’ve purchased a house with and committed my life to – tell me to grow up because I asked him to put me first.

And my heart hurts, and I’m anxious that the after-effects of this storm are going to be a lot more far-reaching for us than anyone could have predicted. 

1 comment:

  1. My husband was in Brazil. He is often in another country when we get hit with really bad storms. It is something I've come to accept and understand, even though I really don't like it. It is his job and just something he MUST do. He doesn't like it either. I would have much preferred him to be there with me through the storm, to deal with the leaking front window, etc. Like my oldest said, "I feel safer when daddy is here." Word.

    But here's the thing . . . from your post, I don't think the problem was that he was travelling during a storm. Obviously, that was the impetus. But it seems what was the worst part was that he did not validate your concerns or fears, and that's what really stung. I get that. Maybe he didn't understand HOW upset you were or how scared. I think guys are just dense about a lot of those kind of things. They aren't scared, so they don't get what the big deal is. I would suggest having a conversation about it, and letting him know that when you have concerns, you really need him to HEAR you. Maybe he just doesn't realize that he's not.

    I'm sure it will be fine and you will work it out. I've been with my hubs 16 years. We have had some trust-shaking moments of surprise as well. I think everyone does and it's how you weather it that tells you if it's meant to be. I'm sure your's is. Good luck.