Henry’s Women (Part I in a Series of Really Long Posts)

So.  Henry has found a rebound girl.  

Henry?” My father scrunched his face in confusion when I first referred to my ex by that name in conversation.  Yes, I explained.  I’ve begun calling him Henry in commemoration of Henry VIII, because of the way in which his entire character so unmistakably, strikingly recalls that of the illustrious megalomaniac.  My father continued to scrunch his face as he considered.  Then his face screwed around differently in cynical amusement.  “You’re right.  They both fall passionately in love with someone, and then they want to kill her.”  Indeed, my ex shares everything with the infamous king from his power complex, to his grandiose, yet fragile self concept to his unchecked extravagance to his consecutive appropriation and then disposal of women like worn-out pantyhose with indefatigable efficiency.  Even the portraiture is echoed in the present most eerily, in the same wide-legged, imposing stance of a self proclaimed alpha male that you see in the still-relevant portrayal painted back in the 1500s:  The profile of a bloodthirsty narcissist evidently looks the same now the same as it did 500 years ago.  

Workshop_of_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_Portrait_of_Henry_VIII_-_Google_Art_Project

 

Henry revived the Facebook page that he deactivated the day our divorce decree was signed, as I found on a recent Friday night when I checked (Yes, of course I still check.  And I have nothing to say for myself).  His page had been back up for about a day.  A picture of him smiling fatuously with a sweet-faced, giddily lovestruck longhaired brunette stuck up there for his profile image.  His “About” section announcing he’s been in a relationship with giddily lovestruck longhaired brunette since February 3rd, which was but a few days after we saw each other at the hearing where I withdrew a motion I had put in to modify the restraining order I have against him.  

Last January he broke the restraining order and contacted me in what apparently turned out to be a fleeting moment of desperation, or maybe just a desperately enacted sequence of machinations.  Said he missed me soooo much etc. etc., and that he’d “do anything to make our marriage work” [sic].  Wishfully–wishing it weren’t absurd to believe him and to hope that he were capable of true introspection and reform– I filed a motion the very next day to modify the order to allow for lawful contact between us so we could try to work things out.  My best friend was harrowed at my move.  “He’s manipulative and insane,” she implored.  “Don’t go back to him and make yourself twice an idiot.”  She didn’t need to plead with me much more after that, however, because it only took a few unpredictable and unproductive exchanges with him to figure out that he didn’t actually want to do anything at all on his end to “make our marriage work;” he only wanted me to rescind the restraining order without any questions (or answers, for that matter).  He continued to have just as much vitriol for me as when he erupted in rage and drove me out of the house 5 months earlier.  

My lawyer furthermore had managed to get her hands onto my mind before Henry had fully twisted it, and talked some sense into me.  “I feel he is doing this to get what he wants and you will not benefit in any way by giving into him and rescinding the order,” she pointed out during a moment of weakness when I was very close to pandering to his emotional blackmail.  Perhaps she was stating the obvious, but at that specific point in time her advice sounded most profound.  “Remember,” she continued.  “He’s done whatever he’s wanted since the time this all started no matter what we did to negotiate with him.”

After this brief, heartbreaking, failed attempt at attempting reconciliation, during which Henry’s sudden switch into his unknown evil persona that took place right before we separated was confirmed to persist, I still had to go to the hearing, now scheduled for no reason, and I had to see him again, for the first time in 5 months: the torture.  At the courthouse that day, what I really wanted to do was run up to him and fling my arms around him and squeeze him and cry.  I only could see my loving Henry that I married standing on the other side of the judge, wearing the large-eyed, ingenuous, endearing countenance that he uses to win women over and to aid in situations that put him in a vulnerable position such as this one.  But instead of gushing out my love for him, I told the judge to keep the no contact order in place.  The next day he posted on his anonymous sounding-board Facebook page that he knows only I know about.  He seemed to believe that my decision to have the motion dismissed wasn’t fully my own, that I wasn’t capable making such a determination.  Or at least, that’s how he wanted to paint the situation:

She does what she’s told like a good little dependent sheep. She is going to have to live the rest of her life knowing that she threw away any chance of getting back a man who accepted her for all her MANY flaws and loved her anyway. Enjoy your mom’s attic you miserable bitch. *This is just a random status update intended for no body in particular.*

I wasn’t so convinced of his mutual love for me upon reading this.

Anyhow, according to the Facebook footprints, he contacted this new chick (who, based on what I’ve gathered, is a former recycled girlfriend who he dated and dumped 13 years ago, very shortly before his first marriage) within 48 hours of our last botched correspondence with one another.  In vengeful waywardness, he  “hoovered”  her back into a relationship with him in the smothering, yet irresistible, manner that he had forged one with me when we met 2 years ago, and is keeping her around for purposes both to distract his empty heart and to break mine even more, as well as to have someone to manipulate of course, until at least the property division phase of our post-divorce is complete.  Then he’ll still have enough time to get rid of her, reclaim his independence, and quickly pick up someone else to fill his void by the time of what will be the first anniversary of our separation in August, and then another one by the time of what would have been our second marriage anniversary in December….etc etc–assuming he doesn’t go ape on them as well and drive them away before he can dump them.  Thus the perpetual cycle of his life that has always been will continue.

Naturally, because I still love him (against my will), I experienced deeply visceral, intensely palpable physical reactions upon finding the public page that he conspicuously furnished specifically for me to find.  The familiar guttural sweep of nausea and self loathing that overcomes me whenever I learn something extremely unpleasant or become panic-stricken spread out from my entrails up through my chest and into my throat.  My immediate impulse was to run to the bathroom and stick my toothbrush down my throat and throw up the several pieces of chocolate I had just consumed one after the other in rapid succession while staring blankly at the computer screen in my mismatched socks and ratty pink Tinkerbelle pajamas.  (This is the solitary ritual of self indulgence that characterizes my usual Friday nights.  Such has been the case, of course, for my entire single life, which is almost my entire life, with the exception, since my late 20s, of the throwing up part).  But I managed to stifle that urge, reminding myself that I’d be giving him exactly the kind of pathetic, agonized, self destructive reaction he was explicitly seeking from me when he put this self constructed fantasy up for the world to see.  So instead I immediately went to bed for the evening, at 8am, not actually tired but not wanting to be awake.

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