Thoughts on Karma

When I was younger, I had a friend who was in the process of going through a divorce and thought her husband was seeing another woman. I asked her how she was coping, and she proclaimed that she would be okay and that he would get his on Judgement Day. I remember being shocked that that sort of mentality kept her passive and submissive – he eventually came back to her (after she had weight loss surgery) and they are together still.

I think karma sounds benign enough when someone cuts you off and you think that they are going to get pulled over three blocks down, or when you give your spare change to the coffee can for March of Dimes at the cash register. But it’s really not a nice thing.

I went over to my ex-husband’s house on Friday to pick up something he had borrowed from me. I haven’t been alone with him since I first left him, so he had always been polite and normal. He has a weird sense of humor, but it was nothing inappropriate. We have a lot of mutual friends, and it got really awkward for me when I wasn’t “friends” with him in social media and because he had never done anything overtly horrible, I just sucked it up. It’s not like I share that much on FB anyway. Maybe he just wanted to stalk whoever I was dating at the time. I don’t really know. In any case, he knows about my husband’s illness.

So I listened for an hour and half as he updated me on the craziness in his life – he has become the surrogate father of a drug addict’s baby and they recently broke up again, complete with appearances from cops, violence, and a requested Amber Alert. And I forgot to mention the creepy sexual stories he told me, but I don’t think this blog is the place for that. And after he told me all about this, he asked me about DH. And so I told him that things were okay for now, but that we think his autonomic nervous system is failing. I didn’t go into too many details, but I did mention the most recent one: the fact that he is having trouble eating.

And then he said it.

Now before I tell you what he said, I need to insert a little background information. Year ago, when we were married, he had a double hernia operation. Even before he had the surgery, we had a tumultuous relationship. I was deeply unhappy. He was not a nice person to be around. He yelled, screamed, belittled me, and always had to be the center of attention. He said that I was rude and selfish and always had a knack of turning any concern that I had about him into a negative quality about me. This just got worse when he had his surgery. It just magnified the kind of person that he was. I’m sure that I wasn’t the best, either. I was stuck taking care of this old man who I was not meeting my needs. I took him to meet my family and I found that I was embarrassed by him. It was everything: his age, his weight, his overbearing personality, how he treated me in front of people. how he treated my parents – just everything.

So i dealt with him the same way I deal with everything – I put my feelings down on paper. I never had any intention of him reading my journal – it was my diary! I had written in it for years, so it’s not like he didn’t know what it was. One day, he found my ranting about him. I’m sure it was over the top. When you aren’t allowed to express yourself, you voraciously unload when given the opportunity. So while all of my complaints were most assuredly justified, I’m sure that my word choice was particularly cruel. I think at one point I said that I found him disgusting. It wasn’t just his recovery that upset me – it was his helplessness. Even when DH was in the ICU paralyzed, he wasn’t as helpless as R. DH never expected me to do anything for him – he appreciated everything I did and never took me for granted. R? Not so much. He wanted an employee to boss around, not a wife.

We got into a fight one day, and I left. I usually always left after a fight because he would follow me around the house, goading me and baiting me further. So usually I would get in my car, drive to Walgreens parking lot, and cry. Not really mature, but it’s what I did.

While I was gone, he read my diary. He was horrified that I wrote those mean things. (Note: I did go through all of my old things looking for that diary, but I can’t find it anywhere. He may still have it. He is the kind of person that would keep that sort of thing). When I got back home, he demanded an apology. From me. He didn’t think he did anything wrong – he claimed that he read my diary because I left it on the bed (doubt it) and that he thought I left it there for him. Uh, whatever.

So, with all that in mind, he asked me about my husband. I told him. And then he kinda laughed and asked if he could tell me something kinda mean. Uh, okay, I guess. I mean, I figured that a 50 year old man can determine whether or not something is appropriate to say out loud. So then he said, “You remember when I had my surgery and you wrote those nasty, horrible, mean things about me? Well, I think it’s karma that this happened to your DH.”

Karma? KARMA? How about it’s karma that your druggie “friend” cuckolded you into taking care of her and her kid for the past two years and now she’s left? How about it wasn’t your illness that disgusted me, it was YOU?

Karma? So you you think that’s why I had a sick daughter, too?

As weird and uncomfortable as last Friday was, I’m so glad it happened as a reminder to me that you are not a nice person, regardless of what you present to people. There’s a part of me that thinks you pursued this girl because no one is going to believe her – she’s a crazy druggie. You are an upstanding citizen (at least you play one on Facebook) who is generous and selfless and all that crap. Whatever.

Schadenfreude.