Giving up, or, returning the favor…


I had a rough morning. I have desperately wanted time alone to work out some of the things I’m discovering about myself and develop an understanding of what these things mean in terms of opportunities for change. I got up and decided I had to force myself to try to look good, for my own sake – and for a change. Self care has been way low on my priority list.

I am one of those women who is attractive, takes care of herself, dresses well, always has her toes painted, and I generally feel good about having fun with how I dress. I’ve missed that about myself but honestly, I really haven’t given two shits lately. Ugh!

So this morning, despite rampant PMS, I committed to do one thing. I took a shower, shaved my legs as I do every day in the summer, and proceeded to remove the 6 week old polish on my toes. H was in and out of the bathroom – because of course I cannot have privacy, at all, ever, and so he saw me shaving my legs. Apparently he’s missed the daily shave tendency because when I told him I wanted to go to my apartment, he asked me if I was going to paint my toes too. I thought it was an odd connection to make but I said yes, they looked like hell. He said “oh” and walked away. He skulked around until I asked him what was wrong. He told me that he was having flashbacks [interesting choice of words given our conversation about my C-PTSD last night] about my painting my toes, shaving, and waxing every time I would go out of town and figured I was going to my apartment so I could have an affair again.

WHAT? Oh my god. Really?

I became frustrated to the point of exhaustion and said “I’m done. I quit. I’m terminating my lease and I’m not going to any more counseling sessions. I’ll not paint my toes and I’ll just stay here, where you can watch me, forever. I give up. I quit.” He turned around and said “Are you sure? Don’t you think you should think about that before you make such big decisions?” and then he walked away, quite satisfied with himself.

He came back in and asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with him and our youngest son. I said “OK”, put on my makeup, a little jewelry, and proceeded to be the perfect wife he wants; with a side of simmering resentment. He was happy as a clam most of the time until he caught my vibe, which I dismissed. He said “Oh I just want you to be happy” to which I thought “yeah, right. Only if that’s within your controlling parameters…”

After dinner and a movie we came home and I proceeded to do some laundry and clean up the kitchen. He became more and more frustrated that I wasn’t engaging in battle and/or noticing his sulking. He told me that when he got back from an errand, he fully expected me to be gone. I smiled at him and said “Oh no, not happening.” He shot a hateful glare at me and I said “Oh what’s wrong? You’re getting what you want…” I don’t want this…I’ll just stuff down my feelings and I won’t share them anymore with you… to which I responded “Oh no, only ONE of us has to do that to make this work!”

As I ran upstairs with laundry to put away he jabbed “Ok, I’ll go then.” I cheerfully volleyed back “OK, whatever.” He was less satisfied with his tactics than before and went back in for one more “You had better leave” command which I flat out rejected by saying “Oh no honey, we are both staying in the boat. Nobody leaves.” (Alright, it was more of a hiss…he had it coming.)

So here I sit. Thinking stupid shit like I’ll never paint my toes again, I’m going to cut my long, gorgeous brown hair to a very short “style”, start wearing matronly clothing, strip out the color to reveal the gray, and generally become as unattractive as he makes me feel. No more therapy, no more efforts to fix the marriage, no more anything.

You want dysfunction baby? It’s in my genes. Bring it on. [my thought process]

At one point I was thinking I should quit my job too, since I’m the only paycheck in the house. Then I’ll join the ranks of the highly medicated Stepford wives where I live. Hmmmm, but I couldn’t be a Stepford wife if I looked like that could I…

Yeah, it’s irrational but I’m damn tired of taking his shit. I feel he wants to make me miserable any time I step outside of his command zone. Well, if he’s going to manipulate me while I’m resisting being miserable, I fully intend to make him miserable as hell along with me. You want to choke the life out of this relationship? Fine. So be it.

grrrrrr I’m pissed. What a selfish asshole.


6 thoughts on “Giving up, or, returning the favor…

    • Thanks for the sweet sentiment Cat. My depression is the result of long term yuckiness (situational) but Greg’s depression, I think, is more long term and a part of his fibre. He’s generally pretty negative and argumentative so it almost seems like a chicken-egg question where he’s concerned. Interestingly, he argues that his depression is because of our situation whereas I see it as something that has been a part of him from Day 1. IDK. Whatever it is, I am totally fatigued on both the physical and emotional levels. I suppose anyone would be.

  1. Hey, you. This post brought me out of my silence. I felt so damned strongly about what I was reading that it pulled me back from where I was. If nothing else, take pleasure from that.

    Now, then. *cracks knuckles*

    Do not, ever, under any circumstances, allow this vile thought to propagate in your psyche. I know of which I speak, trust me. The next thing you know, you actually start making yourself look uglier (not hard for me) in the vain hope that they’ll stop the comments and give you a minute’s peace. They don’t. Not ever. No matter how devalued you become, it’s never enough to extinguish their paranoid suspicions. “Oh, you want new shoes? Is that so you can walk away from me?” “Why do you need new underwear? WHO’S GOING TO SEE IT?”

    I know you’re just venting, but I needed to comment so you know you’re not alone with these thoughts. Don’t let the suspicions and paranoia of someone else who has their own problems suck away any more of your sense of self. Paint your damn toenails. Do each one a different colour, take a photo, and post it right here. I *dare* you. 😉 ❤

    • Oh Frank, you are so animated and sincere! You make laugh and say “awwww!” at the same time. 🙂

      I am really grateful that you shared your experiential knowledge the way that you did. The words you used sound frighteningly familiar to me…and yes, I was venting but sadly, there was some truth to it all. I doubt that I’ll paint them all different colors as I typically stick to deep red (ha!) but the thought was appealing from the standpoint of being self-determined, which is what I should be doing with my life – as an adult – anyway.

      I appreciate your comments even moreso since we seem to be prone to some of the constant compulsion to worry about what someone else thinks more than we worry about our own thoughts and feelings. I cannot believe how difficult it is to come out of that pattern – just one time! I usually have to be pretty damn mad to do it and that’s only after I’ve been pushed – like for decades. From what I’ve read, it gets easier. Admittedly, I have doubts about that part.

      Thanks for the “listen here missy” moment. Clearly, I needed it!

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