Words vs. punching me in the face: I’d take the latter

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H asked me last evening how the schedule for the boys was coming along. I expressed that I’m having a difficult time because…INTERRUPTION.

When will you see your counselor?

What? In context, that sounds like a vote of no confidence that I can’t coordinate these things, but I need your input.

And things spiraled from there. He started swearing at me and I got up and forcefully said “Time out!” He tried to continue but I said it again, about 3 times. I went out to the garage to have a cigarette and after a few minutes, he followed me. Then he completely unloaded on me, including throwing sex in my face. It was a flood of epic proportions.

[Sidebar: I initiated sex the other night, which I don’t often do, prefaced with a conversation that I hoped he didn’t look at my advance as having an ulterior motive, because it didn’t.Β The power of suggestion…I apparently planted the seed and it was used against me.]

I can’t express how bad this makes me feel. This, among all of the other things he said, really fucked with my head.

Get the fuck out!

This separation – or whatever you’re calling it – will be over when your lease is up or we’re divorcing. No extensions.

Well if you can get through this with no counseling and you think you’re just fine, then god bless you because just a few weeks ago, you were seeing your counselor 4 times a week [exaggeration]. It seems illogical to me that you could be fine now. My logic bell is going off and every time it goes off, something is going on with you.”

There’s something wrong with your counseling.” [followed by extensive ramble that they cannot even submit bills correctly…yadda, yadda, yadda…]

I don’t trust anything anymore. I don’t believe anything about you anymore. I don’t trust your counseling is working.

The minute I give you the green light for moving out, you are ecstatic – absolutely ecstatic! You can’t wait to get out of here!

No, forget the calendar. I’ll take the kids all of the time. I’ll handle everything. They should stay here in their stable home. You can pick them up and see them whenever you want, IF you want to...”

He has no idea how much work I’ve done over the past few days with regard to latchkey, return to school paperwork, etc. These things would have had to have been done regardless of my moving out because of his new job. I’m functioning again and that is the “jubilation” he thinks he sees.

I asked him to stop projecting his judgments as to what he thinks I’m feeling. Then his language changed and I got a backwards apology that, of course, was no apology at all. Β I asked him to please stop focusing on me and focus on himself. At varying points I said “Do you hear what you’re saying? Please don’t say things that are destructive and will damage both of us further.” and it didn’t stop his momentum much at all. He just shifted his accusatory tone to something else. I actively listened and chose my sparse responses very carefully. I watched my body language and my nonverbal communication. I asked him to stop yelling at me and he said he can’t because he’s Italian. I reframed and said “Am I hearing that you say that’s the way you are and you aren’t going to try to change? Even knowing what you know about me? [C-PTSD]” He said I was right and that he would work on it but then he proceeded to rehash everything at least 3 more times, telling me what a bad person I was and how I wasn’t handling things the way HE thought they should be handled.

Finally, after he badgered me for about 45 minutes, I began to cry. I asked him to stop piling on and I tried to go into the house. He became agitated and said “Why are you crying now??” [typical] I was about a foot and a half away from his face and I told him “See this? It’s the ONLY thing you respond to. Now please stop.

He has a big meeting and then a large potential client visit today, which is about the only thing he said this morning. Greg’s World.

I both love him and hate him right now and am feeling shitty. I don’t see him changing. It’s OK to hope for that sort of thing, but since he’s taken this job he’s become more aggressive and ego-driven, which I could have predicted. I understand he’s afraid but forcing his way or the highway has had little success in the past and will likely have even less change of success now.

I think it’s time to call it quits.

I can’t take the nastiness and the sneering and the hurtful words anymore. I can’t take having my sincere efforts that involve something as sensitive as my request for closeness/sex thrown back in my face 2 days later. I can’t take feeling like anything I say WILL be used against me, despite my hoping that it won’t – because it always ends up that way.

It’s time to be more realistic and accept that he sees me in such a distorted way that there’s no chance. The problem has always been that he’s seen me as a distorted version of someone he wants to be and as I emerge and try to be myself, it’s apparently not what he wants. He wants his TeddyΒ (Evans, 2003).

Reference

Evans, P. (2003). Controlling people: How to recognize, understand, and deal with people who try to control you. Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation.

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13 thoughts on “Words vs. punching me in the face: I’d take the latter

  1. Dharma,

    I’ve started several of what would be very lengthy responses and I think I’m just going to go with…I hope you have retreated to your apartment and given yourself time to breathe. I’ve been that guy on the other side…though I hope not to that extreme. Your post triggered some stuff for me…which I am sure will help in my own healing process. Sometimes I think your blog should be “Outside the Fishbowl” because it’s almost like glimpsing things from the other side. I know towards the end I had some control issues, built up over time and by extreme frustration, and I know things weren’t all one sided — there was a lot both of us could have done differently. Real communication is the key and I don’t think we were ever there. We certainly didn’t know how to express our needs in a healthy way. I’m truly sorry you went through that, and I was proud of you for trying to use time outs and trying to keep your responses as healthy for you and him as possible. Be well.

    Dan

    • Aw thanks Dan! Be as lengthy as you’d like. It’s all good.

      I was at the apartment this morning because I had to get the doggone Internet fixed. Then, I rushed back to pick up papers to drop off, go to the grocery, and now I’m putting together red beans and rice for dinner. My other big goal for the day is to shower πŸ™‚

      It’s good that I’ve been busy. I’m not going to sit around and dwell on my hurt feelings.

      I don’t know how much “try” I have left. This morning I woke up and thought to myself that I am thoroughly finished with this, whatever this is.

      Onward I go, I guess.

      Dharma

  2. Sorry I haven’t been around as much lately (see my latest post). Stay strong, my friend. Your awesomeness got me through some sticky times, and I would love to return the favour. Mega hugs ❀

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