The Long Dark Night of This Soul (Trigger Warning)


In a previous post I mentioned H wasn’t feeling well and that my Saturday night was about to explode. I will continue here…

Somewhere around 8’ish, H began to plan the following day for me. When I mentioned I would like the day to myself with no obligations, he began enraged. He threw the apartment in my face, again, and told me to go off by myself and forget that I have family, went on about how he was going to make all of these big decisions regarding the kids, and a few other things I cannot recall. Then he threw out the guilt trip of how our youngest son was going to be the one to suffer. (I was sobbing when I was texting my friend about this.) Somewhere in the tirade I decided I’d had enough. I tried to be calm and rational but it wasn’t getting me anywhere. [shocking, right?] 

I told him that he gets pissed off when he doesn’t get what he wants. He started to mock me and sarcastically make light of what I’d said and boldly flipped it back on me. “You think I always get what I want?? Are you kidding me? For the last 4 years…[ref. affair]” and off he went. 

I called him out on everything he threw at me. He went on from one tactic to the next. I wasn’t backing down. I wasn’t mean and I wasn’t disrespectful, but I sure was engaged. 

When he kept shouting at me, I told him that he couldn’t yell at me that way. He kept yelling. I told him again. Our youngest son was coming down the steps. H hissed that he was getting his stuff and leaving for about 2-3 days. He stormed out with his work bag. I let him go. I de-escalated the situation with my son for a few minutes and took care of his needs, comforting him and apologizing for our behaviors. I told him it was normal for married people to disagree but that we were a bit out of line. He asked where dad went and I told him he would be out for awhile, not to worry. 

I wandered around the house, picking things up and noticed right away he didn’t have his shaving kit. I was texting with a friend (who hung in there with me and ultimately saved my life…I digress.) My friend pointed out how H seemed to want to dismiss my needs and control the situation so he left, knowing I’d have to stay there with Son #2. We went back and forth, texting, and I was fairly calm. 

H sent me a text about 30 minutes later: “If you go to your apartment, I’ll come home and stay there. If not, I’m checking into hotel now.” 

I did not respond. I was pissed. I told my friend that H was the dumb ass that stormed out, he could deal with his own fallout. I told him I thought H’d be back, ready to fight. Sure enough, he returned. My friend told me to be safe. I pondered that for a minute and only considered physical safety, for which I had no concern. I should have been concerned about my psychological safety.

Now I know. 

H came in all huffy and asked me if I’d gotten his text. I lied and said I didn’t. He was scary calm and reiterated the message. I wasn’t afraid but I was a bit anxious. He told me he was done, told me to get the dog and go. I told him he would rather destroy our marriage than deal with his problems like I’m trying to deal with my problems. He just said he’s tired of everything.

He was buzzing around trying to distract himself with things other than me. I told him to look me in the eye when he’s talking to me for a change. He did. For the first time in DECADES. 

Blank. With no emotion at all, he said he didn’t care about me anymore. I asked him if this was a defense mechanism – not stated that way – and he said no. He told me that he no longer cared about me and that he wished me luck, he truly did, but that he didn’t want me at the house anymore and that I’d have to make Son #1’s bday cake at my apartment and have the kids over there. He told me that I could decide when we’d sit down and talk finances and that we would get a legal separation and go our own ways. 

He sarcastically and dismissively told me that he’s heard all of my “epiphanies” and that he just didn’t care anymore. He knew I had nothing left because I’d been so depressed and sarcastically said he was sorry he wasn’t there in my time of need but that he’s been there! (ref. affair again, delivered with nasty sneer) He said “If I work on myself it’s for my reasons and it’s none of your business.”

I reacted internally to some of the things he said because I felt shamed that I was depressed. He threw it right back in my face and told me how my words hurt him so deeply (ironic). I froze for a few seconds and then went out to the garage for a cigarette. I was in shock that he could be so cruel, with no emotion whatsoever. Damn. 

He started to drag the dog food out to the garage and I turned around and told him to stop it. He tried to shush me because the neighbors were out and I told him that I didn’t care – it was MY damn life. He muttered that it was his life too and took the food back inside.  After a few minutes I came back in and sat on the couch. My mind was racing. I told him I felt hurt that he said he didn’t care about me anymore. No response. He was not open to hearing anything. It was very cold. I told him it hurt me that he was ignoring me. Nothing. I said it again and he said “I heard you.”

Dismissed. You don’t exist. 

I left, realizing that all I felt for him at that time was hatred! It made me angry at myself that I could feel this way. I was angry with HIM. 

I got to my apartment and kept texting my friend. I did not know what the hell to do with myself. My anxiety was off the charts. 

I told my friend it was too painful to breathe anymore. I was exhausted. We texted some more. I took one breath at a time, forcing myself to breathe. I sobbed as I dictated each text. It was good that it was electronic communication vs. audible because I’m certain it would have ripped my friend to shreds.

As I texted, I had these weird, VERY out of character suicidal ideations. A few scenarios remain in my mind and I am still shocked that I could have such extreme thoughts. I would never go through with it and I kept thinking of my boys – only my boys. I knew my oldest son would take care of the dog…and well, that’s enough of all of that narrative. 

I took another breath. Then another. My friend stayed right with me. I felt beat up. I asked my friend “What comes next in the cycle of abuse?” (rhetorical question) I said “He’s afraid of being rejected so he rejects me first. That’s a classic. So how do I proceed? His pattern will be to apologize because he will feel really bad. He [says he] doesn’t want to hurt me but he cannot regulate his emotions.”

At this point my friend told me I may have done all I can do in this situation. They also mentioned how the current situation isn’t good for the kids and that their children were better off now than they were while my friend’s marriage was in chaos. 

Intellectually, I knew all of those things were true, but my heart hurt like hell. 

I finally needed to sleep and I must say that I was sort of amazed when I woke up the next morning. I had an emotional hangover that lasted through Wednesday. I saw my new counselor on Monday and Wednesday, so that helped. Sitting in the hospital ER with H on Sunday afternoon was surreal to me. My sense of time and space was way off. I didn’t talk much with the nurses or doc, until things got technical. Otherwise, I avoided making eye contact and even looking up from my iPad. As the pain meds kicked in, H was making light-hearted jokes here and there, as well as telling me he sincerely wanted to talk that evening when we got home. He told me that he’d get through the next few days and that if I could stay there he’d be grateful. I was really confused and told him in The Ultimatum conversation that I didn’t know where the hell I stood. 

Yeah, I still don’t…but I can tell you where I DON’T stand, and that’s in the line of fire. 

Out of the whole experience of that 24 hours, I am grateful for my friend who was there during my long dark night of the soul. Their patience and empathy made the difference between my mind irrationally carrying me away vs. having some sense of what is real. My dissociative distortions were rampant and my sense of reality was skewed. I knew that if I didn’t reach out for that lifeline, I might have become a bit more serious about some of the very “out there” things that were going on in my broken mind. Being in crisis and asking for help are beyond tough, especially when one is prone to freezing like I am. 

I am also grateful for the blogger friends who’ve reached out to me to check in or sent good thoughts my way. It is unbelievably humbling and wow – I do feel loved. Thank you.


4 thoughts on “The Long Dark Night of This Soul (Trigger Warning)

  1. I am struggling to put your last string of blog posts in order, but it seems that a bad situation has turned worse. Were it me, I would take his offer to move into the apartment with your dog, and get out of that house. It just sounds toxic. Maybe you are still trying to save your relationship, I’m not sure. What I do know is that it is doing you more harm than good to face that kind of anger from him.

    • Your reply made me smile because when you said ” it is doing you more harm than good to face that kind of anger from him” you reminded me that my therapist said that said thing. Twice this week and once last week.

      You also reminded me that the friend I wrote about used the word “toxic” as well. Yes. It is.

      I keep allowing myself to be “Hoovered” back in. Well, I USED to anyway. The Ultimatum stands.

      • I am all for the Ultimatum. Make the Ultimatum the only playbook you can play from, and roll with it. Your H is being a total ass and he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

      • Good advice. I have a great deal of compassion for his pain, yet I will not take it on as my own or try to save him from it [anymore]. I’m giving him every opportunity to grow but I’m not going to give him the opportunity to destroy me – again.

        It’s amazing how useful the knowledge of what is healthy and what isn’t can be.

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