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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Same Shit, Different Day

Another bad start to another bad day. I got up early, determined to get some Real Work done. When I got out of the shower M was up and had breakfast started.

I said, “I have some work to get done, I didn’t mean to wake you, you didn’t have to get up.”

He said, “fine, I’ll do as ordered and go back to bed.” And we were off. Now I command him and he will obey. What does The Queen desire from her slave?

I saw red. I started yelling. I really didn’t care what he thought and I didn’t care where this led. I was determined to get my licks in, right down at his level. I probably would have hit him if the opportunity presented itself, that’s how angry I am.

Today is the first day of the Turn Around. The first day that he plays the Mr. Pitiful act – his life is so hard, he is in constant pain, like a wounded animal and just can’t help himself if he lashes out. He’s a terrible person, always has been, and if he wasn’t such a coward he would just kill himself.

But. If I were only more understanding, if only I listened to what he tells me, if only I would “let” him lead and improve our lives, if only we could sit down and work up a budget* and make a Life Plan he would feel so much more secure that he could make something work out and his life would get better and he wouldn’t be so short-tempered and quick to lash out. Blah, blah, blah.

And. He doesn’t yell and insult me for no reason – I MAKE him yell, I provoke him and give him reasons to yell. I don’t listen when he speaks quietly, I ignore things that are important to him, I don’t take his feelings into account, I forget all the things he has done for me, I refuse to see that I owe him something in return for all the things he has done for me, I refuse to “be an adult” and admit that it’s my fault, etc. etc. etc.

It’s not fair for me to bring up things from the past to beat him with now when I didn’t speak up at the time – by not saying anything then, I have no right to say anything now – that’s dirty pool, and he never plays that way.

I said that I have finally found my voice and he’s going to have to live with it. He said that he has never seen this side of me (duh) and never even imagined that I could “be this way.” He is hurt by my new attitude, does not understand what he has done to earn my anger.

And on and on.

According to him, I am being unreasonable and “kicking him when he’s down.” He is a worm who doesn’t deserve to live, but I’ve made him this way. He’s putting on a meek voice and looking at the floor.

This is all a bunch of crap.

* His method of budgeting is to take my income totals from the last 10 years worth of tax returns and use them as a basis to create a budget for today. The only problem is that our entire living situation has changed and it’s like comparing apples and oranges. For instance, my income is only a fraction of what it was – what kind of comparison can be made? That I have the potential to earn a lot more money? We have only one house, and that is paid for (I should say that he has only one house – my name is not on anything here and if he wanted to he could just kick me onto the street and I wouldn’t have a thing to say about it. How’s that for power?) I have no mortgage, no horse, no car payment, no debt of any kind, the utilities are all vastly different, I mean, we’re cut right down to the bone here, there are no luxuries, no unreasonable expenditures, no shadow expenses that we can’t account for. The whole thing is an exercise to make me feel like crap for “wasting” all that money when it could have made a nice nest egg for us to live on now. While he has promised not to make any remarks about how I spent my money, I don’t believe him for a second. It’s pointless. It’s not going to make him feel any better, but it will make me feel like shit, which is the whole point, isn’t it?

 

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Insults and Injuries

So, I think I’ve mentioned that I’m working two part-time jobs at the moment with occasional work from my “real” job that gets shoe-horned in around the edges. The Real Job has picked up and I have no “free” time to do anything fun or even relaxing. Sleep is my only break. Needless to say I’m tired and short-tempered.

Last night M made a comment about me “looking pregnant.” I have put on a few pounds, but I don’t look pregnant by anyone’s standards. One comment might have been bearable, but he went on for a good 10 minutes about how when he rubs my belly at night he thinks of is as “our daughter” and on and on. Was I pissed? You betcha! I said nothing, but went to bed furious and hurt.

This morning I got up early to wash my hair* and try to get some work done for the Real Job before leaving for work. When I got back into the bedroom he made a comment about me jumping out of bed and not wanting him any more. I exploded, telling him that if he’s going to insult me and tell me I look pregnant, there is no way he is going to get sex as a reward for hurting my feelings. I told him that when he yells at me or lectures me it is a total turn off and I’m not interested.

That earned me a lecture about how he has a lifelong aversion to fat people, who he believes “get that way deliberately.” His mother was obese due to various health issues (real or imagined, I really don’t know) and he does not want to have to care for an obease person when health issues start to crop up, and on and on, justifying his comments. He also reminded me that we agreed to lose some weight back in the Spring and I was not living up to my part of the bargain (I have a vague memory of some conversation about eating healthier, but no bargain) by gaining weight. I was “so hot 20 pounds ago!”

I kept repeating over and over that if he’s going to insult me he will not be getting sex. Period. I’m not interested in That Guy.

More blah, blah, blah. Fine, whatever. I left for work, having done no Real Work but in a fine state to serve the public in a shop where I have to paste on a smile and make tourists happy. Not.

Later – I admit that I came home pissed off and loaded for bear. He was sulking on the porch. His first words were, “are you leaving?” I said that I have no plans to leave.

I asked him if he lashed out at me because he was in pain and had to scream at someone and I was the only person available. If that’s the case, I told him, then I can blow it off and ignore it as him venting and would just tune him out and not be hurt by it.

On the other hand, if it’s personal and he has to hurt me to make himself feel better or to bring me down to his level of pain, then it is another matter and I won’t stand for it any more.

Decide. One or the other.

More blah, blah, blah – he had a very hard day, his life has fallen apart over the last 10 years (the time he has known me – coincidence?!?) and he feels really low right now.

“Define success for me so I can understand what it will take for you to feel “good” I said.

That sent him into a rage. He clammed up. I said that I needed to do a couple of chores and try to get some Real Work done. He flipped me off. I said “fine” and went into the house.

He stormed after me and demanded to know if I was seeing anyone else or had any plans to.** He got a full-on attitude for that as I yelled that not only was I not seeing anyone or even planning to go looking, but that I had made a promise to him years ago that if he and I didn’t work out I was done with men forever and I still very much mean it.

More yelling ensued. He accused me of having “an attitude” all the time, of being “full of pride with no humility” and out to “kick him when he’s down” just to punish him. More blah, blah, blah. More of me citing examples of his hurtful behavior, some of it from years ago, unable to help myself. I recorded the whole thing, but haven’t been able to listen to more than a few minutes of it.

Went to bed miserable, no Real Work done.

* When I was 15 I accidentally got a pixie haircut. I hated it for about a week and then fell in love with it – it’s cute with my face shape, easy to take care of and always looks great. Every man in my life has insisted that it makes me look like a boy and that I should grow my hair out. I have let them convince me to let it grow and at the moment it is below my shoulders and I hate every inch of it. It takes forever to wash and dry and never looks good without a lot of work that I just don’t want to do. Call me Butch, say that short hair is a Boner Killer, I don’t care – I think we should all be able to have our hair the way WE like it the best because when we feel good about ourselves, don’t we look good, too?

** The other day he called me over to his computer to look at some pictures. His e-mail was open in the background and he was quick to close it, but not before I saw notes from “Josephine.” I said nothing at the time but asked about it the next evening. “Who is Josephine?” were the words which set him off. Turns out it’s a woman who is a fan of his blog and they occasionally exchange notes about sailing (she is sailing around the world with a group of people he “knows” online and he admires her greatly. If she crooked her finger at  him, he would go with no apologies and he and I both know it) and he could have laughed it off, but he made a big issue of it, telling me that he’s tired of me falsely accusing him of infidelity (!?!?!) and he doesn’t have to put up with it. Blah, blah, blah. I reminded him that I have every right to be suspicious (he still hasn’t admitted he is in contact with his “old lover (who I still care about)) and ask who the people are that he “talks” with every day. I said that since I’m gone from home so much I have every right to feel insecure and to ask questions. I told him that he is welcome to look at my e-mail whenever he likes, no question. Are we partners, or what?

 

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Mr. Know it All

I came home from work last night and M was not there. No note, no indication before I left for work that he would be out for the day. The dog was happy to see me at least.

Shortly after arriving home, my Mom called. She had good news about her retirement and the latest that is going on in her life. I haven’t spoken to her or anyone else in the family for months and I’m afraid I unloaded on her about my relationship troubles. She told me that she never liked M, that he was “creepy” and “imperious,” but he is my choice and she doesn’t feel that it’s her place to judge our relationship.

She also said something very profound, “You’re just like me – we can be led so long as we think it’s a good idea, but no farther.” And I guess that’s where I am at the moment – this ship is being steered towards a shore that I don’t want to land on and it’s time for me to provision the lifeboat and get the hell out.

Where was M? He was out sailing on the ocean with a friend. Great. I would have had no idea what happened if he never came back, no idea of where to begin a search. I don’t watch the news, so I would have missed any story about three people being lost at sea and would have been left wondering until a helpful neighbor expressed their condolences.

Swallowing my rage, I asked how the trip went? “Like riding a bench.” That was it. The whole description of his day. He did say (a couple of hours later) that C had made him a sandwich and how he hated that C yelled at his wife who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and can’t remember multiple instructions. He expressed his disdain that C was frustrated over what is a little thing that his wife can’t help and how sad it was, blah, blah, blah. I was gobsmacked. Couldn’t even draw the parallel for him between C and his wife and he and I. The denial is amazing to watch.

Lately I find myself analyzing his every word, looking for inconsistencies that I then hammer on. For instance, I said that I would be making a pizza for dinner tonight. He said that was very ambitious for a work night. I said that he was welcome to make it himself – the ingredients are in the fridge. He said that he’d never made pizza. Well, huh. So all those times he stood over me and offered “advice” and told me the “proper” way to make a pizza, all those recipes and tips and just plain crazy-making shit, he was just talking out his ass? He has never actually made a pizza from scratch?

I couldn’t help myself. I am ashamed to say that I stooped to his level and insisted that he admit he had never actually made a pizza from scratch. I made him admit that the advice he was constantly offering about this particular dish was based on nothing at all and that I had figured out on my own how to make a damned good pizza. It was amusing to watch him back pedal. He finally asserted that he had made “a few” pizzas but that the crust was never very good.

“Huh. Well, I have to go to work now. Bye,” and I was gone.

What a putz. I am not proud that I jumped on him that way, but he deserved it. I’ll probably pay for it later, but right now I just don’t care. Dishing out a little measure of his own shit right into his mouth is more satisfying than I thought it would be. I’ll get bored with it soon and totally shut him out, but for now it provides the only thrill I’m likely to have until the middle of next month when I finally get a day off work.

 

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He’s Back

M called late Sunday evening, telling me about another lead for a truck repair place that he was going to visit this morning.* Told me that he would take the 4:30 appointment today if the new lead didn’t pan out and not to expect him home until Tuesday at the earliest. He also explained that he was “punishing” me by calling at midnight the other night because I had not called to confirm that I’d killed his dog and he thought that was inconsiderate and wanted to pay me back in kind. Asshole. Like I would feel like recounting the incident for him while it was still fresh in my mind.

Anyway. I was not expecting him, but had a feeling that he would try to “surprise” me and “catch” me doing something he disapproves of, so the house was clean, laundry done, etc. I did not mow the lawn** but everything else was as tidy as I cared to make it.

Today is my only day off work, the last day off for the next four weeks, so I decided that an afternoon nap was in order and lay on the bed about 3:30. At 4:15 M walked into the house. I hadn’t heard the truck pull up (I’m tired – no surprise) and was immediately chastised for that. I had not gone to the grocery store but had wisely stocked enough food for one meal, knowing that this could happen. I was not bright-eyed, eager to greet the conquering hero returning from his perilous mission and that clearly put his nose out of joint. I do not care.

So why, in the eight hours it took him to drive home, did he not call and let me know he was coming? He had to have left by 8:00 AM or earlier to make it by 4:00 and he didn’t bother to call me? Evidently the truck magically repaired itself and he just “hit the road” before it magically broke again and he felt no need to inform me of his changed plans.

Since his arrival he has made numerous remarks about having to read my blogs to find out what’s going on in my life, about never knowing what I’m up to, etc. Why should I tell him anything? Our phone conversations were all about him and his adventures. He did ask after Old Dog, but never once asked how I was spending my time. Never once asked if I was having any trouble keeping up with things (to his standards) while working every day. Never once asked anything at all but if I missed him.

I did get in a couple of zingers about his yelling and how it needs to stop and how much I dislike his outbursts, and so far there have been none, but how long will that last?

* Doing a bit of backdating here because I have limited computer access for the rest of the month.

** After this same trip last year the first words out of his mouth when he walked through the door were, “I was really hoping you would have mowed the lawn…” Followed by stomping out and mowing the lawn very late in the evening and then complaining that I never do any chores around the house, blah, blah, blah. No, “Hi! How are you!” No, “Great to see you!” Nothing. Just crap about the grass being 4 inches tall.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Emotional Abuse, Red Flags, Today, Verbal Abuse

 

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Bad Luck or Justice?

I have a big smile on my face as I type this, and I know it means I am a small person, but for a little while I won’t let myself care.

M called from the marina where he hauls out his boat. Turns out he decided not to stay on the boat for “a couple more days” to “catch up on sleep.” He hauled the boat out today and was calling me from the marina parking lot. The truck is seriously ill. It sounds like a lawnmower about to run out of gas. And thunder and lightning are flashing and booming while the rain pelts down like it’s never going to end. And the truck’s skylights both leak.

He is wet, chilly, dirty, hungry and miserable and has no clue what he’s going to do to get out of this mess after hours on a Friday evening during Tourist/Vacation Season. Doesn’t even know if there’s a diesel mechanic within 100 miles. He’ll have a cold, damp night in the cab of the truck. I will sleep diagonally in my warm bed, dreaming sweet dreams.

Guess I know when he’ll be home, though 🙂

Friday the 13th, indeed.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Today

 

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Return?

M called just now. Finally told me exactly where he was. Got smart-assy on me right away. Pissed me off, I tell you what!

He complained that I haven’t been calling and leaving messages on his voice mail for him to find. Whatever. I’m done with that, mostly because it’s what he wants me to do and I’m tired of doing what he wants at the expense of what I want. I have gone on two trips without him and he did not call me once. No messages, no calls, nothing, so why should I call him?

He still won’t tell me exactly when he’s coming home. He’s within 3 hours of where he hauls out the boat, but made a bunch of excuses about how it can take all day to haul it out, sometimes he has to wait, blah, blah, blah. If it’s too late in the day to make the 8 hour drive home he’ll have to get a hotel or sleep in the truck, more blah, blah, blah. Says he might just take an extra day or two to get caught up on his sleep on the boat, can’t say for sure when he’ll be back, but he says he misses me, oh, yes, he does!

Whatever. The dog, cat, bunnies and I are doing just fine without him. No problems, no fires, floods, leaks, or other disasters. In fact, life is going along at a nice, steady hum, peaceful and quiet. Very nice. Scented candles in every room, dust bunnies all vacuumed up, no one screaming or having a tantrum, really nice times, actually.

I’ll miss these good times when he’s back. Asshole.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Deed is Done

Old Dog took her last ride to the vet yesterday afternoon. She knew where we were going and she knew why we were there. At the end, I don’t think she really wanted to go. She spent the morning walking around as if to say, “Look! I can walk today! I’m just fine!” But the reality is that she had many more bad days than good and it was time to let her go with dignity. It was hard, but my duty to my pet.

M called at 11:49 last night, almost two hours after he knew I would be in bed. Not a few minutes late, but two hours! I go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 every night. Few exceptions, and he knows that damned well. I need my sleep, and he knows how hard it is for me to get going in the morning if I haven’t had enough sleep.

I was sound asleep when the phone rang and it nearly scared me to death. I jerked up off the pillow and have a nice kink in my neck to show for it. I answered because it could be Mom or Sis calling with an emergency or something. Nope. Just M calling to make sure my mission was successful and to say he’s sorry that I had to deal with the situation. He then told me how he had been out sailing all day, then eating a gourmet meal and drinking and talking with his friends and just then finally had a free moment to call me. I would have been happy to wait to hear about his day at a more reasonable hour, but was too fuzzy to tell him that on the phone.

He made sure to minimize my feelings as I told him the story of my day. When I told him that she didn’t want to go at the end, he pooh-poohed and said that I was mistaken. He wasn’t there. He didn’t pet her ears the way she loved as the struggled against the drug and finally went still.

The connection was bad and he dropped the call twice. Called back twice. Took me two hours to get back to sleep and I find myself full of resentment this morning.

Still hasn’t said when he’ll be back.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Emotional Abuse, Today

 

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Putting my foot in it…

I called and left a message on M’s cell phone this morning about the dog. She can not stand without support and can not walk at all. She is all “there” mentally, however. She refused water this morning but did eat a bit of canned dog food. She can drag herself along with her front feet, but it’s obvious to me that she is not (barring a miracle) going to recover.

I told him how the dog is doing this morning and that I didn’t think “hosing her off twice a day” was the right thing to do and that if I didn’t hear from him by Monday afternoon I am taking the dog for her last ride to the vet.

No matter what I do (as pointed out by Paula in the comments, pretty much word for word what I expect to hear) it will be wrong. I have two options:

1. Let the dog live in squalor for another week (longer? still no idea when he plans to return) totally against my own personal beliefs and watch her continue to decline and let both of us be miserable so that he can come home to say his farewells (he is likely to be out of cell phone range until he decides to turn around and head for home) and then listen while he lectures me about the cruelty of letting a dog in such pitiful condition linger on when I had the power to end her suffering.

2. Take the dog to the vet and do the humane thing and listen to him lecture about how important it is to say farewell to a well-loved companion of many years (which is total bullshit, but he will turn her into some sort of saintly dog that he can’t bear to live without just to make me more miserable) and that it wasn’t my decision to make and how dare I take matters into my own hands this way?

Leaving a message at least ensures that I don’t get the “you didn’t even warn me that my dog wouldn’t be here when I got home – how could you just kill her without telling me?” speech.

It will go badly, no matter what I do and I am tired of always having to think of his possible reactions before I make any decision, no matter how small. It’s ridiculous for a grown woman to agonize about every.damned.thing. from how much sugar to put in my tea (“You’re probably already diabetic! When was your last blood screen? You have high cholesterol, too, I just know it! Your eating habits are shit and I’m going to have to watch you die because of it! Do you know how much that hurts me?” and on and on) to whether or not I have time to get the oil changed in my car before I need to be home to feed the animals and make dinner (“You should have bought oil and a new filter and let me change your oil. Better yet, learn to do it yourself! Those guys are just ripping you off!” Yeah, I’ve “let” him change my oil and you would think he had donated a kidney for all the whining he did. Never again. It’s just not worth it.)

UPDATE:

Old Dog is looking amazingly spry this evening after a dose of prednesone. She can’t really walk, but she can hobble and ate and drank a bit. Still incontinent.

M called me this afternoon and said, “I knew this was going to happen…” which hit my hot button squarely on the head. He said that he was sorry I was having to deal with this, blah, blah, blah. Told me to do what I “think is best” and that it’s okay with him. So, at least I have “permission” to do the right thing and won’t get that lecture when he returns. Sigh.

UPDATE 2: M called again to see if I had left a message at the vet’s office telling them that I need to go in tomorrow. He said that I need to be more assertive and make demands for myself – it’s a desperate situation and I need to get the dog in as early as possible. What would I do if he wasn’t here to make demands for me? I rely too much on others to make decisions for me and let others take the lead, in his opinion. That comment is going to bite him on the ass in the very near future.

What he doesn’t seem to notice is that he is the only person I defer to.  He’s the only person who yells at me and treats me like a moron. Other people recognize that I have talent and skills and they respect me for it.

It’s all just turning-table-talk to make him look like the supportive partner, propping up his poor, weak woman, and I’m sure that’s how he’s representing the situation to his sailing buddies. He’s not the one who has to deal with the physical reality that tomorrow will bring.

He said he would call me tomorrow. I plan to let the answering machine pick up. How he can make me feel like shit while he’s 800 miles away is a damned shame. Shame on me for letting him!

 

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Withholding

I asked M when he was leaving for his trip. “Before the gathering begins,” was his reply. I knew that the gathering began on the 6th, so I guess he thought that was enough. In years past, he has left two days before, around noon, to spend the night at his friend’s house, which is three hours away from where he launches his boat. He burned down his relationship with his oldest friend back in April, so I figured that he wouldn’t be staying there this year. He only made a vague comment about “driving in one day” up to the launch site.

I asked him several times when he was leaving and when he expected to return. He never gave me an answer, but left me to deduce from the state of his preparations when he was going to leave. I still don’t know when he will return and I’m going to carry on as if he’s never coming back.*

He often accuses me of withholding my emotions from him. He says that he never knows what I’m thinking because I never tell him. He says that he has to ask twenty questions to finally get the answer he was looking for in the first place.

The fact is I learned long ago that the only reason he wants to know how I’m feeling is so that he can make me feel bad (or worse.) He wants to know my opinion so he can shoot it down in one of the lectures he likes so much to give. The question he asks out loud is never the question he is really asking, and I have come to recognize that each question is a trap, designed to show how stupid/naive/selfish/whatever I am. I rarely speak my true mind and I never answer even the (seemingly) most simple questions without carefully considering my response.

Because I “withhold” my emotions, he has decided to withhold information. He says that I have trained him to behave this way by refusing to converse with him. I have pointed out many times that he cuts me off repeatedly in any conversation that we engage in and that it is pointless for me to speak. In the end I have lost all interest in whatever the conversation was supposed to be about.

He left at 0’dark-thirty on Thursday** and called Thursday evening and left a message on the machine to say that he had launched the boat and would call me later. He knows very well what hours I work (my schedule is posted on the wall so he knows where I am) and that I would not be home to receive his call. He called back later to chat, but added a bunch of conditions right at the beginning (he has to finish rigging the boat, he needs to get some food, he has to prepare to sleep in his truck, etc.) so that I wouldn’t “keep him hanging on the line too long.” He then proceeded to criticize me for various things that I “never remember” and to chastise me for letting the dog bark in the house (some kids were screaming right in front of the house, playing like only kids can and the dog wanted to join them) etc. etc. etc.

I let all this flow over me, and then said, “well, I’ll let you go so you can get your stuff done before dark. Bye.”

He called yesterday (again, I wasn’t home yet, and even if I had been, I would have been outside with the dogs and not able to hear the phone) and left another message. Seems he has arrived alive but will not have a cell phone signal while anchored off the island. Same as last year. No big deal, really. What he wants is for me to call and leave messages on his cell phone, telling him that I miss him and hope he’s safe and to call me as soon as he gets a signal. I know that this is expected of me because we have been over this ground before. This year I am going to be selfish and not give in to his expectations. Let him think I’ve moved out. I don’t give a fuck.

* It’s very telling that I find myself not even caring if he does come back. Would I paint the living room and finish the trim work? Add on to the greenhouse? Fence the yard so the dog could run free? Breathe?

** After being up (and keeping me up) until after midnight on Wednesday. He was a total shit. I have a hard time believing it was because he was stressed out about the trip. He wanted to make sure that I was tired when he left, just to be spiteful because I have told him I will never make the trip with him. Who would volunteer to sail with Captain Bligh?

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Emotional Abuse, Today

 

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Gaslighting and Assholes

Back in April, when I was wondering what term would describe what I’ve been experiencing in my relationship, I happened upon an article by Yashar Ali that clarified many things and finally gave me a label to put on what M does to me every day – Gaslighting.

Today I read on Jezebel about another form of gaslighting that is some variation on what “poet Robert Bly calls the “all men are shits” speech.” Bingo! M also uses self-deprecation to deflect my anger and bring me back into doormat mode.

It’s amazing what you can see when you finally open your eyes…

Also, he changed his e-mail passwords. I don’t think I care any more.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Emotional Abuse, Gaslighting, Today

 

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