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Category Archives: Torture

That was…Interesting

I stuck to my guns yesterday – no b-day greeting, no gift, no acknowledgement in any way that it was M’s Special Day.

I left for work and he went to the next town over to help a friend move a boat. While there he invited said friend and others over to his boat for a little celebratory b-day drink. He called me at 7:35 to let me know he was on his way home. He was slurring his words and I asked if he was okay to drive.* He said of course, “I can remember what it’s like to drive sober, so I just have to do what I know how to do,” which I’ve heard before. I’ll probably go to hell for thinking it, but my very first thought was, “if he wraps that truck around a bridge abutment my problems will be over…”** Just don’t let him take out anyone else…***

Of course he brought up my “forgetting” his Special Day. I asked him if he remembered my last b-day, which of course he did not. The next two hours traveled along our usual track – I am a selfish, self-centered bitch who obviously “did something” to cause his harsh words on my last b-day, but since I couldn’t remember exactly what I had done, I had no right to be angry 6 months later. I am a vengeful bitch for “seeking revenge” and hurting him this way. I got what I deserved. He is the injured party, blah, blah, blah. If I would be nicer to him, he would be nicer to me, I have to give before I get anything, and on and on. He has only ever acted in my best interests, unselfishly, totally giving in to me, letting me take the lead, blah, blah.

I finally said that I understand perfectly that my behavior has landed us here****. Big nods of his head as if I’m saying what he believes to be true. I said that I had made mistakes and that I truly regret them now.

I said that I think he likes the idea of me, but has no interest or liking for the person that I actually am, and that is not Love. He insists that I accept him just as he is, but I don’t get the same consideration or respect. I said that he wouldn’t speak to another woman the way he speaks to me – he would never talk to a female friend or co-worker the way he speaks to me, and that I find that significant and telling.

And then I said this – “The only solution here is for me to move out so that you can sell this house and go live your Dream.”

Whoa! He did such a quick about-face that his head almost snapped off! It was something to see.

All of a sudden it’s his aggressive behavior (that he just can’t control, sob, sob) that has damaged our relationship. He knows that he’s over the top sometimes (but isn’t that in my “best interest?” – which conversation were we having again?) and needs me to be understanding. I’ve been so patient and loving to him, so tolerant, so willing to love him in spite of his faults and now I just want to chuck it all out the window?

And the next second he was back to pointing out my faults and demanding that I “take responsibility” for my part in the breakdown of our relationship. And then back to begging for mercy. Then pissed off and making up the futon couch in the back room while yelling at me that he’s “being kicked out of my own home for the THIRD time” since we’ve been together.

It was back and forth until almost 2:00 AM. Fun times!

This morning he crawled into the bedroom and said that he finally had some clarity about “our situation.” Seems that when I say something that he doesn’t agree with, he gets angry and aggressive and has to “go to war” over the subject and his views – he just can’t help it. (Ya think?) But now he recognizes the pattern and wants to try to change. He is ashamed of how he treats me and how he talks to me. I am his All, his Life, and if I left him he would be devastated.

He can’t afford to keep the house if I leave and take my job with me. The house won’t sell in the current market, at least not this Winter, so he needs me to keep things afloat. He is willing to live on his boat if I feel we are Over and I can rent the house from him, or buy it on contract if I wish. He would be very unhappy if he knew I took “something substandard because that’s all [I] could afford.” He would, of course, still need access to the house until he could “clean up [his] mess.”

Seems that I have his attention. Now what?

* I had no intention of going to pick him up – I was going to suggest he sleep on the boat – that’s his Dream, after all, right?

** By the time, “shit! I could just call him in as a drunk driver and that would be something he wouldn’t soon forget!” ran through my mind he was almost home. That won’t happen again.

*** I have a real problem with people who drive while impaired. I don’t drive after even one drink and I don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking. I think it’s an evil thing to do and there is no way I will ever change my mind about it. Aggressive, drunk men are also a trigger for me, so even before he arrived home I was very nervous and apprehensive.

**** If I hadn’t been such a doormat in the first place I would have dumped him four months into our relationship and had a torrid affair with a guy at work who made it very clear that people who have expectations about how others should feel are not good for relationships. He was hot, too. Really hot. But I said no. Idiot!

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The Magazine Subscription

While I was buttering my toast at breakfast today, M said, “You need to decide if this magazine is worth keeping. The bill is on your desk.” It’s a magazine that he paid for, he reads, and he passes on to me to read when he’s finished. It is not a magazine that we can discuss or enjoy together because I don’t have “the proper background to understand the subtle nuances of the writing,” nor do I “understand the political biases of the authors.” Obviously I am an idiot.

“I’ll have to take a look and see how much I like it,” was my reply.

Immediate blow-up! By not asking his opinion I am making a decision without his input, totally disregarding his feelings. I am a selfish bitch who doesn’t care for him at all. Which, by the way, is exactly how I have treated him all these years, he says.

This led to more than 5 hours of crap again today. Round and round we go. I kept repeating, “when you  yell at me it hurts my feelings and I can’t continue with the conversation,” and “when you dismiss my feelings and opinions I don’t care to share them with you again,” and “when you start to ‘debate’ with me about something I shut down because you are aggressive and threatening and that’s how I react to people who are aggressive towards me.”

And we’re back to me acting “childish” once again. So I started yelling. He wants to know, well here it is – he is an ass. He treats people like shit, with me on the top of his list. His ideas about money are flawed. His constant whining about how his life sucks is a total downer that I do not believe is true and I refuse to buy into it. Any “gift” he gives comes with strings and that’s why no one wants anything from him. HE sets the value on things that others do for him and they feel cheated because he has such a high opinion of himself when the time comes to reciprocate.

I told him that I resent that he dismisses my ideas and philosophy and that he tells me every day how much he CAN’T rely on me for anything. I said that it’s bullshit that his life is at “rock bottom” and he needs to get a grip.

And then I tried to stop the bullshit. I said that I really need for this to be done for today, that I can’t take any more. I left the room. He followed. He started in again.

He is the way he is because of the Principles being “beaten into” him. The things that he holds most valuable about himself are the things that others seem to hate about him, so what is he supposed to do? Just change his whole way of thinking? Lower his standards? Admit that he’s not always right? All this with crocodile tears and much anguished gesturing.

He’s broke! He can’t hold a regular job! Everything that he’s tried to do to make money has failed! What if the roof starts to leak this Winter? What are we going to do? I outlined a perfectly sound plan that he promptly shot holes into.

I gave up. I tuned out. I refused to look at him. I reminded him of an appointment he needed to keep.

He finally left, in tears, with one more plea for me to be sympathetic to this poor, broken man.

I said what I had to say to get him to leave. I feel raped. Srsly. Totally violated without him having laid a hand on me.

 

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The Old Lover

As promised, there is more. The conversation about M’s “hurt feelings” (turns out he was “looking forward very much” to going to the Event with me) turned into something else before we were through because I could not hold in my anger about his secret correspondence with his “old lover (who [he] still care[s] for.)” I am not proud that I lost my temper, but his reaction was quite educational.

Here’s how it went down.

I said that I was not mad about the Event, that I did not invite him because I was mad that he was in touch with a former lover and had been for months and he was keeping it a secret even after all his lectures to me about how dangerous it was to be in contact with people who meant a lot to you in the past – he is old and wise enough to understand that if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen and he has no power to change that. I was not to be in contact with any way with a former lover or he would be very upset, as “these things” can so easily lead to much more.

I told  him that I’ve known about his contact with her since I saw his notes sending “love and kisses” to Italy. I said that I knew she asked him to meet with her when she made her annual trip to the coast. I said that he could very well have made that meeting since I am at work so much, but that I also know he would never admit it so nevermind.

I could see the wheels turning in his head. He thought he had control of the situation when he told me that he told  her a meeting was not going to take place, and that she cut off all communication after that.

I told him that he was lying – he had a note from her three days ago asking why she hadn’t heard from him after his last trip. Deer in the headlights ain’t in it. I said it was obvious that he was in touch with her and had been for months, all the while hiding it from me and acting suspicious about me and projecting his guilt onto me any chance he got.

Long sob story about how he treated her badly all those years ago and he thought that she didn’t really care for him then and that his leaving wouldn’t hurt her but evidently it did and she’s been devastated ever since, wondering about him, blah, blah, blah. Now he feels that he owes her something after the careless way he ended their relationship and can’t just cut her off. I asked if he understood that he was giving her hope and that it was totally out of line for him to do so.

More sob story about how he feels sorry for her that her husband is suffering from Alzheimer’s, just like his Grandmother did, and how he just wants to help in any way he can.

I asked if he realized that he had a relationship with her that runs counter to what he claims are his Principles and did he not think that I would be harmed by that?

Total confusion. He really doesn’t see that he’s doing anything wrong. I am a bitch for not understanding. He met her when I was 2, and left her when I was 6 – how could I think that there was anything there?

And on and on. He says that I am being unreasonable. He was wrong to keep it a secret, but he just knew that I would react “this way” and so he was trying to avoid that. Ya think?!?

Oh, he’s got balls, that’s a fact.

This went on and on for about 6 hours, ending at 3:00 AM. I believe that was also planned. I believe he hoped that I would be too tired to drive 2.5 hours to the Event, effectively ruining it for me and validating his view that if I had just invited him like I was supposed to we would both be happy. As if.

Never one to refrain from beating a dead horse, he started up again the next morning. For 2 hours. Made me late leaving for the Event and ensured that I would be pissed off for the long drive.

But it’s not over yet.

 

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Invitations

Yesterday there was an Event. One that I look forward to every year. Last year we went camping. I told M that this year I was going to attend my Event, and there was no way I wanted to go camping. Fine. I told him that some friends were going to be there and I would like to meet up with them and visit for awhile. I took a day off work. I talked about the Event for a month. At no time did he express any interest whatsoever except to whine that I was going to be gone all day.

The thing is, I did not invite him, and that hurt his feelings.

If I want to include M in any of my activities I have to issue a formal invitation. I have to say, “would you like to do X with me?” If he wants to join me, he will say so, and if he doesn’t, he will say so and I am not allowed to have hurt feelings no matter what he decides. If the formal invitation is not issued he will not respond until it’s time to go and whatever his response is it will be a blow-up of some kind, sure to kill my enthusiasm for whatever activity I had planned.

He will not invite me to join him for ANYTHING. Ever. He will mention a date (or have me look up a date if it happens to be coordinated online) and that is pretty much it. If I show any enthusiasm and am not rebuffed, I can go along, but I always feel like I’m inviting myself where I’m not wanted. He says that I have a Standing Invitation to join him whenever I like. He says that he invites me to do things with him “all the time,” but that is a lie. I have to make plans, take time off work, pack, cook, whatever, but he will not invite me. If I act like he’s going on his own, he acts hurt because I don’t want to join him.

So. I did not invite him because I really wanted to go alone and when he went with me two years ago it was a huge trial. You see, he had to combine the trip with buying a boat trailer – saving gas and all that, which is fine, but we had to go get the trailer first. We drove for 3 hours, picked up the trailer (with the obligatory male bullshit that attends all such missions) and then drive back towards home for half an hour to the Event location. By that time it was late afternoon and quite hot. Of course we had the dogs in the van (which had very poor dog ventilation) so we couldn’t stay long. And it was hot. And he was hungry but the lines at concessions were too long for him to stand and wait*, but he couldn’t walk around looking at stuff with me because that makes his foot swell – he will just go way over there and sit under that shady tree and wait for me. Sounds fine, right? Not at all. What he was really saying was that he was done and wanted to go home. For every minute that I “abandoned” him he would torture me for an hour. It is a common occurrence.

I rushed through the Event, bought some things that I really needed and headed back to him as fast as I could, hoping to avoid what I knew would come next – The Ride Home. If you’ve spent any time at all with one of these assholes you know exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Nuff said. It was awful.

To cut this ramble off before I start screaming, he made such a huge deal about hating everything about that day that I assumed he would not want to repeat the experience and would not be hurt. After all, he hadn’t shown any enthusiasm up to this point, so he must not want to go, right?

Sigh. Friday night he started a fight with me over my “not inviting” him to the Event. I was so angry after reading that his “old lover (who [he] still care[s] for)” is still in touch that it finally just came out. He was drilling me about not inviting him and then being mad that his feelings were hurt and I just couldn’t take it. I said, “You’re right – my anger is not about what you’re complaining about right now. My anger is over your lies and hypocrisy – you’re in contact with an old lover, you’re keeping it secret and I do believe I have the right to be angered by that.”

Deer in the headlights. I did not have my recorder, alas. His excuses, tears, denials, deflecting gaslighting, yelling and lying went on for hours. Until 3:00 AM in fact. I was wrung out, but I got to say what I had to say. When he asked if I wanted to leave, I told him no, because I don’t want to be living in my car. When he asked if I wanted him to leave, I said no, because I don’t want to start a war that I can’t win.

I drove, alone, 2.5 hours each way on three hours of sleep just to say that I did and to defy him. I told him that I had a great time and will work up a long, detailed blog post to prove it.

He offered to sell me the house again today. Just how is that supposed to work, I wonder?

There’s more, but I have to go for now…

* Again, I am not discounting his disabilities AT ALL, but I do think he uses them to his advantage whenever it suits him.

 

This is Going to Cost Me…

Yesterday was more of the same – M was distracted when I showed up at the event, turning his back and talking with various people. We ate at the burger joint again and I made conversation with everyone at our table but M. Whatever.

One of the people there had a sewing machine that he’s been trying to sell to us for about four years. I had to work today, so M agreed to find him this afternoon and take a look at it to see if it will do the work we need it to do. Okey-dokie! He called me at work to ask a few questions about it and I told him it sounded like a Good Deal.

M did not give me a clue about his schedule for Sunday, so after a long, very busy day, I stopped at the grocery store, made a run by the local marina to see if he was there after helping a friend bring his boat in (he wasn’t there, so I assumed he did not need a ride back to his truck – no phone call to tell me either way.) and then home. After feeding the animals, I sat down at the computer to see if there were any notes that needed immediate attention. About 15 minutes later M walked in with the sewing machine.

I sat it on the kitchen counter, was immediately chastised for putting a “dirty” object there and he asked if I was going to take a look at it. I had no interest in dealing with it at that moment, but of course I said sure and set it up in the back room. He made some comments, asked a few questions, watched for a minute as I applied oil and went into the kitchen.

As I was threading it up, he asked what was for dinner. I told him fresh pasta with pesto, toast and salad, which started an argument in an instant. He was not in the mood for such simple fare. He had “worked*” all day and was hungry and tired and wanted Real Food. Couldn’t I sex it up a bit? Why do I insist on plain food? Don’t I realize that his tastes are more complex, and so on. I made an angry face and left the room. He muttered, “I have to walk on fucking glass around here…”

And then, “You know, the wives at the Event take excellent care of their men – cooking and serving food, bringing them whatever they need. I wonder what it would be like?” Yeah, my hackles rose.

He went on, “In all the time you’ve been here, cooking dinner is the only thing you have reliably taken on as your own – the other necessary chores will get done or not, but you always cook dinner. Why am I standing here in the kitchen doing this? Wasn’t my day as long and hard as yours? What are you pissed off about?”

“Just what were you saying with that crack about the wives at the Event?” I asked.

“Well, you know me, I state the parameters, both extremes of the situation.” WTF is that supposed to mean? More prattle about how he “has my back” now that I’m working, and how I don’t do anything around the house, blah, blah, blah.

The conversation was going nowhere, so I dropped it. Just too tired to continue such a hopeless exchange.

Later (and after I’d had an Adult Beverage,) he asked me how the sewing machine was. Would it do the work we needed? I said it would and asked how much it cost. I brought him some cash (half the price he stated) and said that we should invest equally in purchases such as this, since it would be for both of us. He refused the money, saying that it was a replacement for the commercial machine he bought me some years ago and then took back to use in a trade with the A** mentioned in another post. Huh? Fuck. Now it’s a Gift. Now it has Strings Attached. It’s a very nice machine, well suited to what I’ll be asking of it, but fuck, I don’t need yet another Gift to deal with.

This will end badly, you can be sure.

* If you can call walking around talking to his fans “work.” I, on the other hand, was on my feet all day on a concrete floor trying my best to produce inventory for the store as we were behind due to circumstances beyond our control. My feet were just shy of numb and I was not in a good mood. No comparison, IMHO.

** It’s a very long story. A is a total scum bag, but he comes across as an upstanding person. Turns out he was selling everything he could in preparation for leaving his wife of nearly 20 years and three teen children for an exotic dancer he was having an affair with. He was selling off his wife’s things and telling her that the people he sold them to (including me) had not paid and so she had no money coming to her. Nice, huh? Plenty of quality people in this community. Not.

 
 

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Sleep Deprivation

Most people don’t realize that sleep deprivation is a very effective method of torture. Srsly. Ask any POW and they will likely talk about their experience with sleep deprivation and what it did to their mind and body.

My first husband used sleep deprivation in order to control me. To this day I do not know if he did it deliberately, but I strongly suspect that he did. He was a tweaker (a person who uses meth) and so would spend days at a time awake and hyper, his thoughts and actions erratic and unpredictable. Since he refused to get or hold a job, it was up to me to make enough money for us to pay rent and eat and enjoy all the modern conveniences that we had become accustomed to, like running water and electricity. To that end, I sometimes worked two jobs to keep body and soul together. In return, he stole money and checks from me and made sure that I was always too tired to fight him.

Every night, I would be swaying on my feet before he would allow me to go to bed. I do mean “allow” – he would physically keep me from laying down while talking a mile a minute and demanding I respond to him. After I fell asleep, usually within minutes, he would find reasons to wake me up, asking me questions, making demands, whatever. He did this every hour or (if I was lucky) two all night long. When morning came, I was more exhausted than when I laid down, stomach in knots, hands shaking, light-headed, a total wreck. I would be a zombie all day at work and then come home to start all over again.

This went on for nearly four years. It came on so slowly that I didn’t realize what was happening. People started to look at me with concern, asking why I was so thin, why the dark circles under my eyes, etc. I had no answer. How could I? I could not form a coherent sentence by the end, constantly worn to a frazzle, unable to object to anything that he wanted if only he would let me take a little nap. I was having hallucinations and became uncertain of what was real and what was not. I became emotionally dead – I just had no energy for anything resembling a rational response to my environment. I see pictures of myself from those days and I don’t recognise the people in them. No memory of them at all. I asked my Sis who some guy was in a picture and she gave me a look of such surprise – he and she had been together for a few years, he had run up her credit card and then left her hanging, etc. etc. I have absolutely no memory of the guy, but there I am in a picture with him.

When I finally got out of that situation, I began to nap. Every.Day.That.I.Could. I mean, seriously nap. And sleep long hours at night. It got to the point where I guarded my sleep against any and all comers, frankly telling anyone who wanted to keep me up late that I was not interested. If I did stay up late and felt tired the next day it brought back memories of that terrible time so strongly that I began to sleep longer to avoid that awful feeling of those days. I may have gone a bit overboard, but my sleep was, and is, very important to me. M does not understand (even though I have spelled it out to him, explicitly – he feels that I “should be over that by now”) that I need more sleep than the average person and that I am unwilling to give up those hours to do something that is important to him, or not important all.

I now refuse to lose weight for M or anyone else. I am not fat, I’m not even close to what passes for “average” in America. I am 5′-8″ tall and weigh about 130. M would prefer that I weigh 120 or less, because then I “would be so hot.” Being too thin does not make me feel “good,” it brings back those awful times again in full force.

All this to say that I’m being awakened several times a night by our geriatric dog who has decided that she needs to go outside during the night. I don’t really begrudge her age-related infirmities, but damn! I’m getting those old feelings of oppression back. Loss of appetite. The constant desire for a nap. And before you ask, no, M can’t take her out – his disability prevents him from getting out of bed fast enough – when the dog has to go, she has to go now!

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Today, Torture

 

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