Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rage

I'M JUST BEING EXPRESSIVE!

Rage: violent, uncontrollable anger.

Abuse: to treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. 

On the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, the gender pronouns are in the feminine (because men are NEVER abused).  I wonder what kind of treatment I'd get, if I called.  Anyway, on the site's wheel, I see that I seem to fit many of the categories of abuse: using cohersion and threats; using intimidation; using emotional abuse; using isolation; and minimizing, denying and blaming.  The only categories not in use are male privilege (for obvious reasons) and economic abuse. 


Anyway, it is disconcerting that Sybil can go from 0 to pissed off in the literal blink of an eye.  It kept me off balance for so long.  I always seemed to be reactive.  Now I am focusing on being proactive.  The problem is it is kind of exhausting.  I can never relax around her.  I have to make sure I am vanilla in all of my statements and replys.  No longer am I worried (afraid?) about another episode.  Instead, I look at it as a complete waste of my life.  Looking back, I've wasted so much precious time worthlessly JADEing with Sybil.  Now, I just don't care.  I think that what was evident during our last bout.  That is why she was making threatening and abusive statements.  She wasn't getting the desired effect, so she has to ramp it up.   I am kind of numb.  I feel kind of like a hypocrit.  I am nice to her and tell her that I love her, but I know secretly I would rather live in a box under a bridge. Sobering.

It's amazing how when someone is in the thick of things, they do not even realize how bad it is.  Frog meet boiling water.




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Same S@&t Different Day

I had posted earlier about dreading last weekend due to it being our anniversary.  Wife usually has some sort of melt down and ruins it.  Almost happened again.  She started probing by bringing up minor irritations about what transpired earlier that day.  Can't seem to say anything positive about the fact we stayed together 24 years (beating the odds in more ways than one).  Nope.  Anyway, I handled it by being the grey rock.  Rest of the night went fairly well.

Apparently, she was just saving it for later?  Last night had a major argument.  Our arguments go like this: wife gets triggered by something I said, didn't say, did, or didn't do.  This leads to her being upset.  Her upsettedness (not a word) is magnified because I do not humble myself at her feet.  She expects me to broach the subject of her being upset.  The longer she waits the more Tee'd off she becomes until she is, literally, throwing a fit.  So last night was no exception.  To top it all off, we have a guest staying with us.  Therefore, she had to with hold her rage. Additionally, I demanded that she not speak nor act disrespectfully towards me in front of the kids.  I guess she could no longer pack it in and how to let it out.  I heard myself being called a "selfish bastard" and "I should punch you in the face".  All because I didn't broach the subject of her hurt feelings.  I was always taught the aggrieved party does the confronting.

Some things will have to change. Since every bed was occupied, I had no where to go. My task is to pack a "go bag" with clothes and cash, just in case.  I need to investigate some sort of recording app for smart phones.  I need to sureptitously record these "conversations".

Thursday, June 01, 2017

This is How Love Dies

Well, our 24th wedding anniversary is coming up.  Needless to say, I'm filled with fear and loathing.  I know it will turn to crap.  Just like every Valentine's Day, every Christmas (I always get her something; she hasn't given me a gift in years), countless birthdays, etc.  I know something will trigger Sybil; we'll have a huge argument; I will be cast as the villain; and she maintain her role as the martyr.  I will still go through the motions, but I am coming to the point of not caring.

Recently, had two episodes that, again, showed her true colors towards me.  In both episodes, we were alone having a dinner; in each episode she used our conversation as a platform to voice her problems with me; and in each episode I sit there thinking I hate being alone with her.  The capper was this week.  We took our kids to a sushi buffet we like; she is sitting with Son#3; I ask her if she wants anything as I am getting up; she answers no; and two days later she tells me that on the surface my gesture was nice but really I should know what she wants and get it for her.  The second episode was me bringing her heavy work bag downstairs; she didn't need me to do that; and instead, I should have asked her first.

Today, I am the a$$hole because I did not tell her how much I love her yesterday nor this morning.  I've pointed out that I am being mistreated and her issues are petty.  That's a trigger.  There's no way she mistreats me.  IF she does, then it's my fault because I do not grovel enough.  Therefore, I deserve it, because I've made her feel so terrible by how I treat her.

How can I love someone if she does not care about how she makes me feel?  In one of the dinner conversations, I told I felt like her comments were a "punch in the gut".  No response.  Wow.  In the second dinner conversation I just didn't care what she said.  I'm setting boundaries about not fighting over petty stuff (stuff from buffet, bringing down her bag).  However, I'm past the grieving stage and I guess I'm entering the apathetic stage.

I'm about at the point where I'd rather live in a cardboard box under the overpass than spend another minute with her.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Gaslighting

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
- Apostle Paul's letter to the Corinthians

One of the things I've come to realize over the years is that Sybil is amazing at gaslighting.  At first I thought it was a form of projection.  Projection is
Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. 
I think she uses both.  I do not think she is really capable of love.  If the definition of love is "always kind", "does not boast", "not easily angered", "keeps no record of wrongs", and  "always trusts", then she does not love me.

As I try to cope with the grief of coming out of the FOG, it has become clear that Sybil has superficial feelings.  Except one thing: hers.  If she feels ignored, she comes "unglued".  To her this means she marginalized and does not matter.  Therefore, she is not loved.

Funny thing...Sybil accuses me of not knowing what love is.  For her, love is putting her on a pedestal and only thinking of her.  I must always shine the spotlight on her.  If she does not feel that she is the center of my universe, then she is triggered.  The fun begins.

The combination of gaslighting and projection kept me off guard for so many years.  I feel so stupid.  As I was coming out of the FOG on my own (mainly Obligation), I was starting to have a thought experiment of divorce.  With the little one, that cannot happen for a long time.  Now I wonder if a combination of OCPD (she created a rule that no one can be surgically fixed...despite my begging to be) and probable love bombing we have a three year old.  Anyway, Sybil may be right about whether or not I know what love is, but I know she does not know what it is either.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

More of the Same...or Let Me Off of This Merry Go Round

Well, it seems that Sybil is decompensating.  I am trying to enforce boundaries, and she is fighting back with everything she has.  To try to move the conversation forward (I know a big waste of time and energy), I apologized for violating her rule about talking to my parents.  I told her that I would not fight with her anymore (kind of hollow given our history).  However, I was open and contrite (I've used that word countless times but she told me this morning that she doesn't know what it means).  We stayed up very late with her sobbing, literally sobbing, that I do not care about her.  Obviously, if I did care about her, I would never had said anything to my parents.  Crying is emotional blackmail.  Sigh...I am not a monster and have too much empathy.  That is when I caved and apologized, reached out to her emotionally and physically, and told her that I would not fight with her anymore.

The next morning in the car as we are going to the office, Sybil (out of the blue) says she does not want me making coffee for her in the morning.  She feels that I hold it over head (I do bring it up as an example of me not being a selfish prick).  I was stunned into silence.  After trying to make inroads and heal us by swallowing what pride I have left and apologizing for a minor incident, she cut me very deep.  See, it is not about coffee.  Sybil's statement was a preemptive strike to shut me down about how much I care for her.  In doing so, it appears that Sybil does not want healing.  But, I knew that already.  Bad habits are hard to break.  Not much happened yesterday because I went into Low Contact Mode.  She stayed at the office until past 10:00 pm working.  Naturally, her narcissistic supply was not there; she was not happy I was not there alongside with her.

Today we are here...wherever "here" is.  While, intellectually, I realize that Sybil can only focus on herself and how she feels, I cannot seem to let that go emotionally.  Sybil is quite adept at stirring my emotions, thus keeping me off balance.  After yesterday's "coffee comment", I am painfully aware on an emotional level that she just does not really care about how I feel.  Apparently, her take away from the night before's conversation was all I said was for her to "go to sleep."  I did say that, but I said so much more.  It was like a punch in the gut.  Even if she was the only aggrieved party in this mess, she totally cast aside any efforts on my part to ameliorate the situation.  This morning I kept my comments to a few talking points:

  1. I had my hand out with an olive branch, and your "coffee comment" was a slap in my face.
  2. I sincerely apologized and reach out physically with touch, as instructed to do in the past and then see #1 above.
  3. You are not the only one wronged here.  If you truly did not yell at me in front of our children, why is our 3 year old son saying, "Mommy angy"?  I do not recall him ever using the word "angy".
Sybil's reply was to ask "is this it?".  To which I repeated my talking points.  As her psyche reveals itself to more and more damaged, I truly believe she wants me to end our marriage.  She cannot see beyond her nose to see what that would do to many people.  Sybil cannot get past her feelings and let things go.  Who am I kidding?  She's never been able to do that.  She wants the benefits of being the martyr without the responsibility.  The act of divorce, while I am sure we would survive the ordeal, would wreak havoc on our finances, our kids' lives, and she would still have to "deal with me" as we have a toddler.  She would have to "deal with me" for the next 15 years.

Lastly, I know I am part of the problem.  I am stubborn.  I refuse to quit.  I refuse to give up.  Probably anyone else would have given up years ago and walked away.  After reading up on things, I see so much: trauma bonding, triangulation, gaslighting, love bombing, splitting, isolation, "getting up with fleas", all of it.  I may have to put divorce on the table.  That may be the only way to diffuse the situation.  Sadly, I fear that she will find another goat on which to lay all sins.  I would rather take that on than our kids.  I guess in my own way I have a martyr complex.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

As I've traveled the path of trying to understand Sybil, I'm coming to realize that maybe she's just a bitch.  I could give whatever diagnosis.  She has Narcissistic Personality Disorder; she has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  Tonight, I just do not care.

Awhile ago Sybil laid down the law and instructed us to keep my parents, especially my mother, in the dark about our family.  My mother made the mistake of trying to know what our kids where up to.  Unfortunately, my mother gets her facts twisted, and emails the twisted facts to the rest of my extended family (her sisters and sisters' kids...my cousins).  While that is pretty innocuous, that kind of thing crawls all over Sybil.  The thing that brought this on was my mother wanting information about something Son#2 was into.  She asked Sybil about, and Sybil requested that my mother not give out any information, since it was not definite.  Sybil did not want everyone to know about something that may not come to pass.  I did not know Sybil had made that request.  My mother asked me about it, I filled her in, but I did not stipulate no telling everyone.  My mother did not listen to Sybil's wishes and told everyone.  The information she gave was not quite correct.  Sybil made the law that we do not give too much information to my parents, especially my mother.  Kind of harsh, I understood why and went along with it, however.

Tonight, I spoke with my father.  Just a quick conversation.  Towards the end I told him that Son#1 was meeting with a headhunter.  That's all I said.  I did not tell him where, who, where Son#1 wants to work, etc.  Just that one sentence.  Sybil became annoyed.  When I did not become contrite, she became enraged.  Now, the conversation became about how I disrespected her by not following her wishes.  It all went downhill from there.  She brought Son#1 into it.  He said he didn't think it was a big deal.  Not really fair to him, though.  She was kind of making him pick sides.

The conversation then turned to how I don't respect Sybil and do not care about her wishes.  I brought up how she did something at the office yesterday that was kind of a big deal to me without consulting me first.  I explained that I tried to talk to her about it yesterday, but she blew me off.  I told her not to lecture me about not caring about someone else's feelings.  Sybil becomes unhinged and starts yelling at me.  I tell her that I will not be yelled at and leave the room.  A few minutes later, I hear the door close, and Sybil is driving off.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar; sometimes a bitch is just a bitch.  I'm getting tired of being the only adult in the house.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A New Twist

Once again, Anon has given me more to chew on.  He/she proposes that Sybil has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  I went to one of the sites he gave me and did a quick check list:



While I am no mental health expert, I am seeing that maybe Sybil has OCPD rather than Narcissistic PD.  Actually, I think she has OCPD with NPD traits.  Anyway, she is the epitome of a obsessed workaholic.  This creates a lot of strain, since we own our own business.  However, nothing is good enough.  She is always revamping things.  To the point of working on minutiae without seeing the bigger picture.  This minutiae does nothing to give us more money.  It creates a strain because she is responsible for billing, and does not have time because she is working "shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic".

For example, I offered to outsource some of Sybil's work to ease her burden and give her more free time.  It would have cost us money and may have an error rate of...say...10%.  Since that is below her threshold of 100% perfection, she would not let me do it.  Therefore, she literally sits on her bed all day Saturday and Sunday (watching "Real Housewives" which is another post by itself) working.  I am left to take care of the toddler and try to run the house.  No time spent with the family.  We certainly do nothing fun.

Sadly, I have forgotten how to relax.  After nearly 24 years with Sybil and her tendencies, I have a constant state of low grade anxiety that I should be doing something.  While we do things with friends, it is always something within Sybil's comfort zone, like going out to dinner.  I do not know what the next steps are but to realize that Sybil will always have these issues, will not change, and it is up to me to carve out a life without her.