Monday, December 25, 2017

Almost Made It This Christmas

For the last 5 Christmases or so, the Sybil has had some sort of melt down to ruin things. Nothing is ever good enough. This year, I tried to take over the Christmas stuff due to her being very stressed out. Stress creates a hair trigger. I tried to discuss the Amazon list that our kids had created on a couple of occasions, but I was rebuffed due to her working. Not a big deal, but time was wasting. Finally, we discussed the list. The next day I placed the order without consulting her and her letting her know I was doing it. I didn't share the order details. I admit that was a major oversight. It was unintentional just forgot due to the everything going on. Last night, she discovered that one of the toys for was left off of the list (I really thought I ordered it). She was enraged because I did not communicate with her that I was placing the order and did not forwards the list. I took ownership of it. I apologized. Sadly, I ruined her Christmas again. Argument ensued. Heard "I hate you!" Told to leave the room. Etc. After sometime, I went back to salvage things. Argument continues. I try not to JADE, but defuse the situation (I know...lost cause). She is so upset she cannot talk. Instead, she sends me a text
today, i release u of any responsibility for me since i dont exist in ur life and u dont need me in ur life. u dont have to spend another christmas seeing me disappointed...this will make the 5th time! i have cried every christmas except for the one time u and the boys went to visit ur mom...and i did not exist then either. u never sent me pictures until prompt by me and never tried to call or communicate with me while u were away.  u dont care whether i am in ur life...u function fine without me. u dont care about how i feel so the best thing is to just release that burden--ME. u dont like how i make u feel...how i  reveal to u how u really think of me... i dont  want to tie u down or make u feel bad any more.  just let me go. i know divorce is not ur thing so u leave me no choice but to kill myself... i am dead to u anyway so that won’t be any different.  i love my kids but like u said, if i die, u can always find someone to help take care of the them. i know u r thinking i am being selfish...i may be but u leave me no choice..i need to stop suffering. i have tried and tried and tried. just like u said, you tried and tried and i supposedly left u no choice but to make that decision by urself and even after u made that decision, u kept it to urself since i have not earned the right to know since i was not never wiling to give my time of day.  u gave up on me...i can give up on this marriage. i am a fool to ever think our marriage would be different than ur parents. i come from a family that has parents that lean on each other no matter what. u come from a family that has parents that do things individually.  i cannot live like that...so loveless, so unwanted. i rather die than to be in that situation. tonight, i have never hated u as much as before. u kept blaming for ur actions...that is wrong. that action shows that u dont love me EVER!!!!!! you taught me well...I AM NOBODY, I AM  NOTHING!!
I'm in the room!

This occurred last night. This morning, she would not leave the room. The kids had to wait a couple of hours to open presents.

The kicker is I had gotten her an Apple Watch (she was acting good and did need it). She's barely touched it. She hasn't set it up. On the bright side, I got a present from her for the first time in years: socks and undershirt.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Really Struggling to Just Maintain Right Now

Going though a major blow up right now.

This morning Sybil was feeling amorous.  She will not use the Pill, will not allow me to get a vasectomy, will not get her "tubes tied", and does not like condoms, I asked her where she was on her cycle (she uses an app to track it).  It was not good timing.  As we have 4 kids and all surprises, my anxiety level went up.  I kind of cut her off.  I was not rude, but I did not want things to get out of hand.  It hurt her feelings.  She started acting passive-aggressive.  I asked her what was up; she told me her feelings were hurt; and I apologized...sincerely.

Flash forward to this evening.  The only kid in the house was the 3yo and he was napping.  I felt that it would be good to spend time with her undisturbed.  Sybil was working in the bedroom.  I asked to change the channel to a football game, she agreed, she continued to work, and I sat in a chair looking at my laptop and watching the game.  An argument has ensued: I did not sit next to her, talk to her (hard to do...she was working), and I didn't even ask if she wanted to watch the game (huh?).  I tried to address these complaints, rationally.  I did not want to engage in JADEing, so I made one comment. Naturally, it went no where.  I left the room.

Sybil followed me to the room I went to so she could continue the "conversation".  I tried to maintain my cool, but it is so hard.  At this point I don't even remember what I said.  I mentioned that I was feeling a tightness in my chest (a couple days prior I had told her that I was having a flutter in my chest).  That's when she said she has issues, too.  She just did not want to tell me (as an aside: it's odd that she brings this up now).  Some other things were said.  I can't remember them.  It seems I go into an amnesia thing.  Anyway, she storms off to the bedroom.  I am so emotional that just sit looking at the TV...not watching it.  I go to the bedroom to find that she has locked the door.  I become so angry that I very briefly contemplate breaking the door down.  I don't.  I unlock it, go in, and get what I need.

I am really feeling like I've hit the end of my rope.  I am tired of the manipulation.  I am tired of the rage whenever her expectations aren't met.  I'm tired.  It is so emotionally draining.  If it weren't for our 3 yo, I'd walk right now.

UPDATE -

Had a major "conversation" last night because Sybil has had her fill of not feeling loved.  She agreed  I did nothing wrong.  In fact, she said I was a "good father and provider", and I'm a "good guy" with "good morals".  Yet, I didn't make her feel like I loved her.  Sadly, old habits die hard, so let the JADEing begin.  I asked why does she think that is?  I pointed out examples of her treatment of me within the last 2 weeks (one of which was in front of our adult children with them saying that she wrong).  Silence.  I know. I know.  She'll never "see the light" and realize she is part of the problem.

Now, I am feeling anger and depression.  Angry because I stuck around for 25 years and have 4 kids with Sybil.  Angry at myself more than anything else.  I feel depression because my choice (and it is my choice) to stay means that this is as good as it gets.

How apropos: Characteristics of Professional Victims

Monday, November 13, 2017

Feeling Like She Cares

Another exciting weekend with Sybil.  She never disappoints.

Three nice episodes of knowing how much she cares.

1. I was feeling a little amorous.  I made my intentions known.  She informs me that she cannot due to "that time of the month".  I say that's ok.  I give her some affection, not expecting anything.  Naturally, Sybil is not one to let a good thing to go to waste.  She states that she has just about given up and thought I would never make a "pass" at her.  I reminded her of the passes I had made within the last 30 days (there were at least 2...I was rebuffed).  Sybil's eyes just glazed over.  Love is grande.

2. Having a discussion about all of the sex scandals.  Son#1 (23), daughter (20), Sybil, and I were having a nice conversation.  Sybil quickly let everyone know she was victim of a sexual assault.  Backstory: this is, technically, true.  It was an old man and she was a teenager.  She was not, actually, raped; he tried to get physical.  Anyway, Sybil's take was that no one should be made to something against their will.  Then brought up ancient times when a daughter was given to the king as payment or reward.  I stated that what if the daughter's lot in life was improved.  Living in a harem may be better than grinding poverty.  Sybil became triggered and started yelling at me.  Surprisingly, the kids came to my defense (even the daughter...she's kind of Sybil's flying monkey).  Son#1 went so far as to say that Sybil would never let me finish my thought.  If she had, she would realize that I was saying pretty much the same thing.  Sybil's eyes glazed over.  No apology was forthcoming.  I just have to suck it up, right?

3. After episode #1, I guess Sybil was feeling guilty.  She makes a small, tentative "advance" to me whilst in bed.  She states she can't do anything.  Then she states that she could do something for me.  A few heartbeats go by...then she says or I just take of myself.  A few more heartbeats go by.  I get up and use the bathroom.  I decide to just leave the room, make coffee, and breakfast.  Of all of the crap that Sybil has pulled, that was the capper.  I can live with the other stuff.  My wife being a "prick tease" takes the cake.

I just know how much I am loved.  Or not loved.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Update

I was going to continue with the whole "Stop Walking on Egg Shells" thing.  After some consideration, I've come to the conclusion that it is only half way helpful.  The first half of the book gives some good stuff on Personality Disorders.  It goes into the emotional and psychological aspects of what this Disorder is.  My take away: people with Personality Disorders are great, big children.  Children have to learn to self-soothe.  When people are infants, they rely on parents to soothe them.  As they grow up, they have to be taught that their feelings cannot define their reality; they learn to self-soothe.  People with Personality Disorders, somehow, never learn that their feelings are not their reality.  Like a child, they rely upon someone else to soothe them.  Exhausting.

In the second half of the book, we read that we have to modify our behavior to live with these people.  My take away: it had to do more with appeasement rather than setting some sort of boundary.  The receiver had to keep in my mind that the PD person has issues and modify our behavior.  That becomes exhausting.  In the long run, I'm not sure it is realistic.  It seems like the best way to encourage a bully is to appease him/her.

I don't really have the answer.  My best guess goes back to setting and enforcing boundaries.  Since my personality runs more to a laid back way of living, boundaries are a new concept.  I've had lines I did not cross in my life.  I guess I have morals, ethics.  These were things I put in place on myself.  I never really put them in place for someone else.  Live an let live kind of thing.  This was a huge mistake and has cost me a great deal of emotional and psychological pain.  That is the one thing I try to tell my boys (the daughter already has that figured out it seems).  Setting and enforcing boundaries is for my protection.  I quit being the sponge of whatever emotional tempest that Sybil has.  I have to be kind of an a$$hole.  Sadly, a little bit of love dies.

Or, I divorce Sybil.  That is always an option.  I took that option off of the table.  Sybil has put it on the table of the years.  She even Googled, printed, and signed a divorce document, which is uploaded on this blog.  That is emotional blackmail.  When someone wants to really divorce someone, I don't think they do that.  I'm pretty sure they divorce.  They kick the other person out and get a lawyer.  The proceedings start.  Anyway, Sybil uses that as a cudgel to bash me over the head.  How does someone defuse that situation?

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Quotes from "Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder"

“The techniques of brainwashing are simple: isolate the victim, expose them to consistent messages, mix with sleep deprivation, add some form of abuse, get the person to doubt what they know and feel, keep them on their toes, wear them down, and stir well.”
p. 58

"Continual blame and criticism are other defense mechanisms people with BPD who act out use.  The criticisim may be based on a real issue that the person with BPD has exaggerated, or it may be a pure fantasy on the borderline's part."
p. 58

"Emotional abuse is any behavior that is designed to control another person through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal or physical assaults."
"Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that it systematically wears away at the victim's self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in her perceptions, and self-concept.  Whether it be by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of "guidance" or teaching, the results are similar.  Eventually, the recipient loses all sense of self and all remnants of personal value."
p. 60

"Many adult borderlines - especially those with young children - have noticed that their view of the world can be very childlike.  Splitting, object constancy problems, abandonment and engulfment issues, identity issues, narcissistic demands, seeming lack of empathy, and seeming manipulation are all borderline thinking patterns that correspond to developmental stages in children."
p. 65

"Filled with self-loathing, people with BPD may:

  • accuse others of hating them
  • become so critical and easily enraged that people eventually want to leave them
  • blame others and put themselves in the role of victim."
p. 67

"Meanwhile, the borderline's unhealthy behaviors are reinforced because the nonBP accepts responsibility for the feelings and actions that belong to the borderline."
p. 68

"Non-BPs being devalued by someone with BPD cherish clear and powerful memories of the times when the borderline thought they could do no wrong.  Some family members say they feel like the person who loved them has died and that someone they do not know has taken over the BPs body."
p. 70

"'Impulsive aggression' is an impulsive, hostile, even violent reaction, triggered by immediate threats of rejection or abandonment paired with frustration.  The source of these feelings may be obvious or triggered by something unseen."
p. 72

"Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer-lasting than physical ones.  With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism, and accusations slowly eat away at the victim's self-esteem until she (he) is incapable of judging the situation realistically."
p. 73

"The non-BP may leave the situation, either emotionally or physically.  This could include working long hours, remaining silent for fear of saying something wrong, or terminating the relationship.  This may result in the person with BPD feeling abandoned and acting out more intensely."
p. 74

"In an attempt to gain some control over what appear to be unpredictable BP behaviors, non-BPs often find themselves 'on alert'.  Being on alert requires a heightened sense of arousal both physically and psychologically that, over time, can wear down the body's natural defenses against stress, leading to headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, and other illnesses."
p. 74,75

"Borderline behaviors such as verbal abuse, perceived manipulation, and defense mechanisms can shatter trust and intimacy.  They make the relationship unsafe for the non-BP, who can no longer feel confident his or her deep feelings and innermost thoughts will be treated with love, concern, and care."
p. 77

"Tool 1: Take good care of yourself: obtaining support and finding community, detaching with love, getting a handle on your emotions, improving self-esteem, mindfulness, laughter, and wellness.
Tool 2: Uncover what keeps you feeling stuck: owning your choices; helping others without rescuing; and handling fear, obligation, and guilt.
Tool 3: Communicate to be heard: putting safety first, handling rage, active listening, nonverbal communication, defusing anger and criticism, validation and empathetic acknowledging.
Tool 4: Set limits with love: boundary issues, "sponging" and "mirroring" preparing for discussions, persisting for change and the DEAR (Describe, Express, Assert, and Reinforce) technique.
Tool 5: Reinforce the right behaviors: the effects of intermittent reinforcement."
p. 81, 82

"But in order for you to get off the emotional roller coaster, you will have to give up the fantasy that you can or should change someone else.  When you let go of this belief, you will be able to claim the power that is truly yours: the power to change yourself."
p. 87

"With BPD, the cause of an argument is not necessarily the actual event but the borderline's interpretation of that event.  As you probably know, you and the person with BPD may come to very different conclusions about what was said and done."
p. 88


More to come.  I've posted this because I need to remind myself that the person that 40% of the time seems to loving and nice acts so crazy the other 60% of the time.  I had Son#2 ask me if mom was "bipolar"...his words not mine.  Anyway, I have no doubt that Sybil is mentally ill.  Sadly, there is no hope for her to get any help because:

  1. She blames others (ok...me) for her problems.
  2. Admitting that she has issues would make her face the darkness that she has in her soul.
  3. She would have to realize that her actions makes those closest to her not want to be around her.  Son#1 moved back home and it is apparent that he has some pretty big issues with mom.  Son#2 moved to college and won't come home.  Interestingly, I believe that daughter is her "flying monkey" and will do her bidding.
  4. Finally, there is me.  My behavior may have contributed to her worsening.  By not being willing to use the nuclear option (ie divocrce), I have taken away a massive amount of leverage. Years ago (before 4 kids...just 1) I knew there was a problem.  The FOG I put myself in kept me from leaving.  I have much ground to cover.



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Various Stuff

A couple of things that are rattling around in my head.  Not much of a post, but has some personal stuff.

We hired a new staff member recently.  She's one of those kind of "earthy" types.  I'm not sure she'll stay long, but I find myself infatuated with her.  She's kind of attractive but not gorgeous.  I could not put my finger on it for several days.  Then, I had an epiphany.  She, actually, is kind to me.  She smiles.  She says positive things.  There is nothing overtly anything.  After my epiphany, I realized she's that way with everyone.  It was another reminder that a kind word will do more than an angry one.  I'm sure this infatuation will pass.  I do have not plans to even engage in it.  Yet, I feel even more depressed that this was all it takes for me to get this way: kindness.

I have been reading Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger.  According to the Kindle App, I'm 82% finished.  What have I learned?  Set Boundaries, Mirror Sybil's emotions (don't be a sponge).  Sadly, the subtext is that I have to be mindful of her emotions and feelings, so I can defuse the situation.  However, I can really never expect her to do the same.  Wow.  I knew this.  However, reading it seemed to make it so final.  Knowing that the one person closest to me does not really care about my feelings or emotional well being.  It really hit home last week.  I became slightly ill.  Chills.  Muscle aches.  Immediately, I layered clothes and went to bed.  Wearing fleece in the summer normally would be a clue.  Sybil made no comments.  Did not ask how I was or anything.  She, too, became a little under the weather.  I found myself trying to care for her and myself.  Very depressing.  Very depressing.  She could not see outside herself to see how I was doing.

No wonder a little positive feedback from a member of the opposite sex made me become infatuated.  Now, I am aware enough not to do anything stupid, but the power of negativity.  Like a fish not realizing they are in water until they are yanked out of it: jarring.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Horns of a Delimma

A new dilemma has arisen.  My class reunion is coming up.  Sybil has known about it for a long time.  We even blocked off days at the office to make the trip.

Naturally, Sybil has found a way to sabotage it.  I was trying to confirm whether or not she was going, since the deadline to pay was coming.  She became triggered.  Apparently, I should not have asked whether or not she was going.  Instead, I should have had everything planned (including caring for our 3 yo) and then asked her.  Since I started with asking her whether or not she was going, I did it wrong.  I explained that I wanted to make sure she was up for it, and then we can put our heads together to plan it.  She continued to get angry about not planning, and about my not acknowledging she had a point.  The latter eventually led to a complete melt down by her.  To add to her perceived insult, I started trying to use Medium Chill to not feed her narcissism.  Seeing that she was not getting the reaction she wanted, she started becoming very emotional and stomped away.  Meanwhile, my question is left unanswered.

Now we have a smoldering fire. I have not brought the subject back up.  Sybil is acting like a pouting, insolent child.  As I see it, I have a choice: not go to my reunion (which is what Sybil really wants) which will add to my resentment or go and face the music when I get back (I may find my stuff on the Front lawn).

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Sharp Turn to Ridiculousness



So we having nothing else to stress out about, apparently.  Last night we really took a turn into the ridiculousness.  

Summary: we only had one towel in our bathroom yesterday morning.  Last night I noticed we two.  I remarked on this observation (big mistake).  Sybil stated yes, we have towels in the clean clothes bag that is located in our closet.  Then everything became circular.  Her statement only said we had towels in the clean clothes bag not the bathroom (begs the question of why didn't she just put all of the clothes up?).  Finally, she commented that she put a towel in the bathroom.  Kind of a stupid conversation.  Typical misunderstanding: one person thought their statement was clear, and the other person was not understanding how the statement was pertinent.

Sybil stated that I am becoming worse.  I do not listen to her.  Since I do not listen to her, that means I do not REALLY love her.  Naturally, her statement made me go into Silent Treatment mode.  How do I respond to the hyperbole?  All I feel is anger at the craziness of this conversation.  To keep me from JADEing and engaging her in a circular argument, I keep silent.  Sybil remarks on this.  Finally, I say this was a simple misunderstanding, I should keep my statements to myself, and I cannot believe she is engaging in this hyperbole (I did use this word; I'm not sure she knows what it means.).  I go to "sleep", which really I lay there stewing in frustration.

This morning I am about to leave.  We talk a bit about work.  As I am leaving, I ask her is there anything else we need to discuss.  Sybil makes the statement, "Nothing else about the office".  Naturally, this means we need to delve into why I don't love her because I did not understand her, which means I did not love her.  To which, I replied, "We can talk about towels this afternoon."

Good times.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stuck

Here we are...

So, I've been really trying to buckle down and figure out how to handle myself with Sybil.  It's tough to unlearn bad habits.  It's tough to de-program oneself from all of the negative comments over such a long time.  I've endured so many times being called selfish.  I endured cognitive dissonance due to being called selfish, yet that not "jiving" with my reality.  Having my self-esteem systematically taken away, I started to really believe Sybil.  Fortunately, I never really truly believed her.  I knew there was no way I was that bad.  I earned 100% of the money, took an active role in rearing our children, did as much or more housework, I actively listened to her complaints, yet I was being called selfish.

Over time, I had comments on this blog from folks that were trying to point me in the right direction (God bless 'em!).  I was stuck because many would use Borderline Personality Disorder.  The thing that kept me from buying into BPD was the tendency for those with BPD to be impetuous.  Sybil is a lot of things, but she is not impetuous.  She has never thrown caution to the wind and done anything "spur of the moment".  Since I just could not square her as having BPD with my real life experiences, I plodded on.  All of the while knowing that something was not quite right.  The rages over perceived slights kept me knowing something was off.  Who cancels a Christmas visit with my family because I happened to look at a TV, instead of help her with Christmas cards (which I never asked her to do in the first place)?  No sane person would do that.  I could go on and on with more examples.  This blog has been a testimony to something not being quite right with Sybil.

Sadly, there is something not quite right with me, too.  Who would put up with this abuse?  Does a normal, well-adjusted person continue a relationship with the type of person I've documented?  Maybe some of the reasons I have been in denial for so long is the realization that maybe I am the one with the problem.  That's a big pill to swallow.  Selective amnesia helps, too.  During the love bombing phase, I always tell myself, "Now everything will be normal.  She will be loving, patient, and understanding."  Hope springs eternal.  Over time, I did become callous, scarred.  I loved a little less.  Sybil seemed to sense that I was pulling away, so she stepped up her antics.  I think a normal person would try to find a way to heal the person they loved.  Normal...what is normal?  Part of the problem is she will not accept responsibility for her actions.  The other side of the coin is that I keep trying to get her see my point of view...JADEing.

Now we are here.  Kind of coasting.  No longer willing to open up and express my thoughts and feelings.  It is pointless.  I have started to internalize the waste of time and energy that is.  Sybil will never see beyond her thoughts and feelings.  She is incapable of empathy at least in my case.  We're stuck.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ahhh Sweat Love Bombing

So, as per usual, Sybil and I had a major discussion (fight) 2 nights ago.  As per usual, I tried to get her to see my side of things.  As per usual, she did not.  As per usual, I gave up.  The pitiful part is it took me 3 hours of non-stop JADEing to finally give up.  It's like I have a pathological need to never quit.  It isn't that I want to be right; I just want to be taken seriously.  As I am sure you realize by now, dear reader, that is never going to happen.  I read somewhere that a PD loves the image of you but never you.  I believe it. The discussion was a continuation of our last conversation. In reality, Sybil did not like me going Low Contact.  Anyway, I finally gave up and caved.  No concession from her.

The good news is that Sybil is happy.  Let the love bombing begin.  In the past I would think we had made some sort of break though.  Now I know better.  I know this nothing more than wishful thinking on my part.

If I can just plaster an idiotic grin on my face, we'll all be happy...until next week.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Unlearning Bad Habits Might be Impossible!

It was Friday, so it must be time to for the weekend.  To mark the occasion, we had a fight.  Naturally, Sybil did not see my side of things.  If I had only done X, Y, or Z, I would have, magically, gotten what I need.

On Wednesday night, we had kind of planned to be intimate.  I came into room; Sybil was looking at phone (Facebook) and watching her reality TV (Housewives of Something); she did not acknowledge my presence; finally, I asked her to turn off the lights; she did; and she stated, "I guess we're not going to have sex tonight."  Like a sad sack (codependent?) , I tried to make amends, but she was not having it.

Fast forward to Thursday morning, Sybil asks if there is anything I was thinking about.  I brought up last night.  I told her that I felt ignored and the coup de grace was her passive aggressive comment.  I tried to be low key, but Sybil felt threatened, naturally.  She started railing against me.  We drove to the office.  I have to leave for a meeting, and she asks me, "Do I remember what I said to her last night?"  I told her we would talk later (big mistake on my part).  I did not bring it up again.

Friday afternoon comes around.  Sybil is agitated because I did not bring up the conversation.  Round and round we go.  She never takes any responsibility (I know...I know).  I even get blamed for her having to be on her phone (monitoring a Facebook group for our work, and I've made comments about all of the red alert numbers on her phone so has to clear those out of respect for me).  I was supposed to make the moves on someone looking at a screen (phone and TV) and did not act like I existed.  I was supposed to climb over the pillow between us (yep, still there).  I was supposed to bring up my irritation with her comment and the situation that night (never mind that it was late and we were tired).  Sybil never, ever said, "You know, you're right.  I could have been a little more attentive."  Nope.  I just need two lousy sentences.  Not going to happen

I just don't seem to be getting anywhere.  I just can't seem to keep my thoughts and comments to myself.  Insanity is the belief in doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  I keep expecting Sybil to somehow give me a normal response.  I don't know why; I've never gotten it yet.  Nope, I have to keep JADEing.  I have some insane urge to actually try to open up to my wife.  I find myself becoming negative and bitter.  Normally, I am a pretty laid back, happy-go-lucky guy.  Now, everything seems to irritate me.  I seem to see the negatives in life.  I have to build those walls (boundaries?) or I'll be sucked down into the quagmire.

"I wish the sky wasn't blue.  I wish water wasn't wet.  I wish I didn't love my wife."
 Joe Hallenbeck
The Last Boy Scout

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Staring Into the Abyss

Well, the abyss is starting to stare back.

Had a major blow up with Sybil Monday (07/24, literally 2 days after the last one).  What's new, right?  In the most vanilla way possible, I confronted her about the attitude I felt she was projecting towards me in front of our employees.  She did not like it (later she would say I treated her like a child because I "didn't ask how she was feeling" before deciding she was rude...I can't make this stuff up).  Sybil became angry.  She began yelling at me for things our employees did (I'm the "whipping boy").  All of her frustrations with others came spewing forth.  I did not say anything; I let her rage wash over me.  I knew she was trying to "flip the script" by making me feel bad how she treats me.

Anyway, as the "conversation" was winding down, Sybil made the statement that she would not be riding home with me.  Now, it is 95 degrees, she never excersises, and she is wearing heals.  I explained that to her, and I told her that I would be walking home (I'm in better shape and have walking shoes).  Naturally, I am taking away her idea, so that makes her even more angry.  Finally, I tell her that either she can ride home with me or I walk home.  There is no other choice I will give her.  She relents; we ride home.  As we pull in to our drive way, Sybil starts talking about moving out.  Fine with me, except I've got a 3 year old to think about.  I tell her that I will move out, since I have to work and the 3 year old does not need to yanked out of the house into unfamiliar surroundings.  Again, she does not like that I am taking her idea (as an aside, I am so tired of being the rational adult.).  We, actually, come to an agreement: she will try to not raise her voice at me and treat me like a "whipping boy", and I will not assume she is in some sort of emotional state.  Detente resumes.  We will see how long that lasts.  We pull back from the abyss.

What I have learned?  I am willing to go through wth divorce.  If Sybil threatens divorce, I have called her on it in the past, but now I am a willing participant.  The only reason I am staying is my obligations to my kids and the major disruption divorce would cause for my business.  I could list all of her failings, but I can live with those.  It is the rages, the passive-aggressiveness, the complete lack of empathy that is so off putting.

Sybil has made comments that I do not like her.  Sadly, Sybil will not stop and ask herself why that is.  She will not see that the rages might possibly drive a wedge between us.  Nope, she just sees her making a comment and me suddenly becoming angry.  She demands that I like her (even "grovel at her feet"), but she cannot step outside herself and see how she is.  I guess that is the way of the NPD.  They cannot see the destruction they cause; they can only see that they are not getting the attention they deserve.  Their awesomeness should demand that everyone notice them.




Sunday, July 23, 2017

It Must Be the Weekend

Documenting another blow up with Sybil.  If it were not for our 3 year old son, I would just have to put wheels in motion for divorce.  I am tired of living like this...dealing with a large, old child.  I am tired having to be the one with infinite paitence and forebearance, yet not recieving any. 

Yesterday was a long day.  We were moving daughter from one apartment to a new one.  The new one was about two blocks away.  Naturally, we picked the hottest day of the year to do this.  I knew the day would be long, painful, and hot.  I picked up the moving truck, went to a storage unit to get some furniture, went to the city and unloaded into the new apartment.  We had to make several trips form old to new.  Because daughter has several paintings that she cannot have damaged, Son#1 and I, literally, carried them two at a time (one for each hand) from the old apartment to the new.  The city is not flat...did I mention that it was the hottest day of the year?  We, finally, finished around 4 pm.

I drove the moving truck to Sams to pick up a large wooden, bench swing to bring home to assemble.  It came in two boxes.  One of the boxes was pretty manageable.  The other was so heavy that Son#1, Son#2, and I could barely manage it.  We got it loaded and headed home.  When we got home Sybil came outside to greet us.  She watched us unload this and some other things that we took from the storage unit.  As we got to the last box...the heavy one...we struggled trying to get it on the porch.  She was trying to offer advice on how to move this thing.  We kept trying but we were getting irritated because it was so heavy.  Finally, she said, "Maybe I should just go inside."  To which Son#1 replied, "Yes."  I, bring hot, tired, and angry, said, "Thank you."  She went inside.  I should have known I had made a Big Mistake.

We got things unloaded and placed where we wanted.  I took the truck back and came home.  I came home to an upset wife.  I asked what was wrong, was told I should know (I love the maturity there), and when I did not know, was told I was rude to her earlier.  I thought about it.  I was a little rude.  I apologized and admitted my rudeness.  I explaind that under normal circumstances I would not have said that.  I had a very long and physically demanding day.  I apologized three times.  I did explain about my day.  She started in saying my behavior was out of bounds.  That I should have not acted that way.  Unfortantely, that set me off.  I explained that she is last person in the world to be telling me how to treat someone.  Then I took my shower.

I came out of the shower to her packing her work stuff and leaving.  As she was leaving, I pointed out that she was forgetting her cell phone (later that was thrown in my face).  She left.  Not content in keeping things between ourselves, she text the kids and me, "Tell Son#3 sorry for me. But I will not be coming home."  She drug our kids into our dispute.

For several hours I pondered the situation.  I realized that I have a three year old son that needs a father around.  He needs someone that is more sane than his mother.  I could not just leave him with her.  No matter how badly I want to pack a bag and leave Sybil, I have an obligation (FOG anyone?) to him.  Therefore, I called Sybil to try to work it out, which I knew was impossible.  She doesn't want it worked out because she created it in the first place.

After a two hour phone conversation, I swallowed my pride.  I apologized for being dismisive.  I asked her to come home.  Sybil came home.  Today, she is giving me the silent treatment.  I don't care.  Her reaction is way disproportionate to the situation.  While I could have handled her with a little more aplumb, Sybil will never see that she was the instigator.  She started it with her comment about going inside when talking to sweaty, tired, irritated people.  Sybil doubled down by not accepting my apology, walking out, and dragging our kids into the fray.

I know God has given me Son#3 to keep me from leaving Sybil.  He knows that I have a personality querk.  I have intense obligation to my duties.  This obligation will keep here because of Son#3.  I just don't know, if I have strength to continue, to endure this tribulation.  Son#3 is the only positive thing I am getting out of this marriage.  No one should have to endure that treatment.  Conflicts in a relationship are normal.  Conflict resolution in a normal marriage would not be like this, right?  I did not go drinking, whoring, I did not spend all of our money betting on the horses.  To leave because I got angry about be told how to act that cannot be normal, right?

Friday, July 21, 2017

What Is Love?

Had an interesting conversation with Sybil that shed some more insight into our differences that may be vast.

For Sybil, love is conditional.  I "noodled" on that for about a day.  How I learned this was pretty dumb.  Started talking about pets, Sybil hates our cats (which she made the decision to get), says she loves dogs (never owned one), and she even flushed my fish when we were first married (without my permission).  I think we can say she is not an animal lover.  Love of a pet is unconditional...meaning pets are not perfect and do things to annoy and anger, but we are responsible for their well being.  Anyway, the cats (which she decided to get) are annoying her because they are cats (she did not have pets as a child).  Now, she has started making comments about leaving them outside so the coyotes can get them.

Anyway, is love conditional?  What are the limits to love?  If love is conditional, how is that different that a quid-pro-quo?

I guess we all have limits to love.  If Sybil had an affair, I would divorce her and not be "in love" with her anymore.  Is that conditional?  Is love a choice?  If love is conditional, then it would seem rather whimsical and subject to changing emotions.  Is this why Sybil has threatened divorce?

Maybe I am a pollyanna.  Maybe I am a hopeless romantic.  Maybe there limits to love but conditional?  Not to me.  If that were the case, I would have left a long time ago.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Hate Weekends

It never fails.  Sybil makes life unbearable during the weekends.  We always have a major blow up because she feels triggered about not being listened to or I'm not communicating with her.  I have come to dread weekends, especially Sunday night.

The appearance is that a week's worth of petty issues makes Sybil's "cup full".  She has to empty the cup and that takes place Sunday night.  While this past weekend was, thankfully, an exception.  We had our blow up Saturday night.  At least I got a decent night's sleep Sunday night.

Short version: I was outside until dark dealing with a wasp issue on Son#3's playset.  I waited until near dark because they have a hard time seeing.  I knew that Sybil and Son#3 were outside in a different part of the yard.  After finishing killing the wasps, I did not hear nor see them (it was dark, remember).  I went inside the house.  I was in for an indeterminate amount of time (I say one amount; Sybil, naturally, says a different amount).  Sybil and Son#3 came inside.  I remarked, "Oh, you're here."  This triggered Sybil.  She started in, not yelling, but definitely speaking to me in a disrepectful manner about how I should have known they were still outside.  I kind of JADEd but kept it to one or two statements that I repeated. After listening to her and taking it, I said, "You don't have to speak to me in that manner."  To which she quipped, "If you give me those kinds of remarks, I'll always talk to you this way."  In my mind the conversation was over at this point.

That night it was on.  Sybil was triggered because I stopped talking to her.  I pointed out her comment to me.  To which, she completely and categorically denied ever saying it.  Gaslighting to the extreme.  She even stated that if someone made that comment, she would take it as an insult.  She never said it, in her mind.  Never mind I could give every detail about where I was in the room, where she was in the room, and what was going on.  Finally, she gave a millimeter and said, "You're remembering a previous conversation.  I never said that."  Gaslighting.  In the past I would have questioned myself.

Anyway, conversation naturally was not about trying to come to a concensus but for her to express her anger with me.  To which, I tried to maintain Grey Rock and Medium Chill.  Instead of trying to not say anything, which only makes her feel more triggered, I worked on bland, vanilla statements.  I maintained a couple of talking points.  I just cannot believe we are having a heated argument about this crap.

It is not the fact that Sybil is triggered by her perceived being ignored that makes me angry.  It is that I point ways inwhich she actively acts like she does not care about my emotions that makes me angry...I am beyond frustrated.  With the Gaslighting and splitting and general narcissism, I am nearing the end of my rope.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sometimes Research is Accurate

This study showed that narcissitic women have more conflict in their marriage than narcissitic men.  That mirrors my experiences.  The positive behaviour of Sybil, defintely, declined over time.  That is part of the reason it took me so long to think she was really the problem and not me.  I thought she just was in a bad mood, hormonal, irritated, whatever.  Within the last few years the frequence and intensity of the arguments have increased.  I can no longer ignore the elephant in the room.

Living with a narcissistic person is exhausting.  They are triggered whenever they feel the slightest bit of being out of the loop.  The running theme of conflict is Sybil's feeling that I keep her on a "need to know basis".  I am always reassuring her that I tell her everything, eventually.  If she has to ask questions to understand a conversation, that triggers her.  She feels that I should give her a complete report with such completeness that she does not have to ask questions.  Is that possible?  I do not know.

Anyway, it should be a "no brainer" that someone with a Personality Disorder will have more conflict in their relationships.  The difference is a "normal" person will step back an evaluate themselves and look inward to ascertain that, maybe, they are the problem.  A PD person will look outward and blame their problems on someone else.  Childish, difficult.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Musical Interlude - Song Nails It



Love Me Dead
Love me cancerously
Like a salt-sore soaked in the sea
High-maintenance means
You're a gluttonous queen
Narcissistic and mean
Kill me romantically
Fill my soul with vomit
Then ask me for a piece of gum
Bitter and dumb
You're my sugarplum
You're awful, I love you!
She moves through moonbeams slowly
She knows just how to hold me
And when her edges soften
Her body is my coffin
I know she drains me slowly
She wears me down to bones in bed
Must be the sign on my head
That says, oh
Love me dead! Love me dead!
You're a faith-healer on T.V.
You're an office park without any trees
Corporate and cold
Gushing for gold
Leave me alone
You suck so passionately
You're a parasitic, psycho, filthy creature
Finger-bangin' my heart
You call me up drunk
Does the fun ever start?
You're hideous and sexy!
She moves through moonbeams slowly
She knows just how to hold me
And when her edges soften
Her body is my coffin
I know she drains me slowly
She wears me down to bones in bed
Must be the sign on my head
That says, oh
Love me dead! Love me dead!
Wow! Uh!
Love me cancerously
How's your new boy?
Does he know about me?
You've got the mark of the beast
You're born of a jackal! You're beautiful!
She moves through moonbeams slowly
She knows just how to hold me
And when her edges soften
Her body is my coffin
I know she drains me slowly
She wears me down to bones in bed
Must be the sign on my head
That says, oh
Love me dead! Love me dead!
Oh, Love me dead!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Real Quick Post to Document My Personal Hell

Quick recap: the wife became "triggered" because I offered to share my (the problematic word) food with her, when I should have remembered (and therefore not asked) that we always share food from this particular take out place.  Since I did not remember it, then I must not remember anything else in our 24 year marriage.  Therefore, I do not love her because if I did I would remember that.  That was 3 days ago.

Last night, the wife became angry because I refused to bring up the conversation.  It angers her that I do not bring up conversations in which she is triggered.  For her I knew that she was hurting, so I should have confronted the situation and tried to bring resolution.  Since I refused to confront the situation, I, obviously, do not care about her.  To prove her anger with me, she placed a large pillow between us in the bed, and this morning she left without me to go to our office.   :o.  I feel that she is trying to suck me into some sort of verbal confrontation to fill the hole in her.  I've played this game before: she wants validation that she is correct to feel this way.  There is no real resolution.

I've tried to maintain medium chill and grey rock.  When she confronted me last night about all of this, I did not say anything.  After a long, long pregnant pause, she said, "I guess you're not going to say anything."  After a few more moments, I replied, "Right now, I'm too angry to talk about it.  If you really think that one thing defines our marriage, then I do not know what to say."  That was when the pillow was placed between us.  This morning she left to go to our office without saying goodbye...only a text, "Leaving."

Could I have handled that any differently?  I just don't know anymore.

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.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Are Narcissistic PDs Negative?



 Are Narcissistic Personality Disordered people negative?  Do they tend to see negativity everywhere they go?  Do they cast a pall over everything?

Sybil seems to only want to see the down sides to everything.  Everything is the end of the world.  The more something is outside her control, the more anxiety she feels over it.  Is it because she feels that the spot light is not shining on her?  Is that the way she can shine the light back on her?

We all have our moments of self-doubt and anxiety over situations.  Sybil tends to way over-react to them.  Example: for Son#3 we have a video monitor for his room.  We can watch him all of the time (kind of creepy...but that was not the hill on which I wanted to die).  I dropped the monitoring unit and broke it.  An accident.  Yes, it would cost us some money, but the reaction I got from Sybil was way over the top.  She came unglued and ranted how I put us in the poor house.  Ironically, she dropped the new monitor months after the incident and nary a peep.

I think NPDs need to feel the calming warmth of control.  They feel a lot of anxiety over situations that are out of their control.  That is one of Sybil's defining traits is the need to be in control...to plan...to make sure every contingency is allotted for.  In doing so, she can "pat herself on the back" for doing a job well.  The lack of control speaks to her deep seated insecurity.  Her insecurity inflames her anxiety to the point of her not sleeping and being difficult with which to live.  Being in control, is like a warm blanket to snuggle in.  This explains Sybil's dislike of adventurous activities, even roller coasters.

Or maybe I'm too much of a Polly Anna.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another Great Article

Whomever Anon is...God bless you.  You must have a bunch of articles saved somewhere.

The latest is this one: 25 Signs of Covert Narcissism: A Special Kind of Mind Game.  I'd say that Sybil has all 25 signs, especially the ability to turn the discussion around onto herself and playing the victim card.  I think the reason I was stuck not wanting to believe that she has narcissistic personality disorder is that part about engaging in engaging in high-risk activities.  That is something Sybil will not do.  Otherwise, she fits the bill.

At the end of the article, the author gives the following advice: "Highly destructive to your self-esteem, if you are with one, you should find your way out while you can still leave with your heart, mind, and sensibilities still intact."  I could not agree more.  Unfortunately, the mind f&@ck a covert narcissist is able to do is unbelievable.  I'm not sure an average person would be able to recognize this personality type, unless they have been down that dark road.  The dopamine of being in a new relationship makes things seem rosier than they really are.

Anyway, the more I study the problem, the more I am confident that Sybil has narcissistic traits...at the very least.  Whether or not she is full on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I am not a mental health expert, but she seems to fit the bill.  The thing is she is not like a monster all of the time, if she gets her way.  That's the key.

Aye, there's the rub.  If someone always gets their way, then they come to expect to always get their way.  Everyone else becomes a means to an end.  If one refuses to give in, one has to live with a child that is throwing tantrums.  A sane, rational person does not do the things Sybil does, when she is having a fit.  Boundaries are an easy thing to set, but an intelligent covert narcissist is a whole other animal.  Twisting my words and her words around until my head spins.  I've thought of taking notes to keep it all straight.  That just feeds the JADEing, though.

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Wheel Keeps on Turning

The argument in my last post continued until this past Friday.  I was set to go visit my parents (something I rarely do...another post).  Sybil, Daughter, and Son#3 (the toddler) were to come with me.  Due to the argument and not Sybil not getting her hug, she was not going.  When I asked her that morning, her reply was, "You haven't convinced me."  Since she wasn't going, Son#3 wasn't going (Daughter flaked because of school).  Sybil was not going to let me go with our toddler due to him needing two people, which makes some sense.

Sybil blackmailed me.  If I caved and "convinced her", then I will lose the battle and prolong her narcissistic fix.  If I stand firm and just go by myself, my parents will not see their grandchild and create more drama and prolong her narcissistic fix.  In the article The Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse by Christine Hammond (thanks Anon), I saw this being played out in front of my eyes.  In the end, I caved (I didn't want to punish my parents).  I gave her the hug she was so desperately craving.  Thus, I was able to complete the cycle referenced in the article perfectly.

My goal is to peruse the other articles written by Hammond.  I'm hoping she can help with tricks and techniques in dealing with Sybil.  The forum on "Out of the FOG" has been helpful to a point.  At least I know I'm not alone nor crazy.  However, I suspect things are as good as they will get.  I will always be the "villain" in Sybil's world.  She'll always be the victim.  Sybil will always be on that cross, and I will be the centurion holding the spear.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Well...That Didn't Last Long

I was going to post this sooner, but time seems to keep slipping away.

On Friday, March 24th, the Hoovering came to an end.  Sybil had to release all of her pent up frustration, and that is usually directed at me.  We had a, literally, 8 (eight) hour fight over...drum roll please...my not listening to her, when she gave her opinion about a minor detail at our office.  I was so exhausted from it she had to drive us home.

Yes, I did get into another JADE loop.  Sybil is adept at probing one's defenses, shifting the offensive.  She is adept at keeping me off balance and trying to ascertain my weaknesses.  I even went to bed in another room.  Of course, Sybil was not finished, so she turns on the light and tries to continue the conversation.  By this time it is nearly midnight.  Finally, I told her I was not going to continue the conversation, I was exhausted, and I had nothing else to say.  I can't even remember all of the details of what she said as she stormed off.  At least she turned the light back off as she left.

I learned something of both of us that I did not realize before coming out of the FOG: I can be broken down.  By refusing to have some sort of resolution (Sybil's resolution was not just an apology but an apology with a hug and other forms of contrite groveling).  Since it does no good to apologize, I have to make sure that I only apologize for actual harm.  Not just hypothetical harm or somehow huwting her feewings.  I am not responsible for how she feels.

Normally, Sybil expects me to bring the conversation back up to have a "resolution" (which we never really have).  I refuse.  The issue is so trivial (she FEELS like I was not listening to her) that I will not get into it.  So welcome to détente.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This Sucks

Well, Sybil and I have reached a dénouement.  She has become more affectionate, using sex as a means to manipulate me (I think).  In the past, I was hopeful this was some sort of turning point.  I was suffering from some form of amnesia or at least wishful thinking.  I have no doubt the cycle will continue and we will be at odds.

It is hard to fathom that a few weeks ago Sybil was talking about divorce, sleeping separately, me not "wooing" and "groveling at her feet", and now everything seems so normal.  In the past I would be sucked in and start to lower my guard.  Even before I realized that she has some major issues, I knew this was just a phase.  The cycle would continue.  Now that I believe that she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or at least many traits, I know this is temporary.  I know that I will not be able to pedestalize her enough to keep feeding the hungry beast within her.

Maintaining Medium Chill has been a supreme effort.  In the past, I would get stuck in a JADE loop of trying to convince Sybil that I had a valid point.  Now, I just nod, agree, and try to live my life.  What's the point in arguing with someone that does not see me as a worthy person?  This knowledge is almost too much to bear, though.  Knowing that the person I have given an oath to is so superficial that her oath is meaningless.  Knowing that no matter what issues I have, unless I somehow acknowledge hers, then I am being selfish.  I know that the one person in my life I should be able to communicate to is also the one person in my life I cannot trust with my thoughts and feelings.  I am not even sure I like her as a person.  While Sybil may not be as crazy as many out there, living with someone that gives daily, tiny, little verbal paper-cuts is exhausting.

Therefore, I am going to slowly integrate outside "selfish" activities that I know Sybil will never participate in.  I have to have some space to breathe.  I have to harden my inner core.  I have to feign empathy to person that lacks empathy.  I will continue the façade of being a loving, caring husband.  I don't know how long that will last, though.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fight It Out




I could spend my time fisking these emails, but I won't. Instead, I swallowed my pride. I told Sybil the emails came from the heart, I've been distant, and I'll try to do better. Now, I can catch my breath until tomorrow's drama.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Right Where We Left Off

Well...the week of peace is definitely over.  Nice to have a big blow up this morning and make me late getting the office.

The reason? I was too tired to stay up past 11:00 to talk with Sybil (the thing she admits to craving).  While I explained I was up late the night before and had gotten up early in an attempt to catch up on "to do's" and just get the house clean, her reply was "well, the vacuum cleaner was left out".  Yep. Therefore, I had no excuse for being tired.  I should have been awake for her.  I was awake for everyone the kids; why not her (I'm not sure what she means on that one)?  Let the JADEing begin.  Old habits die hard.  Even while I was doing it, I seemed to compulsively continue trying to, somehow, reach her.  I knew it was fool's errand, but I could not help myself.  Naturally, the conversation devolved into a circular argument about how I treat her badly, "have I made a decision about our relationship?" (hell, I thought we were married!), and I only care about my feelings.  Again, I let myself get sucked into the conversation.  I failed at stopping the JADE from happening.

That is why I am so frustrated.  In this situation, I reverted back to my old habits.  I am not angry at Sybil.  It's like being angry at a child for acting like a child.  I expect it.  No, I am angry with myself for not disengaging and maintaining Medium Chill.  Instead, we spewed vitriol at each other (I was pretty restrained, considering).  I see that I have my work cut out for me.  Undoing 23 years of bad habits will take a long time.  I have even started thinking about getting counseling.  That is one of the things I struggle with: asking for help.  Pride.

Anyway, Sybil asking that question about our "relationship" means she will never accept her role in this dysfunction.  But, I already knew that.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shortness of Breath

In my previous post, I was writing about how no Sybil for a week helped clarify things and even helped with some dermatological issues.

It will, definitely, come to an end tomorrow at 4pm.  I will be completely surprised if we are married much less sleeping together by the end of this year.

After good morning texts and good night texts by me every day with not one, single reply from Sybil, she calls today.  Already I can feel my anxiety go up because I know things will not go well.  Today's conversation was no different.  Due to the possibility of inclement weather, Sybil had changed the flight arrival time and texted the kids and me late last night (I was asleep).  During the phone conversation, she asked about the flight and I said I'll see you at 4pm.  She asked, if I had seen the email.  Being honest, I said I didn't read because I read her text.  Silence from her.  Then she asks if I checked the weather.  I said I was kind of busy and forgot (and weather was overcast and cold but no snow here...so never really crossed my mind to check weather), and Son #2 had said it wasn't really going to be that bad.  Silence from her.  After a few heartbeats of silence, she says that she'll just get off of the phone since I'm so busy.  We disconnect.  I collect myself and called her back.  She maintains I'm too busy and she does not want to bother me; she'll make her own arrangements.  Bye.

Dissecting this conversation is illuminating.  While I know there will never peace, this episode reminds me that that there is not ever going to any peace.  Instead of grace and forbearance (at this point I'm not asking for love), I will be receiving her anger and malice.  Fine.  That is the way Sybil wants it.  I am not responsible for her emotions and feelings. I really think she is living in a fantasy land where I am the villain.  Also, I think she will try to push me to suing for divorce.  This will solidify her victimhood.  She will live all of the drama which she sees on TV.  Sybil craves drama.  It is a drug.  I really believe she gets a big endorphin rush with each episode of drama.  Sadly, like all junkies she has to get her fix, and it takes more and more drug to achieve that high.  Being a drama junkie, she will do whatever she needs to get her fix.  She will tear me down, ruin our marriage, hurt our kids, even maintain her unhappiness.  Like all junkies, Sybil will take everyone that cares about her down, unless they cut ties with her.

Let the itching begin.