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.


At 5/14/2017 08:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So so sorry....I know you are in a terrible, frustrating situation and your pain is palpable in your words. Marriage to the PD spouse is such a long, rocky, miserable row to hoe -- so much unnecessary pain and strife, such a grind, particularly now when you are getting to the age where all you would really ask for is just a little peace and calm in your life. Please understand I know full well the utter frustration, the hopelessness and ever growing desperation. Wishing you could somehow reach the PD, force them to somehow snap out of it and achieve even a moment of clarity to finally see just how destructive, unfair and impossible their behavior is. But whatever happens in their PD-afflicted minds, their faulty thought processes, the myriad of unhealthy and damaging defense mechanisms they reflexively throw up so that they don't have to actually face themselves and their inner demons -- it's all too strong, entrenched and unchangeable. Sometimes simply giving up really is all you can do, as such I can fully understand the appeal of divorce. After all, a person can only take so much. It gets to the point where anything's got to be better than this, right?

At 5/14/2017 09:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, and this a big but.... The Baby. I think you need to really carefully consider (and of course I think you already are) his needs. Which, at his young age, are many and vast. Divorcing the PD can be incredibly tricky at best. Dicey. Depending on how vindictive she decides to want to be (impossible to predict) you could be looking at every-other-weekend visitation with your son. At "best" it might be half time (half here and half there) which really wouldnt be "best" for you, for her, or especially him. Are you really ready to be a 'part time' Dad? Especially for him at this really tender and vulnerable age....?

At 5/14/2017 09:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it leaves you stuck between a rock and a hard place, I know. As for divorce, it is always 'on the table'. No matter your personal stance, religion, feelings, values, creed, etc etc etc, divorce exists in the world, therefore it is and will always be 'on the table'. That doesn't mean you will or have to actually choose that particular route. But knowing and admitting to oneself that is is a potentiality can sometimes offer even the smallest ounce of relief in regards to one's intolerable situation. And so now we've said it, the "D" word. At least in theory. Which of couse is completely different from divorce in practice, especially in your situation with a PD spouse and a very young child. Actual legal divorce, in your situation, at this time, has the potential to be beyond can-of-worms messy, draining financially and emotionally and every way in between, and hurtful to all involved. Yes, you would all likely survive it, but at what cost...?

At 5/14/2017 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just remember. Yes, you can divorce your PD, legally and actively. It certainly is an option (which just may be feeling more appealing all the time), whether now or later. But here's the thing. You can also divorce your PD... within your own mind. Mental divorce, starting now. As in, giving up the ghost, admitting defeat, waving the white flag to yourself and accepting failure, all while slowly starting the process of excising yourself emotionally from your PD, as you reframe the entire situation as yourself making certain, important choices and sacrifices (staying legally married, in name) for the benefit of your young child. Nobody but you has to know. It can be your own little secret. Now, of course, mental divorce does not bring with it permission to run off with other partners (I'm certain you aren't even considering it). But it does give permission to wall off your heart from the abuses of your PD, as necessary. It means directing your focus inward, and staying true to yourself. It means plenty of gray rocking and medium chill as you navigate your way to emotional autonomy within the shared marital home. It means lots of soul searching. And lots of grieving, but also healing, as you learn to follow your own interests, expressions and pursuits. It means giving yourself permission to let the PD go (even if only emotionally) and to build yourself back up and find your own way. It means a parallel existence, all as you continue to focus on yourself and upon your own personal self-care. It might even mean gradually falling out of love with the PD (which, highly paradoxically, can actually make practical marriage to a PD easier, as un-intuitive as that sounds). Sometimes, it's really all you can do in impossible, intolerable situations like this....

At 5/15/2017 05:13:00 AM, Blogger aphron said...

Well, we "resolved" the issue. How was that accomplished? I had to give her enough narcissistic supply? I had already apologized profusely, accepted responsibility, and tried to reach out emotionally and physically (not sexually). That was not enough. To "resolve" the situation, we had to spend hours 2 days ago rehashing everything that I did wrong. There was much yelling and sobbing by Sybil. After she had sucked enough of my soul, she was satiated. All is good.

I realize the costs of divorce very well. I know the potential damage done to Son#3 and the other children. I realize the potential for financial ruin. I just do not know, if I can do this anymore. Sybil is mentally ill. She will never admit she has a problem. Anyway, I need to get back onto my journey of taking care of myself.

Ironically, one of the statements she keeps saying is for me to quit treating her like a child. Don't want to be treated like a child? Don't act like a child.

At 5/16/2017 05:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that particular crisis has passed -- let's hope for a nice lengthy lull until the next time (because of course there will be no end of 'next times'). I'm so sorry this has to be your reality. No question, life with the PD can be crazy-making for sure, with their pessimistic, envious, soul-sucking, bottomless-pit-of-need ways. Like an ongoing Twilight Zone episode you just can't get out of. I understand how unbelievably soul crushing, exhausting and demeaning it can be. The hopelessness and despair. The broken spirit. And all so unnecessary and unfair, thanks to a baffling and little understood disorder that appears to arrest an afflicted person's emotional intelligence to that of a 5 year old. But it is also why it is so critically important to try to find your (healthy) escape within the relationship. One that builds you up (as in, no drugs or drink!) and allows you even just a little breathing room. It's perfectly okay to leave her to her unhappiness, anger and self-centered rages to explore these avenues a little bit, even if it leaves her a little bit behind. You've done all you can for her on your end and know there is no fixing this -- time to focus on your own good self. In the meantime hang in there, and continue being kind, to yourself and to others ....


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