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.