Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Sybil was really at again two days ago.  Things had been brewing, so I was not really surprised.  Sadly, now that I know what the wizard behind the curtain looks like, I know this is just another part of the cycle of living the ups and downs of Personality Disorder (PD).  Ironically, we are on an upswing, but I am not getting the dopamine rush that I got in years past.  The knowledge that with every upswing is the inevitable downswing keeps me looking over my shoulder.

The trigger was how I spoke to her.  During the conversation to try to resolve the issue (yeah, yeah...I know), I owned that my demeanor was one of frustration.  However, I kept trying to tell Sybil that I was really just surprised, and it came across as frustration.  As I have withdrawn and trying to go Low Contact, she sensed that and did not like it one bit.  All weekend there were rumblings.

Sunday evening Sybil confronted me with a "need to have a conversation on how to divide our assets".  While I was surprised by the bluntness, I was not really surprised.  Anyway, she was adamant that she wanted the process to be as amicable as possible.  I explained that we have a hard time paying for one household, much less two.  I was told that would be my problem.  I am sure that Sybil really thinks that the cudgel to hit me over the head is money.  Hit me in the pocketbook, and I'll acquiesce to whatever she wants.

Really it is about a 4 year old boy.  He hates when we have this type of conversation.  He will leave the room.  It makes me so sad to see how we affect him.  I am sure that Sybil thinks it is all my fault.  I try to keep my tone civil to keep his anxiety to a minimum.  He is the reason I gave in to her demands of paying more attention to her.  I know I got "played", but I cannot risk creating damage to him by divorce.

How do I know I got "played"?  Easy.  After she got what she wanted, Sybil commenced the upswing.  Now she is loving, happy, etc.  If a person was really serious about killing the family (to me that is what divorce is: murder), then they would not do a 180.  To me that just confirms that Sybil is a manipulative, conniving, shallow person.  Even if she does not have PD, a person that was so serious about destroying the family and in less than a few hours is having sex, that is sure sign of mental illness. 

In my darkest hours, I believe that Sybil sensed that I was less than enamored with her.  Sensing this, I believe that she became pregnant on purpose.  That is a really dark place to go.  That means that she knows about my very strong sense of obligation.  Normally, that might be a good trait, but she uses that to her advantage.  She knows that for the next 14 years, I will continue to stay with her.  As the blinders have come off of my eyes, I realize what is in store for me.  It ain't pretty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

An Answer to Anon

I really appreciate comments here.  I know I do not have the traffic that I used to have, which is fine.  The thing that I really appreciate are the people pointing me into directions that I need to go.  Like a lot of folks living with a PD person, I am isolated.  The isolation creeped up until I realize that I am pretty isolated.  Without these comments I would not have gone down the rabbit hole of PDness.  I would have known something was not quite right between Sybil and me, but I would have allowed myself to be gaslighted (and isolated) into believing that most of the problem was me.  Thankfully, these blessed commentors helped me find the resources to coping with Sybil.

On my last post, Anon wrote:
I'm just curious, what kind of Mother-in-law do you predict her to be...?
I have been wondering about that for awhile.  As we have two weddings within the next year, I am curious about that too.   I do not really know.  However, I can make some pretty educated guesses.  With our kids, Sybil has worked to try to keep them as close as possible.  While the oldest has a good job in our town, she has him living in our basement to save money.  Superficially, that seems logical (save money for a house), but I wonder if she needed one more person to defer to her.  In order to get her work done on weekends, she puts pressure on the kids to help with the 4 yo.  That is a whole other post.  Lastly, the 3rd child came home with the news that one of his professors may be able to help him get an internship at a National Laboratory.  Her comment was not, "Wow! That is great."  It was more, "That's too far away."  Really took the wind out of his sails.  I tried to tell him to go for it.  We'll see.

I fear that she will be meddlesome.  Sybil has stated that she will not, but I know that she likes control and is opinionated.  Hopefully, I am wrong.  Hopefully, she will learn to give advice when asked but not nag or cajole.  I know that she will not be able to hold her tongue, and she will be letting me know her thoughts over and over, ad nauseum.  I had hopes that the kids would move away to get away from her. I tried to encourage them to move away.  I made statements about moving overseas whilst they are young, or go wherever the jobs are, or it's ok to move away.  Fate or Sybil seem to have other plans.

No matter what happens, I know that Aphron will be the one in the middle.  I will be expected to bear the brunt of her frustrations, be expected to sooth her, and be expected to tell the kids that they are making mother angry.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Documenting Stuff

Well, I'm glad that weekend is over.  Naturally, it ended on a low note.  Sybil is under a lot of stress right now: we have the older 2 kids becoming engaged, we hired a new employee at our business, and she feel anxiety because she is behind in her work.  This creates bad ju-ju for Aphron.  Last night I, literally, had to talk back into coming home.  I did not want to.  I had to because we have that little guy and his needs are more important than ours (mine anyway).

Things kicked off with son #1's proposal to his long-time girlfriend.  Sybil was unable to be there to experience it.  She relied upon me to give her all of the juicy details.  Naturally, I failed her.  She became hurt because I did not tell her everything and she had to ask for the details.  Her word is "probe".  This made her feel like she was left our of the whole thing.  I sent pictures and video of the proposal.  I tried to give her a play-by-play, but my stuff was too vague for her.  Therefore, I just do not care about her.  I only care about what I care about.

Last night Sybil was wanting to go to the office to spend some time trying to get things ready for the new hire.  I needed to do some stuff and tried to not go to the office.  I explained that I could work on things at home.  I plead my case, explaining I need a couple of hours to get stuff done.  Since I did not state that Sybil needed to do some things, too, I do not care about her.  I only care about myself; she is an omission.

I have committed unspeakable acts of only caring about myself.  It is obvious that Sybil is unimportant in my life.  Therefore, I must be punished.  Last night I had to talk her into not leaving the family.  Deep in my heart I think one of us should have left.  My main thought was the little guy.  When I told I would like for her to come home, she stated that she is not going to babysit.  I thought he was OUR kid and did not need us to baby sit.  I tried to reassure her that she is not an "omission" but an important part of my life.  I fell back into bad habits: JADEing, circular arguments, etc.  She goaded me into giving her an emotional response.  It's like an alcoholic that fell off the wagon.  Naturally, this did not really solve anything.  This morning Sybil is crying, keeps telling me that I make her feel like an omission, etc.  Nothing was solved.  Nothing will be solved.  I think I have to leave.  I really, really do not want to leave.  I take all of this to try to keep things "normal" for the little guy.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A Moment of Clarity

In this article Debbie Baisden writes about losing her husband.  Sadly, she had an epiphany that maybe she did not treat him as well as she should have.  Maybe she was a "butthole".

I found this article interesting because I have struggled with coming to terms with whether Sybil has a Cluster B personality disorder or simply being a butthole.  Is it possible that she really isn't defective, but just a person that likes to dish-out criticism?  I have thought about that possibility for some time.  I have to come to the conclusion that Sybil is on the Cluster B (NPD) spectrum.  She may not be a full blown narcissist, but she has many traits.

What is the difference?  I do not think a butthole wife would rage at her husband, emotionally manipulate him, and/or say hurtful things.  How can someone profess to love someone, yet say and do things that have been documented here?  A butthole wife would probably nag and complain about small things (why is leaving dirty socks on the floor a running refrain?).  However, I am not an expert on the matter.  I have never seen a non-dysfunctional marriage.  My parents' marriage was filled with arguments with mother raging at whomever was in close proximity.  I moved six hours away.  My own marriage is dysfunctional, as I have documented here.

The butthole wife is the wife that feels that whatever is bothering her at the time must be shared with whomever is nearby.  Since the husband is the one that is the closest, he must bear the brunt of her criticism.  However, the PD wife still dishes out the criticism, but it is not laced with love and respect.  For the PD, it is snark or rage or verbal abuse.  The butthole wife looks at the socks on the floor as, "he is making a mess and expects me to clean it."  This creates irritation.  The PD wife looks at the same socks and things, "he is making a mess, he must not love me, this fills me with anxiety, so I must rage at him to get even."  The PD takes it personally.  Those stupid socks on the floor are proof that he/she does not love me.  There is irritation but the overwhelming feeling is anxiety and fear.  The PD lives in a world of fear: fear of being discarded, fear of being ignored and marginalized, and the fear of not being THERE.

I will take a butthole wife any day over a PD wife.  For instance, Sybil has been acting really well for the last week or so.  This has my alarm bells ringing.  My cPTSD is off the charts.  I have lived through this before with moments of a kind, loving spouse with long stretches of rage and manipulation.  I think that is the fundamental difference.  While a butthole wife can be irritating as they get worked up over small, inconsequential things, she can move on and shake it off.  It does not color her overall treatment of her husband.  The PD wife must punish the husband for his transgressions.  He must feel the same pain that she feels.  If he does not, then he will be punished until he does.  He must feel unloved just as she does.

Anyway, this period of relative peace is leaving me unsettled.  Oddly, I feel more angst over this than the normal raging, manipulation, jabs, etc.  After all of this time, I know this is just an act.  Those metaphorical socks will make Sybil just know that I do not love her, and she will be triggered.  There is no respite: raging creates anxiety and peace creates anxiety.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Documenting More Vomitous

Here's the loving text Sybil sent me this morning:

Now, what egregious act did I do to warrant this loving text?  Well, I did not follow her wishes immediately.  It seems that, per Facebook, many hotels reservations in our area are being cancelled due to hurricane Florence.  My parents are supposed to come visit for Daughter's event.  Sybil has been like a "dog with a bone" about letting my parents know what the weather situation is in our area.  We are not in a direct line, and we are hundreds of miles away.  We are not even in the Carolinas.  I've been monitoring the weather situation and noticed that things are not supposed to happen here until my parents have already left the area.  Since I did not immediately send an email laying out our (her?) concerns, Sybil feels that I don't take her concerns seriously.

Now, I understand what Sybil is saying, but she spends way too much time on Facebook.  We have weather apps to check weather.  I know that weather forecasting is an inexact science, but it isn't without merit.  I think it is more secure than posts on Facebook from people that we do not even know.

I am able to look at the weather forecast and ascertain what is going to happen in our area.  I can look at the storm track and get an idea about how things will play out in our area.  Yes, it is an assumption, but it is a valid, logic assumption.  Sadly, Facebook posts and Sybil's feelings on the matter mean more.  I never said I would not email my parents about the weather (I, actually, agreed); it just is not a high priority.  I have many other things weighing on my mind than a few comments on Facebook.

Sigh. This morning's mini argument really isn't about some email to my parents.  Sybil needs attention and didn't feel like she was getting it.  Like a child that throws a tantrum, she has to have that supply.  I struggled to maintain Medium Chill.  I let her vomit forth her comments.  She twisted mine.  I realized this is circular and a tempest in a teapot.  I just made a script and stuck to it.  As we can see from the text above, Sybil was left unsatisfied with our conversation.  She felt compelled to fire off the last word.

I just want off this crazy train.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Running on Fumes

From Infogalactic:
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief.[1][2]
Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film. It has been used in clinical and research literature.[3][4]
One of the things that have happened as I continue my journey out of the FOG is the realization of how I was manipulated and made to feel like a terrible person.  For years Sybil used a steady, relentless stream of manipulation to wear me down.  While I always knew that something didn't jive (hence the genesis of this blog), I could never put my finger on it.  Sybil was telling me how selfish I am; how inconsiderate I am; and how I didn't care about her.  In the beginning, I did not believe it.  How could that be true, I wondered.  I did everything I could: tried to be cognizant of her feelings, tried to take care of her needs, tried to help out at home, and did at least my fair share of raising the kids.  This was never enough.  I kept hearing, "More! More!"  A steady, constant stream of it made me question, "Am I doing enough?"

I was so deep into the FOG and so deeply gaslighted that I could not see what was before me.  I could not see the root problem.  What I have come to realize is that Sybil has worn be down and worn me out.  I have come to realize that I could never do enough.  Some people are inherently unhappy and will never be happy.  Instead of figuring out what needs to be done to be happy, these people would rather make everyone else unhappy.  Their currency is misery, since they are miserable.

It took me too long to see this.  I have heard it before and knew it.  Gaslighting made me unable to see that I was living it.  While I knew something was "off" with Sybil, I always thought I was root cause.  Over these last few months, now I know the problem is not her.  It is shameful how I let events determine me.  While I fought against it, I do not believe anyone can withstand it given enough time.  I do not know if it is a PD trait, but I know that it was unrelenting.

Now I feel very used and kind of discarded.  Sybil demands attention/affection, yet I get none; Sybil demands that I listen attentively and remember every detail, yet she does not pay attention to me; Sybil demands that I help out with kids, yet she is content to look at her phone while I do the work.  It was insidious.  I was totally unaware of the manipulation and using me for her own gains.  Now, I am constantly questioning any request.  Is it really something that is needed to do, or is it a way for Sybil to manipulate and control.  Sadly, many times it is the latter.

The constant jabs of criticism with no positive reinforcement has emptied my tank of caring.  As for love...I'm kind of running on empty.


Last night had a another session with Sybil.  I just can't seem to stop JADEing.  It seems that "I just know that THIS time I'll get through."  Anyway, he bone of contention is that I don't "woo" her anymore; I don't act like a love struck boy chasing the girl.  Her biggest is that I don't try to talk to her and be open with her.  I explained that I understand where she is coming from, I know the pain she is experiencing, but I explained that how can I climb the walls or cross the chasm she has put in place.  Literal walls.  She has a pillow placed between us.  When I point out these facts, I get either silence (actual silence), or I get an over-the-top emotional response about I am not listening, I only care about myself, etc.  I explain that I care about us, but how can I "woo" someone that is either cold (I said a block of ice) or raging at me.  She never gives a compliment or says something nice to me.  I point out recent times I have.  Not enough! I must "woo" her and ignore all of the abuse and manipulation.  Narcissism is ugly.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A Visit With Sybil's Family

I am finally writing my Field Report of our visit to Sybil's family.  It has taken me awhile as other things getting in the way.  I could document Sybil and my latest blow-up, but I need to get this out.

We survived the visit to my in-laws.  We spent a lot of money on the trip because airfare from our smallish city to their large city is expensive, and there are six of us going.  While other members of our family have visited, I had not visited in about ten years.  I have to say that it was the most stressful visit I have ever had.

The last night we were there Sybil and sister got into a major argument.  Sybil's parents are in a tough spot: they are basically shut-ins as they take care of their ailing, handicapped child (Sybil's oldest sibling).  Lately, there has been major tension between Sybil's parents, which necessitated Sybil's sister driving to them at 3:00 in the morning.  When Sybil learned the length and breadth of the issue, she offered her help.  The sister fired back at her not to get involved.  Apparently, there was simmering resentment from her sister because the sister looked at that as Sybil making the issue about herself rather than the family crisis.  The sister pointed out how can Sybil drop everything (caring for a four year old, helping me run our business) go 800 miles away; it was not realistic.  The sister was "spot on".  When this transpired, Sybil was more than a little put out that she was the last to know and that she felt dismissed (a major no-no). Sybil denied ever being, at least, mildly irritated about not being in the loop.  That left me reeling: had I made up the whole thing, or was Sybil that much in denial about how she acts?  I turned to Son#1 for confirmation.  I asked if he thought Sybil was upset, and he seemed to recall that she was.  Anyway, the sister was yelling at Sybil...kind of giving Sybil a taste of her own medicine.

Now I know where Sybil gets her anger.  The mother and the older sister are crazy.  They have major anger issues.  They will take a minor issue and make it into something that leaves wounds.  Sybil acts the same way.  Ironically, none of them see the damage that their behavior does.  The mother does not see that raging about a few baby food jars being thrown away does not build love but destroys it.  By the way, having visited their house several times, I can tell you it is a wonder that she missed it.  They have clutter everywhere.  I'm sure the father was trying to clear just a small area of clutter.  Throwing away used, old baby jars is not some overt act that necessitates rage.  When I say rage, I mean throwing water onto the father, leaving the house with no word as to where she is going, lashing out enough that the father has to call his kids for help.  These people are elderly.  Yet, the mother feels totally justified in raging at the father because he did not communicate about baby food jars!  Naturally, they put on their best face for us.  That was nice, but knowing the back story made me feel a little uncomfortable.

The sister's rant the last night she was there was over the top.  While I admit to a little schadenfreude, waiting until the last night was an ambush and unfair to Sybil.  The sister, literally, waited until she about to leave, thus leaving no time for reconciliation.  Sadly, there will be an undercurrent of anger and resentment.  Per Son#2 who was in another room with the sister's teenage son, the sister acts this way often.

To sum up, all of the women in this family are crazy.  Literally.  What does this portend for me?  More of the same.  Sadly, Sybil admits that she is like her mother and expects for things to worsen, yet REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!  That is what is galling.  To be self-aware enough to see what lies in the future, but not caring enough for those you, supposedly, love to at least try to change.  I do not want to be like Sybil's father: an elderly man trying to live through the crazy.  However, that is corner in which I have painted myself.  I took divorce off of the table.  I make myself live through this because of some crazy sense of obligation.  If I end up like my elderly father-in-law, I will have no one to blame but myself.  Maybe I am the crazy one?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Documenting Another Sybil Episode

I am working on the Field Report of visiting Sybil's family, but that will have to wait.  I am compelled, instead, to write of the our latest episode (which is still going on after two days).

On Tuesday, we had a dinner meeting scheduled.  First of all, Sybil really does not need to go to these dinner meetings, but for years she has inserted herself in them.  Usually, I do not mind and, more often than not, I enjoy her company.  Anyway, so we have this meeting.  For circumstances beyond my control, Sybil had to stay home to watch Son#3 while I go work in our business all day.  That's fine...no biggee.  I come home to collect Sybil to go to this meeting only to find that she and Son#3 are going.  Also, Daughter (who has been at her job all day) and Son#1 (who, literally, just got home from work) are coming, too.  Now, remember this is a meeting that Sybil doesn't really have to attend.  Suddenly, all (Son#2 is away) are going to this meeting with two of the kids tired from work.  Why?  Well, Sybil has a hard time telling Son#3 "no".  He was determined to not be away from Mommy.  Instead of saying "no", she tried to negotiate with him by having his older siblings take him to another restaurant.  As he was winding up to pitch a fit, I remarked that maybe taking him is not really a good idea (business meeting, remember?).  To which she tells me it will be fine.  Son#3 is four years old.  That is the time they will start pushing against boundaries.  In my mind, this is a good place to have a boundary.  I am out-voted.

We go to the meeting.  We have a good meal and it was a good meeting.  The kids sat elsewhere in the restaurant, so Son#3 really did not have to come, see?  The kids left in a different car as the meeting was not over.

On the way home, I remarked that we should thank our older kids for doing that.  I stated that it was not a lot of fun for them, especially since they had just come home from work.  Sybil thought for a moment and asked if I meant that she was why.  Recognizing the trap, stated well, yes, maybe.  I stated that I felt that it was not a good idea to take a four year old to this meeting.  Sybil blew up.  She started yelling at me.  As we are in the car, there was no escape.  I held that she should have told Son#3 "no", and that it is ok for him to hear that word.  Her ranting went up a notch.  I mean didn't I see that she tried because she was trying to have her older kids take him to a different restaurant?  To which I stated that I said  that it was not a good idea to take him to this meeting, and NO ONE told me anything about a different restaurant.  Naturally, Sybil said I never said anything about not taking him.  Her rantings continued.  I instituted Medium Chill.  Held my tongue.  At the end she misquoted me, and I corrected her.  The conversation ended with her yelling in my face that I am a "Liar" and repeating the word "Liar" as she stormed off (we were at the office to do a couple of things).  Eventually, she calmed herself down enough so that we could get into the car and go home.  Not a word was said.

That was two days ago.  We have barely spoken since.  I am done with the abuse.  I, simply, will not tolerate it anymore.  After witnessing what I saw at her parents' house, it may be natural to her to spew forth venom, but I will not tolerate it. Enough!

It will be interesting to see how this weekend's activities go.  My parents are coming to town.  Also, my father's sister and her crew are coming over for a get together.  We are planning the food and stuff.  It should be pretty chill and fun.  Naturally, Sybil's last words to me this morning is that she will not attend this weekend's festivities.  I guess manipulation is still on the table?  The words I left her with were, "Ok, that is your decision."


Sybil did attend the event.  However, she made the kids and my parents feel uncomfortable beforehand.  To the point that my mother asked about it.  I did not lie, and I gave her the facts of the matter. The day before, she barely interacted with the family.  I am pretty sure that it was the intervention of Daughter that made her go to the main event.  I had already written her off.  Naturally, last night we had an argument until about 2:00 AM.  I'm operating on few hours of sleep.  Sadly, all that I ask is that she just say that I have a point; that I have something to say.  Nope.  Instead, all I get is Defend, Attach, Reverse Victim and Offender (DARVO).  Even after all of this time, I still have hope.  Crazy.  I am need of serious help.


Still going.  Sybil is the Energizer Bunny of resentment.  For the past several nights, she places a large pillow (the kind with armrests, so one can sit up in bed) between.  I guess is going to "build that wall".  At this point I do not care.  I will either remove the pillow or shove it aside, if it takes up over half of the bed.  Thank goodness our bed is King Size.  I guess I'm being stubborn, too.  As I see it, I did nothing to garner this treatment; therefore, I have nothing to feel contrite or shame over.  My punishment continues...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Does Craziness Run in Families

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.
William Shakespeare

The whole nature versus nurture thing recently to mind. I've documented Sybil's issues here kind of ad nauseum. This blog is kind of a place for me to vomit up my frustrations of dealing with an irrational person that the only reality is her feelings. Learning to separate and wall-off my feelings/emotions in dealing with her is my life's work. It seems that this may be a learned behavior or possibly genetic. Two incidents have come to the fore:

Incident 1: Father-in-law was cleaning the garage and came upon some old baby bottles that mother-in-law was saving. They were from Sybil's brother's kids. Anyway, father-in-law thew them away without asking mother-in-law. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to do. Mother-in-law "punished" him for days. She stormed out of the house and walked off to parts unknown, she threw water on him, she totally went berserk. One would have thought he had thrown away priceless heirlooms not old bottles. Sybil states that the can understand why mother-in-law feels that way. Her dad did not ask first which makes her mother feel unloved. It isn't the bottles per se; it's the lack of taking into account the other person's feelings.

Incident 2: We are planning a big visit to Sybil's parents' house soon.  Sybil sent a text to her sister indicating that it would be nice to see her siblings.  Her sister replied with a nasty text basically calling out Sybil on expecting too much from her siblings.  The tone and wording were drama inducing.

Are personality disorders (PDs) genetic or learned?  Personally, I lean towards learned.  I believe Sybil learned and repeated many of the same techniques that her mother and sister use: over the top reactions to innocuous situations, lack of empathy on how their responses affect others, uncaring on how their emotional outbursts affect others, total lack of responsibility of "keeping their side of the road clean", etc.  I think that no one held the mother accountable for how she treated others.  Therefore, Sybil and sister learned that this treatment of others is justified.  It explains why Sybil is always surprised that I react angrily to her bullshit.  After all, Sybil is just trying to have a conversation.

If PDs are genetic, I do not think that Sybil and her sister (also sister's daughter) would have signs of it.  Genetic diseases tend to skip a generation or not affect everyone in the family.  Also, for it to affect the women of the family is really rare.  Therefore, I posit that PDs are learned.  Interestingly, co-dependents are the other side of the coin.  Co-dependents are created by PDs, and PDs are created by other PDs.  Also, our daughter does not exhibit too much PD behavior.  I think that maybe our past fighting and my standing up to her may have ameliorated that.  The sister's daughter exhibits PD traits, so maybe the husband did not stand up to her as much.  I have no way to know, since I do not live with her.

Interesting case study.  More thoughts to come.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nearing an Existential Crisis

"Do you want to become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?"

As I approach the magical age of 50, I look back and would like to just kick my ass. I have reached the age where I'm looking backwards more than I'm looking forwards.  So many decisions led to me to this point in my life.  There were opportunities for a deep, loving relationship that I pissed away for one reason or another.  I am left with my time with Sybil which seems to have been marked by constant strife with intermittent moments of happiness.  When things are going well, she seems to find a way to ruin it.  Naturally, it is never her fault.  
My approaching existential crisis is: why continue?  I'm not depressed or anything.  I'm just tired.  I'm tired of Sybil's petty arguments; I'm tired of her constant negativity to me; I'm tired of her constant criticism with nothing positive to add. Let's face it...I'm tired.  I need to create some space between us or I'm going to go insane. In some way, that is why I started this blog so many years ago.  I felt prompted to poor out by problems and document them.  Now, I feel that I am coming to hate her; I am coming to hate myself for staying.
Ultimately, this situation is all mine.  While I can blame Sybil for her issues (probable narcissistic personality disorder?), I am the one with a strong sense of obligation (co-dependence?).  I am the one that stayed.  I subconsciously knew there was something off about her a long time ago.  (Side note: when we fairly newly married, our oldest was only a few month old.  I had an aquarium with fish that I had previous to our marriage.  Sybil got it in her head that the fish would make the baby sick, and we needed to get rid of the fish.  I knew there were no-fish-to-human diseases and did not think too much of it.  One day I came home to find my fish gone and my aquarium half empty.)  I knew then something was wrong with her. I passed it off as some sort of cultural thing.  I really thought it was no big deal.  I convinced myself to stay because we had a child, then another child, and then another one.  Ironically, I was the very early stages of preparing myself to leave, and my strong sense of obligation worked against me when we had our fourth child.

Therefore, I really have no one to blame for this continual hell that is our marriage.  We have strife punctuated my moments of happiness.  Anyway, I am working on myself to get through the darkness.  I am working to create a firewall for my heart to keep her out.  Sadness grips me as I type this.  She is my wife; I am not supposed to feel this way.  Alas, I do not plan on leaving.  If she left, I would not be heart broken.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Well the Week is Over

The final tally for the week was -2. Sybil started 2 arguments with no positive comments. Right now I cannot remember what the arguments were about. Just general negativity. My score was 0. While I need to continue my path of self-improvement, that is not the main thrust of this blog.

More to come . . .

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Do you know what 'Nemesis' means?

Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent."

I have come to the conclusion that Sybil is my punishment because of my past hubris.  I was "intemperate" in my youth.  While not necessarily thought of myself above everyone else, I did have a bit of a superiority contest.  God has sent Sybil to me bring me down.  In the coming week, I will attempt to quantify the negative vs. positive feedback I get.  Negative will be anything from controlling my behavior (trying to parent me) to outright lashing out.  Positive will be a touch or a word that is...well...positive.  It will be interesting to see what the results are.

On another note, I have come to the realization that I was "groomed" to be in this situation.  Growing up with my mother was not easy.  In a weird Freudian sense, I blame her for a lot of my issues today.  Lots of "whuppin's" and crass, crude comments.  As a young child of 4, I had to learn to take care of myself.  As the years rolled by, I was yelled at and to some degree neglected.  Since I've started to come out of the FOG, I've realized how much I endured.  Does a fish know it's in water kind of a thing.

Anyway, I may become a bit more introspective in addition to documenting Sybil.  I need to ask the question of "how did I get here?" and "what now?"

Friday, April 13, 2018

It Was My Birthday...Again

Well, yesterday was my birthday.  I'm one year before a milestone birthday.  It was disappointing, again.  I really shouldn't even care.  I try not to care.  I try to maintain low expectations.  To her credit, Sybil started the day off on a good foot by singing ""Happy Birthday" in the same manner as Marilyn Monroe to JFK.  Pretty good.  The kids text me happy birthday.  Parents sent a card.

That was it.

My birthday present from Sybil was a sandwhich from Chik-Fil-A.  As I was taking Son #3 home, she asked me to bake the cake I bought for his birthday, which was the day before.  I guess I was supposed to buy my (our?) birthday cake and bake it, too.  Anyway, kind of a bummer.  We had spent nearly all the previous day celebrating Son #3's fourth birthday.  It was fun and we all had a good time.  I really didn't want much.  Maybe a nice meal, maybe a card, something.  I guess her early morning acknowledgement is all I get.

I really feel like I screwed up my life.  I realize that I have many blessings: great kids, earn a good living which allows me material success.  Looking back, I blame myself for being so vain.  Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.  No truer words.  I had options.  I could have had a spouse that might have been more loving and caring.  I kind of threw those chances away, though.  I thought they weren't good enough.  I was hung up on outward appearances.  I didn't see into their core.  I knew looks faded, but I put way too much stock in it.  As I've battled problems with low self-esteem, I have come to realize that was the why I pushed these potentials away.  Outwardly, they were just "ok".  I put too much stock into appearances.  As I become "an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone", I wish I could go back in time and just kick my ass.  That's the only thing different I would do.

Anyway, I know I should give up any hope of a fun birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine's day, etc.  Still trying.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Ok...so the last post was a little premature.  As I struggle to undo nearly 25 years of conditioning, I am learning the "push-pull" that Sybil exudes.  Also, I am seeing an ugly side (another one) where she is a "user".  Lastly, I am seeing how truly superficial her emotions really are.

Yesterday we had another blow up.  Briefly, I made breakfast pizza for everyone.  As this was my first attempt, I knew things would not go perfectly.  Anyway, the crust was done, but the eggs on the pizza where a little underdone.  Unknowingly, I presented Sybil with under-cooked eggs.  She gagged; I immediately took the pizza; and put it back in the oven and made sure it was cooked.  When I gave her the thoroughly cooked piece, she refused it because the first bite made her feel so bad.  Since I had not eaten, I sat down and ate it.  Later, she starts the conversation to say that, while she appreciated my efforts, she did not appreciate my eating the piece in front of her.  And, I should have known that she was so grossed out that I should have offered something else.  I became defensive and let her know that I was spent an hour straightening the kitchen and preparing the food.  In the back of my mind she was acting so dramatic and immature.  I tried to maintain Medium Chill.  It was so difficult for me.  The conversation continued to where she was sobbing that I just don't care about her.  Finally, I acquiesced to get some peace.  This morning Sybil wanted to cuddle and have sex (which we did).  Now, if I were so upset that I was sobbing and saying my wife was acting like an "asshole", I would be so hurt that the last thing on my mind would be to want sex. 

I have always known that Sybil's emotions were superficial, but the lack of depth is truly amazing.  The act of not understanding her was the worst thing in the world.  Yet, the very next day she was loving.  Is that "hoovering"?  I think so.  I just want to get away.  I don't think I continue this fight.  The constant having to monitor myself.  I have to not show emotions, but I called "robotic" if I don't show emotions. 

Another thing that is become glaring as I struggle to get out of the FOG is Sybil's ability to not just manipulate people, but also use people.  She seems to think nothing of demanding our older kids set aside their lives to take care of our 4 year old.  She thinks nothing of demanding of a backrub, yet become angry if not done to her liking (although I am so tired I cannot keep my eyes open). 

It boils down to boundaries.  It boils down to kind of deciding to care a little bit less.  This is hard for me, as I have morphed (trained?) into someone that puts other's needs first (codependent?).  Instituting boundaries is very difficult, but it is something I MUST do.  If not for my sake, then for 4 yo.  Honestly, if not for him, I would have left already.  I would rather live in celibacy and peace.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Things May be Coming to a Head

So this has been a week from Hell.  Sybil has been the same; I am acting differently.  I have grown tired of being treated rudely with snarky comments and rude behavior.  She talks to me worse than she would talk to anyone else in the world.  I am tired of it.  I have started calling her out on it.  Two episodes this week where she was being rude and snarky to me.  Each ended the same way: she stomped off.  The first one was the ol' classic "you are making me treat you this way" schtick.  When I called her out, she literally said, "I would not treat you this way, if you did not frustrate me".  She she stomped off in a huff.  No apology, no admission, no cooling off so we could have a real conversation.  Nope.  Just left me there.  On the second one, she simply looked through me spun around and stomped off to another room.  Again, no admission of guilt...I mean I made her do it by "frustrating her".

I just do not think I care anymore.  I am too tired of it.  Last night I did instigate an argument because I just am over it.  I have too much anger and resentment.  See, I understand we are human and we make mistakes.  I understand people can be frustrated and act out.  I have no beef with that.  What I am angry about is the total lack of respect Sybil has for me.  I brought this up to her as to why I am angry and hurt.  Her response?  I do the same things.  On the surface that is a true statement.  I have had a "tone" or used the wrong words in moments of frustration.  The difference is I tend to own it and try to deescalate the situation.  Sybil?  Nope.  It ALWAYS someone else's fault.

The funny thing is during the argument Sybil kept saying "I can't do this anymore."  Meaning she can't continue fighting.  With the exception of last night and a very few other times, I do not create and extend the arguments.  Last night?  Yeah, I was upset.  I wanted to argue.  I wanted to revel in the anger.  Feast on the pain. 

I grow tired of living with this emotionally stunted "adult".  There is no resolution to any of this and there never will be.  Sybil lacks the capacity to see me for anything other than an object.  Something that has utility to her.  Whenever she decides I am no longer useful, I am sure that she will cast me aside.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Quote Sums Up our Marriage

‘The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.’

The Great Divorce
C.S. Lewis

Sybil is progressively worsening.  Now, she has always been difficult to deal with, especially a couple of days before her period.  Not always, but that is when we have the most drama.  Last week was no exception.

Since we work together, Sybil and have to put together products to sell.  There is a machine that I use to cut things that go into making these products.  On a particular day, I finished all of the orders that were in front of me.  As we were nearing the end of the day, I decided to turn the machine off.  Turning it off and on is merely a flip of a switch.  Not a big deal...or so I thought.

Later that day, Sybil made the comment that I should have informed her that I was turning the machine off.  I explained why I turned it off and added that it is no big deal to, simply, turn it back on.  As Sybil does, she indicated that my lack of communication is the hallmark problem in our marriage.  That I just want to be a "one man show".  I told her that it is nothing to turn the machine on, if needed.  She pressed on.  Finally, I stated that her reaction makes me feel that she wants to control me, and stifle my ability to think for myself.  Yet, Sybil persisted.  Noticing that Sybil did not even break stride over my feelings, did not address my feelings, nor acted in way that even heard my feelings, I realized that she setting me up for JADEing and circular arguments.  I decided to let her rant and keep my mouth shut, as there is nothing to gain.  Finally, I stated that next time I can (not will) inform her.

The next morning Sybil is acting detached, as I am preparing to go to the office.  As I am leaving, she asks me if I want to know what is wrong.  Knowing that this is not going to be fun, I say sure.  She proceeds to restart the previous day's argument about turning off the machine means I don't take her into consideration.  I am so angry with so many emotions going on, that I spontaneously start laughing.  I cannot help it.  The ridiculousness of the situation hits me so hard that I cannot even speak; I just start laughing.  In doing so, I find that Sybil hates that more than be ignored.  She tells me to go to hell.  I leave.  She chases me to continue ranting.  I finally extricate myself and go to the office.

As I am pulling up, I get a text message stating that Sybil is packing her bags, taking Son#3 and leaving.  I reply something about that is mistake, yes I should not have laughed because that was rude.  However, leaving would solve any problems and may create more of them.  Yada yada.  Still trying to talk her down.

At the end of the day, Sybil informs me that she is taking Son#3 to a hotel.  She has packed her bag.  Again, I have to talk her down.  She did have a bag packed and was ready to go.  I managed to keep her from leaving.

Why did keep her from leaving?  A few reasons.  I don't want the house.  It is not a bad house, just more than I need or want.  If she left, I was concerned that I would be stuck with it.  Also, Son#3 is paramount.  I want him to have as normal of an upbringing as possible.  I realize that is not possible with a crazy mother.  Whether Sybil Narcissistic Personality Disorder or bi-polar or just crazy does not matter.  Being there for me son is reason #1 for trying to keep us together.  Lastly, God hates divorce.  I made a solemn vow, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that vow.  If Sybil chooses to leave and break her vow, then that is on her.  I will not do it.

Anyway more of the same.  If I want to keep the peace, I have to make Sybil feel that she is the center of my universe.  She has such emptiness and relies on others to fill it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Emotional Pain is Worse Than Physical Pain

About ten years ago on a family camping trip, I was squatting whilst washing dishes.  I was in that position for a awhile.  Suddenly, I felt a painful "pop" in my lower back.  After that episode, if I lay in bed too long or sleep on the wrong mattress, I have lower back pain that will go away by walking around or sitting upright.

The reason I bring that up is that we had to go out of town last weekend.  My best friend from high school was retiring, I had not seen him in years, and I wanted to go.  Sybil, graciously, helped with arrangements.  One of which was a two night stay in an overpriced hotel in Nashville.  The beds were terrible.  The first night I got my back spasm and had to get up pretty early to get the kink to relax.  Since Sybil, Daughter, Son #3, and I were in the same room, I was quiet.  I mentioned it to Sybil, but it was not a big deal because it happens all of the time.

The second night...well morning actually...was no different.  I was lying there trying to "will the pain away" because I just wanted to relax in bed.  Sybil, uncharacteristically of late, put her head on my shoulder while catching up on her Facebook feed.  Occasionally, she would whisper something that might be interesting (nothing on Facebook is interesting to me, but I digress).  After about 30 minutes, I could take no more, kind of shook Sybil off of me, and sat up.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her my back was hurting.  I sat there doing stretches trying to get the muscles to relax and eventually they did.  Naturally, Sybil did not do anything to help, but I did not really expect her to.  The rest of the trip was uneventful and we came home.

On Monday morning I greet her with a smile and a kiss.  Sybil is giving off a vibe of irritation.  I figure whatever...it's Sybil.  I proceed to do my morning ritual, we get in the car, and drive to the office.  On the way, Sybil tells me that I "am doing it again".  I am not communicating.  When I sat up Sunday morning, I did not tell her why.  I was cold and distant.  She had to ask what was going on.  I did not tell her what was happening, and she had to pull it out of me.  This accusation hit me pretty hard.  I explained that I was in physical pain and all I could think of was to make it go away.  Naturally, she was not having it.  The only time she even acknowledged the possibility of my pain was her statement of "the beds were hard and everyone's back hurt".  I tried to maintain Medium Chill (MC) and Grey Rock (GR).  I tried not to JADE or engage in a circular argument, as we sat in the car.  Finally, I could not take anymore and went into the office leaving her in the car.  We worked that day.

When we came home, Sybil started in.  It seems she was just trying to point out my lack of communication and how I was "doing it again" by not immediately telling her.  She felt that we were snuggling and my sudden departure was mean.  Again, I stated my case once.  Tried to maintain MC and GR.  Again, my "cup was full" and I blurted out that for her my physical pain is less than her feelings.  She stated as my wife, I should care about her feelings.  I replied that as my wife she should care about my physical pain.  I stated that it was apparent that I am no better than some utilitarian tool to her.  A box cutter...a piece of paper.  I stated that I am a paycheck.  Feeling that I was about to lose control, I went inside the house.  The conversation was pointless anyway.

That night Sybil started it again.  By this time I had calmed myself down.  I was able to maintain MC and GR much better.  I stated that I feel badly that she feels bad, but I probably would do the same thing again in the same situation.  I stated that her lack of empathy is telling.  I then closed my eyes (these conversations are so draining) to go to sleep.  Now, we lying next to each other.  I hear my phone chime her tone.  I asked, "Did you send me a text?"  I am lying right next to her.  I asked her to just tell me what she wrote.  Naturally, she would not (the words petulant child came to mind).  I went to sleep.  Here's the text:

So Sybil is acting pouty.  She maintains a poor attitude.  Again, petulant.  I'm tired of having to raise her.  As if to add insult to injury, she has not even looked at the Apple Watch I gave her for Christmas.  That will be the last Christmas present from me.