First, last weekend, I decided to take care of myself. My husband is heavily sighing and begging for attention but I am doing my best to ignore him. Why? Because he is trying to paint a picture of how terrible his life will be when I leave. He is saying, he’s losing his job, he’s working on his resume. I think I was supposed to be concerned by that. I just said, “That sounds like a good idea.”
On Sunday I listened to the entire “Something Was Wrong” podcast, season one. It was so good! It was about a guy who was abusive and also a sociopath or compulsive liar, and how this woman escaped from almost being married to him. That led me to all these YouTube videos of covert narcissists, now this really seems to describe my husband to me. In the podcast, Tiffany Reese, the podcaster, mentioned a book that she felt perfectly described abusive men. And I downloaded that, and have just been shocked. All of these weird behaviors that I was trying to figure out, they are in this book!
So I made dinner, like I have every night of this COVID-19 lock-in situation. Why am I still working for home everyday, helping the kids with online school, and making all the meals? I am afraid to let my husband make dinner because after 5 years of being only able to eat about 10 foods, he still cannot remember what I can eat without a serious allergic reaction and it never fails, if he cooks, he puts something in that I can’t eat. (Usually, fish or coconut oil.) And I poured myself a generous glass of wine. Fabulous.
We ate dinner and I returned with my wine to the livingroom where I am reading my book. And then, he interrupts my bliss to say that he has moved up several levels in seniority, which is good job security. I am trying not to be in any conversations with him so I reply, “That’s good for you.”
I continue reading. He didn’t get enough attention.
“They are retiring because they think that they won’t have a pension. They think it will go like TWA.”
“Well, they might be right,” I said. And was it the wine or that I just think people aren’t assholes I added, “I keep telling everyone at work, I don’t ever expect to collect my pension. I expect eventually the state will spend it.” I added that I had heard new teachers were getting 401ks and not pensions because then they can be responsible themselves for the management and there is less burden on the state.
honestly, I don’t remember it starting I just remember being in the middle of it.
Someone, I think my son, said something about teachers not making as much money as flight attendants. And I brought up the idea that people don’t want to see their property taxes go up, which would allow schools to improve because they don’t see the personal benefit to them but they do pay extra when flying for a business first seat, and might think nothing of paying for the upgrade, because they see the immediate benefit of spending that money.
He argued this point. He didn’t like my opinion. He asked me something like why aren’t schools funded well. And I again stated, because people don’t see immediate results. It’s not glamorous to fund schools.
“When were the schools properly funded?” He asked me.
“I don’t know, never? I would guess the highest level of funding was probably when Clinton was in office when they had a democratic congress but I don’t know.” And now that I am sober I am thinking, did Clinton ever have a democratic congress? I am not sure he did. Wasn’t he fighting republicans in congress. So probably even then, schools were not funded… school funding is something I would have to research more. How would you ever even tell if schools were adequately funded? I mean its a complicated question.
“No, no.” He shouts, “That’s not cool. You can’t do that. You can’t blame everything on republicans!” Did I? No. I didn’t mention republicans. And I picked up my kindle and my wine glass. I walked straight to the kitchen and refilled my wine glass and went to the basement office to read. I refuse to be asked my opinion and then yelled at when I give an opinion that conflicts with his. Fuck that shit.
Of course, the kids and dogs soon follow and then he can’t stand to be alone so he joins us too. He doesn’t understand, or maybe he does, that everyone wants to be close to me because I am safe and consistent.
So I am reading my Abusive Men book by Lundy Bancroft and I am learning that the things I don’t think make sense, are things that abusers commonly do. That accidentally almost killing me by cooking the wrong dinner is a tactic to make sure he doesn’t ever get the responsibility for dinner. Whether he can’t remember my allergies because he is a narcissist or he purposely ignores my needs because he doesn’t want to have to make dinner, his actions are common.
Also common, being silent for a long time and then exploding over nothing. Promising after multiple chances to attend therapy and missing it that if I don’t leave he will attend therapy. Physically blocking me from getting to a door. Shaking my head “because I wouldn’t shut up.” Pinning me to the bed in rage so that I couldn’t get up which was “not touching me” so it wasn’t abusive according to him. Never mind that I was terrified for my life. That I locked myself in the bathroom. That I hid his guns from him so he couldn’t easily kill me.
Also common, thinking that I need to behave how he wants to me because he has done something. He keeps repeating over and over that he “took me to Maui,” on a vacation that I planned, saved, and paid for entirely. He basically showed up to that vacation with free airfare and thought that because he “took me to Maui, ” I should not call him out on his hurtful behavior and racist jokes towards our daughter. Nope. That trip became, “me yelling at him.” When in fact, we were both yelling but the problem was he isn’t supposed to be yelled at by a woman.
No wonder he doesn’t like it when we talk about smashing the patriarchy. He is the patriarchy!
So I drank too much wine. I took the dogs for a long walk and cried. Then I drank a bunch of gatorade to fend off a hangover. He won’t ever value other people more than he values himself. I can see how much he fits these patterns and how he won’t ever change.
Yes, he can be “good” for a short amount of time. At one time, it was long enough for me to actually think the abusive behavior was an anomaly. But it isn’t.
He just came down to the basement office to walk the dogs. He asked our 8yo son what he is watching and he answered, “a guy playing games.” And my husband muttered under his breath, “just wanted to ask what you are doing. Just wanted to hear about it.” So has he already moved on to trying to get his supply from the kids? When we divorce am I going to have to actually take his kids away from him so that he doesn’t permanently scare them?
Getting myself away and getting them away from him half the time is a good start. But I am afraid of what he will do to them when I am not there. Why does he have to be such a fucking ass. Ugh!