Yesterday I held my own. I am feeling good about that. Was I perfect? No way. However, as Lundy says, that is not an excuse for him to continue treating me abusively. His abuse is THE BIGGEST PROBLEM in this relationship, not my flaws. ‘As long as you keep bullying her, YOU are the number-one problem.’
Started with my bringing up his telling me about going to fighter practice. I realized how much I needed to discuss my concerns when he was already acting weird when he put his stuff in the vehicle, so I am nervous about what is up already. He had THAT look in his eyes, that he was hiding something, that he was lying about tomorrow. Anyway, I state my piece about how he told me about his decision to go to fighter practice, and seemed to be waiting to see if it would hurt me, that ‘I’m going to fighter practice next Wednesday,’ then just stared at me to see my reaction. Not even a friendly look, more like an ‘I DARE you to say something.’ It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with all that, but now I know. I know how he COULD have addressed his wanting to go to fighter practice, but he chose to be aggressive, confrontational, absolute, and with a contemptuous stare. He has been using that a lot since he made that statement, too, so I really do wonder what is actually going on. Something he knows would hurt me, I gather.
Anyway, so I stated my piece, and the argument began. I cannot recall every piece, so I will recap what I do remember for my future reference. For my mission log.
He did a lot of trying to shift the issue back onto me, how I was being abusive to him. Was I? Possibly, likely. Was that the issue at hand? No, it was an attempt to blame shift. Minus one for my respect towards him. He did almost gaslight about where the discussion took place, but came back from that attack. Plus one to my respect quotient for him.
He accused me of not letting him speak, which it is true I was talking over him because he kept trying to shift back to blaming, or turning the issue back on me, or a variety of manipulative bull that I wasn’t going to sit around and let him pull this time. At one point he pulled the ‘Are you just wanting this to be over, is that it?’ = putting thoughts in my head, attempting to manipulate me with guilt, making it my fault, and throwing down the abandonment card. He pulled a large number of pity pot where I wasn’t letting him…. do whatever. Speak? Abuse me? How he couldn’t say anything. I did good at that point and said that was his choice. He was welcome to speak, and to accept the consequences of what he said. That’s what he did, not speak, so he never had to be accountable for his true thoughts, blame me, which he used as an excuse to feed his garden of resentments, and then make me pay for it later as being his justification for further abusive actions. Lots of minus in my respect for that group of attacks and manipulations.
He did the yelling thing, which was sort of OK, at least he was talking and not blaming me for his refusal to speak. He did start to get more overtly abusive and hedge into name calling, but he pulled back from that. Both earned a small plus in my respect quotient.
Overall, he tried to turn the tables by attacking me, blame me for attacking him, self pity by me shutting him down, self pity by my being mean, accusing me of wanting to end the relationship, accusing me of being abusive, playing the melodrama of not ‘being allowed to speak’, saying sorry in the voice that is absolutely not sorry, telling me my perceptions were faulty, controlling by telling me how to speak to him and what I was allowed to say, and deciding the when this conversation was over and he was going to leave, playing tit for tat to deflect from the issue at hand, going into story telling to avoid the subject, pulling psychobabble to justify his arguments that I didn’t have any right to speak to him ‘that way’ such as I was projecting when it was obvious he was doing the projecting, twisting my words, treating me like I was crazy and flying off the handle, that disagreeing with him was abusive to him, pulled the ‘you always’ to minimize my opinions and concerns, etc. Almost every tool in his abusive agenda. At least those which he pulls to my face, no telling if he went up afterwards and indulged in a few he pulls behind my back.
However, at the end, he stopped. He didn’t LOOK shut down. He LOOKED like he was thoughtful, introspective. Angry, yes. He said he was angry. That was all. I honor his anger. Anger is fine, when someone doesn’t agree with you, when the world turns upside down and the privileges of me me me are being challenged. What is DONE with that anger is the abusive choice, or the mature choice. I could be completely wrong about the expression on his face. He could have been thinking about how much he hated me. He could have been thinking about what a bitch I was, and how he would get back at me. Maybe how he already had my punishment lined up tomorrow night. But it didn’t SEEM that way. I could be wrong. I have been very wrong about how he cared about me before.
And when he was sitting there, with what I thought of as thoughtful eyes, I suddenly wanted to have sex with him. Maybe because I was feeling stronger, having stood up for myself, having seen through the smoke and mirrors and called the BS as I saw it. Maybe because the times he tried to pull back from abusive behavior earned respect points. And maybe because that thoughtful look appeared softer, not hateful or filled with aggressive contempt. I felt safer at that moment, something so necessary if I am going to have sex with him ever again. Ok, true, between not feeling safe and the other items I have outlined to him which still have not materialized, it isn’t like I was actually GOING to have sex with him that moment. But I thought about it, about being that close, and it was the first time in many years that I actually WANTED to be that close to him.
And he did the candle ceremony with me, without real hatred in his eyes. They were hard, but I don’t think I saw him plotting his revenge. Maybe. Possibly. More positive respect points.
When I asked for a hug afterwards, I was still angry, but just because I am angry doesn’t mean I don’t care, he said ‘I want to say no.’ I can respect that. He told me what he wanted to say. I would have been a little sad if he had decided to say no, and wondered if he was fertilizing his resentments further, but I would have honored that choice. The hug was rather cold and distant, but it felt more real than one that is smarmy and fake and trying to manipulate me.
I have a pretty decent baseline of behavior to determine the abusive tactics he uses to control, manipulate, and harm me. I have some idea what I am looking at as far as the games he plays and how I can better respond to protect myself and not be drawn in. I have no doubt that sometimes I will fail. Sometimes the stakes are high, or sometimes I will forget, or he will have pushed my buttons until I am upset while he jabs me in my wounds and twists everything around.
It sucks when I realize how much he drags me down, how much he chipped away at me slowly over the past years, and horribly over the past two or three years, especially since his abuse behind my back was revealed, and the abuse to my face completely exploded. Abuse escalates, ain’t that the truth. Lundy says he won’t get serious about changing until I actually am prepared to leave.
I didn’t stew about walking on eggshells to keep him happy. He doesn’t want to be happy, only to be in control, and have his privileged place or me me me me. I didn’t wait for those perfect words which would keep him from pulling his abusive behavior, because there are no perfect words. He chooses to abuse, and he will find excuses no matter how perfect I can, or cannot be.
I stood up for myself, and, mostly, calmly stood my ground.
I had the courage to rouse the self entitled lion.
I had a critical rebellion against King Infant.
I continue to reclaim my rights.
I am a survivor.
Now, back to my regularly scheduled life……………………………………….
I dreamt I was in a huge furniture warehouse, with the Weasleys. Ginny was with Harry, I think. I was hanging with the twins, looking at fancy sectional couches which had, yes I counted them, 8 seats all along. Good grief, I thought, who would have room for a couch that size? And it was an ugly blue gray color. This was in the huge basement of the warehouse, boxes and boxes and all kinds of stuff. Then I was having a Halloween party. It was back in the small town where I lived with my first ex. (Night before, I dreamt I took my ex back, only this time he wasn’t cheating on someone else with me, and he was wanting to not cheat on me either. It felt very different. I didn’t just take him back, I was thoughtful, and considering, but not jumping in, either. Very different in some ways, yet, it was about the man whom I now associate with my being lied to. Sooo, the current man is still lying or deceiving me about something critical.) I had my costume. I had invited a number of my best girl friends. I was riding my motorcycle around town trying to find alcohol, specifically, vodka for a friend, honey bourbon for me, and a small thing of Bailey’s. And my motorcycle was a deep, bright violent purple monster with a long, hooked front end, major handle bar issues, and I think, *gulp*, streamers. I was trying to get it to maneuver back out of a tight space, where people were lined up on the gravel road to watch some kind of parade. They were very nice to me, however, and they complimented by bike. I told them I was trying to find the liquor store, and kept finding these little street sort of vendors, and they tried to tell me where I could find the liquor store downtown, but I had forgotten much about the layout of the town, and people were everywhere so I wasn’t sure how to get around them, and I was worried about the people waiting for me back at the party.
Ah, dreams. Now, if the dogs hadn’t kept barking under my window and waking me up, it might have been an interesting night!