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#1 Pink Lady

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:34 AM

I need to know why I am not allowed to sleep! Either I am kept up, arguing and being convinced that I am mean, that I am a jerk, a b!%@$ or I am not taking his feelings into account, and I don't care. I can't do anything right. I try to go along, and disconnect, but, that's not enough for him. I have to have passion, or I'm rejecting him. I am so stuck between a rock and a hard place.
For the first time in 20 years, I am trying to think about myself, and figure out who I am. I have disappeared into him. I have to have the same interests as him. He is in to outdoorsy things, and I am a girly girl, but, in order to have peace and harmony, and make sure that he feels validated I have to do outdoorsy things, and deny what I want. Over the years, he has rejected me, abandoned me, left me behind to raise our four children alone, and now, now, he says he wants to be involved, and he loves me, and he realizes what he did to me over the course of our marriage. I don't believe a word of it, because he continues to manipulate me, as I try to find me in our relationship. There is no me in our relationship, there is him. What he wants, what he needs, how I make him feel, what he desires...there is no me. I have to assimilate into him, or I make him feel insecure.
He has our counselor completely fooled. I have all but told the counselor straight up that he is abusive. He knows he has been physically abusive, I told him that, but, does not acknowledge any of the signs of emotional abuse I have been giving him. My fear to speak up in front of him, my feeling of not existing, me yielding to his wants and desires at all time. The counselor told me that I am "poisoning my own well" by yielding. I have to stand up and say no, and then things will change. Yeah, right, all that's happening is that he is getting more and more controlling of me. I felt as though I were on house arrest this weekend. I couldn't go anywhere by myself, I couldn't so much as go to the bathroom without telling him where I was going. When I mentioned to him that he was badgering me, he asked me what I expect, because I am making him feel insecure.
Last night, I went to bed early, I am working 10 hour shifts right now, and I hadn't slept well on Sunday night, and was exhausted last night, both physically and emotionally. I went to bed at 8, I slept until about 11:15 when he came to bed. I woke just enough that I could go back to sleep easily, when he walked in the room. He climbed into bed, and grabbed me around my waist and told me to scoot closer to him, I did, then, he proceeded to explain to me why he wanted me to scoot closer, he wanted to cuddle and he didn't want to feel like he was pushing me off of the bed. OK, now I'm awake, and I can't easily go back to sleep. I told him I didn't want to talk, I wanted to sleep, then, he "apologized" and explained again to me why he wanted me to move, and that he wanted to cuddle. Then I was wide awake, and frankly, pissed! So I snapped at him. This began a fight that lasted about an hour and a half, he called me crazy, a f-ing jerk, told me I'm mean, and that I make him feel insecure. He told me he was leaving me (I get this all of the time), he cried, he yelled, he told me that I was making him rage. I walked out of the room, and my oldest son came in and put his arm around me, while I tried to calm down. Then He came back in told our son to move and he wrapped his arms around me and explained to me again why he asked me to move, and told me that he was only thinking of me, not himself. He stood there hugging me for about 2 minutes. I don't really want to be touched at all now, hugging, hand holding, physical intimacy, are all ways he manipulates me to coming around to his way of thinking. I asked him to let me sit in the living room for a few minutes to calm down, and I'd come to bed in a little bit. I was granted 5 minutes of space to myself, before he came back in, and told me again why he asked me to move, and told me again that he wasn't thinking of himself, he was thinking of me. REALLY! I do feel like I'm going crazy, because I know it wasn't about me, it was what he wanted. I am his teddy bear to sleep with at night, I have to sleep with him wrapped around me, I have no personal space ever. If he wants a hug, I have to hug him, or fight for an hour only to hug him anyway. I cannot say no to physical intimacy, if I do, I know I may get a reprieve for awhile, but, he will just take what he wants.
I have been going to counseling with him, which I don't feel is doing any good, unless I cover for him. I also have been going to our local domestic violence office (for lack of a better word) and have been counseling with someone there. Our joint counselor is telling me to be assertive and not back down to him, because then I reinforce his bad behavior, that I need to tell him when he is doing the right thing. I don't trust my H, I don't want to be his mom, telling him he's a good boy because he did such and such right. I just want to be left alone right now. I want to be allowed the time to figure out who I am.
I'm sorry this post is so long, I'm completely venting, and I'm completely frustrated, exhausted, and feel like I'm going crazy.

#2 oneness

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:55 PM

Your H sounds a bit like my abusive ex SO. I feel for you, and understand what you are going through. He is gaslighting you, he is crazy making too. I have to say, things do not look good for your marriage. A marriage counselor most likely won't help - it rarely does in situations like this.

Although your counselor is giving you the right advice on how to deal with your H, after 20 years I can't see that your being assertive and setting boundaries will work with him. He most likely has a personality disorder. When I did that with my SO after 2 years, some things got better, but some got worse. The abuse went from verbal and emotional to physical....He has Borderline Personality Disorder traits, and has admitted to them (not a common thing for most BPDs to do). In my case, the denial of the abuse stopped, but sadly in your case it does not look promising to me that your H will change.

So what would you like to do? Are you holding out hope that things will change or have you reached the end of your rope? If you need support, you are in the right place what ever you choose to do. You will get validation that you are not crazy, your H is indeed abusive, you are not alone and you don't deserve to live this way! Frankly, I am amazed that you managed 20 years, working 10 hour shifts, and raising 4 kids while dealing with your H! You are very strong, but everyone gets exhausted eventually, and you deserve to be you - not just the caretaker of your needy, insecure, abusive H and your kids. You are your own sanctioned being, and have your own life to live beyond your family. You need to find you and be you again!

(((pink lady)))

#3 thebewilderness

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

You cannot make him leave you alone. That is the part that counselors never seem to grasp when they tell you to stand up to a bully. You can spend your whole day walking away from a bully but they follow you all around the house and never stop picking and picking and picking, because bullying you is what they gives them their sense of power over you.
You have two choices that are no choices at all. Tolerate his huggy lovey bullying or his angry lecturing bullying. What the heck kind of choice is that?
One of the biggest problems with counseling is that they focus on helping you learn how to tolerate the abuse and your H how to bring the abuse down to an acceptable level, unless they are well trained regarding abusive relationships. You already know how to do that and it is intolerable. And the fact is there is no acceptable level of abuse.
So, besides making you responsible for controlling his behavior, what do they mean by standing up to him? It isn't as though you haven't tried just about everything you can think of by now.

I know this is pretty obvious, but if you can take the kids and go spend a night at a hotel with a pool for playing in and beds where you can get a good nights rest for once it might help a little.

#4 Pink Lady

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:38 PM

Thank you for the hugs. I sure need them.

I should say, I stayed home with our 4 kids, and raised them by myself, until our youngest (12 years old) was 7. My working full time is a threat and a relief to him. He feels relieved at times, because he can have me pay all the bills that I can, and he doesn't have to spend "his" money, but, a threat because it makes him think I can live without him.

I am trying to get out. I have been meeting with a counselor at a domestic violence center. It's only been in the last couple of months that I have even been able to admit that what has happened and is happening to me is abuse. My mind gets so fogged up, and I get so confused when he starts talking because he twists everything around and loops what I say back to him. I want out, but, I am so afraid of what will happen if I do. I know it sounds silly, but, I feel like I have some sense of control when I am there, because it is what I have come to know. That being said, I also know that I have disappeared, or really never existed in this relationship. I fooled myself into believing that I did, I told myself that I was making the best out of a bad situation. I stuffed my real feelings, for years, so that I could stay home with our kids.


You cannot make him leave you alone. That is the part that counselors never seem to grasp when they tell you to stand up to a bully. You can spend your whole day walking away from a bully but they follow you all around the house and never stop picking and picking and picking, because bullying you is what they gives them their sense of power over you.
You have two choices that are no choices at all. Tolerate his huggy lovey bullying or his angry lecturing bullying. What the heck kind of choice is that?
One of the biggest problems with counseling is that they focus on helping you learn how to tolerate the abuse and your H how to bring the abuse down to an acceptable level, unless they are well trained regarding abusive relationships. You already know how to do that and it is intolerable. And the fact is there is no acceptable level of abuse.
So, besides making you responsible for controlling his behavior, what do they mean by standing up to him? It isn't as though you haven't tried just about everything you can think of by now.

I know this is pretty obvious, but if you can take the kids and go spend a night at a hotel with a pool for playing in and beds where you can get a good nights rest for once it might help a little.

I had to go to a conference a few weeks ago for work, overnight, he called and texted me obsessively, and when I didn't answer my cell phone or respond to texts, he called my room.

He tells me that I am making him feel insecure and that's why he's doing all of this, and I need to make him feel secure and loved and then it will all be OK.

The joint counseling "worked" when I covered for his behavior, and accepted my responsibility. Funny thing, I don't understand, is that every time we saw the counselor, there was some person, our oldest son, H's dad, H's boss, our middle son, now me, that is causing problems for him. He never seems to be able to focus on the common denominator in all of those relationships...him.

I'm so glad I found this place. I am learning how to leave. I'm making a plan. I appreciate the support I've found here.

#5 la_chica

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

your post made me crazy because it reminded me so much of my ex! he would also disturb my sleep and then when I got upset he would get mad. One time I asked him to turn the light off int he bedroom at 1am (he was working second shift) and he was so pissed at me. The kicker: I didn't even remember asking because I was ASLEEP. But of course he still held it against me.

My point: I feel for you. I'm glad you are working your way out of the relationship.
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#6 SorryMum

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:12 AM

My mind gets so fogged up, and I get so confused when he starts talking because he twists everything around and loops what I say back to him. I want out, but, I am so afraid of what will happen if I do. I know it sounds silly, but, I feel like I have some sense of control when I am there, because it is what I have come to know. That being said, I also know that I have disappeared, or really never existed in this relationship. I fooled myself into believing that I did, I told myself that I was making the best out of a bad situation. I stuffed my real feelings, for years, so that I could stay home with our kids.


Oh, I know that feeling so well! It got so I didn't know what was up or down, left or right. I was told my perceptions were wrong, and I felt crazy.

It's a common tactic with abusers. Keep you off balance, cause you to feel crazy, it makes them feel powerful.

Now though, you're coming out of the fog and into the light. And you can't unknow what you know, or unsee what you've seen.

It may help to keep a journal of all the crazy things he says - or post them here and we'll translate them for you, it'll help you feel more clarity.

Now you see the reality of your situation as you have, you will get stronger, and one day you will decide it's time to leave. We'll be here with you every step of the way.


He tells me that I am making him feel insecure and that's why he's doing all of this, and I need to make him feel secure and loved and then it will all be OK.


No-one can make him feel anything. How he feels is in his control and no-one else's. As an adult he's responsible for himself.

there was some person, our oldest son, H's dad, H's boss, our middle son, now me, that is causing problems for him. He never seems to be able to focus on the common denominator in all of those relationships...him.


Yep, common abuser tactic. If I blame everyone else I don't have to look at myself and my faults, least of all do anything about them.

If I were in your shoes I'd drop the marriage counselling. In an abusive situation it only seems to make things worse - either causing the abuser to escalate the abuse, or to become more covert as they learn what really annoys you. Either way it will beat you down even more.

Keep posting, gain strength, ask questions. You can get yourself out of this situation. One day you'll just decide you've had enough. I did, 15 years ago. I felt the fear of the unknown and left anyway with two small boys.

Now, I'm married to a wonderful man who treats me with love and respect. We celebrate nine years of marriage in a month's time. You deserve this too.

(((Pink Lady)))

#7 fairyelle

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:57 PM

My heart goes out to you!! This is tough stuff to deal with, especially since you've been dealing with it for so long. I admire you for being able to raise four children with him and also having the courage (and energy) to work and deal with all the abuse over the years. You are doing amazing and keep up the posting and reading about abuse. Couples counseling doesn't work with an abuser. After years of dealing with similar issues you are going through I found a book called "Why Does He Do That? Into The Minds Of Angry And Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft and it helped me see that unless the abuser is willing to tackle the hard questions of why he feels so entitled and actually gets into an abusers program that help him see that it's his thinking that causes the abuse (NOT YOU) he can't really change. Couples counseling is for healthy relationships that get rocky. Abusive relationships where your spouse does not respect your rights (sleeping is a right) and keeps the focus on him constantly cannot be helped in couples counseling. He will just convince the counselor that it is you and create another ally in his abuse. It's sad but so true. If you can, get the book. It was SO revealing to me and helped me understand that all those expensive sessions I spent with my husband were so fruitless as the problem is that he is an abuser. You are doing great!!! Keep posting here and keep your head clear. You know more than you give yourself credit for. Peace and love.

#8 DawnC

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:33 PM

Pink Lady, I read your post over and over...and if I can offer you anything, it is to say, "Trust yourself, trust yourself, trust yourself."

It sounds to me like you KNOW your truth. You KNOW.

it's just that the counselor you are going to is the typical, ineffectual type that DOES NOT KNOW what you're talking about or if they know, they are ignoring it because it does not fit into the parameters of their counseling education.

This is why traditional marriage counseling very often does not work and can actually create more harm for the abused person.

Here's something I know:

Abusive people are DIFFERENT. Abusive relationships are DIFFERENT.

You know this, too, because you live with it every day of your life and you suffer and feel like you're going crazy because it just sounds so NUTS when you try to explain it to someone, especially to a so-called professional who is trained to give the whole he said/she said EQUAL weight and who does not see the abusive person as they really are. There is no EQUAL in an abusive relationship. Traditional counseling often tells us to IGNORE our instincts and our own voice...and listen, instead, to the voice of the abuser as if it were that of a rational person.

Giving the abusive person's he said/she said equal weight with the voice crying out from the heart of the abused person, trying to make a relationship like that fit neatly into the counselor's textbook training...Does. Not. Work. But the counselors try to make it work. YOU try to make it work. And the abusive person keeps right on being abusive. Then, the abusive person often escalates and escalates until you fold and soon stop going to counseling because the abusive person makes you so darn miserable about going and it isn't helping anyway, just creating new things to fight about...and the counselor goes about their business, believing everything's fine and maybe even patting themselves on the back for "saving your marriage".

Oh wait, I'm talking about my own experience. *wry face*

But am I close? I think I've got a pretty good handle on how this can work...and looking back I can see it was an exercise in futility from the beginning. Everything I've learned in the years since this marriage counseling convinces me that my instincts all along have been RIGHT. I don't regret staying in because I believe he was the price I paid to bring my beautiful children into the world. But in every other way, I regret not listening to myself. Not trusting myself. Because I knew. Because YOU KNOW. Fear has held me back. Fear holds you back.

You are NOT poisoning your own well. My god. That just infuriates me. It is so unfair and so wrong. The well is poison, but you didn't poison it. If anything, you have tried and tried and tried to purify the water and make it sweet and cool and refreshing...and Mr. Stupidhead, Mr. MeMeMe, Mr. CriminallySelfish has slapped away that water, screaming that he doesn't want water, he wants your blood, your life, your very soul. Here's the deal...He is WRONG to demand those things of you. You are RIGHT to feel oppressed, hounded, frustrated, used, diminished, discounted, run over, ABUSED...

His waking you up and grabbing you...
His resenting your reaching out for meaningful work and making a living...
His calling you names and saying how selfish you are for not letting him control you...
His shooing your child away so that he can continue his assault on your self-esteem...
His insisting his preferences matter and yours don't...
His demands that you give his feelings more weight than your own...
His demands for touch when you don't want to be touched...
His explanations that are really manipulations and lies...
His crazy-making, insisting you don't really feel as you feel...
His depriving you of sleep and peace of mind...

And geez, that was just ONE day, right? Good gracious. I was exhausted just reading it. Because I totally get it.

You KNOW, sweet lady, you know. Trust yourself. Breathe. Make your plan.

Here's another of my truths...As helpful as it may have seemed at the time to try to understand what motivates my husband's outrageous behavior and why he may have acted as he did, I have come farther since I started focusing on myself. What matters is me...how can I find my way? How can I recover and regain myself?

THAT'S what I need to work on more than understanding him...I mean, really...when it comes to my own survival, how important is it to know why a rabid dog foams at the mouth and bites? How important is knowing the incubation period of that viral infection and the signs and symptoms as it progresses? How important is it to know the statistics, the history, the effectiveness of canine vaccines...when you're faced with, when you are cornered in a room (or a bedroom!) with/by a rabid dog? I say, sometimes you have to rescue yourself FIRST...then, when you are safe, begin to understand "what happened". What is it they say in that airplane safety speech? Put on your own oxygen mask first?

I have my whole life to research and understand rabies. But when faced with the snarling beast...if my instinct is telling me to go, get out, save yourself...I have to trust and honor that instinct for self-preservation. That's what I'm starting to do now. I worked on my skills, kept trying until I got a job...I'm making my plans...Because I know I can't live with a mad dog, no matter how much I might pity him and feel bad about what made him that way or blame myself for not wanting to submit to his biting me.

I got up today and started cleaning my house...not to clean it...but to start sorting and tossing and evaluating what goes, what stays, what I'll take with me, what I can do without, what I'll need. It is getting easier to think of myself these days instead of thinking of him first and myself only as I relate to him.

(((((BIG HUGS)))))) to you and your precious children. You deserve better. You're not wrong. Trust yourself.

#9 Pink Lady

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:32 AM

Dawn C, thank you so much for your words. Thank you for understanding. I'm making my plan. We moved recently, and I've done the whole purge the house thing. I find myself looking around my house and making a mental note of the things I want to take when I leave.
I can't even express in words how happy I am to have found this forum.

(((((HUGS))))) back to you, to all of the women who have responded to my posts, and have validated my feelings. I really didn't think anyone would ever understand what I deal with.




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