Archives for the month of: June, 2015

My youngest daughter was unhappy the other day.  I asked her why and she told me that dad had been acting aggressively and she’d been scared.  I still don’t know the exact details but he had been drinking and apparently locked her in the back garden for 45 minutes because she spilt some sugar.  When my eldest daughter got in from work, he had face cream smeared on his face like tribal paint.

We we need to be out of this situation as soon as possible. The house sale and my new purchase are moving far too slowly, in fact no progress seems to be being made.  He has made offers on five properties and withdrawn all of them.  He’s on various medication and is drinking on top of that. Yesterday his drinking started at 10 o’clock in the morning.  It is evident to me that he is depressed.

I can’t have my daughter scared when he is with her but I need to go out to work. So I had no choice but to confront him. I asked him what had happened the day before. He got angry and warned me not to start. I pointed out that I wasn’t ‘starting’ but had simply asked him a question. I was calm. He wouldn’t tell me. I said that she had been scared and that was unacceptable and that he should consider the effect of his actions on and the feelings of his children.  He told me I was ‘high and mighty’ and that I had ‘put the events in motion’, that I was ‘to blame’ by filing for divorce.  At one time, I would have been enraged by this and fought back, but I no longer care. I know the truth. I’d made my point and I hoped that a little part of it would sink in and cause him to reconsider his behaviour.

Our elder daughter says she never wants to see him again. If he’s not careful, our younger daughter will take the same line.  And I think that’s sad because I might not want him as my husband but he is still their father.

Our younger daughter has said she would like me to meet someone else. She realises that this has not been a proper relationship, she says she thinks of me as single, feels I deserve more and, as she put it, she doesn’t want me ‘to die alone’!  I’m glad she recognises that the relationship is not ‘normal’.

Yesterday my my daughters went shopping together. They bought me a dress and a card with a lovely message of encouragement and support in it because they recognise that I have been feeling down. And they’re right: the days when I’m feeling low are becoming more and more frequent. But when I stayed at a friend’s place while they were on holiday, I quickly bounced back to my normal self so I know that this is only temporary. But I’m fed up with feeling tired and stressed when I’m in my own home.  It wasn’t until I was away that I realised how my body is in a permanent state of fight or flight and this can’t be any good for me.

The situation is driving me crazy.

But hopefully it won’t be long.

And in the meantime I can continue…

Dancing with another.

Like I said in my last post, I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the last few weeks.

I’ve realised how the impact of the controlling relationship I’ve been in filters into other interactions.  I’ve been ‘trained’ not to make others angry. I don’t even spend my time trying to please people; instead I spend my time trying to take actions that will not make them angry.

For example, I’m staying with a friend at the moment and while they were at work I decided to fry myself some steak.  In the past, they’ve told me not to wash the pan, but I was frying steak and I wanted to wash the pan. And I couldn’t decide whether they would be angry if I washed the pan or angry if didn’t wash the pan and I agonised over what to do.  Eventually I decided to wash it because I’d fried meat and I didn’t want the smell to linger.  When they came in, I explained what I’d done and went into great detail to justify my actions.  They just looked at me, smiling like I was crazy, and said that it was ok that I’d washed the pan but it would have been ok if I hadn’t washed the pan and that it really wasn’t important.

And I realised that, had it been my husband, both actions wouldn’t have been right. Whatever I did would have been wrong.  But I would have thought I’d chosen the wrong action and kicked myself for my poor decision, and the ensuing bad atmosphere and spoiled day/evening would have been my fault.

But when I think about it, how could I have made the wrong decision 100% of the time. The law of probability says that I should have chosen the right action 50% of the time at least.  And however much agonising I did would never had led me to the “right” decision because in the eyes of my husband whatever I did was automatically the wrong decision.

And it really didn’t matter.

My friend has given me a key.  When I came back from work and I knew they were in, I didn’t know whether I should let myself in or not.  If I buzzed the door entry and they had to get up to let me in when I had a key, would they be angry?  But if I let myself in, would it look like I was treating it as my own home and not showing them respect, and would that make them angry?  Decisions, decisions.  So I compromised.  I let myself in through the external door; then rang the doorbell before letting myself in through the internal door.

And I realise that all this sounds crazy, and that all this IS crazy.

What kind of life have I been living when simple, unimportant decisions are fraught with anxiety, anger and blame?

But at least I’m aware of it.

Now.

He got physically abusive. Just over a week ago. This is what happened.

It was Saturday. I cooked dinner as my daughter was hungry. He wasn’t back from work.  I never know when he’s going to be back: it could be 4.00pm, it could be 10.00pm.  I prepared some for him and left it on the side – I still cook for him even though the decree nisi has come through, it seems petty not to.  We ate at about 5.30.

He got in at 7.00pm. I was getting ready to go out.  He stormed upstairs shouting that his dinner was ruined and he might as well cook his own dinner when he got in.  So I said that from now on I wouldn’t cook for him anymore and I didn’t want him to eat inferior food.  I was very calm because I’m done with all this. It will be over soon and he will be out of my life.  There was more salad and meat and potatoes so he could start cooking again from fresh and have the quality of meal he was demanding.

I started to walk downstairs. I don’t know whether it was to get away from the shouting or to do what I eventually ended up doing, but as I was walking downstairs, he shouted “Don’t throw it away!”  Did that give me the idea or was the idea already there?  Who knows?

I threw his dinner in the sink and dumped the plate on top of it.

And he lost it.  He grabbed me, shook me, shouted in my face, shoved me away, grabbed me again, shouted in my face again. My daughter was watching, screaming at him to stop, crying.  Eventually, he let go and I turned and walked away, which was when he pushed me from behind and sent me hurtling across the hall.

I walked upstairs.  My daughter got all my things together, hugged me, and I left, shaking.

My children went on holiday together the following day.  The younger one told the older one that she didn’t want to go because she was worried about me. I was scared to be in my own home with him. I never expected to feel scared and that in itself was frightening.  He hasn’t hurt me, and part of me thinks it’s not physical abuse unless you’re injured, and I kept telling myself that he wouldn’t actually hurt me but another voice inside me kept telling me that’s probably what all women think before they’re injured or worse.  And he hadn’t been drinking.  So I’m staying with a friend until my daughters get back.

I’ve learnt so much this past week.

I’ll tell you another time.