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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dealing

I have always thought of myself as a relatively strong person. Of course, like anyone, I handle some things better than others. I handled that hurricane fairly well - the evacuating, the not knowing, the lack of communication with my hubs, not knowing if my town was being looted, etc. Lately I am wondering if perhaps I am not the person I think I am.

I don't handle yelling well. I was up late last night because I could not sleep. The hubs and I watched the very first Star Wars movie last night (believe it or not, he has seen none of them) so we are starting at the beginning. I was tired towards the end of the movie but when it came time to nod off for the evening, I was wide awake and my mind would not quit.

Earlier yesterday, the hubs and I got into a monster fight. Like huge. In recent months he has become someone that I don't recognize. If I were to describe him, the first thing I'd think to say is friendly and laid back. Well, not lately. Oh, he is still that way to everyone else. He is Mr. Fucking Congeniality. However, to me? He is Jekyl and Hyde. Sometimes he comes home and is his normal self. Other times, the other mean guy comes home. This guy is so angry. He yells at me like I am nothing. He freaks out over nothing. I can't joke with him or I get either the pissed off pouting man or the yeller. As stated earlier, I can't deal with yelling. When someone yells around me, I am not happy. I feel a physical reaction to it. Now when someone yells directly to me, I shrink in on myself. My immediate reaction is to curl up in a ball and hope they stop. I was never raised with yelling. Even through my parents' divorce, I never saw them yell. My dad and step-mom did not yell hardly ever. I am not saying there were not fights or disagreements, but that insane yelling shit just did not occur. So when people feel the need to holler for stupid reasons, I don't handle it well.

I don't talk about this very often, but I was backhanded by an ex-boyfriend several years ago. He was drunk and a loser and when I got in his face, he swung up and knocked me into the front door. Nice little knot on the top of my head. The police did nothing but that was hardly the point. My point is that I got over that physical altercation easier than the stress I am currently living under. When the ex smacked me, I was initially shocked, but then I got angry and came back fighting. I was never afraid of him. I am not saying that I think the hubs is on the road to smacking me. However, I can't deal with this man that showed his ass yesterday. After the horrible fight and the hubs was, of course, apologizing (in very much the same way that a physical abuser would) I told him that if he does not either figure out why he is so angry and get some help, I will not stay here. These past months have done more to harm my emotional well-being that the months leading up to me getting smacked by the ex.

So that is where we are. Things continued on after the fight as if almost nothing had happened. But the knot in my stomach is still there. I have blown off my stress as being from outside influences. Part of that is true, but I am positive that a lot of my stress is from him. I am breaking out. I am getting the eczema coming back on my eyelids. I can't sleep. The belly knot never goes away. If he does not get help, then I will be forced to help myself and leave. I do NOT want it to come to that because I know that this man I have lived with recently is not my husband. This man is so angry - at his ex-wife, at his kids, at the fact that his family is GONE and he is the last remaining member of his immediate family, that he has had to work so hard for the last several months, that my MIL is living her life like his dad never mattered, etc. I can go on and on. Please understand - I am not making excuses for him. This has been a hell of a year. Anyone would be a bit of a wreck. I don't dispute that his stress level has been in the outer limits. But his taking it out on me instead of on the people that deserve it is not fair. He refuses to deal with his ex-wife. He refuses to confront his kids about their behavior because he is afraid he will push them away more. You see where this is going, right? So, it is internalized and he lets loose on the one person he knows he can trust, me.

I have taken it because I figured that he needs support since this year has sucked so bad. Not any more. If he does not find an outlet for this anger (I personally would like to see him come un-fucking-glued on his ex, but that's just me) then it will not be my problem any more. He will turn around to have someone to yell at and lo and behond, I won't be there. I have walked away from abuse before and never looked back. I will not hesitate to do it again.

Elizabeth at 12:13 PM

30comments

30 Comments

at 1:02 PM Blogger Fuzzball said...

I read this post with big tears in my eyes. You are such a brave person, my friend. Please please take care of yourself. No man (or woman) is worth your health, emotional OR physical. You are right to want to offer support but you are ALSO right to not want to offer support at the risk of your own well-being.

Please know that I (and many others) are here for you at ANY time. You've got my email (and I think my phone number, but I'm not sure). I'm sending you huge hugs from Houston and big doggie kisses from Emma. Monty would send kisses too but he hates everybody. So...yeah. ;)

 
at 1:23 PM Blogger Cheeky said...

{{HUGS}} Oh I am so sorry you are dealing with this. No one deserves this (but I can say I am acutely aware of what you are talking about). My advice, is to talk to him about it while you are calm and removed from the situation.

 
at 1:41 PM Blogger MommyMe said...

{{HUGS}}

 
at 1:47 PM Blogger Carrie said...

Oh this post tugs at my heart! I hate yelling too - I react the same way to it you do. I was in a miserable relationship for too long in college with an abusive guy and my last bf was always criticizing and yelling at me. He managed to only slap me twice in four years, but the constant yelling was just too much.

It does sound like the hubs has a lot going on that he needs to deal with. Perhaps couples counseling? I hope he works through it and I hope everything works out for you both. ((((HUGS))))

 
at 1:48 PM Blogger Territorial said...

Just want to offer a big {{HUG}}.

 
at 2:32 PM Blogger Snickrsnack Katie said...

I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with this stuff right now. I really wish there were something I could say to make you feel better, but I know it isn't that easy. So I am sending you a big hug, also.

 
at 3:03 PM Blogger Shell said...

Girl I'm in the same situation. Boyfriend has crap going on in his family that he gets all worked up about. It sucks that we girls are the closest to the situation and I get an earful from time to time too. I've just learned that he's not arguing with me, he's just frustrated with the situation and he feels helpless. He hates it but there's nothing either one of us can really do about it. I just keep telling myself that eventually it will all work out. He's never smacked me but I know if he even lifted a hand like he was going to I'd be out of there.

In the meantime, just buy a plane ticket to Houston. You can crash with me. We'll drink beers at Nicole's and bug Carrie's cats.

 
at 3:32 PM Blogger HippieLaLah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 3:34 PM Blogger HippieLaLah said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. My hubby has that same problem, he's so sweet and nice to everyone else but I'm the one who has to put up with the angry parts of his personality. You want to tell them, 'can you please take your frustrations out on the real person frustrating you'. But like Shell said, it's because we are so close to them that we have to deal with it.

I've never been quick to give up on a relationship, except when physical violence enters or when the emotional stress starts to take a toll on you physically. I just say this when the bad starts to outweigh the good in the relationship, its time to go.
Love, Peace and Blessings!

 
at 3:56 PM Blogger patti_cake said...

You definitely have your head on straight and have a good grip on the situation from a mental standpoint. I hope your hub gets a clue and gets some help for his anger issues. What he is doing to you IS abuse. Emotional abuse. I decided to de-lurk today :) Hope you are feeling better.

 
at 4:01 PM Blogger Tx Mom said...

I've been there in the past and know how you feel. Talk to your husband and tell him how his actions are hurting you. Suggest he go talk to someone (and offer to go with him if he prefers). good luck.

 
at 4:55 PM Blogger Sea_creature said...

This year has put a huge strain on your marriage, hands down. I suggest counseling also. That's only if you guys can't seem to talk things out calmly. Things are definately too emotionally charged right now. You guys need to get these issues out in front of a third party. I hope you can get ridda that stomach knot. I'm all too familiar with that feeling. Good luck.

 
at 5:28 PM Blogger Jennifer said...

I hope everything works out for the best! Don't give up!

 
at 6:02 PM Blogger Nicole said...

Heres what I think my-lady. I would talk to him tonight and be like WTF?

Tell him I know you have stress with your job, your ex, and your kids but here I am the one who loves you and you are taking it all out on me. This cannot and will not work.

He needs to either start taking some of those walks with you to relieve his stress or find another outlet other than blowing up at you.

I hate fights- they leave you with such an empty place that sometimes cannot be put back together.

Try the communication thing and see what he has to say about it.

In the meantime I heart you!!! Hugs- YETS.

 
at 7:01 PM Blogger Kami said...

You guys need to talk about it when you AREN'T fighting. Just bring it up, and ask him to talk to someone, and offer to go with him for support. Maybe he needs meds. There is nothing wrong with that.

I do think it would help if he'd let that bitch ex fucking have it.

 
at 9:52 PM Blogger hellokittn said...

Ok, we have two votes for "un-fucking-glued-at-teh-ex"... can I hear another ;-)?!?!?

I'm not really a huggy person... but if I was I so would be embracing you like noone's business right now. Feet off the ground, bear-type, little hippy humpy HUGS. In it's place I would be more than happy to substitute a complimentary "attitude adjustment" free of charge for hubs. Comes complete with "anger reassignment" therapy and a good old fashioned "knuckle sandwich" (for reinforcement purposes only, applied liberally).

But back to reality, you love him and you know somewhere in there is the man that loves you. It's just so easy for anyone to slink into the "evil mode" to the ones they know love them because they think you're just another "rock" in thier life that isn't going anywhere. At least that's been my experience. It's always the ones you love that hurt you the most... and most of the time they are so absorbed in their own self-hate that they don't even realize it.

You're in the right to push back at him and demand that he seeks out help. Whether it's figuring out on his own how to displace this anger or getting counseling... it's up to him. Much love and well wishes to you and yours. Sorry for the soapbox comment :-[.

 
at 9:55 PM Blogger Pissy Britches said...

You ARE as strong as you think.
You ARE fabulous.
You DONT have to put up with that.
Everyone gets mad..everyone has their bad years or bad days or bad months.
It is all about how you deal with it.
I go thru stages where I yell and I hate myself for it. It is ugly and nasty and stupid.
He is going thru some shit yes but don't shit on the person that loves you the most.
Take care of you.
It will all work out.
You know it will.
Loves and pisses.
Steph

 
at 10:35 PM Blogger Tammy said...

My hubbs did that for a while. He decided to get help, and found out that he has ADHD and is now on medication and much better.

Your hubbs would feel better about himself and in turn, treat you better if he got some help.

HUGS

 
at 10:54 PM Blogger Football Widow said...

I wish I had some fabulous advice to give you. It sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders and can take care of yourself if need be. But I do hope that you guys can talk about this and hopefully he will go talk to someone. Maybe a grief counselor or something?

((Hugs))

 
at 11:02 AM Blogger TBG said...

I wish there was something I could do. I will say this I am thinking about you and if you ever need to vent privately I am here.

Hugs!

 
at 2:27 PM Blogger Torrie said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

My husband and I were having problems (before we were married). They were different than yours, but they were problems nonetheless. I told him that he was either going to therapy or I was going to leave. He went to therapy and everything got much better.

 
at 2:34 PM Blogger Amy said...

Wow. Big hugs.I have nothing to say, except I'm proud of your strength.

Hey, I need your e-mail somehow, so I can chat with you - we're coming out there in a couple of weeks. Or AIM would work...mine is evanmommie.

 
at 2:56 PM Blogger Kelly said...

I know exactly how you feel because I'm a very non-confrontational person. So when someone yells, I just go blank!

My advice is along the lines of the advice from others - talk to him, when you aren't arguing. Also, with all the stressors in your life, including the hurricane shit from last year, its possible he is experiencing a little Post Traumatic Stress, and/or depression. He needs to talk it out or see a therapist and stop taking it out on you.

Hang in there sweetie!

 
at 3:56 PM Blogger Nap Queen said...

A lot of people suggested counseling for him, and I agree. Especially about the death of his father. That is such a hard loss for a child to get over. I hope you know how much we all care for you!!!

 
at 2:38 AM Blogger JD's Rose said...

Ohh Hun. I really really hope that this works out.

xxx

 
at 9:08 AM Blogger kerri said...

Am sorry babe. Hang in there. Smooches to you SFG.

 
at 9:30 AM Blogger ThirtyTen said...

So sorry you're having to deal with this stress. Sending a big HUG to you :-).

 
at 11:02 AM Blogger The Kept Woman said...

Man, I hate reading stuff like this. It just makes my heart ache. I know that angry person whom you speak about. I also know how defensive they can be. You've gotten some great advice here and I have to agree with the therapy route.

(hugs and stuff)

 
at 4:00 PM Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl said...

I know exactly how you feel as I put up with that crap from practically every relationship I've ever had. One thing that I decided after my divorce is that I would NEVER allow someone to mistreat me, ever. As much as I love HG, if she was ever mean or malicious to me, I would be out of here in a heartbeat. Life is too damn short to be unhappy.

 
at 10:14 AM Blogger Irish Church Lady :) said...

It's good that you recognize that he's taking his anger with other people out on you. Just put it right back on him. That is not right! My hubs is going through some stuff now too because his father is not well at all. He takes his anger out on me and the kids by yelling about stupid stuff so I know how you feel. We just point it right back to him. Last night he got all wound up because the dog was out in the back yard and had an altercation with a skunk. He didn't get sprayed too bad but he must have got something in the mouth because when we got him in he smelled kinda bad and he was foaming at the mouth and ended up barfing a few times. Anyways hubs overreacted to the whole thing and I told him so. He was screaming about killing any skunks he saw (we've had an ongoing skunk problem for a few weeks). He wanted to bath the whole dog but that wasn't even necessary. I eventually couldn't take his reaction anymore and I went up to bed. He came up frantic asking me to help him look for the granddog because he couldn't find her when she was actually upstairs sleeping with me (I brought her up and he would have noticed that if he wasn't all dipshit at the time.) Eventually he came up and apologized. I told him you have to calm down and stop overreacting to these situations because you're driving me and the kids nuts and we don't like being around you when you're like this. Enough said. I rambled on too long. Just wanted you to know I hear ya and feel for ya! Toodles!

 

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