Monday, August 13, 2007

Option D

Had a really long talk (more like a fight) with DH last night. Apparently I'm controlling, make him grow up and be too responsible, having an affair (don't laugh too hard on that one), and blaming everything on medication. Thus begins the Internal War, Battle One.

His comment (see last post) was made because when I'm not around, he gets to be a little kid at his parents and is not forced to be a grown up or parent our daughter. His mom does everything for him. Yet, he gets mad if I make decisions for him or even schedule something for him because I am too controlling. Gee, maybe if I called myself "mom" while I did it, he'd take it better? My medical/counseling/jaw/orthodontic expenses are the reasons we are so broke, but when I work late two nights, he accuses me of having an affair (personally I found that one kind of humorous considering my aversion to being touched at all as of late). So I figure I have a few options.

Option A - stuff all my emotions, become the "perfect wife" who lets her husband go hunting every weekend, does all the housework, makes all the decisions, is available to meet her husband's every need, including physical, cooks dinner, doesn't work late and structures everything around husband. I become both Mom and Wife to my husband, and raise him along with my daughter.

Option B - let it all hang loose. Rant and rave. Insist husband grow up. Stop making decisions. Let him mope and cry and try his best to make me feel sorry for him. Watch him go overboard doing things for me in an attempt to make up for his barbed comments. Watch him try to do all housework and everything for daughter and then expect me to "get over it" because he is "trying." So I get over it and we have this same argument in a few months. Or I rant and rave too much and am accused of being hysterical.

Option C - Give it 110% and risk all. Admit to husband my weaknesses -- I did this when I had the issues with prozac - he was wonderful about helping me get off meds. His wonderfulness lasted about 1 week. Then he told me that I was not allowed to "use the medication as an excuse." I told him honestly that I, could frankly, live without sex for the rest of my life, but was willing to acknowledge that was my problem and work on it. One and 1/2 weeks later, I'm expected to have that all figured out and it's my fault that I don't. I'm supposed to enjoy being in a 100 degree house with no airconditioning with enough dust to make the world's largest dust ball (AKA my in-law's house). Not only do I fail to utter a single complaint, but I put together a family gathering and assist with a housewarming for a relative. Husband assumes that I'm complaining on the inside and attacks me anyway. So I can continue throwing myself out there to be trampled on, in hopes that it will improve before I'm crushed and destroyed?

Option D - the one that is most well-known to me. Option "D" for "Deny." Deny myself and who I am. Become the perfect Wife who kills herself at work to make the big money. Who comes home and fixes dinner, does laundry, and is the perfect parent. Who sends Husband off hunting every weekend while she stays home with the toddler, cooks meals for the entire week, cleans the house and runs all the errands. Who organizes everything, makes all the appointments, and tells Husband everything he needs to do. Mask the panic, anxiety and fear and sleep with Husband on a regular basis. Come home and watch him play his Playstation games for hours, engaging him in conversation. Develop a whole list of topics to use in replying when he asks, for the thousandth time, "What else is new?" (his attempt to engage in conversation).

Option D has a sub-part - the Plan for every possible scenario. The Lawyer part of me is taking over. Flashing little warning signs in my head. All those pieces of advice that I give to others. Protection plans. Stop blogging. Stop online writing. Go have a consult with an attorney and only write notes to the attorney. Quit counseling. Get off all medications. Be the best mom ever. Start putting money in your own account. Clear all the "survivor" and "abuse" websites off computer. Go look at condos/apartments. Copy all financial documents. Don't talk to friends. All that stuff that makes absolute sense from a legal standpoint and absolutely no sense if you are trying to cope and Live.

But then again, I forgot. I forgot the rules and got my hopes up. I'm not allowed to thrive and live. I'm just here to exist. To deny myself and live by someone else's rules and do what they want. Because otherwise I lose. If I admit who I really am - the messed up, on medication, having panic attacks, unfocused, self-injuring person that I really am - I stand to lose too much. My husband (who seems to be walking away himself) and my daughter. I refuse to lose my daughter because I've allowed myself to get so messed up dealing with this crap. I just refuse.


~Sister in Survival~ said...

I decided awhile back that the majority of my problems were coming because of the precipitative effect the relationship with my husband has had on me.

Rather than face the issues head-on and do something about it, I have chosen to live with his passive aggression, childish immaturity, anger at having to take adult responsibility in the home, rage at his job which requires sixty to seventy hours of his time per week, etc. Truth be known, the only thing that he does outside of his church obligations is that job. Being married, having a DW and DD, and being a provider take up to much of his fun-loving free time. He would rather be on the golf course, watching television, or playing some stupid video...

(I am thankful that he has finally gotten to the point that the PS2 occupies very little of his time. He used to become very angry when playing football on the stupid thing and would touch on the places of my soul that are easily upset through his aggression.)

I remember you saying somewhere once that you thought we were married to the same man. I do not seems to have had much the same effect on both of us. I tried to medicate it away. The anxiety had reached levels at which I was hardly able to function. I turned to the broken parts of me that needed my attention, perhaps out of desperation...I am not sure...maybe I thought he valued me enough to see that I was hurting, and some part of me thought he would care. He didn't...not much...and even when I told him, point blank, "I do not want to take another breath...I want to die right now...," he just stood there.

How do we fix us?

I am not certain that I have found that answer...Does the immersion in the problems of others help us? Probably not...does it increase the chance for our own issues to be magnified...Yes...Sort of like in the child observes another's misbehavior and for whatever reason they decide to join in.

I think that many of the ones that we have encountered on-line would have similar stories; of things being OK with their abuse issues until the parts of their present life began to disintegrate.

Why do we turn inward?

We know the ending for our abuse stories...we survived. For me, there have been times when looking forward and facing the future is more terrifying than anything that I know is in my past. It is easier to go live there and wallow in what I went through than try to figure out what to do in my present circumstances.

I think that often the feelings that we wrap around all those "events" back there may in someway be a reflection of the emotions that we feel as we attempt to figure out just what to do with our "now."

Take care and be strong,

Beauty said...

Yes, you could become a Stepford Wife, you could give up everything which makes you unique (including your pain), paste a phony smile on your face 24/7, and old hubby would be pleased as all get out. But geez, Enola, what a way to die!

I've been married to someone like this. He would get so angry because healthwise I couldn't go everywhere with him (this usually meant I couldn't follow him around like a little puppy dog to all his friends' parties.) He actually said one time, "Why don't you just die? You're no good to anyone anyhow."

I'm not sure what the answer is if you are determined to work things out. I'm not trying to advocate divorce. I can only say that in my case, it was leave my hubby to save my own soul, or end up killing myself. That's how bad it got. I didn't know then that I had DID; looking back I can see the effect that marriage had on all my parts. I don't know how I stood it as long as I did.

One thing's for sure: you can't force him to understand you, to listen to you, to be other than what he is. He gets to be who he is, right? Why don't you allow yourself that same option? If things are falling apart between you two, why are you the one who feels the need to become a robot in order to hold it all together?

Oh, this so frustrates me to think of you dealing with all this, on top of everything else!!

lawyerchik said...

Ditto to what everyone else said. Also, there are ways to deal with what you are talking about with your DH - the same steps/principles outlined for Al-Anon. No one can truly control another person, but they can control what they do or how they react.

One other thing, don't ignore the lawyer part of your brain. There is nothing inconsistent about having money in your own account (preferably cash in a safety deposit box in your name and in the name of someone you trust or in your office's safe).

There is also nothing wrong with looking at condos/apartments or copying all financial documents. You can look at it as an insurance policy - something you keep because you might need it, not the beginning of the end of something.

You say, "If I admit who I really am - the messed up, on medication, having panic attacks, unfocused, self-injuring person that I really am - I stand to lose too much." Those statements are capitulation - I don't believe that is who you are at all. I see you as a woman with courage and strength who has dealt with a lot more in her life than other people but has nevertheless survived.

You finished law school. You have a practice that you work at every day. You have a daughter that you care about very much. You have made a life for yourself that includes people you care about and people who care about you. Such a person is not messed up or undeserving!!

It sounds to me like your DH is trying to pick a fight with you - to provoke you into doing something. I can't tell what - there is too much I don't know and couldn't know without being there.

All I can say is, hang in there, listen to your instincts, and remember who you really are. You will get through this. [[[[HUG]]]]

Anonymous said...

it sounds like you both have good careers so i was wondering why no AC?
he sounds like a child in a man's body, you can chose to raise 2 children or one, your choice.

Enola said...

Anonymous - it's my in-laws that don't have AC at their house. It's an older house and they finally (last year) got one window unit put in. But it doesn't cool the bedrooms.

And yes, my husband is a child - very immature. I swore I would never marry a man that hadn't lived out on his own. But I did just that. Note to self - stick to your instincts.

Lyn (SIS) - I think we are married to the same man. Mine said to me this weekend that he just felt "trapped" coming home and cooking, cleaning, putting DD to bed/bathing her and then starting over. Isn't that what being an adult is about?

Beauty - you're right. To be the person he wants me to be, is to let myself die inside. I'm just torn between what is best for me and what is best for my daughter.

Lawyerchik - thanks for reminding me it's okay to be an attorney too. I'm going to take some legal steps - because I'd encourage my clients to protect themselves and I should do the same.

Marj aka Thriver said...

One of my neighbors says she has five kids--the four literal ones and her husband. It makes me want to barf. I'm convinced some men are searching for a "Mommy" in their wife. It's one of the many reasons I left my ex-husband. You know enabling (which is what I believe his mother is doing) is just a stealthy way of...guess what?...being controlling!

Lynn said...

Ok, I was too chicken to say it. I'm glad lawyerchik said it. Cover your ass, my friend. A woman NEEDS to cover her own ass in this world. Also -- if you are miserable and dying inside then that is a terrible thing to show your baby girl how to do. She's watching.

Anonymous said...

I just tried to post a comment here Enola, and don't think it went if it shows up, delete one of these.
I just stopped by your blog to see what else has been happening in your life. Alot by the sounds of it. I'm glad I did. As I read the comments of your visitors I can sense there is alot of love and support among them. I appreciate your ability to articulate what's going on inside. DM