crazymaking car troubles

my husband owns three vehicles.  a van, a convertible, and a car for my daughter.  i drive the van, he drives the convertible.  it’s a piece of crap.  the top is starting to fall apart, the trunk fills with water when it rains, the inner door panels have both fallen off at least once.  the newest issue is with the radiator.  apparently it’s leaking antifreeze, and has been “running hot”.

husband left for a weekend with his father super early saturday morning.  he rented a car, due to the overheating, and since i had the kids, he knew i would need the van.  i ASSumed he just didn’t want to drive his car so far away (2 hours).  well, i go to pick him up from the car rental drop off, and mention that our other daughter borrowed his car to attend a school function.  he says “i told you you weren’t supposed to drive the car, because if it overheats, it will ruin the engine.  son of a bitch!  you will have to go pick her up.  i was going to try to fix it today.”

i replied,  “when did you tell me not to drive the car?  if i had known that, i would have dropped her off myself.”

him:  “when i told you the car was overheating, that means don’t drive it.”

hmmm…to me, overheating means overheating, not “do not drive the car”.  i am not a mechanic, and didn’t know the engine would be ruined by driving a car that overheats.

me:  “i don’t remember you telling me that.  i’m sorry.”

him:  “i told you that friday night, while you were on the computer.”

so, telling me something while i am on the computer is not such a good idea, but i guess it’s still my fault.

me:  “well, i don’t remember that, but if you said that, i would have remembered something that important.  and, to me, overheating is not the same as running hot, and i guess i need you to be more specific about what you want when you need me to do or not do something.”

him:  “whatever.  we’ll figure it out later.”

 

after we get home, i feed the kids, while he disappears to the basement to eat the food he made on his own, and to watch football.  silly me.  i thought he was concerned about the car.  i text my daughter and tell her not to drive home, and that i would pick her up.  she says, then come now, i am done.

i go downstairs and tell husband i am leaving to get her, and he says, “i already texted her to drive home herself.”   huh??

me: “so, she can drive it?”

him:  “i don’t care.”

me:  “ok, again, i need more specifics.  is she ok to drive the car, or not?”

him:  “i said, i don’t care!”

 

later, he came upstairs after making a trip to the store to see what he could use in the radiator to fix it, and hugs me and says “i love you.”

i pull back and say, “i didn’t know about the car, i’m sorry i let her drive it, but i didn’t like that you got mad at me for something that was an accident.”

him: “well, you knew not to drive the car, and that i rented the car so that i didn’t have to take the van.”

me:  “whatever.  i don’t remember it that way, but i’m tired of talking about it.”

 

to sum up, he:

tells me he told me not to do something, when he didn’t

gets mad when i do the thing he didn’t tell me not to do

blames me for the way he got mad at me, then still doesn’t apologize

tells me he is going to “spend the day fixing it” then spends about five minutes on it, and gives up to watch football

thinks that “i love you” is the same as “i’m sorry”

and again, he spent the entire weekend either gone, or in the basement watching tv.  we literally talked more in the care arguing than we did the entire rest of the weekend.

 

and, now i am paranoid about antifreeze.  i like my iced tea with sweetener.  i feel like i should start testing it before adding the sweetener to make sure he hasn’t sweetened it for me with antifreeze, first.  may seem paranoid, but who knows what goes on in the mind of an emotional abuser?

 

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the legal process

so, it begins.

i called the paralegal at the women’s center yesterday.  i filled out an application for legal services over the phone, discussing such wonderful things as:  how many bank accounts do we have(3), how many cars(3), do we have a mortgage(no), etc.  now it all goes to the lawyer to see if he can take my case for legal aid.

she was very nice, we politely discussed my years of emotional and financial abuse, and had a chuckle over how men “just don’t know their own strength, sometimes”.

and so it begins.

it sounds like i have a good case to get a good chunk of, if not half of our house, cars, savings, 401k and stocks.  it’s very important now, though, to not let on to him, or i know he will start to try to hide assets.

there are so many things i want and need to start doing, but at the same time, i feel paralyzed with fear.  not so much of what he will do to me.  but because i know that this man, who claims to love me, and is the father of my children, a coach, a loving son, will turn on me.  he will turn like a bad apple, and i worry about the rest of the barrel.  i know in my heart that my kids will understand (maybe not right away, but eventually), and will be mostly on my side, i just know he will do his best to turn them against me, and blame me for the break up of our marriage.  he will never accept full blame.  he will say he accepts part of the blame, but that will only be to garner sympathy.  he won’t actually feel the full force of what he has done to me.

that’s for me to feel.

but i am already feeling a taste of what freedom will be like.  decorating my own house, eating whatever i want to eat without getting grief.  being able to sleep the whole night without being woken up by the light and his talk that can wait until morning, but he won’t let it.  staying on the couch all weekend if i want and not feeling like i have to clean because he keeps making comments about what a pit the house is.  i can wait for the legal crap.  but i know the sweet feeling of freedom will be worth all the other stuff we will have to go through in between.

what was your biggest fear of leaving?  or of being on your own?

how can he just freaking lie right to my face?

like i don’t even matter.  like i am a freaking idiot that won’t ever check up on him.  like he can just say whatever the f*ck he wants and it’s just ok, because it’s what he wants.  because i farging trust him.  why do i do that?

lies about women.  lies about money.  lies about stupid crap, just to be lying.

the worst thing, though, is he has made me a liar.  i lie all the time, now, because if i don’t, i get consequences.  i get the stare-down.  i get the lecture.  i get the guilt trip.  i get the passive-aggressive BS that he feeds everyone he ever comes into contact with.

no more lies.  i am keeping track, assbutt.  someday, you will regret those lies, because no one will believe the truth.  the abuser who cried, “i’m sorry”.

A day in the life (or a weekend in this case)

so, here is a quick (or maybe not) glimpse into my typical weekend with my abusive husband.  on the outside, it probably seems pretty inane and nothing much, but to someone who has been and is being abused, it takes on new meaning.

friday night, he was going to get off work at 4:00, i thought.  so i began making dinner later than usual, so that we could eat together.  but, he didn’t get home until 5:30.  not sure why.  he never said, and i didn’t really care enough to ask.  he immediately went downstairs to play some call of duty.

dinner is ready, he eats quick and then leaves for a poker night at a friend’s house.  i ask how long he will be gone.  “not too long” is the reply.

evening moves along fine.  it’s always better when we can just do our own thing and not have him around to dictate what we will do with our evening.

at bedtime, i get the kids to bed, and sit in bed watching tv.  at 10:30, i finally decide to go to bed, since he is obviously not going to be home in “not too long”.

now, when he goes out with friends, it’s a toss up.  he will either come home soon, because there wasn’t a lot going on, or he will stay way longer than he says he will, and ends up coming home, drunk, wakes me up, makes a lot of noise, tries to either talk to me, or get me to have sex, then passes out.

this time, i was pleasantly surprised that he was not totally drunk, only just enough to get a DUI, but not falling down.  he did, however, wake me up by turning on the light, talking to me, telling me all the money he won, etc.  though it was 1:30 a.m. by this time, he went downstairs to play call of duty again.

saturday morning, we had planned to go with our son to pick out a birthday gift for his birthday.  the night before, while he was keeping me awake with his talking, he said we could leave around 10:00.  i woke up around 8:00 with the kids, and he slept in until 10:30.  then he showered and then got on the computer while i got the kids all ready.  we went out to eat, which  was nice, but then we went to costco and kohl’s, where he dragged us all over the stores while they were tired and just wanted to go home.  this is very typical of him.  we stay until he is ready to go, never mind if the rest of us want to leave.

at costco, he was upset at me for buying a soda (i had to take medecine, and i need more than a sip at the drinking fountain).  he was also upset that i bought some socks for my daughter and i to share, probably because i just said “i’m going to get these” as opposed to “can i get these?”

at kohl’s i was trying to get our daughter a coat, and while he originally balked at buying one for $70, he ended up getting it, because he had a 30% off coupon, which he didn’t originally tell me about.  if i had known, i would probably have tried to buy more, which i’m sure is why he didn’t tell me.

after we got home, my daughters wanted to go to the shoe store to look for boots for winter.  we went to the store, and they were sold out of the ones they wanted, but we bought some other stuff, and he was grumpy when we got home.  then he went downstairs to watch football, where he stayed all evening, until the kids went to bed.  then he played more call of duty.

sunday, i got up with the kids while he slept in a little.  then, he showered and went downstairs to watch football.  my daughter had an open house for school, so we went there and he stayed home with the kids, made them lunch, and got my baby to sleep.  after the open house, he had asked if we could go to the store.  so, i got home, and he asked me how much i paid, what was the sale, weren’t there any chips?   he badgered me so much, i finally said “i get it, i know what i’m doing!”, and then he looked surprised, like i would have any reason to snap at him.

when it was time for church (went to 5:30 mass), he waited until about twenty minutes before we were going to leave to come upstairs and then i had to help everyone get ready while he got himself ready.  then yelled at everyone for being so slow, and not being ready on time.

that evening, i was upstairs with the baby, folding clothes, doing dishes, etc.  he came upstairs to ask if he has any work clothes clean.  i said, “i don’t know, i don’t think i washed any” and he started a load of laundry.  later, he complained that the load of clean clothes he had my 8yo bring upstairs was now going to be wrinkled, because it wasn’t folded.  of course, if he had just folded it himself, it would have been fine.  but now it’s my son’s fault, i guess.

then, at bed time for the kids, rather than help me upstairs get them to sleep, he feels like he is helping out by letting my 8 and 10 year olds fall asleep downstairs, while he watches football.  so, they didn’t brush their teeth, change their clothes, and my 8 year old ended up sleeping on the floor because he was too tired to get in his own bed.  but “it’s ok” because they were still asleep by 9:00.

at 9:30, when i am trying to get ready for bed, he comes upstairs, gets in bed, and starts using my kindle, which he bought me for Christmas two years ago, but uses more than i do.  so, i have to get myself ready for bed, then my baby (he sleeps with us) ready, all while he is looking up his fantasy football stuff, or trying to find deals on black friday shopping.

 

now, on the outside, this is probably not that big of a deal.  he relaxed (he deserved it, right?  he worked all week), got to sleep in, went out to eat, did some shopping, watched some football.  no biggie.  how is this abusive?  he’s just taking a well deserved weekend off.

 

it’s abusive because:

–he spent the entire weekend not talking to me pretty much except when he was drunk, or telling me what i did wrong, or talking about sports, using the silent treatment on me.

–he didn’t do more than a load of laundry and make lunch for the kids the entire weekend.  he did spend a few minutes on saturday helping to pick up the upstairs, then he sat on the couch reading the newspaper while the rest of us finished up, using his idea of male privilege.

–he asked me to do the shopping, then belittled how i handled it.

–keeping me awake to talk is a typical torture technique of abusers.

refusing to be pleased is also typical.  nothing we do is ever right, just because it’s not his way.

–telling me he is “helping” me, while doing just enough to get by, then when i tell him i need his help, he says “i am helping, what more do i have to do?”, which is a form of domestic slavery.

Each behaviour, when looked at separately, could seem justifiable. Each singular behaviour could look like something minor. Each behaviour on its own could appear that the woman provoked it. Just one of these behaviours viewed from the outside — out of context — could appear like he was just having a bad day.

However, look at this short list in its entirety. Now consider this mass of behaviours as a systematic pattern. Also know that women who are subjected to this pattern of abuse and control experience MANY of these tactics — every day, every week, every month, every year — for years and years. Then ask yourself if you think this systematic pattern of power and control is about the man just having a bad day. Or is there a campaign (whether it is conscious or not) to win at all costs and to maintain power and control?—http://speakoutloud.net/intimate-partner-abuse/male-perpetrators-domestic-violence/mens-tactics

 

 

Projection

abusers project.

they treat you like shit, and then tell you that you are treating them like shit.

they tell you that you are being rude, when they have just insulted you.

Projection – The act of attributing one’s own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.  — Outofthefog.net

so when my son says something rude to him, and he tells me he can’t understand how my son could be so mean, that’s projection.  because he yells at my son and then wonders why my son is always yelling.

when he tells me “you’re always angry”, that’s projection.

when he tells me that it wasn’t him who was looking at porn on the computer,  it must have been one of the kids’ friends, that’s projecting, because we all know how he would never do that.

What it Looks Like

  • A mother assumes her children only like the same food she likes.
  • An abusive father hits his children and blames his teenage son for the bruises.
  • A wife empties the joint checking account and accuses her husband of wasting resources.
  • A mother who is embarrassed about her weight problem repeatedly calls her eldest daughter “fat”.
  • An employer who lacks financial discipline accuses his employees of squandering resources.

http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/Projection.html

most people project at some point, and usually without realizing they are doing it.  it’s abuse when blaming occurs with projection, as a way of getting out of something.  yelling at your kids that they “are so messy all the time” and then not cleaning up your own messes, is a perfect example of this.  accusing your wife of stealing your cash when you know that she doesn’t know where you have hidden it is another example.

How to Cope

Coping with Projection is very similar to coping with episodes of False Accusations, except sometimes the false statements may initially appear “nice” or “neutral”. Even these can still be irritating and annoying, and when they veer into negative territory or make inflated or untrue claims, they can also in the long-term be damaging to your credibility or self-esteem.

What NOT To Do

  • Don’t accept any responsibility, blame or criticism which you know is wholly undeserved.
  • Don’t give a Personality Disordered person power over your self-image.
  • Don’t attempt to argue the point, state the truth quietly and clearly ONCE.

What TO Do

  • Know yourself – emotional clarity and understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses is your best self-defense against the erosive power of Projection.
  • Honor your own experience and spend time with people who give you an honest reflection of who you are.