too many issues. not enough time.

so my husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  i don’t think i can concentrate on anything else right now.  i will be quitting this blog and will just have to figure out another way to get the feels out.  thanks for the views, follows and comments.  i have truly appreciated it all.

drinking and abuse

ok, so my husband is not a physically aggressive person, usually, and so i don’t really fear any kind of physical abuse from him.  he will make bad “jokes” about things like saying it would really suck if he died, and make comments about death, etc.

emotionally and verbally, is where he makes his mark, so to speak.  when he drinks, though, his true colors really come out.

they say that when you are drunk, you don’t lie.  i know that to be the truth.  things that you would never say sober, come out when you are drunk, and you just can’t keep those things hidden.  i have experienced his drunken abuse many times over the years, usually when i am driving home from somewhere that he has been drinking heavily, and i have not.  that’s when the truth hits the fan.

when he has been drinking, i suddenly become a terrible driver.  driving his drunk ass home.  he will tell me that i am going the long way, “why didn’t you turn there?”, he tells me he could have gotten us home sooner, quit using the brakes so much, and on and on.

but, there are two particular times that really stand out for me.

the first night, we were driving two hours to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  he had spent the day with our son at a football game, and when he got home, we were to drive to their house.  well, he drank before the game, during the game, and then drove 45 minutes home with our son in the car.  i told him that he seemed to be more drunk than if he had only had drinks before the game, as he said he had only had a few beers at a bar before they went in.  he got mad and accused me of lying, of telling him that he was a liar.  he told me that he didn’t drink at all during the game (he “remembered” the next day that he had actually drank three shooters of rum EACH half of the football game).  he told me that i was being paranoid that he was too drunk and that he was only “letting” me drive so he could rest.  but, not only did he not rest, he berated me for treating him “badly” the whole way, and then spent part of the way lamenting and almost crying that he wished he could be more generous like his father.  who, by the way, is a high functioning alcoholic.

the next day, when i told him that i was not happy with him driving my son like that, he said something along the lines of, “well, i wouldn’t have driven home if i wasn’t ok to drive”.  this same trip, he was angry with me for not wanting to sleep with him the night we got there (when he had just spent two hours berating me), and gave me the silent treatment in front of his relatives the whole next day.

the other time i remember, also involved drinking and driving.  we went to a concert.  we stopped at a bar before to eat, and then had some beers there, and during the concert.  knowing i would be driving home, i stopped drinking early enough to be good to drive.  he, however, just kept on.  after the concert, the band threw out some guitar picks, and i got one.  i never go to concerts, so this was exciting to me, and i was going to keep the pick.  my husband says, “are you going to give that to K?”, our daughter.  i said, heck no, i’m keeping it.  he spent the next two hours, i kid you not, telling me that i was a “sad” person, to keep the pick.  he always gives stuff like that to her, and why wouldn’t i do the same?  she will be so upset that i wouldn’t give it to her, and on and on.  he told me that i was a selfish parent, and that he ALWAYS thinks of the kids first, and that i just don’t give other people any consideration.  then, he took the keys, and walked away from me in a crowded city that i am not familiar with to find a bathroom.  i waited in the car for a bit, then went to find him.  i thought he would never let me drive home.  i think he was afraid if he gave me the keys, i would leave him there.

all the 45 minute drive home, he railed on me about how he makes so many sacrifices for our family, he works at a job he hates, etc, etc, just so that we can do things like this, and now i was ruining it by not giving her the pick.  then, when i refused to talk to him, he just badgered me the rest of the way home.  i ended up apologizing to him just to get him to stop haranguing me.

i know that i shouldn’t have given in, but i knew that he would never admit he was wrong.  the next day, he acted as if nothing had happened.  no apology, no reference to it, other than to say “oh, did you give her the pick after all?  thank you!”  i did give her the pick.  i wasn’t going to listen to that crap for the rest of my life.

my point, here is that a drunk abuser is still an abuser.  being drunk doesn’t give anyone license to treat you like crap, and then say, well, i was drinking, so it doesn’t count.  it counts. This article is a great explanation of studies and other research done about alcohol and abuse.  it’s concern is more along the lines of physical battering, but emotional abuse is the battering of your soul, is it not?

index cards, part five

he hates correction!!

i once asked him if he wanted to do the dishes or switch the laundry and he told me to quit patronizing him and to stop treating him like a child, and then he did neither.

he was having a conversation in front of me with my daughter, and when i tried to tell him that i agreed with her, he told me to butt out and that this had nothing to do with me.

he tells me that we (me and the kids) gang up on him all the time.

he pushes the kids too far with teasing and then gets angry when they don’t think he is hilarious, or when they tell him to leave them alone.

he gets angry when i agree with someone that is disagreeing with him.

belittling me:

acts like he doesn’t believe me when i tell him things to the point that i feel like maybe i am lying?

tells me all the time that i am not good at finding the deals and complains when i don’t shop right, and end up spending too much

points out all my mistakes, and does it in front of the kids and others.  then tells me he is just trying to help me when i get mad.

tells others how promiscuous i was and how much i drank in college

twice has made me go back to the store (probably more times) to return something that was too expensive, because i didn’t do it right (get the one on sale, etc)

got mad once that the paper napkins were out, then told me we need to use the cloth ones and only use paper when those are all dirty, which is what i do anyway.  he was very condescending, like it was something i hadn’t ever thought of before.

has called me stupid, a bitch, dumb, dumbass, etc.

makes fun of me in front of my own friends, tells others their ideas or interests are stupid or horrible

says things like “even mom knows” like i am normally stupid or something.

makes comments about me like “look at you!  all interested in that!” just basically being very condescending.

tells me all the time that my choice in tv shows is bad or weird or stupid and same with my music

asking what i did all day when the house was a mess, but never helping me to clean it.

dwells on our mistakes and doesn’t let them go, but gets mad when i bring his past mistakes up and tells me that i shouldn’t hold them against him, because they are in the past

makes jokes about my athletic ability.  tells me how clumsy i am

constantly teases me about my grey hair, being short, my small feet

scares me by jumping out at me and things like that, then tells me i take life too seriously when i get mad, even after i have asked him countless times to stop.

makes jokes about how “lazy” i am, even though i know he somewhat means it.

accuses me of taking things that don’t belong to me, but doesn’t apologize when he realizes he was wrong

makes comments whenever i don’t want to cuddle or whatever.  like “your stomach hurts because you are so mean to me all the time”

has joked about things like throwing me off a balcony and serving me antifreeze

joked about having sex with other women so they wouldn’t be lonely and his “girlfriends” and tells me how amazing other women are all the time, even though he has cheated on me in the past, and i tell him all the time those jokes aren’t funny

silent treatment:

went behind my back and found out i had credit card debt.  didn’t talk to me for days.  when i finally asked what was wrong, he got mad and told me he was waiting for me to tell him about it.

will go days without talking to me except about the kids, will hardly touch or hug me, and will talk to everyone else but me, and then when i call him out, tells me i am being paranoid.

didn’t have sex for a month, even though he always complains about how we never have it enough.  then when we were about to and got interrupted, he complained that we always get interrupted.  ??

LIES:

lied about depositing cash into our account when he actually hid it in his dresser, then lied about how much cash it actually was.

lied about me being on our joint account

lied about cheating on me, denied it flat out when i confronted him

lied about where he was when he was really cheating on me

read my journal then lied and said he didn’t when i saw him do it.

lied about sleeping with other girls while we were broken up in college, then admitted it years later after we were already together again.

lied about kissing another girl at a bar when i asked him about it.

lied about adding me to our gas card.  said it wasn’t possible, and when i called the company, they said it would be no problem

 

 

index cards, part three

and, as in my previous two posts, more index card instances of abusive behavior.

financial control:

letting my cell service lapse because he didn’t give me access to the password to pay the bill (three separate occasions)

tells me how we don’t have enough money, but doesn’t want me to work, because we have too many activities, he makes more money anyway, we wouldn’t qualify for as much financial aid if i worked.

when i did work, constantly complained when i asked for money “where is all your money at?”

i told him once that i think he uses money as a way to keep me around, and he admitted that was “probably true”.

told me he added me to our joint account, when he really hadn’t, then when he finally did, i asked for a debit card for the account, and he said “why would i do that?”  so i couldn’t get out any cash or buy anything without writing a check.

didn’t want me to get a gas card for a long time (he works at a gas station) and forced me to call him to tell the clerk his credit card number so i could get gas.

not on our Target card account, yet gets angry when i shop at Target because i would “save money” if i used the Red card.  then when he finally gave me his card, i couldn’t use it, because it’s a debit card, and i don’t have the pin.

told me in front of our children that we couldn’t buy a new house, because i had run up a credit card bill.  which, if i had had access to “our” money before, i wouldn’t have needed to charge anything in the first place.

every time we have a fight about money, he brings up my credit card balance, that he paid so that it “won’t hang between us”

gets angry when i withdraw cash, but then gets mad when i never have cash on me.

once i had an ear infection, and he made me pretend to be homeless, to get care at the shelter so that he didn’t have to pay for the bill, since we weren’t married, i was unemployed, pregnant, and yet not on his insurance.

told me i didn’t need depression meds, because it was “all in your head” and wouldn’t pay for them. (again, when i was unemployed)

refuses to pay for counselling.  if i can’t find it free, we can’t go.

for a long time, when i needed stuff, instead of giving me the money for it, he would tell me he would just get it himself.

once told me that i just wanted to return something to the store so i could have the cash.

when i did work, he made me pay for the childcare out of my own pocket, and he made me pay the whole week, even though he was off two of those days, so he could “run errands and stuff” on those days.  he would drop our daughter off at school on his days off for lunch and a nap so he could go play basketball at the gym.

our house was not originally in my name, but we refinanced, and only put my name on it because he had to.

none of the vehicles have had my name on them except for the most recent one we bought, around two years ago.

refuses to sit down and talk about a budget, yet wants me to save receipts so he can make sure i am not buying things we don’t need.

got mad when i hid some purchases from him that were just for me, and even though he knew i had bought them, he tried to catch me in a lie (which he did, because i knew he would be mad if i had bought them), and then told me that married people don’t lie to each other.

now he expects me to account for every penny, and save my receipts.

sexual abuse:

makes vulgar comments to me all the time in front of the kids.

used porn ON MY PHONE then lied about it.

used porn on the computer, and blamed it on the kids and their friends

wants to have sex in places where there are others around (like his parents house) and it makes me uncomfortable but then he makes fun of me

sulks when we don’t have sex, but i rarely refuse his advances.

when i wanted to use birth control, he refused.

tried to have sex multiple times while i was nursing our baby

basically told me that a married woman can’t refuse her husband.

holds my hands over my head when we have sex, and once i said i wanted my arms back, and he refused at first.  it scared me!

when i am folding clothes by the side of the bed, he will just come up behind me and lie down on me.  i basically just have to lie there until he gets up again.  when i complain, he says he is just “hugging” me.

many more times than i can remember he has started to have sex with me, waking me up from a sound sleep.  when i tell him to wait until morning, he says he wakes up with a “woody and just can’t wait”

complains all the time about how often we have sex, or makes comments about sex in front of the kids.  like “is that new poster for above the bed, or are we getting a mirror, haha”

when he admitted that he had cheated on me (five years later), he love bombed me so much, it was weird and uncomfortable, but when i would complain, he sulked and pouted.

any time we have a big discussion about our relationship, he gets super touchy feely, when normally, he is only touchy feely in the few days leading up to sex.

when i tell him to stop tickling, he doesn’t always, and then tells me to lighten up when i get mad

once when i initiated sex on our anniversary, he watched tv the whole time.

other physical issues:

wakes me up all the time, just to tell me things that could easily wait.

puts his fingers in my armpit, which he knows i hate, and tells me he wasn’t trying to tickle me.

tickled my feet, then when i jerked my feet away, told me he was just trying to scratch them for me.

put a pillow over my face and pushed down, then told me he was just pretending and joking when i pushed it off.

when i yawned, he would put his finger in my mouth.  so many times i can’t count.  he finally has stopped doing this.

he used to sneeze on me whenever we would drive somewhere, because he didn’t want to get the steering wheel or window dirty.  only quit doing it when the kids told him it was disgusting (not after me telling him to stop every single time he did it)

squishes my fat rolls even after me telling him i hate that.  he just says he is “hugging” me

has told me that his ex girlfriend accused him of hitting her with a vcr but that she was “crazy”

threw a pile of pictures at me when he felt i had paid too much for them

steps in front of me randomly so i have no choice but to go around him

has come up behind me and put his hands on my neck “jokingly”

more to come in the next post…

 

my Catholicism and domestic abuse…am i just being naive?

looking back over my last post, i feel like i must come across as incredibly naive.  maybe i am.  but i wouldn’t have stuck with this marriage for so long if i didn’t truly believe that there was hope.  i am a Catholic, and proud to believe that marriage vows are sacred.  but what does the Church believe about marriage and abuse?

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/domestic-violence/when-i-call-for-help.cfm

As bishops, we condemn the use of the Bible to support abusive behavior in any form. A correct reading of Scripture leads people to an understanding of the equal dignity of men and women and to relationships based on mutuality and love. Beginning with Genesis, Scripture teaches that women and men are created in God’s image. Jesus himself always respected the human dignity of women. Pope John Paul II reminds us that “Christ’s way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.”11…

“…Finally, we emphasize that no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage. Some abused women believe that church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may hesitate to seek a separation or divorce. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Church. Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage. We encourage abused persons who have divorced to investigate the possibility of seeking an annulment. An annulment, which determines that the marriage bond is not valid, can frequently open the door to healing.”

so, to me, this is saying that i should fight for my marriage, that my husband is wrong to be abusive, and that once i have given him the chance to repent of his behavior, i am free to call him out and divorce his butt.  i choose to think of my hope and trust as products of my Catholic faith, and not naivete.  i am certainly not going to allow his treatment of me to ever escalate to it’s previous heights, but i will give him a chance to repent of his sins and give him a chance to prove to me, to God, and to himself that he can change.  but, if he doesn’t take full advantage of that, then it is on him, and i will have a clear conscience.

works in progress

we are still ok right now.  he is not all over me lovey dovey like he was, and we are back to playing on our phones before bed instead of talking.  he started work at a new location yesterday, and i know that he is tired and feeling the pressure of a “new” job, but we are ok.

i have always been one to believe that a marriage can be saved.  i hope that this is the case for me.  i still have so many doubts, and i am certainly more cognizant of his behavior than i ever have been before.  but i know in his sometimes warped way, he loves me.

now, i know that many people believe that abusers can’t love.  or that they don’t know what ‘true’ love is.  i don’t believe that.  i believe that someone can behave abusively, but that abusers can learn to understand love and how to express it before it’s too late.  a true narc or a sociopath, or a psychopath, obviously can learn to mimic love, and to act as if they are in love, in order to try and mask their true intentions.  but there are many men out there who just truly don’t know how to show love in a healthy way.

my husband did not have a very good example of a loving marital relationship when he was growing up.  his mother loved him as he grew older, but had tried to abort him.  then, in a warped sense of guilt, told him what she had done, as a way of explaining his resulting birth defects to him.  what mother would do that?!

so, he has always felt as if he was unwanted.  as a second grader, his mother left the family, and his parents divorced, then he was basically left alone much of the time, while his young father played softball and drank every night of the week.  as an older teen, his father worked nights, leaving him in charge of his siblings, and without a chaperone much of the time.

in my own life, my parents were either all over each other, or completely silent, and not even in the same room.  i remember taking trips with them, where they barely talked the entire time.  i spend a huge amount of time in my room alone, while my mother would sit at the kitchen table and cross stitch while smoking and drinking her coffee.  my dad would sit in the basement, watch tv, and since he worked from home, he would work and smoke and drink his Pepsi.  my entire senior year of high school, they were either yelling, or threatening divorce, or holed up in their bedroom making up.

when we did all spend time together, it was to do adult things like play poker or go see a movie.  i saw Halloween as a five year old at the drive-in.

so, obviously, we both have had questionable role models of what a loving, giving, trusting marriage is like.  we both tried so hard to make a good marriage, or at least, what we thought was a “good” marriage, that we didn’t try to love the other person.  we tried to jam the other person into this idealized role, and when they didn’t fit, we became angry.  i admit fault there.  i may not have been abusive myself, but i didn’t stand up for myself when i should have, and didn’t show him how a wife wants to be treated.  i let him walk all over me, then just blew up at him when i couldn’t take it any more.  i kept trying to get him to change, rather than changing my attitude and reactions to him.

i can honestly say, that when i stand up for myself now, and tell him how i feel, he may balk at first, but he is way more likely to listen than before, when i would just save it all up inside and then spew my anger out all in one big burst. i am learning more and more how to communicate my needs in a healthy way.  it’s awkward, but it has made a difference just in these short weeks.

don’t get me wrong, his behavior was abusive.  he treated me like crap, and was not a very good husband for a good many years of our relationship.  but now that he sees that i am willing to go as far as leaving him if i have to, he has woken up so to speak.  he doesn’t want to lose our children, our relationship, our friendship, and his status.  he wants to be a good father, good husband, good christian.  he just doesn’t always know how.  he still thinks that he can make insulting jokes and i will just laugh it off.  but now, when i tell him i don’t like it, he takes it seriously, and apologizes.  when he does or says something that hurts me, i tell him right then, or later before bed, but i don’t just jam my emotions down any more, and it feels so much better.

we are both works in progress.

what do you think?  are some abusers able to learn to love?  is it worth the wait?