“A Cry for Justice”

Recently, through some of my readers, I have become aware of the website “A Cry for Justice.”

Whenever I read things posted on that site, I start feeling really shaky and really scared and almost tearful.  I don’t know why and I can’t really describe it.

While the title of my blog is “Passive Aggressive Abuse,” I often feel it isn’t fair to compare what I go through to those in truly horrible abusive situations – physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and much stronger emotional abuse.

And yet when I read the emotional reactions and thought processes of women in abusive situations, I realize that my emotions and thought processes are very similar.

It scares me that my responses are the same.  I don’t know how to explain it.

I’m not sure what I am trying to say here.  Maybe I’m just trying to sort out my thoughts.

I really, really, really appreciate the definition of abuse that is given on “A Cry for Justice“:

Very few people know what abuse really is, though everyone seems quite ready to give advice to its victims. If you believe that abuse is physical battering, you have some learning to do.

Abuse is fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself* as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control. The abuser is not hampered in these efforts by the pangs of a healthy conscience and indeed often lacks a conscience.

While this mentality of power and control often expresses itself in various forms of physical abuse, it just as frequently employs tactics of verbal, emotional, financial, social, sexual and spiritual abuse. Thus, an abuser may never actually lay a hand on his wife and yet be very actively terrorizing her in incredibly damaging ways.

Abuse in any of its forms destroys the victim’s person. Abuse, in the end, is murder.

* Sometimes the genders are reversed.

And I find that the “Abuse Cycle” chart, again on “A Cry for Justice,” often fits with passive aggressive behavior as well.

 

Abuse Cycle

 

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a new phone

I woke up depressed again.  No surprise there.

(I wonder what it is like to function without depression?  What would that feel like?  How do people do that?  What would it be like to be naturally positive and optimistic?  What would it be like to wake up happy?)

I lay in bed and cried out to God that He would heal me – of the pain, of the depression.  I often pray this.  I cried that He would help me trust Him.  I pray this one almost continually.  I usually feel that He doesn’t care about me, but I try to remind myself that He has a plan for my life, that He does care.

Anyhow, I finally dragged myself out of bed.

He recently switched our cell phone plan to a cheaper one.   So we had to get new phones.  Smart phones.  I didn’t have a smart phone before and I was fine with that.  I could make calls, text, take pictures and set the alarm.  I really didn’t need anything else.  Really.  I didn’t.

But with the new plan, I had to have the Smartphone that went with the plan.  (You just think Google is your friend; Google is actually taking over the universe.)  Yesterday, my number was ported over from my old phone, which I was fine with, to my phone.

When I got out of bed this morning, I “turned on” my new phone, although it was already on, but I can’t think how else to say it.  I pushed that little button thingy on the side that made the screen display from being hibernated.  Is that better?

Guess what!

There was his face.

He had taken a picture of himself with my phone and set it as the wallpaper on my phone.

You know, usually I just wish he would go away.  Go away.  Leave me alone.  Live your life somewhere else.

But sometimes, I wish he would die.

Usually I feel guilty about wishing he would die because if he died, his parents and his siblings and his friends and his church would be sad.  So I just wish he would go away.

But this morning, I wished he would just die.

I know I can figure out how to reset the wallpaper on my phone and I will make it through this newest “trick” of his.

“Nothing lasts forever….”

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counseling???

First I want to thank you for the so very encouraging comments I received on yesterday’s post.  Your comments – on that post and on all of my posts – mean so very, very much to me.  I know I don’t usually respond to comments, but please believe me that what you write to me means an incredible lot to me.  You cheer me and warm my heart.  Sometimes you make me cry, but only because of your caring.  Thank you.

Today did go better.  I made some pretty good progress on the paperwork that I need to get caught up on and my printer got fixed – while I was at lunch! – so that worked out well.  And I didn’t cry at work today.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the businesses on the first floor of the office building that I work in is a real estate company.  One morning a couple of weeks ago, one of the real estate agents was in the lobby soliciting business – taking business cards for a drawing, asking people if they might be selling or buying or if they knew anyone who might be selling or buying.  I stopped and told him that I might be looking for a place to rent, so he said to write down my name and phone number and make a note that I was looking for a place to rent.

I did, but I didn’t hear from him -until this week.

He called me on Wednesday and I told him briefly that I was thinking about leaving my husband and that I sometimes look for places to rent, but that everything is too expensive.  I thought a real estate agent might know of a back house or garage apartment or something like that for rent that wouldn’t be advertised on craigslist or Trulia or anything like that.

Well, he told me that he was also a pastor and asked me if I was in physical danger.  I told him, no, but then he talked with me a little and offered to counsel my husband and me to see if he could help our marriage.  I told him that I had been wondering about asking my husband again about counseling, but I felt that it hadn’t done any good in the past and that I didn’t know about spending the time and money to try again.  He encouraged me to ask my husband if he would consider counseling, whether with him or with someone else.  He said to take my husband out on a date and ask him about it.

So tonight we went to a hamburger joint that my husband went to last week and liked.  (It wasn’t what I expected, but it was okay.  Somehow, I thought it was going to be “nicer,” but that was probably my misunderstanding from how he was describing it to me.  But it wasn’t bad or anything.  Just different from what I had expected.)

I told my husband that I met a realtor in the office building and we got to talking and it turns out he is a pastor, etc,….  I didn’t say anything about looking for an apartment.  I asked my husband if he would be interested in counseling with this man.

I didn’t expect him to, but my husband said, yes.

You know, one thing I like about going out with my husband after work is that we meet at the restaurant.  Which means I get to drive home by myself.

Driving home, I felt so, so, so wretched and miserable.

I don’t want to counsel.  I don’t want things to “get better.”  I felt this horrible sinking feeling that if we go to counseling that I will have to stay with him.  It was an awful, hopeless feeling.  I wanted to die.

Maybe, though, I need to know one last time whether or not there is any chance that things could be any different.  I don’t know.

I don’t know why I am doing this.  Maybe it is because I feel guilty that I want to leave.

Anyhow….

I can have chocolate chips for breakfast…

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gotta “talk”…

I’m tired and depressed tonight, so please forgive this post.  But I need to “talk.”

You are my shoulder to cry on tonight.

You, should you chose to do so, get to listen to my pity party.

I hate that there is nothing.  I hate that I cry so much.  I hate that I find so little joy in life anymore.  I hate that I am stuck and can’t seem to get out.

I feel so frustrated in my job.  It’s not fulfilling to me.  I really, truly am trying to do a good job at work but I still feel so often like I am failing.

I had my annual review yesterday.  I hate those.  They are so stupid.  Of course, my boss said the good things that I do but I feel wretched that I am never good enough.   And then I feel like I am about 2 years old and getting into trouble.  (It’s called regression.)  But I have to put on a brave face and try to do even better only to be told again next year that I wasn’t good enough.   Of course, my boss doesn’t look at it this way and good for her.  Whatever.  I know this paragraph might sound like I got a bad review; I didn’t.  It’s just me being wounded.  It’s all the old voices of coming home with a B and my dad wanting to know why it wasn’t an A and coming home with an A and my dad wanting to know why it wasn’t an A+.  Never good enough.  I hate those old records.  I try to talk myself out of them, but they are stuck very deeply.

I hate wanting to love and to be loved.  I hate that so much!  I feel so stupid, so very, very stupid for wanting that.  I feel so messed up and worthless.

And sometimes, too often, I find myself thinking that maybe I couldn’t get along with anybody, that I would ruin any relationship that I was in, that I am not good enough to loved, that I am too hard to love, that nobody would actually want me and be able to live with me.

I hate it that I cry so much.  I don’t want that.  I don’t know how much is hormonal, how much is “stress,”  how much is the chemical malfunction that is depression, how much of it is negative thought patterns.  Sometimes I think about drugs (medication) but I’m scared to that.  I am going to start using St. John’s Wort again.  Sometimes I’m just too tired to deal with anything.  At least I made it through the day, the work day, without crying.  I cried most of the way home, though.  I didn’t get enough sleep last night and on top of the annual review and just … everything.

You know what else I hate?  Do you know what I look forward to most each day?  Breakfast.  You know why?  Because I eat chocolate chips.  Isn’t that pathetic?  You want to know what I eat for breakfast?  Coconut flakes.  Chia seeds.  Flax seed meal.  All very healthy.  And chocolate chips.   I will find myself comforting myself during the day by reminding myself that I can eat breakfast again the next morning and have my chocolate chips.

There is a book I need to write about called, “When Food is Love.”  I have my chocolate, but I don’t have my relationships.  It makes me so sad that I am so screwed up.

Well, I should go take my shower so I can go to bed and see if I can get enough sleep tonight.

Oh, and I got a thirty-one cent raise.  This will probably sound really ungrateful, but I feel like it is just a token.  Please don’t think that I believe that I deserve some huge raise or anything; it’s not that at all.  And I am glad that at least my employer does give raises.  But it still feels like a token, a symbolic gesture.  It’s like barely more than ten dollars a week.   Whoo-hoo.  Again, please forgive me – I don’t mean to sound like a terrible person.  I am just feeling really discouraged about everything tonight.

There is one part of my job at work that I am behind in.  It’s paperwork stuff.  Well, I am behind because I was busting my butt to get ready for an audit and that was the priority.  And now I am being chided because I’ve not gotten caught up on the other stuff.  I feel so frustrated.  I do my best, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day and I get in trouble if I work even one minute over-time.  Anyhow, I am praying that I will, somehow, get caught up on this paperwork.  And my printer hasn’t been working right, so tomorrow the printer repairman will come work on it for me, but while he is working on it, I won’t be able to use it to print what I need to print to get caught up.  Ugh!

Maybe somehow it will all work out.

Maybe somehow tomorrow will be better.

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last night…

Last night, he made dinner, so that was nice.  I didn’t have to worry about it after I got home from work.

(It didn’t taste very good and I didn’t want to eat it, but I did anyway.  I hate it that I do that.  My daughter didn’t eat hers, but “re-made” it this morning so it was more palatable.  She said that she has standards.  I admire her for doing what I obviously couldn’t.)

Anyhow, it was still nice that he made dinner.

We had reasonable conversation while we ate.  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible.  I had enough patience to get through it and be nice and managed to stay at the table longer than I usually do when the two of us are eating together at the table.

(Wow – all of this sounds awful…. yuck!)

The point I am trying to make – and probably not succeeding at – was that it was a relatively “pleasant” evening for us.  I’m sure he thought so and I didn’t dislike the evening as much as I often do.

But I kept thinking, this is going well … what is going to happen?  With a passive aggressive person, you know a positive thing in the relationship can’t last.

Almost always on Friday nights, he rubs my feet.  It feels good to have my feet rubbed and he almost always offers, so I don’t turn him down.

Last night, I showered and got in bed earlier than I usually do because I was exhausted from the week.  I was even looking forward to the foot-rub.

Well, guess what.

When I got out of the bathroom, he was already in bed, “asleep.”

So, dinner, conversation … but no foot rub.

Of course not.

A good thing can’t last!

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oh, so good

You know, the thing that gets me ….

It’s when he is nice.

Sometimes he….

…washes the dishes.

…brings in the groceries.

…offers to make dinner or buy dinner.

…takes out the trash.

He always feeds the cats and the chickens.  He pays the bills.  He gives me cash for groceries.

Every morning, he gives me a hug (not that I really want him to, but I started letting him again) and tells me that he hopes that I have a good day.

Those things are almost harder than when he is mean, if that makes any sense.

When I am lying on the floor crying at 2:00 am because I am so depressed that I want to kill myself, and he says absolutely nothing, somehow, that I can handle better than when he offers to carry in the groceries.

Does that make any sense?  Any sense at all?

I guess that him not paying me any attention when I am crying is to be expected.  The other “acts of kindness” may or may not happen.  And when they do happen, I am tense because I don’t know what is coming next.

I think I’ve told you that he and I belong to two different churches.  So this past week end, late at night, after we’ve already gone to bed, he said to me, in a very off-hand way, someone you know gave one of the messages today.  (I know some of the people where he attends church.)  So I played his guessing game for a couple of minutes and then gave up. It turned out, he was the one who gave one of the messages at church.  And they liked it.

I had such an intense reaction this.

I felt stabbed.  He hadn’t told me beforehand that he had been called upon to do this.  I would guess that in a loving marriage, this would be something a husband would share with his wife.  But we obviously don’t have that.

I felt punched.  He looks like such a grand, righteous guy at church and I am the scummy wife who doesn’t attend with him.  (His church is much, much, much bigger than the one I belong to and he tries to get me to attend with him.)

And I felt wretched.  I felt so unrighteous.  I am the scummy wife.  I blog in the dark about his misdeeds.  I want him to go away, just go away and leave me alone.  And I wish I was with someone else.  I am the scummy wife.

And he is, oh, so good.

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romance

This past week, a girl at work got engaged.  I am very happy for her.  He seems like a nice guy.  I told her that I hope each year gets better from them.

The day she was showing off her new ring, one of the men at work decided he wanted to buy his wife a present because it was the anniversary of how long they had been together.  Not how long they had been married – how long they had been together.  How sweet is that?  I was impressed. He showed me a picture of the pearl and diamond earrings he is buying her.

Also this week, I was talking with another man at work and he was saying that he is going to take dance lessons with his wife because she likes to dance and he wants to be able for them to do more moves together when they dance.  Again, how sweet is that?  Apparently, they go dancing every couple of weeks or so.  He’s got to be in his 50’s-60’s.  Again, I was impressed.

I received a proposal this week.  Some of the cubicles in our office have been removed and have been made into individual office.  There is a city electrical inspector that has visited several times to inspect the work.  The first time he came, when he left, he came up to me and said, pointedly, “Today I saw an angel.”  Each of the times he has come to do an inspection, he has something like that, whether he saw an angel or asking me if anyone had told me yet that day that I was beautiful.  Maybe it was the tiniest bit creepy, but it was also kind of sweet.  This past week, when he was getting ready to leave, he came over to my desk and told me that he had been dreading this day that he wouldn’t have to come inspect anymore.  He told me that he would come back and bring flowers and chocolate.  He told me that he didn’t have a lot of money, but that he had 18 and half acres, horses, and a motorcycle and that he was looking for a good woman to mow his grass.  I laughed and told him that I was still married.  He said for me to tell my husband that he had competition.  While I was not attracted to this man, it still was sweet and I don’t doubt that he would have gladly taken me home with him.  He really did seem to like me.

Meanwhile, for an assignment in one of her classes, my younger daughter had to write about five things that meant a lot to her – she chose love, friendship, family, security, and spirituality – and five things that didn’t mean so much to her – she chose style, travel, adventure, power. and marriage.

Here is what she wrote about marriage:

Marriage – An arrangement in which two people who may or may not love each other are attached to one another by binding means, such as law or an oath. A woman believes she deserves a certain man, and then makes a nearly unbreakable oath to spend the rest of her life with this man, only to find out later than he may or may not actually be a good person. To me, this is marriage. Marriage is not important to me mostly because I’m simply not married right now. It is not something that I actively plan for/thing about.

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Depression

(The article below is by Dr. Keith Ablow.  I did not write it.)

Robin Williams, a comic genius and one of the great storytellers of our time, apparently chose to end his life because he could not see the next chapter of his own story as containing anything other than unbearable psychological pain.

Such is the power of depression – an affliction which is almost unimaginable to those who have not suffered with it — to twist the truth into something unrecognizable. For the truth is that there were many new and wonderful pages awaiting Robin Williams; he just couldn’t imagine them. He couldn’t believe the darkness would ever end.

Depression is the grand imposter — posing as all powerful.  It can be defeated, every time, if you or the person you care about confronts it like the grand imposter that it is.

Depression is always, to an extent, a psychotic illness. It steals reality — which is, in large measure, defined by the completely justifiable hope in tomorrow’s possibilities — and replaces it with a world in which one doubts his or her abilities, discounts to zero his or her past successes, doubts love, doubts friendship and doubts God.

In its worst forms, it is much more than profound sadness; it is the conviction that nothing good will ever occur, sometimes coupled with horrific and constant anxiety that something unspeakably terrible is about to happen–in a minute, or this very night, or tomorrow.

If life is, for all of us, a labyrinth, with sometimes frustrating twists and turns on the way to the center, depression makes life seem, instead, like a never-ending and inescapable maze, with dead ends, frustrations and traps in every direction.

This scourge affected 17 – 20 million adults in the last year alone. Suicide is epidemic now. And our mental health care system is in ruins, so unable to respond that cities are spending tens of millions to build safety nets under their bridges to catch those who attempt to jump to their deaths.

I have treated a billionaire who was convinced, with no basis, whatsoever, that his investments were all crumbling and that he was about to be bankrupt.

I have treated an actor who believed that he had ruined his marriage forever by a prior indiscretion and should do the right thing and kill himself, when his marriage remained as strong as ever, despite the lapse.

I have treated a college student who could not leave her room, then not even the bed, so paralyzing was her low energy, coupled with fear.

I have now treated a few thousand people with depression. I have lost not a single one to suicide while under my care.

If this is more than luck, it is because I fear my enemy.  I know depression is every bit as painful as cancer (which studies have proven) and every bit as stealthy. I don’t dance with it or coddle it; I let myself despise it and wage war against it — like the malignancy it is.

When depression won’t yield to psychotherapy, which is designed to uncover the unresolved traumas or hidden truths that can fuel it, I deploy medicines — including, when necessary, Ketamine infusions and even, in rare cases, opiates like oxycodone.  I have used methadone to blunt it, too.  When psychotherapy and medications don’t work, I add new technologies, including repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS and deep rTMS) and, rarely, ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).

I am not proud; if I need help I ask a colleague to consult.

I always — every single time — wonder whether suicidal thinking might defeat me and my patient and I will hospitalize a patient, with or without his or her consent, and without apology, if I think there is any chance that I am dealing with a potentially fatal case.

I utterly refuse to give up and will deploy any and every tool at my disposal to win, because I know that every, single case of major depression is a puzzle that can potentially be solved.  Every one of them.  No exception.  Period.

Today — at this very instant — many thousands of people around the world are suffering with major depression and convinced that their best path is to end their excrutiatingly painful lives. That is never, ever true. It is a fixed and false belief created by the illness itself, like an emotional virus that fools the psychological immune system into surrendering.

Depression is the grand imposter — posing as all powerful.  It can be defeated, every time, if you or the person you care about confronts it like the grand imposter that it is. Tell yourself that, if depression is visiting you.  Tell any friend with depression.  Tell your family members who suffer with it.  It is absolutely true.  I promise you.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.

(Link to original article.)

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“It could be worse…”

“It could be worse…”

When you are feeling down and someone says this to you, do you feel better?

Or do you feel insane?  Frustrated?  Angry?   (fill in the blank) ?

I’d really like to know.

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clutter, anyone???

Do any of you struggle with too much clutter?  Too much stuff?

Can anyone tell me why I can have a box (or multiple boxes) full of stuff that I will not think about for months, or even years, and yet, when I open the box, I can’t get rid of it?

Why is that?

Does anybody have any thoughts or ideas?

Posted in covert abuse, divorce, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships | Tagged | 6 Comments