internal conflict

He bought me a little plant that I like a lot.  It’s called String of Pearls and I had a gorgeous one when I lived in another state ten-plus years ago before we moved here.

Then I finally found one here a couple of years ago, but it died this past fall.

And today, he gave me another one.

He also helped me bring in my tender plants that can’t handle how cold it is going to get tonight and tomorrow night.

While I am thrilled to have another String of Pearls and I appreciate the help with bringing in the plants, it also fills me with conflict.

I really hate that.  I hate that internal conflict of being with someone who is sometimes nice and sometimes mean.

Just part of the insanity…

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things I’ve learned

I was outside, cleaning up in my garden a little.  (I have way too much stuff, even in the garden!!!!)

And I was thinking.

I will be fifty in another year and I was wondering what I had actually learned in all these years.  Time just goes and goes and I wonder if I am a better person at all, if I have learned anything at all in all this time.

Yeah, I was kinda being down on myself.

So then I made myself think about what I might have actually learned.

And I have learned one or two things.

I’ve learned that being co-dependent doesn’t work.

I’ve learned that I need to trust God.  Not that I do that very well or very often, but I do know that I need to.

I’ve learned that I need to wear gloves when I am working with thorny plants.  Or maybe I haven’t learned that yet because I didn’t put on my gloves until I after I got thorns in my thumb.

While I was thinking about these things, I realized why I was having such a hard time letting go of the conflict with my supervisor.  (See post.)

I realized that I wasn’t forgiving myself for getting in trouble, for making a mistake.

So this is one lesson I am still in the process of learning – it’s okay to be human.  It’s okay to make mistakes!!!   I need to forgive myself, learn what I need to learn, and move on.

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my supervisor

I got in trouble at work this past week.

My supervisor took exception to some emails that I sent to her.

I’ve worked for this company for over two and half years.  I’ve worked for this supervisor for over a year.  No one has ever complained about my emails.

I do try to be kind and tactful, but I guess I’m also pretty straight forward.  Apparently, this past week, she didn’t like that.

One of my responsibilities is to take in requests to use the suite that we hold at an event center in our city.  The events and who wants to use them are tracked on a spreadsheet on a shared drive.  In case you don’t know (and forgive me if you do), a shared drive means that multiple people can access the files stored there.  So, everyone in our department can open and edit and use all the files in the shared drive.

She made a change about who was using tickets on the spreadsheet, which, obviously, since she is the department manager, she has the jurisdiction to do.  The next time I opened the spreadsheet, which usually is my responsibility, I saw the change, but didn’t know anything about it.

So, I emailed her.  I asked her if the person who had been going to use the tickets knew of the change.  I also said to please email me when there are changes on the spreadsheet.

She didn’t like this.  She didn’t think I needed to know these things.

I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t.  But, then again, since the responsibility had been given to me, maybe I do.  I just don’t know.  I really don’t know.

Maybe part of my reaction comes from living with a passive aggressive person where you never know what is going on.  You just don’t know.  And therefore, you don’t know how to prepare.  You don’t know how you are supposed to handle things because they always change.

My supervisor tends not to be good at communicating with me.  And when she does, she writes and talks (and thinks) so differently than I do, that I don’t think she understands at all where I am coming from.  It’s kind of frustrating.  I want to say, you don’t understand what I am trying to tell you, but I also don’t want to be in your face about it.  After all, she is my supervisor.  And, I’m just not an in-your-face kind of person.

She’s about twenty years younger than I am.  And some people think she’s kind of strange.

Here’s the other thing she didn’t like.  My company will pay us for four hours a month of community service.  Some of our local elementary schools have a “community reader day,” where business people come in and read a book to an elementary classroom.

I love reading so I volunteered to do this last school year.  I was asked again by the school system if I would be willing to do it again and I agreed.

I sent my supervisor telling my supervisor the date and time when I volunteered.  Apparently, I should have asked instead of telling.

The thing is, though, I’ve always said, both with her and with my previous supervisor, I have an appointment at such and such a time and need someone to cover for me.   Just a straight forward email.  Period.

You know, I think I get the hierarchy, but I’m also not in grade school.  I shouldn’t have to raise my hand to get permission to go to the bathroom.

Oh, and there was one more thing.  She had been out on maternity leave for three months and returned about a month ago.  A few weeks before she went out on maternity leave, she told me that my previous supervisor would be the one for me to contact when I needed someone to cover for me for lunch and appointments and stuff.  So I have been working with my previous supervisor on those things and kept doing so even when my current supervisor came back from maternity leave.  Nobody said anything about doing it any differently.  So I kept doing it the way it was.

Wrong.

I told my previous supervisor that I would need most of Thursday afternoon off.  Later, I asked someone in human resources if I could use bereavement time later in the week, even though it wasn’t right up against the funeral. (I was going to go talk to the counselor.)  I thought I was asking about HR policy, but apparently, it didn’t come across that way.  The HR person told me to talk to my supervisor about it.  I decided to just not bother about trying to use bereavement time and so I didn’t say anything to my current supervisor about it.   The HR person told my current supervisor about my request and my current supervisor talked to my previous supervisor and found out I had asked for that time out and was offended that I hadn’t talked to her, my current supervisor.  My current supervisor didn’t understand the timing of my requests/questions and she also didn’t understand that I didn’t know whether my current supervisor or my previous supervisor was the one scheduling coverage for me.

Ugh!!!

Yeah, I know.  I sound kind of whiney.  I guess the thing is, I try so hard to do a good job at work.   I try to be there for people and help people.   I try to do everything right.  I try to get things done for people and reply to emails as fast as I can and rearrange things I’ve scheduled for them if needed.  I try to work hard for my company and do a good job.  I try to communicate with people.  I try to be nice and kind and helpful to people.  But I don’t quite get this.  I guess I have to be more careful in the way I write my emails to her.  She is rather flowery, if that is the right word, in her emails.   She uses a lot of jargon, which I don’t do.  I guess I just have to cater to her since she is the one who does my annual review.  (Is it possible to cater to someone and not be codependent at the same time?)

I think one big reason why this is so hard for me at the moment is that it is bad enough walking around on eggshells at home and having to protect myself at home and second guess myself and everything else at home and I really do not want to have to do that at work, too.

She makes me feel the way I feel at home.  I just never know.  I don’t know if she is going to reply to an email.  I don’t know if she is going to give me an answer that I need.   I don’t know if I can ask her.  I don’t know if I understand what she wants me to do.  I don’t know if I am doing it the way she wants me to do it.  I just don’t know.

I’m sorry this is such a long, convoluted post.   I try not to do that to you.  I just needed to get these things off of my chest.  I need to stop dwelling on them and obsessing over them.  I also need to stop feeling like a victim.

I just need to let it all go.

 

 

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Sexual Assault

[This post is taken from another website:  womensfreedomcenter.net.  I did not write it; I only wanted to have a record of it here.]

Sexual Violence & Consent

Sexual violence includes a wide range of non-consensual sexual activities, which may be perpetrated by partners, friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers. Sexual violence may include but is not limited to:

Sexual Assault or Rape

  • Unwanted oral, anal, and vaginal penetration by penis, hand, finger, or other foreign object that is attempted or completed; commonly known as rape
  • Unwanted contact between the mouth and penis, vulva, or anus
  • Unwanted sexual touching, both above and underneath clothing
  • Forcing an individual to masturbate or masturbate another party
  • Physical sexual acts forced through threats of violence or coercion
  • Sexual abuse is a term commonly used when discussing sexual assault, and refers to a series of repeated acts

Many people think that most rapes are committed by strangers, but the reality is that most women are raped by someone they know.

Sexual Harassment

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Any hostile environment (workplace, school, etc.) where sexual joking, viewing of pornography, and/or degrading images are present

In Vermont the words rape and sexual assault mean the same thing.

It is a crime in Vermont to have sex with someone without their consent. In Vermont, the crime of sexual assault occurs there is penetration of any kind (vaginal, oral, or anal) by a body part or object:

  • Without a person’s consent
  • When force or threat of force is present
  • When a person coerces (pressures or intimidates) you
  • When a person is under the age of 16
  • When drugs or alcohol are given to you without your knowledge or permission

It’s sexual assault even if the other person is your partner. It’s sexual assault even if you were drinking or using drugs. It is sexual assault no matter what you were wearing or where you were.

Sexual violence is not about sexual attraction.

Sexual violence is about power and control.

Consent

Consent is permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. When sex is 
consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Non-consensual sex, or sex without someone’s agreement or permission, is sexual assault.
Consent needs to be clear. Consent is more than not hearing the word “no.” A partner saying nothing is not the same as a partner saying “yes.” Don’t rely on body language, past sexual interactions or any other non-verbal cues. Never assume you have consent. Always be sure you have consent.

Sexual consent can only be FREELY given if:

  • There is a sufficient balance of power in the relationship. There is no significant age, developmental or status differences. One person doesn’t have authority over the other.
  • No one has used or threatened to use violence over the other.
    Both people are aware of the consequences of sexual activity, both positive and negative, and know what will happen next. Decisions have been made together about birth control and STD/HIV protection, both people agree to what types of contact are okay, both people understand what it means for their relationship together.
  • It is safe to say no. There is no pressure, tricks or manipulation to say yes, no threats of harm or embarrassment. There are no negative consequences for saying no, no teasing, no pressure, no jokes or telling other people.
  • If you say yes you can change your mind or stop at anytime. You feel comfortable that if you change your mind at any point you will be respected and listened to.
  • Neither party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If someone is drunk or high, they can’t really say yes for sure. Save sexual activity for when you’re both sober.

Remember:

You have a right to your feelings, what might feel right one time may not feel right the next time.

You don’t have to do something again just because you did it once.

You have a right to set your boundaries and talk about them.

[From: http://womensfreedomcenter.net/get-informed/sexual-violence-consent/]

 

 

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After…

I think the thing that gets me most about what happened (see post) is that, on Friday night, after I said, if you loved me, you wouldn’t ask me to do something that hurts me, he kept pressuring me to have sex with him.  And then on Saturday morning, he got on top of me and was using me and trying to get me to make love with him.

After I told him that if he loved me, he wouldn’t ask me to do something that hurts me.

 

 

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comforting him…

He is often sad about his mom’s death (understandably) and needs to talk and cry.

I’m trying to be comforting.

But I am also finding it difficult.

I know this is a hard time for him.  I understand that.  I really do.

But I also am having a hard time trying to listen to him and be there for him after what happened last week-end.

I just want him to go away.  I don’t like being around him.

 

 

 

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thoughts

His mother died yesterday morning.

I am okay with her death.  I don’t think I was quite the daughter-in-law and neighbor she hoped I would be.  I think because we didn’t really have any shared interests, it was kind of hard for me to be close to her.  Also, because of the way things are at home with my husband, it makes it hard to be at his parents’ house.

She was 77 and in a lot of pain, so her death is a relief for her.

My husband said that when she was in the hospital that she was sad that she wouldn’t be able to give her things away to the people she wanted to give them to.  She was a kind person.  She liked to feed you and to find something to give to you.  She got married when she was 17 and she had six children.  All of her children and many grandkids and great grandkids will be at her memorial service tomorrow.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m still sleeping in the living room.

A number of times during the week, I have felt like I wanted to talk to someone about what happened last week-end.  (See post.)  But I haven’t been able to because I don’t know how to explain it, how to define it.   We have an Employee Assistance Program at work so there is a number I can call and talk to someone about anything I need to.   From there, they can refer me to someone who can give me more help.  So I’ve thought about calling the EAP person – I’ve done that before, last fall – but I haven’t called.  I don’t know how to explain it.  The other thing is, even if I do talk to someone, then what?  I don’t know.

I have an appointment this week with the counselor that I am seeing.  I haven’t decided if I am comfortable with telling him about what happened.

I guess I keep hoping that something will just “work out” for me, that things will somehow just fall into place for me, without me having to do something.  How lazy is that?

Maybe he’ll go live with his dad to look after his dad.  Although he is probably too selfish to do that.

I wish – and I am so good at wishing – that somehow he would agree that we should separate and then I could have the time and the space that I need to clean my stuff out of the house.  The way it is now, I feel too exhausted emotionally to work on getting rid of my stuff.  Maybe that sounds silly, but it is something I really struggle with.

It is uncomfortable physically to sleep in the living room, but emotionally, it is very relaxing to sleep in the living room!  I’m getting used to the narrowness of the sofa cushion so that doesn’t really bother me anymore.  It’s kind of hard, though.  I’ve looked a little at air beds, but I haven’t bought anything yet.

Thank you so much for your thought and prayers and comments.  I know I haven’t replied to your comments, but I read them and reread them and they mean an awful lot to me.

 

 

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His mom

His mom is unresponsive this morning and they put her on oxygen.

For about the past week and half, she has been in the hospital and then a rehab center.

My husband and his dad will be going over there as soon as his dad gets dressed.

When my husband told me this this morning, he started crying.

He was finishing making his breakfast and then sat down to eat it.  I stood beside him and put my arm around his shoulders and he put his arm around my waist.

I know this is hard for him, and even though I don’t love him, I know he needs the comfort.  I just listened to him talk.

I can be there for him as a detached friend through this.  I’m just that kind of person.

However, I’m also aware that there probably will be retaliation at some point down the road for my kindness and compassion towards him.  And anger taken out on me about all of this.

I’ve slept in the living room all week and that is not going to change.

I can be a friend through a difficult time, but I won’t go back in bed with him.  That would be too risky.

 

 

 

 

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he apologized

He said, I want to apologize to you.  I’m sorry I hurt you. Please, can’t you forgive me?

I’m still sleeping in the living room.

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slept in the living room

I slept in the living room last night.

I had gotten everything ready to sleep in my older daughter’s bedroom (she lives and goes to college in another state), but when it came time to go to bed, for some reason, I couldn’t sleep in there.

So I slept in the living room.

My mind has been kinda numb for the past twenty-four hours.   I guess it’s reaction.

Sometimes my mind is a little fuddled anyway; I think maybe it is hormones.  And stress.

But yesterday was worse.

This morning I looked on craigslist for a place, but everything is too expensive.

There is a real estate agent office on the first floor of the building where I work.  I need to be brave and do what I have to do.

I read a quote this morning:

“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”

That’s what I do.  I wish.  Oh, I am so good at wishing!!!

I used to have more of a backbone, but in the past few years, I have really doubted myself a lot and I don’t have the same backbone that I once did.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

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