Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pretend relationship

Now that I am learning more about the roots of vebal abuse, I understand why I called this blog "Keep it Real." [note - that was the original title of this blog]. It is because my so-called 'relationship' isn't real.

Patricia Evans says that verbal abusers pretend a lot. They pretend that they live inside you and therefore know what you are feeling and thinking and what your motives are.

She says that it is precisely when you are most authentic, that the abuser becomes the most enraged. They have created in their minds a "dream woman" and whenever you show that you are not their imaginary friend they feel attacked by your separateness. It is like the only woman they can accept is one who doesn't feel anything they don't want you to feel.

In my case, I have definitely felt for a long time that he is trying to squash me. Like whenever the real Jennie shows up, especially if she is hurt by something he does, he will try to put her back in the box. The dream woman would never feel upset by him because she would think he is perfect.

So now I realize that I never have had a real relationship with him. I doubt that I will, but maybe there is a chance - if he sees it. I am a great believer in people's ability to grow and change and heal, but realistically, I don't think that will happen here.

It is hard to get up the energy to do what I need to do to extricate myself from this marriage. And it is even harder to give up the dream of what I wanted to have. It is hard to give up the beautiful house I have and go back to an apartment.

But in a way, I have to give up my dreams for this marriage in order to have a shot at fulfilling my true desires. My real desires. My desire to be seen for who I am, good and bad. And truly, most of it is good. I am a good person. I am not the vindictive, mean, person out to get him that he thinks I am.

It is ironic how it is precisely because he continues to think the worst of me that I get to that point sometimes of feeling hate for him. I don't really hate him, I hate being put in a box. I hate having my so-called 'partner' think the worst of me. I have not acted in a way which merits his paranoia. It is his issue.

He seems to like me best when I am 'nice'. It seems that it is not terribly important to him that I actually be happy, just that I act happy in order to fulfill his need to have a Barbie doll.

Well I'm not happy and he says he is "tired of you feeling that way". It must be exhausting or him to always have to fight to extinguish the real person because it is exhausting for me to have to fight to keep the real person alive.

Right now he is giving me the silent treatment. I guess maybe he thinks that is really hurting me for him to withdraw his love and affection and communication. He would probably be surprised to learn that actually it is a relief.

Patricia Evans says that they get a feeling of power from frustrating you by withholding. So my job is to show how little it affects me. I need to not give him the payoff.

But really, you can't have a relationship with someone who get off on withholding. That's not relating, that's a win-lose power battle. I'll just float away, like a swan, drifting away smoothly to a better place.

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You


Sunday, February 10, 2008


So maybe this blog will turn out to be about verbal and other emotional abuse and my escape from it. It will end. He will either knock it off or I will be gone.

I feel so exhausted. So tired of having to fight to even be heard, to say no you may not invalidate my feelings. I am so tired of so many interactions feeling like battles.

Three weeks ago he called me a bitch - again. He made it about five months between contemptuous names this time. The last was in August when he called me a cunt.

This time, I bought one of Patricia Evan's books "The Verbally Abusive Man. - Can he Change?", and borrowed two of her other books from the library. After reading them, so many pieces of the puzzle are coming together for me. And I am changing the way I react to his attempts to define me. That seems to be the common thread - he attempts to define me.

Today I told him how I sometimes feel like I am in a war. Well, he didn't like my feelings so he told me my feelings were "not productive" and even "destructive". Unfortunately I did get caught up in a bit of an "explaining" session with him which Patricia says not to do.

It is amazing, that he would presume to tell me which of my feelings are "not productive". As if he is some sort of emotional master rather than emotionally developmentally delayed. Unbelieveable.

I am worn out. I started the day feeling happy and looking forward to it, and then the battle began. The weather was nice today and I went for a walk and talked with a friend on the phone. That was good. Otherwise, it has just been draining.

When I came home from the walk, it seemed the life that had stirred in me now froze. Froze when I saw his face in the window and knew I had to be in the same house with him. Froze because it seems that going into an emotional deep freeze is the only way to survive.

But I will make it. Somehow I will make it. I'll get a job. I'll get other things in my life squared away. I'll get out. I'll get gone. This isn't living and it sure as hell isn't love.


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