Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"I Just Lost It"

If you've been abused, you've probably heard that one. "I just lost it". I've never believed it and today I saw the most ridiculous example yet of that particular mode of denying responsibility.

He was up first today and made some coffee. I poured myself a cup and tasted it. Yuck. There is a particular brand of coffee he sometimes buys that I don't like at all. It tastes like very weak coffee brewed with soapy water.

I did the considerate thing and asked if he wanted the coffee I had just poured but didn't want to drink, because I was going to make a new pot. "Sure", he said.

While pouring the coffee from my cup into his nearly empty cup, I spilled some. "Way to go. Nice job.", he said sarcastically. I looked at him and said, "You know, when you say things like that, it makes it highly unlikely I will try to do anything nice for you in the future." He averted his eyes, said nothing and went to get a napkin to wipe up the spill.

A couple hours later he said "I'm sorry I barked at you." "I just lost it." How pathetic. The other times he claims to have "lost it" at least feelings were running high, and while there is no excuse for abusive behavior, at least it is understandable that he may have had strong feelings. Now he tells me "I just lost it" as if anyone would become enraged when some coffee was spilled!?!

He spills stuff constantly and I have never put him down for that. I've always been a bit of a spiller. He used to say he found my clumsiness "cute" and "endearing". It is only now, when I am not falling for his crap anymore, that it becomes an opportunity for him to abuse me. What an idiot.

Next time, I'll just pour the coffee down the drain rather than offer it to him. If that upsets him I'll say, "Sorry, I just lost it."

It's hard to train myself out of acting with basic courtesy towards a person in the same house, but I'm slowly learning.



Anonymous said...

Maybe you would want to blog on a recovering tone..and not on a damaging tone ..for your r/s...

i think focusing on problems will not help..but focus on a solution..
that might help ur marriage a little. it wont change things over night.. but slowly and steadily.. ur r/s will move towards tt direction..

jennie said...

Thanks for your comment anon. I'm sure you mean well.

I don't try to set any particular tone for what I write in my blog. I'm not an expert, just a woman trying to make sense of what has happened and reclaim my life. If others find something of value from what I share, I am glad.

Your suggestion of focusing on solutions rather than problems is a sensible one in a non-abusive relationship. Believe me, I have been there and done that. Thinking that doing so will change an abusive relationship into a non-abusive relationship is a trap that can keep us stuck.

When one partner's view of relationships is based on competition, power and control, it cannot work regardless of what the other does. One person alone cannot create a relationship of mutuality and cooperation.

Part of recovery is expressing anger about having been treated poorly.

Avi said...

I will tend to agree with Jennie. I too am not an expert, just very verbally abused husband. What I do know is that I have just started stopping to have-good-manners-and-hope-that-eventually-she'll-turn-around. Instead I have followed Patricia Evans' advice and STOPPED TAKING THE ABUSE. In essence, stopped "enabling" the abuse. One of the things that comes across in Patricia's material is that its not about the technique, or the specific words we use. Its about the attitude. That’s the difference. I find that once I TRULY WILL NOT ACCEPT NOR ALLOW THE ABUSE, I feel better, and my wife seems to back off. It seems to me, feels to me, that its not the words so much as the "energy" between me and my wife that either allows or does not allow her to gain the power/control she desires. There is a lot more to my thoughts and experience on this but perhaps you can identify with what I am saying.

jennie said...

Excellent insight Avi. I agree and I would love to hear more from you about your experiences.

I am discovering that the attitude which seems to work best for me is indifference. Negative attention is still attention and a power rush to someone who sees relationships as a competition. Indifference takes away the payoff.

It works best when I feel it genuinely, but even when I don't, "fake it til you make it" works pretty well.

Anonymous said...

I have truly been relieved to find your blog! I have just recently acknowledged that my husband verbally abuses me and has probably since the get go which is about 34 years. Don't they say "Better late than Never":) I just purchased 2 books the other day that aren't here yet to help me better understand things, but I would guess they are going to say exactly what I have read here just now. I want to thank you for putting your feelings out there for those of us who need it can find it! Thank you again. I am just starting this journey with my new found wisdom and am not stupid enough to believe it will be smooth sailing, I expect quite the opposite. I am not sure at this point if I can still remain hopeful, the state I have been in all our years together, but I do believe people can change if they want it badly enough. Thanks again and I will sign up for your blog, know that you are the 1st one that I have ever done that with:)
My husband used to also physically abuse me until I quit drinking almost 20 years ago, I then found that I had a mind of my own:) And also made it clear that if it happened again then the police would be called and to hell with the consequences. The only thing now is that I feel really stupid in that I just put a name to what he does and what I have let happen by not seeing it sooner.

Blog Directory - Blogged BlogCatalog