Passive aggressive is aggressive

The comments left on this article about passive aggressive people were perhaps more interesting to me than the article.

You can read it here:

I think it’s been so many years that I have gallows humor about this at times.  I think I’ll watch Passive Aggressive Man on youtube again just to keep it real.

One thing that stands out to me is how people usually confuse any passive aggressive behavior (which any one can have at particular times) with a person who’s hardwired and driven.  Wanting to avoid a certain conflict and avoiding it passive aggressively is not that uncommon.  Being hostile and resentful and repetitively undermining someone covertly is very different.  Scott Wetzler called it ‘sugar coated hostility’.  About right.

What are your thoughts on the article and comments?

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88 Responses to Passive aggressive is aggressive

  1. Exodus says:

    I think it’s an ‘ok’ article but as you pointed out, there’s a difference between being non-confrontational/confrontational and PA. Non-confrontational personalities are often referred to as PA today because the term is now so commonly used – like narcissism- because so much of our social culture fuels these traits in people. Even in the work place, people are so distrusting of their coworkers now and fear losing their jobs and they withhold and sometimes resort to covert methods of screwing their bosses and coworkers. Years ago, psychologists would refer to people as either confrontational or non-confrontational. It’s very common for confrontational people like myself to get involved with non-confrontational people after all, 2 of the same personality type would not function well in a marriage. Non-confrontational people usually choose more assertive confrontational partners because they need someone like that in life.

    There is definitely a similarity between the NC personality and PA and I tend to think that PA is just an advanced version of it that has manifested in covert destructive repetitive aggression.

    I just sat down a few seconds before your post came in. I am glad to see this because I was so upset PJ’s that I thought I was going to lose it. I was sobbing, praying for help and even about to call my mother for help. That’s how bad it is! Your post took my mind off of this horrible day and my abusive marriage.

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    • Seeing the Light says:

      Exodus, I’m so sorry that you are having such a rough day. It sounds like PJs’ post was an answer to prayer. 🙂

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Exodus, I almost didn’t post! My computer is being hopefully fixed by my oldest son. He’s wiping and reloading it (maybe not the right words, but you get the picture). It sort of ‘died’ but he thinks it was from a trojan-virus, so he’s trying to revive it.

      I borrowed my husband’s computer. The irony. He’s being very nice right now, and I’m going to enjoy it. Well, mostly enjoy it. My radar is turned low, but not off.

      I don’t know what all is happening there in your world, but I bet some of us are sending hugs our through the net waves for you. ((( Exodus )))

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  2. Seeing the Light says:

    PJs, thanks for the article and the video. The video is quirky, but funny. There is a video on youtube that I think is very insightful for its length. It’s just over eight minutes, but it’s a got a lot of information in it. It’s computerized so the voices are wooden. It’s called “Mr Duplicity – the passive Agressive” (it’s misspelled on youtube). I will try to add the link here, but I’m not sure if I’ll do it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U88tcoLQHqU. I watch this every now and then to remind myself it IS abuse. It’s eerie how much he reminds me of my PA man.

    I agree with your remarks: “Wanting to avoid a certain conflict and avoiding it passive aggressively is not that uncommon. Being hostile and resentful and repetitively undermining someone covertly is very different. Scott Wetzler called it ‘sugar coated hostility’. About right.” Sugar-coated hostility is a terrific description. This is not inept or cautious or misguided attempts at compromise or kindness or relationship. It is fundamentally hostility. I appreciate how the article emphasizes this. Getting this through our heads is so important. The PA man is hostile toward his counterpart. That has significant implications for how one responds. It’s one of the reasons I have learned that I must be very careful and remember when I am talking to him that I am not speaking to someone who is in any way on my side. I am for the most part speaking to my enemy who is scanning my communications for what he can use against me one way or the other. I like the comment that recommended giving them no reaction but looking into their eyes. I have used this and have found that it goes a long way. They so much want you to respond in a way that hostility is now in the air, but it is coming from you! When you don’t, but you instead look into them, it exposes them. Depending on their level of hidden rage, you may not actually want to go there and just detach and go indifferent instead.

    Anyone can mishandle situations and engage in behavior someone could categorize as passive aggressive off and on, (especially when living with a crazy-maker), but it is absolutely not the same as having this at your core. “Repetitively undermining someone covertly.” There is something evil in that.

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  3. WritesinPJ's says:

    Seeing, I’ve watched Mr Duplicity, and thought it was good, so thanks for reposting it for everyone!

    I agree there is something evil, but I feel that ‘something’ has also been after my husband since he was just a very young boy. I hope that no matter what happens, that no matter if I’m with him or not, to pray for him.

    If I leave one day, I don’t want it to be because I worked up hate and anger. I want it to be because I grew strong in healthy love for myself, and ultimately even for him, if that’s what is good and best. I always want to move towards something, versus using my energy to push something away.

    There’s another really funny video I’ll post if I can find later.

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  4. Seeing the Light says:

    PJs, I know what you mean about wanting to move towards something. When I think of it, it’s that I’m tired of always having to be against something – I want to be for something.

    I understand your concern for your husband and your mercy toward him due to his life story. I still have a great deal of compassion for mine. I don’t think I will ever end up in hate, but I am not afraid of anger that in my mind is justly due. I have read a lot about the various disorders that may be combined in my husband and talked to therapists about him. In the final analysis, I believe – especially with his profession of Christianity – that somewhere in there he makes choices. I did not have a rosy childhood myself and my family of origin is filled with dysfunction and pain. Some of that contributed to getting me where I am. But at the end of the day, there’s a big difference between trying, searching, apologizing, repenting, taking responsibility and so on versus taking the path of using others to sustain one’s self. I see him doing it now with my children, and an appropriate anger swells in me. I feel very sorry for him and I love him with the general love of the world. It’s the way I feel compassion for even criminals whose horrendous childhoods contributed to them hurting others. It helps, too, when I read biblical passages quoting great saints and their position toward those who persecuted them. I suspect, too, from past blogs that you seem to have had more of a connection with your husband than I was ever able to achieve with mine. I don’t know. But I am at peace with desiring mercy for his soul and a very safe distance for mine and my children’s.

    I’ll look forward to that video if you find it. Isn’t it amazing what we can learn out here? Where would any of us be if we hadn’t been able to start searching the Internet to try to understand what was happening to us?

    By the way, I just want to thank you again for being here. I am grateful that you are here every time I check in.

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    • wornout says:

      Yes, Seeing the Light, I agree! What a blessing it is to be able to have the PA information. I honestly don’t know how I made it through before I discovered all the info and great blogs on the subject. When I realized that my husband was PA I was soo relieved to know what was going on all those years, what it was, and that I wasn’t crazy! But it also broke my heart to learn that he was PA and the ramifications of what that meant for me. I mourned the loss of the relationship that I now knew was impossible to ever have with him. At this point now I’m just trying to make it through each day. I can’t tell you how helpful and comforting this blog and the comments you all make are. You guys are the best! 🙂 And Exodus, there are definitely thoughts and hugs sent your way.

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    • GainingStrength says:

      Seeing, you wrote “I suspect, too, from past blogs that you seem to have had more of a connection with your husband than I was ever able to achieve with mine.” This is my life, too. I never felt connected or part of my husband, we were never one. We shared a house not a love. Sad, but true.

      When you separate or divorce them, they go off into the sunset sure in their belief it’s all our fault and they are pure of heart and blameless. And you…you still suffer with anxiety, fear, etc. Somehow it just doesn’t seem right.

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      • Seeing the Light says:

        Oh my gosh, yes, GainingStrength, no connection, but he thinks there is one – or was one. I think maybe because he isn’t capable of connection, the sharing of a house and children defines connectedness for him. He can’t miss what he can’t experience? He liked his life when I was falling apart and trying so hard to please him.

        I’m still under the same roof – living like separated people – and he is still blameless. I’m a wreck. Even with all I have learned and all the determination I can muster, I can’t get my brain to heal from all the years of fear. I am working so hard to re-think and lay down new pathways in my brain. I feel like I have my own version of complex PTSD. I don’t have all the symptoms, but I can’t get my head back. He is so healthy and unaffected. He takes no responsibility for having a hand in my downfall. It isn’t right.

        That “look” you describe in another reply – the one you got when you were in pain in the fetal position – I wonder what it means. One of my children says that when they look up sometimes he is staring at them and it’s very creepy. It’s not the hate look, but it is unsettling. He can sustain it for a long time, too, according to the child. (He has a very bad relationship with this child compared to the others). These are the times I wonder about demonic stuff or sociopathy.

        I am so glad that you are getting away.

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        • GainingStrength says:

          Seeing the Light, he left yesterday and I thought I would be lonely, sad, anxious, etc. Maybe at a later time, but for now it’s all smiles, peace, and the really strange thing is I don’t think about him as much as I did when he was here! It’s fantastic! 😀 I found myself thinking of him A LOT, too much really, and now I spend about 1/3 of the time thinking about him than I used to! I hope the time keeps going down until it’s “Wow, I haven’t thought about him all week!” We have kids together, so I’m sure I’ll hear about him, he’s not totally out of my life. My mind seems to be clearing, too. I’m not as forgetful, my mind doesn’t seem to be fogged up as bad, and the anxiety is way down (keeping the house clean to sell creates anxiety 🙂 ).

          As to that look…it wasn’t hatred either, just really creepy. Almost horror movie creepy.

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          • Seeing the Light says:

            GainingStrength, that sounds so good. I am so happy for you! That is one of the things that drives me nuts – that I am thinking about him and this mess and its effect on my kids almost all of the time and I know from what he has said that he isn’t! He thinks about work or church or whatever and shuts me off easily. I am so glad with him gone you are thinking of him less and less! And the fog is lifting! That is terrific! I so wish that I could get a handle on my anxiety. I just know if I could ever get away from him everything could be so different. You just keep enjoying every minute. You’ve paid your dues and you’ve earned it!

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          • Exodus says:

            Gaining, I had to come up from ‘ down under’ to reply to your latest dispatch to me since we ran out of room.
            I believe you are spot on about how your cowardly husband conveniently left to avoid the adult responsibilities of moving, selling, etc.. I’m so glad that you are free from him. I really feel for you having to do all the work around the house. I know!! But, despite the unfortunate burden that has been placed upon us, the freedom we will receive is SO worth it and it keeps me energized just thinking about it.

            My PAM keeps griping about how ALL I DO is wrap and pack things all day and the house is a mess with boxes everywhere and packing materials all over the floor. ( It’s ok to laugh, right? HAHAHAHAHA!!) I even did a bad PA thing while I was wrapping……I grabbed a handful of tortilla chips from a bag and only put part of them in my mouth and let the rest crumble to the floor like my husband always does. My husband looked at me like I was nuts. ” Oops, I didn’t mean to do that! ” HAHAHAHAHA

            I know this too shall pass and I won’t be thinking of my husband with any sort of reserved affection after I’m gone. I really want to leave here for good and not come back. Once I’m out of here, I never want to cross his path ever again. So, I really must make a clean break by taking everything I want NOW. I’m not doing this with any reason or logic. I’m broke and have no place to move to and I’m leaving my company in the hands of a child. Maybe I’ve lost my mind and I’m insane but, maybe that’s a good thing because truthfully, I really don’t care at all about whether or not I have a place to drive to yet or if he destroys our company. I know I will find a job and a house and I know it will be perfect for me.

            The thing that makes me so sad is when I hear myself saying those awful things like I never want to see him again. It makes me feel like a cold-hearted bitter woman and I’m not that way at all and I don’t feel that way at all. Just don’t like the sound of talking like that.

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        • Exodus says:

          Seeing,
          I know exactly how you feel. You most likely do have PTSD. Dealing with chronic trauma and stress creates PTSD and I’ve talked to a lot of women and men who had to deal with a LOT of chronic stress as children which doesn’t help at all because we burn out more easily in midlife- unable to mentally or physically cope with any stress. Have you ever heard of Adrenal Fatigue? I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue back in 2002. Adrenal fatigue puts women at a much higher risk for all sorts of health problems- severe PMS, early menopause, heart disease, cancer. It’s truly a serious disease that so many people today suffer but most doctors don’t discuss it with their patients. PTSD tends to worsen with adrenal fatigue.

          I wonder too what ‘ that look’ means exactly. It’s easy for me to interpret it as him hating me but I think it’s more about him hating himself when I expose his weaknesses or vulnerability. He gets the look of an angry child being scolded by a parent. Also, narcissists get annoyed with children very easily and emotional people because of their aversion to anything that appears vulnerable and weak. We are their image and if we don’t look good, they don’t look good ( didn’t Vidal Sassoon say something like that?)

          It’s so true that our husbands seem to be healthy and doing so well and yet, we are falling apart. My therapist told me that this is exactly how it is when dealing with N’s and other personality disordered people. No decent person could ignore the suffering of their spouse or children and yet these men do- very easily. Even worse, my husband, like my N mother, turns anything that I’m suffering into his own by making a comparison to his own pain or completely dismissing it altogether. Anytime I would turn to my mother for help during a crisis she would get angry with me and say, ‘ I don’t have time to deal with your problems, I have too many of my own” and hang up on me. My husband is the exact same way. I could tell you stories about how my husband has abandoned me that would just send anyone through the roof with anger.

          Part of the abuse that bothers me the most and that I regret very deeply is that in an effort to survive and perhaps at times, justify my unhappiness or depression, I have become unjustly judgmental of or angry with other people in order to justify avoiding them. I probably didn’t say that well. In hindsight, I realize that because I was feeling so depressed, worn out, unhappy with my life and too ashamed to admit it, I abandoned who I really am and replaced her with a woman who appears to be neglectful, uncaring, selfish and unfriendly. I became my husband! That’s NOT who I am at all!! Living with my husband is so exhausting and so negative that I simply didn’t want anyone to see what was happening to me and I got tired of lying and pretending. My husband has drained me to the point that I don’t have any reserves left for anyone else.

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          • Exodus, yes, I have heard about adrenal fatigue and read quite a bit on it some time back between 2003 and 2006. I think it applies, in addition to the PTSD. I have a medically identifiable condition that I don’t want to name in case he is snooping on me, but I also believe I have CFIDS/ME. I’ve read some success stories about chronic fatigue syndrome, but they start with eliminating the source of stress and whatever is contributing to bringing the person down first. Then they move into changes to make – the most important of which is pacing – never using your strength past the point of fatigue – so that you can slowly begin to heal tissues and build yourself back up. I don’t see how that can ever happen here. First, there’s him. Enough said! Then there’s the fact that I am responsible for almost all the labor intensive parts of childrearing – breaking up the fights, exhorting them to do better, teaching them to work, encouraging them when they are disappointed and on and on – all the stuff that takes energy. What’s worse is that if I were single and raising them alone, I think it would take less energy to do all that because he wouldn’t be sabotaging my efforts and making the air full of conflict here. I could actually raise them the way I think is right! Beyond that is that he still expects me to do the absolute limit of what I can do as far as household duties on any given day without collapsing. I don’t know how I can pace myself this way. I really need a miracle. My only real hope is that God will do something extraordinary.

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            • Exodus says:

              I don’t know how you find the energy to care for your kids. Well, actually, I know how you do it but I can imagine that you aren’t able to reap joy to the fullest in raising your kids because in the back of your mind you know that the PAM is going to undermine your efforts and your happiness. I remember when I got a puppy a few years ago and was training him and he was doing so well and as soon as my husband would come home, he would deliberately undo all that my dog had learned and of course an argument/fight would ensue. After realizing how my husband would be, I always felt deflated and apprehensive before I even began. Living like this is truly depressing and it does cause chronic fatigue and fibro. Our nerves burn out too just like our other organs and if there is any one thing that I get angry about relative to my mother and my husband, its the unnecessary damage to my poor body and females are especially affected.

              Oh seeing, I know what you are dealing with and it’s even worse for you because you hhave children. i hate to admit this, but not having my dogs has provided a lot of freedom from additional stress and removed an ingredient in a lot of fights and negative feelings. Like you, I had to be the one to do everything for them. My husband is truly worthless and nothing but a huge negative burden on me. All that negativity creates more physical discomfort. But it’s mighty difficult to muster a positive attitude when you know that the rug is going to be pulled out from under you at any moment.

              What are you doing for the 4th? I’m not doing anything. Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to celebrate MY independence on the 4th!

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              • Thank you so much for the kind words, Exodus. It really does help to know that someone understands. Everything you’ve said here resonates with me – even the puppy part! – (I can’t say more because I don’t want him to be able to definitively identify me if he is tracking my computer usage) – but I know exactly what you mean. They can ruin anything and it was heart-wrenching. And, yes, it does zap the joy out of motherhood and my kids don’t know what it is like to have a family feel like a team. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to either have a loving husband or to be a single parent and have unity. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I think that’s how it goes. So true.

                I’m not doing anything for the 4th either, except doing a few fireworks at home with the children. Oh, I’m also dreading the extra day off work for PA man. Three day weekend. Ugh. Who knows how different things could be a year from now?

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                • Exodus says:

                  Seeing, use a privacy tab on your browser. If you use Opera browser or Chrome, you can very easily open a privacy tab that leaves no footprint on your computer.

                  My husband is being a complete jerk today ( his xtra day off too which I hate just as much as you do). Here’s a good one for you:

                  This morning, PAM got up, got dressed and tells me that he’s leaving to go visit his father and he also tells me that a friend of his from SC has invited him to come for a visit and that he is going to go and that taking a week off won’t be a problem and he ends that with , ” Isn’t that cool?” A week off during our busy season? I just looked at him and within seconds, all the times that my husband has neglected me because he didn’t have time for me or our dogs. All the times that he never had time to take my phone calls, never had time to come help me with anything, never had time to clean up his messes, never had time to show up for scheduled functions, never had time to celebrate anything or buy a gift, etc…flashed through my mind like a high-speed movie reel. I responded, ‘ You know what would be cool? It would have been cool if you had showed up in our marriage as a caring, attentive and concerned husband. It would have been cool if you hadn’t always treated me and our dogs like your biggest inconvenience and put us at the bottom of your shit list-below everyone else including those you claim to dislike and it would have been cool if you could have taken a day off just for us- just for that one day to decorate for Christmas or for Shabbat on Fridays or for my birthday. It would have been cool if you had felt some inclination to want to care for me when I was sick. It would have been super cool to have someone in my life who considered me a soul mate, a best friend and the best business partner and not just your unworthy undeserving servant.”

                  His response was ( you won’t believe this):
                  ” The Buddhists talk about living in the present moment and you don’t do that and that is why you are always unhappy and make every minute miserable. You should just be concerned with today and not dwell on yesterday.”

                  I told him that it was truly of the lowest character for him to use that Buddhist principle to excuse abusing me by expecting me to forget about all the abuse he has inflicted on me and our dogs in the past 20 years. I also told him that no Buddhist monk or Rabbi would condone abuse and expect victims to overlook it and just live in denial in the moment. I also told him that it was HE who was living in the past, not me. After all, if he was living in the present moment, he wouldn’t be harboring anger from his past and unleashing it on me every single day with such repetitive harmful and destructive behaviors. ” Listen to your own good advice” I told him.

                  I’m telling you, my PAM is a sociopath..a truly evil sociopath.

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  5. Exodus says:

    Thanks everyone for thinking about me. I’m not ready to discuss what happened yet because it was a smorgasbord of every kind of PA insane behavior that you can imagine. It’s nothing any worse than the usual abuse but that’s the problem…same abuse, different day. Yesterday, I was filled to brim and unable to cope with any of it. It’s ironic that PJ’s post , about the very thing that ails me, took my mind away from my PA problem! I guess I was able to detach and become an observer of PA without relating it to my own life. In any event, it was a much needed distraction from the horror that I was enduring. PJ’s, within 3 minutes of the first PA incident, my body completely changed. I became painfully stiff, my uterus was cramping, I could barely keep my eyes open and felt as though I had been given a Roofie. I could barely even move and I know I wasn’t drugged, I simply cannot handle the stress anymore. My body cannot handle it even if my mind could.

    What really gets to me is his evil face, his evil looks. Yesterday I felt as though I was starring in the Exorcist except that it was MY head that was spinning around. Right before I received your post, I was about to leave and go to a psych hospital. Seriously. I needed medication and several days of rest. I’m going to stay in a hotel for a few days instead plus, the food and entertainment are better 😀

    Seeing, you’re very right about the difference between someone who is sincerely making an effort to try to improve themselves and someone who is just using and abusing. Your post reminded me what the Bible says regarding giving to the poor and how I’ve given to my husband as if he was unfortunate and living in poverty. In the Bible ( Deuteronomy 15:7-8,11) we are commanded to always help the poor, not because we will change the world but, because there will always be poor people in the world. As a child, my father and I spent every Christmas together aiding the poor. My father and I would cook many turkeys and other dishes and we spent all of Christmas Eve and Christmas day driving through the mountains and countryside delivering our meals to the poor. I love that memory and I treasure Christmas to this day for that reason and I have carried on that tradition every year since my youth. However, it occurred to me yesterday- like being struck on the head with a ball-peen hammer- that I had confused poverty/need with poor character. I perceived my husband as being in need like the poor when in fact, he is truly not needful of anything that anyone could give him! I can’t give him a conscience, I can’t give him the ability to empathize, I can’t give him the ability to feel remorse, I can’t give him the desire to amend his mistakes, etc.. He’s not in need of anything that I or anyone else can provide. I don’t feel sorry for my husband anymore at all and I certainly don’t feel obligated as his wife to constantly manage his character and behavior. I did at one time because I knew he was a victim of his abusive father but, he’s also had the freedom to make his own choices in life and learn from his mistakes. He’s been married to a woman who has made every attempt to encourage him, journey through his emotions with him, help him to achieve greatness, partner with him in all things good and bad. Every effort I have made in our marriage was made with sincere devotion to improve our lives, not bring us down. I’ve also made every attempt to improve myself so that I could be a better person, woman and wife. He’s had it made and I have always been there for him even in our darkest moments, even when I absolutely loathed him and even when he has sold me down the river. He has not made one effort to help himself, apologize for the damage he’s done to my life and our marriage and he has certainly never made any attempt to heal any wounds. No, I don’t feel sorry for him. He’s not unfortunate, he just chooses to live in denial because it’s easier.

    His mother told me on our wedding day that she was ‘ glad that he’s your problem now” I should have run with the wolves and never looked back but I didn’t because I felt sorry for him and I wanted to give him everything that he didn’t get from his mother and father. In a kind and fair world, I know that my efforts would be welcomed, appreciated and would make a difference but, that’s not the world that I live in . There are very damaged people that cannot be repaired and I’ve now learned to differentiate between those people and others who are insightful, have a conscience, integrity and want to improve themselves in an effort to create social harmony in their family and in the world. It’s truly a Biblical sin to invest ourselves in unworthy relationships and waste our spiritual, physical or financial resources in vain by giving to people that will use our gifts to harm others or create more suffering in the world. It’s not selfish to be wise and want your gifts of love, friendship, companionship and intellect to be valued by those who will benefit the most and give back. G-d creates miracles for the sake of humans and humans are expected to perform acts for the sake of G-d. How else can the world improve?

    When we give gifts of ourselves for the wrong reasons, we diminish the sacredness of ourselves and our gifts. Sex becomes less sacred between a man and woman if the woman gives herself to her husband all the time without any consideration of her other needs and how they are being met. It’s no different than parents who give their children gifts all the time, all year long, and then when those sacred holidays like birthdays,Christmas, Easter and Hanukkah come , then the children do not value the gifts and have been taught to expect them. It’s our duty to raise ourselves to the place where G-d can see us and work through us but when we allow others to diminish us by disrespecting us and devaluing our gifts, we have lowered ourselves and become superficial and materialistic people who function without Divine wisdom and purpose.

    Ok, so I’m going to step down from my soapbox. Sorry, if my preaching offended anyone. I was really preaching to myself. I do that every so often in an attempt to force myself to write and read my own words. Gulp.

    I had a spiritual crisis this weekend because of what I was dealing with. Truthfully, I’ve been enduring a spiritual crisis ever since I married my husband. From the day we made our vows, everything has been based on his lie and my skewed interpretation of helping those in need. Knowing this truth about myself and my marriage creates a lot of spiritual turmoil in me. I’m trying to forgive myself and realize that I needed to experience this much pain in order to mature and become a wiser woman in order to fulfill my greater purpose. Maybe I am deluding myself???

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    • Seeing the Light says:

      Exodus, you have said so much here and I think you are right on. You are not responsible to manage his character. This really hit me because mine lets out little remarks that make it obvious that is just what he wants me to do. I used to be his conscience for him – stepping in and letting him know when he needed to apologize to someone else, telling him when he was doing something that a Christian probably shouldn’t do, and so on. I try not to do it anymore. He recently let out another little hint that as a Christian I should do that for him. If I don’t do it, he doesn’t play the game as well because he can’t tell for himself what he shouldn’t do and when to apologize. I’ve tried, too, to tell him about the damage he has caused me. Blank look. Does not compute. My therapist chided me gently once about unhealthy pity. The kind that damages me because I am feeling badly when the person I feel sorry for doesn’t even want to change. I have read somewhere that one of the sociopath’s greatest tools is the pity play and the conscience of their target. They play the victim and they make you feel guilty. You are right. He “chooses to live in denial because it’s easier.” He is not a victim. There are places in the Bible regarding certain kinds of people to be avoided and situations to walk away from.

      I am so glad that you are going to a hotel. Relax and enjoy.

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      • Exodus says:

        My husband will deliberately defy something that is right or moral just to tick me off. He knows perfectly well that what he’s doing is wrong and he knows that I’m a very righteous woman……I’m not a Bible thumper that runs around spewing Bible verses at him but I live a very mindful life and I always try to do the right thing in any moment. Yet, I’m a hypocrite because I’m living with a husband who makes me an accessory to his bad character all the time.

        There’s no point in trying to explain to our husbands how they hurt us because all we’re doing is telling them that they have done a good job. They have succeeded in their goal to receive negative feedback from us.

        Most of the attention my husband received as a child was negative from his father, his teachers, his mother and friends. The negative attention was all he really identified with and although it fuels hurt and anger in him, it’s what he knows and he developed coping skills to deal with it that make him who he is today. As sad as that may be, there are lots of people who have grown up with this type of negative conditioning that don’t turn out to be PA or abusive. The difference is that some people have enough insight into themselves and the world around them that they choose to be different but when there is an underlying personality disorder like narcissism, sociopathy or borderline, then they become the very thing they despise.

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        • Exodus, you said: “There’s no point in trying to explain to our husbands how they hurt us because all we’re doing is telling them that they have done a good job. They have succeeded in their goal to receive negative feedback from us.” EXACTLY! My therapist finally told me that there is no more point in my trying to point anything out to him, to call him on anything he has done, or to share anything about my soul – it is fruitless as far as any positive result and only takes more from me. It is time to manage him as wisely as I can and nothing more.

          Like

          • Exodus says:

            I often refer to my husband ‘ baiting me’ into conflict and that’s all part of his attempt to get that negative feedback from me when I don’t react to his other games. He will chase me through the house saying things like, ‘ why are you walking away, why do you have to act like this, why do you always want everything YOUR way, why am I not allowed to say anything without you getting angry’ and so on. He is so determined to upset me and I admit that after several minutes of him baiting me, I react- though not so much anymore. I just don’t have the energy anymore to react. My fuse is barely noticeable!

            Good therapists won’t counsel PA abusers and narcissists because they know it’s futile. They also know that sitting there talking to a pathological liar is a waste of time and it causes discomfort for them as well in knowing they are being manipulated. I’ve heard of therapists committing suicide because of their N clients/patients.

            It’s another year, another Independence day and I’m still a slave. I’m trying not to get depressed about this. I hope you and your kids are able to do something fun. I’ve never been a big fan of the 4th because it’s always so miserably hot and humid but if I had kids I would enjoy watching them enjoy it 😀

            Like

            • GainingStrength says:

              Exodus, ahh the sweet sound of verbal baiting. 😀 Oh how I do no miss it. He has left the house and the silence is priceless. The peace pure joy. 😀 I do understand the baiting and I remember trying to “answer” his questions. Big waste of time, too bad I didn’t know what he was doing at the time. Lately, I gave up answering his questions because he didn’t want answers he wanted me to lose it. Mine smiled an evil smirk at me as he tried baiting me. Sometimes it backfired on him, he would get riled up and end up “raising his voice” (he didn’t scream or yell 😀 his words, not mine) and losing it. I just walked away.

              Their verbal baiting is so cruel. Yes the words hurt and they know it. They blame us knowing we will defend ourselves against their lies and then the crazy-making conversations would start. Pure lunacy. I’m so glad I found out what was going on and I am very grateful for the blogs like this one that brings together the walking wounded for comfort and understanding and a few chuckles along the way. You have to admit these abusers can be hilarious in their actions. Hilarious in hindsight, as it is happening it is baffling, confusing and hurtful, but afterwards….I have made a few people outright laugh at his antics. 😀 I don’t think he ever realized how ridiculous he sounded or acted at times. 😀

              Like

            • Exodus, you’re right about the therapists. One therapist I have worked with gave some seminars on video intended primarily for psychology students and other therapists. I have seen a few of them. In one of the video seminars he spends a little time talking about personality disordered people, in general. He said for a while he had three in a row toward the end of his work week. He shared about how it was affecting him. They would get him to the point that he was doubting his career choice and his ability to do any good for anyone. Fortunately, for him he figured out the kind of people he was dealing with and developed some methods to weed out patients who weren’t actually going to change. I also saw a video that was like a documentary of Sam Vaknin. If I remember correctly, the poor guy that did most of the interviewing and spent a lot of time around him talking to him and listening to him felt the weight and the burden of it.

              Like

              • Exodus says:

                Poor therapist! 3 in a row? Yeah, that’s just too much insanity to entertain each week. I’ve never seen that Vaknin interview. That would be very interesting. Was it on youtube? Vaknin is one strange dude but at least he has self awareness! hahaha

                Like

      • WritesinPJ's says:

        “I used to be his conscience for him – …I try not to do it anymore. He recently let out another little hint that as a Christian I should do that for him.”
        Seeing, same here. Only mine didn’t just hint. He’s accused me of withholding what I have to offer that could help him. Then another time when he was really angry, he was clear that he resented it, and it was futile on my part. I think I believe the latter.
        When I say things now, it’s with the goal of things being decently manageable here for me (and the kids) for the time being. Not for him to ‘get it’ or ‘see the light’ or ‘learn and grow’.

        Like

  6. WritesinPJ's says:

    This is such an integral topic emerging, and my post and quick response are in part a reflection of not having my computer at the time, but grabbing a very brief alone time to check in.

    My son fixed my computer!!! Hurray for oldest sons that love their moms enough to spend a weekend fixing a computer!

    I want to take time to really think about the conversations happening here, then come back.

    We all really need to be in a beach house for a nice long retreat together. Living in the same area would also be nice. We could have awesome weekly support group meetings!

    Like

    • wornout says:

      Pjs, I like the way you think, nothing would be better than a beach house retreat! 🙂 And yes how great would it be if we all lived in the same area and could meet for a support group. Darn! 😦 Exodus, I love your comments. Thank you for taking the time to share. It’s so hard to share such personal pain, but not only does it help you like you said, but others, too. Thank you 🙂 I know exaclty what you mean about the evil looks. The first time I happened to glance over and catch my husband looking at me that way it shocked me. It was a look filled with such disdain. I could almost see the wheels turing in his mind of ‘how can I take her down’. Once you see your husband look at you that way, nothing is ever the same again. 😦

      Like

      • Exodus says:

        Wornout, I ‘ get’ your name. It takes immense strength and courage to get up in the morning and face the day and then you just survive through the day in a fog. I was watching a National Geographic documentary on ‘ evil’ ..something about the biology of evil. I think it was on Netflix. Anyway, it was very interesting and a Uni was studying the brain’s physiology changes when a person makes a moral decision, when they are lying, etc… I used to wonder if my husband had brain damage but I don’t think so because I see many of his traits in other members of his family and unless they were all dropped on their heads, it’s unlikely that my husband has brain damage.

        That evil look? When it happens, I really do feel as though I’m being assaulted by a demon and in those moments I try my best to ignore it because if I really were standing next to a demonic figure with the tail and pitchfork, I would know that it was trying to bait me into conflict, trying to create negativity and chaos, hurt and anger. As evil as I believe my husband is, it’s still hard to completely believe that he’s 100 percent evil so I really make myself imagine him wearing a devil’s costume. If you met my husband, you would think he was the sweetest , handsome, nice guy..he’s got a very youthful look with the light brown/blonde hair, the big blue eyes, great body and he seems so innocent. He’s the perfect body for a demon to possess. He’s a wolf in sheeps clothing all the way but everyone loves him (except me). You’re right, those looks are deal-breakers in marriages. Once you’ve seen it, you never forget it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • GainingStrength says:

        Wornout, a few years ago, I was in bed in a fetal position with a terrible pain, I looked over and my husband was sitting in a chair in our bedroom looking at me. Just looking, and the look he had on his face I’ve never been able to describe, it sent chills down my spine. I went back to my pain and when I looked again after about 15 minutes he was still there with that look on his face. He didn’t say anything until I told him to go to work, that broke the look and it was back to the blank look. I’ve seen his look of pure hatred for me, but this look…it was scarier. It’s the only time I’ve seen that look on his face.

        Like

        • wornout says:

          You guys, i’m sad for us, we don’t deserve to be looked at like that, no one does. Exodus, it probably makes it even harder for you the fact that your guy looks so good and innocent and others think he is so wonderful. My guy is the same way, looks great on the outside, but is so sour on the inside, he has become completely unappealing in every way to me. And that quote you stated is soo true – we remember how people make us feel. Gainingstrength, I’m so sad that happened to you, him looking at you like that when you were in such pain. Wow, it’s just unbelievable. What’s so twisted about them is that when we are down or suffering it seems to give them a boost, it almost seems to make them happy. Such crazy stuff. You guys, I wish so bad we could all meet one day. 😦

          Like

      • Seeing the Light says:

        wornout, there is so much on this post I hardly know where to reply and what to say, but I agree I wish we all lived in the same area, too. I wanted to agree with you, too, here that “once you see your husband look at you that way, nothing is ever the same again.” I would describe the look that finally did that for me as contempt. Naked contempt. You can’t go back from that. I can’t describe how I felt when I saw it. I actually think it was horror.

        You mentioned above the realization of the kind of relationship that would be impossible to have with him. I hear you. He just doesn’t get it. There’s no capacity there. They can’t be what husbands are supposed to be. He made vows he had no capacity to fulfill. That’s fraud, isn’t it? Part of the shock for me was all the time and energy and life I wasted taking the blame and trying to fix me because I was the whole problem. I’m so weak and disabled now. I think I would still be strong and healthy if he had never come into my life. I really get your name – wornout. No kidding. Let’s see…what else? Used up. Sucked dry. Drained.

        Like

        • wornout says:

          Seeing, yes! Ditto to everything you said! Well said. Yes, it totally feels like fraud.

          Like

        • GainingStrength says:

          Seeing the Light, It’s interesting that since we moved to this house (he says he only moved here for me, but I never asked to move here…go figure that one out) I have high blood pressure and am on medication for it. I started monitoring my blood pressure about a week ago and it was low! I quit taking the medication for 3 days now. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Added bonus, I’ve also lost weight! 😀 There is life after these abusers and it’s usually a healthier one.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is just awesome! Eating is one of my unhealthy coping mechanisms and I can’t make any progress losing weight here either. Ugh! I am starting to feel like a caged animal at the zoo pacing back and forth ready to go berserk from the captivity! Live well as you breathe the free air, GainingStrength!

            Like

          • WritesinPJ's says:

            Gaining Strength, that’s fantastic! I hope we hear more accounts of your health improving!

            Like

            • GainingStrength says:

              I couldn’t completely go off the blood pressure medicine, but I have cut it in half! Still excellent in my book! 🙂 I smile more, now that he’s gone. 🙂 It does make a huge difference in your life when they are not constantly around.

              Like

        • GainingStrength says:

          How about invisible? 😀 My favorite is worthless! Yep, those are the two that fit my situation.

          Like

    • Exodus says:

      Pj’s glad that your computer is fixed. Fortunately, I have a super geek that I can depend on to fix things for me- a real man that shows up when he’s supposed to and does what he says he’s going to do! Too bad he’s happily married because I wouldn’t mind being Mrs. Super Geek 😀

      I’d recommend coming to the Outer Banks for a lovely beach retreat but it looks like I’m going to be preparing for a hurricane this week. Let’s hope it doesn’t become one but nonetheless, I must prepare for the worst. I really feel for those who planned their 4th of July summer vacations at the beach this year. What a bummer!

      Like

  7. Exodus says:

    Just read this quote by Maya Angelou ” I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    I thought this was a very true statement about each of us- everyone who is NOT PA. I realized that the PA man doesn’t forget anything even though he uses forgetfulness as an excuse all the time and he doesn’t forget what anyone has done even though his entire M.O. is to punish me for anything I did- good or bad and he won’t remember how I made him feel because he is emotionally shut-down.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lonelywife07 says:

    Wow…..reading all of these comments….I don’t know what to say.
    I’ve seen that look twice now, once last September and recently during an argument…it’s disdain and pure anger.
    And it’s awful to see it on the face of the man you love or loved at one time.

    Exodus…please take care of yourself….don’t let him do this to you!! You are worth so much more than this!! We ALL are!

    Like

    • Seeing the Light says:

      I have wanted support group meetings for so long! It sounds so good. You all are my support group now. I feel like I am getting to know each of you and your stories in such a way that I am starting to recognize your voices. Each one of you is precious. Thank you so much for sharing your lives.

      Like

      • wornout says:

        This made me cry 🙂 Just what I needed to hear tonight. I am so glad we all have each other!

        Like

      • lonelywife07 says:

        I think because this is truly “silent abuse”…no one thinks we need support…hence, no support groups!
        That’s why I started my blog…I NEEDED the support from other women who know EXACTLY how I feel!!
        I think I’m going to start playing the lotto…and if I win a few mil….I’ll invite y’all all to come to my fantastic beach house to live…how about that?
        Hey! If you’re gonna dream…dream big, right??! LOL!

        Like

        • wornout says:

          Lonely, hahaha, I love your thinking! Nothing sounds better than being in a beach house with all of you guys! Fingers crossed on the lottery. Haha:) I was just wishing this morning that I had extra money and could wisk us all away to a relaxing get away. 🙂 It’s fun to dream at least, right? 🙂 You’re so right, the “silent abuse” aspect of it is what makes it so hard on us!

          Like

          • lonelywife07 says:

            Wornout….Heck, I’d face that stupid hurricane with one hand tied behind my back because after dealing with a PA…we can face anything, right?? LOL!

            Like

            • Exodus says:

              Hahahah. So true, so true. Well , come on then! We can hold hands and face Arthur together! It would be exciting and we’d have the beach all to ourselves since everyone else evacuated. If we never returned do you think our PAMs would notice?

              Like

  9. Seeing the Light says:

    That reply to lonelywife was supposed to be a general reply, not a specific one. I do that a lot – clicking the wrong “reply”. Oops!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Exodus says:

    Here’s what happens to a PAM when he’s put under anesthesia and wakes up ( Freud would love this):

    My father in law had to have surgery yesterday and I decided to go by the hospital to sit with my mother in law while she waited for him to get moved to his room after surgery. The hospital is just a few miles away so it was easier for me to go there. Truthfully, if it had been far away, I would not have gone as awful as that sounds. My father in law is an abusive PAM and he is so much like my husband that I have a very difficult time showing him any respect anymore.

    We were sitting in the waiting room and a nurse came out to tell us that my FIL was awake. She said, ‘ He’s fine but he was a bit feisty and we had to restrain him for awhile.’ I could tell that the nurse wasn’t telling the whole story and was just being nice and padding the truth. My mother in law in her usual simple minded denial begins nervously digging in her basket of excuses and says, ‘ Well, well, you know he’s, he’s never had surgery before and we just, just didn’t know how he would react to it ” as if anyone knows how they will react to surgery based on a previous surgery. I spoke to one of the nurses and she said that it took 4 nurses and two doctors to restrain him because he became so violent. Ladies, can you imagine my reaction to this? Even more disturbing to me is that yesterday morning I was thinking, with warped humor, that my control-freak father in law would meet his repressed anger while he was under anesthesia and be powerless to inflict punishment on anyone!!! I even had images of him being in a room all alone, facing his demons and feeling horribly frustrated and confused that he had no one to bully, control and manipulate.

    Once my FIL was settled in his room and some other family members arrived to visit, all my FIL talked about was how he had to be restrained by 6 people. He kept talking about this like a little boy who had finally achieved man-hood. Every time a nurse would come into the room he would get them to tell the story of how he had to be restrained by 6 people.

    MY PAM came to the hospital and he wanted to take his mother downstairs to a restaurant to buy her some dinner. It was late..about 9pm. Anyway, I agreed to go since I had not had dinner. We got to the restaurant, got our food and sat down and my husband began talking to his mother about our neighbors and their garden and our garden this year. The neighbors are from a different country, purchased a small house in my neighborhood and since then have been on a warpath to own as many lots in my neighborhood as they can and they have a very interesting way of achieving this by seducing victims with LOTS of tequila that causes all sorts of marital problems and eventually breaks up the marriage and once the couple splits, they make the husband or wife an offer for their property and voila. So far they have managed to split up 4 elderly couples and they now own 6 lots in this neighborhood. So my husband was going on and on about how wonderful they are ( huh?) and when my MIL asked about the elderly man that lived behind us, he explained to her that he no longer lives there because his wife divorced him and forced him to sell his house (to this couple). I piped up and said something about how this ‘ nice’ couple managed to break up his marriage and a few others by keeping him and other husbands drunk all the time and how they tried to do the same with us by keeping my husband drunk all the time and I don’t consider them to be as nice as PAM suggests. That’s all I said about that but I should note that this was a very difficult time in my marriage because my husband has absolutely no self control and I was forced to go get him and bring him home almost every single night for a month because as soon as he would come home from work , the neighbor would be standing at the fence holding two HUGE glasses of margarita. I asked my husband after the FIRST incident to please not get drunk and please decline the drinks and I even tried to tell him that I had a bad feeling about their obsessive need to constantly serve drinks to neighbors and please not put me in the horrible position of having to chaperon him. But, my husband, devil’s advocate as always, would drink and end up at their house every night with our other elderly neighbor, plastered like a mad man and we would fight and fight. He would accuse me of being a snob who never wanted to have any fun and so on and so on. My dear neighbor and close friend (70 plus years old) could not handle her husband’s behavior and him spending most of his time at the neighbors. He was mowing their lawn, eating with them, drinking with them all day long and napping on their porch. She moved out and filed for divorce and raked him over the coals which forced him to sell his beautiful property that he had worked so hard to improve for over 50 years. He was now alone which then made it even easier for the shysters to control him because they brought him food from their restaurant 2 times a day and waited on him almost constantly. The seduction was so obvious to me but my husband just kept saying how wonderful they were, what a great cook the wife was and how she was so caring and hard-working and how I was being such a mean jealous snob. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t entirely blame the booze-pushers and I’m aware that the husbands should have enough self control ( I DID!) but these people were so smooth in luring their victims with Tequila as their drug. Interestingly enough because I never took their bait, they quit talking to us for the most part 🙂

    My MIL didn’t noticeably react to my comment about the couple’s behavior or my PAM’s and I knew she was in her typical buttoned-up and pretty denial because she is so opposed to alcohol that even the mention of it flips the denial switch. My inlaws didn’t even want to attend our wedding because we served Mimosas (champagne and OJ). My husband became absolutely outraged at my comment about him drinking all that tequila and began yelling the most ridiculous juvenile comments. Truly, what he said didn’t even make sense and he kept trying to defend the shysters!! I just sat there watching him make a complete fool of himself while showing his true colors. Wow, amazing. Finally, his mother said, ‘ Look, cut it out, I’ve had a stressful day’. I said, ” Father like son” and we ate our food and I left.

    Like

  11. lonelywife07 says:

    Ok, you have some WEIRD neighbors! That would freak me out!! I guess they want to buy out the neighborhood….and this is the way they do it? Yikes!
    And your FIL…OMW!! Guess all that suppressed anger oozed out when he was at his weakest moment!

    Exodus….can’t you go see a lawyer and see what rights you have concerning the business you and your PA man own?? See if you can have half the proceeds from the sell of the business?
    I hate that he upsets you sooo much! It’s not good for you, and YOUR health will one day be affected, if it’s not affected now…and your PAH will live a long, healthy life…because nothing affects him mentally or emotionally!
    Take care of YOU!!!

    Like

    • Exodus says:

      Lonely, I’ve already consulted with a few attorneys- one of them actually specializing in PA abuse. I can’t go into all the specifics but my situation is truly a nightmare. When I say that I feel hopeless, I really mean that with good reason!!

      Yes, I have the most weird neighbors that you can imagine. The strange thing is that before my husband moved here, this was the most beautiful place and neighborhood and all the residents were so wonderful. Almost as soon as my husband moved in, things began to slowly change and then really took a nose-dive when mortgages were being handed out like candy back in 03. The trash moved in and the lovely folks moved out. It’s really true that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. I think I’m becoming an elitist because I don’t want any bad apples within a hundred miles of me!

      The worst part of witnessing what I did with my FIL was actually my MIL’s behavior. I could tell that she was so panicked over not having him at home. MY FIL has kept her so dependent on him that she is clueless about how to use a cell phone, a computer or even a Nook. She loves to read and I wanted to buy her a Nook for Christmas one year and my FIL got very fidgety and said, ‘ NO, she doesn’t like anything but a real book, no, she has to have a REAL book’ and I said, ‘ well, how does she know that if she’s never used a reader?”
      I let her use mine once and she loved it. I also let her use my laptop and taught her how to use it and she was so excited but again, that made her husband VERY uncomfortable and I enjoyed every minute watching him squirm.

      What is it with these insecure men? Have they no shame at all? Does my FIL care at all about what would happen to his wife if he died? NO.

      This morning I was listening to my audio book ( The wizard of Oz and other narcissists) and I highly recommend that book for every single one of us. It’s not just about narcissism, it’s about healing and learning to set limits on how others treat us. It’s really a good book. Anyway, something has ‘ snapped’ in me and I’m so truly indifferent toward my husband now. He left for work this morning and I haven’t spoken one single word to him since yesterday morning. Its like living with a room mate that I hardly see. I feel a lot of comfort and ease in that. BTW, I can’t go to a hotel this week because of the storm that may be heading my way. I’ve had to make preparations for that 😦 I heard him come in last night and almost immediately my ovary began hurting again. OH and I forgot to mention that while I was at the hospital the other night and walking to the restaurant, I could barely walk because with every step, it felt as though my ovary was being pulled/stretched and oh my gosh, the pain was so over-the-top that I thought I was going to pass out. My husband and his mother were ahead of me and although my husband knew I was uncomfortable, he ignored me as usual. Apparently, a nurse was behind me and noticed my symptoms and she came up to me and said, ‘ Do you need help, can I get you a wheelchair?’ I was stunned and explained to her what was wrong and that I would be ok in a few minutes and just needed to sit down for a few minutes. My husband was watching me talk to the nurse, but didn’t even come over. When I walked into the restaurant, neither he or his mother asked if I was alright. They are just very cold people in general. They never show affection or cry. I was the only person crying at my sister in law’s funeral. It was so bizarre! I nicknamed them ‘ The Bots’ because they are so robotic and unemotional.
      So yes, this affects my health and I’ve been so harmed physically by the stress of my marriage. If I could sue him for damages, I would but I’d be waiting a loooong time for any compensation. I just want a clean break from him and his family. If I could , I would pay him to split.

      Like

      • Exodus, when I read the title of your book I had to smile. Whenever I see how my “husband” squirms while being exposed, as well as one or two other people in my life that I am sure are narcissists, I think to myself: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Do you know the reference? Ha! 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation. I’m getting the book.

        I also refer to mine as robotic. When I try to explain something to him that would require empathy, emotion, or something like that, I get the blank stare. They would benefit greatly from an emotion chip or other similar software.

        I’m so grieved at your situation, including the way it is affecting your health. I know what you mean about your ovary hurting when he came in last night. My symptoms are different, but I experience this, too. His presence sets off a reaction in my body. My therapist and I talked about the catch-22 I am in with my health and its affects on custody issues if I try to divorce. I need to get away from him to heal, but I can’t get away with my kids while I am this weak. So – I have no choice but to really give it all I’ve got by way of getting stronger while I am still in it. Yes, this means nutrition and pacing myself, but the bigger piece is trying to put up that shield so he can’t suck life out of me. I’m planning to start doing progressive muscle relaxation – you know, the kind on a tape or CD or youtube. Everything I have heard is that there is a lot of power in those if someone can discipline themselves to do it. You can train your mind to be able to access a relaxation response when stress hits. My goal is three times a day. Is there anything we can do to help you start making a plan? I know that money is an issue and you are not confident about being able to get a job. Could you start there? I think that the piece in you that snapped and the new indifference you are experiencing towards him are a big deal. That could be the beginning of him losing some of his power to discourage you. I believe in you and I think, from reading what you have written, that you are a capable person that any employer would be lucky to get. What do you like doing? No pressure here, just gentle encouragement.

        Like

        • Exodus says:

          Seeing, I very much appreciate your encouragement. I don’t take offense to anyone’s suggestions unless they suggest that I stay with my PAM ( which some friends did suggest years ago). Yes, I know that ‘ man behind the curtain’ line very well!! if you can get the audio version play it really loud throughout the house while you do your womanly chores 🙂 It really is an excellent book.

          I do a lot of historical research for various reasons ( one of the things I’m very good at and would like to do as a full time job) and found the most hilarious advertisement about how men should treat their wives (+/- 1900) that might explain why we are not happily married:
          ________
          HOW TO TREAT A WIFE
          (From Pacific Health Journal)

          First get a wife; second, be patient. You may have great trials and perplexities in your business, but do not therefore, carry to your home a cloudy or contracted brow. Your wife may have trials, though of less magnitude, that may be hard for her to bear. A kind word, a tender look, will do wonders in chasing from her brow all clouds of gloom.- To this we would add, always keep a bottle of Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy in the house. It is the best and sure to be needed sooner or later. Your wife will then know that you really care for her and wish to protect her health.
          __________

          Is this just too funny? 😀 And to think that all we need is a bottle of codeine cough syrup to keep us happy!

          Was also driving behind a big huge black SUV with a a very HUGE window sticker that read, ‘ All men are idiots and I married their king ” …… Do you suppose she’s a PA wife with repressed anger? hahaha It’s now displaced to her rear window. Does that it make it healthier anger? hahaha

          I applied for a job at the Humane Society today. It’s in a city that I like and it’s a job that I love to do anyway even though it doesn’t pay all that well. It’s a very elite shelter as well so maybe I’ll meet one of their wealthy donors who might rent me a cottage on their plantation. heheheh Animal lovers will do anything for someone who is truly nice to animals. I guess this makes me an opportunist like my scuzzy husband but my Darwinian neurons have been firing and so I’m going to take advantage of their energy before they get snuffed-out again by my husband.

          I’ve always worked in Biological sciences or in Horticulture and I’m not opposed to doing that kind of work again but there are no jobs in my area right now unless a person has a Masters degree. I worked at a Uni until 2011 when my grant money ran out. I need to relocate. The other issue is that last year I developed a very serious problem with pelvic prolapse ( no doubt because the bottom fell out of my life!..interesting how psychosomatic illnesses manifest, eh?) and I have to be very careful about lifting anything and more. Frustrating!! I really do have to be careful. I do really well most of the time and acupuncture helped dramatically. When it first happened last year, I thought I was going to die and the discomfort kept me bed-ridden for a week. The other issue is my age. It’s very hard to get a job at my age ( not that I’m feeble and old). This is a terrible economy.

          That therapy you will be doing sounds like biofeedback therapy. It really is effective IF you practice it. Meditation is also effective and I have a really cool gadget on my iphone called Insight Timer that is just wonderful and so easy to use. I use it for meditation but also as a cooking timer! How nifty is that?

          Maintaining health is very hard to do when we live with stress and depression. Not only does the stress make us keep weight on despite doing a thousand laps on the track, it also disrupts our sleep which screws up our circadian rhythm which makes us grumpy,fat, tired and crave carbohydrates like instant mashed potatoes 😀

          The truth is seeing that until you get out and away from the very thing that keeps you weak and sick, you won’t begin to heal and neither will I. We can do our best to eat our veggies, take our whole food vitamins, exercise and pray, etc.. but all we’re doing is spinning wheels. Our lives are not going to make any progress until we move away from the source of negativity. I constantly imagine the day that I fill the moving truck and I keep visualizing that over and over in hopes that it will become reality!

          I must return to my storm prepping. I’m just not in the mood to deal with Arthur ( the storm).

          Like

          • Exodus, I enjoyed “How To Treat A Wife”? Those old things really are fun. I have some very old books that talk about family life and business. Boy are things different now!

            That job at the Humane Society sounds like something that would fit with your heart so well. I know it doesn’t pay much, but it’s a start, right? As far as imagining good things coming from it, I don’t think that makes you opportunistic. Opportunists lack principles and use people. It’s not the same as hoping for something good to come along that could be mutually beneficial to you and someone else.

            I know what you mean about not being able to heal until we get out and away from them. I just don’t have a choice. I can’t leave my kids with him – they wouldn’t be able to stand it. I am their refuge from their interactions with him. Once custody gets in the hands of the courts and I am still this weak, I could lose them. I have to hope and try to make some kind of progress. There is no one to lean on either – it’s not like I could take them and move in with family or anything. My support structure is non-existent (except for my new online support group of some really great women who understand 🙂 ). I do feel the weight in the air. I watch how my children even treat me differently when he is around versus when he is not. I could go on and on. The life-sucking runs so deep – at the soul level! But I have got to find something that can make the difference and turn the tide. If not, I am not going to make it.

            Like

            • wornout says:

              Seeing, know this, you have a whole group of us who care about you. 🙂 I’m so sad for you that you have to deal with all the husband PA problems and health problems. 😦 I’m sure thinking of you and you are in my prayers. I’ve come to realize that the effects of being married to a PA man takes years to play out. I don’t know if I am going to be able to explain this very well. But we spend years trying to figure out what is wrong with our marriages and us. I could never put my finger on why things were off, but I remember always thinking that I just wanted things to be “normal”. So, we go through years of trying so hard to make it work, of loving our husbands, and doing all we can to be the best wives and people we can be. Only to continually, time after time after time, being treated in a cold, unfeeling manner from the person we are being nothing but kind and loving to. I know for me, I could feel almost a brick wall being built up around me, brick by brick, as a form of emotional protection for myself. I think the human spirit can only take so much, and at some point, that final brick goes up, making it impossible for us to ever again trust our husbands with our hearts. We know that things will never be the same again, that our hearts and spirits have had enough, that they can’t take any more. From reading everyone’s posts and kind of getting to know everyone, I’ve noticed that it seems we all seem to be at or near this same point. What is so hard, is that just like in your situation, Seeing, we aren’t able to logistically end things right now. I know for me, my oldest is getting ready to enter his senior year in high school, my other two kids have milestones going on in there lives right now, and a lot going on. I just can’t pull the rug out from under them right now. It just isn’t right to do right now. But, where does that leave me, completely broken inside, with no desire to spend another minute with my husband. I think some of us are in this situation in one way or another, we desperately want peace and happiness and to be away from our PA husbands, but it isn’t possible right now. The main things that I can think of to get us through is the support from each other and faith that God loves us and is aware of each of us and what we are going through, and that somehow, someway, and at some point, things will be better. I heard a quote once that I think of a lot. “The miracle of God’s love is not that he allows bad things to happen to us, it’s that he promises that he will be standing right there beside us when they do.” It sure is hard to go through this. My thoughts and prayers are continually with all of you.

              Like

              • Thank you so very much for this, wornout. It means a lot. I think you did a great job of explaining the progression of things. One of the reasons my situation affected my health so profoundly was that I was raised in a dysfunctional home with a strong religious element that was very skewed. When I married PA man, a “Christian,” and the whole progression of the relationship started playing out, I owned everything as my fault and frantically tried to fix it. A terrible fear that I was displeasing God because of my relationship with PA man became an almost constant condition. This state of affairs actually worked out very well for him in terms of me being the bad guy and him being the good guy. It’s a messy story. I now do not doubt God’s love for me and acceptance of me, and I see things more clearly, but there is still all of this fall-out.

                I know what you mean, too, about the kids. We mothers in this situation walk a tightrope. You are right, though. God knows. If the very hairs of your head are numbered, he knows every bit of your broken heart. I do believe that things will get better. I really do. I get very discouraged at times and fear that I will die before I get out, but in my heart of hearts, I believe that God intends to answer my cry for deliverance. He invites us to pray importunately – which I like to think of as badgering – so I do. I am praying for you and the other women out here, too. Thanks again.

                Like

                • wornout says:

                  Seeing, thank you also, for your words. It’s amazing how helpful understanding words and shared experiences can be. I’m so glad we can all help each other. Your situation sounds like it has been so difficult. The religious element adds a whole other level to it all. The way you described how you felt that you were displeasing God is so understandable. I am also religious and believe that marriage is a covenant between the husband and wife and God, that it is sacred. I also went through a time of feeling such guilt and I felt like a complete failure in the eyes of God. But I am so glad that I have for the most part worked through that and I know that God knows how hard we tried, how much we fought for our marriages to work. I really feel that he must look down and be heart broken at how we are being treated. I love all that you said about God knowing and we can pray to him for deliverance. I heard a religious talk recently and the speaker said, “Don’t give up hope, DO NOT GIVE UP…help is on the way.” That’s what we have to hang on to, huh. Much love sent your way. 🙂

                  Like

              • Exodus says:

                This is just crazy and so sad. There are so many of us suffering out here in the world and none of us can help each other? Women should be sticking together in this world. We should be supporting each other and even helping to raise each other’s kids- especially when we’re in such crisis. Aren’t there women’s groups in our areas? I’m almost ready to run an ad on Craig’s list for help or call the Churches and therapists in my area. I need help and I’ve got to find/create a healthy support system of friends that will open doors for me because I can’t do this alone. Networking is what they call that these days ( I hate that word). I used to have dinner with a friend every Wed night and I could look forward to that every week. It really helped me to get through anything I was enduring. I need something like that again-something to look forward to.

                Like

                • GainingStrength says:

                  Exodus, a support group sounds terrific. Unfortunately, we all probably live too far apart to make that a reality. I know there has to be thousands of us living in this country. Just getting together with one or more of us and just talking, laughing and relaxing would be so therapeutic. To be able to talk about it without being worried “they” will hear us…just makes me smile.

                  Like

                • Exodus, I know. I agree. I like to read old, old books and it’s amazing how much more people used to be involved in actually helping each other. Do you have a church where you could start meeting people (carefully, of course)? Maybe if you get a job there would be co-workers to meet? I feel the same way about not giving up on finding a support system. There is a woman that I met at church that I have spoken to on the phone infrequently primarily for her to offer me a ride to church. I usually say no because of my health. She has offered to get together for an hour or so to have coffee (or whatever). I’m going to do it, but I am so nervous what to say or not say. I have had a history of being straightforward with people and open about my life. I think I have been too open, though. I don’t want any more pressure or advice from women – especially Christian women – who don’t understand my situation telling me how to handle it. I mentioned something about my therapist to her and she reacted so strangely to the fact that the therapist is a man and not a woman like there was something wrong with that. This is the healthiest and most professional counseling situation I’ve ever had! Anyway, I can’t believe it’s this hard and almost nerve-wracking thinking about how to develop some kind of relationship with this woman. I was never like this before PA man.

                  Like

                  • Exodus says:

                    Seeing, We really are a very disconnected culture of individuals anymore and there are reasons for that – a lot having to do with how it benefits the economy ( for the wealthy) and national security by keeping everyone at odds with each other.

                    I really don’t want to get involved with a Church at this point. I can’t handle the recruiting bits right now. That whole spiel about ‘ if you join us..we’re here for you..’ bit.

                    I too have been too open about my life with others and that’s probably why I attracted so many dysfunctional people in my life. We need to learn to imagine ourselves as G-d created us and not how others created us. If we imagine ourselves as Divine perfection, we will attract that instead. I understand your trepidation about bringing someone into your life. I really do. What always bothered me was that I hated lying by giving people the wrong impression about my marriage. I’m just not comfortable lying and pretending and I know that sooner or later the truth will be revealed, so what’s the point?

                    Obviously that woman was triggered by your comment about therapy. Maybe not so much about the man therapist but therapy in general? After all, G-d is supposed to make everything alright for us if we are believers. I remember my mother in law suggesting that my husband and I go to therapy in a very meek little voice and there was tons of hesitation in her words. My mother in law is like those Christian women you describe. They tend to get very uncomfortable – uncomfortably confused – when someone cracks their rose-colored glasses. I avoid people like that in general because they are using religion and other people to support their manufactured image. Denial is cruel and selfish and so harmful to those that must endure the consequences of living other people’s lies.

                    Try not to fret about having lunch with your friend. Keep the conversation light-hearted. There’s no need for her to know you inside and out. You may have a nice time and if it doesn’t work out, you can always just end it. Just take it slowly and don’t put expectations on outcomes..just enjoy it for what it is.

                    Like

                    • Thanks for the advice about my upcoming meeting. It was good and I will try to take it. I do think part of her issue was the whole idea of therapy itself – I ended up feeling like I had to justify to her why I was talking to a therapist. (Side note: It happens to be with a group that offers telephone counseling, which is great for me so I don’t have to use the energy to go out). She said something back to me about “her” or “she” and I said it was a man. Her next comment, said in an authoritative tone, about that was – “Well, as long as it’s only on the phone.” Huh? Why do people think I need their permission for things?

                      Like

            • GainingStrength says:

              Seeing, you are a very strong woman to cope with all that! Be proud of yourself that you are still standing and coping because living with one of those people drains you of your stamina and sanity. Stay strong, your time will come and hopefully sooner than later! It would be nice if we lived close because with him out of the house I have a spare bedroom. 😀 Until the house sells that is. 😀

              Like

            • Exodus says:

              I know you’re stuck and it breaks my heart. When I had my dogs, I felt the same way because I knew that I couldn’t afford a place that would allow them and there was no way I was leaving them with my PAM. I once had to call the police to have my husband removed from our home and even the cops understood about my dogs and they told me to be sure to take them with me when I leave. I don’t have family either. I have no place to go and no one to turn to. I’m all alone and I don’t have anyone who even cares about me or knows anything about me anymore. I can’t believe I live like this. All I have is you and the others on here and my prescription drug addict friend who I can’t stand to talk to anymore.

              Do you have any type of hobby or interest that gives you a sense of accomplishment? Living with my PAM severely diminishes any sense of accomplishment in my life since he undoes everything I do so, I have to find things to do that he can’t touch. Even if I learn a tune on my fiddle, it’s something he can’t touch or destroy. Do you write, paint, garden, crochet or knit?

              I think about you a lot and I wish so much that I was there to be your friend.

              ((( HUGS )))

              Like

              • Exodus, I know sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is really how we live. I am so sorry that you are so alone, too. You said: “I think about you a lot and I wish so much that I was there to be your friend.” Ditto.

                Yes, I do have something I enjoy doing. (I don’t want to get too specific so he can’t identify me). It is something I really love that does give me a sense of accomplishment and I am actually good at! It requires a context of someone needing it done, and I could either do it as a service or for pay! Wouldn’t that be great, to earn some money? I don’t have the energy to make a serious commitment, but it’s something that also takes my mind off of all the stuff going on around me so it is a stress-reliever. I will keep my eyes open for an opportunity. I do enjoy gardening, too, but I can’t stand the heat and humidity so hours are limited.

                (((HUGS))) back to you.

                Like

                • Exodus says:

                  You mentioned heat and humidity. I wonder if you live near me? It’s been wonderful that last two days but I hate the summers here. I don’t like humidity- it makes me sick and it attracts bugs like mosquitoes.

                  I wish I knew what your service is because you may be able to provide a service that I need. I really wish that you would allow yourself the opportunity to grow. I know that there are factors in your life and marriage that you are dictating what you do, what you don’t do and when but, it just seems that you could be doing something that enables you instead of disabling you.

                  I’ve begun packing and I’m not going to stop. I can only work on it a few hours at a time but I’m packing up so that I can be ready to load a truck once I’ve found a place to live. I’ve been looking at rentals about 6-8 hours west of me and the prices are so much more affordable. I can get a beautiful home for about 500 a month.

                  I’ll tell you that my husband has become the most unstable insane man since I’ve been packing. He vacillates between accusing me of horrible things to telling me that I’m the best thing he’s ever had. He of course is ready to change- not for me, for himself. He goes on and on about he has done nothing but worked his entire life, how he’s never done anything that made him happy, how he wants to travel, blah blah blah. It’s all about him as always. He has not a grain of empathy for what I’ve had to endure, what I’ve had to give up FOR HIM and because of HIM all these years. It’s always that way isn’t it? It’s easy for women to become bitter at this time when they see their husband’s beginning to improve now that they are walking out the door but I’m not going to get bitter because I’ve known all along that these disordered type of people never change until they lose everything and I’m his everything. My husband told me that he wants to be my friend and that all he ever wanted was the best for me and that he just wants to help me be happy. ( yeah, right) It’s very sad to see him this way on one hand yet, I have no pity on him. Ironically, he’s hooked up with one of his Bible thumping friends recently, the one in SC who is in therapy now and who is just as screwed up as my PAM and he’s obviously having a very strange effect on my PAM. This has happened before when they used to work together. My husband has a tendency to become very obsessed , like a rock star groupie, with certain people that possess certain qualities. That’s how he became obsessed with me. My husband perceives this guy as being some sort of wise sage because he’s got a degree in psychology (though he’s never used it for anything) and because he’s a Bible guru ( on the surface anyway) This guy has no clue what my husband truly is because my husband lies to him like everyone else. I’m trying to stay focused but I confess it’s very very difficult. I feel so alone. I wish so much that I had a friend to help me do this. I feel so afraid but I also feel like I’m making progress. If I can just stay calm and focused, I’ll survive this.

                  Ladies, if any of you live in SE VA, and want to help me in any way, please contact me!

                  Like

                  • Exodus, I get this from my husband, too: “My husband told me that he wants to be my friend and that all he ever wanted was the best for me and that he just wants to help me be happy.” My thought when he says this is, “Well, that’s interesting, because I’ve been very clear to you about what I’d like in our relationship, and you never do those things!”

                    I wish I were near enough to you to help!

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      I said something similar to my PAM about how it was so strange that he would offer to help me and do what it takes to make me happy AFTER I’m gone. That makes about as much sense as making your spouse miserable while they are living with you. Typical insanity! Maybe my husband has dyslexia and has everything in life backwards.

                      You just can’t imagine how awful it is living here now. It’s truly like the Exorcist…the demon is squirming and I’m having to ignore his insane outbursts.

                      Like

                  • GainingStrength says:

                    Exodus, I know what you’re going through. I have no one here to help me either. He left and now I’m “taking care” of the house until it sells. He cleared quite a bit, but there is so much more to do. My trash can is overflowing on pickup day! 😀

                    I heard all the crap about he didn’t want a divorce, “we” have problems that “we” should work on. I should help him help himself (yeah you read that right). I’ve changed and not for the better (that’s his opinion), and on and on. And when I wouldn’t go back to his normal, oh my goodness the insanity and cruelty that came from him. I started wondering about his mental stability.

                    I didn’t realize how much stuff I had until I started trying to pack it up! 😀 I’m still trying to figure out how to move it to where I am going (until I figure out what I want). Do I do it myself or do I get a moving company? I really don’t know, but then the house hasn’t sold so I have time to research and think this out.

                    If I lived near you, you bet I’d be there supporting you. Your husband would probably have an aneurism if a bunch of us ladies showed up to help you! 😀 Oh that would be worth videoing and watching over and over again. 😀 Don’t look back, don’t stop, go forward. There will be confusion (should I, shouldn’t I?), worry, anger, fear and anxiety and probably more things, but keep going forward. You have found your strength and we are all proud of you.

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      Thanks Gaining. Your kind and supportive cheers mean a lot right now. I’m so exhausted and yes, I too have a lot of stuff. I haven’t even hit the garage or the attic or my closet. I’m still working on wrapping china and cleaning out drawers. I’ve made a lot of progress though. I keep imagining what freedom looks like. I imagine waking up in my very own small cottage with the sun shining through my bedroom window and having nothing to fear and nothing to resent. I can go to my new job (hopefully) and not worry about leaving my house and what I will find when I come home. I will be able to get into my car without having to check for leaks under the car or chemical spills behind the seat. I will be able to balance my checkbook without having to call my husband to ask what money he spent only to realize that once again that he will not answer my calls. I will be able to save money without being punished for doing so.

                      Like

                  • Oh my gosh! You are packing! I am so glad! Take that momentum and run with it 🙂

                    No, I am not near you. But we still get the heat and humidity here. Ick! Probably not as much humidity as you get (I’m not coastal), but I have no tolerance for either heat or humidity physically. Air conditioning saves my life!

                    I am not surprised at all that he is getting more unstable. And I am glad you are not falling for it. Remember, your sympathy is the sociopath’s goal. I know you already know all of this, but by way of support, remember all the things he is saying now are just manipulations. He needs a victim and the thought of losing his victim is intolerable to him. As far as them improving as the woman is walking out the door – don’t forget, they are not improving. They are using temporary behavior modification to get the desired result! That is all! They are not growing. It is just a shift in tactics due to a shift in their circumstances. All this business about wanting to be your friend and wanting you to be happy is truly diabolical! It’s like I can see the demons on his shoulders telling him what to say to you! You know the truth. Yeah, that friend he is connecting with now doesn’t surprise me either. It’s all so weird. You be careful and watch your back. And you are right, keep that focus. Have you seen “The Truman Show”?

                    Like

                  • Exodus, also, have you seen “Sleeping With the Enemy”? I have a point to make from each movie.

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      Seeing,
                      Thank you so much for continuing to encourage me. I’ll write more about what I’m experiencing but I just wanted to let you know that even though I may already ‘ know’ what’s happening, I need all the encouragement I can get from others. This is a horrible experience. As of this morning my house looks very barren. The walls are bare, boxes are stacked in places and it’s no longer a home- just a shell. I’ve packed up most of my heart and soul.

                      Sleeping with the enemy ..yes. I know that movie all too well and although my husband isn’t an OCD psychopath like that husband was, he’s still abusive and covertly controlling. The Truman Show…I can’t remember that one even though I think I saw it.I will look for that today.
                      Your image of demons on my husband’s shoulders…priceless. It’s truly sad that my PAM has allowed himself to be controlled by anger and still to this very moment denies being angry about anything at all.

                      Like

                  • Exodus, I replied under this comment since we ran out of space. My question about “Sleeping With the Enemy” had to do with a particular sequence of scenes. I used to fast forward to my favorite part and just stay there. It’s where she got to her new house in Iowa and started setting up her house – wearing what she wanted to wear, setting up her home the way she liked, putting out her little flowers on the windowsill, and then she sits on the porch swing in the evening light, at rest, breathing the peaceful air of freedom. Sometimes I would just hit pause and leave that image on the screen and imagine such a day. Keep holding on. Keep taking the next step. I know it hurts. Hang on tightly, by a thread if need be.

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      I’m going to heed your suggestion and put that scene of the new home on the TV. This is a truly horrible experience Seeing. I think i would rather kill myself than to go through this again and I mean that.
                      I don’t know if I can endure this Seeing. I’m almost tempted to leave with nothing. I wish you could hear my words because typing them simply cannot convey how exhausted and abused I am just from today.

                      Like

                  • Exodus, I know it’s not the same as audible voice, but I can hear you and your exhaustion. You are facing the most difficult thing you have probably ever had to do. First of all, please don’t even think about hurting yourself. I understand the temptation to think about it. I truly do. But I have had suicide take the lives of more than one person that I loved very dearly. Believe me, it is no answer – it is only darkness. As far as the temptation to leave with nothing, I have wondered about that for you. I know that each of us have a different degree of attachment to things and you have expressed it as packing up your heart and soul. If you need to do this more quickly to save your sanity and maybe your life, I would say don’t be afraid to go with as little as you need and those things that mean the very most to you. I will be stepping up my prayers for you and will pray that God will guide you, strengthen you and lead you to refuge. He loves you. And I will be here for you.

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      Thank you for being here. This experience is horrible. Imagine all the PA abuse you’ve ever endured being loaded into a machine gun and being shot at you with 50 rounds every 5 minutes. My husband is so bizarre right now. He keeps attacking me and then he tries to be sweet and then attacks again and then sweet. He told me he would help me get the boxes down from our loft in our garage ( 10 times) but he never has. He’s not lifted one finger to help me and I understand why and never expected him to but why tell me that you want to help if you don’t? I see all the work I’ve done in this house and I feel myself getting angry that I must leave. This time last year, I was remodeling our bathroom all by myself, I put in a new floor, new ceiling, new walls, new tile on the walls, new tub and shower. I did ALL that by myself and now I must leave. ( I’m just venting my frustration). Right after that, I remodeled our sun-room ALL by myself and then I painted our bedroom. 2 years before all that, I ripped out all the carpet and restored the hardwood floors in here all by myself except for hiring the woman next door to help me move furniture. The thing is I don’t want to stay here but it just absolutely kills me to know how much I invested in our home for OUR benefit and none of it was ever appreciated. I never received one thank you or one compliment. Every time I pick something up to wrap, it triggers a negative memory attached to it. I’m really saddened and stunned in realizing just how much abuse I’ve endured through the years. I picked up a piece of my Aunt’s antique china to wrap and was reminded of the horror I went through every year to packup the china before a hurricane because my husband refuses to prune the dangerous trees around our house BUT, guess what? Suddenly, out of the blue, an arborist is coming to our house today at 3pm to estimate the cost of tree work. It’s so freaking obvious that my husband has been deriving some sick demented and deep-seated pleasure out of making me suffer all these years. He’s just like his stupid selfish father who would never take down a big rotten oak tree in his front yard even though his wife was worried about it. One year during a hurricane, the rotten tree was uprooted and fell on their beautiful 18th century home and knocked it off the foundation. They lost everything including the entire contents of their home and they were under-insured. A few years before that happened, I asked my FIL if he had ever adjusted their insurance to meet their needs since they had made improvements and purchases through the years and he said, ‘ Nah, not necessary because G-d will take care of us’. Well, I reckon He did. They now live in a tiny pre-fab house that they could barely afford. I just don’t get these men who are willing to sacrifice security of their ‘ loved’ ones in order to feel powerful. Don’t they realize how stupid and negligent they look when something does happen?

                      Like

                    • GainingStrength says:

                      Exodus, I understand how hard it is trying to pack and having him around. Before he left mine would sneer at me. We didn’t have many conversations, but he still got his cruel jabs in when he could. I agree that they get seemingly more unstable as time goes on. Mine told me I was forcing him out! Of course he believed it was my fault. 😀 He left, but to me he was just running from the responsibility of selling the house. He left all that to me as usual. He did sign the papers 🙂 and then a few days later he left for another state.

                      He’s gone, but he’s left mementos around the house I find as I try to clean up the house for viewing. A leaking faucet, dirty clothes (I threw them away), etc. Isn’t that sweet that he wants me to remember him? 🙂

                      You hang in there, just think of the ability to breath in peaceful air once you are out of there. Imagine your mind clearing and defogging. 😀 I like that word! Try smiling more often, you’ll do more of that when you’re free of him, so practice. Get your place and pack up the things you truly want and need and move. You can always come back to get the rest of your stuff. He’ll enjoy seeing you come back “to him”. Of course, when he realizes you’re just there for your stuff he’ll put on his hurt, sad, poor baby face! 😀 Take a deep breath, gather your courage and strength and forge ahead. No matter how long it takes you to pack and move remember you are freeing yourself. Full steam ahead. 😀

                      Like

                  • Exodus, I am so proud of you. I hope that doesn’t come off sounding wrong in any way. I can’t believe all the work you put into your house. You are such a capable person! And now you are forging ahead toward freedom. Simply awesome.

                    I wanted to repeat what I recently said on another blog about PA men and this business of offering to help when they have no intention of doing it. I have experienced this one big time. My theory is that they do it to create opportunities to disappoint you. They enjoy your frustration and if there are not sufficient situations to let you down and frustrate you, they will design them by offering to help or even asking you what you would like them to do and then, of course, not do it. Purely pathological.

                    Like

                    • Exodus says:

                      Thanks Seeing. Well yes, the PA man is always about obstruction so it only seems normal that my PAM would not help me even though he offered ( I didn’t ask). I thought it would be wiser to use boxes that I already have vs spending hundreds of dollars on new ones but, oh well. Last night he asked me, ‘ Why are you STILL packing?’ ..it became clear that the crumb he had thrown me earlier in the day ( the tree man/arborist) should have been enough to convince me to stay. I told him that I didn’t trust him and that I had no reason to believe that anything had changed between us.

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          • WritesinPJ's says:

            “Maintaining health is very hard to do when we live with stress and depression. ”
            Exodus, this is part of the vicious cycle. I think women try to get well enough to leave the causes of stress and depression, but the stress and depression deplete so much that it’s easy to, as you said, just spin the wheels.

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