Something happened after I posted this morning. I might be too upset to be coherent. I hope you can follow my attempt to tell it.
I mentioned in a comment on a recent post that I’ve been sick. He never seems to handle my being sick all that well.
I think this really started last night when I came out at bedtime to a huge mess in the kitchen, and that upset me. When I say it upset me, I didn’t yell, swear, or name call. I just said to my husband that it really upset me. He started to get mad at any and all of our kids, and I reminded him that he was my husband, and in my opinion, although not responsible for taking care of all of it, he was responsible for communicating with everyone so it didn’t come to that mess. He was initially angry about it, but he actually seemed to calm down and agree.
I’d started on the pile of dishes, and not too far into it, he told me not to worry, and that he’d take care of it. I turned my computer on, sat and calmed down for a few minutes, then asked him nicely to just come to bed, and we could take care of the rest in the morning. Both of us had done some cleaning up already at that point, so it seemed reasonable. He said he’d be there in a couple minutes. But he wasn’t. I was too tired to see why, but I suspected he was covertly upset with me.
Late this morning, my youngest son walked up to me and asked who was giving him a ride to work. I looked at the clock on my computer and realized that someone needed to leave right away or he’d be late. I’ve been not feeling well the last few days, so even though I look like the dickens, I was actually feeling better than I have. I jumped up and told him to see if his dad was ready to leave, and if not, I’d be getting my shoes on just in case. I put my shoes on, grabbed my purse and glasses, and since no one else was there and ready to leave, got in the car. The car made a funny noise, but finally caught and started. My husband came from somewhere outside and yelled, “What are you doing?”
I opened the door and said, “I’m giving him a ride to work, and we have to leave right now or he’ll be late,” closed the door and started to back out.
He just yelled again, “Why are you doing that? ‘Brother __’ is supposed to do that! Get out of that car!” I just shook my head and kept slowly backing in the driveway (because I knew there was no time to switch plans at that point). Then the door to the garage opened, the brother supposed to give him a ride was standing there in bare feet, and my husband yells again, “He’s supposed to drive him to work. Stop and get out of the car!” I knew that in the time it would take for that son to find shoes, get them on, and come outside, it would make my youngest son late. I just shook my head and kept slowly backing out on the driveway.
Then my husband was shouting and repeatedly banging and banging on the car and the window with his hands! He was yelling at me, and as we were driving away, I heard him yell at the son that was supposed to drive originally. I kept going, but it shook me up. Being in a car when he’s angry is a trigger for me. I didn’t want it to hang over my son’s work day, so I changed the subject and got him to work about one minute before he was due to start. Maybe ninety seconds. Just enough time to punch in without being late.
After I dropped him off, I called my husband as I was driving home. I told him that I wasn’t upset about giving youngest son a ride to work, but I was upset about his yelling and banging on the car, and was most upset about him yelling at our other son. I said he needed to apologize to that son. He responded by saying that I seemed upset when I was coming out of the house to drive him, and said that I’d told him to shut up.
Did I? I remember yelling through the window for him to Stop that! I remember that. Maybe I was so upset I also said shut up? Either way, I reminded him that at that point I was upset because he was shouting and banging on the car. I also told him that I didn’t think the car should even be shut off, but that he should take it when I got back and drop it off at the mechanic’s. The son that he’d yelled at went with him, but was cold and angry with me when they left.
The downside was that the son who was supposed to drive him and wasn’t ready, got the brunt of it. I heard from my daughters how their dad yelled at him after I left. That son is upset with me. He was obviously very angry with me as we passed in the driveway when I came in and he left with his father. I’m the scapegoat again. That was what finally got me crying.
I came in the house and cried. My daughters asked me what was wrong, even though they must have known because they filled in the missing blanks. At some point, my oldest son walked in the room.
My oldest son just sat and listened, then had a good discussion with me about it. He said that even though it’s wrong, it seemed like growing up, whenever their dad was upset and angry about something, it was connected to me somehow. He said he was pretty sure that if he sat his brothers down and asked them about it, it would be their perspective, and that’s why they get upset with me. He also said it wasn’t right, and that I didn’t do anything wrong this morning.
My husband punishes me covertly by lashing out at the kids. I’m the scapegoat for his anger, unfairly viewed as the reason their father gets upset with them.
He just called and in a meek, sweet tone, asked if I wanted anything from the grocery store. I’m calmer, and I’m going to take what’s left of my day back. The sun’s shining, so it’s a good day for a walk. I’m going to think about what I need to do to nurture and heal myself. Damn his unnecessary drama.