How the Grinch stole Christmas

Internet image. I hold no Legal Rights of Ownership.

Internet image. I hold no Legal Rights of Ownership.

It’s Sunday and I am alone. My boyfriend had to work today so I have the day to myself. Well, to an extent. I am in an abusive relationship so I am never really alone, right? He will call. He will text. He will want to know where I am and what I’m doing and whether I’m with anyone else and if he doesn’t like it I will hear about it. One time, not too long ago, I was on the phone with him while shopping at Wal-Mart. All I wanted to know was whether we needed anything else while I was there. There were some girls in the background talking and he angrily asked, “Who’s that?” The fuck do I know? Crazy.

Spending time doing what I want isn’t always possible, even when I’m not in his presence. But hey, at least I’m not in his presence. What a terrible thing to say about someone you’re in a “relationship” with, eh? Just goes to show the nature of it. Anyways, I am taking advantage of the alone time to write another post because I know the likelihood of me having another chance to this week isn’t good.

Christmas is a few days away. I love Christmas. Correction, I loved Christmas. I am anxious about it this year since last year was a disaster. My family (dad’s side) gets together on Christmas Eve. He complained about having to come. The day of, I was locked out of the house and he yelled at me over the phone. I had to go pick up alcohol for him before the store closed. We got there and he was in an irritable mood. I hoped that being around my family would lighten him up because my family is awesome. He wasn’t comfortable being around my uncle because my uncle’s a cop and he doesn’t like cops. I always have drinks with my aunt on Christmas Eve. She brings 4 or 5 different things to try and we have fun. Not last year. I had started out having some drinks, assuming that my boyfriend would be the designated driver since it was my family gathering and being my loving boyfriend he would “let” me enjoy the evening with my family as I usually do. Wrong. I noticed he was on his third or fourth beer and I asked him if he was going to be ok to drive. “No, you?” was his response. I sadly replied, “I guess I’ll call it quits then,” still thinking he might change his mind. Nope. It also felt like a punishment. Like he was drinking because he didn’t want to be there in the first place and since I was “making” him be there he was going to drink it all away and not let me have fun. Punishment was exactly what it was. Quite frankly, I was worried he was going to get too drunk and start acting like he does when he’s wasted. I didn’t want my family to see that. I tried to stall in getting him another beer whenever he was done. But the mask slowly began to slide off. He made a smart-ass comment to my cousin that I could tell gave him great satisfaction. He even later said she deserved it. He doesn’t like her because she’s “slutty.”

At the end of the night, him and my dad got to talking about cops. I was holding my breath. My uncle had since left because he was on duty that night. But my aunt overheard them talking about how sketchy some cops were. She lightheartedly said, “Hey, that’s my husband you’re talking about,” and smiled. We got into the car to leave and immediately my boyfriend started spewing about how my aunt was out to get him and she was angry that he’d been insulting cops and  how she thought he’d been talking about her husband. I thought to myself, well of course she’s defensive, her husband is a cop and you were insulting cops. But she wasn’t looking for a fight. She wasn’t being totally serious. She was simply expressing her loyalty. And she wasn’t trying to turn against you. I told my boyfriend this. But he was dead set on believing that she was turning against him, and he was trying to convince me of that in hopes that I would side with him and turn against my family. He proceeded to turn the music up incredibly loud in my car while I was driving. He pounded my dashboard. I turned it down. He looked at me and asked why I was in a “pissy.” He said, “how come you’re all despressing with me but with your family you were all smilely and happy? It should be the other way around.” That comment further demonstrated how he wanted me against my family. I simply said that I was just tired. It was Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to argue.

We got home and he continued to act like an arrogant prick. He said he was starving because he hadn’t ate much of the meal earlier. While he was cooking he kept going on about my family until finally I snapped and said that I would never act like this towards his family, I would never be so disrespectful. He yelled at me, “Fuck you and fuck your family!” and made humping gestures. I was stunned. Heartbroken. I went to bed and cried myself to sleep on Christmas Eve. Our first Christmas together, too. It was a nightmare.

Of course, he apologized in the morning and said he didn’t want to fight on Christmas. I was slightly hopeful. But, since we were expected to be at my mother’s for dinner that day, the whole thing started again. He complained, “Who makes you drive an hour an a half just for a dinner?” (my mother’s is an hour and a half drive away) Dumbfounded,  I replied,  “um, it’s Christmas and I do it every year to see my family.” I found it hard to believe that he couldn’t comprehend that people travel to see their family. On Christmas no less. He complained that he couldn’t relax on his day off because he has to “fucking go here and there.” He asked how mad my mom would be if he didn’t go. I angrily told him he didn’t have to, but that she was expecting him and had gotten him a gift as well. We were late leaving because he took his time getting ready, drank, and made me wait an extra half hour while he dicked around. As punishment, he drank the whole way there while I was driving.

Needless to say, it was an awful Christmas. I couldn’t believe the things that took place. I had never had such a horrible experience having a boyfriend over with my family before. It had never been so difficult. I was devastated. That is why I’m so anxious about this year. I’ve already seen and heard hints that’s it’s going to be a repeat. He’s complained about having to travel and go to dinners on his days off. He’s complained about having to get gifts for everyone since they got him something last year and, although I tried assuring him that they don’t expect anything, he’s insisted that he has to because he’s “not that kind of guy” to not return the gesture. When really he’s just pissed that he has to work harder to keep up the charade of being a good guy. He recently told me that when he was in high school his girlfriend and her mom told him that he looked like the Grinch. I thought that was hilarious. How apt. Not necessarily in appearance (although I can see what they mean. My boyfriend is very good looking, but oddly enough he does bare a resemblance to the Grinch in his bright eyes and eyebrows and wicked smile) but maybe it was the resemblance in his natural predisposition that they read; his tendency to ruin the pleasure and happiness of others with his bad temper.

In case you’re wondering, his family doesn’t do anything for Christmas. There are no get-togethers. So it’s my family that interferes in his plan to isolate me during the holidays. I know he would love nothing more than for it to be just the two of us, and for me to wholeheartedly agree that it’s better that way. Never. Gonna. Happen.

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Aware of the mask

I should preface this by explaining that my posts may be spaced sporadically apart since I have very little time to myself. My schedule matches that of my abusers’. He managed to manipulate it so that when he’s at work, I’m at work. When he’s at home, I’m at home. We only have one day off a week, Sundays, and they are spent doing what he wants to do. I work from home on Saturdays (for now, that may change soon), so this is the only time I get to myself (well, it’s not really spent doing things for me, I am suppose to be working, but I have to take advantage of the fact that I am alone.)

We are in the “honeymoon” phase right now. He is love-bombing me. Sadly, I welcome the break from his abuse. I know he acts sweet when he senses that I may be gearing up to leave. He’s just trying to keep me hooked. At least I am aware of tactics. I may not be out of the cycle yet, but I am aware of what’s going on around me.

He has two voices. He has his “sweet” voice, and he has his “jerk” voice. His jerk voice is his normal voice. I cringe inside when I hear his normal voice because I know that his nastiness could very well be about to pop up. When I hear his sweet voice, I relax a little because I know he isn’t going to be outright abusive. I say “outright abusive” because my boyfriend is smart. He is very sneaky in how he abuses. He rarely, if ever, outright abuses me—he doesn’t scream “you fucking dumb slut/whore/cunt!” or “you’re useless! pathetic!” etc. to my face. Only when he’s drunk does the mask come off and he is more prone to outright abuse me like that. I will share more on those experiences later.

He is insidious. He operates in such a way as to seem harmless to anyone who isn’t aware or knowledgeable of how verbal and emotional abuse works. He abuses me in his sweet voice. He says, “you’re so dumb sometimes,” or “shut up” or “just be quiet already” or “why would you do it like that?” while pretending to be concerned about my well-being. Acting like he is my all-powerful savior from my dumb, naive self. I actually prefer he abuse me in his sweet voice. It softens the blow. Being told that I’m stupid under the guise that he cares for me and just wants to help lil’ dumb me is alot easier to take than being outright screamed at that I’m an idiot. I think you may agree. And now I can smile to myself in my head when he does this because I know. It’s a small triumph for me.

Last night he congratulated me on finishing my internship, and said that I would probably be hearing from them again to help out. I (mistakenly) started to tell him that actually, yes, my supervisor had mentioned contacting me if they are in need of any help on small projects. I began explaining what those small projects might be when my abuser walked over to me, smiled at me as you would smile at someone you feel sorry for and said “shut up” in his sweet voice. It was as if he was saying “aw muffin, you’re so cute to think that you’re smart enough to be asked back for help.” Even though I was well aware of what went on here, it still confused me that one minute he’s congratulating me and complimenting me, and the next he’s insulting me on the very thing he just complimented me on. Then I remember that his sweetness is a lie, and he just needs to keep me in check. He has to make sure I don’t start to feel too good about myself.

A fight could have broken out here if I had of chosen to express my anger over him telling me to shut up. But I didn’t have the energy. It’s useless anyway. Is that so bad? Is it so bad to just let it go? I don’t think so. I think my mind is safer this way. I know what he is doing while he is doing it, and that is enough right now. Engaging in a fight would only exhaust me mentally and physically, give him satisfaction knowing he got under my skin, make him feel powerful and in control and make me look like the crazy one as  I lash out and he remains calm. This will be addressed in another post.

When you’ve had enough

I decided to start this blog as a step towards escaping my abusive relationship. I also wanted to document incidents so that one, people going through the same thing can relate and two, so I could prove to myself that I wasn’t going crazy, that what I thought happened did happen, and that it is as bad as it seems. I write in a journal as well, but this one is public, and therefore makes me feel less isolated. I am reaching out. I was inspired by a woman, Kellie Jo Holly, who is a survivor of domestic violence herself. You can find her blog here. I am finding it to be tremendously helpful.

I decided that I’ve had enough. And since I’ve decided that, I know it’s time to enliven my life, to bring it back from the darkness that abuse has a dragged it into. You might argue that no, I haven’t quite had enough seeing as I am still in the relationship, but as any abuse victim will tell you, it’s very difficult to leave. You may have had enough, but the ties are so strong. That is why I created this blog. It is an example, proof that I’ve had enough. It is a baby step towards my freedom. Acknowledging the abuse is the first step, reaching out is another, and beginning to let go of the fantasy relationship is yet another. I already consider myself a survivor.