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Context Part Two: The Relationship

August 29, 2018

Vincent is a storyteller, my second weakness. I love a good tale and they had many. They were fascinating.

We met, I fell in love, I pursued the hell out of them, and then circumstances lead us to move in together early because that was the only way we could continue.

Then the fighting started. Not too bad at first. But it was the beginning of the gaslighting. Because if I was upset at the meaning it was my fault. They didn’t say those things. I was hallucinating. They weren’t difficult to communicate with. I had lost my abilities. I was no longer a good communicator.

And because I was ill I believed them. And my sister’s fury began to burn. They were always afraid of her. They were right to be.

The gaslighting was twofold. They would deny what they actually said, because they are too anxious to admit when they are wrong. And if I did not repeat the exact words they could not recognize I got the meaning quite well, thank you very much.

They seem to seek drama; I don't know why. I could go the rest of my life without it. I always suspected some of our arguments were deliberate. I was right. They got anxious and they baited. At first, I felt bad for my anger and apologized.

Then it became for both of us “I’m sorry we fought” Because I began to recognize it wasn’t my fault.

Let’s fast forward a little.

We got engaged, we got married July 2nd, 2017. We had a wonderful honeymoon, a semi good august. But they didn’t land a teaching job. And they just stopped trying. I suspected depression but like all my advice it was ignored. I still do not blame them.

I held up so much of the responsibility, so much of what it takes to get by in the adult world. I started therapy in 2016 and my therapist would pat his shoulder. “One more thing on your back.”

Vincent is young in heart for his age, and it shows in their lack of wisdom. They can bring history to life, they can advise on the subjects they know. They have the wisdom of friendship and brotherhood. But they are not wise in the dangerous world. I was trying to help Vincent grow with me. But the weight was getting heavier.

Soon we were surviving on my meager income, what little Vincent earned from substituting, and the generosity of my parents whom could only afford so much. Some of my parents needs could not be met, just so we could have food.

But their anxiety barred them for looking for work outside of the field they had their heart on. They did not think themselves qualified for anything else.

Since we had moved in, August 3rd, 2014 we had been fighting. I had lost my identity due to Joshua and ten years of depression. I did not remember who I was and was struggling to reform. From my experience at home, I thought myself an angry person. I worked hard last year at getting my rage under control, and I succeeded. But I should not have been in a position of needing to.

At the end of December 2017, we were moving. I packed most of the things but crashed close to the move and Vincent had to finish, thinking they had done much of the work while I spent my time wrapping every fragile object, so they did not break.

We had been given an opportunity for a cheaper place thanks the generosity of a kind friend. And I had leapt on it. It was temporary, but Vincent had been doing a six-week substitution and it looked like they would get the job.

They didn’t.

In the new year I chose the word “Hope” as what I sought out of the year.

And since I thought I had conquered rage, I decided to work on paranoia. I tried new meds and it began an up and down process of tinkering. At the same time the fights truly started.

At a certain point, pushed and shoved, I will always get angry. I will yell, and then if not left alone I will hit rage. It is in my mental illness. I am not an angry person, and I have a fuse a mile long and a sleeping dragon that does not want to be roused. But Vincent knew every short cut. And back then I was caged.

Vincent baited and barbed, and needled their way into ridiculous fights. So many fights. They had learnt my every button and pushed them in quick succession. Until they had little to do in order to be in the middle of drama.

I would be triggered, and a true fight would start. This is mental illness abuse.

Then with their poor memory for events they would gaslight me, not deliberately. But because they could not hold on to the truth. I once caught them in it exactly. But they denied every word they had spoken.

In four years of the relationship they admitted fault three times. The rest, if they had hurt me, was because I had started it. That’s gaslighting. And that’s also abuse.

They did so because they are so afraid to be wrong. Their family had twisted and abused them into thinking love meant control and never admitting fault. I do not blame my spouse. I blame their parents.

Yes at 34 they’ve had time to escape the shadow of their family. But some people can, and some people can’t. And they cannot face what hurts the most. Because at their level of anxiety, it’s impossible.

They were even upset when I told them they hurt me. This was after I decided walking away wasn’t resolving anything. Because that churned within them because they could never admit fault.

Vincent pushed so many buttons this year I lost the ground I gained. I am scarred by the times I hit rage. Anger is not a feeling I can stand well. I hate being out of control, and rage is the worst.

And Vincent was relentless.

They were anxious about the job hunt and took it out on me. They lost a job they were practically guaranteed to get. And then wouldn’t listen when I told them I thought they had a bad reference.

They would rarely listen to me. And sometimes just trying to help would cause a fight.

I spent the first six months of this year in therapy talking about our arguments, trying to come up with ways to counter, stop, slow down, make them see reason. Put a warning sign when I know I’m going to blow to rage. Then I learn if I yelled it was already over. I vape Marijuana for my mental illness (less now), and I would vape even more to stay slowed down to reason with them.

You can not reason with someone who wants to control you, and I will not be controlled again. You can not reason with someone who won’t admit they’re mad. You can not reason with someone whom every time you point out what they did wrong, tells you they only did that because of what you did. You can not reason with someone who seeks drama, and wants to fight.

I worked so damn hard in therapy to end our fights. And yet every session with theirs it was never discussed.

I learnt every negotiation trick in the book, but nothing works if someone just wants to be mad at you. Even now, separated and facing divorce, I have screen shots of them baiting me.

I am not as upset at them as I have been for past abuse. I believe their anxiety is crippling and they’ve learnt from their narcissistic mother to behave that way when anxious.

Without the ability to admit anger, Vincent can not do anything about it. They need to break past their mother’s influence. But without a better therapist they never will.

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