I spend a great deal of time trying to puzzle through my relationship with Terrance.
On nights like this, when he has called me a selfish and miserable bitch and I follow him to tell him that he has my full attention and what does he need which causes him to tell me through clenched teeth and bulging veins to leave him alone, I wonder why I stay married, why we stay married.
I do not claim to be innocent. I ignored him as he comes moaning into my bedroom, seeking my attention. This is because he does this constantly. He moans, he groans. He tells me that he thinks his chapped lips mean that he has cancer, or that his stomach ache is an ulcer. He interrupts what I am doing to make me look at the cut on his foot, or ask me to put a band-aid on it. While moaning.
This drives me fucking crazy.
Then he stands in front of the television. Like a three year old.
I do not give him the attention he craves so he, like a toddler, amps up his requests for attention. Then, like a toddler, he storms and rails against me. Unlike a toddler, he knows my soft underbelly and rarely holds back.
He uses the words I use to describe my mother: Narcissistic, self involved, selfish. Why does he fucking put up with me?
The truth is that I don't know.
The other truth is that since 1991 I have been building my walls against his disapproving anger. I insulate against the punishment, the disappointment, the litany of words that describe what I am not for him.
I have deadened my reactions to him because the alternate would be to live on tenterhooks. This state of being is not conducive to attempting any kind of normalcy.
The other mind fuck is that I can no longer tell you if it is him, or if it is me or if it is neither. I have no grasp of what is real in this relationship. I do not trust what I see nor what I feel. I certainly don't trust the person who has told me that I am neurotic and have low self esteem for 21 years. I recently asked him to introduce me to the person he thinks he is married to since I have no idea who this person might be. She doesn't look like the person I know internally.
Goodness knows that the person he presents to the world in no way resembles the man with whom I live.
So many of these doors are closed and I have no energy or desire to open them.