Napoleon XIV

There seems little point in reporting this. But somehow I feel compelled to record it.

The fights are getting more regular. The irony is, perhaps, that they stem from Us actually talking. Except We’re not really talking – We’re just blaming.

The most recent started with, what felt to me to be ingratitude and insensitivity on Her part. (Not that it’s the first time I’ve felt that. Far from it.)
Or maybe I’m just being over sensitive and indulging some masochistic need to feel hard done by.
Maybe I’m only looking for ways to score points against Her.
But that sounds a bit like self blame – something all too common with abuse victims.
Though that in itself could just as easily be me being a vindictive shit and looking for ways to convince myself that She is the problem when it’s actually Me.
Perhaps I’m just being manipulative.
And I don’t even know whether I really think any of these things, or whether I’m just grasping at any words that come into my head and twisting them into arguments that confirm my bias.

I didn’t want to tell Her any of this. But not infrequently She has asked what can She do? What I needed Her to do now was to listen.

I told Her all this (some of it I have told Her in other arguments over the last few weeks) and although I did so calmly, I told Her I was waiting for the kick.
When it came, it wasn’t the kick that I expected: if I really think that I am reacting as many abuse victims do, then I really ought to go and talk to someone.

That’s when my calmness started to crumble.
There were only two possible implications: either She has not been abusive and I am delusional and need help, or that I need to seek help as a victim of abuse.
No prizes for guessing that She didn’t mean the latter.

The discussion was interrupted by parental duties.

Later in the evening, after I had dived into the destructive solace of a bottle of gin, at Her behest we talked some more.

Again there was the almost instruction that I need to see a psychotherapists. An iron fist, gloved in the velvet of …
A couple of months ago, after a not dissimilar conversation, I had said I intended to seek counselling. A couple of weeks later, She enquired whether I was still going to go. I said no. She asked why. I simply replied “money”. Nothing else was said.
… now She brought this up and magnanimously said I could pay for counselling out of the joint account. She even said that She would get back in touch with the counsellor She had tried to see recently. (Diary conflicts had been the problem.)
She would do whatever She needed to do. And I could do whatever I needed to do. We could even have another go at seeing a counsellor together again, if I that’s what I wanted.
Which all felt like I’ll see a counsellor, if you see a counsellor … which She contested.
I have no right to feel as irked by that as I did, for I have been through reciprocal thought processes. even if I have not attempted so blatantly to trade blame and righteousness. And I seem to be putting Her in an untenable position, in which She can do nothing right. [Ed: Which brings us back to where we started today – AM has been more subtle about this. One might almost say manipulative.]

Ultimately the well of bile ran dry, and from within my glass of gin I desperately reached for something to throw at Her. All that came to hand was that I wanted time away. On my own.
She said that was ok. And again I could draw on the joint account.
Oh how fucking generous of Her. Taking to the blameless moral high ground. The subtext being that it’s me that needs fixing. [Ed: And again we’re back to the beginning – it’s getting hard to tell whether AM really is paranoid or actually blaming Himself for an abusers actions. Maybe a qualified opinion is required here.]

Just as I didn’t know why I started writing this, I don’t know how to finish it either. Which in itself mirrors my increasingly wavering inner dialog. Maybe I’m just going slightly mad … or being driven mad … or driving myself mad … or …

I’ve not heard this song in years, and had forgotten all but the chorus. It does however now seem remarkably apposite.

4 Responses to “Napoleon XIV”

  1. Ok. I don’t know of you remember, but I tried to tell you years ago that your wife seems quite manipulative.
    You found reasons to explain why she was nowhere near as bad as my ex. For what it’s worth, you didn’t concince me then. This hasn’t changed.
    I just let it go because I knew you probably needed time to accept this idea.
    What I saw you do back then is find her excuses why she COULDN’T be manipulative. Been there, done that.

    The sex bit seemed so similar to mine. Being denied the sort of connexion good sex brings.
    The financial bit doesn’t sound much better (like you need authorisation to use money from a joint account!).

    I am really glad you are looking for a therapist.
    Oh, also: intuition is you body and soul telling what your mind cannot hear. Manipulators teach us to distrust it, because we are taught to distrust ourselves constantly. WE’re the mad ones. Not them

    Please, take care of yourself. Make copies of bank statements, important docs and send them to a trusted friend or family. Don’t let her know you’re doing it.

    • I remember the conversation.
      I’m still aware that what others read here about the situation is a distilled version of just one side of the story, presented with little conversation.
      Money is a prime example – restrictions on the joint account have never been intimated, far from it. My reluctance to spend is really self imposed. Why is it self imposed – obviously that’s more complicated, and 99% of day to day life – context – never makes it to this blog.
      I dont need a counsellor to tell me that I am not blameless and my perception of my marriage is polarised by all kinds if things. And that’s not self blame- that’s just cold, dispassionate logic.
      My Wife probably needs to address Her issues. I probably do too.
      Whilst I appreciate the bank statements suggestion, it’s not something I’m prepared to do. My reasons may not be the best, but I don’t see that changing.
      Thanks as ever for your perspective.

    • I do understand that this is only your perspective.
      I also know that, as victims, we are used (forced? By the other, by ourselves?) to find good explanations on why the other is not so bad. It’s part of what we’re taught all the time (we’re the reason why there are problems) and also the only way for us to survive: if we accepted that it was that bad, we couldn’t stay any more, or our souls couldn’t take it.
      The mere fact that you are willing to imagine you may be manipulating her in some way tells me that you are not the problem. Of course you are not blameless. One of the biggest difficulties that come later on is to accept one’s blame and forgive oneself.
      The cold dispassionate logic is good. It’s what helps you survive. But it’s also a sign that you are not the manipulator.

      The fact that you have access to the money doesn’t mean that the reluctance to use it is self-imposed. It just means the reasons why you shouldn’t use it was slipped, insinuated, enough that you don’t feel entitled to that money.
      Again: been there, done that. The number of times I heard “how can you suggest you are not free to use our money? You have a credit card to the account!”
      The problem, as always, was more subtle. Being told off for the way I spent the money (for trivial, little things that cost next to nothing compared to his income), the fact that when I wanted something, I always felt judged for how much it had cost, that I was told time and again that my income was ridiculously low and wouldn’t help us do what we wanted to do… numerous other examples that led me to not feel entitled to the joint money.
      But, he could always pretend he didn’t impose restrictions on me, it was always more subtle that that. It was still manipulation.

      As for the bank statements… it’s just to protect yourself. As my solicitor told me, back then: “I’ll just keep them at the bottom of the file. I won’t use them, unless we have to because of things he says”. And we didn’t. But it came in handy when he eventually, after 4 years, released what he owns… and we realised at least one account’s money, roughly £30,000 pounds, had disappeared in 4 years. Where did they go? I have my idea, but what it shows is that he is a liar and could very well have lied about other things.
      The thing is: you have to protect yourself before you don’t have access to those things any more.
      I met someone who had to learn to pick locks because her abusive husband had placed all important documents in a locked trunk once he started to feel that she may have been slipping from him. This of course had to happen at night, with the fear he may be coming at any time to inquire what she was doing…
      If your reasons are because you don’t want questions about expenses you have made, like kinky underwear or such… it’s not reason enough to not do it. At least get a version of how much money is in each account at a particular point in time.
      Of course, you do what you think is best for you. What you are prepared to do for now.

      I’m just planting seeds of what you may need if things don’t get the resolution you are still hoping for.

      Wishing you all the best. XO

    • I think its a ciecular argument. And I’m not sure I’d have sufficient introspection to tell the difference between abuse victim and narcissistic martyrdom.
      Please remember, my Wife is not your husband and I am not you. (And I say that without prejudice. Either could be better or worse or neither.)

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