My Triggers Have Come Home To Roost

A friend of mine, on another site, uses the term "Wonderful Husband" whenever she vents about her hubby.... so I'm going to do the same here.

When I was still living at home, as a child/teenager, my abuser was impossibly hard to please. She demanded perfection in everything she expected of me. Doing something sub par, not meeting her expectation, reaching her standards was justification for punishment, which usually included verbal and emotional abuse and when she was really upset, physical abuse.

She was very dramatic with her facial expressions, body language, gestures, etc. It was always clearly obvious that she was displeased, upset or disappointed. Once you knew those expressions, gestures and recognized the body language, you knew what was to come next.

While working at my last job, I had a supervisor who could have been my abuser's clone. I found that after a couple of years of working with her, being put in closer and tighter quarters with her, I was sitting in my office crying nearly every day, having panic attacks, being triggered. A manager suggested making her aware of my situation, hoping she would adjust her conduct accordingly, but she found it to be a source of control, manipulation, a way to minimize me. I lost that job because of the forced interaction I had to endure with her.

Lately, I'm finding that 'wonderful husband' has really been triggering me. He's working insane hours at two jobs, so I've been trying to shoulder all the responsibilities of home, with the exception of mowing the lawn. I'm making his lunches, cooking all the meals, doing all the housework, laundry, etc. I'm handling the checkbook, paying the bills, managing all my son's appointments, and so on.

When he's home, if I ask him to do anything, to help me with anything, he gets visibly upset, he huffs, sighs, slams things, makes faces, his tone changes. He's very dramatic about it, making sure everyone knows there's a problem.

I've had to ask him the same things over and over again, though he continues to refuse to help out. He's contributing to making my responsibilities much heavier. When I try to talk to him, he simply ignores me.

I know he's been working 51 hours a week at the day job and 12 hours a week at the night job, I appreciate what he's doing for the family, but I've been handling the house without my power chair to rely on. For a week and a half I had no wheels, was in a great deal of pain, but I was still expected to keep up with everything, find a way to adapt. Now I have a manual chair and though I can get around better, it itself is causing pain in my shoulders and my knees. I'm still trying to keep up with everything.

I made the mistake of asking 'wonderful husband' if he would take Kodiak out to potty while he was trying to put the groceries away yesterday. I can't reach high in the cupboards and I haven't taken the manual chair outside, so I didn't have many choices. He threw a 5 lb. bag of potatoes on the counter, he rolled his eyes, huffed and his voice was dripping with sarcasm when he said "Come on!" in a demanding way to Kodiak. I told him not to worry about it, I would take him out myself. I hobbled to the door and went out with him, he had to go so badly he was down the ramp and in the yard going before I even turned the corner of the deck. He came back to me quickly, so I brought him back in while 'wonderful husband' slammed things around in the kitchen.

Inside the door he said, "I told you I'd take him."

Tonight, I asked him if he could take Kodiak into the back yard and run him around a bit, throw his toys for him, get him a bit of exercise, seeing as how we're going on a month with me being unable to take him for a daily walk. He went out with him, after slamming the footrest of his recliner down. He came right back in saying 'He went right to the shed to look for the ground hog, he didn't want to play.'

It wasn't a half hour later and Kodiak wanted to go back outside. I took him and 'wonderful husband' followed. Kodiak checked the shed, checked the neighbor's fence and peed in the yard, as he does every single time I take him out, then he brought me his tuggy toy and we played for about a half hour.

I asked him what was the matter lately.... what is bothering him, that his attitude has changed so much, that he's so short with us. He got mad and said "maybe it's you asking that question all the time!"

I am so triggered, I broke down and cried. My son said, "I don't blame you. I know how you feel." He's been staying in his room trying to avoid contact with his dad because he's been so short and had such a bad attitude lately.

I felt like I was right back at home, with my abuser, waiting for her to hit me, to diminish me, tell me how useless and worthless I was, how I make her life miserable and she's sacrificing so much for me but I don't appreciate it or care about her.

I hate feeling this way. I hate flashing back, in my own home, where I'm supposed to feel safe and secure.
rollingwithhusky rollingwithhusky
46-50, F
1 Response Aug 1, 2010

Dear rollingwithhusky,<br />
Reading your letter, my heart goes out to you ........if you don't mind I'd like to pray for you, your husband your son and Kodiak.......... Dear Heavenly Father, Please send your tender mercies to this family, support them during thistrying time in their life. Help each member of this family to be more tolerant, appreciative and caring towards each other. Continue to be every present in their lives - guiding, nurturing and protecting them. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.<br />
Now, ............... <br />
have you ever tried to get rid of those triggers? <br />
2 weeks ago I learnt a great way to get rid of mine - using CORE technique/ridding yourself of intense emotions which are triggered by almost anything. Its a way by which one uses ones own mind to face our fears/intense emotions and instead of shying away from them one confronts them. You don't say anything - only be aware of these emotions and keep on concentrating on central source of the emotion. Its usually emanates as a painful area in your body - head, shoulders, gut etc., <br />
Imagine that your mind is probing the pain, going down into the centre portion (think the pain is a tornado and your seeking to position yourself in the eye of the tornado), you can see the winds of pain/emotions swirling around you but they can't hurt you. Just be aware of the pain ie. let your mind touch the swirling edges and then go back to the calm centre. After a while, the pain may disappear completely or at least less. If it lessens or moves else in your body, repeat the CORE technique again until there is NO MORE PAIN. Anyway, I'm not too sure how it works but it does! I guess its a form of self-hypnosis or neuro-linguistic programming. So if your interested in getting rid of roots of your problems (not anyone else's) look it up on the NET. <br />
Of course, there is another method - that is learn to FORGIVE others for what they did to you. Ask God to help you to forgive your trespassers. Once you forgive them, your dumping all their garbage back onto them. <br />
Sorry to sound so preachy but......................<br />
Best wishes,<br />