Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's all about the control....

Bitching.... Complaining... Whining...

All things I do well. And all things I do here on my blog. I don't apologize for it. This is my blog. My outlet. My platform. I speak the truth here, and sometimes, not often mind you, but sometimes, this is the only place I am brave enough to do the speaking. I generally try to speak my mind no matter where I am, no matter the situation, but sometimes, I just can't do that. Mainly because I am a great big coward.

Nevertheless, I write on here the things that I need to say. Whether it be something my girls did that made me laugh till I peed, something that made me so sad I cried, or something that made me so angry I wanted to run over somebody/something with my car... it's all fodder for my blog.

Of course there are things that I do not write here. My kids read this. So some of what I want to say is stifled... Also, there are people who might read some of the things I WANT to say, and be hurt by it. It is not my goal to ever hurt anyone... Well, except for that guy who keeps calling my office and saying, "Sugar, can you help me wit' sumfin'?" Him I want to gut like a fish...

At any rate, it is also not my goal for this blog to be nothing but whiny chatter, endless posts of "Woe is me!", reckless epistles proclaiming who I currently hate, and who has claimed top honors on my "LIST OF SHITS."

But sometimes, seriously, I don't have any other choice... Sometimes something happens that throws me in such a dither that I need to get it written down, so I can look at it, so I can tell if I am CORRECT to be hurt or angry, or whether I need to just "GET THE FUCK OVER MYSELF."

This is one of those times... And so here is my story:

Up until a few years ago, I took care of the bill paying, the grocery shopping, and the casual spending of money. We were in debt up to our eyeballs, and truly, the both of us were at fault. My husband has never known restraint when he wants something, and when he wants it, he wants the BEST something he can find. He is a firm believer in "IF IT COST THE MOST, IT'S THE BEST" school of thought. I, on the other hand, am a revenge shopper. So, you spent $4,000 on a new 4-wheeler? Not a PROBLEM. I will go out today and buy new clothes for the kids, new books for myself, and all the best junk-food Little Debbie and Dorito's have to offer. I won't spend as much as you TODAY, but give me a few weeks...

When it came time to do the bills, I approached it with caution. Oh, I would add everything up, check due dates so that nothing was late, and when I came to the total.... I would lay aside everything that did not HAVE to be paid right then, so as to make sure we had money for food, cigarettes, and Diet Coke. We did not run out of anything when I took care of the bills. But bills didn't always get paid off as quickly as they could have either...

When my husband came to me and said, "I'm doing this from now on, you SUCK at it," I was shocked and hurt. And grumbly. I took it as a personal insult that he wanted to take over the bill paying. It didn't take long, however, for me to see it as a GOOD thing. I did not have to worry about what was getting paid, WHEN it was getting paid, or HOW it was getting paid. And I have to give credit where it is due, he did a damn good job.

Let's move forward in time, a bit....

Many of you know that there has been trouble brewing in my house for a long time. Mostly it's my fault. I take the blame, because I deserve it. That does not mean that I am willing to be punished for my mistakes the rest of my life. It's been three years or more, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. My husband says that he forgave me, but he cannot "forget." I say, BULLSHIT. There is no forgiveness where there is endless rehashing of old sins, endless suspicion that NEW sins are being committed, endless punishment, in the name of "It's only FAIR."

But I digress....

During the last year or two, my husband has accompanied me to the grocery store each Sunday morning. We go early, avoid the rush, and he has stated many times that this is "our time." OUR TIME is no big thrill for me, let me tell you... however, I have made the best of it, and try to be on my best and funniest behavior on these trips. Most of the time, it's enjoyable. Sometimes it is WAY not. I keep going, because he says it's IMPORTANT that we spend time together.

Last year, he opened up a new checking account. At a different bank. He said he did this because I STOLE from him. What happened was that both of our accounts were at the same bank. I access and do my banking from the computer, and it just so happened that my kids used my debit card without telling me, and my account was overdrawn. He wasn't home, so I made the EXECUTIVE decision to take $100 from our JOINT account, transfer it to MY account to cover the transaction and the fees. I paid him back as soon as I got paid. But he was BESIDE himself that I had done it without asking.

It didn't matter to him that MY NAME was also on the account that I took from. It was HIS MONEY in there. AND I STOLE IT. He let me know, in case there was any doubt in my mind, that he saw me as a thief. On top of being a liar and a cheat.

So when he opened the new account, he left my name OFF of it. I have no access to that money. Oh, he DID let me sign him up for on-line banking, bless his heart, so that I can balance his checkbook TWICE a month. So I get to see HOW MUCH money he has. But I can't touch a cent of it.

I have to admit, I was hurt more than I wanted to admit that he did that. He is making a LOT more money now than he did when we had a joint account. He has paid off nearly all of his debt. He will not give one nickel of help to me, even though the debt I have incurred comes from Christmas, vacations with our kids, school clothes, and even groceries when he wants to give HIS credit cards an extra large payment. Recently, even, I spent over $200 dollars for groceries for his parents. I got none of that back.

But I digress again...

Yesterday morning, I asked him if we could go to the grocery store early, because I had a lot of things to do. He was terribly annoyed by this, as he fully believes HIS time is much more important than mine, and HE had a lot to do also. "Well," I offered, "I can go to the grocery if you'll give me your debit card, and you won't have to even go. I'll take care of it this week, and you can work in the garden for your mother." I don't like going to the grocery. Most especially, I don't like going by myself, and EARLY on Sunday morning. But I offered, because I was trying to help.

He didn't answer me, and went on about doing the things that he NEEDED to do, which included buying his father a $179 (plus tax, thank you very much) razor, because his dad had seen it on television and thought it was NEAT.

After breakfast at his mom's house, his sister (who I ADORE) asked me if I'd like to go to the grocery with her. This made me terribly happy. I wouldn't have to go by myself! I would be able to do something to help my husband AFTER all! YAY! It was a bonus!

I told her I'd love to go with her. And I turned to my husband and said, "Can I have your debit card, or will you sign a check for me?"

He got this look on his face that, had I looked into his eyes, likely would have killed me. He shook his head, said, "Sure... I'll give you some money... what is it that you are wanting from the store? Good God, we just bought groceries, I can't imagine... whatever...this is ridiculous."

Now, I don't care what he says to me in front of his parents. I know what they think of me, what they have ALWAYS thought of me, and I know how he probably runs his mouth about me down there. (Like the time he pulled into their garage in the middle of the day, telling them he needed to hide his truck before I got home, because "something is not right up there.")

But I was humiliated that his sister heard his hateful words. I was humiliated that I even had to ASK for money to buy groceries...

What I did was smile sweetly and say, "Oh, well, hey! Don't worry about it! It's no biggie! I don't have to go, really! We still have loads of food from LAST week's shopping! Um, I have to get home now, and get those dishes done!"

And I went home and cried. Like a stupid little girl. When my crying spell was over, I called his sister and said, "I don't guess I'll go, we don't need anything but stuff for his lunch, and I'll just let him pick that up when he goes out..."

When she answered me, she sounded sad, and more than anything else in this world, I did not want her to pity me. I was so angry, so embarassed, and so TOTALLY at a loss as to what I could or SHOULD do, that I did what I always do when I feel helpless. I went to bed.

My husband came in later and asked me why I wanted to go to the store without him. I got out of bed, and told him I didn't. That I had been trying to help, but it didn't matter whether I went or not. After telling me that SAME morning that he did not have TIME TO GO TO THE STORE, he looked at me and said, "We ALWAYS go together. SO I CAN SEE WHAT IS BOUGHT, AND MAKE SURE WE REALLY NEED IT. SO I CAN CONTROL HOW MUCH WE SPEND."

I turned around and went back to bed...

I KNEW this was the reason he went to the store with me. I'm not an idiot. SPEND TIME WITH ME? Bullshit. If he had a list of "THINGS I'D RATHER HAVE A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE THAN TO DO," spending time with me would be at the top of it.

But somehow, hearing him say it? Hurt like a motherfucker. I felt useless. I felt like a 43-nearly 44-year old failure. What have I done, in my lifetime, that could cause him to hate me this much? Surely not the ONE THING I DID, that he says he's forgiven me for?

In retrospect, it seems like not such a big deal. It seems like I totally over reacted. And I wouldn't have written about it, except that.... if someone were telling ME that their husband kept them so completely powerless? I would be livid.... I would call it abuse. I would say that no one has the right to make you feel useless. No one has the right to take away your privacy. No one has the right to spy on you, plant tape recorders in your vehicle, tap your phone lines, install spy programs on your computer, steal every single piece of paper you write ANY numbers down on. No one has the right to take away your self respect, to make sure you have no friends, to limit the amount of time you can be with your family, to withhold money and help and conversation and approval, JUST so that you will feel indebted for the scraps and crumbs you do get... No one has the right, Goddammit, to make you wish you could disappear.

And yet, when it is ME telling the story? I tell myself it's no big deal. I tell myself I don't have a right to complain....

The End

19 comments:

This Mom said...

get out, get out, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THAT HOUSE.

You don't deserve to be treated like this. You are RIGHT-- it IS ABUSE.

Ms. Batman said...

I understand that staying is hard, sometimes very hard. I understand that getting out is harder yet. He has stripped you of your power and your confidence and left you convinced you could not do it alone. I have been there. And when I left he terrorized me, thinking the fear would bring me back. The fear only convinced me I had done the right thing.

I also know, you will leave when you are ready. Know that you don't have to do it alone, there is help available out there.

The first step out the door is the hardest, but it's the most important one.

Ms. Fizzles said...

Holy shit. This Mom is correct. He's not right, something is off and it is NOT YOU and shit, it's a HUGE deal. You have every right to complain. I would kick my husbands ass if he EVER treated me like that. He would end up eating his balls for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Don't feel that you did anything wrong. He's emotionally abusing you and you have rights!

I am pissed for you.

Avitable said...

You have every right to complain. I don't understand why married couples have separate bank accounts in the first place, but now he's taking it to a ridiculous level. You need to take the power back.

Miss Britt said...

NO ONE deserves that shit. No one.

I cannot for the life of me imagine why someone would stay with a person that they feel hell bent on punishing and controlling.

Bina said...

Holy Fuck. I SWEAR TO YOU this sounds EXACTLY like my marriage with my ex. Well, the money part, not the spying part. But we had our own accounts. He made at least twice as much as me and I got to see him buy nice cameras, lap top, a boat, new truck, and me?? I struggled with buying the groceries, kids clothes, Christmas, b-day's ANYTHING the kids needed and ANTYING the house needed, and my own car payment. God forbid one time I took out $40 from HIS checking account cause I needed gas and didn't get paid for two days. The fucker called me from IRAQ to bitch at me about it. That was it. I simply said, "If you are calling me from a war in Iraq to bitch at me about $40, this marriage is over". When he got home, I told him I wanted a divorce. It's the best thing I ever did for ME!!!!!!!

Wow, I could go on and on, but bottom line, I know EXACTLY how you feel.

Rockycat said...

Sounds like hubby's an asshat. And trying to control you, not letting you have friends, etc., IS abuse.

the planet of janet said...

he's a fuckhead.

i have told you that before, and i will tell you that again.

he's an ABUSIVE fuckhead.

you know i totally love you. there is always a place for you in my heart and my house.

but he? is a fuckhead.

baseballmom said...

You're right, it IS abuse. He's totally controlling you, and it's not right at all. No one can really tell you what to do, but if Husband did that, I'd have to find a way to get out. I don't understand what it is about some people that makes them torture another person just for their own satisfaction, but it's sick and wrong, and I'm so sorry. You don't deserve any of it.

Andrew Clay said...

OK BY GOD! This is where I must chime in: Hubby and I (being male dominant} did not ask to be borned men. BUT, there is a certain right and responsibility that goes along with it.
Now if we were hefferen, submissive behavior you wold see.
Sorry girl suck it up!

Burfica said...

okay girlie you know I love you so these words will probably sting and I hope you don't hate me to much.

But I have told you before to run and run hard, you need to be out of that no matter what.

But two main quotes I try to live by, and it has helped alot is

You teach people how to treat you. (by not leaving you are justifying his treatment etc....)

And

It is better for kids to come from a broken home than a home that is broken. Your home has been broken for quite some time, and you really need to think on what that is gonna do to the kids. They see you staying with all the abuse, what do you think they will do in the end if they see that a woman, not even their mother is brave enough to not be in that. They will be in the same boat.

There is a book out there called The Four Agreements. Look it up, read it, feel empowered!!!

Erin said...

Long time no talk Melody Ann :-)

I have been reading your blog of course but I haven't commented for a lot of reasons.

We have spoken about your husband in detail what seems like a million years ago. Lots has changed in my life - but nothing seems to have changed in yours.

Mel - listen to me hon... and listen good. This is going to come off as cold and unfeeling but I am saying this for your own damn good.

You are enabling him. You are enabling him to treat you like this. What you are doing is ALLOWING the abuse. This is not something that will go away, nor will it get any better with you staying.

I finally left my husband and I pray that you leave yours. You told me a long time ago that you can't leave because of your daughter but that is no longer the reason is it? You are staying because you don't think there is anything better out there. You are also staying because it is easier than leaving.

You said you have somewhere to go - you have your brothers and if I remember correctly you have your fathers house in Florda right?

Damn it, LEAVE already. This man is controlling your mind, your money, your body, and your soul. What you need to do is to take your paycheck and get in the car and drive on out of there.

I hurt for you - because I KNOW what it is like. I've been there. And it doesn't get better no matter how much you want it to. There will always be something. I'm sure there are a lot of people that will help you get set up somewhere. We'll help you apply for all the things you need - you can find a little 2 bedroom somewhere cheap and easily afford it on your own with the help of the state.

I will be honest, I haven't commented because it hurts to see you go through this day and day out and never feel like you want to leave. Why? Is it because you lack self respect? Confidence? Are you scared?

You will not feel better about yourself until you get the hell out of that house and away from that man. You can do it - I'm doing it now... and believe me, you KNOW that I took him back over and over again and yet one day I finally managed to leave... and I hope for you that one day is very soon.

Barb said...

Gosh, this post made me so sad. You sound a lot like me.

Not a Granny said...

Call this number and talk with them. It is completely confidential.


1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

http://www.ndvh.org/index.php

Burfica said...

I finally did that meme you tagged me with.

the planet of janet said...

i wish i had a different post to leave this on...

but becuz i love you, i have given you an award. come by and pick it up, k?

hugs.

Rachael said...

This is my first time on your blog. I got here from Janet's blog since she awarded you. I read this post, and I was shocked by the way your husband treats you. He treats you like a servant, a child, not a wife. Marriages should be built on love and trust and sharing, and he doesn't seem to get that. Withholding money? Not even letting you buy the groceries without supervision? From the to her few posts I've read here it seems like you're not happy. It's obvious that a lot of people care about you, so I hope that you can find happiness. (Hugs)

MomThatsNuts said...

Good grief, its like taking a page out of MY diary...I feel your pain, Men suck. I have no suggestions, as I pretty much deal with the same thing. I am NOT glad to find someone else out there like this! (the exception is HE did the bad deed, and yet HE still feels like I should be glad he "came home"...

GRRRR
MOM

Miss Emily said...

I'm sorry, but you NEED TO LEAVE THE BASTARD! NOW!