Gaslighting

Today, not even out of the church parking lot, he asks, “do you get anything at all out of this (church)?” I do not answer because from the tone he used, I knew there was more to come. Then he proceeds to tell me that I am just a shell. I withhold. I don’t contribute.

What did I do? Turns out my irritation and comment about the kids eating donuts at church brought out the assumption that I just don’t get anything at all out of church.

Uh. Ok?

I have no idea how that formulation could occur, but it certainly did.

My exact comment as the kids were trying to rip open the box of donuts on the church kitchen like they’d never eaten before was, “this drives me crazy…every week they come in here eating donuts like a bunch of ravenous animals”.

Then, about a block away he asks if we can go to Schnuck’s to get some lunch meat and some juice…but then goes on to say that he doesn’t want to go do that if he doesn’t have my blessing to do so. I respond that we have leftover pasta to eat. He says he’d like to go get some lunch meat and juice to supplement the pasta to make lunch more enjoyable.
Sure, fine. Do what you want I tell him.
No, that answer is not good enough. “I want your blessing to go to Schnuck’s if you say no, then we won’t go.” Once again I say that we have no money and have food at home so that is my stance. If he prefers to go to Schnuck’s then that is fine but I do not want to go.

He insists that my answer is not what he wanted to hear.

I begin to argue that I don’t have to agree with him. I think we should eat the leftovers but if he wants to get something different then that is his choice.

He continues to use the verbiage that he wants my blessing and permission to go to the grocery store. And that he wants to make a mutual decision. I stood firm in my thought that it was not necessary to mutually agree about lunch. I told him that any time I disagree with him or anyone disagrees with him for that matter then he gets angry and insists on changing the other person’s mind.

Where is this all coming from? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday. And virtually every Sunday after church is like World War III. Constant arguing and bickering.

As we got home, I asked what it was that he promised my sister that we were going to get her for Christmas? I heard him say something yesterday about it to her but I didn’t catch what it was. It was a washer and dryer.

Really? We don’t have money to go to the grocery store and yet he is promising to buy her a washer and dryer without consulting me about it?

That is when it really started getting ugly. Words started flying. I began to feel confused. I was not able to think clearly. I told him I was not going to engage in the conversation and I left the room. He followed me, continuing the badgering.

And then I had a moment of clarity from all the books I’ve read. Gaslighting.
I told him that what he was doing was gaslighting and to stop talking.
http://www.thehotline.org/2014/05/what-is-gaslighting/
“Gaslighting? I don’t even know what that is. The only person that is letting your gas is yourself”.

Nobody ended up eating lunch.

He continued to speak to me. I continued to try and defend myself and combat the words.

There wish nothing wrong with my question today. The reason you don’t like my question is because it’s the truth and you don’t get anything out of church.

Here are some of the things that I keep replaying in my mind and questioning, “Why? Why, Lord, why?”

Him: Can I have a hug?
Me: No.
Him: Then leave. If you can’t do that then you need to leave.

Him: you are not happy. You have no joy.
Me: I am happy. The only time I am not is when I’m around you.
Him: All you have is me, the kids and this house. So what, you’re happy at work?

Him: You’re ready to call it quits over a trip to the store for some lunch meat and some juice?
(Tactic: trivializing)
Me: This is not about just some juice. This is about years of you treating me badly. It’s about the constant revolving door of jobs over the years. It’s about not taking initiative or being proactive.

Him: What are you typing?
Me: what you’re saying.
Him: Oh, so you can have documentation for a divorce attorney?

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