My soul is hurting today. It hurts in a away that can only come from those conversations with my husband. The ones where I bear my heart to him and he says he understands how I feel. The ones after he has had one of his bad days.
He's been having a slew of bad days. I'm walking on eggshells for fear of what might set him off. I've taken to crying in the car on my drives to work for some form of release because I fear that the effort I have to put forward to "keep it all together" will crumble at any minute and I will burst into tears at an inappropriate moment. He feels like the world is chaotic in a way that he can't handle. His solution is to tightly control his world to keep it from spinning away into the chaos. This includes me. He has slowly, but increasingly, been tightening the rules and expectations he sets forth in our life. It's to the point that I can never win. I can never do anything right anymore.
On his worst days, he fishes for reason to be angry and take it out on me. I never know what will set off the alarms, but when they ring, it's deafening. He has taken to cataloging everything I ever say and do so that he can whip them out in arguments as examples of how I'm a failure as a spouse, a friend, and secret keeper. It means that I have to be perfect in everything I do and every rule I follow for fear of the devastating blows that come from failure.
The world explodes into a battle of who I am supposed to be, what I have done and how awful I am. The guilt game comes into play, who is at fault. Who is really the bad guy? These are unwinnable battles that take place in our living room, as insults are thrown and I attempt a strategy of deflection and avoidance. I have to tell myself that it's not always his fault. Sometimes, it's hard to.
When he has burned out his fire, his anger, his frustration at the world... When I'm exhausted and can't fight or defend myself any longer... The battle ends, and he has time to reflect on what I am trying to say. How hurt I am at what he is doing. This pattern can't continue. The control he is seeking over my life is going to turn into an abusive pattern if it moves forward much more. He cannot keep coming home and venting his emotions on me, an unsuspecting person, who is never quite sure what I've done wrong.
These conversations make my soul hurt. It hurts that the person I love can be so cruel. It hurts that the man I'm battling also knows my most hidden insecurities and uses them to win the fight. It hurts that I cannot fix this pain he is in, but that I can't keep being the means of his outlet. It hurts that we have been living this life for so long and there is no end in sight, no stopping the pattern. It hurts that all I can do is hope that tomorrow will be a better day.