Picking up from yesterday –
It’s kind of hard to even continue to somehow try to explain…
But basically, the main gist at the time was that it almost felt as though whenever he did something really bad, he’d find a reason to be mad at me…
And it seemed/felt like starting with the first assault (or maybe even earlier) and intensifying as time went on was that the worse of a thing he’d do, the angrier he’d get with me.
And that’s not to say I was always perfect, or that there were not legitimate misunderstandings or normal squabbles, or that he was never in the right. And of course he’s allowed to have his feelings hurt, and feel emotions, and get mad at me for things…
But there’d be these big reactions to seemingly small (or at least smaller) things – if they happened in a close vicinity to times he’d done big things (if that makes sense).
It’s hard to explain without getting too mired in details… But it’s hard to explain with no details at all. A small example is that once, he was being very mean at this dinner we were having. I’d brought a gift (as kind of an olive branch type thing). I was trying to be nice. And he kept saying mean things one after another. And I got slightly angry.
I took a deep breath. I didn’t raise my voice at him. I just started playing with my food, having all my nervous and angry energy going to tearing little pieces of my french toast.
And when he said the third mean thing in a row to me (the third one being very mean), I slightly snapped at him a little, telling him that really upset me.
And I was punished for that for at least a week.
When we fought about it in text messages the next day, I apologized saying I was sorry, but it was hard not to snap when he was saying and doing things that made me feel like he didn’t care about me at all… I said maybe I was being too sensitive, but I was hurt by the mean things he’d been saying and doing.
And he responded that I should stop making excuses. After all, I snapped at him and that wasn’t right.
So, then I apologized for giving him an apology with excuses, as that’s not a real and full apology. And I said that he’s right. There is no excuse for snapping at someone, no matter what’s going on. And I’m sorry for doing it.
And then he just kept pressing me, and blaming me, and being really upset. And being confusing about when we could argue and when we couldn’t, and what I could do to make it better…
And I don’t want to minimize his emotions or be like, “Well, I can do whatever if he’s done bad things to me.” Two wrongs don’t make a right… But, still… I slightly snapped at him after I’d been pushed and pushed (and pushed). (Didn’t yell, didn’t scream, etc. Just slightly snapped.) And I was punished for over a week.
In fact, at one point, when I was begging to know what I could do to make things better (in the over a week of arguing about this one specific thing), he was like, ‘I don’t know, Aurora. You wanna be better? Go to therapy! Maybe there you’ll learn how to be better to me. I don’t know what to tell you to be better.’
Sad side note: After I’d began talking to a mental health professional trained specifically in sexual assault, I actually told this guy that I was going to therapy and working on stuff… in a way of almost kind of asking him for forgiveness.
I needed therapy (for the first time in my life) to deal with sexual assault that he perpetrated…
And I told him that I’d finally started seeing a mental health professional… Though of course I didn’t say specifically for his sexual assault, ’cause I can’t even fathom the wrath that would’ve come down on me…
I told him I was doing my mental health homework and everything as a way to hopefully make him less angry (even though I was in therapy because of him)…
Because there was still a part of me – a small part (that I don’t feel anymore) – that thought I owed him going to therapy. And maybe – just maybe – I could please him, or be “good enough” if I went to therapy… After all, I’m the one who’s broken. I’m the one who needs to process what happened (…was what I genuinely thought at the time).
So, basically that’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about.
I had to be perfect – even when it came to stupid stuff! If he asked me about a play or musical we’d both seen… If I critiqued something I thought could’ve maybe been better, I was a mean and negative person. But if I didn’t say the critique he noticed, then I was an idiot for not knowing enough about theater.
If I tried to work around his schedule to try to see him, then I wasn’t busy enough or doing enough with my time (which I felt like I always had to try to justify to him). But if I had a busy week, and couldn’t see him, I’d be punished for not being available enough.
And on and on and on and on. I don’t wanna get all holed up in examples here. The point is, nothing I could do was good enough (and I tried).
So… if he did something mean, the tables would be turned. And sure enough, we’d be pivoting away from how upset I was, because I would be profusely apologizing for projecting, or angering him, or being “selfish” or “dramatic,” or “overreacting,” etc…
After that (second) assault, he got mad at me for something unrelated which we’ll get into tomorrow.