“What do you want for dinner?”
I hate that question. Every single night KR asks me this, and I dread it because most nights I’ve given absolutely no thought to the subject so I have no ideas. My bad; but food is food. I couldn’t possibly care any less about food, meals, cooking… sustaining this life. Food is a HUGE trigger for me and a major power struggle between KR and me.
This doesn’t feel like living. THIS feels pretty shitty. KR confirms over and over again that he is completely miserable in this relationship, has been for a long time. I’m not sure if he’s over-exaggerating because usually he seems fairly content — keyword: seems. No, I doubt he’s exaggerating because someone who loves another does not terrorize that person, does not emotionally badger that person, does NOT act like this!!
It was my fault. I broke my headphones by banging them on the desk. The short in the wiring usually responds to such aggression, giving me one more use; but that short is no longer an issue as the headphones are in several pieces in the trashcan. I should have thrown them away a long time ago due to the frustration of trying to get them to work. KR completely lost it. His plate of spaghetti flew across the room like a Frisbee as he shouted at me. What he shouted, I can’t even remember now.
My memory is a little sketchy from last night. I’m trying to process, make sense of everything that happened, that was said.
I should back track a little. I thought everything was okay between us, actually better than okay. When I got back from my trip, KR seemed genuinely happy to see me — loving KR, happy KR. For the last couple of weeks, his mood began to shift as it so often does. He’s been moody, irritable. I thought it was due to work and the unbearable heat lately. He works on a 500° oven making plastic gas tanks; and the daily heat index has been high here, hitting right at 100° most days with the humidity (temperatures in the 90°’s).
I tried harder to make his life a little easier. I bought him Gatorade for work. I found him a few more bandannas to wear around his head as he often does to prevent the sweat from getting in his eyes. I even stitched up all the holes in his work pants’ pockets finally. Even though I’m no seamstress, I did this because it was one of those annoyances that he had been complaining about for a while. I worked harder to keep the house neat and tidy. I even cooked a couple of meals. Maybe 2 meals really is a pathetic attempt at helping out in this area; but for me, it’s a big deal. I made sure we had other quick, easy food options in the house so that when he did ask that inevitable, despised question, I knew what the choices were. I tried my best not to complain because I’ve noticed a pattern of how our moods feed off one another. I made sure I asked him each night, “How was your day?,” giving him the opportunity to vent his frustration with work. I know this results in at least a couple of hours of complaining from his end; but I thought if he vented verbally, it would give him a chance to get it out of his system and let it go. I tried my best to keep a positive attitude while listening to his complaints and offer validation, but nothing I could say would improve his mood. So normally, I just let him vent.
Nothing seemed to help….
Last night, KR came home angry, irritable, hot, tired. I should have just made the meal rather than waiting for KR to get home first, but I got sidetracked. The internet had been wonky most of the day yesterday, running very slowly. Rather than being annoyed over that fact, I chose to give my computer a much-needed cleaning, a time-consuming process. I’m glad I did because the dust build-up inside was awful! Bad enough to possibly burn out the computer in this heat. However, when KR got home from work and discovered the internet wasn’t working properly, it set his already bad mood into full on rage. I asked him if he wanted me to start a pot of spaghetti. Spaghetti is easy enough. I could have done it. “No, I’ll do it,” was his answer.
He got a shower and then started dinner. At some point he took a few verbal snipes at me to which I simply responded, “I know you’re hot and tired, but I would really appreciate it if you didn’t take it out on me.” I wasn’t mean about it. I simply stated an observation. As he finished dinner, he grew quieter and quieter. By the time he finished cooking and said, “It’s ready, ” the internet was up again; so I made sure I had our next episode of Dr. Who on Netflix loaded and ready so as not to disturb him any further. Rather than sit on the couch as usual, KR fixed his plate, taking it to his desk to eat without saying a word to me. I interpreted this to mean he didn’t want to watch Dr. Who or be bothered, so I found something else to watch and attempted to use my headphone so as not to disturb him.
I should never have taken out my frustration with KR’s bad mood and my frustration with the inoperable headphones by banging them harder than I normally would have; but I never would have expected the reaction from KR that I got.
After he threw his plate of spaghetti across the room, he said he was leaving and didn’t know if he would ever be back. I lost my appetite. There was some yelling between both of us. I can’t remember what was said. As he walked out the door, I looked around at the mess — huge sauce stain on the ceiling, spaghetti noodles everywhere — and broke down in tears. All the hard work I put into keeping our house clean, all the hours I waste cleaning up the same messes over and over again, in one fell swoop — all for nothing. I slid my plate onto the counter, speaking out loud in despair to myself, saying as much. KR storms back inside demanding, “What did you say?”
I repeated, “I spend hours cleaning this house just for you to do… this?,” taking in the room’s appearance once more.
Completely overcome with rage and contempt now, he goes to the kitchen, grabs the entire pot of spaghetti (already in the sauce) and throws it across the living room! “Now you have something to clean for 6 hours!” He retorted.
Everything gets a little foggy here. I was sobbing. I had spaghetti all over me. The mess — my God, THE MESS! I grabbed a change of clothes. I got into the shower to wash off as KR was asking, demanding, “What are you doing?!”
“I have spaghetti all over me! I’m washing off!” I yelled. Full blown panic attack in the shower. After I’m dressed, still sobbing uncontrollably, I tried to leave the house, to get away from KR’s tirade. He held the door and wouldn’t let me leave. I begged, sobbing and stuttering uncontrollably, “Please, please, just let me leave.”
“No, you’re going to stay here and face this! I won’t have you out driving around when you’re so emotional. I won’t have your suicide on my conscience.” He yelled with vehement hostility.
I tried a few more times to escape, terrified. Each time he blocked me by his strength. I threatened to call the cops — an empty threat. He and I, both, knew I wouldn’t. I’m terrified by police officers as much as doctors. I gave in. There was nothing left to do but sit and listen to his list of grievances yet again. These were much the same as last October’s meltdown. He’s still obsessing over breaking his hand on New Year’s 2014, which I’m pretty sure he considers my fault. Maybe it is. Just like all of this was. My rational brain says, “No. Absolutely not. His bad behavior is a result of his bad upbringing and his OWN inability to manage his emotions and control his behavior.”
Still, those small parts of me are screaming, “It’s our fault! It’s all our fault! Everything is always our fault because we are so bad! We deserve this!”
KR cleaned up the worst of the mess himself, last night after he finished yelling at me. I was pretty much left in a daze, sitting outside in a catatonic stupor, for the most part, until I finally went to bed. KR slept on the couch. The kitchen, living room, and hallway need another much more thorough cleaning. I have no idea how to get spaghetti sauce out of carpet. Trying to wash that stain off of the ceiling proved impossible. Luckily, we had some white paint; so I painted over top of it today after cleaning as best I could. After I did that, I had to run out to the post office. Since I felt I needed to be out of the house for a bit longer — away from everything — I went to Burgess Falls for a hike. KR will probably be furious that I didn’t finish the cleaning (if he even bothers coming home after work), but I didn’t have it in me today to do any more.
I just didn’t….