That’s what my husband, the narcissist, is accusing me of and on what he’s basing the whole divorce petition. Of being an extremely controlling person. It’s interesting how they accuse you of the very things they do to you. This past weekend, I remember how I would not even get to be by myself when I needed it, even in the bathroom.
It is strange how memories and events come back to you out of nowhere and when you least expect them to. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular when, all of a sudden, I remembered how I would get into the shower just to be myself. This was right before the peak of the devaluation phase and, as time went by, I would start to take longer and longer showers. It was the one place I thought I would be safe and free to let the tears roll down my cheeks without him being around or looking at me with that strange look he would have when I would start to cry.
In hindsight, I now think he was enjoying to see me crying. And back then, since I was trying to figure out why our marriage was on a downhill, why I couldn’t get to communicate and get the message across, the only time when I could be free to let my thoughts and feelings fly was in the bathroom or once in bed, when he was already snoring like an angel.
I would be in the shower, immersed in my thoughts, thinking and trying to make sense of what might have happened after one of those hours-long discussions that would go round and around and get nowhere. All of a sudden, he would pull the shower curtain, look at me with this sort of happy and satisfied look on his face, and say something like “I’m coming to share the shower.” He would even start to seduce me. He might have just broken my heart, but then there he was, in the shower, like nothing had happened, and expecting me to play along.
I have very long hair, to my waist. He would not even care that I was trying to wash it. (It can take me quite some time to get through that.) The worst thing was that I felt that my space, my privacy was being invaded. I couldn’t even get to have a shower without him stepping in. And this would happen almost every day.
That also reminded me that he would come into the bathroom even when I would be sitting on the throne. I understand that in a marriage you share a lot. However, answering nature’s call is not something I feel comfortable sharing with another person, no matter how intimate I would be with that person.
After putting up with it for a while, I finally put my foot down one day and I asked him to step outside while I was using the bathroom. That was one thing I would not share with him; my time trying to go to the bathroom. He didn’t like it, but has respected that ever since. Maybe that was another thing that put another nail on my [discard] coffin. I don’t know. But if a person cannot respect something as simple as letting you go to the bathroom alone as an adult, then something is not right.
Either way, I now feel even violated, not just in spirit, mind, and heart, but also in body. At the time, I didn’t. But now that things are slowly coming back to me, I do. I can’t look back at our having sex without feeling like that. I feel used. I feel like I was just an object to him, a toy. He felt like having sex and I was at hand. It didn’t matter where or how. He wanted it, I had to give it to him. And he would seduce me and I would give in, even when I might have not felt like it. Don’t get me wrong! I like sex. But the way I see it, sex is a special way of giving yourself to another human being, someone you love, not someone who will use you and then discard you.
While I don’t feel like a rape victim might feel, I do feel violated. To me, in a marriage, you give yourself to the other person as a whole and freely. If you can’t feel free to give yourself, then something is off. We love because we choose to love. We give ourselves because we choose to give ourselves. We choose to choose because we’re free and we’re respected and our freedom is respected. But for a narcissist, our freedom is a problem and is dangerous. Our freedom means we have a choice and cannot be controlled; our freedom is something to be destroyed, trampled with, and eradicated. Our freedom is a threat. And a narcissist cannot stand being threatened or said no to. They are incapable of respecting your boundaries and respecting you. You’re a possession, a toy.
With everything that is going on with the divorce and the custody battle, the last thing I want to do is have to deal with new feelings, emotions, and memories that I had buried deep inside of me to the point that I no longer remembered them. However, I do need to deal with them; otherwise, they will destroy me more than he did. And I can see myself slowly recovering. I can’t give him the luxury of still having control over me after everything he has done to me. I need to move on, same way he’s moving on and away from me. Therefore, while it is not the most rewarding feeling ever to remember what would happen in that shower, I am glad I did remember now. I am glad that I am forced to deal with those feelings now. I am glad that I can see how it was and how it affected me and to what extend. It is actually the first step to heal those particular memories.
I’m looking at a picture of my daughter that I have on my desk. She had just turned 2 when I took that picture. Her face is full of cheese sauce and Parmesan cheese. So is her hair. She has a big smile and her eyes are twinkling with delight. Every time I remember something bad that happened to me in my marriage, I try to think about my daughter. She’s a gift from God. She’s my strength and my inspiration to find a purpose in my life and to find myself again; to heal myself. I need to, more for her than me, actually.
The possibility of losing her to him is looming on me horribly. Her fate will be decided by the results of both his and my psychological evaluations and the judge. It is terrifying, most especially because I’m scared that he might fool everybody in the system and I will lose her. This is when I have to bring myself to believe that God will take care of us. My faith is very fragile at this point. I wish I would be capable of trusting God the way a lot of people out there with worse problems than mine trust in Him. But like I said in previous posts, I was not taught that God is a loving God but a God to fear and full of rage and revenge. I am slowly trying to learn that He might in fact be a loving Father. And based on what I have learnt so far about being a parent, if you truly love your child with all your heart and all your soul, there’s nothing that you wouldn’t give for him or her. I would give my life for my daughter. And God has done precisely that for us. He died for us. So who better to understand what I’m going through than Him? I just have to let go. It’s not easy and I’m scared that my husband will take any little word or action out of context and throw another bomb at me, as he has been doing for the last month more than ever before. But if I can trust God and I can trust my daughter and my mom to God, then I should be okay.
I can’t help but wanting to cry while writing this. I start to think that this is perhaps how children feel when they are little. Everything is like a major crisis to them, from being hungry and dirty in their diapers, to losing a sock in the middle of the night. They start crying. And then mommy or daddy show up and everything is okay. The child feels their love. The child feels safe. The child feels protected. The child feels that he or she can go back to facing life. They slowly internalize their mom, dad, grandmother, or whoever is taking care of her or him. Even though mommy is not there at the next tragedy, they may not feel like crying because they learn and they face the difficulties eventually on their own. Because mommy is inside of them, even when mommy may not be in the same room.
I’m starting to believe that I have to be like a child and finally confront my fears concerning God and my life. And like a child, internalize God. Feel protected. Feel loved. Feel cherished. Feel warm. I can’t see God. It doesn’t mean God isn’t there. I need to shred that final doubt, that sense of “God is mad at me, enraged at me” and accept that we’re all loved by Him from the moment we were conceived in the womb. God is there, even when I may not see Him or think that He’s abandoned me. Even when my boat is rocked by the storm of divorce, I have to start trusting once and for all. Otherwise, I am not sure how I’m going to get through this. This is too much for me to handle right now. I can do what I can do, which is follow my attorney’s advise and do my part in this process. The rest, it is up to God. I can’t control what the judge is going to do. I can certainly not control what my husband will do next, with or without his attorney. I cannot control the outcome of the psychological evaluations. I can’t control the fact that my daughter still cannot speak and my husband is using that against me. But I can certainly control what it is under my control and my reach. The rest, as that old Irish prayer says, I pray that God holds me in the hollow of His palm and protects me, my daughter, and my mom.
God, send me your Holy Spirit and grant me the strength to face this storm and believe in your power because I’m of little faith, like the apostles with your Son while He was sleeping on that boat. I can’t do it alone. I need You.