Bill of Rights

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lying Yelling Anger and Boundaries

I want to go on record to say that recovery work is not for the weak.  It isn't for anyone without a strong resolve to heal and to move away from the ugliness.

It's still pretty ugly though  -- and freakin' hard!

If I could break down the pieces of H's addict behavior, the two that are the most difficult for me are
lying and anger.

I hate lying.
It makes me angry.  And I hate that.

It stirs up fear and doubt.  It brings back to the surface every lie and every moment of mistrust that ever happened.  At least, that is what it does with me.

It feels like cheating too.  Any kind of deception feels like that to me. 

It doesn't matter whether the lie is a big one or a little one.  A lie is a lie is a lie.  

It's wrong.
It hurts.

James E. Faust once said, 'Honesty is more than not lying.  It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving."

I have always loved that quote.  It puts this issue right where it needs to be.  Truth living.  Truth loving.  

I watched an excellent CES Devotional about truth this week for school (kind of ironic since we are having lying issues with H again)  The title is What Is Truth.  It's long, but so worth watching.  It made me think about this issue for me and for H.  What are our truths vs. our beliefs.  Are they the same or different?  Are we rationalizing or justifying or are we seeking truth from the only source truth can come from?

I'm re-thinking my truth now that I've caught H in a few more lies.  I'm re-thinking him, me and us.  Especially because when I called him on the lie, he got up from his seat, came right over in to my personal space and yelled.  "I LIED!"

I wanted to crawl in a hole.  

I know you lied H.  I know the truth.  I see the evidence of the lie and the evidence of the proof of what I already knew.

The question is why?
How did this lie help you?  How did it help me or us?

When H came back home in May I established boundaries for lying.  The one that is being implemented right now is that H goes into the other bedroom until I feel safe enough with him.

H is sorry today.  
Right now, I don't care.

I've crawled back into my numb bubble.  I don't want to feel or care.  When he came up out of his chair and yelled at me his admittance as though that owning made it ok and now we could just call it what it is and move on ignoring the angry outburst...


No, I won't be treated like that.  I might have let you before.  I might have said, by not doing anything, that it was ok to disrespect me.  I might have sent an unspoken message of agreement that yelling at me, in my personal space, was an acceptable way to treat me -- because I was too afraid to stick up for myself.

It is not ok.  Not any more.  Not now that I know who I am and I know being treated this way is wrong for me.

Being yelled at by a man is not a new experience to me.  My dad yelled at me.  He had a mean look.  A scary look.  Really, I tried hard not to cross him.  I wasn't stupid, I knew the outcome of setting him off.  But I was a kid and I did stuff sometimes, not even realizing it.   I'd ignite the short fuse.  His voice would elevate.  His face would contort.  His finger would wag -- about as close to my face as it could get without hitting me.  

And I would cower.  

Until one day, when my dad got up in my grill -- I let him have it.  It was Thanksgiving.  My brother and I lived in California at the time.  I lived in the east bay and he lived on the peninsula, near where we'd lived most of our childhood.  My parents were in town.  In fact, the whole family was there, sister, sister's hubby and baby daughter.  

They were all over at my brothers.

They didn't come see me.  

I don't know how things are in your family, but in mine, we had a lot of unspoken expectations.  Things you just knew you were supposed to do.  Making sure I was at my brother's for Thanksgiving dinner was part of that expectation.  So was making a contribution to that dinner.  

I did that.

For two days, I was at my house, by myself prepping dishes to take to my brother's for dinner.  I had a baby and a difficult husband.  I didn't have a mom or a sister or sister-in-law to enjoy the preparations with.  It was just me getting ready to bring my part of the fun to them.  And hope it was acceptable.

By the time I got to the dinner, everyone was ready (I blew it there -- not being there to help, by the way).  I was dragging by the time I made it across the bay -- food and baby in tow.  H had gone to pick up our step-daughter so that she could join in the family event.

I want to say that dinner went well.  I can't.  

Dinner was served. They talked. They ignored me. They wouldn't eat what I brought.  Well, H did. He liked it.  To the rest of them....I was a nothing.  So was my food.  There wasn't anything wrong with the food, by the way.  I'm actually a very good cook.  

As these kinds of things go, its only a matter of time before they get worse.  In all the chaos, excitement, tired mommy-ness and too many people, my  little boy, a bundle of nerves and over stimulated  - threw up.   It wasn't that big of a deal, but it put me over the top.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to go home.

I gathered up all my things, packed my car, excused myself and was heading out when my dad came charging out into the street in hot pursuit.  He didn't come across the street to where I was putting my baby in the car.  He stood on the lawn and hollered at me.  He demanded to know where I was going and what the heck I thought I was doing leaving in the middle of family time.

I lost it.

I closed the door of my truck, walked around to my side and hollered right back at him.  "Who do you think you are?  And where were you or mom or anyone the past two days?  Do you have any idea what I've been doing or how hard I've worked to make this day special for all of you?  I'm tired.  S doesn't feel well.  We are going home."  

I got in the car.  Slammed the door,  all the while my dad was yelling at me from across the street.

H came out.  He didn't say a thing.  He just watched.  

That day, for once in my life, I walked away from a yelling man.  I stood my ground regardless of what anyone thought of me.  I said what I felt and left.  It was an ugly situation for sure.  I felt empowered. I felt like for once I had been true to me.

I haven't always been able to do that.  In fact, like the other night, I more often cower at first.  I feel intimidated.  I feel frightened, unsure if I am safe or if the anger will escalate and become physical.  It never has.  The reality is, it could, which is why these things are so frightening.

I don't know if H thought he would shut me up getting up in my face the way he did or if he just lost control of himself and wasn't thinking.  Between the lies and the anger respect boundaries have been violated.

I haven't been good at initiating boundary consequences since H came back.  This will be difficult on both of us.  Before H started into recovery any talk of a boundary was seen as an ultimatum, always met with anger, and more acting out.

I'm praying hard to just hang on right now.  H is pretty angry.  On top of this, he's trying to get our new deck stained before winter hits.  It's cold today, not too bad, but any cold is bad for H.  He also hurt his back this week.  Again, not badly, but any twinge makes him whiney.  Angry. Cold. Whiney.  It's not pretty.  He doesn't think right when he's angry either.

1 comment:

  1. Anger is so hard. Goid for you for enforcing your boundaries!