2016-10-09 by Object of Contempt
Never have I felt so close to emotional annihilation. I have never felt so close to losing my children. I have never felt so close to losing all hope of joy in this life. I have never felt so completely alone. (I refuse to hurt or kill myself.)
As my wife and I spoke about ways to deal with our possible eviction, I brought up the problem of our marriage. This is directly related. I’m depressed, ineffective at looking for work, largely because of emotional abuse that has destroyed my confidence and left me isolated. Her take? She has to move forward and do what’s best for the family… especially if I won’t get counselling with her.
Everyone I know thinks she is the stable one (well, why not? She’s not the one with the crushed spirit, after all). Counselling sounds good to everyone. The problem is that we have already tried this! She makes it sound as if I’m obstructing healing, improvement of any kind. The truth is that she will not acknowledge the truth. She tells half-truths. Her issues with intimacy have existed since our wedding day, 26+ years ago, but they are never discussed.
The counselors have been poor at best. They have generally believed in silliness like automatic forgiveness. One told me my depression was “false humility”. One gave me a book that says I don’t really need love, I just want it a lot (I guess I shouldn’t let it bother me then when my wife gives me contempt instead of love. No big deal).
The last couple we actually counselled with were chosen by my wife. I saw the husband and she saw the wife individually. Then when we came together, the husband changed his tune and told me all our problems were my fault. They accused me of things that were exaggerated and untrue. Then they yelled at me and crawled down my throat for daring to defend myself.
Then came the day she told the church she was afraid to go home with me. She says she told them that I had never hit her… how kind. Again, just a stone-cold face while others yelled at me and told me I’m broken.
So in this context, she actually has the gall to tell me that I need counselling if I am not willing to go with her. Her contempt is complete.
This is the part that was most damaging to me in this exchange, and I’d love some feedback. She justifies her coldness and contempt (which she denies), by saying that I have problems with everyone… even those that she didn’t talk to. This is how she knows her perception of me is accurate.
It hurts me because I do have a problem with a lot of people. To begin with, I don’t go with the flow in general. I don’t think of culture as a positive influence overall, especially when it comes down to some of the smaller sub-cultural groups that we might get involved with. In my case, it appears that churches have a lot of cultural baggage that clouds, not only the understanding of scripture, but reality. (Re-read some of the counsellor silliness above for examples.)
Additionally, at work and other places, I seem to attract the attention of domineering, manipulative, or passive-aggressive people. I miss the clues and get hurt. And… by way of candor, I don’t really know how to deal with a co-worker or boss who is willing to lie or manipulate. It shuts me down.
I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that my wounds prove my worthlessness to others out of hand. My willingness to stand apart from the crowd has become a matter of isolation and vulnerability. I can’t deny that I’m angry at a number of people who have made things worse.
I feel the weight of the blame for the isolation and can’t walk away from the guilt… deserved or not. I am hurting so that it is difficult to allow myself to be a human with faults. I can’t escape the guilt of having a strength that offends others. I can’t avoid the contempt of everyone that who thinks my isolation is proof that I’m a negative jerk.
I was asked by one elder in particular, if I realize that no one has a problem with my wife, but everyone has a problem with me. That is proof of my guilt, I guess. It is such a direct invalidation of my personality and circumstances. This accusation is tearing me to shreds.
I can’t even imagine that anyone really wanted to read this. If you did, thank you.