Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's Not Okay

I came from a verbally and physically abusive household.  My father was a mean drunk.  I am both uncomfortable and used to meanness in my relationships.  I find that more often than not I just need to hear from my therapist that "It's not okay to be treated or spoken to like that."  It scares me that often I don't recognize certain behaviors as mean; that I consider them normal; that I need someone to reality check my relationships for me because I'm blind to mistreatment.  Instead I feel vaguely uncomfortable and can't quite put my finger on why and I keep trying to figure out what I did wrong.  Once the therapist tells me that it isn't me, that the other person was behaving badly, then I am swept with relief.  It isn't me.  That wasn't okay.  That person was behaving badly not me.  Once I get turned in the right direction I can figure out how to handle things.  However, more often than not I need that prompt, "It's not okay."

Where I'm going with this is my crappy vacation.  I only get to go on one vacation a year.  I don't travel from my house for overnight stays elsewhere except on 4th of July, when we visit his longtime friend, and a short vacation.  This year didn't go well at all.  Things that went wrong, let me count the ways:

  • Hubs treated the whole thing as my consolation prize for letting him drive out to Chicago to see his brother.  That is not okay.  My vacation shouldn't be a consolation prize but a time to enjoy each other's company going someplace together.
  • Hubs mentions the vast sums of money it cost him more than once.  This is not okay.  If we are that strapped for money then I'm fine with staying home or figuring out something that is within our budget.  But do NOT complain after the fact about how much it cost you.  It cheapens the entire thing and make me feel like a bloodsucking leech and somewhat worthless.  I take the message as 'you are not worth spending my money on'.  
  • Hubs kept his nose in either his phone or ipad the entire time we were together.  This is not okay.  At least attempt a conversation.  This was supposed to be a time to connect and talk and get to know each other again.  Instead I feel like I'm interrupting at best and uninteresting or a big bother at worst.  Again I take this as 'you are not worth my time'.
  • Hubs complained the entire time we were walking (he was walking and pushing me in a wheelchair) about how difficult it was to push me and how stinky the poop plant was we happened to go by.  This is not okay.  Don't pick an activity and then complain how difficult the activity is and how much I should be thanking you for doing something nice for me.  Honestly, if you are going to complain the entire time about how it is a such a chore then I would prefer to stay home.  It makes me feel horrible.  I get the message 'you are not worth the effort'.  I shouldn't have to grovel when you show me the slightest kindness.  It makes the entire relationship into some kind of dominant subordinate dynamic which isn't healthy at all.  I also feel like I have to beg to be let out of the house and no matter how crappy the event is I have to kiss your shoes to show how much I appreciate the attention and Herculean effort you put into the event.  That is really fucked up.
  • Hubs didn't help with ANY of the planning but complained when he couldn't find someplace to eat that he liked.  That is not okay in oh so many ways.  I'm too sick to plan stuff.  I'm too sick to coordinate stuff particularly after a long car trip.  I'm too sick to realize that we could take a taxi to go eat at a place where there isn't any parking or wheelchair access.  I can't look up places to go or places to eat when I have no maps and you are watching movies on the ipad i.e. no computer access.  I need your help with planning and execution.  It shouldn't be all on me.  It should never be all on me.  This was even a problem when I was well.  I was the one that was supposed to plan the trips.  It is a long standing pissing match that I can't participate in anymore.  
  • Hubs makes me feel guilty for making him help with anything.  This is not okay.  Planning should be a shared activity.  Picking out the destination.  Picking out activities.  Picking out restaurants.  Guilting me into planning the entire trip and then coming up with some excuse as to why it needs to be completely scrapped isn't cool.  You did this to me even when I was well.  Not cool.  Very not cool.  The whole "let's wing it" thing doesn't work either particularly now that I'm so sick.  This needs to be a shared activity.  Lets hope that planning our anniversary dinner redux goes better.
  • Hubs getting a non handicapped room because hey its cheaper.  Also SO not okay!  I need the room to get the wheelchair into the room and the grab bars in the bathroom.  The seat in the shower is a bonus as well.
  • Hubs moved us out of first hotel to a second cheaper hotel.  It's not okay.  Moving me constantly is such a bad idea.  This one is partly my fault since I agreed.  I shouldn't have.  The first hotel was nice.  It was in a good location.  The bed was comfortable.  It was a handicapped room.  Being cheap is not a good reason to make me uncomfortable on my one and only vacation.  For a $100 savings I had a terrible nights sleep, several days of severe pain, a week of CFS crash, a miserable last day of vacation for me, a horrible dinner that probably added to my pain and misery the next day.  So not worth the $100.  Then he had the nerve to complain that I didn't feel good.  Well no shit Sherlock!  
His behavior is probably just his temper tantrum at my illness coming out but that doesn't mean that it is appropriate.  He shouldn't be taking his anger at my illness out on me.  This vacation went wrong in so very many ways.  It wasn't until my shrink told me that this wasn't okay that I realized that it wasn't all me.  That his behavior wasn't acceptable.  That things need to change.  It needs to be different next time.  Now I just need to learn how to manage it for next time.  To make it better.  To make it more equitable.  To make it okay.  Let the planning begin.

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