Less than 30 minutes ago, I was reading “Gaddafi’s Harem” until about 1:45 in the morning. I was inspired by Soraya’s escape to Paris and by the fact that she found a man who loved and protected her in spite of her being a sex slave with the reputation as a “whore.”
I said, “I have to go to sleep” because my 14-month-old will wake me up early. But I stay up late because I have anxiety about my unhappiness and the lack of control that I have over my life.
As I turned off the light, I said, “I hate myself.” I hated that I let myself get this way. I used to be so independent.
Walter responded pretty much how I thought he would: He asked why but didn’t pursue an answer when I stayed quiet. Apparently he doesn’t care or simply doesn’t know how to be emotionally supportive, so he ignored me. It is one of the worst things a person can say about themself, and he ignored me.
I thought about my friend, Steve, who, when I confided in him last week that I felt trapped, he suggested that Walter stay at his mom’s house. When Walter wasn’t home earlier this evening, I realized that I was happier without him, that I didn’t need him. I thought about how I haven’t let Walter touch me for a while and how I never wanted him to touch me again. And then he put his hand on my arm. I guess this is his way of comforting me, but it could have been something else.
I told him not to touch me, that I could never be with him. And then I lost it and said how I was disgusted with myself for letting my life get this way, that I wasn’t going to let him manipulate me anymore.
He denied that he manipulates me, and I pointed out how he tells me that I would be a slut if I got with anyone within two years of leaving him. Then he apparently changed his mind and said I would be a slut if I got with someone within a year. He knows that I want another baby (or two), and that my biological clock is ticking (I’m 29), which will be impossible (or risky at best) if I wait much longer. I don’t want to jump into another relationship. I need therapy. And I don’t need to be called a slut for wanting to be in a healthy relationship.
I told him he was trying to manipulate me and that I could do whatever the fuck I wanted and fine, go ahead and call me a slut. And he said that I am a slut for wanting to be with other guys, to which I replied that I didn’t, but that seemed like the only way to get away from him. He said that he would “leave tomorrow” but that he wouldn’t be able to take care of our baby if he left. I told him to go ahead and leave, that I would hire a babysitter, “I have a job.” I said, “How dare you call me a slut!” (That is what Gaddafi called his sex slaves.) I told him to get out of my room. He told me that I’m mean, especially to my family members.
“OK, I’m mean,” I said. I wasn’t going to be manipulated anymore.
He tried to take the baby with him, but I wouldn’t let him, and he walked out. I nursed her. I didn’t want him to come back, so I picked her up, locked the door, turned on the fan that he always complains about, nursed my baby back to sleep and looked up “emotionally abusive relationship.” This is what I found:
Basic Rights in a Relationship
If you have been involved in emotionally abusive relationships, you may not have a clear idea of what a healthy relationship is like. Evans (1992) suggests the following as basic rights in a relationship for you and your partner:
- The right to good will from the other.
- The right to emotional support.
- The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
- The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
- The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
- The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
- The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
- The right to live free from accusation and blame.
- The right to live free from criticism and judgment.
- The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
- The right to encouragement.
- The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
- The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.
- The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
- The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
Most of those things are missing from this relationship. I need his help taking care of our daughter, and I wish we could have another beautiful baby just like her, but I need to get out of this relationship more than I need another baby right now.
And now I am so relieved! It isn’t over, but I’m back! My spirit isn’t gone after all! I still have strength in me! Let him drink and fuck up the end of the semester! That’s his problem! I will take him to court and collect the couple thousand that he owes me plus child support (even though he doesn’t make any money, a judge will order him get a job, right?). I am free. Just gotta get him outta this house. I can’t stand living with him anymore.