Friday, March 4, 2016

That time I apologized for having a migraine

Today I was looking for something in my email, and I fell into a rabbit hole of reading old emails I sent to my (almost ex)husband. It made me think "When did I first notice that something was off?" And the answer to that was 3 months in.

We met while I was on vacation, and were long distance for the first year and a half we were together. The first time he visited me was three months after we met. I was already in love with him (thanks Skype), and in his third week of visiting me, we took a road trip so I could introduce him to my family. His first impression on my sister and her husband were basically worst-case scenario. He and my brother in law got into a drinking competition, and he ended up throwing up ALL OVER my sister's house, repeatedly. I had never seen so much vomit in my life. While my sister and I were cleaning it up, he literally came out of the bathroom, looked at my sister, laughed, and said "Clean it, bitch!" and then went back to bed. I quickly apologized to her on his behalf (a theme that would only continue) saying "I'm so sorry...I think he's still drunk. He's not like this!" Except, as it turned out, he WAS like this. That was just the first glimpse of the real him.

Since I didn't sleep at all that night because I was up all night cleaning up his repetitive vomit, I got a pretty terrible migraine. I let him know, repeatedly, that I had a migraine and just wasn't feeling well. We headed back to my apartment, and he was blaring his heavy metal music the entire time we were in the car. Every time I would ask him to turn it down, he would say I was boring and no fun, and would gradually turn it back up.

When we got back into the city, we were on the escalator near my apartment. I still had a raging migraine, and he proceeded to slap me, hard, on the butt (playfully in his mind, painfully in mine--also the first time he touched me a little too hard and then got angry at me for reacting to that). I turned to him to give him a look to say "Not now," because I was hurting, and when I have a migraine everything hurts more. When he saw the look, he FLIPPED HIS SHIT, right there in public, threw my suitcase at me, and yelled "FUCK YOU! CARRY YOUR OWN SUITCASE THEN!" and stormed off in front of me. I began to cry, and I was "being a baby."

Here was my first ever email to him (the first of many) in which I tried SO HARD to explain how I was feeling, and how I never meant to upset him, and ended up apologizing for my own suffering. It was a pattern that got so much worse, until I realized what was going on and stopped apologizing (which is when shit REALLY hit the fan).

"I want to talk about this tonight, but I want to get out what I was thinking this morning, both because I need to get it out of my head and I also don't want to make you wait all day and for you to wonder what I'm thinking/think it's worse than it is.

Last night scared me. You apologized, and I accept it, but it scares me. I get migraines a lot. Less frequently than I used to, but still, more than I would like. I hate how they make me feel and how they interrupt my life, but if I don't catch it with drugs fast enough (as I didn't this weekend--it actually started on Sunday but I let it go because I thought I was just tired/hungover) they can really ruin my day and, at worst, a few days thereafter. When I have one, I try my best to function normally, but I can't always do that 100%. Everything becomes more sensitive--everything is too bright, too loud, and overall overwhelming. All I want to do when I have one is close my eyes and withdraw for a bit until it goes away. Yesterday that wasn't possible. I was trying my best to be normal, but I guess I wasn't doing as well as I thought because you said I was being bitchy and treating you badly all day. I didn't know I was doing that and I'm sorry if I did. 

I honestly got emotional on the train because I was thinking how much I loved you and how nice it was to have you with me and taking such good care of me and how I just didn't want that to end. I am so appreciative everything you were doing for me, both yesterday and always. I loved that you were there for me to lean on, and that you were massaging my head and holding me, and when it started to really hit me that you're leaving on Friday, and I got really sad and teared up. A couple of tears came out when I had my head on your shoulder. I was trying not to cry as we got off the train and went up the stairs to the escalator because of that, and then when you smacked my butt, I wasn't angry--I really wasn't. In my mind, I just shook my head to say "not now" because I was holding back tears as it was, and then I was completely blindsided with the escalator stuff because I legitimately didn't know what had happened and what was in my head was not at all what you thought it was.

Point is, my not feeling well is not and will not be an isolated event. If you didn't like me yesterday, and if what you thought was a look I gave you out of disgust? whatever it was that you thought I was thinking? caused you to get angry enough to go up another escalator and stop taking care of me in the way that I was so appreciative of, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to constantly walk on eggshells, which is really hard for me to do when I have a migraine.

I just don't want what happened last night to happen again, and the fact that I do get migraines at least once every month or two scares me. Like I said, I try to go on as normally as I can when I have them, but I don't always succeed, and if you don't like me when I have one, then I'm afraid you're not going to like me. And if you react the way you did last night when I'm feeling that way, I know for a fact that I can't deal with that. So it scares me. 

I love you. I love having you with me. I love the way you take care of me. I don't want you to leave, period. But when you offer to sleep on the couch/get a hotel/leave, which is the LAST thing I want, and it hurts me when you do that, too, because I think that means that you just don't want to be around me. I'm guessing that it's your defense from what happened in the past, but it hurts me a lot when you offer to leave because it makes me think that it's what you want. It's not what I want. Please get that into your head. It. is. not. what. I. want. I want you with me. 

And yes, a phonecall would be better, but I don't want to get emotional on the phone at work and have everyone nearby hear me and wonder what's happening. And I want to talk about it in person, but I also want to be completely clear so you can see it and not read into/guess about how I'm feeling. 
I love you."

When we talked about it, he said that it made him want to take three steps back and cancel all plans of our future. He threatened to leave. I now know that he did this to control me--any time I would stand up for myself, he would threaten to leave me. And that worked on me for awhile.

When I look back on the "good times," this was firmly during when I still thought things were perfect with us. But they were not. This was a huge, huge red flag, very early on, and I thought it was my fault because he just didn't understand how much pain I was in because of my migraine. What I didn't realize was that he would NEVER understand, because he's not capable of empathy. 

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