Friday, January 26, 2007

Stepford Wife I'm Not

Thanks for the input. Vickie and Lori, you both were able to give perspective and put some of it into words I couldn't come up with at the time. You definitely nailed some things -- control issues, communication vs. provocation -- that I hadn't worked out yet.

Still working on climbing back up from this. My world isn't helping, though -- big storm last night, it was 5 degrees this morning when I went to work out. Came back, got ready for work, went back to my vehicle and it wouldn't start. I come in to the house to tell Hubby, who's still home because of a 2-hour delay for all the schools. He calls his dad to bring jumper cables (the in-laws were on their way over to watch Mabel while I'm at work), goes out to see for himself, then comes in and thinks it isn't my battery. He's sure there's frozen water in my fuel line and tells me I need to call AAA and have it towed to a garage.

My reaction was to get angry -- it's already been a stressful week, and now I'm stranded and I'm late for work. Hubby snaps at me "Don't get angry at me about it!" which only makes me angrier.
"I'm not angry at you!" I snapped back. "I'm mad at the situation!" Here I am, just labeled emotionally withdrawn, and two days later I'm being scolded for showing emotion! I can't freaking win!

So Hubby leaves for work, father-in-law drops me off at my job. Within the hour Hubby's calling me asking me if I called AAA yet. Not yet, I said. FIL mentioned maybe trying dry gas (by the way, Hubby told FIL not to bother trying to jump my vehicle, which I think we should have tried), and I was thinking about checking with the gas station up the street to see if they have any. Hubby immediately goes into Teacher Mode with me, making me feel like I'm an idiot for thinking this and not just following his orders. He begins telling me how much one repair would cost, and if I screw it up it's going to cost 10 times more because this and this part will have to be replaced. This in turn makes me even snippier, and I wind up saying "I am so stressed right now I feel like my head's going to explode!"

Then Guilt Mode kicks in. "Forget I even called," he says as he channels some stereotypical Jewish mother.

"Why does it have to turn in to this?" I say through gritted teeth. After this joyful call I wind up calling the garage and AAA, who says they are going to try to jump it first (how novel!), and then if it doesn't start, they'll tow it to the garage.

I suppose I would have saved myself a lot of grief if I had just been the good little Stepford Wife who does exactly what my husband says and never questions his infinite wisdom. But why is it that I'm not allowed to question him? Why am I made to feel childish and stupid? The problem stems from the fact that for 17 years I pretty much took care of myself and did it fairly successfully, and it just rubs me the wrong way to have someone make me feel like I don't have a clue about anything.

This is an old issue that crept up when we first got married and subsided for a while. I'm not sure if it was because it quit happening or if I quit letting it bother me. It very well might be the second -- it has a lot to do with my level of self-confidence and self-esteem, which has taken some serious hits the last few days. The less confident I am about myself, the more vulnerable I am to perceived attacks.

So here I am on a Friday, absolutely dreading my weigh-in tomorrow because my weight has been stuck all week. The trend for me has been to lose a decent amount on the week of my TOTM, and this week has not been cooperating. Other than eating too much Hoisin sauce on my vegetables last night, my eating has been stellar, as has been my exercise. Of course, I've got a lot against me: as of right now I've been off my one medication for a week (I'll begin the equivalent med on Sunday when the new pills begin), I've slept terribly all week, and my stress levels are through the roof. I started the Pilates this week, and I know I have some muscle soreness, which may or may not cause some swelling (I'm no expert on this -- I'll add it to the list).

To add to this, Hubby has spent the last two days in anticipation for Saturday and Sunday, which are his two days "off" from his diet. He's already announced he will not eat a single vegetable this weekend and will eat nothing but starch for two days. He's making his pig out list -- doughnuts, frosted brownies -- and I'm sure he'll buy or bake more than enough for us to share.

Other than moving out for the weekend, I'm not sure how to deal with this. Part of me wants to say f#!k it -- with the week I've had I deserve to let loose for a couple days. But another part of me says why add regret, guilt and self-loathing to my plate when the two days are over and I get on the scale Monday morning? Why can't I rise above this and resist succumbing to his influence? My fear is I'm just too worn down and mentally exhausted to fight it off.

I'm just going to have to do the best I can. I'll exercise, I'll eat healthy meals, and I'll look for things to do to keep myself busy and away from the food. I may not be able to completely abstain, but if I can keep the damage to a minimum, that's better than nothing.

***LAST MINUTE UPDATE: AAA just came, FIL went outside to try to start my vehicle, and it started. Apparently it warmed up enough to thaw it out. So FIL is now going to get some dry gas and put it in. Gee. Amazing, isn't it? Only an idiot would have thought to do that.


Lori said...

It's never easy to have a major thing break down on a day when time is of the essence. Even the most placid person ends up kicking the car and being extremely ticked off. Notice, I said even the most PLACID person. Everyone else is worse.

Some people are always quick to deflect blame; others are just as quick to accept it to make things better. Perhaps when things calm down and you're not facing a horrible garage bill, you two can talk it over about expectations.

That Guy informed me the other night that we fought all the time. It was a big surprise to me and one of my friends said, well, all you did was hold him accountable. I did tell him that if we fought, he has a very different definition of fighting than I do. Perhaps I should have gotten into a real argument with him so he would find out the difference...but why bother arguing with someone who already has misconceptions.

I also wonder if you're taking the blame for things when it sounds to me (and what do I know, I don't even know when I'm fighting) that your husband has been in a bit of a bad mood himself. Maybe it's his dieting that has put him in this mood.

And what do you have planned when he engages in his gorge-a-thon this weekend in front of you? I doubt you will join him but you may be resentful (and who the hell wouldn't be!) and have your own private gorge-a-thon. (Basically I'm saying, Run! Get out of the house!)

Now, missy, you're letting things get you down. Let's apply logic. You said your eating has been stellar and you've been exercising. So in theory you should be okay unless you've downed a dozen cookies since writing this. Or hung out at a salt lick. IF and only IF you have a weight gain, it is probably due to medicine changes.

You're a patient person than I am. I know when I'm fighting and That Guy doesn't have a clue. He and your husband would soon find out what it's like to see me fighting with them...and boy, would they regret it. Thanks to my medications, I just don't care that much to

Lori the Terrible

Vickie said...

All day - I wondered - if you were an alcoholic - would he bring a box of booze in for the weekend and have bottles laying around everywhere?

Does he think that you are on a temporary "diet"? Does he really realize that you have to FIGHT this every minute of every day?

We had the reverse in my family (growing up) - my dad had a severe weight problem and BLAMED my mom for it - because she cooked and did the grocery shopping.

She fed us - like I eat now - nothing fried, we never ate out, lots of fruit and veggies, always baked or grilled the meat - we had PORTIONS and somehow - he blamed her for his compulsive eating - which I know he did not (and still does not understand).

I guess he placed his feelings about his inability to control his weight on her shoulders in the form of blame.

My mother had huge issues of her own with his weight (mostly because of this attitude of his I suppose) - she was afraid (literally) of being squished by him (sex) - because he as SO big and she has always been tiny.

And he ate - nonstop - all the time. He had terrible stomach problems - probably irritible bowel like my daughter has.

During all this - neither one of them EVER understood that he had a major eating disorder. I am sure that HE still doesn't - but my mother now does - and she totally GETS how hard I have to work and what a MAJOR effort it is 24 - 7.

I think - from what you write - that your husband only has a little glimmer of this - and doesn't REALLY understand.

If he understood - he might also understand why you are "close to the surface" - when I feel this way - I tell my husband "I can only deal with one thing at a time and this is not IT."

I also try not to get in the middle of things. I probably would have come in and said - the car won't start - are you taking care of it or am I? If the answer was HIM - I would have stepped back totally. If the answer was Me - I would have called AAA.

I am very independent and we learned long ago that too many chiefs and no indian is our mode - so we pick who is the chief and the other steps out.

How to make him understand about your food issues - without making him feel like he is your food police - I am not sure. But I think that this might be a big help to his understanding you a little better.

A lot of this - is simply two adults that were used to being on their own - being the chief - learning to live in the same teepee I suspect.

My husband has been very involved in helping me figure out labels and nutritional values and balance. So, that has made him more aware.

But I have the feeling that this is not your husband's strong suit - because you have said that he has health issues of his own - which I know he isn't watching from what you describe that he eats.

If he is in education - would a nutrition class help? since he has a diagnosis - he probably is eligible to work with a nutrition person directly.

You can't be his food police either - but maybe by dealing with the analytical side of it - the light will dawn (for him) of what he should be doing for his own health and how HARD what you are trying to do for your own IS 24-7.

This took a lot of diplomacy for me to write - men are just not my favorite - anywhere - anytime - so if it feels like it has a slant to it - it probably does . . .