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Emotional Triggers

Last night, my husband and I went an annual holiday party that a couple we know had. There was much merriment that included food, drink, and laughter. I brought along my favorite wine and looked forward to a great evening with friends.  Little did I know I would be hit with an emotional trigger in front of a group of people.

First, I need to explain my story.  My first husband was physically, emotionally, and financially abusive. To this day, I cannot pinpoint the first time he hit me or what my thought process was.  I lived that cycle for about 7 years before I was able to break free.  I was scared most of the time and used reverse psychology to the best of my ability in a meager attempt to change the outcome of certain incidents.  I never fought back out of fear he would ultimately put me in the hospital or worse. 

When I met my current husband, I made it very clear that if he ever tried to lay a hand on me I would knock him out cold or better.  Having lived through such hell, I knew I would NEVER let anyone do that to me again.  Now that I was finally free from all the abuse, I refused to go back to such a dark and lonely place again.

My current husband is NOT abusive.  I need to make that clear. Do we know how to push each other's buttons? Do we bicker? Do we fight on occasion? Absolutely and I would venture to say that most couples do all of the above in their relationships but can only speak for my own. We've gone as far as divorcing each other and getting remarried but I'll save that story for a different time.

My current husband has gone through periods of heavy drinking.  (We met in my early twenties and he was in his late twenties and I need no excuse to explain this). I became the caretaker many a time and got him home and into the house. When we divorced, while his drinking wasn't the entire reason, it definitely played a role. When we got back together, lines were drawn as deal breakers and for the most part, things have been great, until I was hit with that trigger last night and into today.

Having known him for 21 years, I know his limits.  Like anyone who has had enough to drink, he doesn't.  I told him we were going to leave after whatever drink number he was on.  Next thing I know he comes upstairs with another one.  It wouldn't have been such a big deal but at this point he was sloppy drunk and spilling it.  To say I was annoyed was probably an understatement.

I took the drink away and he wasn't happy. He grabbed my arm by my sweater and I was immediately brought back to my ex.  I told him to knock it off and he did it again (go figure. Why would I expect a drunk person to listen, right?). I lost it.  It's not one of my proudest moments but in front of everyone I yelled at my husband in Spanish and I told him I was going to hit him and he wasn't going to like it if he didn't knock it off.  

I am also not a violent person.  I can't begin to describe to you the immense "fight" emotion that came over me last night though.  I had all I could do to not punch him when he was grabbing me.  Lines were crossed and I was pissed.  I had clearly moved from the "flight" emotion right into the "fight" emotion.

I'm embarrassed for the way I reacted because the last thing I want is for everyone to feel a certain type of way about me.  I can assure you that my husband and I bicker a lot.  It's part of who we are as a couple and we usually laugh while we're doing it.  We are not mean to each other but I can only imagine what that scene looked like from the other people's point of view in that room.

We made it home and I got him into the house.  He went to bed and needless to say we did not sleep in the same room.  I was struggling to deal with my emotions at that point from my past.  Not only from my abusive past with my ex but also from my past with him and being the caretaker while he drinks.  I effing hate that and will not be assuming that role even part time.

Today, the triggers from my past continued.  He stayed in bed ALL DAY.  In fact, it is about 5 pm and he is still there.  He did get up for a little while and it was probably in his best interest.  You see, it snowed here last night, a lot.  He had just bought a lawn mower with a snowblower attachment and my son and I couldn't get the snowblower blade lowered.  We went out with shovels and I need to say that we live in the country with a long gravel driveway.  I probably needed the physical activity at that point to release some of my anger.

Our 15 year old had behind the wheel today and we had to clear the driveway to get my car out so I could take him.  By the time I was trying to clear the end of the driveway where the plow had dumped stuff, I told my son to go wake up his father and tell him to get out here and use the snowblower or I'd have to call the neighbor to come plow us out.

This is the time he got out of bed.  He came out and eventually figured out the machine.  I sent my son in to take a shower. I finished shoveling the end of the drive and I went in the house to shower as well, leaving my husband in the driveway with the machine.  He had the damn machine after all.  He wasn't the one hoofing the heavy, wet snow with a shovel like we were. I think it took him another 30 minutes to clear as much as we were going to.  

His lack of responsibility today knowing that I needed to take our son somewhere was the second trigger.  I felt like the single woman that pushed me into divorcing him initially.  I was the one making sure the driveway got cleared while he "recovered" by sleeping all day.  I was so disgusted with my life at that point that I just began to cry when I got out of the shower.

I had a long conversation with the universe letting them know I would NOT do this again.  It ended today because if this was a test, I would pass by becoming single once again.  I refuse to compete with alcohol and be single in my marriage EVER AGAIN!!!

I realize this seems harsh and that it may sound like I am blaming the world.  I am not.  I am angry with this day and this situation and I am doing the one thing I know how to release my emotions about it and that is by blogging about it.  This does not mean that I love my husband or myself any less but rather that I am aware of situations in which I am not willing to compromise on.  

The triggers were deep.  Considering I've been with/known my current husband for 21 years means those wounds that just resurfaced are even older than that.  And every day I go through life thinking that I've healed those scars only to find out that they were not scars but scabs and recent events have caused them to bleed again.

For my friends that were there last night, please forgive me for acting out of line.  That is not who I am and I'm sorry if I made anyone uncomfortable.  I will get through this somehow.  Maybe as my tears stream down my face right now I really am healing.

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