Monday – Invited him over for dinner. After eating, insisted on starting an argument. Mad at me for telling Scott about the “blowjob after work” comment. Accused me of lying to Scott. Acted like he was going to leave several times, but wouldn't go.
Okay, I'll back up a bit. I just needed to get that off my chest really quick. But how far back do I go?
Mondays are our counseling days. We each have an hour with Scott. Last week we had plans to go hiking together after our meetings. But leading up to it, he had been obsessed with the abuse allegations. Something I haven't mentioned in months. But that came up in his previous session with Scott, so of course Scott asked me about it when we talked. Since it was brought up, I told him. Pretty much everything. I told him about the name-calling and the frequent threats to leave/throw me out. I told him about him recording our conversations and baiting me into losing my temper on record. I told him about all the things he's damaged in a fit of rage. I told him about stomping on my phone, following me around the house when I was trying to get away, blocking me in doorways. I told him about me trying to hide in the bathroom and him shoving the door open. I told him about the shoving incident. So after his session, Garrett canceled our hiking plans. Blamed the heat (it WAS hot). But then got mad that I told Scott about the shoving incident. Started another nasty fight. I ended up having a mid-week emergency session with Scott. I asked him if I'm wrong to consider his behavior abuse? No. Verbal attacking falls under the category of abuse. By Thursday night things finally deescalated and we spent the weekend together swimming and fishing. We actually had a really amazing time. Garrett was talking about planning a getaway for next weekend (Labor Day weekend). And then ... our Scott sessions happened. I had invited him to come have dinner yesterday evening after our sessions. Silly me, I already know those sessions put him in a nasty mood, because he's asked about things he would rather not admit to. I told Scott about the calendar/schedule argument that he won't let go – even though it's a non-issue now – and how he refuses to ever repair or replace anything of mine that he damages out of anger. I told Scott about Madeline's apology letter to Garrett, and how that seemed to finally give him what he was looking for – but didn't know how long it would last. I don't think I told him about feeling like lately he's looking for ways to fight, so he has an excuse to throw me out – making me wonder if he's intentionally trying to get rid of me so he can be with someone else. I did tell Garrett that, though. He insisted that's not happening. Scott had a few things to ask me. He said Garrett feels like I twist things. For example, I accused him of cheating. I told Scott I never accused him, but I did ask. I told him it started months before, we had been arguing about sex, then told him about Garrett telling me to find someone who gets a blowjob before coming home from work. I told him that Garrett, to this day, has refused to apologize for that comment and has shown absolutely no remorse. I told him I don't think it's that much of a stretch for someone who thinks saying something like this to actually escalate to cheating. I told him how badly that messed with my head. Where my mind went every time he came home from work late, decided to stop for beers with Keith or whatever without checking in or telling me where he was. I told him how if I was out running errands, I made sure to be home around the time he normally comes home, and then waiting around for him not knowing where he was or when he would be home. I told him how when he was plowing snow I never really knew how long it would take. Similar snowstorms could take anywhere from 4 – 14 hours. Scott's advice was this is one of those major things that we have to learn to resolve, and then let go. I totally agree. I've apologized for the cheating accusation, but he's still bringing it up. I, on the other hand, have not ever received an apology for the BJ comment. Probably never will. He genuinely sees nothing wrong with what he said.
Garrett also told Scott I accused him of beating his wife. I told Scott this is another example of the way HE is actually twisting MY words. I never accused him of beating his wife. I don't think he ever did. I did, however, accuse him of abusing her – because physical violence is not a requirement for abuse. I told him I started to notice similarities between stories he told me about her, and what he was doing to me. I told him about a similar shoving incident that Garrett had told me about early in our relationship. From what I understand, they were arguing and he was trying to leave the house through the front door. She stood in front of the door to stop him from opening it. He forced it open, and in doing so shoved her into a wall. I said after things started to escalate with me – following me around, blocking doorways, forcing doors open, and then the shoving incident – I started to question some of the things he told me about his wife. I know there's two sides to every story, and I started to wonder what her side was. Scott repeated Garrett's version of our shoving incident. I don't remember exactly what he said and I didn't write it down, but it was VERY different from my recollection. He said he was trying to leave and I wouldn't let him go. Something about him trying to get out the front door, me running past him, him grabbing my shirt me turning around to face him, and him shoving me? In hindsight, this version sounds even more similar to the incident with his wife. I told Scott I don't remember shirt grabbing. Maybe I grabbed his shirt which is why he turned around and shoved me? I explained the distance between the couch (where my glasses landed) and the door he was trying to get to. Garrett denied having his hand on my throat. Said it was on my chest. I told Scott the difference is about 1 inch. He wasn't trying to strangle me. I specified hand placement to make it clear he had both hands on me, so he can't try to claim he accidentally bumped into me. I told him my right shoulder was sore the next morning. He asked if Garrett hit me, I told him no. He asked how my glasses flew off my face. I told him I honestly don't know. But Garrett also confirmed my glasses flew off my face. I told Scott it doesn't really matter which version is the most accurate – it is NEVER okay to put your hands on me and shove me! Scott asked if there's anything Garrett could have done differently. At first I said I couldn't think of anything. And then I remembered the back door, which is between the couch and the small hallway to the garage door. I told him I was to Garrett's right and that door was to his left. He could have easily turned left – away from me – and out that door. (Instead he turned to his right and shoved me).
Scott noted some of Garrett's issues seem to be stemming from past trauma in relationships and asked if that might be the same for me. I told him my ex husband was abusive, mostly verbally and emotionally. I told him about the yelling and slamming doors, punching holes in walls, breaking things, throwing things at me, etc. I told him how the two are similar and how they are different. I told him how it took probably 10 years to retrain my body to not physically jump at the sound of a man shouting. Some questions I couldn't answer – I explained that a lot of that time period has been mentally blocked from memory. I don't remember exactly the question he asked next, something about was there ever a turning point for me or something? I told him I promised myself I would never allow myself to be the victim again. With Paul I was so weak. I didn't fight back – I would just cower and cry. I swore to myself I would never be that person again. So when it started to happen with Garrett I was in denial. At the beginning I reacted the same way – I cowered and cried. I became so ashamed of myself for letting it happen again. So I stood up, I started fighting back. I'm guessing that change from crying to fighting back happened some time last fall. I didn't tell him about the rapes. Not yet.
We ran out of time and my session ended. Scott ended by reminding me to take time outs and pray about past trauma – work on remembering things to work through. Garrett's session was next. I figured it wouldn't go well, since I revealed more sensitive topics. I pretty much expected Garrett to no-show for dinner, but I cooked anyway. I was half surprised when he showed up. One of the first things he said, almost jokingly, was “I can't believe you told Scott about the BJ conversation.” I told him it was the main reason I started to question whether he was cheating. He dropped it until we were done eating. Sitting in the living room and he starts up again. “Emily, you're not a bad person. Neither am I.” The conversation managed to stay civil for a while, but I could see him getting worked up. Got up to leave several times. Got more worked up. He is VERY angry that I told Scott about the blowjob conversation. Started scrolling through old text conversations to find that one. I told him it's really not healthy to go back and read all of those old, hurtful words. Made it to the kitchen and walked toward the door several more times. Opened the door and stood in front of it for a while. I put my hand on the door to close it after him and he shifted, as if to block the door from closing. So I waited. Then he walked back into the kitchen. I asked why he was walking back into my house? He said something about not wanting to be “accused of that too” and left. Conversation continued via text for several hours. Continued to accuse me of lying to Scott. Refuses to see how that comment could mess with my head so severely. Several times I challenged him to name one think I could have said or done that would have prevented him from walking out again. He never gave me a direct response. At one point he told me some things NOT to to, but never once told me a single thing that would have kept him from doing what he always does. After several more rounds about the BJ comment and how it made me feel, I told him “And no. You have not been entirely faithful. But that's okay. It's neither here nor there now, it is?” This is followed by several denials of being unfaithful, accusations of mind games, and accusations of ME being unfaithful. That earned me a “you bitch!” And called a liar. I'm getting so desensitized to some of these insults I barely notice some of them any more.
He also refuses to return my ring. Demanded his back. Got it. Now refuses to give me mine back. I'm sure he intends to sell or return both and pocket the money. He told me he would pay me back for July's rent. That never happened. Told me he would pay me for the Chewy order that he threw out. Didn't happen either. A while back he said he would sell the snowmobile and send me the money. Yup, you guessed it! Didn't happen. His response? “I owe you nothing” and “take me to court.” An hour and a half later he admitted to reaching out to Tina “last October” after I left. I reminded him I didn't leave in October. I left days before my birthday in late November. I asked why. “You left, blocked me, left your ring with a note saying your done. I reached out because I wanted someone to talk to. I had no one. It was an innocent conversation that went no where.” I pointed out if it was innocent, why hide it from me? If it was so innocent, why not come clean about it? He diverted by accusing me of reaching out to her. “If you were the person you claim to be, we wouldn't fight.” So there it is, the fights are entirely my fault. Accused me of communicating with Jeremy. I informed him Jeremy has been blocked since the beginning of covid. Out of respect for HIM. Claimed he doesn't have Tina's contact information. Claims he deleted it after he reached out to her. Then tried to change the conversation to Madeline.
This morning it continued. Attacking my parenting, etc. It just never ends.
He called me this afternoon to apologize. Said he understands how I feel and why I feel that way about him reaching out to Tina. I thanked him for the apology. Apologized again for accusing him of cheating. Told him I thought I extended that apology a long time ago, but he continues to bring it up.