C. The Difficulties Continue

November 1995 was the first turning point of sorts. I distinctly remember us sitting on your living room couch after an argument, and my trying to point out to you that you should not view every disagreement as a battle to be won or lost, that we were on the same side. Of course at the time you seemed to understand this, but not for long, as your attacking, criticizing, and abusive behavior only escalated. November 1995 through June 1996 were an emotionally traumatic time for me as no matter what I did, I could not stem the tide. I felt stunned and confused whenever you yelled at me for something that (I felt) wasn’t really that important. What made it worse, was that whenever I tried to discuss my feelings with you, you would snap, "You're too sensitive! You're making a mountain out of a molehill! There you go beating a dead issue again!!" It is only my opinion, but I think that two people in an intimate relationship ought to be at least somewhat sensitive to each other’s feelings. Not only did it appear that you were not sensitive to my feelings, but it seemed that you were critical of my even having them. This hurt me a lot.

More reasons for Terry to yell at Chris:

39. Chris bringing up the subject of why Terry would never stay over.
40. Chris being involved in some fluctuating ticket transactions with her friends ("I think your friends are all idiots!").
41. Chris not exactly understanding what Terry wanted her to write down when pricing baseball gloves at Modell's.
42. Terry feeling she could not hit a baseball well.
43. Terry feeling that the Baseball Hall of Fame was "poorly designed."
44. Chris supposedly "just not knowing about life" when she said she'd known Edward for over three years and that he was basically a good person.
45. Terry feeling bad about how much she owed Chris (even though Chris didn't even know how much, and didn't really care).
46. Chris being "oblivious" when she happened to not see something while walking downtown.
47. Chris not picking up on the first ring, when Terry was at the front gate.
48. Chris getting a leak when sticking Kitty.
49. Chris not covering Terry’s back when she got out of bed in the morning.
50. Chris accidentally hitting one of the keys on her phone with her chin while talking to Terry.
51. Chris taking the last portion of food without asking Terry if she wanted it first.
52. Terry not getting anchovies with her Greek salad. (The mindfuck that accompanied this little episode, with you giving me the seething silent treatment, was incredible. Afterwards, you just shrugged, "Oh, it was all an act." Thank you very much.)
53. Chris pointing at something in public.
54. Chris pointing to something while driving and "almost poking Terry’s eye out."
55. Chris "stealing the sheets" at night.

The two major blowups, or perhaps more accurately breakups, we had in January and March deserve special mention. First I will recount the events around the five days of the blizzard. I do not think you can argue with the facts of the case. The Friday night before the blizzard, we made love for hours in your bedroom. (Remember?) It was wonderful and intimate--we talked, had sex, talked again. Then very late into the night, for whatever reason, I can't even remember--perhaps I was tired? sore? just wanted to do something else?--I "didn't let you" [censored]--I just forged on myself. You immediately withdrew in seething silence, wouldn’t talk to me, cruelly shut me out, because you were hurt. I stayed up the entire night, feeling horrible.

The next day, despite the fact that I was exhausted because I hadn't had any sleep at all, we went to see "Othello" with my parents. That day, Saturday, the whole area was preparing for the impending blizzard. We didn't really talk about what had happened the night before. You did mention a few times, that I should plan how I was going to get to work Monday. It began snowing that Saturday night or Sunday morning. You told me later that at that time you felt that I "wasn't listening to you" regarding getting to work. I spent a while helping you with your memo to Dr. Mitchell about Jackson--you didn't seem to mind that! I was sincerely trying to help you and I wanted to be with you! Finally when they came to pick me up that afternoon, you merrily saw me off--I remember you plodding along after the 4X4 in the snow.

Monday morning I spoke with you and perhaps you were in a bad mood from shoveling? Or perhaps still seething over your perceived sexual rejection? Or perhaps you were mad that I hadn't initially listened to you about getting to work?? Whatever it was, you were very cold to me. You suddenly exploded at my saying that I had been talking with Rachel my friend, when Rachel the nurse called. I called you back later in the afternoon and you were extremely rude to me. Now you were jealous that I had been talking with Rachel?? This entire time, you never gave me a clue about what was wrong. Whatever it was, the way you chose to handle it was totally inappropriate. The next morning, despite the fact that you knew I was stuck at work, you continued your angry silence and did not page me. After a thirty-inch snowstorm, I walked two miles up Barrett Avenue, on a bad foot, to get to your house--only to have you yell at me!!! It's no fucking wonder I walked out on you.

Afterwards you begged me in tears to come back, which I did. We began seeing Mary, which I think was a good thing. However, we could not even address the issues about the blizzard incident, because you were so focused on the fact that I had left you. What about the reasons that had led up to it in the first place??? Somehow, all your shoddy treatment of me, such as yelling at me for completely inexplicable reasons, angrily blasting me with silence (that is how loudly it spoke) for 24 hours, and continuing to treat me like shit after I’d just spent hours in the snow trying to get back from the hospital, got lost in the discussion.

The next time you made me so hurt and angry that I wanted to leave you, was in March. We were driving up Barrett Avenue and I was talking about Edward going on my boss Berman's plane. You started warning me how Edward was bound to screw me. When I said that I had known Edward for three years and he was basically a good person, you immediately rejected what I said. When I protested you angrily snapped, "Chris, you just don't know about life!!" I felt that with this statement, you completely devalued my belief about the basic good of people. With your angry tone, you seemed to be sharply criticizing my view of the world. Furthermore, it seemed that you were ridiculing my opinion, and were basically telling me how I should feel. I don't know about life??!! I've known this person for three years, you've never even met him, and you're telling me how I should feel about him?? The angry, all-knowing, and critical tone behind "You just don't know about life" really hurt me. When we went to see Mary later that day, you continued to be hostile and unapologetic. That's when I decided that if you didn't value me as a person with my own thoughts and beliefs, that perhaps we shouldn't be together.

However, I couldn't go through with it, because I was so needy of your love. I felt completely overwhelmed with a gutwrenching sense of loss. I left those desperate messages in the middle of the night on your voice mail, begging you to take me back. Once again, I thought we could work out our differences.

Your poor treatment of me just escalated. Yes, we did continue to have good times together, but still something was very, very wrong. By spring of 1996, I now realize, I felt like I was being totally dominated and controlled by you. I could not make any move without worrying about an angry response from you.


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