JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jerry's Verbally Abusive Tendencies

Ah what a scary realization. Jerry and I actually half broke up and then got back together last weekend over this. And then, he said he'd make a change. Last night was a bit verbally abusive again and then finally said he was sorry and would stop. But, I see a cycle here starting, and I think we may be in serious trouble.

Jerry's personality is such that he's often cracking jokes and making fun of people a bit. This isn't uncommon for a guy to do with me. When I mentioned it to *A*, he noted that he's always making fun of me. The thing is that there's a line - there's a line between joking around with someone and pointing out things that you DO find different and can't relate to. There's a line between joking and saying things that you really feel. Well, at least that was my first realization.

My next realization is that when Jerry has a bad day, he'll often take it out on me, and I've become somewhat skiddish and afraid around him. He'll make comments or jokes that are way over the line from friendly to seriously offensive. He'll tell me to not be so sensitive and get frustrated with me when I point it out. Sometimes, his voice raises and he gets this angry tone and can be consdencending. I don't think that he even realizes what he says when he gets like this, because when we discuss it later, he denies ever saying those things.

My dad would get verbally abusive with us, and I'm really sensitive to this sort of thing. I spoke about with Jerry that if we can both work past this, it could be really healthy for me, but if he continues to be verbally abusive to me, it would be VERY unhealthy for me and I'd have to leave the relationship.

I feel like he has these Jekell and Hyde parts to him though - sometimes he seems to understand and be very sweet and like he's trying and other times he seems to not have any idea what I'm saying and be angry and frustrated with me.

I really love this man, and I don't want to leave him. I'm tempted to try to get him to go to therapy. But, maybe I can't change him and I need to leave. Augh! This is so hard. I'm actually feeling somewhat shakey today because of it.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Jerusalem Joe said...

Sigh.This sounds scary.I have already given you the best advice I can so I'll just say this: you might as well try to solve this problem with Jerry because as far as I can tell it is not going away - it will reappear with any other man you fall in love with. I really wish you the best on your journey and hope you overcome the difficulties. Other than that, what can I say? I feel for you.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

I can definitely see where you're right about this showing up in other relationships. The question is how to try to solve this with Jerry - I can't control this angry cycle thing. I can try to draw lines and say how I feel and what I want. Thanks for your support though. Maybe the therapy thing will help...?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger I Survive! said...

It does sound good that you feeling afraid around Jerry. But I hope you can work it out with him. Sometimes it just takes a lot of patience and a lot of effort. You should think about whether it would be worth the effort. Whatever you decide, my best wishes to you.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jerusalem Joe said...

The best thing is to take care of this problem before you meet the man you love. That way you will no longer be attracted to or attract to yourself, abusive men.
Of course, that rarely happens.Now that you are in the middle of things, I don't know what to suggest - it does take two to tango.
I know my wife waited two years until I agreed to deal directly with our problems.
How long are you willing to wait? Do you love him enough? How bad is it now?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

There's this saying I often think about: Men get married hoping their wives will never change; women gem married hoping their husbands will change.

My ex-husband was a friendly, easy-going guy who was generous, but he drank, spent money on drinks (trying to look like he made more money than he did) and told me that this is the way he is and that's that. I dealt with it for eight years and kicked him out. There was verbal abuse, walking on egg shells, and yes, he cheated on me. We split up a few times and I took him back. When my oldest was two, I scolded her about something and she got angry and threw the item she had in her hand on the floor (like her dad did when he was angry). That did it for me. I went through with the divorce. I didn't want her to live like this and maybe treating me like her father did-verbally. I also knew that he wasn't going to change.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 5:39:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks for all of your comments. Its so hard to know when to stay; I know that if I were reading someone else's blog, I would tell them to make the rule be no verbal abuse and if the line is crossed, to leave until the other person takes care of his issue. But, now that I'm in the thick of it, I'm tempted to try to change things, as Joe suggests, from the inside.

It goes in cycles - sometimes there's no verbal abuse at all, sometimes there is a lot. Since we're just coming off of there being a lot, now there's none - its just a question of how long it'll take us to get back to the other side of the cycle and what I should do when we get there.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 9:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the largest compliments a man I was dating once said to me is "you make me want to be a better man". I don't know if Jerry is of this caliber, but if he is, then you should go to therapy together -- provided you both are equally invested in the relationship and the *want* to work it out. It never hurts to try, and sometimes it take a very special person to help us break out of the stubborn habits we keep. Sometimes, what we our spirit needs is to know we tried every avenue possible before deciding to let go. I wish you all the best.

Love you woman, hope you make some forward progress with this issue this week.

Love, S.
(As usual, I keep missing your call. Get this, I took my first bellydancing class last nite!!!) :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jerusalem Joe said...

Karma,
you wrote:
"its just a question of how long it'll take us to get back to the other side of the cycle and what I should do when we get there."

I think that's a bad question.You are treating the verbal abuse as an event,while it is actually part of a cycle.A volcano does not erupt without a lot of prior activity.
A better question would be: how is this cycle being maintained - by both of you? what are you both doing that enables it? how is it reinforced?
If you manage to discover how the process works then you will also be able to control it, stop it and even change it.
The really hard part is seeing through the anger and sadness into the reality of your self. But you should be used to that, as a Buddhist.
Does this make any sense to you?

Thursday, June 07, 2007 8:30:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Ah Sanchi and Joe, what really insightful comments. You both give me hope that maybe it is possible to work things out in this relationship.
Joe, I do think that at some level, I can't control how Jerry will act towards me, and I certainly am not to blame when he becomes verbally abusive. Also, if this is his tendency and what he was raised with, then it will come out at some point unless he really deeply deals with it.

I'm going to have to do some deep thinking about the process/cycle and my role. I am thinking though about making a deal with him that if he goes to therapy about this, then as long as he's there, I'll shave my legs (which I haven't done for 10+ years and he really wants me to do).

Thursday, June 07, 2007 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

As I said before, trust your perceptions, Karma, where ever they might lead.
As well, a functioning relationship is (mostly) a two way street. When it switches to one way, a good relationship finds it's way back, with the cooperation of both participants. Trust this to help you make any decisions you feel you have to make.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 11:14:00 AM  

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