After all this, she asked me something. I don't even remember now, what, but basically it started a painful conversation about the dinner saga and Deb's need to feel appreciated. She seemed to go into the usual speech with me about feeling like I don't ever try, and don't care, and I got so upset I just kept saying "Please stop" through my tears till she heard me. She went downstairs and read my journal entry and that just seemed to piss her off badly.
She seemed furious that I felt like I was abandoned because she said she felt that way too. I feel like a lot got lost in the screaming, and I don't know what if anything to revisit, but I came to the conclusion after hearing over and over that I don't care about her and don't want to do anything for her, that she doesn't recognize it when I do. We eventually came down enough that we talked about the fact that Deb never feels like she deserves anything but pain, and that seems to mean she doesn't accept praise or thanks or attempts to provide for her unless she attaches an alterior motive or a negative feeling to the attemp because that's what she feels like she deserves. There are times that I want to track down her father and torture him slowly to death.
Anyway, I don't know what, if anything we really resolved, but eventually we were both too tired to keep trying for the night. I feel like she feels like there are a lot of things I need to work on too, but I don't really understand what those are.
I did appreciate that Joel tried to help and translate for us, etc. He's often tried to hide from us when we get to that point and I know it's not easy for him. I also appreciated that Deb didn't just go drive off on me when she got pissed off, but that sort of got lost in the whole mess, I think.
I did get to point out several, more or less successful, attempts to do things with her, appreciate her, do things for her because I love her and I knew she would appreciate the act of love in return as a thanks, etc. She had assumed that all of them either I didn't really want to do, was putting up with to humor her, didn't really mean, or she didn't even seem to remember some of the verbal things.
It was really hard for me to be told that I never try and I don't care and I'm selfish. It totally hit my Gloria buttons and made me want to just kill something to hear that from a spouse when I REALLY feel like at least half of what I do is different than anything I would do by myself out of consideration for them and their feelings and needs. It just felt like more of the "You're never good enough, smart enough, applying yourself enough, appreciative enough, respectful enough, etc, horse shit my mother used to throw at us because she edited reality to suit her and used that to manipulate us into trying to make up for the fact that she hated and resented us most of the time. I sincerely hope she can get some sort of handle on her being convinced that she deserves pain and I never mean it when I try, because I'm afraid of myself on the subject if I get all that screamed at me again. I really felt like I was losing control of myself in a very bad way. I got up and tried to walk away because I was about to slug her and couldn't deal with that reality.
I managed to have enough control by the time I got downstairs that I didn't still feel like a real danger to her, but it sucked. It bothers me to realize that Deb does match to that pattern in my mother in some fashion. She's not generally deliberately cruel with it, like my mother was, but my mother seemed to have the same belief that she only deserved pain and thus an equal capacity to create it for herself. It scared me. *sigh*
I think Deb has it in her to conquer that one if she decides to, where I don't really think my mother did, which makes it a little more okay. I don't really know what to do on the subject other than hope she will try to trust my motives a little more. It's clear that we both still have miles to go in dealing with our shit since we're still reliving parts of it I hadn't recognized. I understood we still had work to do on some abstract level, but staggered a lot at being hit in the face with the knowledge of the pattern. *sigh*