Hurt and Anger

We were locked in our bedroom, as we did when we fought, hoping to shield Zach from the harsh words and anger.  I can hardly remember what had sparked this particular battle, as we were living in an angry, silent existence at that point since our return from Niagara.

The respite with his family had reminded me one of my favorite things about R:  his family.  They were wonderful people, his sister and parents having joined us for the Labor Day festivities along with his aunts and uncles who lived in the area.  We went to a concert with the cousins, while the extended family watched Z for us and made barbecue in the back yard.   There were enough people around to mask our silences and by the end of the weekend we’d declared an uneasy truce.

It didn’t last long.  Once we returned, all of our troubles were simply waiting for us, like spoiled milk in the fridge after a week away.  It didn’t take long before the sarcasm bit both ways and this Sunday morning I’d had enough.  I started pushing back with my own pent up anger, but it wasn’t long before the verbal volleys became so caustic that I had had enough.

“That’s it, I’m done with this,” I said, starting for the door.  “I don’t even know what to say to you any more.”

R grabbed my arm.  “You’re not leaving until we finish this.”

I looked down at my arm, where he was gripping it tightly.  “You’re hurting me,” I said through tight lips.  “Let me go.  Besides, you’ll never be done.  You never are.  You keep this going and going even though it’s long been over.  You want to accuse me, I deny it, you don’t believe me, it goes on and on.”

“Why do you keep emailing him?”  R went on, not letting go.

“I’m not getting in the circle again here.  He’s a friend, I can email my friends.  Now let me go,” I said, trying to pull free from his grip.

He tightened it.  “He’s not your friend.  He’s a guy in LA who you didn’t know until a few months ago.  I’m asking you to stop communicating with him.  It’s him, or me, that’s it.”

“You can’t do that, give me an ultimatum.  This is ridiculous.  Come on, I’m serious, let me go.”

“I’m serious too.  You have to stop, I’m telling you to stop.”

I broke his grip.  “You can’t tell me what to do.  I’m not your child, I’m your wife.”  I turned again towards the door, only to feel him grab me, hard.

“You’re not going anywhere,” R said, firmly.  “Not until you promise to stop communicating with him.”

I was scared, now.  He was holding my shoulders, pushing my back up against the dresser.  I remembered this feeling, the feeling that someone was forcing you physically to do something you didn’t want to do.  I started to struggle.  “Stop this, now.  Let me go,” I hissed, hoping Z wasn’t hearing any of this.

“No,” he said, an edge to his voice that raised even more red flags behind my eyes.  As I wiggled, he moved one hand quickly to my waist and grabbed me by it, pulling me back towards him.

“Stop,” I pleaded, the tears coming down my face.  There was nothing else, nothing in the world, just me not being able to leave and him forcing me to stay.  I saw years and years of fear and rage and control in front of me; the panic was rising fast.  “You’re hurting me, let me go!”

I felt him pull tighter, but then something broke inside him.  He let go and sat down on the bed with his head in his hands.

I raced from the room,and ran downstairs to find Z blissfully unaware and playing video games.

 

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