Good news, I'll be able to take a proper shower next weekend. On Friday night, no less. I bought six Brita filters for my pitcher. I purchased wireless ear buds that hook over my ears since regular earbuds, wired and otherwise, tend to fall out of my ears. My computer can now be controlled by my phone via GSConnect and KDE Connect which makes watching stuff much more convenient for me at home. Two Terry Pratchett books are coming to me on Monday and Tuesday: Mort and The Hogfather.
I received a kind response on a social network when I enquired about my participation back on the 20th. I enquired because of a conversation I had with Rameen by text.

I hope I didn't screw up anything on the 20th

No not at all. Sorry I wasn't able to greet you when you arrived. My partner said your anxiety was a little high. I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to step out, compose yourself, and come back as needed. Everyone does what they need to as they can. Never ever feel pressured to do anything or more then you can. I hope you felt welcomed, and at least got to see how things work. You will be better prepared for next time. Hopefully you will be able to make the one on September 17th. We are all just awkward humans trying to find our way.

My "I hope I didn't screw up anything on the 20th" question came about because Leah would constantly berate me, after the fact, about how my 'weirdness' ruined a family event I attended with her. Eventually that would escalate to Leah prefacing each invite with, "You know, you don't have to go if you don't want to."
Of course Leah will try to reframe such comments with, "I'm trying to be constructive and give options" when it was clear to me that she didn't want me to go and didn't want to deal with the drama and hassle of saying she 'disinvited' me from a gathering.

Which brings me back to that image I posted yesterday.

Let's get into the details.

Using Economic Abuse:

  • Diminished and disparaged because I didn't earn enough money to her liking.
  • Being yelled at for buying a roll and butter at Wawa fairly regularly when she'd go out, socialize, and drop a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Constantly throwing it in my face that if I got my own car, rather than continuing to drive her hand-me-down beater, it'd be the end of our relationship. Period.

Using Coercion and Threats:

  • Threatening to throw the cats out or send them to be adopted by other people.
  • Threatening to call the authorities on me.
    • This most likely stemmed from my August 2011 suicide attempt that got me sent to Shoreline for a week and change and it became one of her new tools of controlling me.

Using Intimidation:

  • See coercion and threats.

Using Emotional Abuse:

  • Putting me down.
  • Making me feel bad about myself.
    • Easy for her since she was my wife and I felt as my wife I could confide in her, but the things I confided in her became her ammunition to use against me.
  • Making me think I'm crazy by insisting I go to therapy and become a psychotropic drug zombie.
  • Gaslighting me and others by arguing how I was the crazy one, and she was reasonable but oh so weary of trying to manage me.
    • I'm going to digress and seem a little crazy but Leah would tell me about how her former flame Rob Hauschild of Linden, NJ would treat her and be abusive/dismissive of her. As our marriage went on, I realized she was utilizing the weapons he used against her on me since they were effective on her.
      • Another aside, Rob Hauschild broke the leg of George Schropfer at Kean College, now University, back in the early to mid 1990's in a fit of rage.

Using Isolation:

  • She would constantly talk about who she thought were my friends. This always came across as 'these are the safe friends and Leah-approved friends' for Chris. For example, Elbie down the street from me. She'd constantly push me to interact with my friends in Colorado and my not contacting them was my choice. Jaybird always seemed to become bored when I called and wanted to rush me off the phone. maribou has a lot on her plate. Steve has his own family and I don't want to bother him. Mind you at least Steve reached out to me a few times to check on my well-being. Jaybird did once, but that's because Leah called him (she told me) and asked him to reach out.
    • Another aside: This reminds me of an early episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where the topic was "I don't like my spouse's friends". One of the spousal friends was on the show and was ganged-up on during the show. Guy committed suicide not too long after that episode aired and I haven't been able to find hide nor hair of the episode online.
  • Saying "You know you don't have to go" to tacitly disinvite me from a family function.

Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming:

  • Saying things like, "You're too sensitive"
  • Denying any abuse on her part by shifting blame onto me.
  • Denying anything I enumerate in this listicle by merely saying, "You know he was crazy/troubled/etc" with a heavy, theatrical sigh.

Using Children:

  • s/Children/Cats. Enough said. See 'Coercion and Threats'.

Using Male Privilege:

  • This is trick because Leah is not male, even though she likes using a strap-on with her female lovers and Rob Hauschild of Linden, NJ. Going to reframe this as Leah saying, "I'm the woman. Clearly I'm the victim here. Just look at him! He's over 300#, 6'2" and just looks intimidating! Do the math!"
  • Being the one who defines men's and women's roles. For example 'doing dishes' was women's work but taking out the garbage was a 'cock job'. How men should happily do chores and fix things for pleasure with their free time. Not to mention using her youngest nephew as an exemplar, "Look at my youngest nephew! I ask him to do something and he does it smiling! You just scowl and stomp around."

All of this was like a scalpel, taking full advantage of being raised by an abusive yet neglectful mother who wielded all the power in the family. A woman who ruled by fear, forcing my biological father to sneak around behind her back to do little (and big) things. Creating an environment where my sister spent all of her time away from the house with her friend in order to maintain her sanity. Me? I didn't know where else to go nor what to do, so I hid in my room and hoped I'd never draw attention to myself.

As I type all this out, I am still riddled by fear that just one of her words will make everyone disbelieve me. How she'll 'own' me like the Republicans want to 'own the libs'. My self-confidence feels so very low, but I'm writing this out as a testament to my life and affirm this is my side of the story.

And if I am crazy, it was exascerbated by living with Leah. May god have mercy upon anyone else who dares live with Leah and not become utterly obsequious to her.

an aside

Back in March of 2002 I was visited by a young woman from LambdaMOO. Her stay with me did not end well. Jaybird and maribou were my upstairs neighbors, being friends they gave me the 411 on the available basement apartment, and knew of it. Apparently Makonan, the young woman in question, went on LambdaMOO and trashed me to everyone. Including Jaybird. Sometime after that, Jaybird confronted me and wanted to know what happened but also expressed his disappointment in me.

Time passes. I feel uncomfortable hanging out with Jaybird and maribou. Makonan starts seeing idiotboy (now dtby on LambdaMOO) and goes out to meet him in Vegas in person. Apparently that meet-up ended in diaster.
How do I know?
Shortly after the fallout settled, Jaybird asked me to come upstairs because he wanted to speak with me. Jaybird apologized to me about how he treated me and how he believed Makonan instead of me. How idiotboy (dtby) told him everything that happened on his end and jibed with my narrative.
One of the few times where I felt victory. Where I felt like I was vindicated.

I am hoping the same thing happens in the case of Leah.

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