This morning, like most mornings, I walked down to the parking garage with Amber to see her off to work. We did our little kiss and said our good byes, then parted ways. I was going to walk Rudi the usual route along Blundell. As I walked eastward towards Minoru, I thought I heard someone screeching, but wasn’t sure where it was coming from and who was doing it. It was raining too. With all of the cars going by, it was hard to hear.

As I walked closer to the driveway entrance to the next apartment building over, I heard some distant yelling. So I turned around and noticed Amber was a few metres away from me. I was surprised, but at the same time, realized she was the one screeching. She sounds like screeching because her voice is so high sometimes.

I walked up to her while she ran up. She told me she forgot her keys. So we headed back and gave her my keys, while I took Rudi to the front garden to pee. Then we met back up to give me my keys back and waved her good bye again. This time, I stayed near the car, until she entered, then left again.

Now, it’s about her screeching that motivated me to enter this post. There is something sad hearing her, coupled with her running up to me. It is completely unrelated, but it makes me think of the two times in our past, where I had to leave Germany on the ICE train without her, to go back to Frankfurt and then home. In both of those times, she tried her best to keep a straight smiling face, but she just looked so sad.

I know I am not a good husband. I yell at her at times. As she said, I use her as a ‘punching bag’ whenever the mood is bad with me. I didn’t hit her, in case the single quotations weren’t clear enough. It meant that often times, things shouldn’t be so trigger-happy with me when it comes to attacking illogical things, that she often expresses. However, I was conditioned a certain way while growing up, being exposed to some of the most insensitive things I was witnessed to, with how my dad treated my mom. So a lot of how my dad treated his entire family, especially those supposedly closest to him, has unfortunately, also seeped into how I treat some of my family members. I wish I didn’t do any of the hurtful things I have towards Amber, but sometimes, my logic and principles outweigh kindness and affection. Whenever I blow up and start going super nova, deep down in the crevice of my psyche, a tiny version of me with a sharp but tiny voice, yells at the top of my lungs to tell me to stop. However, once I get triggered, that’s it. It’s hard for me to stop.

There are only two things that trigger me and with either one, I might become aggressive. However, both of them combined and I go super nova.

  1. Incompetence.
  2. Injustice.

Many things fit inside these two big categories. Amber’s logic in many things doesn’t make sense. We can assume this has to do with her stunted growth and maturity due to the PTSD she’s suffering due to the abuse she had to deal with during her teenage years. She didn’t have the right environment to give her the ability to grow her mind in that regard. Since many of the things she does and thinks about doesn’t make sense, it translates to her being incompetent. I know that’s not right, but my logic dictates it that way. Anything that resembles incompetence, means it’s incompetent.

So what happens when I bite? Most of the time, she bites back with eye rolling, sarcasm, a bad attitude. This is an automatic response and most of the time, she isn’t aware of it. I shouldn’t fault her. Everyone is capable of such a negative response, especially when the person they’re speaking with is attacking them or criticizing them. However, in my automatic logic, I deem that as her not only being incompetent for the first thing, but she’s also not acknowledging her faults and this translates to her indirectly telling me I am wrong and at fault. This is injustice. Don’t accuse me of wrongdoing when you’re doing the wrongdoing in the first place.

Even when I think about it now, for not a single specific situation, I get riled up a little.

However, when I am not in those situations, like now, no matter what some part of me feels, I know she is neither of those things. Sometimes, she is, but often times, I am being overly sensitive. I rule with a spiked iron fist and when I feel she is being insensitive towards the situation, as well as myself, then I will fist her hard with my spiked iron fists.

People don’t understand that while it’s true aggressive violent abusive people must change themselves to be good people, it’s not something that can be done with a flick of a switch. Most aggressive, violent and abusive people never really change. They just cope with it. Most of these people who get into relationships express that violent behaviour towards their partners in varying forms, some of which get physical, and in others, get emotionally abusive. Unfortunately, they all end up in jail one way or another when they kill their partners. These people never get treated for the mental illnesses they have. They’re just shunned and then cast away inside some prison. No one wants to bother to treat them, to get them back into society functionally because it’s easier to brand them as evil people, and hide them away than to help them become a part of society.

I’m lucky that I am not fully evil. When I first met Amber, in the first third of our relationship, she was very passive. We got into a lot of fights. There was always something that ticked me off 3-4 times out of a week.

When we got married, I slowly and gradually trained her to stand up for herself. I opened her to different tactics, different know-hows in dealing with people, as well as myself. Basically, I know I have mental problems – deep ones that are hard to change. So when we are on good terms, I try my best to teach her to protect herself. Not only that, I told her that it’s better she has her own savings account. That while she needs to contribute to the household, she should always look out for herself, in case one day, I cross the line. Basically, for the last few years, I’ve made sure she knows what to do at specific situations, where to do them, how to do them, so on and so forth. She doesn’t follow through with everything, but I do as much as I can.

It might sound like I am setting myself up for losing her. One day, when she is fully self-sufficient, she can up and leave me. She can take care of herself. She can be opened to dating other men. She can find someone worthy of her time and energy.

While I do not say it and I rarely show emotion for it, I do think about Amber a lot. Especially, I think of those early days when we’re apart and in the little time we spent together, just to lose her again for years.

So when she chased me down this morning, yelling at me to stop, it just made me think in a metaphoric sort of way, that ‘she’s actually here’ and ‘she came after me – instead of waiting at the train station to see me off’. In my head, in hindsight, I would have took her into my arms, hugged and embraced her. I would have told her, “I love you. I’m sorry for all of the pain and grief I have put you through.”

I don’t like the demon inside of me. I wish I didn’t get so triggered when it came to anything remotely close to the two things I mentioned. I wish I wasn’t so logical. I wish I am kind, caring and affectionate. I wish my parents were closer with each other. I wish my dad wasn’t such a verbally abusive asshole who has never once in the entirety of his 72 years of existence, ever apologized to a family member he has wronged. I wish my mom loved my brother and I fully, as well as thoroughly.

If all of those things didn’t happen the way they did, today, even if Amber and I still ended up together, perhaps I wouldn’t be such a monster that I am. So until something miraculously happens to my psyche, I will continue to help her protect herself from monsters and demons like me.

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