Normalcy and anger
But alas, here I am again. I'm stuck and I don't have anyone to talk to. I guess I need an impartial, nonjudgmental ear. But those are in short supply.
My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. We have signed a lease and are moving in together in a few months. He has been the shining light of my life, the calm to my storm, and all that good stuff. I was so surprised when I found a guy as good as him. He is truly kind to everyone and cares about other people. Everyone who knows him can see that, how he is this big sweet teddy bear. That is what I loved him for, for 5 years. Because that tenderness, kindness, softness, is something I desperately need/ed and was/am horribly lacking. This guy is unusually nice. Unusually sweet, and he loves me deeply, I know that.
Which is why I was so surprised about what happened last weekend. Dumbfounded, really. I don't know what to do. I am just completely and utterly lost.
We've had this running joke going. Basically, whenever he yawns, I would poke my finger in his mouth. He would get annoyed, and we'd laugh about it, all coming from that I really dislike when people yawn around me and would ask him to cover it but he never would, so I started doing that. It was a running joke.
Last weekend I was driving and he started yawning, so I leaned my hand over to poke him but, with my eyes on the road, poked his cheek instead. I don't think I hurt him at all (it was just my finger on his cheek!) but I did startle him pretty bad. His response... I just don't even know how to word it right.
In that moment, he was so angry. He said: "Ahh! I just wanted to hit you right now! And I feel horrible about that!" But it wasn't as much what he said as how he looked, like it was pure anger and just this like, hate, for me, nothing else.
I grew up with this sort of thing. I grew up around a lot of threats of violence, and some rare manifestations of those threats. I grew up seeing that look many, many times from people who were supposed to love me. Maybe I've even given that look before. I hope not. But I never ever ever ever ever expected to see that look from him.
With him, I thought I had gotten away from it all. I thought that I could be different form my parents, that I could find a gentle nurturing love that didn't have any undertones of violence or disdain and I thought I had found it with him. I picked him, specifically, for that reason. Because he was the kindest sweetest person I could find to get away from all that shit. Clearly I was wrong.
I don't know if I'm overreacting. Maybe it was a natural physical reaction. Afterwords he apologized, and was visibly upset for the rest of the day, apologizing again in the evening and saying he felt horrible about it.
My reaction to all this wasn't any good. Again, I've grown up around this stuff. I guess my reaction was the same as it has always been at home, which was to silently cry and then ignore the situation. I don't know if he realized I was crying because I had big sunglasses on and we drove with the windows down on the highway. Afterwords I didn't say anything, just went on as though things were normal. Of course they weren't but I don't know any other way. I don't know how to deal with this sort of thing. What is the healthy way to address it? What am I supposed to do?
The first time he apologized I said "it's okay, I'm sorry too". The other times, in the evening, I didn't say anything.
I'm just very upset and scared. I thought I had gotten away from all that. I thought that I had somehow broken free of the mold so many women in my family have fallen to with men. Was it unavoidable? Do all relationships eventually come to a place like this? We have fought before, but I have never seen him express that sort of anger towards me. I have never seen him have that expression towards me. It is an expression that has haunted me all of my life, something I have tried so desperately to get away from. Is it possible? What do I do now? How do I even begin to address it with him? I have no idea how to talk about my feelings relating to this. I have no idea what to do.