The negativity is unmistakable. She attributes it to outside pressures.
An outsider could never gauge how monstrous the person is. Some worship him as a great human being. Some are obliged to him, so quietly bear his unending instructions and repeated rambling on the same things. He is devoted to certain people in his family, and they can never think of this ‘obedient, sweet guy eager to carry out their bidding’ as monstrous. He is judgemental about everybody in the world, except for his kith and kin.
It is a different equation he shares with her. She has often wondered if his procrastination on matters close to her heart is deliberate, or just his lazy temperament. She can sense a hostility, a deliberate denial of happiness to her, but proceeds with her own life, not letting it pull her down.
She relates to people only at a mental level. But whenever she talks or is making a point, his eyes are firmly fixed on her hands, telling her whatever she is holding needs to be handled better, or whatever action she is carrying out is faulty. It is as if her words or ideas did not exist at all. She never feels a connect between them.
It continues with his interference in various household tasks, always holding her responsible for something that is ‘wrong’ in his opinion. Her efficiency in managing the house single-handedly, along with her online work schedules goes unnoticed. She jests sometimes that if a world leader was shot dead in a remote part of the world, he would hold her responsible for it.
There is something menacing about the entire charade, but she is unable to place her finger on the cause. Maybe it is his resentment of her multifarious skills and abilities.
She wants him to seek counselling, but he stubbornly refuses to do so.
She comes across a webinar on toxic relationships, while surfing the net, and stops to listen. The speaker raises a few pertinent points-
- Do you feel uncomfortable in the other person’s presence, not knowing what will hit you?
2. You don’t want to call the behavior abusive, because it is not always so. There is a Jekyll-and-Hyde quality to it.
3. You get physically sick without any explanation.
4. You somehow know that things are not adding up.
5. His family makes subtle hints about ‘sticking together’, because they don’t want the burden of this person, if he is single again.
6. You stay silent, because speaking up does not lead anywhere.
It is a moment of revelation. She is able to give the problem a name – the relationship is toxic and abusive.
It is a moment of breakthrough.
She will only emerge victorious from this, because she knows how to fight it.