Apology not accepted

I don’t know if his Catholic upbringing had anything to do with it, but my (emotionally abusive) husband thinks the words, “I’m sorry” are fairy magic. I kinda want to blame the Catholic church for that but I’m not sure it’s fair. But they did set a bad example and I’m pissed about that. Whenever AH (I’m thinking “Abusive Husband”, you can think of other things it might stand for) is a real jerk to me and I speak up for myself, the first words out of his mouth are “I’m sorry”. 

Now, I’m all for apologies. I’m all for someone feeling sorry for hurting another person and expressing it with sorrow. But my husband, like others I’m sure, sees “I’m sorry” like “get out of jail free”. That’s it, he said he was sorry so keep on going. He’ll keep on doing exactly the same thing(s) that hurt me and keep apologizing. Sometimes, as a kind of special dessert, if I don’t immediately bow down and kiss his feet when he’s apologized, he’ll let me know that I’m over-reacting to the situation. You know, I’m trying to start a fight over “something silly” (to him), “something that doesn’t matter” (to him), or “something small” (to him). Of course all those silly, small and inconsequential things usually represent his utter demolition of my personhood. Things that are small and silly to him = totally running over my right to speak up for myself, my feelings, my beliefs, my thoughts. 

What is “I’m sorry” supposed to mean, really, though? Is it like “gezundheit” after someone sneezes? Meaningless, the kind of phrase you throw away as a knee-jerk reaction to another person? Or is it actually supposed to mean something real? I’m so numb and so screwed-up by living with AH anymore I actually believe I’m over-reacting when he hurts me. My perspective is so skewed, how do I get back to “normal” now? 

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