The Horrible Hilarious Herb Scissors Happenstance

Day of joy post: June 13, 2017

I am unpacking in my new home. My things have been in storage for two months. It has been two months since I left the home we owned together and moved in with my friends. And now, I am in my new condo, and I am making my first attempts to settle in.

Opening boxes precedes greeting possessions with love and honor. One by one, I take them in hand and admire them. They are old friends I’ve forgotten I missed.

Coming across a few of these items have pushed me to tears. Artwork I was never allowed to put up, for example. Books that were never unpacked because he didn’t like bookshelves.

And the real heartbreaker: the stupid little kitchen gadget that started my waking up process about the relationship.

Herb cutting scissors from Amazon

I bought this $7 pair of herb cutting scissors shortly after we moved into the house. It was right after we planted our herb garden in the raised bed just outside the kitchen.

He was angered beyond what I had ever seen from him before.

He couldn’t believe I would spend money and bring something into our home without getting his consensus/approval first.

Then was when I learned I was supposed to text him when I wanted to buy something. The protocol was to take a photo, send him the photo, describe the item and explain the need for it, and wait for his approval before making any purchase.

And how could I not know this? That’s what all couples do. What was wrong with me that I would buy something without him knowing?

I disagreed with his ideas about how I was allowed to spend money and what I could bring into the home. Larger items, yes, there should be some consensus about. Otherwise, no, I was not willing to follow the rules he had dictated and did not think it normal he would want me to do so.

The rage he flew into was unlike any I had seen before but was very like many I saw in the years that followed.

He punished me by reprimanding me and withholding love for days. Doors slammed. He sulked. He gave the silent treatment.

I had hurt him grievously, his actions said. I was disrespecting him and his emotions by not agreeing with him and promising to obey his notions about how a healthy relationship operated. I was acting in a way that was unloving and he was crushed by my behavior.

He refused to listen when I tried talking with him. He was owed an apology. Not just an apology; a sincere explanation showing I understood what I had done was wrong and promises I would never be so cruel to him again.

This continued for days. He wouldn’t, or couldn’t, hear anything about my feelings about spending $7 on a gadget I knew I’d use daily.

Ultimately, I capitulated. I got sick of the silent treatment, the sulking, the glowering, the stomping, the slammed doors.

We had just purchased a home together. I was trapped. I couldn’t afford to leave and wasn’t yet ready to admit defeat anyway. I didn’t know what else to do to bring a sense of peace and order back into my home other than give in. It didn’t appear there was an alternate option.

I apologized. I groveled.

I swore I would never do anything so horrible and insensitive again as to buy a $7 kitchen gadget without his approval.

Yesterday, when I opened the box containing kitchen goods and saw these scissors, I remembered what had happened when I bought them. I remembered the frustrated feelings of impotence. I remembered being unable to have a rational conversation with my partner.

I remembered feeling confused by his notion that I was meant to obey without question. I remembered how the tone had been set by that incident, and how consistently I had felt all that frustration and anger throughout our relationship.

I looked at these scissors, and I reflected on my journey. I worked hard to make that relationship work while attempting to stay an emotionally healthy, sane human being. Ultimately, unfortunately, it became clear I would have to choose between those two things.

I chose myself over him. It was horrible and hard, and exactly what needed to happen.

I’ll keep posting my days of joy posts this week as I continue to unpack and settle in, not because I actually am feeling joyous, but because this exercise is most useful when I’m not. As I unload and revisit all my possessions, I am thinking a lot about what had to end in order to make this new beginning possible.

My joy yesterday was my continued confidence that I made the right choice. But the fact is, while my condo is lovely and I’m very grateful for it, this new life I am beginning isn’t what I wanted for myself.

I’m doing a very good job of rolling with the punches and making the best of a bad situation.

Today, August 31st, 2019

Jesus, that guy was such an asshole.

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