Few years ago, after serving in Iraq and came back home. The office of our mayor asked if I can read a letter he wrote to a group of Iraqi refugees who were invited for a Thanksgivings dinner at a local farm. I was thrilled and honored to be asked. I also was allowed to invite my own family and relatives to this dinner. I asked my husband and our family friends who are very close to us and always help us in times of needs.
The Farm house was huge, and there were at least 100 people there, mostly from Iraq and they all knew that I was representing the mayor for the day so they all treated me very well. I introduced my husband to everyone as well as our friends. It was a great experience for all of us.
After the initial meet and greet, and before we all went down to the big dining hall, the owner of the farm, welcomed everyone, said a prayer, and asked me to read the letter. I read the Mayor’s letter and gave each one a copy as I was asked to do. Everyone cheered, some came to hug me and thank me which I absolutely loved every bit of it.
We then went down to the dinning hall, were served dinner by the owner, his wife and his 7 children, ate the most blessed meal on a very blessed day, in this blessed Country. During our meal, many of the Iraqi refugees came to talk with us and were happy to talk with them. Our friends started their own conversations with many of the new comers and my husband I did the same. At the same time, there were many songs san by the US friends and the Iraqi side. By the time, we finished our dinner, I was full of joy and appreciations to this great family that hosted us, to the mayor for choosing me to represent him, and to the great Country that brings people from all walks of life, corners of the world, and give them equal opportunities to pursue happiness.
We got in our cars and headed home. Few minutes later, I asked him if he can fix the garage remote control of my car. I was unable to get the door open for few days and kept forgetting to ask him to help me with it. As soon as I asked, he started raging with anger and started calling me names while his face turned red. In the middle of all this, he blurted out that f it wasn’t for him, I’d be living in the streets. I kept looking at him and asking him, “Me, without you? I’d be on the streets?”. I repeated this questions and he was going on and on about how he was the one who made me who I am. I was so disgusted with him, and thankfully I was driving, I pulled over and told him to get out of the car. He sat still and stopped talking but would not leave the car. I kept telling him to get out but he never did. I somehow and for the first time, felt power over him and knew the minute we get home I’ll lose the power I have over him so I called the friends who were with us at the Thanksgivings dinner who have always stepped in and helped us when we needed the, and told them what happened and that I want my husband to get out of the car now and he can walk home. Our friends asked us to go to their house instead and I did.
Once we got there, I went on to tell them what he did and he was quiet. He just wanted to be alone with the husband so he could deny everything I said. That was always his style of spreading hate toward me. He never talked to me about any issue, always wanted other people to talk to me. That way, he can say what he wants to get his lies imbedded in the stories he tells others. I was so angry with him for saying what he said when the husband took him aside and started talking to him in private while I was telling the wife what happened.
After a while my husband and our friend came back and I asked my husband the same question ” You think I’d be on the streets if it wasn’t for you?” and he, for the first time in front of others, blow up and started to scream in rage like he always does just with me. The wife stood there quietly in shock while the husband tried to take him away again. When they left, I started to cry uncontrollably. I was thinking why would my husband do this and for no reason at all. Why would he just come up with these hurtful comments out of nowhere. All I did was ask him to fix the remote in my car.
When I started writing about my married life, I came across a blog by Cheriewhite called Chateau Cherie titled Narcissists, Bullies, and Jealousy. Just wanted to point out that my getting the recognitions at the thanksgivings event made me the target of the Narcissist, bully, and jealous husband she writes about. I’m just copying her blog post here (I hope its ok) to show how she knew how my husband’s personality would behave in every step of the way. Here is what she wrote:
At the end of this, my husband came back with our friend, he said he’s sorry, I was embarrassed for having all this going on in front of our friends, and said ok and we then went home. I do not think that anything was resolved, we just went home and continued living our broken lives.
Bullies see any recognition the target gets for a good deed, high marks, an accomplishment, or success as the target’s having diminished them somehow. If you’re a target, these types of bullies will only see any success you enjoy as a reflection on them.
You force them to think about and take stock of their own successes and failures. Understand that it’s the bullies’ self-focus that sets the stage for their anger and hostility toward you. They will personalize your success as if you’re an opponent who’s competing with them for the same prize.
The bullies are forced to compare themselves with you because they’re afraid that other people will consider them less worthy or important than you. They feel invisible and left out because they’re not getting the praise that you’re getting. So, they get a sense of disregard from others.
But rather than have normal feelings of disappointment and regret, they have anger and hatred toward you.
Although you never harm them, the bullies feel a sense of injustice because they feel that you don’t deserve the recognition, but they do. They feel wronged and very much entitled to their anger and hostility.
Bullies will then accuse you of thinking you’re better than they are- as if they know what you’re thinking. And they really do think they can read your mind correctly, which then only further arouses their anger and hate.
Again, according to the bullies’ logic, you’ve wronged them somehow so, you are the enemy. And this perceived wrong that you’ve done compels the bullies to act hostile toward you because the bullies’ egos have been bruised by your successes and accomplishments.
Just as money is the root of evil, the ego is the root of jealousy. And bullies have enormous egos!