In 2003 I volunteered to work in Iraq to help with the Iraq war. I was there from January to May of 2004. During that time, everyone and every group wanted to hear personal experiences from people who have gone there. I was invited to many rotary clubs, seromas, and kiwani clubs all around the State.
My husband told me one day that there is a group of people who asked him if we could spend time with them so they could hear first hand accounts about what really was going on in Iraq. They invited us to a private room of a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. I was willing to do so because at the time, I did not feel the media was telling the full story of what was going on in Iraq.
On our way to the restaurant to meet these people, my husband turns to me in the car and says “you need to stay quiet when we’re there, let me do the talking”. I was not sure why he said that, thought that he had some business dealings with these people and wanted to steer the conversation to talk about working together. I nodded in agreement and off we went.
When we got there, everyone in the group were directing there questions directly at me and did not want to hear anything my husband was saying. As soon as we went there, people came to greet me and asked me about my trip to Iraq. After a short while, we had dinner and they organized the chairs in a circle and they started asking specific questions about my trip to Iraq; how long I stayed? how were the Iraqis? how were the US military? where did I stay? what did I work on? etc. there were no questions directed to him or about his knowledge of Iraq. My husband is very knowledgeable in the history and political climate of Iraq, but it didn’t seem that anyone in this group was interested in that at all.
During the casual conversation, I wasn’t thinking of what he told me earlier; to keep quiet. I couldn’t keep quiet anyway. There was no way that I get asked a question about my stay in Iraq and defer the answer to him. At that time, I was the only one who has gone to Iraq, I knew the correct answer, and they were asking me, not him. I assumed that he became friend with this group due to some common interest about Iraq and he has already answered all the historical and political questions before this get together. It felt like we were all having a good time, including my husband. The whole event lasted less than 2 hours, we said our goodbyes and headed home.
When we got in the car, I was in a good mood and was talking about how nice these people are. He was quiet. I asked his where he knew them from, he said that he did not know them. They called the house and he answered and arranged everything. I was surprised, and asked his again “You didn’t know them at all?” he said “No”. I asked him “then why did you ask me not to say anything?” and he said “No Reason”. I didn’t like what he said and said to him “you just did not want me to talk knowing that hey called and invited me to talk to them about Iraq?”. He said that he didn’t want me to talk because he knows that I don’t know anything and I just babble on and on with no substance and knowledge of any subject I talk about. I suddenly left my happy place and went to a deep deep dark place where there is no light to exit from. I stayed quiet the rest of the car ride and as soon as we got home, I went downstairs in the basement in a quiet room to cry quielty.
When the call came in, they asked specifically for me to go to that dinner and speak to them about my experience in Iraq and he knew it. Because of his stupid ego, he didn’t turn them down. He wanted to go and be seen and hopefully would steal the spotlight. He then tried to get me not to talk so he would be in the spotlight. But since he had not been to Iraq, the group wanted to hear from my personal experience, all questions were directed at me. And when his plan did not work, he turned to the act that always works for him, To Attack and Demean Me.