The Monkey


I don’t like going home anymore.  I would much prefer to be at work.  I left for work this morning around 6:30, and I’ve been staying late just to avoid being at home.  To avoid being around Crazy Jay’s house guest.  If anyone’s read his blog, you know that he says there’s a “monkey” that takes control and makes him crazy.  Makes his mind race.  Makes him sad.  Makes him mad.  Basically all around fucks with him.  Jay is gone.  The monkey has been living in my house for the past couple weeks, and I hate it.  I hate that fucking monkey.

Yesterday, I went to see Jay’s and my joint therapist.  I’m actually glad that we’re both going to go see her.  We’ve seen her separately, and we’ve seen her together.  Since Jay is her patient, too, I don’t have to worry about spending half the session defending the fact that I’m still with him.  I don’t have to worry about thinly veiled attempts to tell me I would be happier without him.  I mean, I know things are especially bad NOW, but, like the Buckcherry song goes, “it’s not like we don’t ever get along.”  I know it’s bad now, but I know it will get better…and then worse, and then better, and then worse.  LOL  It doesn’t matter, though, because I’m in it for the long haul.

Back to the therapist.  I went to see her to try and get some insight as to how I should behave when the monkey comes to stay.  The monkey does not allow me to show emotion that might make it feel badly.  I cannot be upset, sad, hurt, irritated…basically anything other than happy and agreeing.  I have to watch every little thing I say.  The monkey has an extensive past filled with many many hurts.  The wrong word will bring up those old feelings.  As I’m watching what I say, though, I have to make sure not to appear withdrawn.  The monkey doesn’t like that either.  I must be properly responsive, but in a kind, gentle way, and never disagree, no matter what it’s about.  Even if I am correcting straight up facts, that is unacceptable to the monkey.  It makes the monkey feel like I’m disrupting his “happy” mood, and trying to insert a hard dose of reality.

When the monkey becomes angry if any of the above happens (or whatever sets him off that time), it feels it’s acceptable to lash out at me.  Screaming at me about what I’ve done.  Telling me over and over that I need to be different.  Bringing up all past hurts and telling me that they are current.  Telling me that I need to change this thing.  And this thing.  And this thing.  Telling me I deserve the verbal assault because of whatever I did that triggered something.  The monkey tries to make me responsible for its mood, its feelings, and its behavior.  The monkey believes that everything is my fault, and that I am ruining Jay’s and my marriage.  The monkey will tell me not to speak to Jay (or shut my “dumb fucking mouth”) until I can stop offending it.  The monkey tells me Jay’s and my marriage is over until I stop doing x, y, and z.  The monkey goes on for hours and hours.  Berating me.  Calling me names.  Telling me that everything I’m doing is purposeful to try to control and manipulate Jay.  The monkey follows me from room to room, never giving me any peace.  If I don’t respond, it infuriates the monkey.  It comes at me harder, trying to lure me into battle in the pit.  If I apologize for what I did (or didn’t do), the monkey tells me that I think I can act in whatever hurtful way I want and then apologize.  The whole “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” kinda thing.  If I lash back at the monkey, it becomes hurt and rubs in my face the nasty thing I said.  Over and over.  And over.  And over.  Basically, when the monkey is visiting, I cannot do anything right, no matter how I try.

The therapist told me that I need to be “an observer”.  That I need to achieve some kind of balance in all of this.  Of course, I know that I cannot change the monkey, nor can I kick him out of my house.  I need to be there, listening, but not being affected.  I need to know that I am not responsible for making the monkey happy.  I do not need to feel guilt for the monkey’s bad feelings.  It is not up to me to keep the monkey placated.  After the monkey gets its first rant out, it was suggested that I ask the monkey what would make it feel better, and then decide if I can do that.  I was told to stay more “in my soul”, rather than in “my human body”.  This chick is kinda New Ageish.  I took it as staying in the spirit vs being in the flesh (it’s a God thing).  She also suggested we print off a picture of our dog to remind us that we need to take him into account, too.  All the screaming, banging, and knocking things over that the monkey does are very upsetting to our sensitive dog.  I already knew this.  When she brought the dog into the equation, I started crying.  I feel horrible about what I go through with the monkey, but even worse about what our dog goes through.  He doesn’t understand what’s happening.  He’s just a dog.

When I got home last night, I tried to respond to things that Jay said, but not really say too much.  The monkey came out the other day when I told Jay I was “glad he had fun with his new friend.”  The monkey said I was being demeaning.  I never know what I may say that will cause the monkey to rear up and take over.  Things were a little tense, but peaceful.  Jay sensed that I wasn’t being completely open, but the monkey has made it impossible.  All of a sudden, things changed.

Jay asked me to pause the TV so he could speak.  The monkey thought he saw me roll my eyes, and said something.  Now, I do not think that I did roll my eyes.  Rolling my eyes is something I haven’t really done since I was in high school.  If it happened, it was not conscious.  I started to tell the monkey that I didn’t think I did that, and if I did it wasn’t on purpose.  Instead, I swallowed all that down and apologized.  The monkey accepted.  It didn’t leave, though.  It was quiet, but it was waiting.

The next time the TV was paused, the monkey accused me of sighing or huffing.  I’m sure I did make a noise.  It probably had something to do with the way I was laying, and then a sigh came out as I shifted to grab the remote.  Either way, I didn’t even realize I had expelled breath.  The monkey was very angry at this point.  I apologized.  I apologized again.  The monkey was on a rampage.  I don’t think it could even hear what I said.  When the monkey stopped to take a breath, I asked it what would make it go away.  What kind of banana do I need to give it so it would go off in the corner and leave me alone?  The monkey then started telling me what I need to change, and how if I did, it would go away.  I was more clear with the next question:  “Monkey, what do you need RIGHT NOW to make your anger go away?”  It told me I asked a good question and agreed to think about it.

I thought the monkey left.  It was quiet for several minutes.  I thought Jay was back.  I was wrong.  The monkey came back, yelling and telling me how I ALWAYS do this and this and this and this and this.  This went on for quite a while.  I asked it several times what I could do to make the anger dissipate.  I asked it what would make it happy, RIGHT NOW.  I asked it why, when it seemed that we would resolve one thing in the fight that evening that it would bring up another issue.  I asked why the monkey wanted to keep fighting with me.  I soon realized that the monkey was comfortably settled into Jay’s body, though, and was unwilling to leave.  As the monkey continued yelling at me, I slipped deeper and deeper into myself.  The monkey’s voice became a loud drone until it was tired and fell asleep on the couch.

The monkey was back this morning.  It showed up when I told Jay I did not want to snuggle in bed.  That I was hurt from the fight last night.  That I was hurt from the fight the night before.  I am always being yelled at and having hurtful comments hurled at me by the monkey.  When Jay comes back, he hardly remembers saying anything, and doesn’t see a need to apologize.  As a result, I’m left with anger, hurt feelings, and absolutely no resolution.  The monkey chased me out of the house this morning at 6:30.  He didn’t chase me out physically, but its words sent me running.  I was in a very bad spot this morning because of it.  When I left the house, I went to a nearby grocery store and perused the aisles looking for a glass bottle I could break up and use to express my emotions.  The monkey has let me know that I am not allowed to feel upset or hurt.  At work I can’t sit and cry all day, like I’d like to.  It seemed like the only way to express myself was to further mar my skin while thinking about all the things the monkey has been telling me.

I couldn’t find an empty bottle, though, and I wasn’t in a position to wash out a jar that had food in it.  I did not cut this morning.  I haven’t in a while, and didn’t want to start again.  I feel like the monkey gives me no alternative.  I do not know how to function with the monkey being a constant presence in my life.  I hate the monkey.  He makes me miserable.

Jay is trying to eradicate the monkey, but, in the process, it seems he’s unleashed it all the more.  He has increased the power of the monkey.  I know that it will take Jay time to work through things and finally kill the monkey.  I am willing to stay with Jay and love him until the monkey is gone.  I even try to love the monkey, but it is incredibly difficult.  I despise that motherfucker.  It makes my life hell, and then laughs about it.  It mocks my pain and tells me I deserve it.  This is not a threat to take my life, but I sometimes wonder how I will get through each day with the monkey.  It’s starting to seem hopeless.

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Categories: Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Marriage, Relationships, Self Harm, Self-Injury, Therapy | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Monkey

  1. Rose

    Meagan…I read both your and Jay’s blogs and I didn’t really understand the monkey until I read this. How horrible for both of you! I can’t even imagine. Stay strong and keep blogging about it…I know that processing these thoughts and feelings always helps. Hopefully you two can keep working in therapy to get to the bottom of this because, it’s obvious to me from both of your blogs that you are both in an intense amount of pain. Thinking of you both, Rose

  2. Trust me, I hate the fucker, too. One of the worst parts is that he lives IN MY HEAD. Then there is the horrible part when I cry and want to die when I see the havoc and pain he has caused. I think New Age Chick opened some secret doors that I hadn’t nailed shut. Now, the Monkey keeps coming out of the cage. I’m working on getting this taken care of. Just like another Buckcherry song says, “I’m getting closer. I making my way back home to you. I’m getting closer. I can see your face and the light keeps shining through. I am planning a comeback. I am very sorry.

  3. Mandi

    Ahh guys this sucks, I’m sorry you’re going through it. It’s so good that you know Jay and his illnesses well enough to know that this isn’t him, and that he knows the same. But even so I can’t imagine how hard it would be to take this on. Torture all around. I hope and pray things let up soon and there’s a bit more peace in your house.

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