I am caught in a power struggle and I am constantly losing. He holds all the power. He is capable of inflicting hours of frustration followed by hours of uncertainty and hurt. For him, the post-argument call back is an option.
It isn't new. We have an argument (degree and severity don't seem to affect the pattern) and we hang up. I am usually crying, he is usually annoyed. Almost immediately I want to call back. I cannot simply leave the incident hanging. He, on the other hand, can leave it hanging and appears to prefer it that way. When the "talk" button is pressed or the dial button is pushed, and we are are cut off from one another, it is over. For him.
I want to, need to, finish it. If I call back I am giving in and doing what I always do, which is call back. If I don't I will be the only one of us feeling tormented. If I don't call back I will show him and he will know who's is boss. Nope. He won't even realize that I haven't called back. He will probably go and get something to eat. He will even sleep.
Depending on how long I can hold out, I will either spend an hour waiting for the phone to ring or wait up all night. My mind will start to play tricks on me. It will tell me that he is doing this intentionally. That he knows he has the power and he is wielding it with cruel indifference. I will worry and I will cry. It will reflect on our relationship. It will make me feel unloved and unworthy. Then I will get angry that he could be so mean and hurtful after something so silly. That he would put me through such anguish over something so insignificant...what kind of psycho IS he?
I will write about it. Think about it and ache over it's deeper ramifications. In the morning, he will call. He won't know why I sound so tired or what I am upset about. If I bring it up, I am being petty and holding a grudge...I am being silly.
I am trapped and he has won. I cannot see any way to win. If I call, I am weak. If I don't, I remain upset. If I don't care, our friendhip suffers. If I care my sanity and self-esteem suffers. He is all powerful. He wins...