When I was five months pregnant, we made a trip overseas to visit relatives for Christmas. Travelling with Brad was always extremely stressful. He would tell me where to sit in the gate area and get mad if I did not understand exactly what he wanted. Heaven forbid I would ask for clarification, that made him more upset. He would verbally harass and sometimes cuss out the various airport workers if things did not go his way, while simultaneously chatting up the flight attendants and other travellers. This is fairly common. Many women describe their abusers initially as out-going and charming, and they can be. It’s when they turn on you that you feel like you are going crazy. This is the Jekyll and Hyde part of their personalities that is so difficult to reconcile in your mind. One minute they’re happy, they next minute they are angry and abusive. It happens in an instant and it’s completely unpredictable.
While we staying with my family, one of my sister’s friends took Brad and me to see the sights as a favor. I had met this friend a while back and he was a very nice and unassuming guy. I was pregnant, so I sat in the front of the car and Brad sat in back. After we got home from the day trip and Brad and I were alone, he went off on me. Insisting I had been ignoring him all day, that I had been rude and disrespectful of him by not involving him in the conversation. He accused me of wanting to cheat with friend. Honestly, I was just talking to the friend because he was nice enough to tote us around to places where I’m sure he’d been a lot of times. I wanted to make sure he felt that we appreciated his attention. Brad threatened to go tell my family how bad I was, threatened to leave me. I had to literally beg him not leave and agree that I had been wrong and promise not to do it again. “You have to change” he used to say to me all the time – every argument was my fault because I had done something or said something that offended him. This was another recurrent theme in our marriage.
At last, Luke was born and we were officially a family.