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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The definition of verbal abuse

Brad was extremely controlling every day.  Non-stop telling me what to do, or not to do, with the kids. Things like “don’t put the plates on that side of the table”, ” don’t give them straws”, "don’t let them watch TV”, etc.  He would usually make these pronouncements and then go upstairs to watch TV and leave me with the kids to enforce his ‘rules’, which were never open for discussion. This was the source of much of his anger because he felt I was not doing whatever it was correctly. He was also angry about how I answered his questions, and what he called my lack of “passion”, which led him to believe I was cheating on him.
 
As I mentioned in my previous post, I started keeping a journal at the suggestion of my counselor. I thought if I could find a pattern, I could determine the problem and figure out a way to solve it. I decided to track only his angry behavior and not the controlling behavior because there was just too much of it. During a 90 day window in late 2007 and early 2008, I had 41 journal entries. So almost every other day there was some incident. The kids were two and a half and just under a year old at the time. Below are two excerpts that I hope will give you a feel for what it was like. The numbers indicate how angry he was with 1 being the mildly angry and 5 being furious. This is exactly as I wrote the entries in the journal.
 
Excerpt One
 
11/8/07 Thursday – 5 - moving knife, lunch plans, threatened divorce, packed a bag, called me a c**t and a wh**e, threatend to hit me, I threatened to call 911, Luke and Cassie were both there
11/8/07 Friday - 2 - still mad about the day before
11/11/07 Sunday afternoon – 2 – yelled about not following previous orders, apologized later
11/12/07 Monday PM – answering a question with a question, threatened to leave, said I was 100% wrong
11/13/07 Tuesday PM – still mad about last few days – told me I have to change
11/15/07 Thursday PM – 1 – told me I was responsible for all of Luke’s bad behavior
11/16/07 Friday PM – 3 – mad all night (medicine)
11/17/07 Saturday – 5 – threatened divorce, threatened to hit me, said I was ‘lying’ , pot rack, Luke was there
 
Excerpt Two
11/26/07 Monday – AM and PM – 5 – mad about not telling about medicine for Cassie, and not waking him up, mad all day, threatened divorce
11/29/07 Thursday AM - 4,5 – mad about dishes, no passion, said I was ‘lying’,sex, threatened divorce, very abusive
11/29/07 Thursday PM – continued about ‘passion’, agreement to make him feel special *zero tolerance of abuse
12/03/07 Monday PM – 2 – mad about giving ride to a coworker, says I should ask first for my safety
 
Note how he threatens to divorce me often. I counted 14 times in this 90 day window.
 
He also threatens to call CPS (Child Protective Services) on me because of my alleged poor mothering skills. In spite of the fact that he threatened to hit me at least 3 times during this window and either one or both of the kids where there when he did it. I should have called CPS on him.
 
He accuses me cheating several times.
 
I also find it interesting that I drew a line in the sand and said to myself  “*zero tolerance of abuse”. Obviously I did not stick to that.
 
I really thought I could point out to him that his behavior was abusive and that he would change it. I just could not accept that he was unable to be rational.  When I would mention that calling me names and threatening me was unacceptable and abusive, he would have one of several replies:
  • No it’s not, you’re too sensitive
  • You deserve it because of what you did wrong
  • I would never really hurt you
He maintains this attitude to this day. It took me a long time, longer that I wish it had, to realize he was never going to act rationally, or be able to change. It is a losing battle trying to get him to understand. Being extremely mean and threatening to someone you want to have a relationship with does not make any sense. And yet, these types of people are incapable of understanding that.
 
Below are the signs of a verbally or emotionally abusive relationship. Brad did all of this, except keeping me from working, before he became physically abusive.
  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way
Brad is a textbook case of an abusive personality.  I have never regretted my decision to leave, I only regret I did not do it earlier.