Another hallmark of the abusive personality is the extreme need to control the other person’s actions and behavior. Brad was controlling every day, especially when it came to the kids. He never thought I was disciplining them correctly, or talking to them appropriately. He would tell me what to do and how to do it and if I did not meet his expectations, which was impossible, he would get angry. Luke and Cassie where roughly 3 and 2 during this time frame. Some of the incidents are relatively minor as below.
1/22/09 Tuesday - 3 – (on phone) mad about moving peas. Said I did not take blame, no respect since I did not remember rules
2/20/08 Wednesday PM – 2,3 - mad that I did not interfere with Luke. I did not because he has told me in the past not to get involved when he is dealing with Luke
4/23/08 – 2 - mad that I gave Luke a choice about his dinner, told me I was not backing him up
08/03/08 AM – 3 – driving to circus, got mad because he thought I was not listening to his directions – yelled and threatened in front of kids
09/22/08 Monday afternoon – 2 – yelled at me because I left the door open to outside while trying to figure out what to do about dinner for kids, said he yelled because I did not react quickly enough
10/13/08 Monday – 3- said I was “lazy” about response to his commands, very controlling and dictatorial, I told him to get a job, he said kids come first and that I should forgive his abuse / rudeness when it’s about the kids
They show, however, his appalling attitude. Like the last one above where he says I should “forgive his abuse / rudeness when it’s about the kids.” He believes that to this day and has told me so on more than one occasion.
Other incidents were much more disturbing. There was a really bad incident in late July and after a particularly bad fight three weeks later, I went to the police station with the kids because I was scared to go home. I ended up staying the night in a hotel. Here is the buildup and the aftermath.
07/23/08 Wednesday PM – 5+ - slapped me really hard in front of Luke because I would not sit down and shut up and listen to him rant and rave – mad because I did not get out of the way fast enough when he was coming through the door with the cat box - said I was determined to go through and bullish, rude – mad because I argued back and interrupted
08/14/08 Thursday PM -5 – mad because I did not put Cassie to bed right away when she was having a fit – told Cassie she was mean, would not let me stop the discussion, locked me out, yelled and cussed in front of both kids, threatened to hit me, kept me from walking away – kept lecturing me about discipline, went upstairs at 7pm and as of 8:30am Friday I have not seen or spoken to him
08/15/08 Friday PM – I went to police and stayed in a hotel Friday night –Brad left VM’s and said I must have a boyfriend
08/16/08 Saturday AM and PM – several phone calls, threatened to burn the house down, threatened to charge me with kidnapping
I went back home to him Saturday afternoon after much discussion because the kids and I were exhausted from lack of sleep in the hotel. He begged and agreed to try to calm down when I said some keywords (which never worked).
They say on average it takes a woman between 3 and 5 times to leave an abusive man before she actually succeeds. This was my first attempt.
The violence continued to escalate in spite of his agreements to do better.
09/28/08 Sunday PM – 4,5 – mad because I came upstairs when he was trying to get computer out, said I should have known not to go up – yelled, threatened to stab me and hurt me, would not let me walk away
10/16/08 Thursday PM – 5+ - mad because he thought I was not listening about Luke’s jacket – would not let me walk away, choked me with a bungee cord in front of the kids – would not let me call 911 – threatened to kill me
That one with the bungee cord is particularly scary because he had to actually think about what he was doing by grabbing the bungee cord and tightening it around my throat, with the kids watching.
This is the same man who told me in one of our arguments after this incident, "I have good discipline with the kids and myself". Unbelievable.