January started off like this.
01/03/10 Sunday PM – 5+ - mad because I was “snippy”, would not let me leave room or stop arguing insisted I admit that I was “wrong” for not communicating how I felt when he asked me if I needed space – threw drink at me and I fell and hit my elbow hard, Cassie was there, came in to finish argument when I was putting Cassie down and would not leave, insisted we finish, lectured and talked and would not let me go to sleep – threatened to kill me if we divorce
01/04/10 Monday AM – 4,5 told me he was still angry because I would not listen, told me I was a horrible, rude person and that I do not take responsibility for my actions, accidentally hit me really hard in the face when he was trying to get the coffee out of my hand
01/05/10 Tuesday PM – 5+ - mad about sex, mad about email I send about how to handle Luke’s lying, called me a b***h several times in front of kids. Threatened to kill me in front of Cassie, told me he hated me, I was ugly, didn’t know why he ever married me or had sex with me. Threatened to hit me if I got off the bed – put his hand on my mouth, kept me from putting Cassie to bed for 20-25 minutes, would not let me go to sleep, forced me to apologize for being wrong and for not doing what I agreed to about the email for lying, threatened to take kids away
Obviously Brad was not going to go quietly. Right after this, he started the batterers’ intervention program and I was very torn. On the one hand, I was done. I wanted him gone. On the other hand, if he could be ‘fixed’, I thought it might be better for the kids, even if it was not better for me. I knew he would be a jerk to be divorced from, and I felt like I had to give him a chance, even if I did not want to.
Also, he had finally agreed to get back to work after more than two years with zero income. He was going to class to become a real estate agent; and, he started paying lip service to modifying his behavior and being less abusive. It was clear-cut to him that touching me violently was not acceptable. But he did not really understand that the verbal abuse was wrong, or even what it was, and still continued to physically intimidate me and threaten physical violence.
01/11/10 Monday PM – 4,5 mad about sex and because I said I felt uncomfortable with the two incidents over the weekend, very angry, called me c**t, b***h, threatened to hit me, told me he wold cheat if I did not agree to what he wanted with sex, said he does not like me and does not want to be with me
So he said he does not like me and does not want to be with me, and yet he does not want to get divorced, and says he will kill me to prevent it. Hmm. I even said I one point that I was having a hard time getting energetic about fixing a relationship with a man that had told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to be with me. He didn’t get it.
He sort of tried, and thought he was being ‘nicer’ because he had not physically touched me, but then he got really mad again. (This was after three sessions of the battering prevention program.)
01/20/11 Wednesday – 3,4 Said I was “distant”, threatened to throw chair, very demanding and demeaning, would not let me leave room, called me a b***h . Mad later because I did not totally agree with Luke plan – called me an idiot and immature, kept going on about ‘distance’ and said I was being a b***h and had to be nice to him, said “old Brad is back”
I love it. “Old Brad is back.” He had tried for less than two weeks. At this point I had set up an appointment with a lawyer to explore my options and he found out somehow, from checking my cell phone records, I think. It was horrible and precipitated the next violent incident.
01/22/10 Friday PM - 5+ - held me down, held me against bookcase – would not let me leave, threw snuff can at me, very demeaning and condescending, threatened to hit me, kill me, mad about lawyer
"Old Brad" was indeed back. He never really left. Sometime around here I got a separate email account that he knew nothing about, and I got a post office box as well. I figured I might need to send bills or lawyer documents there. Luckily, I already had a separate bank account that my paycheck went to, and that he did not have access to.
I also went to see a lawyer for the second time to explore my options. They were basically:
1) Leave him, file for divorce, and stay somewhere else until a 'temporary orders' hearing could be held, after which I would probably be allowed to live in the house with the kids and he would effectively be ‘kicked out’ until the final divorce decree. It might take two or three weeks before the temporary orders hearing could be held.
2) Bring out the big guns. Get a protective order based on his abusive behavior and have him forcibly removed from the house until the temporary orders hearing could be held.
I didn’t like either of my options. I started looking on the Internet for places to stay, hotels or temporary apartments. They all seemed prohibitively expensive and not nice for the kids. Bringing out the big guns was equally unappealing because Brad had repeatedly told me he wanted an ‘uncontested divorce’ and ‘no restraining orders’. He said he would go quietly if I cooperated and we agreed to the divorce terms nicely, but if I played hard ball and got a restraining order, he would try to take the kids and all my money. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. His behavior was clearly manipulative, and I did not know how seriously to take his threats, but I had to assume the worst and decide what to do. My vague plan was to come home from work in the middle of the day and pack, and leave when he was in class. This was the first opportunity, in two years, that I would be able to know he was not at home.
He knew he was not supposed to hurt me physically, but he truly did not understand what all he was doing wrong. Three days in a row at the end of the month:
01/26/10 Tuesday PM – 1,2 said I was rude because I did not thank him after he helped me with Luke, later said I did not listen and did not answer his questions or communicate effectively because of email I sent, very condescending about how I could talk, said I have two chances to answer correctly and the third time I get condescending whether I like it or not, says we’ll get divorced if he can’t express how he feels, raised voice
01/27/10 Wednesday PM – 5 – mad because I said yesterday was not a “good day”, would not let me leave room, threatened to throw a glass at floor, trapped me in laundry room, insisted he was right about email and that I was condescending on Tuesday, followed me around and would not let me go to sleep
01/28/10 Thursday AM - - 2 – said we could get divorced, but he wanted sex every day for 2-3 weeks, insisted he was right and I was wrong
So he threatened to throw a glass on the floor, instead of at me. He honestly thought this was progress. The one good side effect of the battering intervention program was that for the hour and a half he was there, I could relax. Not worrying about a fight starting, not worrying about him calling me to argue with me or accuse me of something. For a few moments I was truly happy to be at home spending time with my kids. This in and of itself was a pretty big eye-opener for me. I finally realized what a horrible burden it was to be married to him.