Even Brad knew that something had to change; he knew we could not continue like this. Sometime in late November we started seeing a counselor together, which I’ve often read is completely wrong for an abusive marriage. The abuser acts charming and tries to turn the therapist against his victim, or gets angrier at the victim for what was said in the session and the victim pays for it later at home. It was pretty much torture for me at first, because I had to act like I wanted to patch things up, but I really did not. I had one foot out the door and was just trying to get through the holidays.
We went to the counselor and discussed some milestones. For the next week no violence, or threats of violence, and we were not to talk about anything that might upset either of us, except during our sessions. She also got him to agree to go to a battering intervention program at a local shelter. And he said he would leave the house if he felt too angry to control himself. She agreed with me (yeah) that I should not have sex with him while he was still abusive. That did not sit well with Brad at all. I was just so glad to feel vindicated that his behavior and attitudes were all wrong.
In spite of his heightened awareness, there were still several incidents. On December 3rd he was supposed to go to his first session at the battering intervention program, and I think it was weighing heavily on him; he didn’t really want to go. He was having some physical complaint that he said at one point was a kidney stone, but also tried to blame it on me by saying he had some sexually transmitted disease that I had given him. This is how it unfolded.
12/02/09 Wednesday PM – 4 – after lunch – mad I did not tell him I would be in meetings all day - went to lunch with others and I think he was jealous. Later started conversation about my lack of passion and lack of willingness to change my behavior and give him what he wants – accused me of cheating, giving him an STD, told him we should not talk about it, but he insisted, called me a c**t, I left, he called and I let him rant, insisted I need to commit, insisted I was cheating, told me he would cheat if I did not meet his demands, told kids I was a bad person, told me he wished I died in the snowstorm Friday evening
12/03/09 Thursday afternoon/PM – 5+ - still mad from Wednesday, mad about lunch and that I did not properly admit my guilt, told me he had to vent and I had to listen – told me not to come home because I would not say what he wanted sincerely – when I came home he was still very mad, insisted on talking about it - trapped me in master closet - shoved me after grabbing my arm really hard – yelled b***h at Cassie and told her to go away because he had me trapped in the closet – told kids he was going to beat me and that they would see blood, would not go to hotel as I asked, I did not call 911 because he was hurting from a kidney stone
What a joke that kidney stone was. In reviewing the medical records later online, I could find no evidence that he had been to a doctor. He told me he went to a doctor that day, and that he had been given some mediation. I know now it was all a lie. I don’t doubt he was in some pain, but it was more likely emotional pain and not physical pain. He couldn’t face his demons at the batterers’ program.
For the next 10 days there was no actual violence, but he continued to focus on what I had to do to change. Here are some choice items:
said we’d have to get divorced if I won’t got to therapy to fix my “issues”
says I keep ‘making excuses’ when I’m wrong
told Cassie to tell me to stop fighting and that it’s all my fault
says I focus on the past, we have to focus on the future
told me I have to change how I give directions so he won’t get mad
And then this:
12/15/09 Tuesday AM – 5+ - still mad from before, told me I had to agree to let him cheat or give him what he wants or divorce, threatened to hit me, trapped me in laundry room, shoved me, told me to call 911 because there was going to be blood, threatened to kill me, told me we would do 1 year without sex and that is was his idea
Right back to his old tricks. Even the therapy itself became an issue, he was upset about what I brought up in front of the counselor and later he threatened not to go. One time he even started verbally abusing me in front of the counselor and she had to stop him. The real problem was he kept focusing on what I had to change to make things better, not on what he had to change
12/19/09 Saturday afternoon – 4 - mad because I brought up that I felt defensive when he called me at the gym and asked “where are you?”, “where did you go?” – his answer was very flippant, then he demanded an apology for bringing it up those things in front of counselor, even though he said I did not communicate enough about my feelings – said he did not care about my feelings – called me a b***h, said I was playing victim when I tried to leave - called me later and insisted I apologize
12/30/09 Wednesday - 4,5 – mad about sex – says I’m playing a “game” and that I did not “act” like I wanted it yesterday when he insisted we have sex, he begged and I let him, but did not show enough emotion, yelled and told me I have to do what he wants , told me he does not care about me, very condescending and demeaning during the conversation, says he will cheat if I don’t agree to his demands, said “shut up b***h” on the phone – told me I deserved it because I won’t engage or talk to him, insists I have to tell him what he is waiting for, says I will be sorry when this does not work, insists I’m “playing games”, - later at home said he did not like me because I would not ‘listen’ and that I only wanted things my way – said he would not help with kids – made snide remarks about me to Luke – told me he is not going to therapy
His behavior towards the kids is reprehensible and his attitude that he somehow gets out of any kid duty unless I do what he wants is completely ridiculous. In his mind, however, it makes perfect sense.
Overall, I suppose there was less actual violence in December. But there was still a lot of intimidation and no real attitude change on his part. It was still all my fault, and if I would just change the way he wanted it would be all good.