After reviewing my journal for this next year, I noticed two things, my entries got a lot longer and things really were getting worse, it was not just my imagination. Sixteen of the forty-one incidents in the first three months of 2009 had either physical violence, or threats of physical violence. This does quite give an accurate picture, though, because each incident had the potential to get completely out of control and become violent. There was no rhyme or reason, so as soon as something started, I always thought “oh, no, here we go again”. I was relieved if it ended with only a few angry and controlling statements from Brad. I considered that a "success".
In the example below he had told me how to make popcorn in the microwave (as if I don’t know) and he was controlling about it. I was annoyed at his controlling instructions, so apparently I sat down with an attitude. Here is what happened:
01/08/09 Thursday PM - 5+ - mad because I sat down with a ‘fit’ after he ‘told’ me how to make popcorn, threatened divorce, threatened to kill me when I told him to move out, pulled my hair, would not give up argument and let me walk away – some in front of kids, told Luke I was a sl*t, called me a wh**e, c**t
Notice, I did not actually say anything to him about how I felt, all I did was have some negative body language and the end result was he pulled my hair, intimidated me and threatened to kill me. This was fairly typical of what might happen once something started.
The tactics of the abuser include:
Denial and Blame
Brad used the first four in this instance because of how I sat down after he was controlling. This shows how the reality for them is so out of whack with our reality. They don’t see anything wrong with their behavior and feel completely justified in what they are doing. Brad was big into the denial and blame. Here are several examples from early this year where he blames me for his bad behavior and/or says I have to change. This was a constant theme of his.
01/23/09 Monday AM – 3 – asked if I want a divorce because I was acting distant, told me I was the fuse for his bomb and I have to make changes so he won’t get so mad, I have to treat him with respect
02/12/09 Thursday PM – 5 – mad because I told him he yelled too loud for no reason at the kids – pushed it back at me saying if I would yell more and discipline them that he would not have to. Told me I was wrong and a terrible mother because I don’t discipline the kids. Threatened to hit me, raised his hand to me, told me he was going to ‘come over this banister’ if I did not come closer to listen to him yell, mad because I was ‘throwing a fit’ by leave the room in a ‘huff’
03/02/09 PM – 5+ - mad because I would not put sexy clothes on that I agreed to, accused me of cheating, told me I could not go to happy hour tonight, I screamed – he threatened to hit me and threw stuff at me – put a pillow over my head – still mad next AM – all my fault because I don’t live up to my agreements
Later 03/18/09 Wednesday – 5+ - mad because I asked Cassie about stairs on new bed, told me I was ‘wrong’, said he was really mad because I just sat there with dinner instead of supporting him, very manipulative and controlling, threatened to hit / kill me – threatened to divorce and have restraining order against me, kids were there, would not let me put them to bed, would not help, kicked TV tray, which hit my head, put pillows over my face, told me I had to change
It really is unbelievable, and yet somehow in their reality it all makes sense. What they don't know is that even if you could change it would not help, because they are not consistent in their own minds. What they want from you constantly changes and they will always find something to get mad about. I've often wondered if they are so angry because they are controlling, or if they are controlling because they are so angry. It doesn't really matter, of course, because either way it's not okay.