Hurt Banner
Forms Of Abuseimages from the stories

Alistair

It even got to the stage where I knew how far the shops were and I’d check the car to see how far she’d driven when she went out to get the groceries.

It was because it wasn’t so much a physical thing as a control thing, that I could avoid thinking of my behaviour with Maggie as abusive... Well it didn’t start out as abusive. In fact when we were young I thought we were perfect together and I’m sure we were. She seemed to know what my needs were, and she met them, but suddenly that morphed into justifying my frustrations when she didn’t do it. I thought, “well, if she knows what I want, why isn’t she doing it?” I told her she wasn’t doing the right thing and then I started yelling at her. It just got worse and worse. I mean, I’d literally chase her around the house yelling at her wanting to know why she wasn’t doing this and doing that and it just got more frequent and louder.

******

The things I used to say – “useless, useless”. Then “useless” would become “useless bitch” and then “useless f---ing bitch”. I tell you, I think I became quite schizophrenic. Yes. If someone had come to that house, that door while I was in full flight yelling at Maggie I could switch off just like that (clicking fingers)... become Mr Nice Guy. But I tell you, when they left I’d start right back again just as someone had turned on a tape recorder... start back right where I left off.

******

You see, I thought if I felt bad enough, if I felt guilty enough about this then that was punishment enough and then I could blame Maggie. I could blame her deep down for my guilt, for the anger I had. I didn’t have to deal with it. And then I thought, ‘if my behaviour is so wrong why doesn’t Maggie leave?’ She was too scared to leave. She couldn’t leave.

*****

I’m really thankful that I’ve got a wife who is willing to take this journey with me. Well I’m learning to communicate slowly. We communicate a lot better now and I know that things are not quite perfect and I’ve got a lot of regret. Well I know I can never make it up to Maggie, the things I’ve done.

I realised that those beatings that I got from my parents and at school were exactly the ones that I was dishing out to Maggie and the high standards my parents expected of me, that’s what I expected of Maggie. I know I had to deal with these issues and it doesn’t excuse my behaviour towards Maggie but it helped me understand myself, and understand the things I had to do.

Nothing’s perfect and it’s not perfect now but for the moment things are moving along okay. And all I can say is that where we are now is a lot better than the hell we were in before.

*****

The thought of any boy treating my daughters like I treated my wife physically sickened me.