Hurt Banner
Forms Of Abuseimages from the stories

Dave

As far back as I can remember there’s always been a lot of anger in me life. My mum was an alco and my dad died when I was five... Not that he was ever home anyway. The only thing I ever remember him saying was when he told my mum she was a useless bitch and then he told me she was too stupid to look after us. I was a pretty shitty kid, an agro teenager, so it just seemed normal that I ended up an angry man. I’d get into shit loads of punch-ups on the footy field, in the street and especially clubs and pubs. Some dumb bugger would say something and I’d just snap and lose control. It just seemed pretty normal that I was the same with Katie and the kids.

******

For ages I always thought that that was just me. ‘Nothing I could do about it. And I told myself that Katie married me knowing who I was and that was that. I could have stayed the way I was. Being with Katie was good on my side of things but if I’d stayed the way I was I would have ended up stuffing up everything that’s really important to me; Katie and the kids, but I didn’t though. I got some help and gave Katie, and myself and the kids a chance at maybe being happy for real, and for me to stop being out of control all the time.

This men’s behaviour group I’ve been going to has brought everything into perspective, you know. Or for one it’s drummed into me that I’m not out of control at home, I have to be responsible with myself and my behaviour. I used to get angry all the time, and my heart would race, and I’d just get this feeling in my body and it’s been there as long as I remember. I thought it only just happened to me but you go to these groups and you realise that sort of thing happens to other people as well. It turns out that it happens to Katie as well but she just goes outside and has a smoke and lets it go.

******

I reckon there are a lot of guys out there who get shit scared and confused about their feelings. It’s all good now though. Me and some of the guys from the group, we catch up for a meal sometimes during the week. Some of the guys and me are real good mates now.

******

Often times I’d be able to keep a lid on it, unless we were out on the piss but Katie and I were out on the piss a lot. I’ve learnt now that I have to face up and take responsibility for what I did when we were drunk but the piss would just unleash this volcano, you know. I’m not like a born-again or anything but I’ve got the drinking under control now. And with the group I’ve learnt to not let the pressure cooker build up to boiling point and I know when I’ve had enough. Now I’m drinking less and I’ve been off the drugs it’s more bearable for Katie and the kids. We’re not going to go around in circles anymore.

******

Before I’d smash a phone, I’d smack Katie. Once I even picked her up and threw her out the back door when she was pregnant with our youngest son. I’d just get psycho and lose control at anything, like if she asked if I was late home or asked me to spend more time with the older two or something like that, I’d just lash out. Katie would get hurt, the kids would be scared and I’d just be pissed and go out. I’d storm off, get more pissed, probably end up in a fight somewhere else, then I’d get home, pass out and wake up in the morning feeling shit.

******

Once I stabbed her. I don’t really remember what happened... We were just arguing in the kitchen, she went to storm out. I just grabbed this knife and I went to spin her around and she got stabbed right in the side. She was losing a lot of blood but she just ran out and I just stood there with the knife. I don’t think I realised what had happened but I went looking for her. I was so sorry. I rang the police and the ambulance when I couldn’t find her because I was worried whether she was going to be alright. The police came the next day and they said they’d found her at a friend’s place and she’d told them what had happened. They took the knife and I spent the day in the cells. She came back that night. We just acted like it hadn’t happened.

Looking back I know that she probably didn’t know what to do. Well she had nowhere else to go and she was probably pretty scared of me too. The cops came around the next day, and they saw she was there and they said they believed that it was just an accident. And they told me that she said that we were arguing and she didn’t know what had happened. They even brought back the knife a couple of days later.

I wish now that something had have happened to me that time. Then maybe it could have all been knocked on the head but the cops didn’t say anything, my friends would never say anything. I wouldn’t talk to them about it either, so I was sort of left with no one to tell me that I was wrong. Katie wouldn’t have said anything because she’d know what would happen to her if she did. I just wish that someone had of said something to me to make me think about it.

******

There’d be these little honeymoons after I’d blown up before it all went to shit again, they’d be beautiful. There were these times in the morning before I’d go to work about 15 minutes or so and I’d just be cuddling up to her and I just loved that feeling of... feeling of love, I guess. That everything was going to be alright. And I’d hope, and I’d be 100% sure that it wasn’t going to happen again, that things were going to be different. But we never did anything about it and so it didn’t take long until it all built up again. And Katie and the kids would see me getting more snappier, and they’d be careful not to say anything to make me angry, and then that volcano again, whole bloody story all over again.

It was only a matter of time before I did some permanent damage or I ended up in jail, or losing them altogether... This group I’ve been going to has helped me understand the things that are going on in my head. All the excuses, the blaming, the shifting, the wriggling out of it. The kidding myself that it wouldn’t happen again, that I wouldn’t do it again. That’s all getting sorted out now. It has to because I don’t want to lose Katie and the kids. I want them to be able to be with me but me who I am now, the new me.