Comments: Busting My Anger
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
Dear JF and Dr Irene Good job, its just such a shame that you had to lose everything before you realized how precious it was. I hope that you manage to keep the lid on your anger. I do not know if a person that gets so angry realize how they terrify the person who they direct their anger against or the innocent children that invariably are forced to witness these incidents. My children and I are regularly terrorized like this - they already know Daddy's eyes turn yellow and he starts foaming at the mouth, towering over us and spitting vicious hurtful words all over us. He was arrested 3 months ago and has now mounted an even more vicious attack on us, all to prove his innocence. All the prosecutor wants him to do is to go for 26 weeks of DV counseling and he will walk away with a clean record. His m.o. to punish us for refusing to submit to his abuse is a removal of all priviledges : no car, no money, isolation, taking away gifts given previously (jewelry, bicycle, musical instuments etc). We are in a precarious situation because I do not have a work visa, we are totally dependant on him. I can not leave him or divorce him, because then the kids and I will lose our visa. Next time ( I hope there won't be one) you feel that you are losing your temper imagine how you would feel if the tables were turned and you had a gigantic person looming over you saying all these mean things. Any day will I trade a punch for every mean ugly thing he has told me, because you tend to forget physical pain, but those ugly words are just a thought away, ready to invade your memory and force you to relive the pain and humiliation. Take care of yourself and your loved ones LF
Dear JF Wow!!! I just have to write to commend you on your progress and I sincerely hope that all goes well with you and your life. My fiance sounds alot like you were. He completely lost his mond last night and took all my belongings, clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc and threw it all over the house. He wouldn't let me leave..I was absolutely petrified. I am now in a position that I don't know what to do. I am afraid and have no where to go. I have no car, no money (of course, he controls that), and no credit cards. My family is in another state and I've alienated any friends that I had. I have to stay at least for right now. I don't know what else to do. Anyway..good luck with your recovery and I hope she takes you back.
To the last poster - I will pray for you and wish you the best of luck. Luckily, my ex-fiancee was in a position where she could say, “Get out!” She did the right thing, and although this is a very difficult time for both of us and our son, I’m glad it happened. I truly didn’t want to make her miserable, and I don't want our son to learn what I've been doing. Had I not been so myopic and hardheaded and been able to see what was coming, I would have taken measures earlier to avoid all this. But she can now reassess herself, our relationship, me, and make a new start. I have evaluated me and don’t like what I see. I am changing my behavior and will be a better person as a result. I don't think she wants me back in her life, and if that's the case, I love her enough that I really want her to be truly happy, be it with me or without me. You know, the counselors I have seen do not consider me to be the "typical" angry person or verbal abuser (if there is such an animal). I'm not nor have I been abusive to many people in my life, and when I am, it's generally with people close to me. I have a sister that just infuriates me, and she has been the subject of my verbal wrath. The counselors understand it; thus far I recognize it but don't as yet understand it. I have had a razor sharp tongue with those I thought were verbally attacking me; in many cases such as with my fiancée she wasn't attacking me at all - that was just how I perceived her straightforward talk. She was simply trying to tell me how I was behaving towards her, and I thought she was exaggerating because she was the one who was really angry, not me. (Couldn’t actually be MY fault, could it?) Even if she was attacking me, does that give me the right to slice her up verbally? No way. I was also justifying my behavior by thinking things like: "I'm not as bad as so-and-so at work - he slaps his wife around all the time but I never get physical.” I have learned that the scars from verbal abuse can be far more devastating than physical abuse. “He berates her every day and treats her like a slave. I don’t do that.” How often does one have to abuse someone to make it wrong? NEVER abusing someone is the only right answer. “I only get controlling, loud and profane when I get upset, and that may only be once a month. The rest of the time, I'm good, so it's within an acceptable limit.” Pure foolishness and stupidity – what IS the limit? “She provoked me and she needs to grow thicker skin." The only one who can make me angry is ME. I’m the one that needs to grow thicker skin. I wouldn't let anybody talk to me that way - why should she? How I ever justied my behavior is beyond me now, thank God. It is never OK to abuse or control another person, be it physically, verbally, emotionally, whatever – it’s just a sign of insecurity and weakness. I posted a prayer in the Christian and Biblical Yak Forum which I have begun to use as a model for my everyday living. And, I’ll spend the rest of my life seeking out ways to “take the high road” and be above not only the poor behaviors but the justifications behind them. Peace, Heeza
JF, I hope you are sincere. She should not have hit you, but you should not have picked the fight. I hope you actually have learned from this and aren't just paying lip service to it to win her back. God help you, man. And her. --JKC
I don't fault her for hitting me - I never connected the verbal abuse
to the possibility that I would ever intentionally strike her. I knew
that I wouldn't ever intentionally hit her, but because I had verbally
assaulted her, she never removed the possibility of me hitting her from
her mind. She struck me out of fear; I can't believe she had actually
been afraid of me - that's something I never, ever wanted. I am so
sorry this happened to her, but I'm glad it happened to me; it has
really opened my eyes to how I was behaving, and now I can fix me. I
have spent many nights poring over this website, and it has been great
for my education; I have read so much that has been written by verbally
abused women, and I never realized the impact words have until now. I
thank Dr. Irene for this site.
I do want the chance to right all the wrongs I have done to her, but I
don't think that's going to happen. All the things I have written about
on this website are for my education and are not "lip service"; she
knows nothing about this. Although I would love to share this with her,
I haven't and won't. I could be writing whatever I wanted to try to get
her back, give her the URL, let her read it and "gently" persuade her.
That could be construed as a form of control, and I'm done operating
that way. She has to want us to be together again of her own volition.
She has to be confident I won't hurt her, without me telling her. She
has know in her heart how much I love her, without me telling her. I'm
giving her all the space I possibly can; I don't call her unless she
Although I want her back badly, I don't want her back if she would ever
doubt me or live in fear of me - I love her too much for that.
Dear JF, --------All the things I have written about on this website are for my education and are not "lip service"; she knows nothing about this. Although I would love to share this with her, I haven't and won't. I could be writing whatever I wanted to try to get her back, give her the URL, let her read it and "gently" persuade her. That could be construed as a form of control, and I'm done operating that way. She has to want us to be together again of her own volition. She has to be confident I won't hurt her, without me telling her. She has know in her heart how much I love her, without me telling her. I'm giving her all the space I possibly can; I don't call her unless she initiates it. Although I want her back badly, I don't want her back if she would ever doubt me or live in fear of me - I love her too much for that. .......... I wonder, does she know that you would really want her back, have you told her? I am asking this, because your story triggers a lot. My H did some pretty nasty thigsn, inlcuding leaving me 3 times and having two affairs. AS a realut of the latest affair he felt so much guilt and shame he got very dpressed, got very ill and almost died. Then his mom died and we alomst reconclied, but I just could not do it. I told him I could not trust him and he said if you cannot trust me, a relationship is impossible. I so much wnted him to ask me what coudl he do to regain my trust, to tell me be he really wanted that. He did not. Just told me he knew he was wrong and he had to accept the consequences. He told his sister he really wnted things to work out bewteen us, but never told me. He is working on himself very hard right know. He seems he does not have any right to expect anythign from me. He does not, but I do still love him and I would really like to be able to trust again. But I need time. He tells me I can call anytime I want to, or mail him, that he is open en will answer any questions I might have, is willing to talk. But he also says if you do not want to, that's ok as well, everything in time. I do like that, it feels he is really considering what I want. But at the same time it feels like he does not want to be with me. I know he does not want to push me, feels he cannot ask me to wait, wants me, like you, to come to him becasue I want to come, not because he asked. And I so much want him to ask, as he left me.... I know it is not the same, but maybe you should consider at least making it clear to her that you still love her, that you accept she might not want you back and do not want to push her in any way, but would really like to see if there is still a possible relationship in the future. ASk her what you could do to regain her trust. I do believe being open is so very important. And it is so hard to do it without pushing. But on the other hand, how is she to know you still want her, when you just 'accept' she does not trust you???? Maybe I am rambling, but I know how hard this is and your post really hit home.... Wishing you all the best, together or apart and hopw you will manage to get yourself in a healthier place. Love, AJ
Dear AJ: I did tell her I wanted us to try again to salvage our relationship; we have a young child, and that's one reason; I also told her that even if we didn't have our son that I would still try to regain her trust, respect and love again. Even though I haven't shown her with some of my past negative behaviors, she is the love of my life. I feel so stupid because I didn't see my behaviors and therefore didn't do anything about it. I see them now, and I not only want to redeem myself but also treat her like she should have been treated all along. I've told her these things; I've told her I loved her very much; I've told her that I can (and am) changing; I've told her I would do whatever it takes to right the wrongs I have committed; I've told her how I wanted to be a family again; I told her I didn't expect anything from her but that she could call on me for anything at anytime. I have also asked her not to give up on either me or our relationship; to this, she said she hadn't, but her actions sometimes indicate otherwise - I simply don't know, and I'm not going to make any assumptions - they got me into trouble in the first place. I find myself in a precarious balancing act - I want to tell her these things every day, but I don't call her, at her request. Another balancing act I have to work with is we have a 2½ year old son - he needs his dad and his dad needs him. For now, I have visitation rights every other weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday evening, so she and I have to talk when I'm picking him up. I do not use this opportunity to talk about us, but I would like to talk to him more often than every other week. I asked her to call me when she had time and when he was in the car with her (less distractions for him); she agreed, but doesn't call that often. We have gone to church a couple of Sundays and ate lunch afterwards; I did tell her some of the things listed above, but I also don't want to "push her away" by talking about things she doesn't want to discuss. I told her that in the future I wouldn't use the church opportunity to discuss anything about our future, and she seemed to agree. Right now, she's starting a new business, is completely focused on that, occupies her time and fills her day with that, and doesn't want to talk about us at all. This is difficult for me, but I am respecting her wishes. I don't blame her for any of her behaviors; she is in defense mode, and for good reason. I have not asked her what I needed to do to regain her trust; that is something I will ask her when she is more receptive. I really don't know where her thinking is right now as she is distant; input from people like you is the only information I have to go on, so I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for your words of encouragement and support, and any other feedback is appreciated. Thanks, Heeza
Hello, just call me Lily. My husband has been emotionally and verbally abusive for 20 years I have known him, and the 15 we have been married. I am so devastated by finally being the one to file for divorce this year. I certainly did not want to, but he only promises to get help and change, only to break the committments. You may email me if you like at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to "pcik your brain" about how you feel, felt, and any advice on how to encourage my spouse to follow through with getting help.We have four children, and I am now working full time..all of the load on me..after I changed the locks in March, when he was just horrible again. I have never been the one to make this huge boundary..he has been shocked, but also still played so many games with me and the children, even while not living here. I imagine it has been out of fear and pain or losing us. It seems though that I am always begging him to just care, and making excuses for him. He wants to come home now..the divorce is to be final next week. I think that is foolish for me to do..but it is so hard to not take him back as I always did. Thank you for listening.I am very proud of you for loving yourself and your family enough to face the issues that you carried into your relationships. I will be praying for you:)~lily
Dear Lily: I have screwed up my life so badly in the recent past that I hardly qualify as someone who can dispense advice, but I can tell you what my thought process has been since this incident occurred. I first had to recognize and acknowledge I had a problem; that problem is when angry, I get loud, profane and controlling. My fiancee asked me a question several months ago during one of my outbursts: "Are you someone you would like to live with?" I had to answer "no", at least to myself. That's when I saw me, at least a little, through her eyes, and when I knew I had a problem. I didn't think my problem was that bad; I wasn't angry every day nor did I verbally abuse her on a regular basis. But we did go to a counselor, and the counselor opened my eyes even more. We had been communicating better, but not enough - when angry, I still sometimes exhibited the poor behavioral attributes of an abusive person. I also justified my behavior - I thought she was just using my behavior as an excuse to "act hurt"; I told her she needed to grow thicker skin. Nice guy, huh? I never realized the negative power of my words, especially when used in anger. I wish I had. I am also an extremely competitive person, and arguments seemed to be more about winning and losing, nothing else. It's also difficult for me to "air my dirty laundry" or admit fault; both products of foolish pride. I wasn't fully "bought in" to the concept that my abusive tactics caused her to be fearful, hesitant, non-responsive, etc. - I thought her attitude was the problem. After the vacation incident, she thought I had hit her on purpose, and for good reason; I am speculating, but I think she thinks I have crossed the line between verbal/emotional abuse and physical abuse. I am extremely disappointed in myself for not seeing the damage I had done with my razor sharp tongue; also difficult for me is the fact she doesn't believe me when I tell her I didn't hit her intentionally or in anger. I can only speculate again, but she had probably lost all faith in my integrity due to the verbal abuse, and therefore has doubt about my integrity as a whole. I don't blame her one bit. For some, the inconvenience of moving out of the house or paying huge sums of money to attorneys or child support or being thrown in jail may be demotivators; if these types of tangibles appeal to your husband, he may be able to "see the light" and stop his abusive behavior, with professional help, of course. Although these are real problems, they are superficial to me. The real losses for me, and hopefully for him: I have deeply wounded somebody I love; I have forced her to do things that are unpleasant, such as obtain an attorney, kick me out, drastically alter her life, our son's life, my life, our family's life. She's a strong, intelligent woman who can handle this, but this is all needlessly brought on by my anger and insecurity, and it took me far too long to realize it and act upon it. I have lost the love of my life; we've lost our family, she has lost her respect and trust in me; I have lost self respect and a sense of integrity. But as I said in my story, with or without her I will live my life so as to never treat anybody abusively again, and maybe someday regain some sense of integrity and self-worth. In short, I had to: recognize and admit there was a problem; admit I wasn't the smartest guy in the world and seek professional help; decide what is really important, winning or losing, i.e., winning an argument or losing your family; swallow pride at every turn; educate myself by seeking out abused people to gain their insight and perspective. I have gotten so much information and feedback from this website; for some reason I couldn't hear my fiancee sometimes, but as I read from this site I am hearing from abused people, just like her, and they are all saying what she was for some time. I wish I had understood her when she was trying to talk to me. I am so sorry I have put her through any pain, but I'm glad this happened to me - now I can do something about it since I finally see it. Lastly, I have committed myself to treat everybody, no matter what their station in life with respect and fairness; people I associate with such as coworkers and friends are already noticing a difference, and that feels good. If you or your husband are interested in reading more, I have several posts on this site - my name is Heezaflier. If either one of you is interested in private e-mailing me, my e-mail address is email@example.com. I don't want anybody to ever have to go through the pain I have caused my fiancee or myself. Thanks, Heezaflier
Hi everyone, Heeza here. I've had many private e-mails about the above post, many asking for updates, so here's my current situation. I am in contact with MM (that's what I'll call my ex-fiancee), but only when she initiates the contact. I told her I wouldn't call her on a regular basis, and even though it hurts, that's what she wants, so I'll honor her wishes. Immediately after we signed our temporary legal papers she invited me to church the following Sunday; I accepted. In a moment of weakness, I asked her for her outlook of our future; in retrospect, I shouldn't have done that; I most likely put her in an uncomfortable position, and that's something I don't want to do. Since then, I have invited her to church five times; she accepted three times with our 2½ year old son. I ask her to join my son and me on my visitation weekends; she never asks me when it's her weekend, but I don't expect her to do so, as she is still distant. Twice after church we went to lunch; the third time I invited her to go to a pro baseball game; I had tickets for my son and me, and thought she would like to go - she did, and we had a good time. There was no discussion about us or our relationship; the day was designed to take her mind off other problems in her life (aging parents and grandparents, family troubles, etc.) I don't know if she is going to church with me for our son's benefit only, or if she is slowly healing from my abusive behavior; it's really neither here nor there, because I only want her to do what she wants to do, nothing else. She has told me she hasn't given up on me or our relationship, so I have to take her at her word and not assume anything. She called me yesterday and asked for pictures I keep on my laptop; I had at one time installed them on her computer, but she couldn't find them. She told me that she wanted to print out several pictures to hang on a newly painted wall in her house. Over the phone, we couldn't find the pics on her computer, so I told her I would burn her a disk and bring it to her later in the week. After about an hour, I called her back and told her I would bring her the pics right then; she said it was not necessary, that she didn't need them immediately; she then confessed that she needed the pics to make a collage for me for my upcoming birthday. I told her that although I appreciated the sentiment very much, she really shouldn't do that; I reiterated again to her how much I appreciated the thought. The truth is, I feel so guilty and so ashamed of my past behavior that I think I don't deserve anything from her, and I don't want her to feel obligated to do something for me because of a birthday. OK, now for a question - did I screw up? Is she extending an "olive branch" of sorts? In trying to relieve her of something she may have felt obligated to do did I take something away from her, like simple gift-giving? She is a loving and giving person, but I do know sometimes she does feel obligated to do things for people (like we all do from time to time). I honestly was not trying to take anything away from her nor was I trying to control her. Did I let my feelings of shame and guilt override her feelings of needing to give? Help!! I appreciate and need all the feedback I can get! Peace, Heeza
My story is similiar (husband verbally abusive, a few shoving incidents) - we have divorced but are still living together until the house sells. He has apologized for the horrible names he has called me, but then always ends it with, "but you made me do it" or "I was just saying those things so you would stop yelling" - I can't forgive him when his apology somehow turns the incident around that his verbal abuse was somehow my doing. No one deserves to be called names, have their character assasinated. I am a wounded aninal. Good luck to you in your new growth -
Dear JF, I am glad you wrote your story - there are several people who I care about who have yet to reach your stage - but I do pray everyday that they finally wake up to what they are doing to those around them (including myself - a codependent seeking independence). I know now that change is possible its only a matter of time when it does happen. Thank you for your honesty, and for giving me hope..
guess I need help big times. I am a mom of a 7 year old boy and a 20
month old girl. I came here from germany with my husband who is in the
army. I think I have changed here big times. When my husband was
deployed my son got worse everyday until I finally lost it the first
time when he was standing on his at that time 6 months old sister, I
grabed him threw him on the couch and just started beating him.
Yesterday a little reason ( he lied) was enought to just hit his face
until his lips where swollen and he had a red and blue side on his
I cant believe that I did this again. I feel like a monster. I have
this temper in me which is sure not mine. I'm usually a calm person.
But there is this monster which comes out sometimes to beat. But where
to go???? I was ata counceler ( army) before, well all the
conversations stay in the room besides murder and child abuse.
Childabuse is what I did. I dont wanna loose my children, I dont beat
daily, most of the time I just ignore my sons doings so I dont even get
upset. My husband complains than if I dont say nothing to my son. It
happened now 3 times where I just took my son and hit him badly. I dont
want this to happen again. I need to find a place where I can get help
and keep my children which seems to be impossible here in the US.
Dear JF I sat here and read your story over and over again thinking to myself...what a strong person you are to face your flaws as you have. How did you come to the realization that by seeking help rather than denying you even have a problem you might have a chance to be the person you want to be? Take care...PM
I have tears in my eyes. I am going through this with my husband. We've been married almost 15 years and all this time I have been too afraid to end it. He explodes and repents...explodes and repents. What he doesn't seem to grasp is that with each demeaning explosion (often in front of our three sons) pieces that once loved and looked up to him die off. I've tried many times to adress this issue with careful wording, I thought for sure he'd see how he is hurting us as a family. Now I simply shut him out. I can go weeks without talking to him which I know is just as damaging. But I fear him and have been unable to stand up for myself as well as our children. He isn't physical about it, but he throws things and damages things out of anger. It repulses me. You say your wife tried again and again to make you see what your words were doing to her...looking back, was there anything at all that she could have said or done (minus the steps she finally took) that would have called your attention to see any of this from her point of view? Thanks for your courage in your story. Debi C
Dear Debi C.: My ex is a person who has had to exhibit great strength throughout her life, both as a child and as an adult, for various reasons. Her biological father died when she was only 4 years old. Her mother remarried and although her stepfather adopted she and her brother, he treated them as "second class" children, i.e., not as though they were his "real" children, and that sentiment bled over to her mother treating them that way as well. She was physically abused by her first husband. There are many other reasons, but as a result she had developed her own insecurities and had to grow up very quickly; she felt she had to be ten feet tall and bullet proof, and she still feels somewhat that way. As a result of portraying that ten foot tall persona, she sometimes doesn't fully relay her feelings of being hurt. Example: sometimes I would have an outburst, she told me I was hurting her feelings, but she didn't tell me that I was continually chipping away at her love for me - she sometimes behaves as though she's too tough to be affected when that's not what's happening inside. I am not relieving myself of any culpability for what happened in our relationship; I am simply saying that was a factor for which I didn't fully realize the magnitude of my actions. I should have known what was going on in her head because I had seen it before, but I was too short-sighted and selfish to see it again. Not only do I now accept full responsibility, I want to right any wrongs I have committed. We had been going to counseling prior to the vacation incident, and things were getting better for both of us, and my behavior was getting better. The vacation incident pushed her overboard, and as of this writing I don't think she will ever forgive me. I have offered to pay for counseling for her (she has no health insurance); I want her in the counseling first and foremost to take care of HER, not our relationship. If our relationship benefits or can be salvaged as a result of her individual counseling, all the better. She has taken advantage of my offer, but all indications are that she is not interested in our future in the least. If that's the case, so be it. I only want her to be happy, but I do want her to see a professional who may be able to help her with any issues she may have. As for me, I am a better person than before. I have a sense of strength in knowing that I have a loving God who is taking care of me during a tough time in my life. I have a sense of strength in knowing that I am the only person who can make me angry, and in knowing nothing is worth getting angry about. I have learned the mechanisms behind my anger (insecurities) and am looking at life through a completely different lens. I used to try to control my anger by hiding it; I now don't get angry in the first place. I used to get debilitating migraines; since realizing my poor behavior and doing something about it, I haven't had a migraine in 3 months. I am a better boss, so my subordinates tell me. I have a newfound patience and understanding with people in general, including family; when I do get irritated, I am learning to look at my irritation through the other person's eyes - that's beneficial to me. I have been asked by my counselor to speak to small groups about my experience; I have spoken to two groups already, with two more to go, and I have developed a presentation so as to try to help either the abuser or those who are or have been abused. If I can't right all the wrongs with her, I will do something to help others, in essence giving back to others for what I cannot make up to her. Other than losing her I am a happier person. In answer to your last question, if I look back, I feel that if she had not seemed to be "ten feet tall and bullet proof" as I termed it, had sat me down and told me that I was constantly chipping away at her love, trust, sense of self worth, etc., I would have acted sooner. But as I said, overall it was my fault, and I will live with that guilt and strive to learn from it until the day I die. I wish you well and I will pray for you and yours. Peace and Energy, Heezaflier (JF)
Hi JF, Good luck. I get the impression you are doing everything to understand yourself and understand what you have done and why. I also get the feeling you understand her well and the distress she is in. You have also not truly let her "go" and you continue to engage with her or PLAN to engage with her. While you convince yourself and others of all these noble aspirations, I dont believe you are being truly sincere. Deep down you want her back and are determined to make that happen. Time will tell if you are actually prepared to let her go, or if you will lure her back and the cycle will restart. ewt
Dear EWT: There's no doubt - I do want her back; not only do I love her, but we have a two and a half year old son that we both should be raising. But I don't want her back if we live like we did before, with her afraid of me getting verbally abusive and me BEING verbally abusive. I AM determined, but only to make me a better person. I can't make anything happen with her; that's up to her, and I'm NOT going to try to control her or "lure" her back. If we do get back together, it will be after the cycle we did live in has already been broken. Please explain "actually prepared to let her go"; what does that mean? Maybe I haven't done that, but I think I have. I don't think there is room for me in her life, and I'm planning a life without her, i.e., buying a house, etc. I do want her to be happy, even if it's without me. Peace, Heeza (JF)
JF! I always belived that people could change and you are one example of it. It is good that you have realized all of this now and that you are getting help. Your courage has shown us that it is within OURselves to change, we have the power. There might be alot of bumps along the road but don't lose sight of what you want to be. Life will be so much better, if it isn't already. God Bless you! MP
If you are for real, good for you. HAving been abused repeately I have never heard an abuser speak like this, you sound to really want to be different. It amazes me. I hardly belive it. I most attract people like you. I fear everyone. They always end up abusive. Hope you can be different. No one deserves to be as damaged as I have been
I've come to this site many times to basically check in with myself. I just got out of a relationship with someone who was verbally abusive. I knew he was on some levels but not until we broke up did I come to really see how much I had been excusing or blaming myself for. I grew up in an abusive household and I guess I missed out on learning about how a person should be treated, etc. I just read your post JF and I suspect I'm going to be thinking about it for awhile. I have so much anger and distrust in me from my recent experience and my upbringing, that as I read your post, all I could think was, "He's saying this to manipulate her into being with him again". I'm sorry if that seems mean, it's just I guess it just seems unbelievable to me that someone like my ex could see all the things you seem to be aware of and be working on things. Everytime I'd get mad enough to be draw a line and say, "This is it, I can't handle it", he'd apologize and say he'd be nicer. But he always blamed me anyway, somehow it was my fault he didn't like certain things or was judgemental or selfish or whatever else. I feel like I was ripping my inner core into pieces to appease him with the hopes he'd finally be happy as he seemed endlessly discontent, resentful and distrusting. I'm a very open person who has learned to not be open. I believe that intimacy and trust can not be gained without absolute openness. Yet the only way I could keep him happy was to avoid things and even then, how could I know if what I was going to say would make an arguement and of course, me trying to clarify what I was saying which he clearly had misinterpretted to suit his insecurities/ego, was me fighting and so then, in the end, when I was a mess, on the floor, sobbing ... it was my fault. I'm terrified to talk to anyone. It's incredibly hard to hug people or let them be near me. I feel like a huge chunk of my life's work to heal and learn through the abuse I went through as a child has been destroyed. After we broke up, my ex said many similiar things. Telling me how much he has learned and realized and whatnot. It was clearly a manipulative tactic. He doesn't realize he's a manipulator. I told him that given time, he will resent me because I did not react the way he wanted. And sure enough, he did. This was a major victory for me because I had recognized the cycle and had held my ground through it, but it was hard, terrifying and emotionally draining. I want to thank you for your post because it takes bravery to be open about wrong doings. It takes strength to be responsible for something so painful. It *really* sucks that the police officer abused you, did you file a complaint? It has made it clear to me that I have a difficulty in trusting. If I have such a cynical reaction to a complete stranger who is pouring his heart out on an abuse site, imagine how I may react if someone I'm interested in makes a mistake that seems like verbal abuse? That is what has been brought to my attention. That I need to remain vigiliant to protect myself but must keep my distrust reigned in. I think this will take time as I've not had a lot of experience with being treated as I deserve while in the mindset to really learn and gain from it. Anyway ... good luck. Once you get through the hardest parts, you will have a lot of happiness and new confidence to look forward to. It's always seemed to me that abusers are very unhappy people and if they could have that weight lifted and really experience the positivity people can share together, they'd be able to appriciate it just as much as the abuser has been freed from the abuse.
the last poster:
JF here (Heezaflier), and you are justified to feel the way you do -
you are going to have trouble trusting somebody in the future, but I
pray it will happen. I don't know what the statistics are concerning
abusive people, but this formerly abusive person has made up his mind
to change himself. I have made it my #1 goal in my personal growth to
educate others like myself how devastating abusive behavior can be. I
can see where you would believe that I am writing so only as to
manipulate her back into my life; we don't speak except for polite
small talk (we have a almost 3 year old son), she knows nothing of my
education and efforts, and I told her I wouldn't talk unless she
initiates it. I'm not going to try to lure her back into a relationship
in which she cannot have any trust - I'm done manipulating and
controlling. I have learned that abused people need distance from their
abusers. I've accepted the fact that she isn't ever coming back into my
life, so I have nothing to gain except making myself a better person. I
am not happy with what happened, especially to her, but I am glad
something finally happened to ME that made me see what I was becoming.
I am a better person for it, and I'm doing some extracurricular work by
telling others my story - I am giving presentations to men's groups and
church groups telling them what happened, why it happened and what I am
doing to see I never hurt another person again. Although I find it
extremely uncomfortable telling others my private life, I find some
solace in knowing I may be able to help either an abuser or an abuser's
victim by doing so. I have had some of the people I have given my
presentation to ask me if I had ever considered ministering as a
career; that makes me feel like I have had some positive impact on
somebody. That's what I want. I know my ex is gone for good; I'm still
working on fixing me. I check out this website several times a week to
keep up with my education - this site has been great. And no, I didn't
file charges on the police officer; however strange it may sound, I
sincerely forgive him and have let it go. I'm learning to let many
things go nowadays, and I'm happier for it. Peace, Heezaflier
JF, I am the receiver of the anger. After almost 40 years of marriage, I filed for divorce, as he never would listen to anything I have to say. After a year of seperation he persuaded me to go back to him,so I stopped the divorce.Things have gone fairly well until 4 days ago and some things happened due to neighbors and he's all angry again, and thinking of ways to "get even", All I want to do is live peaceably and quietly as I'm a heart patience as he is.All the old feeling came rushing back about his behavior.Now i'm ready just to go live by myself. The sad part of all this is our children especially our two sons are just like him and it breaks my heart. It seems as if the cycle in our family will never stop, and for that I am sad. Sad for my grandchildren. So if your mate decides not to take you back, I truly hope you will respect her for her decision. As good as our relationship could have been and I kept it together, being raised in the time once your married you "stick it out" I truly wish I would have had the courage to leave him, and not go back. I really hope you have learned your lesson, Skeptical grandmother YCM
JF, I just wanted to say that I have ordered the book you have spoken so highly of. I too am going through a pivotal moment in my life, where I refuse to ignore and put-off any longer. I am a verbally abusive, controlling, and spitefull boyfriend. I have lost control of the man I once was and have morphed into a complete in-secure idiot. It may be too late for me I'm afraid. I've been dating seriously for 8 months. I've never experienced love before Kristie came into my life. What makes it so difficult is the long distance arrangment that god seems to be happy with at the moment. I'm a student at Northern Arizona University and she is a hair dresser in Beverly Hills. Make no mistake, I'm not a puppy love teenager. I'm 29 yrs young and I have been struggling with the fact that I don't know everything. I am not the man I have ever invisioned of becoming. I love this girl with all my heart and I cringe at the fact that she is fearfull of my lashing out. I just want to raize everything to the ground and start-over. I really hope that this book will give me a foundation for my renovation of life and my great friend, my wonderful mate, and my love. Crossing my fingers and keeping an open heart and mind, Matt
I feel my husband has been verbally abusive to me for many years, but the last three years have been the worst. I have started the process of divorce, which has just made him more mad. As with any story, there are too many details to list/explain but for me the most frustrating is that he doesn't feel he is verbally abusive. I have been trying for years to help him be happy with himself but I lost myself in his depression. He says he will do anything to get his family back, but if he doesn't understand what he is doing - how can he? What is the best way to show him how abusive he has been?