How Carolyn Found Out She Was Being Abused
The verbal abuse has been relentless (but of course there are typical “honeymoon” periods after he rages). I did not fully understand just how abused I am until I read several books on the subject. I have come to realize it is not ‘normal’ to be constantly torn down and demeaned. This has been going on for 36 years. We got together when I was 15, he was 33.
Words Carolyn Chose to Describe Her Abusive Experience
Sadness, Depression, Hopelessness
- He hit me once years ago and when this recently came up in conversation he said he can’t now remember why he did it, but I must have deserved it.
- I was mopping the kitchen floor. He came over and took the mop out of my hands and said, “Can I show you how to do this “correctly”? When I objected he called me an idiot and said he was just trying to “teach me”.
- He has numerous times told me I do not do the dishes “correctly”, that he does a better job, that I don’t do them “right” and at times has come over while I am doing the dishes and taken over.
- I came home from work last week. He had made dinner and was getting it all together. I reached for the vegetables and was going to add the butter to them, trying to help. He grabbed the bowl of vegetables from me, he told me I did not “do it right” (butter the vegetables, how does one butter vegetables “wrong” ?) and then called me a “fucking asshole”. When I later confronted him for calling me what he did , he said it was my fault he called me that, that if I didn’t act like a fucking asshole he wouldn’t have to call me one.
So even his verbal abuse of me is my fault in his thinking. I know this is typical abuser MO, blame the victim for the abuse the abuser dishes out. Over the years whenever I have confronted him on his verbal abuse he says he would not talk to me like he did if I didn’t deserve it. When I have told him he is abusive, he later brings it up as a joke or as an off comment, “since I abuse you so much why don’t you get out”…etc
- One night I got up at 2:00 am to let the dog we had out to go to the bathroom in the backyard. As I always did I stood at the sliding glass door, turned on the porch light and waited for the dog to finish and come back. He happened to get and come out into the room. He totally went ballistic, became outraged, and SCREAMED that I was an fucking idiot, why the hell did I have to turn the fucking porch light on when the dog went out! Irrational anger, he was just insane with anger. He was violently angry because I turned the porch light on, he said did I think the dog needed it on to see? I cried myself to sleep and I have never forgotten that. I still remember how irrationally angry he was and how such a trivial thing set him off in a rage. When I have mentioned this, he now says it never happened. I must have imagined it.
- Some time back I wrote a check at Target and they wouldn’t accept it, told me to call an 800 number they gave me. I couldn’t understand what could possibly be wrong. I was so upset. I went straight to my bank. I was so upset I started crying to the woman at the bank, I thought maybe somebody had stolen my identity or something and did not want my good credit ruined. The lady there was so sweet and she helped me and looked at my account and said I had never had a bounced check ever. She called the number and come to find out Kmart had reported my driver license (in error) to Check Rite and so I was in the computer as giving Kmart a bad check. I left the bank and went home, I was so upset. When I started to tell Bill what happened rather then comfort me or offer some support or even wait to hear the whole story, the first thing he yelled was, “I told you to stay off that godamn computer!” like that had something to do with it (he had some wild notion it happened because I bought something from Amazon online and used my credit card). Next day I called Kmart, they straightened it and sent me a letter of apology. When I later brought this incident up to him, he denied it ever happened (he denied he said the things he did). I have read in books on abuse that this denial by the abuser of things said is called “crazy making”. He is good at this.
- Last spring I got some potted plants to set out on the patio. He flipped out and said he did not want them set on the patio cement because he did not want water from the pots getting on the cement , it might damage it (the cement). When I objected he said I was a moron if I did not understand that. (I guess the rain doesn’t damage the cement when it gets on it though huh? )
- He tells me where I must plant the flowers in the flower beds, I have no real choice in the matter unless I want to be met with criticism and insults, consequently I have given up working in the yard, I let him do it all.
- When we had to move in with his mother (to take of her and her brother who both had Alzheimer’s) he several times called me a bitch. It hurt me deeply because here I was having given up my job and my own home to take of his mom and he still treated me in this manner. I had determined to do the right thing and support Bill and his family (even though that time was extremely difficult and in the end the stress and strain caused me an episode of depression).
- He sometimes raises his hand to me, of course he claims this is in jest but I get the feeling he really would like to hit me. Or balls up his fist and says “This what you need.”
- Many, many times over the years if I have disagreed with him on something he has told me if I don’t like it “get out”. Consequently many years back after hearing that so many times I opened my own checking account and we have had separate accounts and credit cards for years. I do not feel secure without having my own money, not knowing when he might throw me out if I do not agree with him. Now that he is getting old the shoe is on the other foot and he needs me! He worries when I go shopping at night and has made the comment if something happens to me who will take care of him!
- He tells me I abuse him, that he does not abuse me in any fashion!
- If I have cried at his hurtful words and verbal abuse he tells me I’m being too “sensitive”. That no one but yourself can “make” you feel bad, so if I feel bad or take things to heart (his cruel words and treatment of me) then its my own fault and something I need to work on or get over.
- He tells me I’m crazy.
- Some years back he and his siblings had a family counseling session with a mediator (due to the problems with his mom’s health and her estate), during that meeting my husbands brother confronted him on his treatment of me. His brother stated it hurt him when he heard my husband talk to me like he does. My husband came home and told me he could not believe his brother would say that, that he was abusive, he said he doesn’t like his brother and assessed he was a jerk.
- During a discussion he mentioned sarcastically maybe we should get counseling (so the counselor could set ME straight). When I commented I wondered what the counselor would say about the names he calls me he said the counselor would tell me it’s no big deal, all kinds of men talk to their women that way, and I make a big deal out of it, so really it’s my problem that I let it bother me.
- During an argument he told I should ask my “church people” or some of my “white” friends. I took my dinner and went and ate in the bedroom. When I came out he said “I guess I should apologize because I let you get to me and that’s why I said what I said”, in other words it’s my fault for “getting to him” so basically the cruel words are “my fault”, its my fault he says what he says. And he didn’t really apologize. He never takes responsibility for his words. Never.
OMG..he and I just a little discussion about his “verbal abuse”…he told me he never cusses at me unless I really “make him hot”, I provoke it. So in essence it’s my fault, not his. I guess that incident where I was adding butter to the vegetables and he grabbed them from me and said I did it “wrong” , and then called me a fucking asshole made him hot huh? He said “at least I don’t slap you like some men do to their wives when they piss them off!”
Gee AT LEAST, I guess I should feel lucky I just get constant beatings by his tongue! Frankly it would hurt less if he smacked me in the face, then the constant barrage of negative, critical words about everything I do.
I brought up his going nuclear because I turned the porch light when I let the dog out to go potty, he said “I NEVER cussed you out over the porch light.” He said I imagine stuff, he said ” lots of guys on death row imagine and have themselves convinced they didn’t kill their victim, and your just like that.”
He said when I tell him to “do things” he just does it.
He says whenever he tells me to do something I get upset (like how to mop the floor, do the dishes, what size Tupperware container to use for leftovers, what and where to plant in the garden, how many clothes to put in the wash machine, he comes behind me and adjusts the temperature when I’m cooking food on the stove, God must I go on…)He tells me how to do EVERYTHING!
And again he told I’m too sensitive and I hold things inside and don’t talk about them…yeah he doesn’t know just how much I hold in, because I’ve learned there’s no point in talking to him, he twists everything back on me, even his abusive language.
I swear to God he makes me despair even of life sometimes.
I feel like I am so emotionally damaged because of so many years of this I am beyond repair. I think even if he died tomorrow and I was free of the negativity I will for the rest of my life continue to suffer this depression, because of the 30 years of this, it’s made me sick and how could I ever recover?
Thank God we don’t have to have sex with him, he’s been impotent for about 10 years, I’d rather die then have sex with him and I’m glad I don’t have to. I feel like I’m on death row, just waiting to die and be free.
When I was 16 I remember he told me he wanted a younger girl (he was 33) so he could “train her” his way. God I was too young and dumb to understand the implication of that. I moved in with him when I was not quite 16. I was 15 (I moved with him in November, and I turned 16 the following February, he was 33). I see legally now that was child abuse, men go to jail for that. He was 33 and an ex-convict.
I have so much anger pent up inside of me from so many years of being criticized about everything, everything. And when I have confronted him with his constant critical barrageshe says I’m just paranoid or too sensitive.
Today he tells me how to mop the bathroom floor again. We have a very, very small bathroom, two people can barely stand in it at the same time. I use the sink to mop the floor, he tells me I need to take the big commercial size mop wringer/bucket in the bathroom to clean it, that’s how they cleaned the floors where he used to work, he was a custodial supervisor and he says he got great evaluations because all “his people” listened to him and did what he said. I should too.
Most often I avoid doing any housework when he is home, I wait until he goes to shoot pool or goes out, simply to avoid his attacks.
I used to get together occasionally with a girlfriend once a week, we would have coffee and chat.He made comments that maybe we were lesbians, all in jest of course.
The kitchen needs painting. We had a new countertop put in and a new floor. He took some wall paper off one of the walls. In the mean time he fell and hurt his shoulder. So he has not been able (or willing) to paint the kitchen, it’s been in disarray for nearly 8 months now. I would dearly love (and would do it in a minute if he was not here) to jump in and paint the kitchen and fix it up. But I won’t, because he will criticize my painting and how I do it. So it sits undone as the months go by. So I won’t even try because I don’t want to deal with him and how he will berate me if it’s not done “his way”. So it remains undone.
Came from a lunch out with a girlfriend, we exchanged Christmas gifts as we do every year. I came home and put my gifts on the kitchen table which included a DVD and a book. First thing out his mouth at eyeing the gifts was:
- A) you already have that movie, I said no I don’t and he said yes I do, he said he bought it several years ago for me. Upon his further reflection it was determined he had bought it for his sister.
- B) He said “you really need to do something about your book shelf, there’s books on top of it. We have separate book cases. Of course he does not mention that his has books piled separately on each shelf …it’s just mine he mentions.
Also he is always commenting “why do I save my books, why don’t I get rid of them”. He says its OK to save HIS because he uses them for “reference” (which he doesn’t) but mine of course are useless and are just taking up space. Of course 98% of the books on his shelf haven’t been looked at in at least 10-15 years. But of course he is always right when it comes to his stuff.
You know this may not seem like a big deal, his negative comments about the gifts but when taken in context its always the same negative thing. It would have been nice had he simply said ” Hey what did you get ? and maybe smiled….but I guess I expect too much huh?
He was cooking dinner tonight and while he was handling the French bread he stopped and blew his nose. I asked him to make sure he washed his hands before he went back to working with the bread and putting on the plates (because he never does wash his hands!) and of course he got mad. He started talking about his mentally ill aunt who washed her hands 50 times a day and took 5 baths a day, said I must be becoming like her. All this because I wanted him to wash his hands after blowing his nose while working with food. He turns it around and attacks me!
If we had a guest who saw this would the think my request was unreasonable ? You can’t tell him anything but he can spend his whole life telling you what to do.
This morning while sitting down at the breakfast table: He sat down 1 minute before I did, and had just finished buttering his pancakes. As I sat down I asked him to leave the top off the butter as I was going to use it immediately. He purposely put the top back on it and handed it to me. This angered me (I could not figure WHY he would push my button over something so trivial, why put the lid back on when I simply asked him to leave it off, I guess it was a control issue with him, asserting his control by refusing to accommodate a simple logical request I had made, like a 5 year old).
I took the top off and tossed it in front of my breakfast plate (about 2 inches in front of me) He then proceeded to go into a tirade and stated “go ahead throw it so it goes on the carpet, you are such a selfish, irresponsible person!” and on and on…note that we were about 7 feet from any carpet area and the lid was right in front of me on the table.
I ended up crying in the bathroom. God his attacks are endless and I never know what stupid, meaningless thing will give him ammunition to go off on me and attack my character.
This just goes on and on…we are supposed to go out shopping later, God I don’t even want to be around him. He called me a “fucking moron” tonight because I don’t use the Dish remote control for the TV the same way he does. Called me a moron again tonight.
Whenever we “discuss” things or I disagree with him he often tells me in a condescending tone that“you have to think”, implying of course that I don’t “think” , that I’m a moron (as he frequently calls me).
I have been driving for 30 years now, I have never had an accident that was deemed my fault, never had a ticket of any kind. 15 years ago I was rear-ended on the freeway, the insurance companies of course found the other party at fault. Of course I happened to be driving HIS truck. A year later another car hit me after coming across traffic from the other side of the street, again I was not at fault. I got money from both accidents.
For years now he says “when you wrecked my truck”, or I should have been driving more “defensively”, even though they weren’t my fault, he still blames ME that the other people hit me! He has had wrecks that WERE his fault, of course he doesn’t want to talk to them and blames the other drivers even though the insurance said he was at fault. The last one raised our insurance rates. A few years back he got ticketed for running a red light. Last month he got 2 tickets, one for speeding, the other for no seat belt. He paid the seat belt and went to court for the speeding, they dismissed it because the cop did not show up. Its terrible to say but I was sorry they dismissed it.
A few days ago I had a fender bender in the parking lot at work, it may or may not have been my fault. It has not been decided yet. Now he is throwing that up in my face and I guess I will from now on hear how careless I am and if our rates go up god, I will never hear the end of it (but lets not mention his tickets).
He is a narcissist and I cannot understand WHY he would think I love him at all. Why would he think I do? Why would someone love someone who treats the other this way? Does he think I would?
Tonight after some of his critical banter I told him I would be glad when he is finally out of my life. He told me I better hope I don’t live long because I will never make it without him as I am totally helpless and I have him to look out for me and protect me, from myself of course.
I swear to God I despise him. His years of abuse have worn on me, I have become deeply depressed, hopeless, enraged and bitter.
This morning while I was eating a second waffle for breakfast I commented that it was making me sick (because of all the syrup and it was the first thing I had eaten on an empty stomach). He comments back that I’m just like a child, that children say that when they have had enough to eat and don’t want anymore. He said his brother and sister used to tell his mom that when they were kids. When I confronted him about calling me childish simply because I had made a comment he then went on that my reaction to his comment is childish also.
I cannot not even express myself by saying the waffle was upsetting my stomach without some cutting/critical comment on his part. Why did he have to say anything? Or why not just say ‘oh yea sometimes all that syrup is a bit much first thing in the morning’…no he had to go for the negative comment and then got even more negative when I confronted him, saying the way I react to his constant critical comments is “childish”, so once again its my fault I let his abuse “bother me”.
About an hour later when he could tell I was not wanting much to do with him, he tried to grab me and said “if being childish was such a bad thing, people would get rid of all their children”. Gee nice clean up, is that supposed to make me feel better?
Also last night there was a spider on the living room wall, I took a newspaper and hit at, I missed. He commented that “you really are useless you can’t even kill a goddamn spider”…
I hate him.
We were watching TV and the woman on the show was crying because she was being treated bad by her husband and Bill commented about it. I told him he used to make me cry all the time because of the mean, harsh things he said to me (I no longer cry, I am beyond that, I just build more anger inside and if I do cry it’s not because I’m hurt like I used to be when younger, I cry because I hate him and I feel trapped) and he said, “Oh you just cried all the time because you liked to cry, all spoiled children cry.”
Once again he takes no responsibility or accountability for any of the abusive, cruel things he has/does say. I just cry/cried because ” I like to cry”, so it’s not his fault, once again its mine.
He always tells me “if there is any thinking to be done let me do it”, of course indicating my “thinking” has no value. No respect. He says ” Just let me do the thinking”.
Today is New Years Day , he is putting his shirt on and getting dressed so I ask him where he is going. He says, “Costco” I say “Costco is probably closed today” (as they are normally closed on all holidays.) He says in his usual condescending tone ”Why would they be closed?” indicating, as usual, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Then about 40 minutes later he tells me to call them and find out. I do and they are closed. I tell him, “they are closed” , he says ” I kinda figured they might be!” He can never be wrong!
I bought one of those light sensor night lights for the bathroom. I bought it trying to be thoughtful for him since he has a hard time walking sometimes and stumbles in the dark …anyway it goes on automatically when it gets dark and goes off when it gets light. He took it off the wall said it stays on all night and burns electricity! He made a big deal about it saying what kind of idiot would want it on all night. Another way he can be in control.
Tonight I drove him up to Walgreen’s to pick up some film he had dropped earlier today. I mentioned in passing I should probably stop and get gas (my car) so I wouldn’t have to stop in the morning on the way to work (my work distance is 40 miles round trip daily). He proceeded to look over at my gas gauge (it was on a little over an 1/8 of tank) and he said I had enough gas to go to and from work 4 times and didn’t write down my mileage and gas usage so I knew how many gallons I burned!
It turned into a 10 minute lecture on the subject, my claim that I just stop and get gas when I’m getting low isn’t “logical”.
Since I disagreed with him he had to bring other issues into the discussion as evidence of my on going stupidity of course.
I just want one of us not to wake up in the morning. I feel so trapped. I have wasted my whole being with him and I feel completely hopeless.
Today we got in a huge fight driving home from Costco. I had loaded the groceries into the trunk and then took the empty cart to the row behind us and left it at the curb with another cart. When I got back in the car he commented (corrected me) and point a row and half up further in the opposite direction at a “better place” I should have left the cart. Why did he even have to make a comment, the cart was already parked . Because he ALWAYS HAS to say something, offer some kind of correction (which he calls “teaching me”).
Anyway I called him on his comment and this started a huge argument. I asked him why he felt he ALWAYS has to say something about everything I do!
His daughter had told me the day before he had made an abusive comment to her when she was helping him in the yard, he claims it was about her sister. [His daughter] told me he noted he should“put her out of her misery” indicating she was stupid because she didn’t do something to his liking. I mentioned this to him during our argument.
During our argument he told me that if he really wanted to get rid of me he could ” do it in a way nobody would ever know”. I asked him if he was threatening me?! I told him I was not afraid of him. He then said he wasn’t threatening me but just saying he could if he wanted to, like it was a hypothetical.Sounded like a death threat to me.
He also said his doctor said he should not have any stress in his life (because of his back pain) so I should just be quiet and not upset him! OMG- he has filled my life with constant stress for over 30 years with his constant verbal abuse ! walking on egg shells wondering what will set him off ! NOW I’m supposed to just take his shit because he doesn’t want to be stressed having to be called on his abuse?!He cannot be serious, but of course he is.
He just called me at work-asking about making stew for dinner. Towards the end of the conversation he said he was sorry for the way he talked to me yesterday (not really an apology) and that two people should not go to bed mad. He says they should “talk” things out (more time to argue his points!) and that one of the parties takes things way to seriously…ya that’s right, I can see it coming - I AM TOO SENSITIVE AND SHOULD NOT BE TROUBLED BY HIS ABUSIVE WORDS, so once again its MY FAULT for the effect HIS abuse has on me.
He’s off the hook once again as he subtly shifts the blame right back on me and he takes no responsibility for his abusive words!