Verbally Abusive Husband And FatherWhere to begin? This is a very long post, but I have so much to say, it’s hard to condense 25 years of abuse into one paragraph. I grew up with two amazing and kind-hearted parents. They showered me with love, I was my daddy's princess - and mostly importantly, they showered each other with love. It was a very happy home. At 18, I was dealt a cruel blow - I lost about 50% of my hearing, it was devastating, and a difficult physical and emotional adjustment. Thanks to therapists, and my family, I was able to continue my life as "normal" person. I began to wear hearing aids, graduated from university, and I have had a successful career as an accountant for 30 years. Promoted many times, and very valued by my employers and clients. This is the only part of my life that is actually okay. My personal life is a mess.
At 25, I met my Bob - the man I would marry two years later. I did not have many boyfriends growing up, many guys were afraid of my disability, or I was insecure about it - but when I met Bob, it was so easy. He was tall, good looking, funny, and didn't care I had a hearing problem - he cared about me. He was the darling of my family, my parents loved him, my friends and their spouses loved him. He seemed like an overall great guy. During the time we dated, there were a few occasions where I saw Bob get very upset over the tiniest things that other people did. Like really really upset, over tiny tiny things. He always found a way to justify his anger. His immediate family was the opposite of mine - his parents were always either not speaking to each other, or to someone in the family, his sister same thing. There was never peace in his immediate family. He is not close to them at all. Bob seemed to be the only normal one. How wrong I was.
On our honeymoon, he blew up at me for the first time. I don't remember why he blew up – all I remember is that he insisted that I somehow offended him (please note: it is not in my nature to offend people, actually, the opposite is true - I am considered quiet and just easygoing – so his accusation, was shocking to me). As a result of my “offending” him, he became enraged and so emotionally vicious and cruel, he told me he wanted a divorce - on our honeymoon. That day, I ended up having what was the first of many panic attacks. I remember thinking on my honeymoon, "I have to go home now, after what was practically a dream wedding, and tell everyone I'm getting a divorce?? Is this actually happening? ". I felt like such a failure. But a few days later, he apologized, and was back to his normal self. I felt so relieved. And our honeymoon continued smoothly. Once we got home and settled into married life, his outbursts were more and more frequent - he blamed them on the financial difficulties he was having at work. Every day, I had to apologize for SOMETHING I did - either I offended him, or I was rude to him, or I ignored him, always always. He called me names, he punched walls, he threw the clothes from laundry baskets all over the corridor, and forced me to pick them up. I remember I was 7 months pregnant, being on on knees, crying and picking up the clothes. He would rage for hours and hours, loudly. Why didn't I leave??? I don't know. I was stupid, I was weak, I was scared - no one knew what he was really like, not my friends, cousins, - they all loved him!! Oh, he's such a great charming guy - he's everyone's favorite, the life of every party!! I would be nuts to let him go! No one knew he had a monster-side.
Fast forward, the more he raged, the weaker I became. We had two beautiful healthy children, the joy of my life - and his - yet, his raging, was directed at them as well - many many times. Always triggered by the same thing: His being offended by US. How can five year olds possibly offend a huge man? Is it even possible?? – But even then, he accused his children of offending him. He has called me and the children the following names: AS**-HOLE, B***H, Loser, Pathetic, Piece of S*** (yes both my daughter and I were at the receiving end of p.o.s.), Fat Pig, (me and my son) etc...He criticizes EVERYTHING I do, EVERYTHING the children do - we are not good enough. We are losers. When he would have these outbursts in front of my small children, being the idiot that I am, I figured I would protect them by telling them "it's okay, he will calm down", and send them to their room - and then things would be back to normal within a few days. I tip-toed around him constantly, hoping not to “offend” him. When he would come home from work telling me how he blasted people he worked with (since they too were “offending” him), I listened and let him talk. I am not allowed to disagree. He is a tyrant and a dictator – he can **** on everyone at any time, and we have to take it – or else, WE are the bad ones. I taught my children to tip-toe around him - but they didn't always know how. I hate myself for letting my children grow up in this environment. I hate myself for being so weak. As the kids got older, they would fight back - and he would blow up at them for fighting back. One thing I always did (in my mind, this made things okay, but I was wrong)...when he would verbally attack the kids, I would step in and defend them. Always. I always defended them and I would blast him immediately when he would call them ugly names. So the fighting was no longer between him and the kids, but him and me. But as long as he stopped hounding the kids, I didn’t care how much he yelled at me. As long as they were safe. (was I really that stupid to think that as long as he was yelling at me, and not them, they would be okay?)
My children are now 23 and 20. My 23 yr old daughter, has not had an easy time of this. She HATES me for having accepted this all these years. She accuses me of not having defended her. She accuses me of being a hypocrite and weak for not walking out on an emotional monster, and for letting her grow up in this environment. I don’t blame her for hating me. She is extremely verbally abusive towards me -and I accept it - because I feel guilty. it's MY FAULT she is like that, I am the one that didn't leave her dad. She is also abusive towards her brother, has been for years – I tolerate her outbursts because I feel GUILTY for not having left her dad. She’s in a lot of pain, and it’s all my fault. I was too afraid to leave, and I still am. And my being nearly deaf, doesn’t help. My hearing has deteriorated considerably, I am now legally deaf – and I rely on lip-reading. There were many many times, that without Bob, I don’t really know where we’d be. He is not always a monster. We have had many many good times too, lots of terrific vacations and holidays, our life is like a roller coaster – we can have a smooth ride, then suddenly, we have a curve (the curve is when he rages and rages) – and we have to hold on until the curve ends. It always ends. My daughter is fed up of me doing nothing, and fights with me a lot, she wants me to leave him NOW. I feel as if she is putting a gun to my head. She has had two very serious emotional outbursts recently, insisting that she cannot be in the same house as her father. (He just stands there smirks at her while she is saying these things and crying – which makes it even worse) She refuses to see a counselor. She attacked me for suggesting it – saying “you’d rather have your kids see a counselor than get rid of the problem – you make me SOOOOO sick”…She is a fulltime student, and relies on us financially.
I am in a state of limbo. I hate how much suffering he has created in all of us. When I think of my wonderful childhood, I hate that I wasn’t able to give that to my children. I owe it to them. We are in so much pain. Especially my daughter. My son, has obviously been affected too – but he complains MORE about the bullying he has received from my daughter, than the verbal abuse of my husband. She calls my son horrible names, and me, stupid me, I tell him to just brush it off. Just like I tell him to brush off what his father says. As you can see, it’s a mess. I’m a mess, and because I’m a mess, my kids are a mess. Our life is a mess. I don’t even know which way is up. I never have peace. When the kids were smaller, and I was at work – and they were home alone with their dad, so many times, my daughter would call me at work – crying that her dad was going crazy. I would leave work early, rush home, and try to smooth things over. This still goes on. Now I can’t use the phone anymore, my hearing is almost all gone – so my daughter texts me – same thing. My son texts me that his sister is being horrible to him, and that he can’t take it anymore. I cannot leave my two kids home alone– even though they are adults, because I know my daughter will verbally attack my son. I schedule my work to make sure my husband is never home alone with my kids. I have to be there to be sure no one is attacking anyone. This is not a life.
I don’t see a way out of this. It’s all my fault. I am not looking for pity, but some steps on how to A) help my daughter B) stop her from bullying my son C) stop being so weak. I have seen counselors many many many times. I have had lots of therapy over the years– it never helped. I spent many sessions talking about what my husband did, his raging, and how could I prevent his blowups. All the therapists have told me that I had to STOP the abuse by getting OUT, that was the only way – I had to STOP accepting and justifying my daughter’s abuse of me and my son. I wasn’t able to do any of it. I just stupidly put on my rose-colored glasses, and focused on the good side. How wrong I was.