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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WALKING ON EGG SHELLS

WALKING ON EGG SHELLS


When you hear stories of spousal abuse, people often think, why would you stay so long with such a person?  As a man I think I used to have these thoughts more than I suspect would most women, until I realized I was myself a victim of spousal abuse.  I won’t say which of my ex-wives was the abuser; if you know one of my exes, and this accusation surprises you, then know it is the other ex-wife.  

My wife did not physically abuse me, although if she was capable she would have.  There were many occasions where I fended off her feeble attempts to punch or kick me.  Her abuse was mental.  The difficult thing about abuse is often, and this was the case for me, the abuser is sweet, loving, charming and just fun to be with 85% of the time.  The other 15% she is an “Exorcist” like demon with a violent temper and vile nature so unlike the person you love, that it shocks you every time it appears.   

I never knew what would set off one of her tirades.  The cute little thing I did last week when I channel surfed right over her favorite movie made me a “fucking asshole piece of uncaring selfish shit” today.

No amount of my apologies would right a wrong, and later when she was “normal” again she would never address her insanity.  (She did once say to me, “It isn’t easy living in this head.”) 

After one of her explosions her mind would stay firmly locked onto my perceived miscue and was ready to bring it up again and again during future tirades. 

My favorite accusation was, “You don’t love me as much as I love you!” 

Always, there was the threat of divorce.

When I came home from work, I never knew who would greet me.  Most times it was Donna Reed (GIYP).  Sometimes it was SATAN.  Anything could set off a tirade at any time. 

Living in my house was like walking on egg shells.

I often thought, “If only I hadn’t done this or if only something unforeseen hadn’t happened.”  The truth is when she was ready to explode, she would find something.  I think she even may have planted things to use later when the “curse” hit her.

Some years ago, she left me for an old fiancé, a past lover, the Big to her Carrie.  It was not until then that I could step back and look objectively at our relationship, and realize that I was in fact abused.  It is not an easy admission for a man to make, that you put up with absurd temper tantrums when you probably should have shaken her and yelled, “Shut the fuck up you crazy bitch!” 

Of course in the eyes of the law and in public opinion, that would have made me the abuser and I would have lost everything; everything, but my own self-respect.

It took her adultery, and my being thrown out of my own house in one of her final fits of uncontrollable irrational temper, for me to realize that I had been a victim of abuse for some 14 years.

It took me several years and the subsequent love of a sane woman for me to come to grips with the fact that my ex-wife was in fact…er…let’s say unstable and our separation and divorce was a God send.  If I had remained married, when I was “retired” and forced to stay home 24/7, I doubt very much I could have survived her abuse.

Mental illness is insidious.  It not only affects the life of the afflicted, but it turns upside down the life of everyone connected to that person.  Fortunately I am now out of that insanity.

I have been with Mrs. Cranky for over three years now and we have not had a single argument.  Oh there has been a couple (maybe) of “discussions” and an occasional harsh word (although I can’t really think of one), but nothing ever close to approaching the intense insanity of my previous relationship. 

It takes a relationship based on trust and love, a relationship where you don’t need to filter your every thought, where you can make a mistake, where you can be yourself, to realize that you used to walk on egg shells.   

11 comments:

  1. Cranky this one has made me smile in a different way today. I have smiled in a "I know where you are coming from way". My ex-husband was an extremely violent man and an alcoholic. It took me 15 years to find myself again and gather the strength to throw him out on his abusive ass. He was both physically and mentally abusive to me, and if he tried to star ton my children, I would use myself as a wall between him and them, often getting twice the beating for doing it.

    My youngest son once told me that he had stopped believing in God because as he put it "if there was a God he wouldn't have let so much bad stuff happen to us".

    I am a firm believer in the quote "what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" and I believe that now I am a much stronger person than I was when I met my ex. The whole experience has made me more appreciative of the god things in my life, and like you I have now found myself my perfect partner. We don't argue although we do discuss and fall out - but only over the subject in question, never each other!

    Life is so different now, and my youngest has changed his tune about his belief in God. I'm not sure he is a true believer but he now says "if there is a God, he made us go through all the bad shit, so that we could really appreciate papa now" (Papa is what he calls S)

    So today I am smiling, because we are very lucky people, who have fought for what we have today, and in my opinion, stronger and better because of it!

    Have a wonderful day Cranky!

    Lou :-)
    x

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  2. So glad you are out of that situation and found a loving one. We have a family member who is unstable and extremely emotional due to mental illness and it is a tough road.

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  3. I'm a new gfc and networked blogs follower from the Tickle me Tuesday Hop. I'd love if you'd stop by my blog.

    Lisa
    http://frugalmommieof2.blogspot.com/

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  4. Cranky wow I am so sorry you had to go through such crap. It is so hard when your caught up in that cycle to get away but you did and ended up with a wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  5. Sadly, this is a lovely post.
    It is so nice to be in that trust zone and be able to relax and blossom into what you can be.
    It can be so hard to know that your situation isn't right, when you are inside it.

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  6. It is tough while you are in it, but those relationshits are what teach us to apprciate the good ones like you and Mrs. Cranky share now. Good on ya lad, good on ya.

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  7. mental abuse is bad. glad you found a sane woman.

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  8. Oh Cranky, I'm sorry for what you lived with. I understand as I live with that same kind of person. I didn't realize it was abuse until about 2 years ago. I knew how he was but I didn't name it as abuse until a few years ago. It really IS hard to get out when you are in it. You made vows. You have hope because of the good part of them. But eventually your gut intuition leads you to understanding and realization, and that is the turning point.

    I am in the process of ending a 17 year marriage to a man like your ex. Thank God I woke up. Thank God I can finally say I deserve so much more. I am scared shitless but excited at the same time. Excited for the future I will finally have and I hope some day to have the kind of love you do with Mrs. Cranky. Thank you so much for talking about his and sharing your story.

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  9. JH, Interesting post. I was there for much of this... it happened under my nose as well. But I suppose what goes on behind closed doors is not for all to see. Good for you - it's a difficult road to navigate. These are some monumental demons - glad you have faced them so bravely. Funny how time heals even the worst wounds. Be well.

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  10. So interesting, and thank you so much for sharing. Its really brave to hear men admit to things like this, I suspect that it is far more common than we realise.
    Very glad to hear that you have had 3 years of happiness with Mrs Cranky.
    x Sannah

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  11. thank you! Love YOU!!

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