WALKING ON EGG SHELLS
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.