It’s day 23 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for men and boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence. Gabu’s saga, Violent Alcoholic Wife Attacks (VAWA), continues in today’s In His Own Words.
This selection of journal entries depicts how Gabu was able to obtain a protective order and have his alcoholic, undiagnosed borderline personality disordered wife removed from their home.
Violent Alcoholic Wife Attacks (VAWA), Part II
06/24/12. I got home and assessed the bug infestation in the basement. Our son did a good job handling it and I mentioned it to wife loud enough for him to hear. She replied, ‘I guess so, but I told him over and over not to leave food down there when his friends come over,’ thereby destroying my attempt to build his confidence.
Dejected, I said nothing and walked away. We managed to have a decent dinner with our son, even though she consumed wine throughout the meal. After dinner, she wanted to ‘talk.’ For the rest of the night, she repeatedly asked me not to leave her.
She kept repeating that as long as I stay in the house, there’s hope, which means I don’t want to leave her. She’s driving me nuts. While professing her love for me out the one side of her mouth, she made threats out the other. She said she’d contest the divorce, stretch it out for 2 years and drive us into bankruptcy.
How can she possibly think that threatening to destroy me is an enticement to come running back to her? She followed me around the house, barraging me with the same questions and circular arguments over and over again. I recorded some of it, but the batteries were nearly dead.
Around 9pm, she pounded down a full glass of wine in three gulps. She alternated between watching TV and harassing me with same threats and empty promises to change. I held firm, told her I don’t believe her, that she lied about getting help, she still has no job, is still making fun of my mannerisms and the way I talk and is still drinking! I repeated this at least 20 times over the course of the evening. It is so incredibly frustrating.
She also said our son doesn’t want anything to do with me; that he doesn’t want to live with me or see me. After telling me with a smirk how much our son hates me, she switched gears and asked me to take a half-day tomorrow to celebrate her birthday. WTF? I called her out on her abusive behavior. She ignored me, went into the dining room and came back with my laptop.
I got up, took it from her and told her that after all the crazy-making tonight she will not be using my computer. She whined, ‘I thought it was our computer!??!’ I replied ‘No, it is MY computer. I worked a SECOND JOB to buy this for myself. A SECOND JOB! Go get yourself a single job and buy whatever you want.’
She started in on how she knows I’m cheating on her, and asked why I have the computer programmed to log off every night at 11pm. I replied that’s the way I want it and reminded her she’s the one who has a history of cheating, not me. I brought up the emotional affair she had last year with a manager at work.
She tried to justify it by saying her behavior was my fault because I don’t provide her with what she needs and he treated her ‘nicely’ and was ‘interested’ in her. I said, ‘Well sure, he’s not the one who gets to deal with the crazy antics, rage and alcohol abuse.’ She changed the subject again. When I tried to get back on topic, she went outside to smoke.
I password protected the guest account on my computer and went to bed at 10:45pm. She came up about an hour later, drunk. She spent the next half hour fidgeting, tossing and turning. I asked her several times to stop, as I had to work in the morning. She started in on how perfect I think I am and other unfounded insults. I half expected her to lose it and clock me in the face. I almost wish she had. She lied back down and whispered how much she loves me and how she just knows that we’ll be able to resolve this. I can’t describe how creepy that is to hear after a night of her crazy-making.
06/25/2012. I received the following message from Dr. T:
‘Gabu, what if you tell wife in order for you to consider staying in the marriage; she needs to check herself into a 14-day or 30-day alcohol rehab first? Would she do it? Then, while she’s out of your hair, you take care of the business of divorce.
This advice might seem Machiavellian, however, she’s psychologically torturing you — it’s a reasonable measure given the siege-like circumstances of your current situation. She sounds like she should be in a treatment program, so it’s not like it’d be a bad thing for her and she just might have some psych evals done while there that could help your custody case. Having a documented history of her alcohol abuse also might help you down the road should you need restraining orders, etc.
If she doesn’t go, it can be one of the reasons for divorce. Either way, you might want to consider it. Even some of the most uterus loving judges will not give custody to an active substance abuser — especially one who becomes abusive (or in your wife’s case, more abusive) while under the influence.’
I like this idea and am going to implement it.
06/26/2012. I got home from work and flipped on my digital recorder before going inside. She had a nice dress on, which is strange because she usually wears oversized shorts and a stained t-shirt. I asked why she’s dressed up. She said she felt like looking pretty. I know she was expecting to go to dinner tonight for her birthday, but I’m not pretending like nothing’s wrong anymore nor am I going to reward her crazy behavior.
I asked if we could talk outside as our son was in earshot. I told her I’d thought about her request to work on the marriage and that the only way I’d consider staying in the relationship is if she checks herself into a 2-week alcohol rehab program.
Her face sank. She started yelling that she thought I was going to make up with her tonight. What planet is this woman on, seriously? Finally, she admitted she looked into a program and told me about it, but needs to think about it. All the while, she had a full glass of wine in her hands.
After a few quiet minutes passed, she announced she was drunk. She went off about how fat she thinks is, “117, 117, 117! I should be 112! I’m obese! Fat at 117!” After that, she started hammering me to see if there is another way I’ll stay in the marriage without her going to rehab.
She said she’d stop drinking on her own. I told her I don’t trust her. She blew it months ago when she promised to go to AA and never did. She kept hammering away until I tired of the merry-go-round-from-hell and hopped off. I asked what she planned for dinner. She planned nothing. I said I’d order take-away and asked if she wanted anything. No!
I called and ordered subs for our son and myself. As soon as I hung up the phone, she yelled that I’m a bastard for not ordering a sub for her, too. Okaaaaay. I called back and added a sub to the order. After I picked up the food, or son and I sat on the couch and watched TV while we ate.
She was in the kitchen loudly and drunkenly wishing herself happy birthday, saying how it was the worst birthday ever, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. After she finished eating, she burst into tears and said she’ll go to rehab. I asked if she wanted to talk.
Once outside, she asked what we’d tell our son. I suggested the truth. She was adamant that we not tell him. I pointed out that he’s seen her drunken behavior for years and it might be good role modeling to see her take responsibility and work towards overcoming her addiction.
She insisted she didn’t want our son to know and then went on an on about what his friends, other parents, etc., would think. ‘How come your mom’s not here? How come your dad’s not here?’ Then she added one of her old chestnuts, ”Well, your dad’s never here anyway!’ I thought to myself, ‘That’s right, because I do not have the LUXURY of being home all day because I AM AT WORK, which you refuse to do!’
I declared the conversation over, telling her I won’t have a discussion with someone who’s making fun of me. I went into the house and she stumbled in after me, begging me to ‘talk.’ I kept my composure and continued to refuse, stating that she made fun of me so the conversation was over.
She kept going and I robotically repeated over and over, ‘This behavior is unacceptable. You are drunk. Go sleep it off.’ She kept begging and grabbed my arm. I asked her not to touch me. I sat on the couch. She sat right next to me, still begging me to ‘talk’ to her.
Our son was uncomfortably watching TV on the other couch through all this. At one point, she bellowed into to living room at him, ‘See how HE treats meeeeeee?!?!?’ Yeah, refusing to cave into the terrorist-like demands of someone who is drunk and verbally abusing you is a bad thing! After another 30 minutes of stalking me around the house, she made a big dramatic production about going upstairs and finally went to sleep. I have no idea if she will go to rehab or not. I hope so for her sake and our son’s sake.
06/27/2012. Wife left a note on the counter for me this morning. She went on about how much she loves me, wants our marriage to work and wants the two of us to be able to ‘smile again.’ WTF? She completely omitted her abuse of our son, me and her alcohol abuse/going to rehab.
Dr T suggested the following response to my wife’s note:
As I stated last night, I will not consider remaining in this marriage unless you seek treatment for your alcohol abuse. This is non-negotiable. I want you to be well and the kids both deserve a healthy, functioning mother.
You need to check yourself into a treatment facility within 30 days for me to consider giving our marriage another chance. Otherwise, it will be clear that you are not serious about getting help and making the necessary changes in our relationship.
Dr T further explained:
‘The part about the kids deserving a healthy mother is essential. A judge will not care that an adult male is being abused by an alcoholic wife, but a judge will care about kids being exposed to it. Also, stating you want her better for the kids can’t get twisted into you trying to control her. It’s you trying to protect the kids.
This should help you cover your ass, re: the claims she’ll likely make about you being the controlling, abusive alcoholic once the DARVO starts. ‘Oh, pooooor me, he abandoned me because of my drinking problem. He didn’t do anything to help me. He has no compassion. It’s a sickness.’ My proposed email response shows you tried to help; she refused.
I wouldn’t let her engage you in any more convos on this topic. Your response is, ‘You have x amount of time to get into rehab. I will not discuss this further.’ And Gabu, quit sharing the bedroom. If you don’t have a spare room, tell her she is to sleep on the couch until she goes to rehab and then lock yourself in. No more late night drunken groping/torture.’
06/28/2012. I sent an email as Dr T suggested. When I got home last night, she left a note on the door saying she’s on the deck and can we ‘talk.’ Argh. I met her on the deck and she asked why I’m being so mean. I said, ‘I’m not being mean. I’m tired of being walked on and lied to, so I’ve decided there are only two paths forward. One, we divorce or two you go to rehab.’
She pushed me for a guarantee that I’ll be here when she finishes. I told her I wouldn’t make any promises. She kept pushing, trying to get me to promise and then she tried to weasel out of going to rehab. She again said she’d stop drinking on her own and go to AA meetings. I stuck to my guns.
After more back and forth about how she didn’t want to go to rehab and me countering repeatedly that I no longer wanted to be subject to her rages, she snapped, ‘Fine, I’ll go to rehab!’ Out of nowhere, she told me her sister invited us to play board games at her house. I declined. She went and ended up sleeping at her sister’s, presumably because she got too hammered to drive.
07/29/12. I went to a family BBQ at my mom’s today. Wife could’ve gone, but still hasn’t made up with my mom after her drunken rage incident last year. I arrived home at 9:30 pm. She was intoxicated on the couch with the TV blaring. I turned on my digital recorder.
She started ranting about how she KNOWS I’m cheating on her (I’m not), and demanded to see pictures from the BBQ. I didn’t take any, which is proof in her mind that I wasn’t there and, therefore, cheating on her.
She stumbled into the dining room and got my camera, which is worth about $800. She scrolled through the pics, saw there weren’t any from the BBQ and started ranting like a lunatic again. I remained calm, which made her even more pissed.
She threw the camera across the room. It bounced off the carpet and hit the lower part of the couch. I told her, ‘That’s it,’ and grabbed the phone to call the cops. She picked up the camera, ran into our bedroom, then came back downstairs and begged me not to call the police.
I told her I wouldn’t call the cops if she went to bed and slept it off. She recommenced ranting until I threatened to call the police again. While she was still spewing her venom, I went to our room to see how badly the camera was damaged. She’d hidden it and, of course. She followed me to our room. I asked where she put the camera and she claimed she couldn’t remember.
I knelt down to look under the bed and she started hitting my back. I jumped across the bed to retrieve the camera on the other side. The auto focus no longer worked, making a horrible clicking sound and the lens was cracked. I told her she’d crossed the line and that I was calling the police. I headed downstairs. She followed, grabbed my shirt collar and tried to rip it off.
I broke free, got my wallet and keys and headed to my car. I passed our son in the driveway and two of his friends who were spending the night. I drove to the police station, talked with an officer and told him what happened. I made a point to tell him I had it all recorded!
While he took my statement, my wife was blowing up my cell phone. Two patrol cars went to my house to check on her. They reported that the doors are open, but no one was answering. I followed yet another patrol car to the house to let them in. Our son brought his friends to the basement (smart kid).
I led the police upstairs to our bedroom where wife pretended to be asleep. Two officers spoke with her while the other stayed downstairs with me. She was belligerent, quite obviously drunk and accused me of lying. The officer told her he knew she was lying and that I recorded the entire incident.
That forced her to change tactics. She began telling them how horrible I am to her and other lies. After 10 minutes, they came downstairs and asked me to leave because she was drunk and couldn’t drive. I had no problem with that. The officer told me if she’d been sober he would’ve asked her to leave.
I followed the officer back to the station to finish writing my complaint. He showed me the report and asked if I want to press charges. I know I made a mistake, but I declined to press charges. That was stupid, I know. They told me a domestic abuse counselor would call to follow up with me. I went to my usual hotel for the night.
I went home the next day and she’d hidden the camera again. I asked her where she put it, she claimed she didn’t know. After a few minutes of this game, she went and got it. What that proved I have no idea! She went back to bed for a few hours, got up and wanted to ‘taaalllkkk.’
I told her she fucked up again. She tried to blame me for her recent crazy episode, saying she gets ‘angry’ because I’m ‘so distant.’ I held my ground and told her this is about her drinking problem, her abuse and her violence. I told her I wasn’t budging from our conversation 4 weeks ago, and wouldn’t not putting any effort into our relationship until she went into an alcohol rehab program.
She finally admitted she messed up and apologized. At this point, her apologies made no difference to me. I told her she’s incredibly lucky I didn’t press charges, that I’m not taking anymore of her shit and the fact I was willing to call the cops when our son’s friends were at our house showed how serious I am.
I contacted a lawyer the following day. I’m going to try to get an order of protection (OOP). The officer said it would be easy to do after what she did. Two take away points from this weekend: 1) I am so glad I had that digital audio recorder! 2) I should have pressed charges. I really didn’t do her any favors by not holding her accountable for her behavior.
10/24/2012. I had dinner with a friend after work and arrived home around 7pm. The house was quiet. Son was in the basement on the computer, wife was upstairs. I went to the living room to watch TV. She came downstairs and seemed to be slurring her words. She went out to the garage to smoke. I checked her secret hiding spot and found a fifth of vodka with about ¼ left in the bottle – so much for the rehab program she started 3 weeks ago!
I started playing Xbox, she wanted to ‘talk.’ I told her I was busy. She persisted, so I told her we’d ‘talk’ after I finished my game. I went to the bedroom. She was sitting on the bed with her laptop and a plastic cup with what appeared to be Pepsi.
She started telling me how much she loves me. I took a sip of her drink, proving what I already knew; there was vodka in it. I reminded her the order of protection forbids drinking in the house while our son is present. She tried to weasel her way out by saying I was out drinking, too. I am a grown adult male. I had 2 beers at dinner over an hour before I came home. I was far from drunk and would not do ANYTHING to jeopardize the court case.
Also, I did not drink in the house or around our son. She started making fun of the way I talk. I gave her an out and told her to stay in bed, sleep it off and not bother me. She started in on me again. I walked out of the room, closing the door behind me.
She started swearing at me and followed me out to the landing. I stood there and listened to her banter for a few minutes, until she started in on me again. I turned on my heel and started walking downstairs.
Suddenly I felt her kick me in the back! I grabbed onto the railing to steady myself, so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. I regained my balance, walked downstairs, pulled out my cell and dialed the police.
She started freaking out, begging me not to call the cops. I told her, “Fuck that. You have an OOP against you, you’ve been drinking and you assaulted me! I’m calling the police.” I called and they arrived within minutes.
I told the officer I have an OOP against her and what happened. Another officer walked in and they cuffed her. She started freaking out, making up lies about me and things I supposedly did to her. They paid her no mind and took her to the squad car.
I told my son that she broke the OOP, the police were taking her to the station and I would be back. He, of course, was not happy. On the way out, she actually accused me of molesting her adult daughter! WTF?!?! They are keeping her overnight and a judge will arraign her in the morning. So we’ll see what happens now, but I’ll bet that the judge in our divorce case will not look to kindly on her recent actions. Nor will her alcohol rehab!
As it turned out, the judge didn’t care. The judge ignored Gabu’s wife’s alcoholism and history of violence and gave her temporary primary custody, ordering her not to say anything disparaging to their son. Yeah, right, judge. Naturally, alcoholic BPD mom cranked up the alienation campaign, Gabu’s son still refuses to see him one year later and the impotent, incompetent, piece of shit legal system has enforced none of the court orders Gabu’s ex has violated. Must be that “benevolent sexism” we’ve heard so much about in recent days.
In His Own Words is an joint effort to help raise awareness about the invisible victims of domestic violence, men. If you would like to submit your story, please follow the guidelines at the end of this article.
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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