It’s day 29 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for men and boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence. Christopher is married to an abusive alcoholic woman whom he suspects has borderline personality disorder.
Christopher, my advice to you is stop trying to protect and help her, and focus on protecting and helping yourself instead. Otherwise, she is likely to drag you down with her. You are very fortunate that the police believed you this time. They may not believe you the next time and there is almost always a next time with this type of abusive personality. Seriously, if you have no minor children with her, it’s time to GTFO.
I thought I could help an obviously troubled and deserving woman, but was blind to the difficulties my wife is presenting with her emotional life. I finally called the British Police who have been very helpful and have cautioned my wife about her violent behavior. I am leaving the relationship as I now realise I cannot help her with her probable BPD difficulties. Her preoccupations with issues of abuse and control are simply fear inducing.
Since our marriage, there have been a series of bizarre, impulsive and aggressive acts by “J” that have increasingly alarmed and concerned me. J has punched in the face for no reason when she is drunk. She also engages in other impulsive and aggressive behaviour. She called the police to accuse me of domestic violence in May 2012 only to retract it and admit I had done nothing upon their arrival.
In September 2012, J attacked me whilst was sleeping at 3am on a Sunday night before work. I was awakened by blows to my head, and J painfully grabbing and squeezing my testicles. This assault came completely out of the blue. J was drunk at the time, having stayed up drinking 3 bottles of wine that evening.
J pinned me against a shop front whilst I tried to walk her home early one Saturday evening. She punched me 7 times in the face and would not come home. She has also punched and kicked me in the street on other occasions when she is drunk and does not want to return home.
There have been various verbally abusive incidents over the years and threats to call the police to have me evicted or to change the locks and never let me back in the house. She has told many people, including our close friends, that she has the ” bruises” to prove she’s married to me. She has refused to answer requests regarding why she would say such spiteful untruths to my friends and our mutual friends who like both of us.
J has committed other sundry disturbing behaviours. She has asked to be taken to the train station in the middle of the night when we stay in hotels, actually packing her bags and going to the hotel foyer. She has suddenly run out of restaurants for no discernible reason. She has thrown friends out of our house on the coldest night of the year, necessitating they find other accommodations.
On June 6th 2013, we were to meet for a quick after work drink. After she was 20 minutes late, I rang her phone. She did not answer. I went to look for her and found her standing in the street kissing another man and being held by him. She was very drunk and wide-eyed. She claimed he was a long lost friend and that he had been away for a couple of years.
She later admitted this was a lie. She had been drinking in a local pub. He picked her up on the street and suggested they go drinking. She followed him. This was at 3pm in the afternoon on a work day. She became abusive to me, drunkenly told me it was ok, he had a family and they had not had sex. I left and drove home.
Once home, I became very panicked when it crossed my mind that this may not be the effects of alcohol, but a possible date rape drug. I went back and found her in the town centre with the same man standing by a bus stop. She became abusive again and then started to walk home. At home, she carried on drinking — refusing to talk about it and being very abusive.
She blamed the event on me, accusing me of being controlling and emotionally abusive. I caught her later that night having an extended conversation with him. She has subsequently changed the lock on her phone. She will not discuss the situation.
About 3 weeks prior, I noticed a change in her mood at home. I seemed to be filling notable silences with support and quips. I became more and more conscious of having to be there for her. She lost an ability to be affectionate and was noticeably quiet and withdrawn. She looked depressed and torn over some issue. She was made redundant in January by a major bank, but was about to begin a new care job she had always wanted.
Previously, I discovered a significant clinical history of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, including an unreported rape by an older man when she was 22. Her relationship with her mother is torturous and ambivalent. She has a history of using alcohol. She was drinking an average of 5 large glasses of wine every day, until I requested that she stop when I became alarmed by her subsequent aggressive mood swings.
After 4 or 5 glasses of wine, she undergoes a change and rages, runs off, lashes out and refuses to move, refuses to come home and commits physical assaults. It can take up to 12 hours for her mood to swing back again to that of a normal, calm and reasoned person. She never talks about these incidents, but rather talks over me when I try to have a reasonable discussion about them after they occur. She will not go to see a doctor with me. I am blamed for everything all the time.
I have become increasingly affected by her behaviour since the man in the street incident. I feel dumbfounded and very alone. She is now saying our marriage is over, and being very cruel about it. Requests by me to talk are met with sadistic, cold responses.
On 2nd September 2013, I was cooking when J appeared in the doorway carrying a pizza. She was drunk and immediately became verbally abusive and physical by using her body to push me into the work spaces whilst telling me I was ” horrible” and that she hated me. She told me I was fat, ugly, bald and useless. She pinched the fat on my stomach whilst repeating her words.
She is quite forceful and strong when in a state of animation and very intent to make it a physical and and verbal episode. I am very careful at these times to remain clam and deadpan, trying to say as little as possible and gently steer her away with validating statements.
After her assault in the kitchen, I walked into the front room to eat using a tray. J followed and tried to push the tray on to the sofa. I steadied the tray to protect the food and avoid a mess. J then sat on my thighs and pinned me down on the sofa with her body weight. She proceeded to spit abuse at me in a very angry and alarming fashion.
She kept saying I was fat, bald, ugly and useless. She said she used to love me, but I had let her down, was just like all the other men and that she hated me. She was very animated and had a red countenance. Her face was contorted and her eyes looked crazed. Her pupils were wide, probably from the alcohol, but she was really very frightening to behold.
I got up and took the plate to try to eat on the other sofa. She hit the plate and it fell on the ground. She pushed me back on the sofa and sat on my thighs again, screaming at me to pick up the plate. She picked up the fallen food of sausages and red sauce and started smearing it across my face whilst continuing to taunt me about being fat and ugly, simultaneously pinching my stomach.
The food went into my mouth, up my nose and over my shirt. She got up and shouted at me to pick up the remnants of the plate. I was really quite scared about J’s behaviour and demeanour. She then pinned me on the other sofa and started to taunt me sexually, saying in a strange, sing-song tone that she knew I wanted her, really wanted her, but could not have her and, indeed, would never have her again even if she wanted me. At this point I could no longer deny that J has profound mental health issues. This was the most alarming and disturbing incident I have experienced with J thus far.
I believed I was in the middle of a psychotic episode and feared for my safety. I was finally able to remove myself from her and went to the bedroom. J presented with a very aggressive and alarming state of mind. She followed me to the stairs and continued to taunt me, stating, “Who shall I call tonight? The police or social services? They always believe the woman!”
By this time, I was more afraid of J than the police. I told her I wanted the police in the house immediately. I was very scared by her actions. She ignored my request to call the police.
Then, one of my step daughter’s’ s friends unexpectedly came to the house to pick up a bag she left there a few nights before. J was surprised, looked at her and said, “Look at him” and motioned to me as if nothing was wrong. I told her her I was very alarmed and was going to call the police. The girl got her bag and left. J had her finger poised over the police button and said she would call and tell them all about me.
I called her bluff and told her to call. She called the police and started talking to someone. I said I needed to speak to them as I wanted them here immediately for my safety. She would not let me speak to them and hung up. I told her the police would come any way as the phone number would be traced to our house and they are duty bound to attend.
I then took the phone, rang the police back and asked, as a matter of urgency, that they attend us as I was very alarmed and had been advised by the Colchester mental health team to call the police should J’s behaviour ever scare or worry me. I told the police I feared for my safety.
I related the evening’s events to a PC and told them a little of our previous history. I also told them I believe that J is suffering form borderline personality disorder and that her alcohol use is only part of the real problem. They asked if I wanted J arrested that night, but I declined as I truly believe the best way forward is for J to have a clinical diagnosis and treatment for BPD.
I hope not pressing charges doesn’t end up costing Christopher his freedom or his life. Just because a person has BPD doesn’t mean they should be exempt from facing consequences for their criminal behavior. Fellas, if she commits a crime, do your level best to have her arrested. She can get “treatment” after she’s released from jail. You are not, I repeat NOT, helping a BPD or any abusive asshole, by protecting them from the natural consequences of their behavior. All you are doing is enabling them to abuse you some more. What’s more, BPDs often bite the hands that help them. If you have the option to have them arrested, check your chivalry and do it!
In His Own Words is an 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.
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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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Best Days Ahead says
It’s amazing to me how much these CB’s will push somehow knowing that they’ll always be able to get away with it. Sadly, it appears that the conditioning to take and take this abuse renders a man neutered when it comes time to actually enforce consequences. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way as well. Good luck Christopher! Get out as soon as you can. Even a diagnosis will just enable her to garner sympathy for it. She’ll also hold it over your head forever that you, her eternal tormentor, drove her crazy and will hold you directly liable for her diagnosis, not her behavior.
Itza Sekret says
Christopher- You (I) can’t save anyone. We don’t have the skills. We’re not getting paid for it. Even the pros don’t bring that work home with ’em. Save yourself man, don’t let her behavior become your intoxication.
Reading this blog, and related, pages is a great, free, education and ongoing reinforcement of lessons learned. It’s a -lot- easier now for me to pick up on a BP’s (initial) “poor little defenseless me” routine, or a narc’s I/me/my routine. And a -lot- easier for me to pick up on their solicitous, white knight seeking, eyelash batting glances. some will even tell you about the white knights in their lives (big red flag).
Now I can see why, when my ex pulled a “poor little me” in the (social) company of (unknown to her) a well practiced clinical psychologist… his response was…. “Awwww!!! Poor You!!!” I grinned quietly to myself.
Cousin Dave says
Sekret, that’s a great way of putting it. We men are problem solvers, and we tend to see Cluster B women as problems in need of solving. It’s our compassion to want to help, and it’s hardwired into our primitive brains to save women. But we have to admit there are some things we can’t do. We can’t lift the Empire State Building with our bare hands. We can’t walk through a lava pool and come out unscathed. And we can’t fix a Cluster B. The best therapists in the field, armed with the very latest research, have a near-zero success rate with Cluster B’s.
Christopher, pack a bag and leave her. Do it tonight. Leave, change your phone number, and don’t look back. You can’t solve her problems. You can only solve your problems.