It’s day 6 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Mike shares some of his journal entries, which he used to document his highly likely Borderline Personality Disordered ex-wife’s abuse of him.
11/19/11: Our son went to a friend’s house at about 6pm so we were alone in the house. She makes the comment that we used to look forward to these times and would have sex. I agree and mention, yet again, that I would love to feel close to her again but I can’t because she treats me like a sub-human, and is sarcastic and condescending to me so I don’t feel that way. She then goes into this rant on how she just NEEDS to “GET FUCKED!”!
Strange. So we go around and around with her saying that I’m not close to her and with me stating that I can’t be as long as she continues to make fun of me when she gets upset, especially in front of the kids. But she can’t seem to grasp why that bothers me for some reason. And we spend the night going over the same damn things again and again and again and again and again. (Ah the familiar round and round of circular arguments.)
I made a recording of some of it on my laptop. I went up to bed at around 9:30 and guess that I didn’t say good night. She came stomping upstairs and starts ripping me a new one saying all kinds of crazy stuff. Slams the door on her way down stairs and you could hear her screaming throughout the house in her rage. A few minutes later she came back upstairs and quietly climbs into bed (tactic change!) She puts her arm over my chest and starts to snuggle with me. I’m like huh?!?!
I ask her to move over and she starts talking in that half crying voice saying that she NEEDS to be held. I again ask her to move over. She says the needs to be held line again. I tell her that although I want to hold her I think that would be rewarding her mean, dehumanizing behaviors towards me and gently lift her arm off of me. The next thing I know I am seeing stars, and then I realize that she had just swung in the dark and punched me in the eye. I pinned her down for fear of being struck again, then quickly packed a bag and yet again left for the good old Red Roof Inn.
11/20/11: Came home asked if she wanted to talk. Yet again I explained my position that I cannot and will not reach out to her because I have been burned by her behaviors so many times in the past. She had nothing to say so I went to read the paper in the kitchen, she comes in after a while and tells me that she feels inadequate compared to me. I’m good at my job, successful, etc. I say that it’s not a competition; it’s a partnership in a relationship. She gets a little miffed at that and states the IT IS a competition.
Then she goes on to tell me how nobody likes me because I am so obnoxious and sarcastic to everyone. She tells me how our son doesn’t like me also for those reasons. Then she goes on to say that she is not sure if she wants to be in this relationship and that she sought out someone else because I was not close to her. (Well DUH!) I yet again say that I can’t feel close to someone who belittles me when they get upset about ANYTHING.
I go to the grocery store and when I get back she makes the comment that she is so surprised and hurt that I have not reached out to her. I just say that since she is the one who said that she is not sure if she wants to be in this relationship that the onus is on her to make that move. She makes the comment that after I go out with my friends I am horny the next day. She said that proves I am gay. I tell her that it’s because I had a break from her and forgot what she was like for a little while. She replies that I should go fuck (my best friend) then in the same breath says I should go fuck my ex-girlfriend (from 20+ years ago), she knows that I want to.
Then she gets physical, she kicks the footstool at me; I push it back onto its legs. She grabs the pint glass of microbrew that I had just poured and throws it against the wall behind me; beer and glass now cover the area where our son plays his xbox. She makes joking comments about my manhood and penis size then grabs the glass coffee table attempting to throw it at me. I grab her and push her into the couch to stop her, then I go upstairs and dump her wine and the small bottle of Jack Daniels that she bought down the drain.
In retaliation, she dumped the other 5 of my microbrews. I watched to make sure she didn’t chug them as she has done in the past and go back downstairs. She comes back down and in between other nasty, mean and disgusting comments says that she did cheat on me. Then she went out to the garage to smoke. Later, I went out to make sure she didn’t do anything to my car or the overnight bag still in my car from the hotel last night. Nope, all secure except that she was rifling thru the ashtray in my car and left it open. Strange. When I came back in she is saying that I broke her toe in the scuffle over the glass coffee table and is suddenly hobbling and complaining about it.
After a few minutes she goes out and buys beer, I avoid her for the rest of the night. She does come to the foot of the stairs a few times to try and impress her “views” on me, which I ignore. At one point she is explicitly going off on how she wanted to be fucked. “Bent over the couch with a thumb up her ass!!”, she screams. (Our son’s bedroom door is right next to the basement door, so I’m sure that he heard that whole thing.)
At 9 pm I come up from the basement and watch some TV, and then at 10pm I try to fall asleep on the couch. At 10:15 she comes out and uses the bathroom, goes back to bed. At 10:30 she comes out, flips the hall lights on, uses the bathroom, comes out, deliberately stops to turn the bathroom fan on, leaves the lights on and goes back to bed. She knows that the bathroom fan drives me crazy and the light on game is also in her top 10 list of favorite little tortures for me.
I go upstairs and shut them both off. At 10:45 she is moaning and complaining very loudly (trying a new tactic out on me). I go offer her aspirin, she is looking for compassion (attention) but I have little because she was fine enough to go out and get beer for herself. I go back downstairs and she starts knocking loudly on the bedroom wall. I rush back upstairs as I think it’s rude and selfish of her to wake up our son, I offer to put a pillow under her foot, she starts ripping me a new one. I look her straight in the eye and tell her that she is indeed filled with pure evil. Then she starts in with her rant about how gay she thinks I am, I walk out and downstairs to get my coat, time for the hotel again.
She follows me out making these disgusting sounds with her mouth (simulating a BJ), and when I turn around to face her she is at the top of the stairs with a ceramic sconce taken off the wall in her hands raised up over her head and ready to throw down at me. I duck into to dining room as that would have easily killed me and get my coat/shoes on. She comes down and sees what I’m doing and says that I’m going to waste more money on a hotel again. (Enter yet another change in tactics!) She says that she’ll stop if I don’t go; I walk past her and go to the hotel arriving at about midnight. Glad that I planned ahead and packed some clothes in a bag in my car when she went out for beer.
11/21/11: I come home from work and she is sleeping in the bedroom, my son was watching TV. We hang out for a little while and I ask him if he’s in the mood for pizza, he excitedly agrees so I call. When I return to the house with the pizza she is now sitting on the couch. The first thing she barks at me is how we can’t afford to buy pizza. (Huh???) Then it’s how useless I am, can’t cook, can’t clean, etc. I ignore her and fix my plate for dinner.
She yells at our son that he is not to eat that pizza! So he just sits there on the couch. I bring my plate into the living room and quietly say to him that it’s ok for him to eat it as that’s dinner tonite. He gets up and heads into the kitchen, she barks that he should eat the goulash NOT PIZZA! He says to her that he had that for lunch and that he is having pizza, fixes his plate and goes into his room. She then starts laying into me about spending money and gets even more worked up when I mention how much money she is wasting on cigarettes and alcohol every day. She makes a grand proclamation that she is going to the store (meaning to get wine). I calmly tell her that if she comes back with alcohol I will dump it. She is all pissed off at that saying it’s not fair. “It is what it is”, I tell her. She leaves.
She comes back and is in a somber mood. (Enter another change in tactics.) We start talking and she admits that I am right and the drinking and smoking are not a good idea. She tells me that she doesn’t love me and hasn’t for a while. Also that she feels horrible and confused about that. We are having, what feels like, a heart to heart talk. She pours a glass of wine and we continue to talk.
She is starting to get emotional and is talking about the past. She is riding the ragged edge of lashing out at me but brings herself back several times. Then she does start laying into me, I don’t engage her as she is looking to get into an argument. I get up and go into the kitchen and she follows me. I put my plate into the dishwasher and walk past her on my way back to the couch, I turn around to see her grab a good sized candle and whip it at me.
It hits me in the back of the neck with a glancing blow. Angrily I ask her, “What are you doing?”, then sit on the couch and rub my neck. She then starts throwing things from the coffee table at me. First the pile of books, then the ceramic remote control holder bounced off my arms (which are up protecting my face) and smashes on the brick by the fireplace. I pull out my cell and dial the local police number and show her that with my thumb on the send button.
She comes at me with a vase and I push her onto the couch hitting SEND in the process. A second later I hear the dispatcher, put the phone to my ear and tell her what my wife was doing. She told me they were on their way. The wife then starts freaking out! “I can’t believe you called them, you need to tell them it was a mistake, help me clean up this mess before they get here!”. I just stand by the door silently waiting.
They arrive and come in to find her sitting calmly on the couch. One officer then asks me to step outside to talk. I tell him what has been going on tonite and over the weekend and how I’ve been at the hotel for the last 2 nights. Wife and I both said we didn’t want to press charges and I (stupidly) said I’d sleep at a friend’s house. I then left for my friend’s house. She txt’d me in the morning saying that she loves me and is sorry about what happened. That she just wants me to be happy.
In His Own Words/In Her 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.
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
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I’m no expert or professional mental health worker, but can comment on similarities to my experiences. I experienced the mood swings and manipulation. It’s tough (understatement). Going to a motel to sleep may hurt you in the long run. Makes it look like you are willing to leave and leave your son with her. When you have to call the police and then don’t press charges, it may hurt later. If going through a divorce and the judge asks if this is a recurring thing, without any paper trail or getting police involved you may have nothing. I thought the same thing – it was for the kids. Let me tell you, she suddenly grabbed the kids, went to a shelter and told the shelter I was abusing them. Believe me, that is way worse for the kids. and it’s still been rough, and I can’t do as much for them.
Everyone of these stories gives me a little déjà vu, well written, despite differences all these stories have a pattern.
All men should be taught the red flags and escape and evasion techniques.
Been there done that. PHD traits combined with alcohol = a time bomb so get ready.
Any advice or future articles/shows on recovery Dr. Tara? 2+ years out and I find myself terrified of closeness with a woman. Think I repel them sadly.
Dr. T, your site has been extremely helpful; I just wish I saw it years ago. I’ve read all your posts more than once and have one question. Where can we find strategies for dealing with these types of people? My ex is diagnosed BPD, alcoholic and possibly bipolar too. So far, I’ve been subjected to false allegations (complete with arrest), loss of custody in family court, alienation and everything possible to get more financial support. As for me, I can’t work like I used to (due to arrest), am making less, and am going broke.