Abusing abuse, When the concept of abuse is used by a manipulator

Relationships are filled with abuse of one form or another and sometimes it’s hard to make out what actually is going on.

Sometimes there are clear cut cases mainly because the abuser is a narcissist and without investigating further its pretty obvious.

In some situations it’s so much harder to work out, especially if one part if the abuse cycle isn’t honest, self accountable or transparent.

Three years ago I was arrested for punching my wife in the face. So there at a high level I’m a domestic abuser and violent  Fine, I accept what I did wrong and I accept that the way I delt with the situation that lead to it was wrong.

For years my wife has been abusing our money. it’s a shared resource, its shared between me, her, and two children. Add in there are other entities in the ‘relationship’, bills, expenses, the roof over our head. So we look at it two ways, I see it as “ours” basically a shareing of our shared resource. She sees it as “mine” as in hers.

This causes a real mismatch in how money is handled for the good of all of us.

Just before the punch in the face, she’d got herself into a real financial mess and then dumped on me to fix. She was in full denial, just wouldn’t openly accept what she’d done and took no steps to fix it.

What an absolutely terrible person she is.

So she went along to a domestic violence victims group, where they gave her the space to convince herself that she was being financially abused by me because I was sorting out the problem she’d dumped on me. If I was wired differently I should have walked away from her problems, letting her sort them out. Instead, I placed myself in harms way.

I accept I did the wrong thing by punching her, I accept that the way I went about trying to sort stuff out looks like financial abuse. I’ve made so many mistakes over how I’ve managed this situation. It’s basically been down to wanting to do the right thing for all of us.

But all its done is to make me angrier because no matter what I do, we don’t do it together.

So here we are two toxic people together, now how do we clean up this toxic mess and create a environment that allows healthy behaviours to thrive?


Boxing day 4:30 pm

I write my blog mostly from my MotoG and I find they the stock Android 5 keyboard to be absolutely atrocious I guess I should install a better one, but anyway I digress.

There is no simple way to put it, things in my family are fucked. I know my wife is rehabbing and has made a commitment to stop drinking and even though shes on around 12 to 18 units a day at the moment, its still difficult. It still less than two months since she accepted help and is holding herself together.

I still have a knot of resentment which I need to get past. Frankly, we could have a long way still to go. The gravity of alcoholism could still, very easily drag us down. After her last bingeing session I gave up. I find it difficult holding myself together as all the effort I put into keeping us together seemed to be for nothing. I gave up.

Should I continue to give up, I ask myself frequently. Put it behind me or carry on as is. So here are my choices.

Up and leave, put it all behind me and have nothing to do with her and the children (they are becomming behaviorally quite difficult as they have no good role models).

Leave with the children and try to turn things around by myself for them

Or stay and value the changes and make sure they don’t get worse.

I know there are many combinations, not just the three above.

So, I could discuss the pros and cons of staying or going. but I am an optimist, I truely believe that if we choose to make it better it will become better.

For quite some time my wife chose drinking, which made our life worse. Now she’s in the process of reduction and management, I find myself in a pit of resentment and venom.

A few days ago, someone told me that anger is like trying to throw a hot coal. By holding it you damage yourself.

Well, actually that’s not quite right. You’re throwing that burning hot coal at someone to get rid of it, to get rid of the pain. No one ever chooses to have a burning hot coal dumped in their hand, but she did it to me with her drinking.

Anger is a burning coal, but more often thsn not, thst coal is dropped on you and suddenly you’re hurt. You flinch snd react and throw that coal right back from where it came.

Back and forth, this burning hot coal of anger, hate and resentment goes. At some point it must go out, the laws of entropy dictate that. But for something to burn as hot as the anger and pain of a relationship in distress, not only uses up the the lump of coal. It also burns up our personal energy and we’re left empty.

So where are we at? She’s suffering because of my venom and resentment. Frankly, it stems from having an alcoholic mother of my own. I realise now that I had a black hole in my memory. These a time period in my childhood from around 10 to 14 that I have no recollection of. But every time my wife got drunk in charge of the children, it triggered something in me.

I’ve recently been having these illuminating dreams where my mother replaces my wife and I realise that my fears (which results in anger) that come from my childhood are being replayed when I experience my wife drunk.

So I have to move forwards past this and stop putting my wife in a position where she can fall back on bad behaviours because I hold this knot of venom and bitterness.

I have to turn it around for everyones good. But I feel I want something in return. I followed through with many of her failed ideas, mostly against my better judgement… too often I found myself in a position of “I told you so”. This afternoon I listened to her pain. I accept that she’s holding her own pain as well as taking hurts from me.

I promised her I wouldn’t talk about it again for a few days, but I realise that I’ll end up using it as a weapon. When I do talk about our past and she says ” you always go on about it”, I’ll be able to go. Ha! I didn’t talk about it for x number of days. Not good, not good at all.

So I have to find some way to pour the black venom and bile down a drain and leave it be.

Also, there needs to be some way to put the energy back into the relationship, not just for me and not just for my wife but for the children too.

I’m not so sure this time, how to put some vigour back into things. Somehow we’lk fibd a way.

To be courageous, to be dauntless

When facing difficulty, peril or an unknown adds difficulty it’s better to be courageous and dauntless not fearless.

I’m entering a very scary unknown phase of my life, I’ve reached out to family, something I haven’t done in decades and I’ve had a brilliant experience.

But I didn’t reach out to my primary abusers, though, my mother, stepfather or unvle. My wife did, reach out to her primary abusers and of course she got the abusers response… It came with conditions, only if you do… Will we consider.

I knew if I contacted my immediate family it would come with conditions. Conditions I couldn’t even get close to achieving.

I feel for my wife, caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m not easy to live with by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve never made my love for her conditional.

It is what it is, I’ve done some bad things, but never emotional or psychological torment.

My life a flashback to a shit childhood.

I just read dome empty wankers post that triggered absolute guru in my. Its lucky he didn’t say it in a boozer because I would have hurt him and enjoyed doing it.

I had a really shit childhood one filled with violence and abuse. I ran away permanently when I was 14 it was Armistice Sunday, the day my step father came home from being in psychiatric hospital for paranoid schizophrenic delusions.

I rough sleeper for six months, I vividly remember Christmas, I’d dossed down in an office in a derelict wearhouse, sharing it with pigeons. I had a kerosene lamp, a packet of Jacobs crackers and a bottle of coke. It was shit, but better than being with my mother and step father. There we other rough times, I spent several nights in a public toilet near a train station pushing on the jot air hand dryer in order to get a bit warm.

February was pretty bad, I got gastric flu and I was kipping in an old brick shed, I can remember it raining and the floor becoming a huge puddle but I couldn’t move as I was so I’ll.

By May, I was so fucked up I went around yo a school mates house fit something. His mum opened the door and tried yo take me home, I can’t remember what my reaction was but she took me to my grandparents instead.

O know they had a difficult time with me, I was a disaster of a teenager, my grandmother said it took six months for me to stop looking like a whipped cur and saying sorry for everything.

Back at school, it was doubly shit one teacher said I was mist likely to end up in prison. Somehow, I changed determined never to be part of that shit life. I used my part time job money to pay for the minimum set of exams to get into the local Grammer school, I did and I got my A levels, and by hard work and interviews I got offers from two of the top five global universities (well that’s their current positions). Sadly, I couldn’t handle it and with in 8 months I was back on the street with a growing taste for brown. By this point I’d been stabbed three times and slashed with a Stanley knife. At dome point I bumped into my admissions tutor who helped me clean up and get back into Uni.

The next decade and a bit I steadily improved but I couldn’t make emotional attachments with people, a steady stream of one night stands and month long equivalents but no feelings just sex. And I was shockingly good at it, a charming sociopath.

I felt at home the violence of living rough, it was easy to cope with as I grew up with so much worse, just as with sex I was into fucking or fighting, I loved hurting hard men, lippy fuckers or groups of Bros who thought they were mensch.

In hindsight it was a shit life, so many geezers thinking I was the man because I was fucking birds and getting into rucks, I was the man. In hindsight it is a shit life.

But because of white male entitlement, in got a job in an investment bank, which I quit after a day because i couldn’t deal with it. Then in one of the top global tech companies.

So why did I get so furious over a little prick’s blog. Because he had the same shit attitude that my step father had. Oh and one final thing my mother was Vice President of European Client Accounts for Republic National Bank of New York and my step father before he went nuts was Senior Finance Officer for Ansbacher Investment Bank. So no matter what white western male entitled privilege wins out.

Anger; the dynamic between a non alcoholic man and an alcoholic woman.

I think that the stereotype roles that men and women are brought up with contribute in part to the dynamic between a couple where one has an alcohol problem. I can only speak for myself here and my perspectives of living with an alcoholic woman. To start with I think women have a pretty rough deal now-a-days. On one hand they have the role of nurturer as a mother, second they have the equality role. That doesn’t sound right but bear with me, this isn’t intended as a poster campaign for kitchen sink chains.

I feel a lie has been perpetuated in the work place, somehow someone somewhere came up with the spin that women are equal dibs employees with men. Not quite true if you look at the disparity between jobs and pay (my wife only has her current job because her employer – wouldn’t pay the extra £180 that the bloke was asking for). So women are undervalued in the workplace, at the same time a working mother gets dissed for working and not nurturing. Employers don’t generally let their employees have their cake and eat it.

From an early age women are encouraged to be the unspoken prop for the family, to do and not complain, to be passive and not assert you know feminine.

Men on the other hand are expected to be aggressive, assertive and well masculine.

Except, those stereotypes we grew up with are not a good model now. So, here I am, big, hairy, brutish, lump of a man, outspoken and confrontational. No where in my upbringing or secondary, tertiary or quaternary socialisation did any one suggest that I would be in the role of a nurturer a stay at home dad.

The same applies to my wife, she beats herself up about not being there for the children, the school beats her up with snotty comments on the few occasions that she picks up from school.

So here we are cast in gender roles but not in the gender roles, this I think accounts for the problems we have with alcohol, for me I’ve never unlearned an unconfrontational manner, my wife is a passive aggressive appeaser. If the tables were turned and I was the alcoholic, we would probably have a lot less problems and our children wouldn’t be on a child protection plan. Given our current natures, it would be better for me to be the alky as my wife would put up and shut up. I on the other hand cannot tolerate even the smallest alcoholic behaviour and of course, my language ends up being abusive, confrontational and aggressive when dealing with issues and problems.

I’m starting a parenting class soon and I’m now on a DVIP with therapist/counsellor/supervisor who I feel will very beneficial to me. It would be good if my wife could find the same for her alcohol addition but she’s not at the point where she feels change will benefit her.

Having said all, this I know there are many flaws in my statements which don’t stand up to scrutiny, but I think I might be on a road to something better.

Things are starting to get rotten again and I need some support.

This week has been shitty, we’re going in all the wrong directions. DW’s drinking is escalating as such we fuck more as it becomes a way for her to deflect from our bigger problems, which haven’t gone away but have become more manageable, but it’s a knife edge.

I don’t actually have to be part of her problems, I can walk away from them, we all have that capacity. Most of our problems, money etc. have her name on them, I walk out and I have no legal obligation to her debts, the house or even the children as I could be absolutely unreasonable and manipulate the situation to my own ends.

Not a very ethical or moral way to think. I think that a problem shared gives more support to the originator and gives some way to ease the path to a solution. I dunno what’s going on in my wife’s head at this moment, but I think we are seeing an escalation of her drinking and her madness.

But then we’re seeing an escalation of my control freakery and my madness. So we’re pretty much in a similar place, except I’ll be open and honest (that’s why I write this shit in an attempt to confront myself) and she’ll be closed and dishonest.

So now I confront myself, I am an abuser, I hit rockbottom this weekend, when I caught my elder daughter emotionally abusing her sister. Today I have yet another DVIP programme to start, god that makes me sound like a chronic abuser. Well I am, because so far I haven’t found an effective way to change myself.

But the change really has come from seeing my daughters behaviour, she has that from me, she’s mimicking me, she’s not even 9 years old.

This poor child is a victim of failures, I’ve asked organisations like Norwood for help, but they, like all organisations like this, whether jt’s police, social services, child services. They will only do something if a major crime has occurred. They are reactive reactionaries and it is a disgrace that so much of our tax money only serves to supply the punishment, not the support structures to prevent crimes occurring.

A good old stitch in time.

So today is the start of my journey to turn this around, I would love for my wife to join me hand in hand and enthusiastically commit to being part of the solution, in her small way she did last night by only drinking four pints and not getting totally shitfaced drunk.

Today, is a major acid test, Mondays are her traditional cant cope drinking day, we have a numbed of minor issues, such as getting the rent money together, hopefully she gets paid today.

A would love for her to participate in this blog, a way to brain dump without explicitly talking to me, she actually has full access and reads it from time to time.

I’m hoping that from today we start to see a bigger sea change than we have had. I don’t know why it got to this in the first place.

Does a good family relationship exist?

If you’re in a good relationship you won’t be asking that question. I wouldn’t say I’m in a bad relationship, but then I’m not in a good one either. I don’t actually have a vision of what a good relationship is, there weren’t any in my family. I can’t look to anyone to say to myself, “that’s good and that’s how it should be”

So I’m going to start this with the premise that I have nothing to compare to, nothing that says to me this is how it should be. I do have a yardstick of what I consider to be bad, my mother and stepfather and me.

I’m writing this because 72 weeks ago my family imploded, it’s been an uphill struggle to get something better back but half the time I don’t know what better is. The only thing I do know is that we take a couple of step forward and two steps back, never seaming to get anywhere.

Has our relationship ever been good? Well it is when we’ve been on holiday, we started as a “holiday romance” and when we go somewhere sunny, without an agenda it’s really good. I’m relaxed she’s relaxed and even with super young children it was good. Especially when you have to consider we had a really challenging time on one holiday.

Now that the children are older, but not old enough to be independent and we have a bit of a haul to school everyday. Things have become more contentious. Winter is coming and the horrible cold sleety rain that we get in London makes it harder doing the school run.

So let me try to construct what I think is a good family life. It’s basically a daily routine, we all wake after a good rested nights sleep (my wife and I suffer from different variations of insomnia), everyone gets themselves ready in a timely manner for the day and then we go off merrily to various places having a pleasant respectful day until we all reconvene together for family time before going off to bed and getting a rested nights sleep. Except, it doesn’t happen that way at all. Bluebirds don’t flutter around my head, there isn’t cheerful whistling in the background and no one doffs their hat with a cheery hello.

It’s more like the 1984 Apple advert, everyone drudges along, shackled to everyone else. I sometimes think (and I think this is true) that as I’m miserable I find misery, I make my family miserable and that in turn completes the misery circle.

What has happened is that I in particular and my family have become abusive to one another. I do believe that abuse perpetuates in family histories. My parents were abusive, my wife’s parents were abusive and in turn we are abusive, less so than what we had but the cycle isn’t breaking, more the circle is increasing. May be my daughters will be able to break the circle in their own families.

Yet in hindsight, I think I’m more abusive than my parents, as I get older I forget more and more what it was like for me and focus more on the damage I do. I do shout at and hit my wife and children, I would be furious if that happened to them by the hands of another, but I grew up with it. I experienced it and saw it as a child. I vowed I wouldn’t be like that yet I am.

So the first step is to stop the abusive behaviour. I’ve been circling around DVIP for a while and looking at the respect.org.uk stuff. I have been contacting helplines and talking things through, but each time I come away with the notion that I haven’t learnt anything because no one is actually giving tangible advice that you can work with and put into practice.

The common theme that  I see is “we will teach you how…” and “you will learn…” yet with a couple of programs I’ve done it always seems to be next time “jam tomorrow”. I want a set syllabus that clearly lays out a path to learn better behaviour, with tangible outcomes.

So perhaps what I need is self education, I am quite bright but that means nothing in an abuser, I’m self aware after the fact and often I can get myself away before the fact and prevent myself, but there are occasions when I fester and loose control.

One of the things that I have noticed is that I get this way when I can’t get family members to do things the way I think is fit. A classic controlling behaviour, it’s my way or you’ll all suffer. There are some things that have to be controlled I’ll be using this word a lot from now on), making my children cross the road safely, getting them home on time, protecting them from other adults. Those things do need to be controlled but not with a rod of iron, and the carrot has become a fail as I’ve bribed them too much.

On the other had, with my wife, we say dumb stupid things to each other that wind us too tight. Yesterdays issue started with discovering that my wife hadn’t dealt with a particular text. It annoyed me, why didn’t she do it when I asked? Yet, I’d passed the responsibility of dealing with it because I was scared to do something about it for fear of doing the wrong thing. So my fault, my responsibility.

That then lead to a later situation, where I felt my wife was sneering at me. Of late I’ve been feeling like a huge failure, I’m failing to control and manage the families money, I failing to sort out housing for us, both those things hang over us like the sword of Damocles, we have tenuous finances and a tenuous tenancy. They are very finely balanced and I get irate that I make poor financial choices, I then end up blaming my wife as she went along with my decision and didn’t make the right decision for me. That again stems from my childhood and early adulthood, when my grandmother made all my financial decisions for me and coerced me into complying with her.

Frankly, I realise that I would prefer to be controlled, the way my parents did with their violence and then with my grandmother who knew better.

On a separate note, one of the things I’ve realised as an abuser is the difficulty in going past admission to remission, the absence of the behaviours. Going back to what I said about getting help and that it often feels like, “we’ll give you the cure tomorrow” one of the difficulties is that if you expose yourself this way, then there is more negativity than constructive criticism flung in your direction. Hang him rather than rehabilitate him.

I never chose to be like this, in fact when I was younger and before children and marriage I vowed never to be like this. I sometimes wonder if it was the series of bad concussions I got five years ago as this abusive behaviour has only happened since then. If that is the case then that’s quite depressing as there would have to be a physiological repair as well as a psychological repair.

Anyway, we don’t like mitigation and rehabilitation do we, murders occur and people can’t see past a death penalty as a punishment. I’ve made mistakes and I’m willing to atone and make good on them it’s just that it is quite a struggle to do it for yourself.