Dan
Thursday, November 12, 2009
One in Three Campaign

We lost our first child at the age of 4 months. It was absolutely devastating. We both ended up being very angry people, furious actually enraged even.. at the Surgeon at the Health Systems misdiagnosis and all sorts of things.

My anger leaked out at work and on the sports field. Hers leaked out at home and in the relationship. Her fear of further loss calcified into extreme unrelenting jealousy which manifested itself with devastating false accusations and allegations - If a lingerie advertisement was on television I would be harassed and harangued for days on end. If I joked or laughed with another women be it a shop assistant or employees wife when they phoned I would be accused of having affairs and I would experience a tirade of abuse for weeks.

I would have to creep stealthily out of bed to go to work everyday so as to not wake her up. I could not go to bed early and if I did would be awoken and kept awake until the early hours going over and over why I might have been held up from work in a traffic jam and who I might have been perving at in the car alongside.

I was isolated entirely from my family and friends and yet was expected to be fully and overly involved with hers.

I was petrified to come home from work and would see her car in the drive and have to drive away and sit for an hour or so by myself to prepare for the likely barrage to come.

I lived in terror walking on eggshells around her for nigh on 20 years. I attempted suicide a number of times.

Thinking there was something inherently wrong with me I attended an anger management course and learnt lots of strategies to take responsibility for protecting our children from witnessing this violence and abuse.

On one occasion when taking time out appropriately she headlocked me from behind and held a chisel to my throat. The day I finally left, as I walked out the door she threw a knife at my back - luckily for me it hit sideways.

In therapy I have learned about replicating the abuse in my life I had experienced as a child and how I had partnered with someone who continued to shame me as had been done from early child hood by both my parents.

I have been blessed with opportunities to be able to address my own issues to become, as best I can be, a respectful, fully functioning human being. Unfortunately my former wife has not chosen to address her issues and has moved from relationship to relationship continuing her violence to men by throwing a boiling jug of water on one and taking a hammer to another.

The tears flood my eyes as I recall these events and yet somehow, some way, I have learnt to hold no bitterness towards her. She is our children's mum and I wish her all the best in her life.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
See website for complete article licensing information.