Re Duced's personal story
Friday, October 9, 2015
One in Three Campaign

PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ONLY VIOLENCE

Female violence does NOT have to result in physical black eyes to be significant. It's a shame most stories you hear are of that extreme. Here is a different one.

PART 1 - the in-relationship violence

It began as a mistake. On us getting together a friend of hers told me, "just don't let her get angry with you" and shuddered. I laughed. I'm attracted to strong women, it's cool. If you're into astrology, which I'm not, I'm an Aries, she a Scorpio. An astrologer enthusiast said to me, "oh my, you must have some terrible fights". Indeed.

Verbal interrogation and control with the most explosive temper I have ever witnessed by far, were her modus operandi. Shouting tantrums were childlike, and she'd never back down, no way. After a while it became habitual, a constant. She got physical too, throwing objects at you her favourite weapon, and became a common event when her tantrums became tornado like, hard objects, not teddy bears, a glass smashing inches away from your head against the wall; once a full blown punch to the stomach swinging out of her rage; pulling the handbrake on at 100km/hr on the highway as the passenger as she's screaming her lungs out. After we split, death threats, a phone call telling me she's going to send some thugs she knows to beat the crap out of me with baseball bats; and realities, sending friends of hers to break into my house while I was away to take the fridge and washer and leave meat to rot all over the bench for my return.

I'd not experienced such violence in my upbringing. I grew up in a peaceful household and outside that had only ever witnessed a few people getting the shits type thing, including myself. This was a whole new level and I found it very disturbing, but tried to put on the brave face.

Causes of her anger I accept some responsibility, if not a lot of it. Much of her anger was sex based. She always wanted sex. I didn't. What I was doing in a relationship with someone who didn't arouse me I have no idea and accept the blame for it. For the first time in my life, I couldn't actually get an erection.

I find anger very unattractive and it made the problem even worse. She tried to be understanding at first, but eventually she started intimidating and taunting me that I was a sexual failure, that my penis was pathetic anyway. She even called my very non sex oriented mother up to tell her I was sexually inadequate, adding that I wont talk about it to her without getting violent. What? A psychological tactic of hers, spread dirt quickly.

Her favourite intimidation was her threatening to call the police and claim abuse. My method of handling her constant interrogation, harassment and verbal shouting, was to remain calm and not fire back. I'd discuss the issue, but remain calm in the face of her serious aggression. She'd just push it and shout. To her 100 shouting tirades, I'd reply with shouting back in defence one time. I could exaggerate but I'm not. As soon as I did shout back, she'd call the police. I had to grab the phone to stop it - which she called first rate abuse. It made me very uncomfortable and she knew it, so used it regularly, including when I disobeyed orders. One time she demanded sex. I had a serious back condition giving me acute pain, I said no, she ordered me to the couch, to which I refused, no shouting, and she'd do the call the police routine. I went to the couch.

I thought no meant no? And all this coming from a feminist? Wasn't the right to say no to sex a feminist war cry?

That's just a select few categories of her intimidation and violence. I could go on and on. It was daily, weekly, monthly. I was living in hell, scared to get out of bed in the morning for fear of the shouting that would confront today. I began to physically feel nerves tingling, endless nausea, and walked on egg shells, would extend work, stop at a McDonalds on the way home, checking the clock realising Ive been there 3 hours reading the paper, just to not go home. Being late you'd cop it sweet and sleep on the couch.

I'm no angel, I don't intend to portray me as such. For starters I'm a very unromantic partner, socially inadequate, hardly your prince charming, which she demanded. But yes I have a temper. I have anger. We all do. Though I generally control it, especially when in the face of a real aggressor. They intimidate me and I'll speak my mind less than I do with a weaker person. But I reach a point, that 1 in 100 times where I'll retaliate. When I get verbal I can really cut. I was beginning to lose patience with her attacks, fuck this shit, raising my voice in retaliation. You do this, you begin to copy the behaviour, it works for her, why don't I give it a try? Even throwing objects like the remote control I gave a try, but never at her, more childish tantrum like.

After an attack lasting for hours one night, I told her in anger to get out. You can't live under that violence, you just can't, and a child shouldn't have to see it, and he was beginning to. Including mine. Enough.

Part 2 - Use the child as a weapon, and really squash him, subtle violence.

To cut a long story short, she told everyone I was a violent abusive man. In mediation, she refused to allow me unsupervised access to my child, insisting I'm watched by her mother at her mother's place, some 6 hours return travel. It was a very uncomfortable, difficult and humiliating position. She claimed I was a danger to my child's safety. They believe that without any question. She cried just at the right times.

I swallowed it and did it. The most important thing being the child. After 12 months of tolerating this untenable torture perfectly, I insisted more freedom, which was refused, apart from a very small unreasonable window during the day with all sorts of conditions. She added assurance this would continue for at least another 5 years. The mediator sat in silence. He was highly incompetent at dealing with an overbearing woman.

On my first very brief excursion with him solo, a walk up town, she called me repetitively, threatening to call the police, that I was about to abduct him, all this hysteria. I was now 15 minutes late home for the strict deadline, running the last few hundred metres in fear. The mother in law was bitching to the ex on the phone about it as I entered.

It was very frustrating and I'd had enough. I threw my coat, robustly, onto the couch and said sternly but controlled, "I've had enough of this, you need to start treating me with respect, do you understand?"

She was no shrinking violet and told me the only way I could be treated with any respect was "if I paid more money".

I was insulted and infuriated, I'm actually very poor under large financial stress, and gave her a verbal spray. She stood up to me and argued back, which urged me on, and yep, I gave her a verbal spray, swear words and all. They'd hurt me with this nonsense revenge, intentionally, and I now wanted to hurt her. I left the scene in anger. I never physically intimated her once, I'm not that type.

But I'd taken the bait.

I road my bike down the highway at 240 km/hr and didn't give a damn if I got caught. I'm an experienced rider, skilled, and at that speed they wont catch you anyway, and I'd be in for the chase in any case. I was so upset. I knew that was it.

I called mediation and asked for another session, to rework this untenable situation. She refused any more sessions. There's nothing you can now do but go to court. I can't afford that.

6 weeks later, I was served with an AVO, claiming they were terrified to sleep at night, claiming a violent relationship, her as sweet little victim. 6 weeks later? Surely I'd have done the violence by now?

With 2 women crying and testifying in court that I'm a violent male, I figured I had no chance. I was deeply depressed and disturbed. To be accused of violence by someone who actually is highly violent, was too much irony to deal with.

I actually went insane; my hair long and unkempt; body unfed; no appetite; jeans hanging loose from protruding hips. A terrible sight. The sun had no heating effect on my body lying in it after waking at noon everyday. I felt like a vampire, without soul.

Friends wanted to know nothing about it. They're progressive pro-feminist male wary types, as I always was too. If a man is accused of violence to these types, you are violent, period. Other male friends are the opposite, 'women are just bitches' types. No intellectual stimulation there, but it was something at least, though empty.

If a court did pass an AVO on me with my being there, I feared I would not be able to mentally handle that. I didn't go.

All very foolish, but this is what trauma does to you. If they did give me an AVO in my presence, I had visions of riding my motorcycle into a truck after the court case. I was so upset. I loved my child and he me, and cried hopelessly watching videos of me making him laugh. I desperately wanted to be with him. But wiser to save my life and come back later.

The AVO was for 2 years, and after that separation, I couldn't go back to make contact. Too scared and intimidated, still am. There would and will be trouble. This woman knows exactly what to do and which strings to pull, a master of domestic violence. She would definitely have put the child against me by now, claiming victim of abuse. I believe she has a fantasy for it. I can't bear the thought of it. All I know is she's moved away and I have no idea where my child is and I'm not allowed to find out.

Worst of all is, now, after not going back, I'm the one to blame, and everyone tells you that - if you can get anyone to talk about it. I did lose my temper, and didn't go back. All else is irrelevant. She's played it brilliantly, I played it terribly. My child, that beautiful little boy I made laugh so hard, loses.

Domestic violence is deeply disturbing, especially the mental kind. I kind of wish she was just physically violent, it would be much easier to explain and deal with, oddly enough.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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