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John's personal story

Nothing I ever did was good enough. She always told me I was pathetic, fat and lazy. She told me that I needed to find a better job if she was going to stick around. One day I asked her to please stop and she went into a rage and tried to hit me, just as her brother walked in. I grabbed her arms to protect myself and when she spotted her brother she started sobbing “stop hitting me”. Her brother knew the truth and offered some support, but she told our friends I was abusive and most of them wouldn't speak to me.

This sort of thing went on almost daily for 5 years but then things seemed to improve over a period of a few months. I thought “at last she knows how much I love her”. Then she walked in one day and said she was leaving me and had been having an affair with one of her brother's friends. She also took several thousand dollars – emptied out joint account – and said “this is my compensation for putting up with you”. I would see her from time to time in the small town we lived in and all she would do was to stop, point and laugh out loud, screwing with my mind long after she left me.

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