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Jay's personal story

I am both an abuser and abused. I am an abuser because I shout at my wife. This happens regularly – out of frustration that I am called names, put down, told that every time I speak I am speaking bullsh** and lying.

It happens because my wife will ask me a question, I will attempt to answer and she will cut me off, again telling me I am lying or that I am wrong (because I don't agree with her perspective) so I get frustrated and angry.

It happens because I am tired of being called "damaged goods" (I was sexually, physically and mentally abused by my mother when I was a child), am tired of being called a dumb c**t, stupid f**k, an idiot, lazy, useless, incompetent and hopeless, and generally a waste of space.

I am an abuser because I "control" my wife by cooking meals, doing the weekly shopping, driving the car while she is in it and because, even though she has over a third of my take-home pay put directly into her bank account every fortnight, I won't give her control over my debit card as she sees fit.

I have even been told that she is "in command" and in control so I should seek her permission to fold "her" towels and sheets, to move her washing and even to fill the car with petrol.

I am dirty, messy, untidy, disorganised, and would be happy living in a pigsty. I am so filthy that I have to wash my hands thoroughly and change my clothes when I come home from work every night. I work in a professional position in a very clean environment. I am abused because I feel worthless, lack confidence in completing even basic tasks because I never quite get it right, I am not allowed to pat or feed our dog without permission. I have been allocated my own area of the house, and all of my things have been moved there. I am not allowed to even look into “her area” but she is able to take my things, rearrange them, move them or even throw them out if she desires.

I have done a lot in the past of which I am not proud – including forming friendships online (but never meeting or indulging in innuendo or sexual flirtations) and having an affair when we were separated for several months almost 15 years ago. These indiscretions came about because my wife would not let me touch her, withdrawing physically and emotionally for months or even years at a time. She would also spend long periods of time interstate looking after family members, leaving me to work full time and look after children. Being lonely is not an excuse, but it is an explanation.

I have not always been the perfect father or husband but I do my best. I rarely drink, I don't smoke and I don't gamble. I rarely go out unless to work or a family function, and very rarely spend money on myself.

I am abusive because my wife tells me I am. I am a victim of abuse for the same reason. I hate living.

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