It’s sobering and humbling (even embarrassing) to realize how long I’ve been been processing and wrestling with the question:
Who is he?
Several years ago when I was first gaining awareness that abuse was a reality, I attempted to lay it out in words. This morning, I’ve tried several times to explain my feelings after reading my written words from back then, but each time it kept turning into another post for later. Instead of trying to explain how I feel about it now, or adding examples that have carried on since then, I’ll just leave it at my words from SEVERAL years ago. This never feels simple, but maybe one day it will all seem simple and clear. I’m forcing myself to look, and it feels like taking my fingers and forcibly peeling my eyelids open. It makes me feel tired and sad too. Here is my voice from the past:
I’m tempted to look at him totally in terms of black and white because it appeals to my emotions, inasmuch as it allows me to hurt, be angry, and vent without personal responsibility. Do I mean responsibility for his behavior? Not a chance. I mean for my choosing to be in the relationship, my choosing to put up with all the hellish parts of it, and my choosing to ‘let him’ treat me the way he has. The insanity of thinking over and over that this time my love would ‘fix’ him.
While I believe that many ‘normal’ things are done by my husband for bizarre, skewed, and unhealthy reasons, I don’t believe that it defines him in entirety. Who is my husband/abuser? Where is hope for him? What is his worth? I choose for God to have the last say because God knows I only want Him to answer those questions about ME.
Some examples of why I want to only be angry, but can’t.
He leaves me totally alone in the hospital after a birth with a serious hemorrhage. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow without passing out, and when I was finally able to pull the phone to me and call him (crying and begging), he refused to return to the hospital because he was ‘busy’.
He stayed up all night when two of the kids and I had food poisoning on a trip, cleaning up after us and taking care of us without complaining.
When I was away visiting my family, he jumped in the car at 4:00 a.m. and drove 600 miles quickly because I’d called from a hospital emergency room after rushing there with our (then) two year old because of a terrible asthma attack (his first).
He disconnected from me throughout an entire pregnancy, was cool and aloof from me for months, acting as though I wasn’t pregnant.
He changed diapers and patiently walked a baby with colic, even during the night, and still loved and adored the fussy baby.
A control freak with money, he’s made many bad choices financially, ignored my input and advice, gotten us into financial messes, and yelled at me and lectured when I asked for money for basic needs while splurging on himself.
He’s respectful and loving to my parents, agreeing with me to take over payment of some of their medical bills, paying close to five thousand dollars over a couple years time.
He’s cowardly as an abuser, and often allowed his family to treat me like crap without saying a word to defend me. He chose some of my lowest moments to rage and abuse, like when I developed a fever of 104 after one of our kids was born, and I’d just returned home from the emergency room.
He helped a stranger who was being robbed, chasing down the thief, even when a gun was pointed at him during the encounter.
He ruined my credit without my knowing, then forced us to move across country. During the trip, when he saw some psycho coming to my car in a threatening manner, he jumped out of his truck and ran towards me to scare him off.