so, here is a quick (or maybe not) glimpse into my typical weekend with my abusive husband. on the outside, it probably seems pretty inane and nothing much, but to someone who has been and is being abused, it takes on new meaning.
friday night, he was going to get off work at 4:00, i thought. so i began making dinner later than usual, so that we could eat together. but, he didn’t get home until 5:30. not sure why. he never said, and i didn’t really care enough to ask. he immediately went downstairs to play some call of duty.
dinner is ready, he eats quick and then leaves for a poker night at a friend’s house. i ask how long he will be gone. “not too long” is the reply.
evening moves along fine. it’s always better when we can just do our own thing and not have him around to dictate what we will do with our evening.
at bedtime, i get the kids to bed, and sit in bed watching tv. at 10:30, i finally decide to go to bed, since he is obviously not going to be home in “not too long”.
now, when he goes out with friends, it’s a toss up. he will either come home soon, because there wasn’t a lot going on, or he will stay way longer than he says he will, and ends up coming home, drunk, wakes me up, makes a lot of noise, tries to either talk to me, or get me to have sex, then passes out.
this time, i was pleasantly surprised that he was not totally drunk, only just enough to get a DUI, but not falling down. he did, however, wake me up by turning on the light, talking to me, telling me all the money he won, etc. though it was 1:30 a.m. by this time, he went downstairs to play call of duty again.
saturday morning, we had planned to go with our son to pick out a birthday gift for his birthday. the night before, while he was keeping me awake with his talking, he said we could leave around 10:00. i woke up around 8:00 with the kids, and he slept in until 10:30. then he showered and then got on the computer while i got the kids all ready. we went out to eat, which was nice, but then we went to costco and kohl’s, where he dragged us all over the stores while they were tired and just wanted to go home. this is very typical of him. we stay until he is ready to go, never mind if the rest of us want to leave.
at costco, he was upset at me for buying a soda (i had to take medecine, and i need more than a sip at the drinking fountain). he was also upset that i bought some socks for my daughter and i to share, probably because i just said “i’m going to get these” as opposed to “can i get these?”
at kohl’s i was trying to get our daughter a coat, and while he originally balked at buying one for $70, he ended up getting it, because he had a 30% off coupon, which he didn’t originally tell me about. if i had known, i would probably have tried to buy more, which i’m sure is why he didn’t tell me.
after we got home, my daughters wanted to go to the shoe store to look for boots for winter. we went to the store, and they were sold out of the ones they wanted, but we bought some other stuff, and he was grumpy when we got home. then he went downstairs to watch football, where he stayed all evening, until the kids went to bed. then he played more call of duty.
sunday, i got up with the kids while he slept in a little. then, he showered and went downstairs to watch football. my daughter had an open house for school, so we went there and he stayed home with the kids, made them lunch, and got my baby to sleep. after the open house, he had asked if we could go to the store. so, i got home, and he asked me how much i paid, what was the sale, weren’t there any chips? he badgered me so much, i finally said “i get it, i know what i’m doing!”, and then he looked surprised, like i would have any reason to snap at him.
when it was time for church (went to 5:30 mass), he waited until about twenty minutes before we were going to leave to come upstairs and then i had to help everyone get ready while he got himself ready. then yelled at everyone for being so slow, and not being ready on time.
that evening, i was upstairs with the baby, folding clothes, doing dishes, etc. he came upstairs to ask if he has any work clothes clean. i said, “i don’t know, i don’t think i washed any” and he started a load of laundry. later, he complained that the load of clean clothes he had my 8yo bring upstairs was now going to be wrinkled, because it wasn’t folded. of course, if he had just folded it himself, it would have been fine. but now it’s my son’s fault, i guess.
then, at bed time for the kids, rather than help me upstairs get them to sleep, he feels like he is helping out by letting my 8 and 10 year olds fall asleep downstairs, while he watches football. so, they didn’t brush their teeth, change their clothes, and my 8 year old ended up sleeping on the floor because he was too tired to get in his own bed. but “it’s ok” because they were still asleep by 9:00.
at 9:30, when i am trying to get ready for bed, he comes upstairs, gets in bed, and starts using my kindle, which he bought me for Christmas two years ago, but uses more than i do. so, i have to get myself ready for bed, then my baby (he sleeps with us) ready, all while he is looking up his fantasy football stuff, or trying to find deals on black friday shopping.
now, on the outside, this is probably not that big of a deal. he relaxed (he deserved it, right? he worked all week), got to sleep in, went out to eat, did some shopping, watched some football. no biggie. how is this abusive? he’s just taking a well deserved weekend off.
it’s abusive because:
–he spent the entire weekend not talking to me pretty much except when he was drunk, or telling me what i did wrong, or talking about sports, using the silent treatment on me.
–he didn’t do more than a load of laundry and make lunch for the kids the entire weekend. he did spend a few minutes on saturday helping to pick up the upstairs, then he sat on the couch reading the newspaper while the rest of us finished up, using his idea of male privilege.
–he asked me to do the shopping, then belittled how i handled it.
–keeping me awake to talk is a typical torture technique of abusers.
—refusing to be pleased is also typical. nothing we do is ever right, just because it’s not his way.
–telling me he is “helping” me, while doing just enough to get by, then when i tell him i need his help, he says “i am helping, what more do i have to do?”, which is a form of domestic slavery.
Each behaviour, when looked at separately, could seem justifiable. Each singular behaviour could look like something minor. Each behaviour on its own could appear that the woman provoked it. Just one of these behaviours viewed from the outside — out of context — could appear like he was just having a bad day.
However, look at this short list in its entirety. Now consider this mass of behaviours as a systematic pattern. Also know that women who are subjected to this pattern of abuse and control experience MANY of these tactics — every day, every week, every month, every year — for years and years. Then ask yourself if you think this systematic pattern of power and control is about the man just having a bad day. Or is there a campaign (whether it is conscious or not) to win at all costs and to maintain power and control?—http://speakoutloud.net/intimate-partner-abuse/male-perpetrators-domestic-violence/mens-tactics