It was never enough; until it became enough!

20 12 2010

It’s increasingly becoming clearer that a sign of abuse is that no matter what someone does, it is never enough. Not only is it never enough; it rarely if ever is good enough.

It was my own experience that rarely could I ever do enough. When I become sick and started to regain enough strength to start to mow the lawn; it wasn’t good enough that I was trying to mow; although it would take me three days to finish it. If I mowed the front; I would be criticised as to why I hadn’t finished the back. Or if I did the back; it would be why the edges were not done. The term “A real man would do more…” would always accompany those criticisms.

I started to do some basic work for a business at that rented an upstairs room at church. Basically it meant sitting down and putting some equipment together. Slowly and awkwardly I would do so. My co-ordination not the best. Often I would fall asleep in the chair; or drop tools and pieces as my hands started to shake uncontrollably.

I appreciated this time which was more beneficially to me on a social basis then it was on an economic level. One day I arrived and found no one was downstairs in the church office nor upstairs in the business area where I worked.

On my way down the stairs I slipped and slid down the stairs. I was reminded of the time I had collapsed at work and it had taken an hour and a half before someone found me. It also reminded me that I was being silly for trying to negotiate stairs with a walking stick and with the mobility and balance problems that I had. This incident shook me up pretty badly and in the interests of personal safety I decided not to continue doing what I had been doing.

I was told by my ex wife that that wasn’t a good excuse to stop and that the wife of the business partner also agreed with her. Of course I believed her at the time. In hindsight I now believe that she had lied about what this persons wife had said.

It was nearly 6 – 8 months after I came home from hospital that my GP put me on prednisone to help control the affects of asthma. The steroid helped me to feel stronger and I self medicated myself to 30 – 40 mg every 2 days.

During this time I started to do some plodding work for some friends on their hobby farm. I was able to paint their fence with sump oil. Do some basic fence repairs. They also drew on my past experience working with animals to show them how to ear tag, drench; and castrate the young calves and goats.

I would normally have enough steam to plodder along for about an hour and then have at least an 1/2 hour break before getting back to it. After 3 hours I was totally exhausted and I would have to stop on the way home for a sleep in the car.

I would normally go there once or twice a week. I enjoyed my time there and appreciated the help that was given to me. One particular day when I came home dead on my feet and totally exhausted my ex wife greeted me at the door; her hand held out for the money and said to me “…Your not doing enough; you never do enough… you have to do more…”

. These words killed me inside. They totally dried me up and internally I died. It was soon after that experience that the specialist found out I was self medicating on prednisone and she had a metaphorical fit at me for doing so; ordering me to slowly wean myself off it.

In doing this my strength waned and my endurance fell back to what it was before and I found my health back to what it had been previously.

There came a time when I head those words That a real man would do more, combined with the words you don’t do enough! too many times. And one day enough did become enough and because enough was enough; I told her I was going to divorce her… which is a topic for another day….

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Allowing children to be children

27 09 2010

Continuing from my previous post on wrongful diagnosis, I met with my son’s specialist this Friday. He showed me some paper work between he and the School asking if I had seen it? I replied “NO that I hadn’t”

I discussed with him the issues of the medication he had placed my son on regarding a push from the school and my ex wife. Again I mentioned about how my wife who is a youth officer and my mother in law who is a youth career both haven’t seen any indication of Asperger’s or Austism with my son and he agreed that he didn’t think he had it either.

He did say though that he had him on the lowest medication and thought it would be good for him to be on for 12 months as it would help him stabilise his anger and develop some better behaviour controls. During our discussion he said he was totally happy with my not giving my son this medication during the week I had with him for the School Holidays, but it would be a good idea to continue it over the weekends I had him.

We spoke about counselling, to which he said that is a great idea if you are able to take him.

What a bun fight this turned out to be… I picked the boys up on Friday afternoon. Took them to their grandmothers and then home… I had to discipline the boys for fighting at home and their mum rings them up… to which when I spoke to her she called me a liar for seeing the doctor etc..I hung up on her.

My oldest son (11) became angry, telling me that I was lying about seeing the doctor. That he knew my bro had these problems and I knew nothing about it at all. His mother had told him to make sure I gave his brother his medication no matter what…

A few weeks ago I said to my son, “Son, I know your angry and its better to get it out then leave it in, so be angry with me” and boy did he let me have it. … Which was OK, better he gets it out then to allow it to boil and eat away at you.

My ex rang the coppers, had the coppers come out to check on us for apparently abusing the boys on the Friday night. The police spoke to us both, I told them what had happened and they said…sorry to disturb you…

The next day my son was still angry and wanted to go home… I was happy for him to go home…but would have preferred him to stay for the week and work out his issues with Dad…meanwhile mum is constantly on the phone to him encouraging him to come home…. I get a phone call from the police again telling me my ex was at the station demanding they help her get her son back… when I told the Constable that we did have a argument and I thought it better he stay with me to work through the issue… the Constable replied; “You have that right, its your agreed week to have your sons and we can’t get involved”

15minutes later she is on the door banging to be allowed in and because of past experiences I kept the door locked and told her no! Her words of advice to my son were… Ring 000 and tell them your big bad daddy is hitting you and you need to get away….

Lucky my wife came home and my ex stopped her intimidation. We both spoke to my son and let him go back with mum…to her disgust my other son decided to go home with her and she abused us about how was she going to look after both boys as she was supposed to be working.

A couple of huge issues came out of the event.

  1. I spoke to my ex about the need for the oldest to have counselling…She said he is having it and she is sitting in the room while he has it… How on earth can a young boy starting in his teenage years have counselling about all the issues at home, the separation and what is going on for him while his mum is sitting with him?
  2. The constant undermining of my position of the boys dad and the destabilising effect this has on my boys in doing so. My son should never have been given the responsibility of his brothers medications…as the policeman told him on Friday night… allow your mum and dad to be parents and you enjoy being a boy.
  3. I see a double whammy here though in that he is going to a fortnightly after school support group for kids with disabled siblings. Its being reinforced to him that his brother is disabled, and through his eyes I am a liar about him not being so.
  4. During my sons outpouring of his anger he spoke of how mum tells him every thing and that all I want to do is cause problems for her and so he isn’t allowed to nor will he tell me what mum says….This is a continual problem with my ex and my boys. I have written before about how her having adult conversations with the boys has caused problems where I have had to pick on son up from school because what she told him was making him feel sick.

Yesterday at church as we shared this story with our pastor and he said… “Huge kick in the nuts” and that is what it is…not only for me but for my boys as well….





Been approached with an offer to help

8 06 2010

I have felt a bit down today. I have found it hard to get things done and wondering if I am suffering some form of Post Traumatic Stress. I have a few assignments to finish before Thursday and am really struggling putting them together.

I received a email from another organisation tonight which really was a great encouragement to me. They made the offer to help me\ to contact the NSW Police Department about the information they offer on their website about Domestic Abuse.. you can read my post on that here

I don’t want to say too much about who offered to help me yet until I have spoken more to them about it and I have their permission. What I can say though is a very public thank you… you have no idea how much your email tonight really encouraged me. ….. then again…. perhaps you do!





Fortified defences / How I responded

1 06 2010

So far in my posts I have spoken about whats been happening to me. I think its important for me to write about the ways I responded to my situation. There are times when I struggle with the way I acted and responded to my wifes actions. And there are times when I will feel a weight of guilt and shame rise up within me that indeed the way I responded made my wife do what she did.

It came to the point where I was no longer able to sit down and talk with my wife for more than a few minutes. I feared what was going to come out of her mouth. When she would shout or call me names I would turn my back and walk away from her.

The study become my man’s shed. It became my place of refuge. There in peace I could listen to music. I could sleep in my chair. I could write. I could read. I could pray. When I was  housebound from my disability it was the place where I could interact with the world through the internet.

When the violence escalated I would put my hand out like a stop sign saying, “If you don’t stop I will ring the police and have you charged. This would settle the situation down a little, causing her to retort to me about being a snivelling snitch who needed to run to the police.

After I had been punched in the head I felt physically sick in her presence. If I went out I would not want to come home. It seemed that no one wanted to listen to me or were willing to listen to me. Inside I craved a kind word. A kind touch. A kind gesture.

Because of my health limitations I would often be bored and started to play poker on the internet. Never for money though. I started to talk to people and meet others on the net through forums such as Face Book and other forums. This to some extent started to meet my basic needs for human acceptance. Because of my broken spirit, I started to turn to anyone who offered me a kind word. I found people on the internet who would listen to my heart ache.

There were a couple of people who I met for coffee whom I had met on the net. Over the years I have met people through various forums and have made some good friends from these meetings. The first of these coffee meetings happened a few months before I separated. None of my coffee meetings were sexual in nature nor were they a start to any affair.

I did meet one girl on the net who did like me and I did like her.  I quickly realised that it wasn’t possible, practical nor sustainable.  A marriage counsellor asked my ex and I to do some homework by writing a letter to each other, but not to give this letter to each other…nor were we to read each others letter. I started to write a letter to my wife telling her how she was destroying me. How her actions were causing me to hate her…

It was too much for me to write these things and on the next page I started to write a letter to this other girl whom I spoke about above. I wrote about how her kindness affected me and how I wanted to be her  man. There were a few more things I wrote on each page…but I can’t remember. What I do know is the things I wrote  on the second page was actually the things I wanted to say to my wife. I wanted to tell my wife that I wanted her to the woman in my life. I wanted to  say how much I appreciated her words. How much I appreciated her kindness….these were things I wanted to say and needed to say. The reality though I wasn’t able to say those things.

I tried to set up tape recorder to record my wifes behaviour, often saying to her can you speak up more louder for the tape…holding a microphone up in my hand …she would storm out away from me and it became a way for me to feel safe, a self-defence mechanism.

When my wife disconnected the internet, I had to ring my bro on his mobile as I used to chat to him on the internet. As I was calling him she said that she was going to cancel the house phone and just use her mobile phone because I had no right to use the phone because I wasn’t working and paying the bills. …. I had no money, had no mobile phone and had no way to contact others.. She snarled at me saying…whats the matter can’t you survive without being able to be contactable…

Up till that point I had walked away and tried not to respond to her attacks. Deep anger rose up in me and I threw the phone to the floor.  I grabbed her phone and took the battery from it and she reacted saying give me my battery back, this is my life line. I didn’t and she attacked me tearing my shirt from me, hitting me. She then threatened that if I didn’t give her battery back to her she would destroy my computer, destroy my writings and rip up my books.

I stood in front of the study where she attacked me again telling me to get out-of-the-way. I was able to restrain her and somehow move her more into the center of the room. Then I was bitten on the wrist to the bone. I pushed her away from me and she fell onto the couch hitting her face while doing so.

It was then she rang the police telling them I had abused her. They came and eventually asked me if I wanted to charge her for abuse. I said no, and they advised me to move out, which I did.Into the back of my van for a several weeks.

When i moved in with my brother, she would ring there abusing me and I would hang the phone up on her. Whenever she would yell, shout, criticize etc I would hang up on her. This action caused her to be more angry with me.

While living at my brothers I had access to my boys. I lived across from the school and would pick them up most days. On the days I would pick them up for them to stay with me she would force herself into the house and make the kids change from their school uniform into other clothes. She would say things like…I’m doing this for the kids sake because you don’t know how to look after them properly… in the end I had to tell her… you cannot come in her any more…if you do I will ring the police and have you charge with assault and trespass.

I still don’t feel safe in her presence. At our last mediation session I told her that I do not feel safe in her presence. While the facilitator’s back was turned away from us as he wrote on the white board, she smiled at me making a gesture of playing a violin. I said to her, I find your actions very abusive and as the facilitator turned to us she stopped doing what she was doing and pretended to do some reading.

I often question myself asking if what I did cause the abuse?  Was it a natural reaction to what was going on around me? Could I have reacted in other ways? Were there other coping strategies that I could have put into place instead of the ones I did?

The questions I ask others who tell me I did the wrong thing and made the wrong choices is “What would you have done if you were in my shoes”?





When is the truth not the truth?

20 05 2010

Its been interesting to read what information is out there regarding domestic abuse from official websites.

The department of community services in NSW Australia have nothing…not a thing to help men who may be going through an abusive time. On the NSW Police force’s website on its section about domestic abuse it begins with saying that men are more often the perpeptuators of voilence in a relationship…this is for the most part correct when it comes to physical battering, though women are mostly guilty of slapping, throwing items and biting.

It then goes to say that emotional and vervbal abuse are the most common forms of abuse and its results are often more devastating then other forms….which means the information offered by the NSW Police Force is wrong because research shows that it is women who are the greater offender of emotional and verbal abuse.

A survey research paper done by the department of Health by the Canadian Government says that in hetrosexual relationships 8% of women will face domestic abuse and 7% of men will suffer from abuse..

In England and the United States research is saying that 40% of all domestic abuse victims are men…and that figure most likely is under reported as men tend to suffer a greater deal of shame and embarressment to report it. As someone who has been involved in suicide prevention and awareness, I would like to be able to find out the number of men who have taken their lives because of continual abuse?

If so then the information that’s given by the government and accepted as truth by  society is wrong, for if  someone takes their life because of abuse then those people are victims of abuse…m

There are no indications to say that the research done in Canada, America and England would have any different social markers for society in Australia and indeed most of the research that is publicised and used in Australia references selected papers used in those other countries. Whether we use the Canadian percentages or the stats from America and England the truth is that there isn’t such a big difference between who is a victim of abuse.

I stand against abuse of any kind… I am against abuse of any kind against men and children and I am against abuse of any kind against women.

In the fight to stop it, lets stop with the lies that is fed to society and admit it is more then just a gender issue.