Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Abusive Husband, part one

I have written very openly about the difficulties in my marriage, although it's primarily been on my other blog.  Many people have commented to ask if my husband knows that I write about him and the things he's done.  He does.  He reads almost everything I write; I hide none of it from him.  Sometimes the things I write are difficult for him.  It's not so much that he doesn't want people to know what he's done, it's that he's so sad that he did those things.  But he has read the comments.  He has seen how many people are grateful that I share our story.  He has felt their gratitude for sharing what we've learned.  He is proud that I have been able to help others.    And he is courageous enough to allow me to share the story of our struggles.

This weekend he surprised me with a grand step of bravery.  He opened his heart and wrote his story.  So that I could share it on my blog.  Because he believes it can help.

I know it was hard and am so proud of him.

I offer the first segment today.  Where the hate and anger come from.

I Was an Abusive Husband.  Really? (part one)

I've been married to MisssRobin for 22 years.  I've learned a lot in that time.  So, I've been reading her blogs and I love her writing.  I've decided to tell my side of the mess that is her life.

I was raised in a family of 4 boys and 2 girls.  I was raised with the idea that a man's house is his castle and the wife does what the husband decides after they have talked about it.  After all, I am the head of the house.  As a boy, we (including the girls) fought and wrestled with each other all the time.  I remember my dad saying, "If a girl acts like a boy, treat her like a boy."  So, I did.  I never got into a fist fight with the girls but I would have a hitting contest with one.

I lived in Los Angeles and when I was in 7th grade my family moved to Utah and things went badly for me after that.  We moved mid school year, so I was the new kid.  I didn't know the culture and was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  I went from being popular at school to being bullied.  I was assaulted by a gym teacher that same year and no one did anything about it.  I went to the principal, school counselors, my parents and no one did a thing.  I learned to hate.  I rebelled.  I hated authority.  I didn't do drugs but I did break rules and vandalized and stole things.  This didn't go over very well with my religious parents.

In my senior year, I found religion.  I had been raised in the Mormon church but it didn't really mean anything to me until that year.  I would skip every class at school but I would never skip my religion class (seminary).  It was the only class I ever got an A in, I'm pretty certain.

I started to trust again and the hate started to fade.  It was still there but now it just smoldered.  I decided to go on a 2-year mission for the church when I was 19.  I was raised to believe that if you live the commandments and did everything you were supposed to do that God would take care of you.  I was also raised with the belief that missionaries walked 2 inches off the ground because they were so righteous.

I saved up my money and entered the mission training center and discovered that missionaries are just a bunch of 19-year old boys and some of them didn't want to be there.  It made my time there really hard because when you go into the training center you are assigned a companion (another missionary) that you are supposed to stay with 24/7.  We were not to leave the grounds; my companion wanted to leave to go to the mall.  I had to make the choice of which rule to break and I was done breaking rules.

I figured things would be different when I got to my mission area in Oklahoma.  Things didn't get better.  My mission president was an ego maniac who would not listen to the missionaries' side of anything.  So if a member of our church would call him and say that we were watching TV all day, then we would get in trouble for that even though it wasn't true.  I felt very betrayed and the hate for authority returned.

Read more here.


Bonnie said...

You know that I like you, Bill. I would never miss any opportunity, however remote, to give you a hard time, and I flatter myself that you always know that I only razz people I really like and trust (but, like, who cares, right?)

Without one bit of snark, I have to say that this is one of the most courageous things I've seen someone do. I look forward to reading the whole of your story (so hurry up.) I make no promises that I will never razz you again, but not here. Thank you for writing this.

Rubye Jack said...

This is so unique, being able to hear the husband's side. It is sad that children don't receive the attention they need when they tell us they have been wronged and that abuse carries over into adulthood. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story, but first I have to say thank you for having the courage to share your life with us.

Misty said...

I so appreciate that you are doing this. There is a misconception that abusive men can't change. it isn't true. My husband, and you, are proof of that.
It's brave to share your tale...

Unknown said...

This is incredibly brave (of him to write and for both of you to share!) Thank you for doing so, I know it cannot be easy and thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog. I hope you have a wonderful week!

OneMommy said...

I've read your blog several times, and I knew that your husband knew of your posts... How brave of him to add his story. I hope it helps someone as much as your posts have helped people.

Thank you so much for stopping in on my SITS day... I'll be sure to come back to finish reading his posts!