Just as you can’t always look at a woman and tell she’s being abused, you can’t always look at a man and tell he’s abusive. Looks can be deceiving. Abusers are excellent at deceiving. They don’t look the part and seldom do they act the part outside of the home.
Most people who knew my ex considered him “crazy”. He was always the daredevil in the group. He was always the one to take that wild chance to make the crew laugh. He was also quick to call a woman a bitch. Twice, while we were married, he called me a bitch to my face, but more times than that, he told our son not to marry a bitch like his mom. He told him that twice while I was standing there — once right after we had had an argument, another time out of the blue. I went after him both times because he had blindsided me enough that I was ready to go all the way in any time, anywhere.
He didn’t care what his hatred and abuse toward me did to our son. He didn’t care about the emotional roller coaster he was taking us both on.
One of the things my amazing counselor said repeatedly was that he had not encountered another patient with the level of abuse I displayed. He wanted to meet the man who had caused all this damage. Once my ex knew that we were going to counseling, and before I told him that the counselor wanted to meet him, he had told me that he wanted to go in for himself. I told him to call and set up a time. Clearly, he knew what he would face. He left the house late for the appointment and left out of the session early. Naturally and legally, the counselor couldn’t tell me what they discussed, but I could that he had not been pleased. He only told me that my ex was a bully. To this day, I don’t know what happened in his session.
I did tell him that the counselor had told me that I had been battered mentally and emotionally, and he asked me who had done it. Denial, folks. That’s denial. He refused to take responsibility for that mess until after we were divorced and he was trying to get me back.
So many people were shocked that I was being abused and their most immediate response was “he doesn’t look like he’d do or say those things”. Well, he did. There is so much more to my story than I’ve told. I’ve only told one other person nearly everything that happened to me over those 19 years, but it is my intention to be totally transparent because I know for a fact that my story is my testimony. I lived through it to tell it.
Be advised that abusers don all manner of clothes, jobs, and statuses. Never allow what a person looks like to disguise the person he is.