Contains some swearing. Due to the subject matter of posts on MSV, some contain strong language. This post details dialogue as it happened at the time.
“What are you doing?”
I was holding an avocado, already halved, with the knife poised above the stone. Whack, slice, twist the stone out. Dispose of it.
“I’m taking the stone out”.
A dark and angry look over my partner’s face.
“ You’re not doing it the way I told you”.
“Okay, but this way works fine, too. See? It’s out now”.
I went to put the bits I didn’t need in the bin, and my partner stepped in front of me. “No, but this is just another example of how you don’t respect me. You don’t care what I say. You won’t take my advice, because you think I’m a fucking cunt, and you know best”.
I was shocked.
But not really, because every conversation we had was like this.
I felt like I was being backed into a corner, with the room getting smaller.
Every day there was less margin for error and everything I said could be misconstrued into some kind of slight against him.
“Well, you don’t know best. And YOU’RE the fucking cunt, not me.”
My partner pushed past me, knocking me sideways and into the washing machine. “Ow. Hey. HEY, look” There was no point in trying to tell him he was being rough, but before I could remember that, I’d started to tell him how he’d pushed past me really roughly “Oh, what now. Have I hurt you? Why don’t you call the police then, you stupid twat?”.
I let it all wash over me. That was it now, it was 8pm and the next six hours would be an assault on everything I’d ever done wrong towards him. He’d demand to sleep away from me that night, saying that I was my fault, I was too unreasonable and emotional. He’d shout, and when he woke our children up, it would be my fault again for not leaving him alone. Then the next day he’d go off to work. Ignore me all day. Stay late. When he got home, some time around 1am, he’d expect me to apologise for my awful behaviour. And I would. I always did.
Onions. I never diced or chopped onions in the correct way either. He’d tell friends a joke, about how in our first few days of living together, we’d had an almighty row about the best way to cut onions up. It wasn’t a row, because I didn’t get my side across. And onions weren’t the issue. I wasn’t doing anything to his standard. The day I moved in, I put the washing machine on the wrong setting, and with his entire family in the next room, he screamed at me, calling me a massive fuck up cunt. I’d been made to apologise to his family for his tone, it was my fault after all. Instead of being embarrassed or telling me it wasn’t my fault, they’d told me that was how he was and I’d better tread carefully.
I walked on eggshells, for years. It was never enough. Even if I sat totally still and said nothing, there was some part of me to be viciously attacked. Everything I did was wrong, and everything I did was disrespectful and everything I was, offended him. Stupid me, my fault again. Once, my partner’s sister said “Well you know he’s a bit verbally abusive, what did you expect?”.
What did I expect? I expected my partner’s family not to palm him off on me, because I was now a new outlet for his disgustingly crude screaming tirade’s. I expected them not to back off, sit back and let a out a big, 15 year waiting, sigh of relief that he had another scapegoat now and they didn’t have to ‘deal with it’.
“He’s your problem now”. No. You saw this coming. You are his family. You recognise this as abuse, him as an abuser. You could have stopped it, you could have said something, anything. When he was screaming at you, and punching doors, driving off drunk and blaming you, you could have called the Police. Instead, you sat on your hands and waited for his next partner to come along, someone weaker and more vunerable this time, someone who wouldn’t leave him like the last three.
I guess, temporarily, they all got what they wanted. His family are very angry with me. I know because they’ve told me. “He’s a broken man, you’re meant to love him despite his faults”. Actually, they’re angry because they have to deal with his ranting and paranoid behaviour now.
And. I. Do. Not. No more. Never again.
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