What’s funny about abuse?

Nov. 26, 2011 _ As I deal with the various emotions created by the physical abuse of the past and the emotional abuse I’ve just faced, I desperately want to find inner peace and forgiveness. I want to be healed and I want to find humor in my life.

I was raised in a family of smart-asses and funny cousins who could make you spit your milk through your nose in a heartbeat. That laughter helped us through the dramas of domestic life.

Today, my mind desires to laugh about the rollercoaster I ride with my ex-husband and the turmoil that an abuser can cause … but how is getting strangled funny?

I relive the event in my mind, and I can’t think of a single comment that would make me laugh about a husband charging his pregnant wife and wrapping his hands around her neck.

Nothing funny at all about that.

I imagine that I’m Carrie Fisher, who made readers laugh out loud with tales of very sad and serious subject matters .. addictions, mental illness, divorce … she made them all seem bearable with her sarcastic twist. I admire Nora Ephron, who famously wrote about her famous ex-husband’s infidelities, and made me laugh ’til I cried in the telling.

I wish I could find the humor of my situation. I wish I could find the laughter about my ex suing me for custody of my beloved boys. Maybe if I could, I could feel healed and could find the peace of mind that I seek.

Maybe I can’t laugh about the surreal events of domestic abuse because it is not the slightest bit funny. Maybe there is no humor in a man standing over his wife with rage in his eyes and violence in his heart. Maybe the picture of a child left at the door, screaming “Daddy please come back” while Daddy drive away in anger is not anything but sad.

I can find humor in a lot of tragedy in the world. I love to laugh and spit milk! I have found the jokes in my mother’s death and so many sad situations. But, I can’t find the humor in my abuse. What is funny about that?

The cycle of violence

I’ve had to reeducate myself lately on the cycle of violence for an abuser. As you have read, my ex husband has come on stronger and stronger of late and I am living with some of the fears I did when I was married to him.

I have believed that my ex is under pressure in his current marriage as his wife seeks control and is frustrated by how much control I seemly have in her life. And when he is under pressure, I’ve believed that he looses control of himself and lashes out.

But I have it wrong.

And the cycle of violence wheel has helped me understand again what is really going on and why I have to be careful.

The cycle works like this: The abuser has a violent episode, then there is an absence of violence, then tension builds, then it escalates, then there is a violent episode. In my situation, my ex’s violent episodes (as far as I know) was when we were separated and getting divorced, then he went for a year or two without violence and not much tension, then the tension began building when I started to demand child support owed and held to boundaries regarding the children, now it is escalating as he makes threats to me about the custody, the kids’ schedule, child support. He complains that he is the victim and is being treated poorly. He complains that he is under pressure.

When I look at my ex husband’s behavior in those terms, it worries me at where he will end up. I am not so worried for myself, but for my kids. I hope that his behavior doesn’t continue on the cycle and that he gets some help, but it doesn’t look good. I wish that I could tell his wife that she is in danger too, but she won’t listen to me and will believe that I am just trying to stir the pot.

I am sad that my 11 year marriage with the man who fathered my children is such a pile of bad memories and that in divorce, we can’t find peace and compromise. But, abusers don’t want compromise, unless it means that they get what they want. Abusers choose to hit, threaten and so on because they want control over another person. Abusers don’t care about compromising and give and take, they are only concern about what they can get. They hit so that they can get what they want.

I have made the mistake of trying to work with my ex because I believed that any two people can work things out if they try. But the key word is “two”… and my abuser like most abusers sees only one person.

I recommend this website for more information about domestic abuse, it is really good : http://www.turningpointservices.org/domesticviolence.htm

Some days are just worse than others

Being connected to an abuser can be a very bad roller coaster ride. Sometimes life is a gentle ride, with maybe a little rocking.

Currently, I have been riding into an upsetting dip and sickening twist as my ex husband has been struggling with his abusive nature as he faces life challenges he is ill-equiped to handle.

When my ex got married again about a year ago, he entered into a lifestyle that he wants but can’t navigate and he is reverting to his old ways of control, deceit and abuse. As his current wife brings to the table expectations, desires and personal issues, my ex is floundering. Of course, I do not know the specifics and intimacies of their relationship, nor do I want to, but my ex’s behavior is very familiar and I am a familiar target.

This last week has been very difficult and my stomach is upset, I’m not sleeping and my stress level is rising as he battles with me over anything he can, money, the schedule, anything. His wife has pushed him to gain more control over me and my feeling is that she sees his lack of success as some sort of evidence that she is loosing control over her world.

But, in the last week, my ex has stood on my driveway, wound up in anger, telling me he was calling the police on me unless I handed over the kids to him that minute. He has sent me emails blaming me for ruining his stepdaughter’s college graduation. He has dismissed our 15-year-old’s final exams as “easy” and nothing to worry about and no reason why our academically ambition teen-ager should study or go to bed on time before the tests.

It is difficult to be involved with someone so unhealthy and it upsets me so much that this is my children’s father. But, as my father says. It is what it is.

So I’m praying a lot. I speak to my attorney a lot more than I can afford. And I cry on a lot of people’s shoulders.

So far, I am grateful for every avenue of release I can find, this blog being one of them. My friend just told me to stay strong, hold to my boundaries and don’t let my ex bully me anymore. I am trying, because my head knows that she is right. But I must admit, today is worse that most.