scott’s story

i showered and shaved. i made myself look and, thus, feel good. i was excited that i was going out with my partner.

i was up for this. needless to say, i was more than a little disappointed when i found out that she had planned only a short visit all along, and had made plans to go out with her friend.

i tried to be ok with this, but no matter what i said to her or myself, my disappointment showed on my face. add this to the frustration of the day before, and i was really edgy.

i had a couple of hours to cool off, and i did. unfortunately, not enough. when she returned for her short visit, i became increasingly frustrated (angry really doesn’t describe my emotion). i wanted so badly to smooth everything out, and to tell her that i felt juvenile about the day before, and that i was disappointed that she seemed to choose her friend over me. i wanted to say all this, but i couldn’t find the words to say it. i thought that by letting all this get to me, that i wasn’t being strong enough, or that i was being too controlling.

then it happened. she kissed me goodbye, and turned for the door. i snapped. i picked up a clipboard and threw it across the room. then i slammed the door hard behind her.

it took two seconds for me to realize what i had done, and i ran out the door after her. she was upset. she told me that she didn’t think she could continue to see me. i blocked the door to the outside of the building, not in the physical sense, but in the sense that i lingered, and i would be able to easily move in front of the door if she tried to leave.

i stood outside trying to get her to stay and talk to me instead of leaving. finally she said that we could talk later that evening after she returned home. i didn’t want to let her leave upset, but i really had no choice. i went back up to my room, called my mom, and proceeded to bawl my eyes out. i was afraid i was going to lose some one who was very dear to me.

i went out to get something to eat, and i wrote her a letter. i wrote about how i was sorry, and how i never wanted to let it happen again. i told her that i might explode again sometime, but that i would make sure that she wasn’t in the room.

we talked that night. she gave me an ultimatum i had already given myself: i would seek counseling, and attend regularly.

within a week i had enrolled in a batterer’s group for men. i returned from the first session, and wrote everything i had learned in a letter to her. i learned that the cycle had begun. i saw something scary in myself. if she had given in instead of standing up to me as she did, i likely would have digressed into a downward spiral of violence and control.

as it stands now, we’re working through this. i’m very happy with my group sessions, and i plan to continue for as long as it takes. i’ll begin individual counseling later this week. my goal is to learn how to recognize the signs of and stop the violence through the group, and to deal with the issues of my past and present that continue to contribute to a need to control.

i’m new to the program, as all this happened less than four weeks ago. i’m optimistic, because within the last few weeks i’ve begun to communicate my individual feelings, good or bad, to my partner. i’ve found that this tends to relieve the stress that builds up into the waves of rage that i so desperately want to avoid. i’ve also found that when i share things that i feel are not so wonderful, she’s supportive and welcomes me to the human race. when i talk about little things, we can work on one thing at a time, and everything doesn’t tend to get muddled together in a mass of confusion.

i know that this is going to be a long road ahead. i feel lucky that the resources are out there to help me heal myself, and that my partner is willing to be here with me through it all.

27 jun 95

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