Blain Nelson's Abuse Pages
My Story
My First Installment

As I said, I'm a recovering spouse abuser. Over a period of years I verbally and emotionally abused the most important person in my world -- my wife. Several months ago she left me. I was crushed. After several days of pure hell, I ran into a resource (Dr. Laura Schlessinger of KFI radio in Los Angeles) who saw through my denial and told me that I needed to contact a support group for battering husbands. I was pretty upset at her because she didn't give me a chance to talk about what I wanted to talk about (my wife, of course -- not me), but something in what she said rung a bell so I looked in my phone book to see if I could find the kind of support group she mentioned.

There were no listings for that kind of thing that I could find, so I called Whatcom County Crisis Service's Crisis Line, and they told me that WCCS runs a program called ACT for men who have been abusive to their wives or partners. I arranged to go through an intake evaluation without knowing if I had an abuse problem or not (since I was only minimally physically abusive, it was tough for me to see my abuse). A week later I started attending weekly group meetings, and after a couple of weeks I finally started to see my abuse.

I've almost finished attending those weekly meetings, after which I will be attending monthly support group meetings for six more months. I'm not really comfortable with being that close to out of the program because I'm not convinced that I'm that close to having finished dealing with my power and control issues (one of the first things I learned -- although it took several weeks to recognize it as true -- was that abuse results from a need to have power and control over somebody else). I've seen some miracles in the class -- men who have come from extremely abusive backgrounds turn their lives literally around. I've also seen a lot of denial -- sometimes strong enough denial that the men would rather leave the class than confront it -- which is sad.

And most importantly to me, I've learned to notice some of the ways in which I have been abusive and what has led to those abuse incidents to the point that I've been able to on occasion circumvent the abuse cycle and use a peaceful way to handle the situation. I'm not perfect, and I'm not finished with my work. I don't know that I'll ever be completely finished with that work, and I know that I will always have to be watching myself to keep from slipping back into those abusive patterns. I've learned more about the beliefs and values I had which made my abuse okay enough for me to do it, and I've been working to replace them with beliefs and values that are based in respect and equality. These are the skills that will help me stay abuse free as I go on through my life.

So, will things work out so that I can get my marriage together? I have no idea. I hope that they will, but I recognize that there is a lot of ground to cover for both myself and my wife before that will happen. Abuse was not the only thing that will need to be addressed, and the wounds that we both received will take a long time to heal. Should it work out that we come back together someday, I'll be pleased to add that to this page. For now, I'm healing and growing, and I feel better in some ways than I have for a very long time.

Blain



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