One more night with myself in the mirror
A face full of scars, a stranger me
Broken pieces of my dormant heart
Walking down lonely streets of tomorrow,
There’s no passage to break free
From the guilt and pain that haunts my will to live
Many times, I wish I could forget
Every time I end up to pretend
Here it comes again
The feeling of regret
The way I chose to live my life
Left only needles in my mind
Here they come again
The shadows I can’t stand
The foolish way I live my life
Left only needles in my mind
God knows I’ve tried just to make things better
Although I never knew the way
Loneliness is now the price I have to pay
The tears I caused still make me shiver
Tearing my soul set ablaze
My oblivion which gone without a trace…
“I find, then, this law in my case: When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me. I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, but I see in my body another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law that is in my body. Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?”
Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening.
It is not in my nature to share my feelings with anybody. I would never open up to another person and reveal what’s inside of me. And speaking of something uncomfortable, and especially about the negative aspects of my personality that are shocking – no way. At least this is how I’ve been my whole life. I didn’t share my innermost feelings even with my own mother.
Something had to change, and I exactly knew what. I realized that if I don’t become more open, I’ll never be able to help myself. So, I decided to start being open. And if I start, let it be to the maximum possible extent. So, I’m sharing with the world.
Yes I know that it’s more grammatically correct to say in English “I am an abuser“; however, I have chosen to say “the” in order to emphasize the admittance of my own faults and errors in being the family head. I used to blame my wife, I used to blame my kids, but the true problem hides within my own personality – the values and attitudes I lived by. Yes, my family members do have their faults,
but I can not fix them before I can fix myself but I can only fix myself. If the word “fix” even applicable here… There is one abuser in my family, and I am the one.
It may sound awkward, since we’re used to think of abusers as evil persons hurting innocent children, or abusive bosses who put down and disrespect employees, slave-masters with whips, etc. Replace “abuser” with “wrongdoer”, “maltreater”, or “offender”. You don’t have to be a bad person if you’re an [the] abuser. It doesn’t mean that you’re good, either, unless you uproot your attitudes and values and replace them with something better. I am, for example, known for being very calm, always ready to help, with great sense of humor. Surely, you too have your personal qualities to be valued for.
OK, let me introduce myself.
My name is Vadim. I had a wife, 4 children, a dog. All that a happy man should have. I had faith in God, and still have. My faith is probably the only thing that I have left.
My 2 older children aren’t blood related to me, but I raised them with all the seriousness and responsibility. Then I had my first son born, and 2 years later, another.
I did all the good things that a good man should do for his family. I worked full time, sometime 2 jobs. I never went anywhere after work except home, to my family. I didn’t buy myself even a coffee at public places, for I’d rather keep the money to buy my kids something. My alcohol consumption was always moderate. A maximum of 2-3 beers during the weekend. Sometime on dates, when the wine was good, I might have the entire bottle before my wife had a sip…but it’s only because the wine was good 🙂 I never got drunk so that I wouldn’t remember what happened yesterday.
Eventually, after my youngest reached age of 12, I decided to go back to active life and joined the gym. No more alcohol whatsoever, and I never smoked and never [many people can’t believe this] tried any drugs. I started to exercise seriously since May 2017. To mention my problems – I have a sleep apnea [body wakes up to 45 times per hour], Tourrette’s Syndrome, continuous nasal congestion due to some yet undiscovered reason [seen by at least 5 doctors], and a few minor things not worth mentioning. Nevertheless, I made an effort and now my mornings begin at 5:00 am, gym goes 6:15-7:30, then sauna, and work. I’m trying to be a good example to my children.
So… what is the problem then, you may ask? Why am I calling myself an abuser? Is it only myself, or everyone around me calls me this name? I have joined the Anger Management group, isn’t anger what my primary issue is and is it not the anger I need to fix? The answer is no. Anger is like the prickles on the bush; anger is only one of the derivatives of an abusive mind. Fix your anger and wonder why your family still complains that it’s unbearable to be around you. Because you’re only trimming the leaves on the poisonous plant instead of digging deep into the roots.
Something important to say about the word “blame”. When I get my turn to speak up at the group, I talk about my own errors, about my own values and points of view which I recently realized to be wrong. I often hear from other men “Vadim, why are you blaming yourself in everything?”. To which I answer that looking at your weaknesses, admitting your mistakes and working on them have nothing to do with blaming yourself. Blame leads to nowhere. Suppose I hit your car. I get out of mine and immediately begin to put myself down, telling you how rotten I am, how much I deserve to be hated, handling you a hammer and offering to hit me, etc etc. Will it make your situation any easier? Certainly not! Now, if I come out, apologize to you first, then admit it was my fault, even say what I could’ve done differently to avoid the accident. Then, I leave my info and take yours, and commit to cover the damages. Is it different from blaming myself? And imagine, while fixing your car, I find a few other repairs it needs and do them! I’d do more than just basics, to show that I am genuinely sorry. And, all of a sudden, you look at me and see that I’m actually a nice person, and there are many great qualities I possess, and you aren’t upset any longer. Would it not create peace between us?
A sincere apology and admittance of your own errors, followed by actions – that’s the right way to deal with damaging situation.
This is a simple illustration of the purpose of my blog. And, there’s another reason as well. I’m not this kind of person who likes to share my inner thoughts and feelings. I understand, though, that if one genuinely desires to get better, he absolutely must learn how to open up. Therefore, I decided to begin with the hardest step. I will open up to practically the whole world. I’m not seeking anyone’s approval, neither I want any praise. I’m just exercising opening myself up.
I want to start with sincere apology. First, to my wife. (I won’t give out names for discretion sake. Those who know my family personally will understand who is who. Those who don’t, names aren’t important.)
To my dear wife.
Through many years, you have tried your best to draw close to me. I, however, have been blocking the access to my heart and my deepest feelings, and only now I begin to understand how awful I made you feel. Please know that I am not proud of myself at all. Please know that I’m reading the same book that you do and it touches my very heart. Please believe me, I sincerely want to change my abusive mind. I’m so sorry for the pain I have caused you. I’m not asking you for nothing but forgiveness. I only want you to know that each day, as I read and learn, I feel sorry for all the pain I have caused you. I didn’t realize the negative effect that my behavior reflected on you. I was so sure that it was your perception that was wrong and that I was simply misunderstood every time. But it’s not the same now. I can’t allow myself to be oblivious and insensitive to my own errors, as well as your feelings are very important to me, and I am learning how to understand you better. I’m changing.
To my children, all 4
My children, I’m very sorry for allowing you to witness things between me and mom, for allowing these things to happen. Please know that despite what you may think I am, I love you very much. If you would read these words and decide to send me any comments, I promise to consider everything with an open mind. I’m not the same as I was even a week ago. I’m working on my personality. I see my terrible mistakes. I sincerely want to change. Please forgive me. The more I understand how wrong I was in raising you, the more I’m sorry and the more I desire to be different. I love you very much. I know that you have good reasons to not believe me. But one day you will, because it is really so.
I will tell more about my discovery of my inner world, a painful journey I should say, which led to a split-road with 2 choices:
Choice 1: I get angry and bitter, get divorce and move to another city/country and start a new life. Is there a hope? Yes, there is a hope but with a question mark – like this: hope?
If I remain the way I am, I will simply carry all my imperfections and problems and be the same miserable with anybody; I know by experience that no matter what you do, the best results can be achieved only when you’re making efforts on improving yourself. Let it be work, gym, studies. Why family life should be excluded?
Choice 2: I must sincerely look at myself with all humility and admit to myself who I really am, without beating myself up, and change my ways in order to stop being an abuser. Now, I see a different symbol behind my hope – like this: Hope!
Another option is actually is to combine Choice 1 and Choice 2, and: get divorce, move somewhere else, continue improving myself, get better, remove all abusive traits from my mind and then marry a good woman and live happily ever after…
That sounds good and appealing, and many people do just that. But I can promise you – the last part “happily ever after” doesn’t happen. As for me, there are few things preventing me from doing just so. First, and the most important – I have love. I love my wife, I love my children. Second – if my wife used to love me while I was the abuser, imagine how much love can spring and blossom between us after [and during] my changes! Third – I understand now that my personality caused much emotional pain to my wife and children, and if it wasn’t for my abusiveness, we would all be happy. I genuinely desire to be a better husband and father. I want to change, and rather bring joy into my family. I truly love them. So, I’m making the 2nd choice. Period.
One thing I have to make straight – I am NOT a sexual abuser. Never been and never will be, and if I ever meet one – he won’t escape my punishment. I hate anyone who would harm a child in sexual way.
I never beat my kids, neither out of anger nor for the sake of discipline. I can’t even raise my hand on them! oops, to say the truth, I actually did. The oldest daughter, I slapped on a face because she had fight with her mother and pulled her hair and hit her. My older son got beaten actually twice: first when we received a very bad report about his behavior in school, and second time after he had pornography on the PC, in his bag, in his closet, etc. Yes I just got so mad, I regret it. I was scared then that the little one might see it. I had my own battle with conquering this addiction, which I will share in the nearest future.
Another important thing: I am not a liar. I never lied to my children or to my wife. I have not manipulated them or others in order to get what I want. In fact, I never got what I want, because I did not want much. I have suppressed my wants in order to put wants of my family on the first plan. I am very open to the polygraph test. Also, time will reveal all the truth. There is nothing that can be hidden forever. Speaking truth is important, even when it isn’t to your advantage. I am not a liar.
You may wonder – how come then you’re writing here such shocking things about yourself? Is it not uncovering lies? No, it isn’t. All that I’m doing is looking at myself and learning my own imperfections, admitting them honestly. It would, in fact, be an act of lying if I would try to cover-up my actions and explain them by using multiple excuses.
I have to say – this is so darn hard. But it must take place, otherwise I’ll never change.
Here is the definition of a lie from Wikipedia:
A lie is a statement used intentionally for the purpose of deception. The practice of communicating lies is called lying, and a person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. Lies may be employed to serve a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for the individuals who use them. Generally, the term “lie” carries a negative connotation, and depending on the context a person who communicates a lie may be subject to social, legal, religious, or criminal sanctions.
And now, here, I am speaking the truth. If I’d previously deny all the things I’m going to write below, it was only because I did not realize the effects of my actions and behaviors.
I did emotionally abuse my younger children. But I never lied to them. You will see further I’m writing how objects used to fly because I was expressing my frustration. In fact, throwing objects around a room is a form of abuse. Which shouldn’t happen. And verbal threats as well. This is what I’m dealing with now, this is what I am admitting and repairing. However, even the most honest person can live by lies. How so? By accepting certain lies as guidance for his behavior and making himself believe the lie to be the primary truth. I plan to discuss it in more details later on.
There is another issue that I realize I must deal with. Sometime, when I make an effort to be good and nice, I speak nicely to my family members while they aren’t making their best efforts, which is understandable – they’re hurt, they’re offended. So, what happens to my feelings is – I am nice, I am nice, and then I see that our conversations goes to a dead end, and my mood changes, and I begin to get angry and then begin to speak offensively. How is it that my bad side takes over? I really don’t mean to be mean. My innermost desire is to have love among all my family members, to make them feel important and valued.
Why do I roll back to my worst side? Why do I retaliate? I need to find out the answer. Because this creates confusion and fear, and this is absolutely not my intention!
I used to visit Alcoholics Anonymous meetings [with someone else, not for myself]. They begin their introductions with “My name is so and so, and I am an alcoholic”. I think they say so because admitting to yourself first that you’re an alcoholic is the first step toward healing. It’s OK for them to say “an alcoholic”, as the one belonging to the class or a group. For abusers, though, it is different. We must point fingers at ourselves only; otherwise, there is no healing.
So, welcome to my world. My name is Vadim, and I am the abuser.
Please come with me to the first page of my story. It briefly tells about The Beginning and The End of my family life.