There are many kinds of violence in the world. Each person deals with it differently.

Physical violence never seemed to bother me as much as the emotional kind.

Someone yelling at me, getting in my face with rage, close in on my personal space — it always produced a kind of Body Shock Reaction.

When H went into his rages, sometimes frothing at the mouth, getting right up against me, his face inches from mine. It always produced this reaction in me. I would feel as if I had been hit in the solar plexus. I could not breathe, I could not think. My head would echo and get a cottony feeling inside it.

if he tried to hit me or did hit me, my reflexes and training took over and I decked him.

However, I had no reflexes to deal with that kind of rage.

In the beginning, the trigger word was’ normal’; later it became ‘evi.’

I had therapy sessions. Every so many weeks, there would be a group therapy and the spouses were invited. I got along with the other patients and their spouses. There was one guy in those sessions that was a large Native American. He had been born with a cleft palate and been through so many surgical procedures to repair it since childhood, that he had developed a panic syndrome about doctors and one more surgery was scheduled. H came to only one of those sessions and never went back and pulled me out of them.

The reason was this: H went to that session. When it came time to talk, he said, “yes, but the this is still not addressing the fact that she’s evil. You can’t address the rest of her problems without first getting her to face the fact that she’s evil.”

The big Indian attacked H in a rage on hearing that. The other men in the group had to physically restrain him to prevent him from demolishing H.

Because I had edited so many self help books, I tried to conscientiously apply the techniques in them to get through to H. He would listen to me and then write off everything I had said with a casual, “Yes, but you’re evil.”

As the situation worsened, I went from illegal drugs to alcohol. The pattern went like this.

I would be standing in the kitchen doing dishes and he would come and watch me. Then he would begin a tirade on how evil I was that might last an hour or longer without a break. By the time he finished, I would be shaking so hard I could barely stand. I kept the bottle of cheap vodka under the sink. i would pour a double into a glass and drink it straight to stop the shaking.

When I was working fulltime, i would come home, make myself a screwdriver that as half vodka and half orange juice, drop down in front of the tv and play ninendo games and hope he left me alone long enough to unwind.

In order to sleep through and around his bouts of screaming, I would drink enough booze to knock me out. After a few years of that, the first thing I did in the mornings when I got up was pour myself a drink.

Alcohol did not take away the pain the way that the meth/cocaine had, but it deadened it enough to get through. I went back through my diaries recently and found the pages where I had made a coded chart. After all these years, I have forgotten the codes to some of the main entries. The chart happened to be one that came back to me easily.

Over the course of a year, there was only one day that he did not go off on me. There were only seven days in which he went off into a rage at me that lasted less than four hours all together in a twenty-four hour period.

The one day that he did not yell at me was because he had spent it with his current mistress.

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