A male survivor’s story — by Friend in Need from Europe
Many many years ago.
My father in law started to think and say that there was an angry mob out there who wanted to chase his family, abduct or poison them. As he used to be a physician his children, including my wife, eventually started to believe him. He was well in his 60s, so I thought that his age had got the better of him. However his stories became believable to my wife.
Father-in-law also presented several urine samples of his youngest child which were found positive to rat poison. Later, much later, it turned out that the level of poison was high enough to kill an elephant so they had suspicion that the samples had been tampered with. My wife became worried and had not slept in a number of days. So she became fearful and went eventually haywire during one night. I rushed her to the doctor the next day, then to the psychiatrist who gave her an anti-psychotic drug. The next day she was a bit better. I had taken the children to their swimming lessons. As I came back my father- and mother-in-law were at my house and my wife was weeping.
Her father asked her if she wanted to come home with him and he would take care of her. I gave him the medicine and they went on their way. After three days he called our family doctor and said that he had altered the strategy, and had chosen to put her in a deep sleep rather than use the anti-psychotic drug. I had spoken to him on the phone and he told me that she was speaking gibberish, singing nursery rimes and kept on undressing herself. His diagnosis: poison. We took her to hospital where I got one of the most fearful frights I’ve ever received, she was indeed singing nursery rhymes, and however many times we dressed her, she took it off and put it in the rubbish bin. Their diagnosis: manic psychosis.
Her blood was tested and nothing out of the ordinary was found. My father-in-law was summoned, and was later accused of a condition called Munchausen by proxy – a mental disorder whereby stories and evidence are set in scene to uphold a psychotic story. [According to this website [Internet Archive link] it is relatively rare form of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker.] Because he was already retired they could not remove his medical credentials and he was not charged. Also, they said, we cannot exclude the possibility that the person from whom the urine was taken has tampered with the urine sample, or the mother-in-law. The rat poison had been banned for many years.
My wife was now in a psychotic ward and the diagnosis was a manic state of mind. The drug was administered and they got her out of it, fairly quickly. The aftermath was worse. I was to put my children in day care and a housekeeper was appointed. As soon as her mind was back in place she wept for months and months all day. She realized her father had put her in this miserable condition and she was destined to turn back the clock. She wanted no medication and her father back. Apparently it was the second time that her father had ran over her mind – earlier in her late teens, now in mid thirties. She realized that both stories were invented and it was made well understood that her father was a dangerous father especially because he was a GP. Also all family members had been taken by the father to the hospital with “appendicitis” which was removed; multiple other operations had been done in the abdominal region by himself. On statistical probability, it was close to impossible that they all needed to have their appendixes removed.
My wife was quick to forgive and pressed no charges.
Many difficult years of depression followed for her. She started yelling, went into fits, screaming and anger attacks mostly in the evening hours. She refused help, later, only this year, I learned that it was a bipolar type 2. Someone said a “slippery bipolar 2” where someone hides the symptoms. She would squeeze [reduce] the medicine as far as she could and be a bit sick all of the time, mainly in the evening hours. I was totally sleepless and stressed out. Once she said “I did not forget my medicine, we just had a bad argument that’s all.” I would ask her how much medicine she had taken she would pretend to forget and make it as vague as possible. For instance at a certain stage she was allowed to take one tablet and the next day two, alternating. She pretended to have forgotten what she had taken the previous day and end up taking one tablet for 4 days in a row. She would become slowly psychotic instead of quickly.
We were offered counseling from the hospital because of our marriage. She used very strong manipulation generally in discussions to have her way — that is a very demonic thing when you hear that. My wife did not twist scriptures to use them against us, but her mother did that on numerous times. My wife demanded the impossible of me — the mission impossible, she created missions impossible. Tasks to keep me busy to keep me from rest and after an evening of scolding she would ask for sexual favors.
As the hospital counselor was not very effective, we were directed to an organization funded by all of the churches for marriage counseling. This person was very good and really gifted. In spite of the effort my ex became more aggressive, the Pastor’s wife took matters into her own hands. By far she was the most effective. Also by revealing the intentions of my ex and non cooperation.
My social life became more and more restricted: all friends and family eliminated one by one, then work. I had to hold her hand, she wanted me stay home and take care of the kids. Later she eliminated all of Blossom’s friends (Blossom is the name I am using for our daughter). Other strange events occurred, my plants were massacred, various items of clothing were discarded — typically wool. She neglected to do things she should have done in her role as wife and mother, like food, parenting, like sending our son to the shower, not putting the kids to bed, not helping to brush their teeth and basic love, affection.
In time I upgraded my strategy and I would also challenge her anger attacks, neglect towards Blossom. As a defense she would buy two pairs of trousers, we would be 100 dollars poorer, it was something called “comfort buying” the doctor told me. She said “That is what happens if you dare to disagree,” and if I dared to do it again she would buy some more. As I now understand this is financial abuse.
Eighteen months ago I left the house; I could bear her no longer. Screaming, shouting and ranting. I first hid myself in the forest, I would go home, put my kids to bed, tell them a story and leave the house for the woods. Another half year later I found a different house. Three weeks after I had the house, I was set up and my daughter stood on the doorstep with her bags, she was moving in. No problem (now this is Australian English 🙂 ). Mother brought her – said they had a row.
My daughter told me she had been beaten, she said her mother had told her she was no longer welcome, was not her child and was too expensive to keep. My daughter told me that in the half a year I had spent in the woods, mother would eat but gave the kids no food. Also she threatened that if my daughter told me about this, she would take away her phone.
About half a year ago, while Blossom was visiting her mother, her mum locked her up. Blossom escaped from the window onto a dustbin and then made her way back to my house. Afterwards my ex-wife came round and said that she did not know what had happened but that Blossom was acting her age.
After a birthday party my ex tried to abduct Blossom. Just in the nick of time I got wind of this and was able to stuff Blossom in the car; it was late and dark. My ex lunged herself onto the car bonnet and ordered Blossom out. Eventually I plucked my ex off the bonnet; again she pounced onto the door and hung on. I gave her a big push twenty yards away from the car. We drove away at high speed, my ex followed in high pursuit. My daughter called the police in the car. Three quick questions:
1: How old are you? Fourteen, good you get to decide where you want to be according to law.
2: Are you in the car you want to be? Yes.
3: In what bed to you want to sleep? In my bedroom at my dad’s house.
Good as soon a she comes round call us cause we want to catch her there red handed.
My daughter was very afraid and so was I, adrenaline on the roof. Blossom wept for hours. She wanted to die and announced that. I quickly called the most senior lady — a child development specialist — at our church, she talked with her until deep in the night and calmed everything the way that the Lord cut her out to do.
Next day I went to the police, I thought I was at least guilty of something. They made note and said that it was okay to pluck someone off of the car and even push them away. He said I would have done the same, sorry for you.
Many other incidents followed, ramming on the windows, calling, invading the peace of this house. I got pelted in the neck, she would attack from behind. After a house visit where I was asked to sign the house over to her, behind the lawyer’s back.
At first I hoped for a two-sided divorce (this is something available in my country); both parties try to come to an agreement. A judge looks if it is fair and if so, the matter is settled. Now I went for a one-sided divorce.
Myself. Sleeping disorder, anxiety, most likely PTSD, I can only work a few hours. I have a problem breathing, just getting breath. Has anybody got any advice about how to handle this? Other problems I still have are digestion problems, headaches, my neck is sore, I am sometimes dizzy. I feel horrible. Lots of pills, to keep me going. I am thinking of emigrating. Blossom say I am ready. We have options.
The church tried in the years before to get my ex into better condition. In the end Blossom started walking away from home because of the behavior and so did I. The church said: “Your family members are disappearing, what are you gonna do?” Her mood suddenly changed and she started screaming at the pastor’s wife and the pastor. For three hours we kept it up. I left home for the forest after that. Her psychiatrist said, “All is well, this is one of my best patients.” I said, “I think different and I am leaving.” He said: “It happens.”
She tried to recruit other people from the church to side with her against me, but with little success; eventually she left church on her own account. There was basically no mask to put up.
My wife quickly went back to side with her parents, who told her she was not allowed to that nasty church anymore. The church said to me: “Okay, what do you need?” I said a co-mother. They supplied various co-mothers, just good mothers, pediatricians, and social workers. They shopped with Blossom a lot, they love her, they all love her. Many of these ladies have no partner yet, but a warm mother’s heart. They are usually around 30, myself I am getting on a bit. They bustle into the house. Send me to the shower, play with Blossom, nowadays they talk about her boyfriend to be, she spotted somebody. In turn Blossom tries to match-make them.
Last year I was in much need of a holiday. I went as Elisha to hide myself in the desert and enjoy some peace and quiet. My house contained in that period, two ladies, and in the weekend they were here with six of them. I said “Ladies: it is an all inclusive, my fridge is packed, more than you can eat.” My ex had got wind that I was away, rang the bell. Six pairs of eyes peering on her. All thinking, “We know who you are, just one step out of line.” You see many of these girls came from broken or abusive situations themselves. Now they are keen to step in. The girls gave her such a fright that we have not seen her since. Apparently I was not giant enough but they were. When at war: invite some friends. Pick them well and pick your church well. Also the pastor’s wife had a double strategy. To give me help, and to provide women with a certain history to give that help. Bruised souls. I am helped, and this helps them to get over their history. She did not tell me that. I guess that is why they call her the wise woman.
My son is still living with mother. Mother does not molest him. She does use him to do shopping as she is unable. My son was found last April without keys, money, bicycle, phone, coat or light. He was carrying a box of groceries to give mother breakfast, lost his bicycle key and could not find his way home in the dark. Nothing is done about it.
Well this is my story.
Has anybody got good advice on how to literally catch my breath I seem sometimes not to.
The Lord gave me many wisdoms and benefits on the account of my marriage. One of them I will not deprive you of. He said: Look at it from a project point of view, finances, time, quality, organization and information. He said you have finances and personal resources, use this first. Get yourself inside a good organization and acquire information. He also said in my case time was not at my side. Then I sought for more knowledge, but could not find much in my own language. So I looked across the border and came across not under bondage. To me it named things I was dealing with. It is for instance a biblical step to take your matter to elders and to expect sufficient improvement, if there is no improvement there is a limit somewhere. Basically the behaviour of my ex was uncovered and discussed, then as my ex partner would not stop the abuse I left.
When, as a church, we help other people, mostly women, they are all offered the opportunity to do something about a marriage, but abuse is not acceptable and if someone calls it enough we help them too and they are allowed to end the marriage. One woman told me, from a different church, which seem as more conservative, that they made no problems for remarriage in the case of abuse.
Greetings to you all.
Friend in need.
[Note from Barb: Friend in Need does not speak English as his mother tongue, so I have helped him with English spelling and sentence structure.]