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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Oh. This wasn't actually new. 
3rd-Jun-2013 10:20 am
I have had it clarified for me that Judah's behavior is actually not new. That it did not suddenly emerge. That it had been in evidence since at least September; that this was merely the first two eruptions of violence, but that he's already established a classic domestic violence cycle.

As here:

Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you "who is boss."
Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he's done. He’s more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his abusive behavior.
Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what he or she has done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behavior—anything to avoid taking responsibility.
"Normal" behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how he'll make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you.
Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.

Also here:

Tension building phase -- Tension builds over common domestic issues like money, children or jobs. Verbal abuse begins. The victim tries to control the situation by pleasing the abuser, giving in or avoiding the abuse. None of these will stop the violence. Eventually, the tension reaches a boiling point and physical abuse begins.
Acute battering episode -- When the tension peaks, the physical violence begins. It is usually triggered by the presence of an external event or by the abuser's emotional state -- but not by the victim's behavior. This means the start of the battering episode is unpredictable and beyond the victim's control. However, some experts believe that in some cases victims may unconsciously provoke the abuse so they can release the tension, and move on to the honeymoon phase.
The honeymoon phase -- First, the abuser is ashamed of his behavior. He expresses remorse, tries to minimize the abuse and might even blame it on the partner. He may then exhibit loving, kind behavior followed by apologies, generosity and helpfulness. He will genuinely attempt to convince the partner that the abuse will not happen again. This loving and contrite behavior strengthens the bond between the partners and will probably convince the victim, once again, that leaving the relationship is not necessary.
This cycle continues over and over, and may help explain why victims stay in abusive relationships. The abuse may be terrible, but the promises and generosity of the honeymoon phase give the victim the false belief that everything will be all right.

In our case, the tension was about his inability to launch his business or find any way to stay afloat financially (thus owing us thousands of dollars in back utilities), and he lashed out by stomping on my boundaries.

"September," people reminded me. Yes, there was September.

The backstory there is that Judah cheated on me in September while I was in Florida visiting my dying grandmother.

He made out with someone he knew I didn't want in my world, repeatedly, and did not tell me. Didn't tell me at the time, despite the fact that we were talking daily. Didn't tell me when I got back. How did I find out? She grabbed him and started making out with him at my Autumn Solstice party. This is why I had to disappear upstairs. This is why my boundaries were stomped. This is why I was exiled at my own party, because I found out that Judah had been cheating on me.

That, and everything after, followed a pattern.

1. Cheat on me
2. Get angry and try to bully or intimidate me
3. "Have an epiphany" about how wrong he was and how he understands now why I was hurt and he'll never do it again, he swears.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

"The fake epiphany is part of the abuse cycle", I was reminded. >.< Yes. Yes, it is. Each time I allowed myself to be convinced that he really meant it. He was good at that.

So it's not just medical. It was an existing pattern that escalated. His flipping over into violence was sudden and awful, and could have had some medical trigger, BUT. Numerous people who have diabetes and depression have assured me that even on the worst days, they still knew where the lines where. Even on their worst days, they would not have been capable of anything like this.

He was already on a textbook DV path.

I've been struggling because I didn't understand how this happened. I didn't see the pattern. I didn't realize that the pattern of boundary violation and bullying was what led to this, and now I do. I was looking for more data - because I actually was able to step back and take action after the second episode of violence.

But I've been hearing some stories and putting things together. And so far, it's looking like the lying, the cheating, and the vicious cold nastiness when called on it is a pattern that stretches back at least eight years. I just got to be the first person he raped and the first person he hit.

This is what this is. It is very clear now.
3rd-Jun-2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
I read this.
3rd-Jun-2013 02:53 pm (UTC)

I think it's really telling that even when you were telling me about this at the time you still protected him. I didn't know about the cheating, the impression you gave me was that the party behavior came out of nowhere. Not blaming you, pointing out more of the behavior cycle.
3rd-Jun-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Ergh. This was supposed to be a general comment of understanding and acknowledgement of the post not a reply to your comment. Sorry.
3rd-Jun-2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so very sorry.

Perspective both rocks and sucks. You'll probably keep hearing stories for a while (and you may not be the first person he raped or hit -- you may just not have heard from those people, or they may not have identified what he did as rape or abuse yet). I know that I was still hearing enlightening tales of my Evil Ex up to two years after I left him. I wondered at the time why people didn't tell me sooner, but I also remembered that I was really invested in being in denial, rationalizing his behaviors, and defending him/apologizing for him to others.

The denial and trying to blame you in public is, as you say, textbook abuser. He's pretty clumsy at this whole thing, and that's good for you (and others, hopefully), because it let you get out sooner. I've seen much smoother operators in action over the past few years (not on me, but on some friends), and there are reasons that some abusive fuckheads can keep someone in a relationship for more than a decade, and why some spin out catastrophically after only a few years.

Again, I'm so, so sorry this has happened, but I'm so glad you have Adam and Elayna and your big circle of very supportive friends/family. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know.
3rd-Jun-2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
3rd-Jun-2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
thank you for posting this. For showing how you are processing this... it is brave and it is very helpful.
3rd-Jun-2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
Yes- thank you for sharing your process as your go through it. It is definitely helpful, and definitely brave.
(Deleted comment)
4th-Jun-2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
He kept telling me that I only saw the worst in people. At points I was gaslighting myself and believing it. Which is one of the things that made friends go "he said WHAT?!?"
3rd-Jun-2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
I read this.
3rd-Jun-2013 03:13 pm (UTC) - Once you realize
The signs are always there, once you know what to look for. The problem is that finding out what to look for can be rather painful.

People need to come with warning labels.
3rd-Jun-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
I read this.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
I read the whole thing.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
I read this whole post.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
It may be that Your Judah never was. The thing with abusers is they can create a beautiful presentation, and they can even keep it up for a while, but then the mask slips, generally at a stressful time, and the true self is revealed.

I am so sorry.

ETA It is okay you know to grieve Your Judah while getting Judah as he is now right the hell out of your life.

Edited at 2013-06-03 04:09 pm (UTC)
3rd-Jun-2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
This too, yes. I think one of the hardest things I've learned about psychopaths is that they not only create an image, but don't even always need to maintain it once that image is established in the mind of their victims. The victim does a bangup job of maintenance, because no one wants to admit, especially to themselves, that they've been bilked out of a ton of emotional energy and social currency.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:09 pm (UTC) - *hugs*
It is good you are talking it out. Keep up the good work.

I have no doubts in your strength and ability to come out the other side OK.
4th-Jun-2013 08:20 pm (UTC) - Re: *hugs*
Thank you, and thank you for Saturday night.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
I read this, all of it...

And yeah, psychopaths can be charming, beguiling etc.. right up to the point where they're not. Ok, no excuses or explanations of his behaviour, he's not sick [at least, not recently] He's an abusive arse.

I am so sorry the person you thought he was, isn't real.
3rd-Jun-2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
As I said above, just because someone is an abuser does not make them a psychopath. That word has a particular meaning, as does sociopath, and neither is equal to abuser. People become abusers for a variety of reasons that may not have anything to do with a personality disorder.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
I read this.

The offer of a bed and food in NYC still stands. We will be in Boston soon, and then the offer of a bed and food there is open until the baby comes.
3rd-Jun-2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
No matter how well you know the pattern, it can often be difficult to see it from the inside. I'm glad you're not alone, that you have Adam and Elayna and lots of other people.
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