Mostly, it would come out of nowhere. The keys would fly into the wall. Glass would shatter. Everyone would assume the position. The cat would run under the bed. I'd cower. He'd yell until he.. couldn't yell anymore.
We were on our way to have dinner with some friends and we were running late. Probably my fault as usual which only added to the tension. He hated that I made us late. I got a text from my friends that they decided to eat while waiting for us so the food wouldn't get cold but that there'd still be food for us. He couldn't believe they started. He grew angrier and angrier, repeatedly slammed his fists onto the console. He didn't stop until he punched the passenger air vent into the dashboard. We arrived at our destination but remained in the car so my tears could dry and he could calm down.
I'd never know where the anger would be directed. At an inanimate object. At the cat. At me. He begged me to not tell family or friends about what he'd say or do to me.
We almost lost friends a few times. Once after a bar fight he instigated. Another after he was upset his glasses got twisted from a wrestling match with a friend. They couldn't be around his angry outbursts- wives were scared, their future children couldn't be around it. He'd profusely apologize and charm them into sticking around. Those friends would be in *both* his wedding parties.
Scars are everywhere. Cracks in vases that were in the path of his chosen projectile. Broken air vents in my car from his fists. Flinching whenever someone around me starts to lose their temper.
Did he hit me? No. Grabbing me when he didn't like what I say, sure. Calling me cunt when I fought back, yes. Threatening to get me fired, absolutely.
It took my friend asking me, "Katherine, do you think you're in an abusive relationship?" for me to realize that abuse is more than with fists. It's with words, with money, with control.
It is NOT ok for your partner to call you names.
It is NOT ok for your partner to hold authority over you.
It is NOT ok for people to talk you out of getting a restraining order because it will hurt the person who violates you.
Abuse is NEVER deserved.
National Domestic Violence Hotline