During my brief marriage to the narcopath, he only assaulted me once. It didn’t even leave any obvious marks. In fact, it was a pretty minor assault; he picked me up by my arms and tossed me a few feet across a room. But, I had him arrested anyway. Why? Because I knew if he’d do that three weeks into our marriage–when I was newly pregnant–things were not going to get better.
My other reason? It was the first thing he did that was actually illegal. It was far, far, far from the worst, but it was the only abuse that a court would pay attention to. I knew it was my best hope at getting a bit of help for the severe abuse I was already experiencing.
The narcopath and his enablers love to rationalize his behavior by saying he “only” did one thing to me. My ex mocks me and says things like “oh yeah, I assaulted her soooo badly,” and his minions laugh about it. Even the magistrate in our case says that what he did wasn’t so bad, so she sees no reason to protect my very young child with supervised visits. From the narcopath’s supporters, I constantly hear that he “only” assaulted me lightly once.
No, that is not the only thing he did.
That was just the only thing he did that is recognized as abuse and is illegal.
The assault was never the worst part of the marriage. It’s not the part that left me with an initial PTSD diagnosis. It was just a tangible example of the terror. The worst part was never knowing when he was going to go into a rage and start screaming obscenities at me. The worst part was being called “stupid,” “idiot,” and moron repeatedly. The worst part was when he went into a rage in the car and started driving 100 miles per hour while weaving in and out of traffic. The worst part was when he would get mad at other drivers and start acting like he was about to ram the car into them…then coming shockingly close to actually doing it. The worst part was spinning out of control on a highway ramp when he was driving dangerously fast in the rain. The worst part was his telling me if I didn’t obey, he would cheat on me. The worst part was when he made me change my phone number so my friends who were concerned for my safety could not contact me. The worst part was his going insane for hours, then screaming and calling me a baby when I was crying in fear. The worst part was wondering if my baby and I were going to make it home alive….
Then there were the times he told me how ugly my body was, told me I was lucky he’d marry me because no man would want me, told me if I died, he’d make sure my child would get a good step-mother. Oh and the times he bragged about cheating on me. Or maybe the times he left threatening messages for me to call him back, but then he raged and screamed that I was not allowed to call him because HE would decide when we talked. All the gaslighting, all the confusion, all the stress, all the fear, all the prayers, all the tears….
No. The assault wasn’t much at all…compared to the extreme abuse I was putting up with every hour of the day.