I have been abusive and controlling for my entire life. Friends, family members, past girlfriends and worst of all, my wife, have all been targets. Like most people, I only thought abuse meant hitting someone. This belief allowed me to be abusive in many other ways without feeling remorseful. I honestly thought that everyone was my enemy, and knew that I could hurt or intimidate anyone into getting my way. I often convinced myself that I was not abusive, and believed that my good deeds far overshadowed my bad deeds.
As a result of the past years of being abusive, I have been jailed twice, had a restraining order against me, lost many relationships, and my entire family feared me—even my dog. I have lost jobs, damaged a great deal of property and have deeply damaged my marriage relationship.
After verbally and physically assaulting my father-in-law and brother-in-law at a family gathering on Christmas day, I was led away in handcuffs. My family did not press charges, although they had every right to. I had hit rock bottom and finally realized I needed help. An internet search led me to Mankind.
Having a faith-based class has giving me a strong desire to be the Christ-like man God wants me to be. Week by week I became more aware of how my beliefs and behaviors impacted others. Because the facilitators were non-judging it helped me to openly address my past abuses without feeling shamed. I learned from other men in the class who had also used abuse. I now have the tools I need to stay accountable for my actions, and can choose not to be controlling or abusive.
I am truly gratefully that God brought me to ManKind. It has helped me and continues to help me be a better husband, son, brother, friend and co-worker. The long road ahead will be difficult at times, yet I count myself as one of the fortunate ones. I received the help I needed and have reconciled with my wife. I am so thankful for the grace and forgiveness she has extended to me. I once saw her as my enemy, now she is my ally. I am living proof that God is a merciful God.