This morning, I heard Billy screaming at the top of his lungs. He only makes that kind of noise when he is genuinely in pain. I rushed to see what happened. He came from the kitchen in tears and trembling. I asked him what happened. He cried, “Mommy cut me with that thing!” He showed me his thumb, which was bleeding. I asked Shu Mei what she did and she said, “I used that blood tester on him, because he wasn’t eating.” I wanted to voice my condemnation at the act, but bit my tongue.
I hugged Billy and told him in a calm voice, “You need to eat more, Billy.” That was to show Shu Mei that I was supportive of her. However, I’m really not and I hate keeping up this facade. I really hope that counseling will help her. Otherwise, I’m going to need lobotomy to stay in this relationship. I’m simply tired of her always yelling at and hitting the boys, and now using the blood tester (TWICE, as Billy later told me) to inflict even more abuse.
These kinds of situations have happened in the past and what I find surprising is that when I tell my parents about them they seem to condone Shu Mei’s actions. I must have really done something bad to them for them to take a position against me in everything, especially in this. I cannot understand how anyone can condone this. I think they’re all whacked if they cannot understand this for what it is – abuse, plain and simple. You can give all the excuses in the world for her actions, but it doesn’t make it right in the least. I know. I’ve been there. I haven’t ever been abusive to Cameron, Billy, or Tyley, but I was abusive to Tara. Even though she dished out upon me just as much as I did upon her, that doesn’t make it right. Nothing makes abuse right.
Lest you laugh this notion of Shu Mei being abusive off, here are some criteria questions from the Nova (Domestic Violence Prevention) website, with “the boys” (Billy and Tyley) being inserted into the appropriate places:
- Have the boys ever experienced verbal abuse, including put-downs or threats by Shu Mei?
- Have the boys suffered physical violence such as hitting, pushing, pulling hair by Shu Mei?
- Has Shu Mei threatened to leave the boys if they don’t do as she asks?
- Has Shu Mei tried to isolate the boys from family and friends?
- Is Shu Mei bossy; does she try to control who the boys see and what they do?
- Does Shu Mei use guilt trips to get her own way with the boys?
- Does Shu Mei have a bad temper and a history of violence? Does she brag about mistreating the boys?
- Does Shu Mei blame the boys when she treats them bad?
- Does Shu Mei treat the boys “like dirt” and humiliate them in front of family and friends?
- Are the boys afraid of Shu Mei? Do they worry about how she will react to what they say or do?
I think that most children would answer “yes” to some of those questions about their own parents, but not to ALL OF THEM, which is the answer given regarding Shu Mei’s situation with the boys. You might think I’m overreacting, but where do you draw the line? What is next? Will you think it is abuse when she cuts off a finger? How about an arm or a leg or gouge out an eye? Where do you draw the line? Will my parents finally understand it is abuse when they attend the boys’ funeral? WHAT WILL IT TAKE to make them understand the pressure I’m feeling? I love these boys so much and THEY ARE GOOD BOYS. They don’t deserve the abuse they’re getting at the hands of Shu Mei. I cannot change her, but hopefully she can change herself with the right support. I hope that my parents will follow through and encourage her to seek family therapy with me when we visit them in America.
I know that Shu Mei will be on her best behavior during that time, as she has when they have visited us here in Taiwan. It is what will happen upon our return that concerns me. If we begin therapy there, I feel she will see that it is helping and wish to continue it upon our return here to Taiwan. That is my hope and prayer.