Anger Management
GMTV – Clip 2
3rd November 2008
00:00 gmtv
00:00 Presenter
First, though, hereís a statistic that might shock you Ė Iím sure it will. According to Home Office research, one in six men will be victims of domestic abuse at the hands of their partner Ė a subject thatís investigated in ITV1ís Tonight programme this evening. With me now, Florence Terry, who admits that for years she used to regularly attack her own husband behind closed doors.
00:19 Itís great that youíre here talking about this, do you know that? Because itís one of these things that is kind of shoved away in the background, and nobody airs it and nobody talks about it. I think, just like thereís still unfortunately a sense of shame for women getting battered, itís the same for men Ė maybe more so, do you think?
Used to be violent towards her husband
00:37 Florence Terry
Certainly my husband was very ashamed. He was ashamed for me, thinking what would people think of me if they knew how I was? And he was ashamed himself, thinking that it reflected badly on him as a husband. He thought that if he was a good husband, then his wife would be happy and wouldnít be getting so cross.
00:57 Presenter
Do you think were you taking out your anger on the world on him, or was it him specifically you were annoyed with? How did it manifest itself?
01:02 Florence Terry
Okay. So four years ago I went on anger management, and I can now answer the question differently than I did then. So at the time part of me thought that it was about him Ė that he was so annoying! And when I went to the anger management course it was very clear to me that actually it wasnít about him; it was the straw that set me off, that triggered me, but actually it was because I was too stressed, I was too tired, I was beating myself up with negative self-talk and stuff.
01:32 Presenter
Yeah. And he was the one closest to you, I guess! (Yeah) How is it, though Ė I mean, did you just kind of thump him? I mean, because is he a big man? And he would never, obviously, hit you back?
01:44 Florence Terry
No, he wouldnít.
01:44 Presenter
He would just take it?
01:46 Florence Terry
Yes, heís a gentle giant. And it would be just suddenly when Iíd lose my temper, and then Iíd be flailing, and then Iíd be back to nowhere.
01:56 Presenter
It must have been very difficult afterwards. Because what do you do? Were you able to talk about it to him? Were you able to sort of say, `Iím so sorry, I donít know what got into meí? How did you move on from those incidents and try and get back to some sort of normality?.
02:09 Florence Terry
I found it really, really difficult. He had more knowledge of me than I did, so he would say, `I understand. You know, itís all right! Itís over. Just be as sweet as you can be,í was his phrase! But for me, how could I Ė I couldnít understand how: I loved him, I could see that he was just human and that he did loads of things that were good and some things that were annoying: how come, as somebody who wanted to behave appropriately, I sometimes lost control?
02:37 And then how – because I never used a weapon, how was it that, if I could control myself not to pick up a weapon, as I claimed that I was out of control when I hit him? So it was a lot of self-questioning, which made me more ashamed.
02:51 Presenter
Because thatís the thing. It is the shame. And youíre right: you know, youíd be ashamed, heíd be ashamed. He wouldnít be able to talk about it to anyone else, presumably.
02:56 Florence Terry
Oh, no!
02:57 Presenter
And because thatís the thing: you just donít. How did you manage to get help?
03:02 Florence Terry
Well, it was hard to get help because I couldnít tell anyone that Iíd got the problem.
03:05 Presenter
Right, exactly, yeah!
03:06 Florence Terry
So that is partly why Iím here today: because Iím hoping that people will think, `Okay, so itís an inappropriate thing to do. Donít want to do it. But actually I can talk about it. There are other people doing it.í Because I asked indirect questions Ė not quite, you know, `My friendís got a problem,í but that type of thing.
03:22 Presenter
But that sort of thing, yeah.
03:23 Florence Terry
Which meant that it took me literally years, because I found out about probation services; but Paul wasnít reporting me to the police, so that wasnít going to help me! I found out about menís centres; but they only took men who were violent. And it was four years before a leaflet came through the door at work Ė because Iím a divorce lawyer and mediator, and thereís counsellors there Ė and it was a British Association of Anger Management leaflet. And I went on the web and saw that they took angry women as well, and signed myself up.
03:53 Presenter
Good for you to actually do that! How strange, because you would be in the position in your job of seeing this from both angles, I guess.
03:59 Florence Terry
Oh, I know!
04:00 Presenter
Itís just so ironic in a sense, but in a way thatís probably why you managed to get help. And itís fantastic that youíre here talking about it, because I do think there will be people watching today who are in the same position and feel that theyíre the only ones, and also that there isnít any help. What would you suggest that they do? What would be the best thing for them to do?
04:16 Florence Terry
I think anger management is really important. Because Iíd tried self-help books, and itís hard to help yourself. You know, if you could help yourself, then you wouldnít be having the problem, probably!
04:28 Presenter
Sure, absolutely.
04:30 Florence Terry
And Iím not saying that self-help books arenít helpful Ė they are. But to be in a group of other people. And a lot of itís about understanding yourself, and other people can help you understand yourself. And a lot of itís understanding other people. When you realise that actually other people tick because of something very different. You know, if I did X, that would be hostile; but if they do it, itís not.
04:51 Presenter
Right, okay.
04:52 Florence Terry
And so when you can understand more about other people, youíre less likely to take things personally. So.
04:57 Presenter
Well, I think itís wonderful that youíre here. And obviously all the details Ė and I know that you do help as well Ė weíll stick them all on our website so that people can do wonderful things technology-wise and actually get more information! Thank you so, so much. Thank you for coming.