’Beautiful Monster’: True life account of a relationship fraught with violence and addiction
Cape Town - When Jay Badenhorst married his high school sweetheart he hoped for a fairytale story, but instead found himself in a dysfunctional and abusive relationship.
Badenhorst, a poet and entrepreneur, details the abusive relationship he had with his former wife Melissa in his new book Beautiful Monster.
Badenhorst chronicles a relationship that was marred by violence and struggles with addiction. He said he wanted to shed light on the fact that most men battle to speak out when they are on the receiving end of abuse.
“There is a stigma attached to the issue. A sense of shame overwhelms anyone who finds themselves in this kind of situation. Men often feel that no one will believe them, and even in the case that someone might, there is the fear of being ridiculed or seen as weak, and because people don’t talk about male spousal abuse, it seems to be even more unbelievable.”
He gives details of the dynamics of their relationship and how he loved his wife dearly to the point where he overlooked her flaws, but he had to endure constant emotional abuse that increasingly challenged his mental health.
The climate of the book changes from when he becomes a dad, to when he separates from Melissa and when he experiences new feelings of becoming a single parent all at once when Melissa dies due to organ failure.
Further along his memoir, Badenhorst explains how experienced post-traumatic stress disorder because of years of physical and mental violence. He revealed that his coping mechanism was by jotting down his story in Beautiful Monster. This was his way of comforting himself and beginning his self-healing operation journey.
Badenhorst said a big part of putting his story out there was so that he could heal. He wanted to purge himself of the secrets and shed light on a topic that is not often talked about.
“What I wish for those that read it who might be experiencing something similar, is that they see there is a way out. That they aren’t alone in their struggle.”
Badenhorst hopes to pursue his debut by writing a series of light-hearted novels, detailing life as a single parent and raising his son alone.
“I think perhaps I won't ever get full closure. There are too many things left unfinished, unanswered, unsaid. But through Beautiful Monster I suppose I have found my own conclusion. My story is out there now, it's no longer buried inside me, haunting me, eating me up. Maybe one day I can let go of it completely.”