Shawn is a violent and threatening presence in the memoir. He is always somewhat erratic, but his behavior seems to become heightened after he suffers a traumatic brain injury. Either brain trauma or perhaps inherited mental illness from his father may be motivating his violent and aggressive actions. Shawn is very dominant, and motivated by his drive to assert power, especially over women. He abuses Tara after she starts to show signs of independence and self-confidence. Shawn is a bully who wants to crush Tara's spirit, and he is motivated by taking pleasure in breaking her spirit and getting her to submit to him. Shawn's violent behavior is consistent through the memoir: he abuses both his sisters, and every woman he dates. He continues to display this pattern of behavior even after he gets married and becomes a father.