In the last episode of The Walking Dead, ‘Self-Help’, Abraham was having some flashbacks on what happened to his family. He was having flashbacks of the brutal beating that he displayed on the people that were there with them as well and some people had wondered why would the family run away if Abraham had saved them.
Here is the response from actor Michael Cudlitz via Entertainment Weekly:
He has basically become what he is protecting them from
"He has basically become what he is protecting them from. That horrifies his family. They don’t know who to be more afraid of, and because of that they wind up leaving. And all he’s trying to do is protect his family from, unfortunately, the group. The way it plays out in the comic is that this is actually the group that he has been traveling with. He goes out on a scavenger mission, comes back, and finds out that members of the group have raped his wife and his daughter, and made his son watch. And then he basically has a dismantling party on those members of the group. What happens is his wife basically says, “You have become worse than them.” And she leaves. And he can’t find them. He finally does find them, comes across them, and they’ve all been killed by walkers. In the comics — which I don’t think was necessary to do and I’m glad we chose to tell it the way we did, because I think there’s more of an emotional punch when you see something visually and there is a line that can be crossed — in the comics, actually, his wife and his son had been eaten so badly that there is nothing left to come back, and his daughter did come back and he winds up having to shoot her in the face. And that’s in the Robert Kirkman graphic novel. I think we’ve successfully captured the emotion of what went down with his family, and then also what has spurred him into action from taking his own life, when he has nothing left to live for, which was a mission that was outside of himself, bigger than himself, bigger than his family, and this is sort of his way to redeem himself for something that he thinks he’s caused, which was the death of his family."
The actual comic storyline is heavy. They didn’t have to show it all, but there were some question marks one why he actually was beating down those men. He said that he saved them, but we don’t know what he saved them from. The beating was pretty brutal though.
Did they portray it correctly in the tv series? That is the question. Could you really understand why the family left after seeing him beat down those people?
It is a crazy situation. Who knows how people would feel if they saw a brutal killing like that?