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Author Topic: He shot you in the EYE!
Rhiandmoi
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I was watching Dr. Phil, and the topic of the day was once again abusive relationships. One of the guests was so amazingly in denial. Her boyfriend shot her in the EYE. Not on accident. She still wants to be with him. He had been physically abusive before shooting her. He's in jail right now, not for attempted murder because she lied to the police about it being an accident. She still wants to be with him when he gets out of jail.

I know there is a lot of denial as part of the abuser/abused relationship, but wouldn't getting shot in the eye on purpose be a major denial buster?

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candycane from strangers
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I think some (note I'm not saying all) people who are in abusive relationships aren't just in denial, but have emotional or mental problems. This lady definitely sounds like that's the case.

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The Ota Faction
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:

I know there is a lot of denial as part of the abuser/abused relationship, but wouldn't getting shot in the eye on purpose be a major denial buster?

Unfortunately, it seems not. Denial and rationalization ("well, he's beaten me worse than this") can be powerful things, and a steady pattern of abuse can actually reinforce these. There are too many spouses or partners killed or hospitalized to think that there is a line that can be crossed. [Frown] Of course, I don't believe that the abused person is to blame at all for this. Emotional manipulation is a common occurance in abusive relationships.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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In my experience, usually the physical stuff starts only after you've been worked over pretty well mentally.

I am still shocked at the stuff I put up with from my exH. He never hit me. But there was a lot of non-contact violence.

But it escalated little by little. Looking back from being out of it, it's shocking. While I was there, it was just a little worse each time.

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YeeMum
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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TG said
quote:
In my experience, usually the physical stuff starts only after you've been worked over pretty well mentally.
And it IME did build over time.

Another thing that happens (not everytime I suppose) is that by the time it has reached the physical level the abusee has been convinced that if s/he(the abusee) tries to leave the abuser s/he(the abuser) will have no problem 'finding' the abusee and "teaching them a lesson".
BTDT myself.

I have (since my escape) done all I could to help other abusee's gain their independance back but the success rate is low.
It becomes 'too hard' or 's/he really will change' the ever popular 's/he's all I have'.

Yee-waving to fellow escapee's everywhere-Mum

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geminilee
The First USA Noel


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Not only does it build slowly, it becomes a sick punishment/reward cycle. You will never find a guy as sweet as an abuser when he is having a good day, or when he is "sorry".
Abusers select women with low self-esteem generally, lure the women away from all their other relationships with family and friends, and at first provide huge amounts of positive reinforcement. Then, after they lose their temper, they are very remorseful and often provide the huge amounts of positive reinforcement again. Not only does this keep the woman close to him (oh, he doesn't mean it, it is X) it can warp her sense of what is pleasurable. The abuse becomes caught up in the feedback cycle, and is not judged as harshly as it would be if it were removed from the positive feedback.
Plus, the human mind is capable of normalizing just about anything.

*Do not imply from my use of she that only women are affected this way. I was just going with the odds.

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LizzyJingleBells
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My first ex was abusive, and it took me forever to leave, nearly 2 years. Like T-girl it was gradual, but for me it did escallate into physical. He worked my brain over pretty good before he got to my body.

Thank gods I got out of there before he did worse than hurt me.

I have a hard time understanding how the woman in the OP couldn't leave after that, but leaving is easier said than done. You have to be ready to do it; no one outside of the situation can make you. And that's the sad part.

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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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And it gets to where the victim believes s/he deserves the abuse. I suppose that can even be dragged out far enough that the woman believed it was her own fault the nfbsker shot her.

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quiltsbypam
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And then there's the problem that some abusers are the most dangerous when the abusee has finally made the break from the relationship. If the abusee is told "I'll find you and I'll kill you if you leave," the abusee may have every reason to believe it.

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YeeMum
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Having been told how 'he' was going to kill me and how 'he' was going to dispose of the body (it might have worked)I can tell you all of the above situations can and do happen.
geminilee, you are spot on with the rewards cycle.
Minstrel, your comment is accurrate as well.

The woman in the OP has either made the first step (publically admitting the abuse) OR she has become a 'pity me' personality (that will dive right back in to the situation).

There is, possibly, a third option but only she can guess what it might be.

It sounds like we have a lot of 'survivors' (does anyone like that term) here.

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quiltsbypam
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by YeeMum, tossing cookies:
Having been told how 'he' was going to kill me and how 'he' was going to dispose of the body (it might have worked)I can tell you all of the above situations can and do happen.
geminilee, you are spot on with the rewards cycle.
Minstrel, your comment is accurrate as well.

The woman in the OP has either made the first step (publically admitting the abuse) OR she has become a 'pity me' personality (that will dive right back in to the situation).

There is, possibly, a third option but only she can guess what it might be.

It sounds like we have a lot of 'survivors' (does anyone like that term) here.

AFAIC, "survivor" is a great word. My situation wasn't nearly as dramatic as Minstrel's, but for a while my theme song was "I'm Still Standin'" by Elton John.

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Kitten in the rain
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She also might not feel that she has any worth without him. A lot of people stay in situations that are Very Bad for them because they're so afraid of the big, wide unknown as to make it worse. She might believe that he's the only man who could ever tolerate her. She might believe that she's not good enough to survive on her own.

She might believe that she deserves everything she got and more.

Low self-esteem can make a person willing to put up with things that most people with be shocked at because it's just run of the mill, to be expected.

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
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IME, people who get caught up in abusive relationships tend to have a history of it. All of mine have been some type of abusive.

You start to feel like they are the only one, that they are so good when they're good that when they're bad it doesn't matter. You doubt yourself and obsess about how to "fix" yourself. You can't make decisions about them. You feel sorry for them. You want to "help" them. You feel obliged to them.

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ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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Gosh, it seems I've been really lucky! One of my friends though...a couple weeks ago she called me, and when I went to pick her up, a huge hunk of her hair had been pulled out, she had bruises around her neck and on her arms and side, and yet she was on the phone with him begging him to take her back because she couldn't live without him. Two days later everything's fine, no worries, she started it so it's her fault, etc. I wish I could get her to see it, but I guess you have to do it for yourself.

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Mosherette
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quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
You will never find a guy as sweet as an abuser when he is having a good day, or when he is "sorry".

God, ain't that the truth [Frown]

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guruwan2b
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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
You will never find a guy as sweet as an abuser when he is having a good day, or when he is "sorry".

God, ain't that the truth [Frown]
Been there, done that. It wasn't till I thought the kids might be in danger that I left. He came in high as a kite. His mother, sister, the two kids and I grabbed diaper bags and "went to the store". 2 hours later we were at another SIL's house on a Navy base. He couldn't get in unsponsored.
He had only hit me one time, but the verbal abuse was constant.

ETA: This was the ex, not the current DH.

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
You will never find a guy as sweet as an abuser when he is having a good day, or when he is "sorry".

God, ain't that the truth [Frown]
Been there, done that. It wasn't till I thought the kids might be in danger that I left. He came in high as a kite. His mother, sister, the two kids and I grabbed diaper bags and "went to the store". 2 hours later we were at another SIL's house on a Navy base. He couldn't get in unsponsored.
He had only hit me one time, but the verbal abuse was constant.

ETA: This was the ex, not the current DH.

Thank the cosmos his family were there for you! So many abusers manage to cut their victims off from all sources of support.

Nonny

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Little Pink Pill
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It's upsetting how common this is, and how much we all seem to know about it. A good friend of mine is heading down this path now, and all her friends are struggling to somehow keep her from going there. She is prepared to marry a very emotionally abusive guy, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it escalated into physical violence. But she has all but said she won't leave him if it does.

We're afraid that if we say any more than we have, she will quit talking to us about it, but we all feel so desperate. Does anyone have any advice besides being there to pick up the pieces? I feel like I'm standing by helplessly, watching watching a nasty child rip the petals from a rose.

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MissEltoe
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IME (well, my best friend's experience), it seems to me that (much like others have said) it is not only a physical, but emotional abuse "thing" a lot of the time. I've witnessed her boyfriend of 5 years physically abuse her, and it made ME crazy. She'd told me about it, but I had never witnessed it until the one night.
The last straw for me was the fact that her kid was in the car while this was going on. I mean, you may not have respect for yourself, but DAMN! Your kid????
Abusive situations make me REALLY sad, especially when it's my best friend of 21 years and my Godchild involved.
I just don't understand what has to happen in order for the women in these situations to realize they don't need to be in these relationships.

ETA: I'm drained of all energy just posting/thinking about this subject. I pray for all women in abusive relationships. [Frown]

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guruwan2b
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quote:
Originally posted by splatters of Nonny Mousse:
quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
You will never find a guy as sweet as an abuser when he is having a good day, or when he is "sorry".

God, ain't that the truth [Frown]
Been there, done that. It wasn't till I thought the kids might be in danger that I left. He came in high as a kite. His mother, sister, the two kids and I grabbed diaper bags and "went to the store". 2 hours later we were at another SIL's house on a Navy base. He couldn't get in unsponsored.
He had only hit me one time, but the verbal abuse was constant.

ETA: This was the ex, not the current DH.

Thank the cosmos his family were there for you! So many abusers manage to cut their victims off from all sources of support.

Nonny

That's right. After we got married, we moved from OK to south Texas. Fortunately he had already pissed off most of his family, so they did support me. I don't know if I could have gotten out of there without their help. I knew nobody except them.
Kim

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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The cycle of violence is a strange thing. It makes some semblance of sense to the people in the relationship but doesn't really make sense to onlookers. I think what everyone has said is true. The violence often starts slowly. The victim (usually but not always a woman) comes to have low self-esteem, that she deserves what she gets. The abuser blames the victim ("Why do you make me do this?", "You make me crazy." etc.) I think an important part is the apology part of the cycle. The abuser apologizes, makes nice, makes promises, etc. Then it all continues again.

With the OP, I would bet that the victim has little to no self-esteem or self worth and the abuser has promised that he will never do it again.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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She might also be economically dependent upon him. Many abused partners do not work (often at the abusive partner's insistance) and have given their finances over to the abusive partner.

Abused mothers may fear losing their children due to DFCS classifying her as an "unfit" mother.

The posters above have gone over many of the reasons abused partners return to their abusers that we went over in psych classes.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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Jason, you have a good point. There could also be friends family encouraging her to stay, perhaps for economic reasons, based on children they have, etc.

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ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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I know one of the reasons that my friend stay with her abusive BF is that she took on close to 20,000 in debt while he was going through 8 jobs in 4 months. He was the one deciding that they needed new furniture, they needed to move somewhere more expensive, they needed to upgrade their cable, he needed a poker table, etc, yet she was the one paying all the bills. So, in my friend's mind, if he left her, then she wouldn't be able to pay all her bills, and her life would collapse.

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Communication Attempt
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quote:
The abuser apologizes, makes nice, makes promises, etc. Then it all continues again.
I call it the Homer Simpson cycle

Sorry for making such a crude joke in a serious thread but it had to come out XD


Seriously though abusive partners are like religion,they take and take and take and only give you promises in return.Some people believe it,some don't

I had a cousin(let's call her Jane,not her real name) who had fallen head over heels for this weird guy(let's call him Ron).I hated him from the start,he liked presenting Jane to his friends like a trophy and make crudes comments like "I hit the jackpot,just look at her knockers!".

I asked Jane why she stayed with him and she told me that he can be nice sometimes.At first I let it go since Ron was indeed drunk.

After a few weeks of watching them,I realized that Ron is never nice,he treats everybody who's not giving him anything like trash (You'd be his best buddy as long as you're giving him money to buy booze).Finally Jane's mother made a move by kicking him out of Jane's house,one day he came home to find his stuff on the front lawn while we moved Jane's stuff back to her mother's house.We left him only a warning that if he came close to Jane again there would be trouble.

After that Jane got a nice boyfriend and she's finally happy.After all that mess I asked her again what she had seen in Ron in the first place.She took a few seconds to think it over and just shrugged and said "I don't know"

From this I deduced that those relationships survive mostly on intimidation.The abuser manages to constantly intimidate the abused who can't resist and does as he/she is told.In many cases I heard about the abused had been told that the cops or her family couldn't help her and the abuser would find a way to reach him/her somehow.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten in the rain:

Low self-esteem can make a person willing to put up with things that most people with be shocked at because it's just run of the mill, to be expected.

It's not just low self esteem. It's a pattern of behavior that has probably been ingrained from a very young age.

Did we work on this issue in therapy after my divorce? You bet I did!

The thing is, when I was brought up, I was rewarded for putting others feelings first, at the expense of my own. Maintaining a familial relationship, at the expense of my dignity, and even well being, was ingrained.

This came, in my case, from my interactions with my youngest brother and from those with my mother's extended family. It was not okay for me to stand up to the uncle who was being inappropriate, lest I "hurt his feelings" and "damage the relationship". I had to "understand" that my grandfather had a hard life and, therefore, his being an abusive asshole was totally understandable. The earliest recollection I have of this is when I was 4 years old.

When my brother would get angry and physically violent toward me, my mother would ask me what I had done to provoke it.

And there was the oft-repeated mantra of "You hurt the ones you love the most".

My parents' relationship was not abusive. But I still got the message.

Is it any surprise that this is what I expected as normal, especially in peer to peer relationships, when I grew up?

I always had plenty of self-esteem going into the relationships. But repeated reminders that I was worthless rather eroded that. And what made it worse is that the survival patterns I learned as a child made me expect reward for my passivity. That it earned me disrepect and worse reinforced the idea that there was something wrong with me and my behavior, even further eroding my self-esteem.

And of course, there is another aspect to this. We spend a lot of time wondering about (and sometimes lecturing, N.B.: I am not accusing anyone here of doing this) the behavior and motivations of the abusee who stays but nothing much is said about those of the repeat abuser.

There are lots of people around (again not here) who are perfectly willing to say "You are stupid for staying". Fewer are willing to stand up to the man and say "You are wrong for abusing."

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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GreenJeanz
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I think that my last ex would've hit me had we not been in a long distance relationship and thus it was impossible. I realized he was a hopeless asshole and dumped him, and now have a man who treats me lovingly and with respect.

I saw the Dr Phil episode and could've SCREAMED. This woman was, and still is, beautiful on the outside. I'm sure she's beautiful on the inside too; why can't she see it, and see that she's worth SO MUCH MORE than this woman-abusing piece of crap she wants to go back to?

Posts: 35 | From: GA, USA | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Ota Faction
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseGirl:
There are lots of people around (again not here) who are perfectly willing to say "You are stupid for staying". Fewer are willing to stand up to the man and say "You are wrong for abusing."

To be totally honest, I've never bothered to rationalize the behavior of an abuser, since I find the act unexcusable. Perhaps I'm being a bit closed minded about it, I guess. I suppose there must be some cases where the abuse is just perpetuating a cycle, or even due to a mental disorder that causes violent behaviour, but abuse is one of the few things I don't deal with rationally. I'm not even sure why, since I was never abused, nor dealt with or was familiar with a relationship that was obviously abusive.

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"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
"That lonely recluse who lives down the road is crying out. So is that pregnant teenager. And the prostitute. And the drunkard."
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Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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TGirl,
I feel like when you made your comments about being "rewarded" for putting others first and having high self esteem "into" relationships were snippets from my own brain. Although you articulated them way better than I could have.

Lydia "been there, done that, just now working on it" Oh Lydia

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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Wow, this board never ceases to amaze me. To all of you survivors, congratulations on the strength you are writing about. The strength to leave, the strength to get help so you don't repeat. Your words are making me tear up! In a good way. So thankful you're able to post and even more thankful that you're able to move on, move up. Truly, truly inspiring group!

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Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

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YeeMum
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I still "duck" sometimes.(Wrong word, wrong inflection,*you* know) I (thankfully now) have a circle of friends that catch me when I fall.
And (say it with me ladies ETA and gents..) No-one WILL EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!

One must be carefull though. I once threw away a perfectly good person because he 'hit one of those buttons.'

Menolly Thank you for your words.(I know you weren't talking to me personally but I thank you none the less)

TGirl may I hug you?


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"I am putting you on hold now.Listen to the elevator music and LIKE it."~My 'J'

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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This thread, and especially TGirl's comments, have given me much to think about. I have never believed that I lacked self-esteem, or that I was taught always to put others' feelings before my own. And yet, I followed the same pattern described here of allowing myself to be verbally and emotionally bullied, to an increasing degree. The abuse never became physical, but it certainly had the potential to do so. If I'm honest with myself, I can't be certain that I would have left promptly if it had.

Hugs and vibes to all the survivors.

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lioness
Deck the Malls


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I too, am a survivor of an abusive marriage, somehow I managed to escape before the abuse went from emotional and verbal to physical. He really tried to isolate me from my family, but that ultimately failed. An example of his attempt at isolation was that he threw the phone in the toilet. He also hated my therapist, probably because he knew that she'd help me to realize the danger of that relationship. For me, the scariest time was when I went ahead and filed for divorce, as it was taking back control of my life.

Like most abusers, he said that everything was MY fault, even stuff I had no control over. He hated the idea of me working, because he thought I'd work on Sundays, which according to his church is a sin. In reality, he didn't want me to work at all so he could control the finances. He also got stuff he couldn't pay for like a cell phone and a satelite dish when the cable was cut off because he HAD to watch his pro wrestling.

It took me years of therapy to repair my damaged self-esteem from this ex. To this day, I often have problems with over-apologizing for stuff because of that NFBSKer. Because of the therapy, I'm now in a healthy relationship with a REAL man who wouldn't even THINK of calling a woman a bad name or hitting her. I saw that DrPhil show, and couldn't watch the entire thing as it triggered the PTSD that resulted from that marriage from hell. Fortunately, my ex has not contacted me in the years since the divorce was final, so I know I dodged a bullet. I know that if I didn't escape when I did, the abuse would have become physical as he was working on tearing me down enough to get away with hitting me.

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by YeeMum, tossing cookies:
Menolly Thank you for your words.(I know you weren't talking to me personally but I thank you none the less)

Yeemum, I was applauding (as my mom would say)all y'all who have survived and surpassed situations like this. So yeah, I actually was talking to you as well. [Smile]

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Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I just happened upon this thread, and so much of what everyone said hit very close to home - especially what YeeMum said about still ducking sometimes. I don't do that any more, but when I first met my now husband, we could be sitting on the couch watching television and I would duck or flinch every time he raised his arms to stretch or reached around to scratch his back. It took quite a while for that reflex to disappear. I had typed about my experience in this thread
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/53/t/003629/p/1.html
so will just copy it here. Isn't it amazing how many of us have BTDT, got the tee-shirt? Not fun.
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quote:
Originally posted by Bach_girl:
If we go with the theory of holding abusers responsible for suicides, we would have to include school bullies/tormentors, parents (as mentioned before), and possibly employers/co-workers. That would be taking it too far.

I think that we would have to draw the line where the person had or didn't have any way of getting out of the situation, for example if they were being restrained. Otherwise the person is making a consious decision to remain in the situation.

Unfortunately the government cannot force us to have morals, or punish those who break our spirit.

I have to agree that you can't legally hold another person responsible for another's suicide, but I cannot agree that your statement, "Otherwise the person is making a conscious decision to remain in the situation" is correct.

An abused person who remains in the situation is most likely beaten down so that she/he has not the energy nor the will to leave.

I kept my own situation hidden for a long time. I was embarrassed that someone who was supposed to love me could treat me like that. I was ashamed because he had me convinced that I deserved such treatment. I was afraid because he threatened to kill me, and, after he backed me into a corner holding a loaded pistol under my nose while I was pregnant with my middle child, I believed him.

The turning point came one day when his daughter got between us, and he almost hit her in the face before he realized it. My 2½-year-old-son then turned into a maniac. He grabbed his dad's belt and climbed up him like a monkey and latched onto his nose with his teeth. It took all of my strength to unattach my son from the jerk's nose and all of my resolve to call my Daddy to come and get us. I could no longer allow my children to suffer, and suffer they did, even though he never hit them. My older daughter remembers, but the two younger ones don't. Jerk tried to tell my Daddy that my lip was cut open because I had fallen and hit the side of the bathtub. Yeah, right. That's the only time I ever heard my Daddy cuss!

Too late to make a long story short, but you get the picture. The trapped feeling and the fear is very difficult to shake, and very few abused people stay because they've made a conscious decision to do so. It's more like the decision is made for them, and they can't break away. And it hurts like hell.
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Signora Del "another survivor" Drago

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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