Hey, I never said I was an expert. I said that my experiences have shaped my opinion.
I'm sorry that you don't like my opinion, but it is what it is. I didn't say that we shouldn't help victims of abuse. I didn't say that the resources shouldn't be there. I didn't say that it was all the victims' fault.
But, in my (admittedly limited) experience, some women return to their abusers repeatedly, and not always under duress. At some point, you're only a victim because you want to be one.
At this point, I feel like you have either not read my and others' posts on this subject, or you simply do not understand the concept of "duress." This is like saying someone "likes" being a heroin addict or "likes" getting hit by a Mack truck every other day.
I think it is literally one of the least helpful things you could ever do to say "you want to be a victim." Being abused changes your entire mindset. I am not representative of all abused women, but I will use myself as an example. I have more education than my former partner, am bilingual, have a wide array of interests, and am accomplished in my professional field. HOWEVER, if you had asked me about myself like, six months ago, I would have told you to your face that I was stupid and didn't deserve any of that. Because abuse is generally not only physical, and even if it is, it messes with you psychologically and breaks you down. I wasn't sitting there saying to myself "Oh boy! It's super having to hide these bruises from my friends! I love being called a whore for wearing a v neck shirt! I'm so glad I don't get to see my own parents!" but certainly I had a skewed view of the world.
Stigma is a serious problem in the world of DV, and I believe that I and many other posters on this thread have reacted so strongly because you are perpetuating that stigma, and it is dangerous. That type of thinking gets women killed, and if you don't believe me, call any DV center or hotline and ask them.
All I can say is WOW. I'm not going to recount my story because it is not important. What is important is that Bedazzle feels supported and cared for by this online "community". Bedazzle please take care of yourself, keep your chin up, and know that if you ever need anything many of us will be there. Ignore those on this BB that want to make a train wreck of everything.
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" - Henry T. Merwin
"saddle up that Drama Llama and ride!" COTHism.....
Despite the arguments here, I will see as someone who has BTDT, I would have also insisted my Ex BF was not dangerous, and never would be. But I HID a lot that I was embarassed to admit. We do that when we feel so foolish for letting someone else demean us to the level they do.
This guy is TRADEMARK ABUSER, controlling behaviors, etc. He calls her from work NOT for help, he is CHECKING UP ON HER, but he's so manipulative, he plays to her "charitable" side by pretending HE NEEDS HER HELP.
Also, his "using" her to be his caretaker, YES, that is what abusers do. The TRUTH about ABUSERS is that they view the person they GIVE THEMSELVES PERMISSION TO ABUSE as a second class citizen. They therefore feel ENTITLED to be "serviced" by this person. And, as Bedazzled hinted.. .they even use SEX to control you. In fact, most abusers are STELLAR in the bedroom. Loving, attentive, sweet and the seem VULNERABLE during that time. It is part of their PRIDE to do well in that arena ... it gives them a feeling of POWER to know "they can get the job done, and done well." It's very tempting to stay for that, they tend to be over the top, better than any other person with whom you've been. He views BDZZLD as his servant, and nothing more.
I could go on and on, but let me say, I hid a lot, never let on how bad things really were in my relationship, and I also never SAW how bad they were. As other said, you don't when you are in it, it gets bad too slowly.
What most people do not understand is that ABUSERS have a DISTORTED SENSE OF RIGHT VS. WRONG. Only a very small percent of ABUSERS have been TRULY diagnosed with mental health issues, rather, they grow up basically total narcissists, and expect everyone to cater to them. They are the most charming, sweet, loving and attentive men at first ... it's how they draw you in. "Too good to be true" is just THAT!
Bedazzled, I have nice farm and live 2 hours away. If you need help, I will drive to you on a moment's notice, because you really are not clued in right now how bad this really is.
Anyone else with any questions, please read, "WHY DOES HE DO THAT?" A corny title, but my case worker / abuse counselor recommended it after I was brutally assaulted ... you know, by the guy I told everyone "was not dangerous."
I have one thing more to say, you ARE in danger and for whatever reason, the bells and whistles are NOT going off in your head. They didn't in mine. I thought of myself as "so tough" that the words and actions would never hurt me. And I became very CALLOUS to my own feelings, reactions, emotions. I wanted to be so TOUGH that I shut down the INNER VOICE that HAD to have been screaming GET OUT!
If you don't believe me, I will let you hear TAPE RECORDINGS of "my man" telling me he would call the police on me, when I threatened to leave him. And I have texts I can show you where he accused me of "trashing his place" and "stealing things."
I HOPE YOU LISTEN. If not, it may be 1 of the last things you do. It was nearly that for me ... no one knows why I am alive today. I just know the morning after I woke up and could WALK THIS EARTH and feel the sunshine on my face, ONLY THEN did it all hit me, how NAIVE I had been about the level of violence with which I was living. PLEASE GET OUT. I WILL HELP YOU. PLEASE LEAVE NOW.
"If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."
Sorry just thought of something else, PLEASE CALL ME JUST IF YOU NEED TO TALK. I WILL NOT JUDGE, NOR TALK OVER THE TOP OF YOU. If you wish, PM and I will give you my cell. If you need somewhere to stay until your parents come home, I am here .. *and I maintain a FULLY ARMED FULL HOUSE SECURITY SYSTEM (WANNA GUESS WHY THAT IS ???) .... *
Secondly, if you have a little time, PLEASE do some Internet searches... "mugshots.com" I think is one. And "busted.com" I think is another one. Search for his name every way and every spelling you can .... Also, please then search court records "Clerk of Courts," then "Dockets online" for his name. *This won't show up in a GOOGLE, you have to be on THAT COURT's website for it to come up .... *
Now, go search the public records for NOT ONLY FRANKLIN county, but every little town in which this bozo has lived. Despite how it sounds, I am NOT an idiot ... when I date men, I check up on them as best I can. This former ABUSER/BF fell thru the cracks on me, as I kept searching Lucas Cty (Toledo) without realizing, he had an actual RAP SHEET in Maumee! OMG! I about FAINTED when the Maumee prosecutor for my case told me that he had a "record." ... How could that be??? Well, not being from the area, I had no clue that Maumee has its own court system ... so I'd been searching the WRONG location- once the prosecutor informed me of the 3 previous charges (all acts of violence w/2 domestics and a 3rd lowered to "concealed weapon" down from another violence charge after he assaulted one of their own OFFICERS .... ) then... I felt like ... the world's biggest FOOL!
"If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."
Wow, Magnum. I think you were with my ex! Yes, everything you said is so true. I never, ever EVER thought I would be in a situation like that. But I was. I was lucky to get out when I did. I was also embarrassed and quite frankly I was just blind to a lot that was going on.
Let's just say that I am glad, so thankful and glad I got out when I did. This man that I thought would never physically abuse a woman has beaten subsequent girlfriends. I'm still scared of him.
Last edited by Capall; Nov. 8, 2012 at 10:53 PM.
Reason: Even after all these years, I am afraid he will come looking and notice too much about this to put two and two together.
It took me a lot of years, after the fact, to realize just how bad things were. I thought I was the one who had done the wrong things. I mean, it's what he told me. If I just wouldn't be such a horrid raging bitch about everything, he wouldn't get so mad at me!
Good news is, I'm stronger than ever. I was strong before, and I am stronger now on the other side. It's hard to admit- it's hard to talk about. But it's important to talk about it. I've done so much healing since I finally realized that I did not cause the abuse. That I wasn't a crazy person That I wasn't the stupid idiot he made me out to be. . I also had to forgive myself for letting myself get into such a situation. I am not stupid. I made mistakes, I wasn't perfect. A lot of my lashing out was fighting against his abuse and his control. How clearly I see that now. And nothing I did, NOTHING deserved the treatment he made me think I deserved.
It did drive me to graduate college with honors though If I ever have to face him again (something I hope I don't have to do) I hope to have my doctorate and make him call me "Doctor" and then rub it in his face. Will this actually happen? Oh heavens I hope not. I don't ever want anything to do with him again. Did the thought of seeing the look on his face when his "stupid ex wife" excelled in college cause me to smirk? Youbetcha. Even with just my BA, I worked hard for it, and had a pretty darn high GPA for being a single mother.
Please, ANYONE who has been involved with a controlling or abusive person (even if it is a BOSS, because these guys DO have jobs, ya know!), needs to read Lundy Bankcroft's book, "WHY DOES HE DO THAT?" Lundy turned the mental health professional's theories UPSIDE DOWN, and was shocked HIMSELF to learn what conniving, SANE and manipulative people that abusers are. HE organized an Abuser's counseling program, thinking, "They had been abused, and needed HELP to overcome their pas abuse... that they were mental health cases, etc." He states that NOTHING could have shocked him more to learn they are generally SANE people, and HIGHLY INTELLIGENT.... and that they will fight, basically to the DEATH, pretty much to retain a lifetime of PRIVILEGES that they have learned to orchestrate for themselves.
Lundy also points out that generally, if they get help from a therapists (rather than submitting to an Abuser's program) they can get WORSE from that, as they are such Egomaniacs, that when they get ATTENTION from their therapist (or from anyone else, really) it only "feeds the beast" and emboldens them to do more. Not only that, sometimes they get Rx drugs (sedatives, etc.) .. .talk about giving the keys to the prisoners! ... ** It sounds as if Bedazzled's BF has found one of those therapists that he is HOOD WINKING into thinking he's a mental case. HE IS NOT! ** What's so dangerous about THAT is that WE tend to trust the mental health professional's opinion, and our BF"s FAMILY's position, so we think we are wrong. WE ARE NOT!**
Lundy also noted that out of the Abusers who were COURT ORDERED to attend his sessions, there was a less than 4% "cure" rate because there belief in the sense of ENTITLEMENT they get from having woman as servants and possessions is so strong, basically, it cant be cured. He also points out, less than 23% of them were actually abused as children, or by previous spouses or lovers, which is usually their 'Schtick" to the new woman to draw her in to the idea that he is a "victim" of previous abuse himself. Truth is, anyone who has been abused is LESS LIKELY to abuse another, as they know how it HURTS.
What Bedazzled does not see, is that SHE is picking up abusive habits and ways of treating others, because she has to in order to live with this guy. He is also attempting the classic ISOLATION with her, he's got her convinced going to her parents is not good.
It has me worried she has not checked in. Presumably, she is in the "keep going back" stage right now, and just seeing the "good guy" that they all turn into when they see we are fed up. That cycle WILL END, Jekkyl and Hyde ... the Abuser will return, and sooner than she thinks.
Because every day you stay, and/or every time you take them back, they view that as a sign of WEAKNESS .. which only gives them the GREEN LIGHT they were seeking to ESCALATE FROM THEN ON OUT. Every day, the line in the sand gets pushed backwards by them.
Please check in Bedazzled. We know, you will leave ONLY WHEN YOU ARE READY. That's when ALL of us left, no matter what anyone else said. We all wanted to see only the GOOD, hold out for him to "heal" and "get better." The day will come, when you see he won't, because he's living the life of Riley.... And they day will come when you stop feeling sorry for the louse, as well. There's nothing to feel sorry FOR. He's living high on the hog with a personal foot servant under him. And that person is YOU.
What YOU deserve is only LOVE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION and TRUE CARING. What you deserve is someone who TRULY, ALL THE TIME HAS YOUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART. What you deserve is the wind softly as your back, the sun on your face, and many periods of laughter, friendship, quite moments, a sense of SAFETY, TRUE SAFETY .... and FUN.
You have LOWERED YOURSELF by taking on this man. Now time to ELEVATE YOURSELF BACK TO YOUR PREVIOUS STATUS by getting away from him. THERE IS NO FUTURE HERE, SO WHY WASTE ANOTHER DAY WITH HIM? Save yourself some time, GET OUT NOW!
He will NEVER learn, and you will NEVER "teach him." Even if you leave, there's another vulnerable female there to take up the slack. So do not worry about HIM, he's good at this, he will land on his feet (or paws! LOL!)!
"If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."
Sometimes the abusers hide it really well for the first few months. They draw you in with smooth talking. Little digs will start to come up and you will think..oh he was in a bad mood, had to much to drink blah blah. Gradually the bigger digs will come out.
Let me ask a question: does the Abuser's schtick work with everybody or only with certain types of women? What types? How can you teach girls to not be that type?
Well, you can definitely try to teach people the signs of an abusive personality and relationship. But the thing is that abusers and abusive relationships are often pretty sneaky and insidious. As others have said, a potential abuser can be completely charming, smooth talking, with many outward signs of "love" (gifts, for example.) By the time the abuse starts, the victim loves and cares about the abuser, but does NOT love the behavior.
Think about your relationships - chances are, even the people you love most do one or two things that you don't really love, or have a quirk that drives you crazy. In an unhealthy situation, the "thing you don't love" IS the abusive behavior. And abusers are great at apologizing, "making up" and swearing they'll change. When someone you love tells you they love you, they're sorry, and they'll NEVER do it again... you want to believe them, right?
There is a very well documented "cycle of abuse" that includes those steps - escalation of tension, a violent/abusive event, a reconciliation, and then tension builds again. As abuse continues the cycle usually speeds up and the severity of the abuse escalates. People don't generally put up with constant, continual beatings - there is reconciliation and a 'calm before the storm' in each cycle. (Unfortunately, that calm time is generally both the safest time to leave - and the time a victim is least likely to leave.) Statistically, victims leave or try to leave a relationship about seven times before they actually DO it. Abuse isn't about hurting someone else - it's about exerting power and control over someone else. The abuser is generally using words, actions, etc to control the victim - and make it really, really hard for the victim to be independent.
For those who are saying victims "must like to get hit", you are displaying an impressive lack of awareness and compassion for this situation. It is a complex dynamic and it's not something the average person can just walk away from. It's really easy to say what you would do/would never do, until it happens to you and you find out the choice isn't as clear as you imagined it would be. (Which is the nature of abusive relationships - they are complex, and they tend to sneak up on you.)
Anyway.... I think there's definitely potential for anyone to get into this mess, but an independent-thinker with great self esteem and a good support system is probably less likely to get tangled up in an abusive situation. One of the first steps in many abusive relationships is when the abuser tries to isolate the victim from family and friends.... so someone who refuses to let that happen has a little bit better chance, I think.