A little about me

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Brook, IN, United States
Abuse doesn't stop at the court room. Melinda has shared her battles in her life and through the court room as she navigates through the legal system Bringing encouragement, insight and empowerment to those that are in a abusive relationship. She is in the process of creating a new life, speaking engagements to "Break the Silence" of abuse, while putting a face to abuse. She is currently working on writing a book about her experiences as a Survivor.View short Bio here- https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ahappymedium/2013/02/notbrokenbutbrave/

Friday, April 29, 2011

Walk in the Park for Fair Haven-FirstGiving - Your fundraising

Fair Haven Center for Women would like to invite you to be a part of our 8th Annual Walk in the Park on Saturday, April 30, 2011 @Wicker Memorial Park's beautiful Walking Trail. 

Our day will focus on progress, intervention and healing! We are planning an exciting day which includes music, food, prizes, raffle baskets and fun for the entire family! 

If you can't make it please consider a donation to this group. I am raising funds through FirstGiving - Your fundraising

Thank you!

Timeless quotes! Not for the faint of heart!

That still makes me GIGGLE! I have been called many names but to be called this was priceless!
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Buckle up baby!
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"You better put a condom on - if you're gonna act like a dick you need to dress like one." HBI Robin

"IF I cared, I'd draw you a map of your ass with an X marking the spot where your head is buried."
-- Fabulana

"Just because I don't want to f*** you anymore doesn't make me a lesbian. It just makes you an asshole."
-- HBI Rebecca


"I believe in the ugly truth rather than the beautiful lie."

"Hun, your jerk boyfriend is like a bottle of sour milk in the fridge. You don't keep going back and tasting the milk to see if it's better; why do you think that if you give him enough chances, he'll magically become a nice guy?"
-- HBI  Ann


"The trick is not how much pain you feel -but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses."
-- Erica Jong

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have the obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contributions in life unless you do that."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

"I couldn't give a rat's tutu about your emotional distress"
-- Judge Judy

If he really WANTS to use his head as a butt-plug, maybe you should just, you know, LET him. Perhaps he has a fondness for using santorum as a hair-grooming product."
-- Instigatrix

"Victimhood is not a costume donned to gain attention"
-- Debby

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
-- Maya Angelou

God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
BIBLE, 1 Corinthians 10:13
 
"If brevity is the soul of wit, your penis must be a riot."
-- Donna Gephart ("The Wicked Little Book of Quotes")
 
Mom, romance is dead. It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece."
-- Lisa Simpson
 
"If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people."
-- Virginia Woolf

"Just because I accept you as you are does not mean that I have given up all hope of your improvement."
-- Ashleigh Brilliant
 
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists



 

No pity please


Life is about making choices, choosing your path and climbing mountains on the road of life. We pick and choose what we want our reality to be. Choices are plentiful! Where we choose to go is totally up to us. Sometimes we are blinded by obstacles on our path, which leads us to take a different way that is not always the best way to go. Taking the long road can because it seems smoother or there aren't too many curves in the road may seem to be the best way to go. But darn those pot holes!

Looking back I see the choices I had, since this has came to be, I can see clearer. I have that old song ringing in my head right now~ I can see clearer now the rain is gone! I can see all the obstacles in my wayyyy!!! Ok, terribly off key! You get the picture. I hear alot of "I'm sorry", or "that's terrible" and that is fine, I figure people don't know exactly what to say when they hear my story. I don't want pity though, I chose my path and I knew in some ways what I was getting into. I talked my way out of leaving so many times, believing he would change and Lord knows I prayed constantly for our marriage. I do appreciate any concerns so don't get me wrong. I just don't want anyone feeling sorry for me.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? I don't feel very strong, though I do get that comment alot. I feel if I were stronger I would have left a long time before getting married. I don't feel very strong inside.

I totally blew past signs and warning lights on my path. I stubbornly pressed forward with my foot on the pedal ignoring or brushing off things that came up. I should have paused and thought more closely. If I could tell my younger self these things how would my life be? Since I can not do that and I have beautiful children, I would not do over now. Then maybe, but knowing what I know now? No. But I can change my future!

I can pause and not be that punching bag, not be that woman that takes insults and harbors hurt in my heart. I am getting to a point where I can feel comfortable in stating when I am upset or hurt or angry. It's not immediately, but after a few days I feel I can let go of these feelings without any regret or concern of reprecussions from what I said. Or to worry that things I said will be later thrown in my face.

I sometimes have to cringe inside when I hear people use tones that remind me of him. Or words or small things that remind me of him. I am still jumpy, I am still hesitant and cautious, I am still afraid and I am still worried about if I'm doing things wrong or correctly. I give myself a hard time if I don't remember to do things. And I believe "I" am my worst enemy now because of old habits that I try to break.

I am going about cleaning my house inside my brain and with my emotions, trying to find the woman I once was, knowing she is in here somewhere. She comes out every once in a while, like a timid deer that is caught in head lights. I know there is a huge part of me that just wants to be loved, not unlike more then half the population in the world. Unconditionally, no strings, just loved for me and who I am. Not trying to make me into something or someone I am not. I'm no trophy and I am very hard on myself with my looks. I don't like looking in the mirror and over the past year and a half I don't like my picture taken. I'm not sure why. I can be a total ham and goober. I critize myself way too much. I see me as he saw me.

My self image is so raw and unkind. "Who I am hates who I've been" by Relient K is a song that reminds me that I might have prayed for my old sins to be gone and my sins of the past to be washed away but the things I have done still linger like my daughters stinky shoes!

Much of my day I do think about where I have been, what I did, how I could have changed it and how I am choosing not to make the same mistakes again. History does have a way of repeating, but why stay in history? Breaking free of my old life with my Gaslighter was the best thing I did for us and for me!

STBX claims I am selfish for what I have done. I don't see that, I see it as a freedom from chaos. A chance to start again with a renewed wisdom and to spread my wings to learn to fly! To do things, see things, try things I never did and not be that girl in the corner with her arms wrapped around her so tightly that I swear my circulation cut off several times. Crying until my eyes were dry and hurt. Feeling numb and trying not to throw up when my partner showed his apologizes. I don't have to live with false smiles or sadness for what I choose now. I can choose on my own, if I make the wrong decision then shame on me. I will brush myself off and get back on my path.

I can stop and smell the flowers along the way
I can stop and run off to a off the beaten track roadside attraction
I can stop and just breath while looking at the sun
I can stop and close my eyes so I can daydream
I can live as though it were the last days in my life and love as though tomorrow was never going to come.
I can laugh for no reason at all
I can find me again and learn to love me
I can find joy in silly things
I can eat a pound of chocolate if I want
I can veg out on the couch and watch old movies with a box of tissue
I can go to sleep when I want
I can go where I want and come home when I want
I can see who I want to see
I can call who I want to
I can be late without anyone accusing me of cheating
I can call a man or correspond with a man without any doubts he is just a friend
I can go to school events without being timed
I can volunteer to do whatever I like
I can use glitter!
I have the freedom I longed for
I can buy flowers for me and not worry that anyone will think they were from somebody else!

I don't have money, I don't have a stash of cash, I don't have fancy clothes or the latest gadgets (though Mr. Wonderful did give me lovely new crockpot just because!), I don't have a fancy car (technically mine died so I don't have one), I don't have new stuff and I'm happy that way.

I don't have to be bought. I love thrift stores and garage sales (which I can take my time at looking through now and don't have to hear how the other people are racing us to get to the next one)! I don't have to have the house clean top to bottom! It's been ages since I have done a whole place clean.

My first thing I did when I got my place was to mess up the shelves in the kitchen. I balled up towels, left dishes in the sink. I left things around the house messy. Ok I admit I was never the neatest person to begin with. But I don't have to do anything that sends me in a panic before my Mr. Wonderful comes home. It's a nice change of pace. If things don't get done, they don't get done, no worries and that's a wonderful thing!

No it's not perfect but I can breath so much easier then I did in the past. I have learned to let go and that it's ok if things are not done to perfection. It is what it is... My path is still before me. I can either take the road that is smooth and paved or the one that winds a bit with some potholes. I'll take that one...

Choose your path and where you want to go. Are you happy with where the road you are on? Are you just traveling around not stopping because you don't want to make waves? Find your happiness! If you don't like the driver kick him out and drive alone! If you have mini passengers with you, think about what kind of path do you want for them? The same type of ride or can you give them a choice for a better life? One that is not filled with insecurity, fighting, hurt or sadness. Buckle up! Enjoy the ride and if you see me along the way I'm up for a good spin!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A note from a victim

Dear J,

I am sending this to everyone in the immediate family. R included. I have no secrets, I don't tell any lies. Everyone knows I'm a pretty crappy liar. I have known your family for such a very long time! You all saw me grow into the person I am today. Stating that, I would hope you would remember that I am not vindictive, I am not hostile (accept to protect our children) and I am not an abuser. Nor will I ever go back to being R's wife. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the postcard!

I want nothing more from R. I wanted nothing from the start. Attorney's cloud everything up because of the almighty dollar, greed is they're motto, at least that is the way it seems. I wish no harm to anyone. I want to be left alone. I don't want him to keep driving by my apartment, I don't want any text messages telling me to get back home to my place where I belong. I don't want any texts stating that M and I had some "meeting" because we didn't. I have not been alone or close to M since November 2009. I miss him terribly! The girls don't understand his change, he wanted to be out of the situation as much as they did. The night before we left I gave ALL of them a chance to say they wanted to stay. If they wanted to stay with Dad I told them that was ok. I wouldn't think badly of them or not still love them. They all chose to go. M and I will never be the same, it makes me very sad to read his messages or hear him say mean awful things (though I am not sure if they are him or really R), as it stands I can never be alone with him or R due to the threats of violence. No matter if R insists if he hasn't done it now he won't. He has a way of getting even with people years later. He can hold a grudge longer then anyone I ever knew. I'm sure Sue can attest to that.

I hope someday M and I can have a relationship again but now, R has made that impossible. Matt knows too many details about the divorce. I told R to place a password on his phone and change his email password or make his own profile on the computer that is password protected. Supposedly M figured all the passwords out. I don't believe that. He is welcome to call the girls anytime. I don't sit there with a recorder, I have better things to do then listen. I do oppose to getting any one of the kids upset during the conversations, that is wrong!

I have no doubt he will try to get even physically some day. Right now he may not be able to so he is using whatever means he can. The false Order of Protection against Terry can order him to leave our home. Terry luckily has several witnesses that will come to testify if needed.

Ok Devil's advocate here: Imagine your child has been told they were dead by someone. Would you then drop off your child BACK to the person that threatened them not even a half hour later? That's what Rob did. It took over a week and a half for him to file the Order of Protection. He never called the police. I asked. R will get even with me at whatever means he can for leaving him. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions of the past and present. I know what happened in our home. I have many family members on both sides that will agree that the marriage was troubled.

We do have mediation coming up, I want it finalized before the year is up. We all need to heal and to move on. That's all I want. He mentioned to the GAL he would sign his Parental Rights over. I wish he would! I don't want the hassle of visitations or child support. I don't want anything from him.

He mentioned at the last court date, besides Terry being removed from our home that he wants to split bills. We filed bankruptcy, my provisional order states taxes, home and utilities were his as of the day I left. He was responsible. He had the chance to surrender the house. He chose to keep it so "I wouldn't get half". I don't want his bills, I don't want anything from him.  Nor do I agree to pay them. So this is what will hold up any further finalization. He has no control over me anymore so he chooses to assert what he can through the legal system by lies and false accusations which need to be further investigated holding up finalizing.

Indiana is a "No fault" state. I wish to say that I have not held up the divorce. I want nothing of course, unless he chooses to "try" to force his bills on me then I will file a motion for full disclosure on everything he has and then ask for half. Regardless if he is on unemployment that is the way we will go. I know and so does many others that he gets paid cash. Trouble is that is hard to prove. I don't want to push that at all. I just want to be left alone. Feel free to dispose of anything I left there. I don't want to chance a meeting with him. Anytime I was alone with him he would try something. Take my keys from the ignition or take my purse or something personal or he would put his hands on me somehow. I don't trust him! As for me just causing trouble or trying to get him in trouble. Not my intention at all. If he wants to email or text me about M's health so be it. Otherwise I don't want to hear from him. I don't want him cruising by our apartment. I don't want him sending M to see the girls at school or for R to cruise by the girls school. I take that as a threat that the intention is to harm one of us or all of us.

He promised me long ago he would take everything he could away from me, the kids, and stuff. He couldn't buy me long ago and he still can not buy me. I wish for us to be left alone. I am happy to send you emails from him and "M" since the beginning of this year. They contain hateful messages, or messages that state that I abused him for years. HA! In some ways I wish I had stood up to him a LONG time ago. Maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. Now I have to worry about custody?! He wants custody of the girls so again he can take everything away from me. He knows I live for the kids. I know taking the kids is the only means of control he has. Making Terry leave is another. Asking for me to pay his bills again another way to control. Stating he can not reach me so he needs access to my phone, bologna! I have an email for him, I have the house phone and I have snail mail. There are means to reach me.

The sad thing is that despite me leaving him the kids have to stay, and I wanted us ALL out safe and sadly the law says he has rights to see them. I can not protect them if I am not there. I know he would tell them not to call me while I was at the shop and he would threaten them. He would threaten not to love them or tell them it was their fault if I ever left him. What sick bastard does that? These are our children! I ask again for him to put his Big Boy pants on, "Man up", become a great Dad for them and not to lay a hand on them or tell them mean things again. Take them to places, play games with them, love them and just be the man he always wanted to be.

Family Violence has Honeymoon stages please read my blog at http://www.hopewhentherewasnone.blogspot.com/, R even said himself back in 2009 that he was sorry that he did the things I mention in my blog and that they are all true! He needs to be accountable for his actions from now on. I forgave him. I want to move on. I can't get rid of the nightmares, panic attacks and jumpy feelings. I don't hate him, I hate his behavior. I wish him well. I wish him to be happy and to move on. I wish he would be a wonderful Father all the time, not just for appearances. I never cheated on him, despite it all. I had invitations, considering the lifestyle we were in. I said no. Despite it all I wanted it to work, I really did. I loved him with all my heart. He broke it so many times. After awhile I stopped believing his apologizes. Again Honeymoon phase and then it would repeat itself over and over. Like a bad fashion trend. Sorry this is so long. I hope to one day have a civil word again with you. But I know you need someone to help you out so you are listening to him and believing him. That's ok. I will always love you and B for everything you did for me! Thank you so very much! You were a Mom to me when there were times I didn't have one. We laughed, cried and had moments of craziness. Thank you for helping me and the kids. God bless. And Good bye R...

Sincerely,
Mel

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Of course I have a few messages from him, saying my note is "entrapment"?

The definition is:
A person is 'entrapped' when he is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or their agents to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit; and the law as a matter of policy forbids conviction in such a case.
However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the Government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime. For example, it is not entrapment for a Government agent to pretend to be someone else and to offer, either directly or through an informer or other decoy, to engage in an unlawful transaction with the person. So, a person would not be a victim of entrapment if the person was ready, willing and able to commit the crime charged in the indictment whenever opportunity was afforded, and that Government officers or their agents did no more than offer an opportunity.
On the other hand, if the evidence leaves a reasonable doubt whether the person had any intent to commit the crime except for inducement or persuasion on the part of some Government officer or agent, then the person is not guilty.
In slightly different words: Even though someone may have [sold drugs], as charged by the government, if it was the result of entrapment then he is not guilty. Government agents entrapped him if three things occurred:
- First, the idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.
- Second, the government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.
- And third, the person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.
On the issue of entrapment the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not entrapped by government agents.

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I am thinking that maybe he needs to stop throwing big words around unless he knows the definition!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I sent an email...

I sent an email to STBX's family which I will probably post here later. Not even 10 mins later guess who texts me... You guessed it. My Gaslighter! He is demanding that I give him all the emails I sent the letter to. He is acting as his own Attorney.
Text messages
He said-
I as my own lawyer am going to need a list of every email u sent this letter to. And so u know. M was taken to the police the day of the incident and the

I responded-
Stop texting me I do not give you permission.

He was not done with his thought-
police called the house to talk to Terry and even though u where their u did not answer. Their is a police report. I thank u for your email. I will bring it all up in court.

I responded-
Good bring it I will not be there  good night (I am assuming he is talking about Terry's court date)

He texted-
I am contacti on business of being my own lawyer. And i think tottal income disclosure would be fine.

I responded-
Cool that is only if you decide not to just let thngs go

He responded-
I will take this as a threat. It seems you are very unperdictibal. But as my own lawyer I need the list of emails.

I responded-
Good bye Rob file a motion

He has sent a few more text messages about how he is unemployed since Christmas, That the girls have to live with that "mad man" that Terry is unstable and he will not rest until his doughters r away from him. I will agree to a foster home rather than them being with him. Did Ter bother to tell that he drove buy the house the other day.

WOW! Imagine that Terry a mad man! ROTFL! He would know first hand! GIGGLE! He is still rambling on about how M is scared and how scary Terry is. Really? I know first hand what it is to be scared of someone. I still look over my shoulder. Was M really scared that they drove by our apartment on Monday. He is also asking for a mental eval for me. No worries. He is a sad man grasping and I don't want to be involved with him anymore. He claims to worry about his children. Lies. Why drive past our apartment if they were worried? And supposedly he is engaged! Poor woman! She doesn't know what she is in for! And seriously going to ask for the girls to be taken away to a foster home? He does not have control and he wishes to exert whatever he can be puffing himself up. Saying I'm mental and that we are harming the girls. Sounds like typical Abuser moves. He is very text book and it is sad. I wished him well and to move on... Note to follow

Why can't I be more like him?

I have pondered the question myself, "Why can't I be more like him?". I mean why can't I be more assertive? More unsympathetic? More unfeeling? Able to make up things when the whim strikes me or placing the blame on others and coming up with excuses to explain any irrational behavior as it suits me?

I shudder at the lack of emotion or pity exhibited during some outrageous rampage. Or I shrug at the stupidity of some of the arguements or the names I was and am called. Thinking back some are hilarious!

Stop acting like a sausage! What the heck is that supposed to mean? I don't know but in the moment like most things he said that hurt my feelings. Idiot! Dumbass! Stupid Bitch! Lazy Spic! Hey fat ass!

Words... They are funny little things. One word can make you or break you. Living with a Gaslighter, whether he/she is physical, emotional, mental or verbal it all hurts but in some ways those little words seem to hurt the most.

I often how come I couldn't be more like him? How come I couldn't spit back the venom he spat at me? How come my words never had the same effect as they did to me? How come he did not cower or shake at the tone of my voice? How come I couldn't just give what he dished out?

That's not me. I am easy going, a submissive wife, friendly not to wanting to cause a scene or to rock the boat. And I still am to some extent, but I do not want to be taken advantage of again. I don't want to be someone's door mat.

And I can't be more like him because I care about others, I care enough about my loved ones that I don't want to throw crap at them. I don't want to see my children's eyes filled with tears because of something I said that upset them or hurt they're feelings. I don't want to see my partner's crushed look or hurt or pain because of something I have done that was hurtful to them physically.

NO! That's not a relationship. And I guess I don't want to be like him. I don't want the warped view that the world is out to get him. I don't want the feelings associated with hurting someone I love whether by words or deeds. I, unlike him, can not look over someone with no feeling as I am punching them or kicking them in the stomach or when they are down. Making statements that the person made you do it. If they would stop getting them mad life would be fine.

No I don't want to be like him. I don't want to be that uncaring about only myself. I don't want to make excuses for my behavior without taking responsibility of why I acted as I did. No I don't want to be like him...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stalking

So I had one more drive by from STBX and J called from a neighbors office because she is freaked out. STBX drove past her school!

I called the police and informed them, of course all they are doing is beefing up the drive by's... SIGH!

I know there are stalking laws on the books, since I have my Order of Protection you would think there would be more I can do.

I plan on contacting someone else to see is what. I've warded off 2 panic attacks, my ulcer is bothering me and I've gone to relieve myself about 3 times (sorry TMI I know but that is a rare thing for me!) I'm not trying to make light of this situation by any stretch of the imagination.

I would be a terrible liar if I said I was not scared of STBX. Sadly I have to end up kidnapped or dead for anything to happen legally.

I want to move!

STBX drove by about 10:45 this morning, he had our son, M in the front seat. I don't know what the purpose of the drive by was, he slowed briefly as he passed the apt. He had sent a text about M having chicken pox. He thanked me for the help when I said he had the vaccine.

I want to move so bad! I don't like living this close to STBX! I just happened to be exercising at the time he drove by so that's why I saw him. AGH! I can't wait for the divorce to be final! I dislike sitting here unable to do anything. I have the Order of Protection but that is only as good as the paper it's written on. His obession is nothing more then scary.  I hate this... I have to live paranoid, staring out the window or looking over my shoulder. I hate the fact the girls will have to have unsupervised visits with him sometime.

Is a drive by still stalking? I'm not sure... Part of me feels what does it matter? My MIL (mother in law) thought the police on Sat was over the top! Really?! HHHMMMM! The guy, as of April 1st was still stating I was his wife and he was in love with me. It's creepy!

We need to move!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update on Easter visitation

Easter visitation went well! I ended up calling the police station in my inlaws city, asking if they will escort me to drop off the girls, after viewing my Order of Protection it was no problem. 2 squads followed me there and waited as I dropped off the girls.

STBX was outside working on his mini van just as we pulled up and he looked very surprised, he said "Hi babies" to the girls and I pulled away. I motioned a thank you to the officers as I went away. I was relieved and sad that this is the extent I have to go to keep "me" safe.

I had foolishly hoped that once we left out that door the last time all of the problems would melt away. I hoped that I would not have to have the kids see him again. I was so wrong! I am happy I am out, but in some ways I feel as though I failed the kids. M is with his STBX, and the kid hates me thanks to STBX. The girls are scared of the supervised visitation ending. I too worry about that time.

Terry goes to court for the false Order of Protection my STBX and son placed on him. We have 2 witnesses that are going to give us statements. It should go well since he had witnesses.

I can't wait for a boring life... There is always something...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter, inlaws, STBX and Order of Protection GRRFACE!

J had a call earlier about Easter tomorrow at my in-laws. Long story short, in theory, I called back a few hours later to let her know that the girls could come, but to please as usual, make sure STBX was not there before or after we dropped them off.

She said she can't do that, everyone will be there and it will be dinner time. I told her, we didn't have a problem before why is it different now. She said, she didn't know. I said, I don't know what to do then. I don't know what to tell you was her reply. I guess they aren't coming then was my response. We both said ok and hung up.

SERIOUSLY?!

Now things were pretty good between my in-laws and I. As I mentioned in a previous post STBX is making false allegations, pretending he is this "VICTIM" of long term abuse by "ME!"  HAHAHAHA!

He is a 300 lb man that doesn't take crap from anyone. He has threatened to burn his parents home down in 2009 if she allowed me to visit they're home. About 4 to 6 months ago things were fine, now all of a sudden something changed. I am tempted to call her, but you know I don't think I will waste my breath. As I mentioned blood is thicker then water. I am frustrated and confused at the sudden change. Apparently she thinks all I want to do is get her son in trouble.

SERIOUSLY?!

HMMMM! The man is a total mental case, not something I am just rattling off as a mean wench it is black and white on paper. He is psychotic, delusional, was diagnosed in 2007with Intermitten Explosive Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Sex addict, Obsessive and Borderline Personality Disorder. His first psychatrist warned me never to take him back. I didn't heed his words and fell for his charms again. Feeling sorry for him. Oh I can go on and on...

The thing is every stinking time that man has had me alone or in close range he has lashed out at me in some way. So now I need to trust that he won't try something now? OH WAIT! If he hasn't done anything by now he won't right? At least that is what he is telling everyone.

The man used to see people coming out of the walls, hear voices, see bugs that weren't there, (He would wake me up in a panic and we would rip the room apart looking for this "bug"), he would see writing in red on the ceiling or walls but he could not tell what language it was. He saw shadows, he was paranoid that people were outside watching us or following us. Or someone was viewing us through our TV or Webcam when they weren't on.

I lived with this man for over 17 years! I think I know him, I know how he ticks, I knew when to stay out of his way. I didn't know while I wasn't home what he was doing to those kids! I didn't know he was threatening them not to tell me about him hitting M or J or yelling at them. They were not allowed to call me. He didn't like the fact they "Liked" me better. I'm just peeved now. I'm sure they will use this in court that I am witholding visits. Great! I have no issue with them visiting I just want to ensure they can be dropped off safely. OH BETTER YET I just had an idea... BOOHAHAHAHA!

I need to make sure I am safe and the kids are safe at all times. I don't want any incidents of any kind to ruin a visit, so I had an idea... I have to make a call first to see if it is do-able...I'll let you know how it went! It's legal!

Signs of Abuse and Abusive relationships

From: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships



Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of size, gender, or strength, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet it can leave deep and lasting scars.
Noticing and acknowledging the warning signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out. There is help available.

Understanding domestic violence and abuse

Women don’t have to live in fear:

Male victims of abuse can call:

In the US, The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women specializes in supporting male victims of abuse and offers a 24-hour helpline: 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754)
UK: ManKind Initiative offers a national helpline at 01823 334244.
Australia: One in Three Campaign offers help and resources for male victims.
Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.
Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:
  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless? 
Does your partner:
  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you? 
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

Physical abuse and domestic violence

When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse

Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

It Is Still Abuse If . . .

  • The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television or heard other women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being pushed, for example.
  • The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to physically assault you.
  • The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for not being assaulted!
  • There has not been any physical violence. Many women are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be as equally frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.
Source: Breaking the Silence: a Handbook for Victims of Violence in Nebraska (PDF)

Emotional abuse: It’s a bigger problem than you think

When people think of domestic abuse, they often picture battered women who have been physically assaulted. But not all abusive relationships involve violence. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimized or overlooked—even by the person being abused.

Understanding emotional abuse

The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.
Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want. 
You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.

 

Economic or financial abuse: A subtle form of emotional abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he or she will frequently use money to do so. Economic or financial abuse includes:
  • Restricting you to an allowance.
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)
  • Stealing from you or taking your money.

Violent and abusive behavior is the abuser’s choice

Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his or her behavior. In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to control you.

Abusers use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power:

  • Dominance – Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his or her possession.
  • Abusers use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their powerHumiliation – An abuser will do everything he or she can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
  • Isolation – In order to increase your dependence on him or her, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He or she may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.
  • Threats – Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He or she may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.
  • Intimidation – Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.
  • Denial and blame – Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abusive partner may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He or she will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, his or her violent and abusive behavior is your fault.

Abusers are able to control their behavior—they do it all the time.

  • Abusers pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t insult, threaten, or assault everyone in their life who gives them grief. Usually, they save their abuse for the people closest to them, the ones they claim to love.
  • Abusers carefully choose when and where to abuse. They control themselves until no one else is around to see their abusive behavior. They may act like everything is fine in public, but lash out instantly as soon as you’re alone.
  • Abusers are able to stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them. Most abusers are not out of control. In fact, they’re able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it’s to their advantage to do so (for example, when the police show up or their boss calls).
  • Violent abusers usually direct their blows where they won’t show. Rather than acting out in a mindless rage, many physically violent abusers carefully aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show.

The cycle of violence in domestic abuse

Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence:
  • Cycle of violenceAbuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you "who is boss."
  • Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he's done. He’s more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his abusive behavior.
  • Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what he or she has done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behavior—anything to avoid taking responsibility.
  • "Normal" behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how he'll make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
  • Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you.
  • Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.

    The Full Cycle of Domestic Violence: An Example

    A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, "I'm sorry for hurting you." What he does not say is, "Because I might get caught." He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone. He tells her "If you weren't such a worthless whore I wouldn't have to hit you." He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again. He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again. He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries. What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping. When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because "you're having an affair with the store clerk." He has just set her up.
    Source: Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service

    Recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence and abuse

    It's impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness any warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

    General warning signs of domestic abuse

    People who are being abused may:
    • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner.
    • Go along with everything their partner says and does.
    • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing.
    • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner.
    • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.

    Warning signs of physical violence

    People who are being physically abused may:
    • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents.”
    • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation.
    • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).

    Warning signs of isolation

    People who are being isolated by their abuser may:
    • Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
    • Rarely go out in public without their partner.
    • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.

    The psychological warning signs of abuse

    People who are being abused may:
    • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
    • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn).
    • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.

    Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse

    If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.

    Do's and Don't's

    Do:
    • Ask if something is wrong.
    • Express concern.
    • Listen and validate.
    • Offer help.
    • Support his or her decisions.
    Don’t:
    • Wait for him or her to come to you.
    • Judge or blame.
    • Pressure him or her.
    • Give advice.
    • Place conditions on your support.

    Adapted from NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
    Talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that make you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he or she feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him or her know that you’ll help in any way you can.
    Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

Saw a church lady...

Our youngest had a Lunch with the Bunny day last Saturday, we had a good time, I was running a bit late getting there, the girls walked down to the school on they're own to jump into fun. The baby was sleeping and if you have had kids you do know not to interrupt a nap! After he woke up we went down to see the girls.

I saw a woman that I used to know from church working one of the little games. I said Hi! And asked how she was doing. She said she did not recognize me but she seemed kind of put off or distant towards me. Not the first time I have encountered this. I can only imagine what STBX had told the church members. I had a good friend that I broke off ties with. I should have told her why. I was concerned that STBX would harass her during church. She had mentioned a few times she was uncomfortable with him and did not want to be alone with him. This was soon after I left him. I feel guilty at not giving her a reason why I had blew her off. She and I got along so well!

I have not heard one peep out of him since court and I am so relieved! I am glad! No nasty emails or text messages or voice mails. YEA! I would love for him to give up his rights as he mentioned in a previous email to the GAL. No child support? I don't care. I really do not wish to see or hear from him ever again.

I heard about his family and how they now think I am the one that caused the divorce or something along those lines. That hurt my feelings alot. I was the one that always tried to mend fences between them, he would write them off, but I would try to encourage him to keep those ties open. I was the one that called his parents to see how they were or visit if they were sick or call for holidays and birthdays.  Blood is thicker holds true.

I have still not received anything about the Mediation. I did get the bill though, LOL! I also thought it was strange to receive another letter from the GAL about his removal from our case. I am thinking STBX must still be bugging him.

YOUR Pesonal BIll of Rights!

I saw this reposted from Veronica Cafemom and immediately thought to myself it sounds like "ME!" It is a friendly reminder that I am safe now, I am in a place where I don't have to feel like any of these things worry me any longer. I still have many issues to work on but for the most part I am safe.

If you can relate to any of these things in your relationship right now, then you need to think about your relationship and if you want to continue to live this way with that person for the rest of your life.

You need to decide if you want the pattern of abuse to continue in your children's future relationships (if you have kids). If you can't leave for you, leave and get to safety for them!

I know the excuses. I know because I have been there. I lived it. No, the abuse does not end after you slam to door or file for divorce. In most cases it does continue. Many months after you stay away you realize that those events weren't in your head. You weren't crazy! If you have physical ailments do not be surprised if they either vanish or lessen. Stress does wonders to a body!

Be prepared for your STBX to try any tactics he can to either get you back or get even with you!
He will make false accusations
He will tell others it was your fault
He will tell others "YOU" were abusing him or the kids
He will say "HE" is the victim
He will not leave any of it alone
He will not just go away overnight
He will continue to make your life hell because he believes you need to pay!

You HAVE to be strong!
You HAVE to know you are NOT alone!
You HAVE to want more for you and your children!
You HAVE to know for yourself when enough is enough!
You HAVE to know that excuses to stay (No money, place to live, he will kill you or the kids, etc...) is not an excuse to keep living the way you are!
You CAN DO IT!
You CAN are a empowered person that deserves MORE!
YOU ARE WORTHY! Despite all the negative words he has been drilling in your head!
YOU ARE LOVEABLE!

Be STRONG and stay safe! Make a safety plan, get out, STAY OUT and be FREE! Take the first step of FAITH, go ahead and leap. Close your eyes if you have to, but jump, for your children and for you!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

YOUR PERSONAL "BILL OF RIGHTS"
YOU have the RIGHT to be YOU.
YOU have the RIGHT to put YOURSELF first.
YOU have the RIGHT to be SAFE.
YOU have the RIGHT to LOVE and be LOVED.
YOU have the RIGHT to be TREATED with RESPECT.
YOU have the RIGHT to be HUMAN ---- not PERFECT.
YOU have the RIGHT to be ANGRY and PROTEST if you are treated UNFAIRLY or ABUSIVELY by anyone.
YOU have the RIGHT to your own PRIVACY.
YOU have the RIGHT to have your own OPINIONS, to EXPRESS them, and to be taken SERIOUSLY.
YOU have the RIGHT to EARN and CONTROL your OWN money.
YOU have the RIGHT to ASK QUESTIONS about ANYTHING that affects YOUR LIFE.
YOU have the RIGHT to make DECISIONS that affect YOU.
YOU have the RIGHT to GROW and CHANGE, and this includes changing your MIND.
YOU have the RIGHT to say NO.
YOU have the RIGHT to MAKE MISTAKES.
YOU have the RIGHT NOT to be RESPONSIBLE for other adults' problems.
YOU have the RIGHT not to be LIKED by everyone.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL YOUR OWN LIFE AND TO CHANGE IT IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH IT AS IT IS.

A List of Rights Commonly Forgotten By Victims of DA/DV

A List of Rights Commonly Forgotten by Victims of Domestic Violence:

You have the right:  to joy,
to a life without any abuse,
to make your own decisions about your future,
to be human and to make mistakes,
to change your mind, plans, and goals,
to laugh,
to sleep the whole night through,
to eat what you want when you want,
to visit with family and friends,
to privacy, 
to be treated with respect,
to not hide the actions of another (the guilt doesn't belong to you),
to go where you need and want to go,
to love to do what you want (and accept responsibility for that),
to be healthy,
to feel hurt and to cry,
to be angry and to say so,
to say "no" without feeling selfish or guilty,
to not need another's permission to do things,
to share your thoughts and emotions,
to a life without shame,
to be complimented without sarcasm,
to live without the fear of abuse,
to assistance from the police,
to financial independence,
to work in your choice of jobs,
to not be patronized or put–down,
to develop your own identity and talents,
to be safe,to be loved,
to be with a partner that you love and like,
to ask questions,
to change yourself in the ways you want,
to to control your own appearance,
to not be humiliated,to not be threatened or intimidated,
to protect yourself and your children,
to your personal beliefs,
to the truth,
to help yourself to succeed,
to choose your own friends,
to be at least as angry at or fearful of a lover as you would at a stranger who did the same things to you,
to share plans and decisions that affect you both,
to not be interrupted,   
to have your thoughts and opinions listened to and seriously considered, 
to feel how you feel — not necessarily how you've been told to feel, to be right without being made to feel guilty,
to be comforted by your partner,
to your sexual interests, desires, and fulfillment being as important as your partner's,
to not be harassed by a partner "checking on you",
to come and go without having to "report in" with details about where you went or what you did or who you saw,
to have friends of both sexes without accusations of unfaithfulness,
to fulfilled promises to survive and to live!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Court update!

Court went better then expected! Of course everything still seemed up in the air. My STBX seemed upset that custody remains the same. He has trumped up charges of a death threat. I can not believe he is actually going to lie and have our son do the same! Falsifying any type of police reports or Protective Orders are punishable. On one hand I hope so! Serves him right! On the other hand my son is doing what he does because he longs for the love and approvale of a mad man. I mean that both literally and figurtively.

So, we are going to be assigned a Mediator! YEA! We both agree that we want to Finalize. BUT, the most humorous thing I heard was that he wants me to pay half of bills that HE LET GO! Such as the house that is repo'ed. SERIOUSLY! He let the house go because he did not want me to have it in the divorce. HMMM! He should have quite a pretty penny he is sitting on. He gets paid cash probably more then in the past. Just enough to squeak by from the Union Local 11. I have been told there is no way to prove it, no paper trails and no trace.

Of course he has money hidden, how else would you pay someone to stalk you and later kill you?

I have to say that I am still angry about my marriage. I do forgive, but I do not like the behavior. I do not like that he lies when he says he does not remember any of the abuse or being hostile. I'm sure he doesn't recall taking my car keys and cutting up my Drivers license and bank card so I would not leave the house. I'm sure he does not recall the allegations he threw at me about cheating with every Joe, Tom, Dick, Mary and Sally.

I'm being sarcastic! On the other hand I did get to see my son! And STBX says that M has been having more seizures and he has an appt for a neurologist in May. Please say a prayer for him! He said in court that he tried to reach me, but he couldn't reach me. WOW! He can email me! He can use M's phone to text me aggressively and he has my home phone. I smell a stinker! I keep remembering why I left that man! Thanks for the memories!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Abby... Behaviors betray possible abuser

2007-12-19 / Advice & Entertainment
Behavior patterns betray abuser's urge to control
 

DEAR READERS: Yesterday I printed the feedback I received regarding a letter from "Smothered in Michigan," a recently divorced mother of two. Her ex-husband had been an alcoholic. She's now dating his "polar opposite" who "treats her like a queen" and is "loving, affectionate, generous and caring."
She went on to say he stops by her job "only a few" times a day, and the minute she's home he shows up at her door. All her dinners are with him -- he pays for everything -- and he doesn't leave until her kids go to bed. He spends every waking hour with her and accompanies her wherever she goes. She said she knows she should feel grateful, but instead feels "indebted, stalked, controlled and burdened." Her question: "Am I just being selfish, and can I train myself to like being spoiled?"


I told her she and the man were overdue for a frank talk about personal space, that she's still healing from her divorce, and he seems so smitten or insecure that he's preventing her from figuring out where she ends and he begins.

Many readers felt she should listen to her intuition, that the man is a potential abuser, and the traits she listed are red flags.

Today I'll share the classic warning signs of an abuser. Read on:

(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Comes on strong, claiming, "I've never felt loved like this by anyone." An abuser presses for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

(2) JEALOUS: excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because "you might meet someone"; checks the mileage on your car.

(3) CONTROLLING: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you're late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.

(5) ISOLATION: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble." The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car, or try to prevent you from holding a job.

(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES: It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong.

(7) MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, "You make me angry," or "You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you."

(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.

(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partner will also abuse children.

(10) "PLAYFUL" USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.

(11) VERBAL ABUSE: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you with relentless verbal abuse.

(12) RIGID GENDER ROLES: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home.

(13) SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.

(14) PAST BATTERING: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person "made" him (or her) do it.

(15) THREATS OF VIOLENCE: Says things like, "I'll break your neck," or "I'll kill you," then dismisses them with "Everybody talks that way," or "I didn't really mean it."

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A victim story...

If you are being abused, you may feel as though you are the only one, you may feel isolated, depressed, sad, as though there is no where to turn or to go. You may feel as though it is your fault you are where you are. You may feel as though there is no hope... There are countless women and children (some men too) that are victims each minute of Abuse, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or sexual. You are not alone!

The following is a story of a woman that is a Survivor whose bravery and courage is what kept her alive today!
Reposted from Cafemom member-
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Today is an anniversary for me.  But it’s not one of those anniversaries that you look forward to or celebrate, except that I survived it.  It was 11 years ago today that I was shot.  This will be the first time outside of the courtroom that I will tell the whole story, and there’s something I’m going to talk about that I didn’t talk about in court.  But in order to tell that part I have to give you some back-story first. 
My Daddy died in 1995, about a year and a half before I was shot and before I told my family and the world what had been going on in my marriage.  Daddy was a Navy man and had joined up when he was 17 with his parent’s approval during WWII.  He volunteered for hazardous duty just two days out of boot camp for a program that was unique at the time, the UDT or Underwater Demolition Teams.  They were in training to be the first Americans landing on the shores of Japan for the invasion they hoped would end the war when the atomic bombs fell and ended the war. 

In the 1950’s they called them the Frogmen, or the Naked Warriors since they did their work wearing only swim trunks and flippers.  They were the first of what would later be called the Special Forces.  My Daddy and other members of the UDT trained the first SEAL teams and the UDT then became part of that program. 

There was a mantra that was drilled into them while they were handling explosives, “If you panic, you’re lost.”  Since it had been drilled into Daddy, he drilled it into us.  I heard it thousands of times in my childhood and teenage years, warning me to think clearly during everything from a broken leg to a lost stuffed animal that was needed for bedtime.  Even his grandsons would learn to complete that phrase.  It’s one all of us here should remember.

Daddy was the most wonderful father any girl could dream of, Mom was equally great.  I often told my friends that Mom and Daddy made Ozzie and Harriett look like a dysfunctional family.
19 years of hell
My marriage was in shatters, but in truth it hadn’t been a marriage for a long time. We had only dated for three months, and it should have been an early warning to me that he rushed me into marriage so young and so quickly. 
Things had seemed fine at first, the first two years were mostly filled with the normal issues of getting a home set up and learning married life.  He was 10 years older than me, and since I had only been 19 a month when we married it seemed natural for him to take control of finances and decisions.  He was so controlling so early I often called him Master in a joking manner, I stopped when someone told me about BDSM, I was so naïve at the time I didn’t Master could refer to anything sexual.   It may seem odd to think that someone was that naïve at the end of the 1970’s at the age of 19, but we had been very sheltered.   
I became pregnant while taking the pill two years into our marriage and suddenly everything changed.  Despite the fact that we were married and had been for some time he claimed I had trapped him by intentionally not taking my pills  For the next 16 years I suffered from his abuse.  It started out with insults and put downs, I was ugly, I was fat, I was stupid, and I was spending “his” money foolishly.  As my son was growing up he was called lazy, stupid, irresponsible, Momma’s boy, and faggot.  I was controlled.  As things progressed the insults no longer satisfied him and he began to push me around, and finally to hit me.   He was always very careful where he’d hit me so it didn’t show.  I never said a thing to my family or friends, I was too embarrassed.   My family knew there was something wrong in our marriage but they thought it was a matter of simply not getting along.   I wore long sleeves and turtlenecks to cover the bruises
His insults directed at my son started to became threats of violence and I began to feel desperate.  We had just moved to a place in the country and we still had our old house, it needed work before it could be put on the market.  The fighting had become even worse. 
It was at this time that my Daddy died.  His heart had been bad for years   He had heart attacks and surgery but finally that amazingly large heart of his that brought home every stray animal he saw and loved us so much gave out.  Before he died he had slipped into a coma, and it was during this time that my family began to realize just how dangerous my ex was.  One night I had left work and was supposed to go to the hospital for visitation hours.  But it was storming badly and as I came down a hill headed for the interstate my car began to fishtail on me, my ex wouldn’t allow me to put decent tires on the car.  I thought to myself, Katherine if your Daddy could talk to you right now he’d tell you to get your butt home and out of this storm.  So I headed home.  

I didn’t know my ex had gone to the hospital to make sure I was there.  It was a horrible 30 mile drive home; the rain was some of the heaviest I’d ever seen, I could barely see, the tires were in bad shape.  When I hit the country roads and got off the interstate the visibility was worse.  There were no street lights.  The night was black, the road was black, the water pooling on the side of the road was black.  I felt like I was driving through an inkwell.  When I finally walked into the house, shaking like a leaf, the phone was ringing off the hook.  It was my ex screaming at me that I’d lied to him and that I’d been seeing my (nonexistent) boyfriend instead of coming to see my Daddy.  I found out later from Mom that he’d made such a scene in the CIC waiting room that male friends and family of other patients got in-between my Mom and he and then called hospital security.  While Daddy was dying she had to hear him screaming at her that I was a whore and a slut.  Despite everything Sid did to me I really think the worst is knowing that Daddy died worrying about me.

For some reason I still didn’t think I could divorce him, I don’t know why.  I had a good job, matter of fact I supported him.  The insurance was through my work, I had a car in my own name (he refused to be responsible for it you see).  One night when on the phone with my younger sister I was crying about something he’d done and Karen said well I’d do --- I don’t even remember what it was she suggested.  I said Karen; you don’t have to live with Sid.  Her answer shocked me, well neither do you she said. There it was, I didn’t have to live with him.  It was so simple, but so shocking to me to realize.  I *didn’t* have to live with him!!!

The next day I called a couple of lawyers in town and got some idea of the cost.  I called Mom and asked her if I could borrow $2,500, she came a bit unglued and then asked me why I wanted the money.  Even though she and Daddy had insurance his medical bills had still been through the roof and the insurance didn’t cover everything.  When I told her I wanted a divorce  right away she asked me for my checking account number and she went and deposited the money directly in my account (my ex had separated our money, he refused to have my foolish hands in “his” disability money, but I had to write him checks frequently from my account as punishment for bad behavior like being late getting home or him catching me smoking).

I had all the problems y’all are familiar with, CPS showed up, lies were told to the Judge, and threats were made against me and my family.  He’d come into the house while I was at work and rummage about looking for indications that I’d had men over, I told my brother I was tempted to hang men’s underwear from the ceiling fan.  My family knew there was mental abuse but I still didn’t tell anyone the truth about the physical abuse except my lawyer.  I’d never called the police or filed a report.  I had no history to use. 

Friday, June 13, 1997 4:30 a.m.
I was sleeping; it had been a nice night.  I had taken my son up and dropped him off at his father’s for a weekend visit per the initial court decision and Sid had been very nice and polite to me.  Great, I thought, we can have a calm divorce after all.  This illusion was shattered though when I woke to feel something cold and hard pressed against my forehead and heard him saying, “Wake up bitch.”  My eyes opened and the sight of his gun, a 9mm Beretta that I knew he always kept loaded with hollow points,  filled my vision, behind it was his face, grinning.  He grabbed my hair with his other hand and pulled me from the bed and dragged me to the foot of it.  Still holding the gun to my forehead he started to pull rope pieces from his pockets and toss them on the bed, he fished out some rags he’d brought and tried to shove them into my mouth to gag me.  I fought him as best I could and tried to keep my tongue rolled up to stop the rags from going in. 

Then he saw my gun, a 22 long barrel revolver, the only kind of gun I could figure out how to operate on a bedside table.  Thinking I was cowed his walked over to the bedside table, shoving his gun into his belt holster and picked up mine.  I knew then he was as far away from me as he was going to get and I took off running.  I ran out of the bedroom into the living room and headed for the front door.  I didn’t make it.  He shot me from behind, with the sound of the shot screaming in the air (or maybe it was me screaming) I went down and I didn’t get up.  The bullet had broken my hip and lodged in my nerves. 

He was furious with me, he screamed something about his plan and he grabbed my hair, kicked me onto my back and dragged me towards the door.  He wanted to drag me outside to his truck but he couldn’t.  Manic with his anger at me for ruining his plans to get me out of the house, kill me, and dump me somewhere, he sat down on my chest and pinned my arms to the floor with his knees and shoved the barrel of the gun down my throat.  I panicked.  His finger was on the trigger of the gun.  I managed to drag my arms out from under his knees and I wrapped my hands around his and fought him for control of it.  I’d pull the gun out, he’d force it back down my throat.  All his finger had to do was tighten just a little bit and it was over for me. 

We fought over the gun like this for a few minutes and then I heard my Daddy’s voice, “Katherine, if you panic you’re lost”  I was so shocked that even in this circumstance I tried to turn my head towards the voice.  I heard him, at least in my mind and I calmed down.  Despite the gun my mouth I began to try to talk to him, I took my hands off his, I talked about our son and how if he did this our son would have one parent dead and the other in prison.  Finally, he got off me.

I rolled back over onto my stomach and began to cough up blood.  He laughed.  He left me laying there and began to rummage through the house.  I kept looking around trying to find something, anything, that I could use as a weapon but I couldn’t get up.  Every time I tried to pull myself up the pain in my hip would overwhelm me and my right leg didn’t seem to work right anymore and I’d collapse back down. 

He came back.  Laughing and screaming insults at me he circled me as I lay on the floor, kicking me in the side, the head, the butt,  kicking my legs apart he kicked my pubic area.  I was trying to roll and dodge his kicks but I wasn’t very effective.  He got tired and sat down on the floor beside me to rest.

For hours he took turns resting and hitting me, resting and kicking me, resting and dragging me around.  Then finally with his hand holding the gun he stroked my hair, I love you Katherine he whispered and then put the gun to my temple and pulled the trigger.  It fell on an empty cartridge.  I swear I came off the ground five feet into the air while still laying flat.  He thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever seen.  Chuckling he put the gun to my temple again, and the phone rang.

Shocked, he got up and walked over to it and stared at it as it rang.  “Stop ringing!!” he screamed.  We both knew who it had to be; only my Mom would call at that time of the morning.  He knew that when I didn’t answer my Mom would call the police.  He had called so many people in my family by then and threatening them if they supported me in this divorce that he knew her next call would be the police.

He figured his time was short, he ran around the house and gathered up all the phones, and even took the microphone from my computer so I couldn’t use the phone dialing program to call for help.  Grabbing my hair again he pulled my face up and grinned at me, “you’re spitting blood bitch, you’re getting what’s coming to you.” And he left, with both of us thinking I was dying of bleeding internally.

Laying there, I racked my brain trying to think of what to do I had to get help.  My purse was on the table next to where I was and the strap was dangling down.  I grabbed it and pulled it down and got my keys out.  I crawled and slithered my way to the door and waited to make sure he was gone.  When I felt sure I crawled out the door, rolled down the front stairs and managed to drag myself to my car.  I honestly don’t know how but I managed to get into the driver’s seat and drive to my neighbor’s house.  I hit the horn and didn’t stop until they came out. 

The next two to three hours were filled with my family being notified, my Mother risking her own life by going to Sid’s house and banging on the door trying to find my son.  We were all afraid that Sid had shot him and then come after me.  Calls from to and from my lawyer arranging for a restraining order, arrest warrants, police arriving at the hospital and positioning themselves at my door in case he decided to try again.  We discovered that he’d left the truck he drove to my house at a local gas station and had a get away car parked there which he left the area in.  I was not supposed to survive this attack, it was a planned murder attempt.

After being stabilized at the small town hospital I was taken to first sent me by ambulance to a larger hospital where I stayed for the next few days and began to learn about the damage that was done to my nerves that will stay with me for the rest of my days.

Finally, the pictures of my injuries were finished, the police reports were done, the damn hospital was satisfied that I had insurance (that’s a story for another day, remember I only took my keys when I left the house) and so I asked Mom what made her call me at so early in the morning.  She told me, I heard your Daddy’s voice Katherine telling me to wake up that you needed help. 

My family knows about the involvement of my Daddy in that day, and the court and the police I told about the attack and the shooting.  But this is the first time I’ve told the whole story.  I was afraid the jury would think I was crazy if I told the part about Daddy.

I want all of you ladies who are still with your abusers to read this and remember how foolish I was.  I should have left my house.  My lawyer warned me, she told me the danger.  But I thought it couldn’t happen to me, Even though I’d been hit and abused for years I didn’t think he would go that far.  I didn’t fully realize how he’d react when the control was taken from him, I’d never taken control before. 

I was told that due to the location of the bullet, which lodged itself in my nervous system.  That even if I found a surgeon who would be willing to remove it that they would almost have to cut me in half to get it out.  But no surgeon has ever been willing to go into the nerve bundle and try to remove the bullet.  I carry it with me still today.
Due to the location of the bullet in my nerves I have sciatica, peripheral neuropathy, interstitial cystitis, arthritis (my hip was broken by the bullet), and involuntary painful muscle spasms.  My nerves are misfiring constantly sending wrong signals to muscles and organs.  Some of my medical problems, like the interstitial cystitis, are caused by the misfiring of these nerves.  It actually destroyed the lining of my bladder; over the course of my life it can cause other serious and painful damage to my organs.  I have pain when walking, pain when sitting, and pain when standing.  I can no longer work, I can barely walk.

To understand the level of the pain let me relate the results of a medical experiment.  A researcher managed to figure out how to create interstitial cystitis in a lab mouse.  The researchers gathered around as the mouse awoke to see what its reaction would be.  The mouse made whimpering noises, then began to curl itself up, finally unable to deal with the pain any longer the mouse tried to chew its bladder out.


Now I’m not saying, of course, that if you don’t get out safely that this will happen to you.  But the odds are stacked high against you that your abuser will try to attack you when you take back your control.  In the long run of your life a short time spent in a shelter or another safe place will not amount to much.  But not taking these precautions leaves you open to an attack that can kill you or damage you forever.