Sanctuary for the Abused

Monday, June 18, 2018

Are You Involved With A Narcissistic Person?



by Thomas J. Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW

According to the American Psychological Association, people with narcissistic personality disorder display a chronic and pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. The Greek myth has it that Narcissus died enraptured by the beauty of his own reflection in a pool and feel forever in love with his own reflection. The Narcissist displays an operating style that involves extreme self-involvement, and a grandiose sense of self- importance. They exaggerate their achievements and talents, expecting others to recognize them as superior and often appearing arrogant and extremely self absorbed.

Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or beauty, they require the constant attention and admiration of those around them, although they are very choosy about the people and institutions they will associate closely with. They often admit to being snobs and are actually proud of it. They also believe that their problems are unique and can be appreciated only by other “special” high - status people. Despite their charm, the favorable first impression they make, and their wide circle of notable acquaintances, people with this disorder are rarely able to maintain a stable, long-term relationship. With their boastful and pretentious manner, narcissistic persons are seldom receptive to the feelings of others. They show a general lack of empathy, an inability or unwillingness to recognize and identify with your thoughts and needs. Many are often successful, impressively knowledgeable, and articulate, yet bored and doubt ridden as well.

Conversely, healthy narcissism is essential for emotional well-being. We need narcissism to feel confident in ourselves, and to give adequate consideration to others. NOTE: The healthy narcissist does not focus exclusively on themselves, demanding that the world reflect back their false manufactured sense of self and an image of idealized perfection.

If you encounter this personality type, a grasp of the underlying psychology can help you cope more effectively. Lets explore the genesis of the narcissistic personality. As stated above, people with this personality disorder must constantly seek outside support and approval. If they get that support and approval, they feel complete and powerful. Without that support and approval, they feel deprived, exposed, vulnerable, angry, and lonely.

KEY: Early childhood conditioning also plays a part. The child’s real or authentic self has generally been ignored, or the child’s self may have been attacked and assaulted while the parents placed demands on the child to be “perfect.” When that occurs, the type of behavior we associate with a narcissistic disorder is overindulged. Fiercely driven to achieve, children never develop the capacity to consider others’ needs. Enter adulthood, and the same traits naturally carry over.

What To Watch Out For
Most people with this disorder advertise themselves… They seek to be the center of attention. In search of constant approval and praise to reinforce their false grandiose sense of self, they’re “on- stage,” dominating the conversation, often exaggerating their importance.

They lack empathy for others and have an inflated sense of entitlement, requiring others to respond to their demands and grant favors. They need everything for themselves and are envious of others’ accomplishments and possessions.

Criticism or disapproval takes them back to their difficult childhoods, sending them into a defensive fury, since any flaw or mistake means they’re not perfect. Also, when things go wrong, they cannot acknowledge the imperfections implicit in accepting responsibility.

Appearance matters more than substance. Power, wealth and beauty bolster their fragmented self-image.

They may be extremely driven because the “narcissistic fuel” of outside approval is so essential. Many are workaholics. Warning: this personality disorder may not be immediately obvious. The subtle ones won’t show their true colors until “deprived.” Caution: Others may actually pursue and cater to you, if you have something they want, such as looks, money, or status.

Can you change them? Reality check: No. Even constructive criticism is experienced by them as an affront and is met with anger and a sense of betrayal. Placating only results in more demands, not a return of thoughtfulness and consideration. In fact, if you always excuse or rationalize self-absorption and give in to constant demands, you are actually supporting and reinforcing their narcissistic needs and wants.

Coping Tips
Here are some tips on how to cope with the person in your life who processes the narcissistic style. Sometimes the best way to deal with extreme narcissistic behavior is to end the relationship. But since this solution isn’t always possible, I can only offer you some survival techniques…

It is important to set boundaries. Decide which demands you can meet or how much approval you’re willing to give to this person, and then stick to your decision. Also, terminate a self-centered conversation if you can, or at least set a time limit on how long you’ll listen.

Support yourself. If your resistance to them draws their anger or blame, refuse to be emotionally blackmailed. Remember that your time and feelings are not important in this person’s eyes. This can help remove your guilt.

Use bargaining chips. If you have something they want, such as a special expertise or solutions to problems—share it sparingly to keep their worst behavior under control. Be aware that when you no longer satisfy them, their old ways will resurface.

Avoid anger. Any confrontation should be conducted quietly and with control. But even a tactful approach may be greeted with anger or sometimes-frightening rage. Very likely, you’ll hear that the difficult situation is your problem and there’s something wrong with you. Arguing will only make you feel like you will want to blow your brains out. Be careful not to expect accommodation from the other person, but do give yourself points for standing up for your rights.

Finally, know when to leave. Dealing with this personality disorder can undermine your own sense of self. Ask yourself some questions…Do I continually feel depressed, irritable, devalued and worthless? Does my anger and resentment carry over into other relationships? Have I stopped supporting myself in general, not treating myself well or allowing others to coerce me? Bottom line: If you find yourself answering yes too frequently, you must examine the pay-off or importance of your relationship with this person.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

FACEBOOK GROUP for Victims of Narcissists  
(not for discussions of children, support, custody)

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

10 Reasons Abusers Don't Change




Ten Reasons to Stay the Same

From "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft.

To answer the question "Why Does He Do That?" we have to examine the foundation on which abusive behaviors are based. On the first level are the abuser's attitudes, beliefs and habits-- the thinking that drives his behavior day in and day out, which we have been looking at. On the second level is the learning process by which some boys develop into abusive men or, in other words, where abusive values come from, which is the topic of ch 13.

There is also a third level, which is rarely mentioned in discussions of abuse but which is actually one of the most important dynamics: the benefits that an abuser gets that make his behavior desirable to him. In what ways is abusiveness rewarding? How does this destructive pattern get reinforced?

Consider the following scenario: Mom, Dad, and their children are having dinner on a Wed night. Dad is snappy and irritable, criticizing everybody during the meal, spreading his tension around like electricity. When he finishes eating, he leaves the table abruptly and heads out of the room. His 10 yr old daughter says, "Dad, where are you going? Wed is your night to wash dishes." Upon hearing these words, Dad bursts into flames, screaming, "You upstart little shit, don't you dare try to tell me what to do! You'll be wearing a dish on your face!" He grabs a plate off the table, makes like he is going to throw it at her, and then turns away and smashes it on the floor. He knocks a chair over with his hand and storms out of the room. Mom and the children are left trembling; the daughter bursts into tears. Dad reappears in the doorway and yells that she'd better shut up, so she chokes off her tears, which causes her to shake even more violently. Without touching a soul, Dad has sent painful shock waves through the entire family.

We move ahead now to the following Wed. Dinner passes fairly normally, without the previous week's tension, but Dad still strolls out of the kitchen when he finishes eating. Does a family member remind him that it's his turn to wash the dishes? Of course not. It will be many, many months before anyone makes that mistake again. They quietly attend to the cleanup, or they squabble among themselves about who should do it, taking out their frustrations over Dad's unfairness and volatility on each other. Dad's scary behavior has created a context in which he won't have to do the dishes anytime he doesn't feel like it, and no one will dare take him to task for it.

Any incident of abusive behavior brings the abuser benefits just as this one did. Over time, the man grows attached to his ballooning collection of comforts and privileges. Here are some of the reasons why he may appear so determined not to stop bullying:

1. The intrinsic satisfaction of power and control
The abusive man gains power through his coercive and intimidating behaviors -- a sensation that can create a potent, thrilling rush. The wielder of power feels important and effective and finds a momentary relief from life's normal distresses. It isn't the woman's pain that appeals to him; most abusers are not sadists. In fact, he has to go to some lengths to shield himself from his own natural tendenty to empathize with her. The feeling that he rules is where the pleasure lies.

Yet the heady rush of power is the bare beginning of what the abuser gains through his mistreatment of his partner. If the rewards stopped here, I would find it much easier than I do to prevail upon my clients to change.

2. Getting his way, especially when it matters to him most
A romantic partnership involves a never-ending series of negotiations between 2 people's differing needs, desires, and preferences. Many of the differences that have to be worked out are matters of tremendous importance to the emotional life of each partner, such as:

-- Are we spending Christmas with my relatives, whom I enjoy, or with your relatives who get on my nerves and don't seem to like me?

-- Are we eating dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant, or at a place that I'm tired of and where the children seem to get wound up and irritating?

-- Am I going to have to go alone to my office party, which makes me feel terrible, or are you going to come with me even though you would rather spend the evening doing almost anything else on earth?

It is important not to underestimate theimpact of these kinds of day-to-day decisions. Your happiness in a relationship depends greatly on your ability to get your needs heard and taken seriously. If these decisions are taken over by an abusive or controlling partner, you experiences disappointment after disappointment, the constant sacrificing of your needs. He, on the other hand, enjoys the luxury of a relationship where he rarely has to compromise, gets to the things he enjoys, and skips the rest. He shows off his generosity when the stakes are low, so that friends will see what a swell guy he is.

The abuser ends up with the benefits of being in an intimate relationship without the sacrifices that normally come with the territory. That's a pretty privileged lifestyle.

3. Someone to take his problems out on
Have you ever suffered a sharp disappointment or a painful loss and found yourself looking for someone to blame? Have you, for example, ever been nasty to a store clerk when you were really upset about your job? Most people have an impulse to dump bad feelings on some undeserving person, as a way to relieve-- temporarily-- sadness or frustration. Certain days you may know that you just have to keep an eye on yourself so as not to bite someone's head off.

The abusive man doesn't bother to keep an eye on himself, however. In fact, he considers himself entitled to use his partner as a kind of human garbage dump where he can litter the ordinary pains and frustrations that life brings us. She is always an available target, she is easy to blame-- since no partner is perfect-- and she can't prevent him from dumping because he will get even worse if she tries. His excuse when he jettisons his distresses onto her is that life is unusually painful-- an unacceptable rationalization even if it were true, which it generally isn't.

4. Free labor from her; leisure and freedom for him
No abusive man does his share of the work in a relationship. He may take advantage of his partner's hard work keeping the house, preparing the meals, caring for the children, and managing the myriad details of life. Or, if he is one of the few abusers who carries his weight in these areas, then he exploits her emotionally instead, sucking her dry of attention, nurturing, and support, and returning only a trickle.

All this uncompensated labor from her means leisure for him. During the house he spends talking about himself he is relieved of the work of listening. The long weekend days when she cares for the children are his opportunity to watch sports, go rock climbing, or write his novel. My clients don't make the connection that someone takes care of the work; they think of it as just mysteriously getting done and refer to women as "lazy." Yet on a deeper level the abuser seems to realize how hard his partner works, because he fights like hell not to have to share that burden. He is accustomed to his luxury and often talks exaggeratedly about his exhaustion to excuse staying on his read end.

Studies have shown that a majority of women feel that their male partners don't contribute fairly to household responsibilities. However, a woman whose partner is not abusive at least has the option to put her foot down about her workload and insist that the man pick up the slack. With an abusive man, however, if you put your foot down he either ignores you or makes you pay.

The abuser comes and goes as he pleases, meets or ignores his responsibilities at his whim, and skips anything he finds too unpleasant. In fact, some abusers are rarely home at all, using the house only as a base for periodic refueling.

5. Being the center of attention, with priority given to his needs
When a woman's partner chronically mistreats her, what fills up her thoughts? Him, of course. She ponders how to soothe him so that he won't explode, how to improve herself in his eyes, how she might delicately raise a touchy issue with him. Little space remains for her to think about her own life, which suits the abuser; he wants her to be thinking about him. The abuser reaps cooperation and catering to his physical, emotional and sexual needs. And if the couple has children, the entire famly strives to enhance his good moods and fix his bad ones, in the hope that he won't start tearing pieces out of anyone. Consistently at the center of attention and getting his own way, the abuser can ensure that his emotional needs get met on his terms-- a luxury he is loath to part with.

6. Financial control
Money is a leading cause of tension in modern relationships, at least in families with children. Financial choices have huge quality of life implications, including: Who get to make the purchases that matter most to him or her; what kind sof preparations are made for the future, including retirement; what types of leisure activities and travel are engaged in; who gets to work; who gets to not work if he or she doesn't want to; and how the children's needs are met. To have your voice in these decisions taken away is a monumental denial of your rights and has long-term implications. On the lfip side, the abuser who dominates these kinds of decisionsextorts important benefits for himself, whether the family is low income or wealthy. One of the most common tactics I hear about, for example, is that the abuser manages to finagle dealings so that his name is on his partner's belongings-- such as her house or her car-- along with, or instead of, her name. In fact, I have had clients whose abuse was almost entirely economically based and who managed to take many thousands of dollars away from their partners, either openly or thorugh playing financial tricks.

An abuser's history of economic exploitation tends to put him in a much better financial position that his partner if the relationship splits up. This imbalanace makes it harder for her to leave him, especially is she has to find a way to support her children. He may also threaten to use his economic advantage to hire a lawyer and pursue custody, on of the single most terrifying prospects that can face an abused woman.

7. Ensuring that his career, education or other goals are prioritized
Closely interwoven with financial control is the question of whose personal goals receive priority. If the abuser needs to be out several evening studying for a certificate that will improve his job advancement potential, he's going to do it. If a career opportunity for him involves moving to a new state, he is likely to ignore the impact of his decision on his partner. Her own goals may also advance at times, but only as long as they don't interfere with his.

8. Public status of partner and/or father without the sacrifices
With his strong people-pleasing skills and his lively energy when under the public gaze, the abusive man is often thought of as an unusually fun and loving partner and a sweet, committed dad. He soaks up the smiles and appreciation he receives from relatives, neighbots, and people in the street who are unaware of his behavior in private.

9. The approval of his friends and relatives
An abuser often chooses friends who are supportive of abusive attitudes. On top of that, he may come from an abusive fmaily; in fact, his father or stepfather may have been his key role model for how to treat female partners. If these are his social surroundings, he gets strokes for knowing how to control his partner, for "putting her in her place" from time to time, and for ridiculing her complaints about him. His friends and relatives may even bond with him on the basis of his view of women in general as being irrational, vindictive, or avaricious. For this man to renounce abuse, he would have to give up his cheerleading squad as well.

10. Double standards
An abusive man subtly or overtly imposes a system in which he is exempt from the rules and standards that he applies to you. He may allow himself to have occaisonal affairs, "because men have their needs," but if you so much as gaze at another man, you're a "whore". He may scream in arguments, but if you raise your voice, you're "hysterical". He may pick up one of your children by the ear, but if you grab your son and put him in timeout for punching you in the leg, you're a "child abuser". He can leave his schedule open and flexible while you have to account for your time. He can point out your faults, while setting himself above criticism, so that he doesn't have to deal with your complaints or be confronted with the effects of his selfish and destructive actions. The abusive man has the privilege of living by a special set of criteria that were designed just for him.

Glance back quickly over this impressive collection of privileges. Is it any wonder that abusive men are reluctant to change? The benefits of abuse are a major social secret, rarely mentioned anywhere. Why? Largely because abusers are specialists in distracting our attention. They don't want anyone to notice how well this system is working for them (and usually don't even want to admit it to themselves). If we caught on, we would stop feeling sorry for them and instead start holding them accountable for their actions. As long as we see abusers as victims, or as out-of-control monsters, they will continue getting away with ruining lives. If we want abusers to change, we will have to require them to give up the luxury of exploitation.

When you are left feeling hurt or confused after a confrontation with your controlling partner, ask yourself: What was he trying to get out of what he just did? What is the ultimate benefit to him? Thinking through these questions can help you clear your head and identify his tactics.

Certainly the abusive man also loses a great deal through his abusiveness. He loses the potential for genuine intimacy in his relationship, for example, and his capacity for compassion and empathy. But these are often not things that he values, so he may not feel their absence. And even if he would like greater intimacy, that wish is outweighed by his attachment to the benefits of abuse.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

One Group Has a Higher Domestic Violence Rate Than Everyone Else

By Marcie Bianco


There's one group we're overlooking: The people we trust to keep us safe.

In families of police officers, domestic violence is two-to-four times more likely than in the general population — from stalking and harassment to sexual assault and even homicide. As the National Center for Women and Policing notes, two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10% of families in the general population.

America's police domestic abuse problem was on full display in the horrific murder of Valerie Morrow, who police say was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend, Stephen Rozniakowski, a Philadelphia-area police officer. Morrow, 40, had just been granted a protection from abuse order against Rozniakowski, who had been charged with 75 counts of stalking.

After Rozniakowski reportedly resigned from his job Monday, police say he kicked open the door to Morrow's home, shot her to death and wounded her teenage daughter before being apprehended at the scene.

There is an epidemic of domestic violence by police officers: Recently, a Cleveland police officer was arrested for stalking and domestic violence, and officers in New Jersey and New York were charged in domestic violence cases.

A 2013 Bowling Green State University study, through news searches, tallied 324 cases of reported officer domestic violence. It is likely that this number is a gross underestimate, because as the National Center for Women and Policing has detailed, officers frequently cover for each other.

"A big part of police culture is the code of silence," Diane Wetendorf, author of Police Domestic Violence: Handbook for Victims, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The prosecutors depend on police for their cases, the police depend on each other — it's a very insulated system,"

Why aren't we talking about this more? A September analysis on officer domestic violence by the Atlantic explains how cases come to be underreported. It's not just that women are more intimidated to report domestic violence because their attackers are officers and worry that nobody will believe them; it's that officers adjudicate the entire process on an informal level.

"Cops 'typically handle cases of police family violence informally, often without an official report, investigation, or even check of the victim's safety,'" the Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf writes, quoting a study from the National Center for Women and Policing. "'Even officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested or referred for prosecution.'"

From underreporting by victims and colleagues to informal investigations, this means that available statistics only hint at the pervasive violence perpetrated by the people who are paid to protect and serve us. If evidence from a 2007 change in reporting arrests of Florida officers is any indication, reported cases of officer domestic violence would double.
Source: The New York Times

Unfortunately there is no solution to this solution in sight, because this epidemic is systemic. Underreporting is a symptom of the fact that officers are rarely criminalized or even fired from their jobs even though, like Rozniakowski, their criminal history is well-documented.

In fact, as the Atlantic and and other sources observe, not only are these officers not fired, many of them receive promotions. This evidence suggests that not only is domestic violence by police officers ignored by the criminal justice system, it is condoned and, at times, even rewarded.

But available statistics prove one thing: The criminal justice system needs to readjust its focus. Instead of policing the general public, it needs to turn inward to police itself first, before it can claim to "protect and serve" in the truest sense of justice. 


SOURCE 


 MORE INFORMATION ON POLICE OFFICE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES click here

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Friday, June 15, 2018

When Enough is Enough

By Lanie Pambid

Would you believe that love can be gone in a blink of an eye? Based on facts that I am going to share with you is that it CAN happen. A couple who has been together for a few years would just one day wake up and realize that they no longer love their partner. It’s like, she slept tonight, and the next morning she doesn’t feel anything for her partner anymore.

Why is this so? Of course, we need to know what caused these kinds of things to happen. But, what we are going to state here are just observations from different relationships of people.

First, there might be a possibility that a couple of more than seven years and hasn’t married yet CAN be TIRED of one another. In the case of the woman, she must have expected to be married at that time but the man hasn’t asked her yet, so there is the tendency to think that they won’t ever be married at all, so instead of waiting longer years the woman finally decides of leaving the man for someone who will marry her sooner. Or it can also be that either person could be tired of doing the same things as what we call routine. If things go by this way there is a larger possibility that they would think of their married life to be as boring as that of their existing relationship. So, they decide to leave each other, in hopes of finding someone who would really make them happy again.

Another reason could be the person’s attitude towards the partner. The situation I am going to give you mostly happens with some couples. This couple has been with each other for more than five years. Their friends see them as a happy couple whenever they’re together. But little did they know was that behind the happy and cheerful couple they see during parties it wasn’t so. The man is a perfectionist and the woman is timid. Every single day of her life, the man kept on discouraging her, telling her bad things, making her feel bad about herself from head to toe (physically and emotionally). Not just with her job, but even the friends she have, the clothes she wears, the never-ending badmouth of this man made the woman feel like she was the ugliest person on earth. Until one day, the man left her. She cried at first but realized that she was actually free from the chains of a very abusive person who made her life miserable most of the time. Instead of harvesting beautiful memories that they both shared, the one remembered were the ugly ones. In a span of a few months, she found someone who uplifted her spirits and made her into a new and beautiful person inside out.

The man tried to win back the woman but he failed. Now, you see in this kind of relationship, there is no growth. This is a very UNHEALTHY relationship, wherein negativity rung around it. One abusive word should have been stopped if the woman stood up for herself instead of accepting every single bad word she hears from the man. Every individual should always remember that “No one should put you down.” Put a stop to it, what seems to be wrong in this relationship was that the woman kept on accepting and keeping quiet and never even tried to tell what she really feels. Or we could also assume that the woman tries to tell the man, but it so happened that the man is stronger than the woman and sort of over powers her or doesn’t listen to whatever she says. If your boyfriend is like this for years and years you better leave him. He is just one selfish schmuck who thinks only of himself. Relationships like this should be done. Don’t wait for a couple of years before getting out of it. Think now! Do you want a life like this?

In relation to the example given about abusive words, we will also include physical abuse. If a man hits you and says he’s sorry after and then you forgive him, that’s a big no no! Because once you accepted the first sorry, you’ll always accept the hits and blows and whatever physical injury you might have. At the first time this happens, report it to the police. If in case the man always pulls you or grabs you by the shoulder and it leaves a bruise that is already physical abuse. Don’t ever let anyone hurt you. If a man truly loves a woman he would never hurt you, but will always be patient. That is why some women leave their partners too. Some of them endure the years of being beaten up by their partners and when they’ve had enough, that’s just the time they leave them. Others who hasn’t had enough even die because of the beatings they get from their husbands. Women, do you like this to happen to you?

This next case is quite different. This couple is totally happy. Even their friends would say that they really are a great couple when they’re together. Always having fun and always complementing each other. Then one day, the man just leaves the woman without a valid reason. Now, how would you react to that? If you were the woman, what would you think? Let’s say for example, the woman is very understanding, always cares for the man, and all the good things this woman could offer. I could say that maybe the man has a problem that he has kept for a long time, that he didn’t tell the woman. Most men has problems opening up to the person they love or sometimes to people who are really close to them. Unlike women, they can easily share their problems to their friends, thus letting the emotions out of them, unlike men. In cases like these, don’t give up on your man. Try to clear things out with him so that you won’t be left open-mouthed when this kind of thing happens to you. If he doesn’t want to talk about it maybe he needs space or time to think of his problems on his own and maybe he wants to solve it. Give it a week or two for your man to come back and apologize. But if in case he never calls you anymore and has vanished into thin air, accept the fact that he has already left you because he’s ready to go into some kind of Looney bin. Although, you have to make sure that there is no third party involved because if there is another woman involved that’s a case closed, find another man who is not a womanizer!

Women apparently are patient in nature. They tend to make sacrifices and try to be patient with their partner. They keep on trying to continue the relationship until they have had enough. Oftentimes, some of them become martyrs wherein it already takes them a couple of years before they realize that it is enough. If you are in a situation like these examples given, think for yourself. Is that a healthy relationship you are in? Did you try everything you can before you quit the relationship?

Women should know when to stop and when to try to make things right. You choose you own life and you make your own destiny. Learn to fight and be strong because only you can help yourself.

SOURCE

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Verbal Abuse: Tough on Kids



Children depend on those who love and care for them, to tell them who they are. A child's developing self-esteem is founded on parental beliefs and expectations. Children who are continuously "put down" with name-calling or other disparagement are vulnerable to poor self-image and lowered confidence in themselves. The earlier and more pervasive the abuse, the greater the potential for crippling a child's development, socially, academically or otherwise.

Whether we help our children develop a compassionate observer that assists them in handling frustration, or an inner critic that distracts them with self-accusation is largely the result of parental messages and modeling. Verbal abuse contributes to the creation of an inner critic that incriminates, rather than encourages a child in times of stress. A negative internal dialogue may cause us to avoid challenges and miss opportunities in life for fear of "failure." Or it can contribute to depression, for even when we achieve we may feel as though it is never enough.

Let's take a simple look at how the inner dialogue might work. For example, a nine-year-old boy is facing a difficult new math problem. Natural frustration arises. If he has experienced his parent's encouragement in times of stress ("You are smart, you can do it"), we might say that he has developed an inner cheerleader that helps him to remain calm and repeat instructions to himself that were taught in class. He is less likely to become distracted by his frustration, and more likely to focus his energy on successful problem solving. The experience of success creates a can do attitude which then reinforces self esteem for the next time new material must be mastered.

But when a child has been the object of repeated name calling, he has more work to do in order to get through to the teaching dialogue. Because he feels frustration, (and because his father resorts to name calling under stress), he may cope with frustration by repeating his father's words to himself -- that he is a "stupid idiot." Harboring this belief may slow down, or block his progress altogether. He may "fall apart" under this stress, similarly to what he sees his father do when frustrated. He may even waste his energies lashing out at others, further delaying his attention to problem-solving. His inner dialogue is flooded with emotional tensions that block development of the skills necessary to succeed, or even ask for help.

In the worst case, a negative inner dialogue leads to failure which reinforces a child's belief that he is, in fact, a "stupid idiot." Believing this becomes easier than working through the emotional tension necessary to address the math problem. Problem solving skills are not learned, resulting in further failures. A negative self-fulfilling prophecy is set in motion.

Abuse of any kind is learned at the hands of our own caretakers. No doubt your partner learned to lash out at his children because he himself bore the brunt of parental frustration. The "cure" that promises to break this cycle is the ability to remember the pain felt by childhood abuse. When an adult identifies with the harm done to him as a child, he is then able to transfer this empathy to his own children.

Ask your husband to recall how his parents handled anger and frustration. Together, identify behaviors which were destructive and those that were constructive. Focus attention on what it might have felt like to be called an "idiot" and what effect it might have had on him. Does he silently berate himself when something goes wrong? Looking back on his childhood experience, does he believe that name-calling helped or hindered him? Did it cause him to think poorly of himself, or keep him from performing or developing skills due to a "short fuse"? And finally, ask him what kind of impact he wants to have on his own children.

Tell him that you want an end to name-calling in the family. But do not stop there! It is your job as a parent to address your partner's blind spots and insist on changes where they are needed.

Your children depend on you to stand up for them.

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Blogiversary for Sanctuary for the Abused

WOW - 15 years on the net for Sanctuary for the Abused!.
 
I have used this blog in reaching out to help others heal from abuse or pathological relationships. If I helped even one person... mission accomplished.

Thank you to everyone and anyone who ever read or shared even one post!!




anniversary

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Awakening



A time comes in your life when you finally get it…when in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…. ENOUGH ! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on.

Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new ayes. This is you awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you…and in the process a sense of peace and calm is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself…and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you-or didn’t do to you- and learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself. And in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties…and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve overgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop manoeuvring through life as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a PIG to sing. You learn that the only cross to bear is one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about LOVE. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that your body really is a temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubts, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play. You learn that, for most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working towards making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes, bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people… and you learn not to always take it personally. You learn that nobody’s pushing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to be thankful and to take care of many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about.

Then you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

http://groups.msn.com/SpousalAbuseSupport

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How a Narcissist Trains his Victims

tantrum Pictures, Images and Photos

by Kathy Krajco

Nearly everyone has seen something like the following little scene...

A three-or-four-year-old is with his mother in the grocery store. He points at a candy bar, looking at his mother with the brightest, cutest, most engaging little face you ever saw. Mother is busy and hardly glancing at him as she reads her grocery list and says, "No, you don't---"

She was going to say, "No, you don't need that," but she didn't get half the words out before he erupted into "WAAAAH!!!!"


Everyone in the store jumps, wondering who's killing that kid. In one split-second his face has undergone a startling transfiguration into something grotesque.

But he hasn't got the first "WAAAH!!!" half out yet before his mother, with a quick look around at all the people looking at her, grabs that candy bar and thrusts it into his hand.

WAAAAH--off, mid-WAAAH, and there is that darling little beaming angel-face again, unwrapping his his candy bar.

That's what you call a spoiled brat -- a kid who has learned to use temper tantrums to control his parents. The dead giveaway is how instantaneously he switches from one emotional extreme to the other. Real people don't do that in one split second, do they?

He can do that because those emotions are bogus. Faked. He isn't upset when he's screaming, and he isn't happy when he's not. He's just a little actor. He has two masks. One is for positive reinforcement, and the other is for negative reinforcement. He switches from one to the other in the blink of an eye.

Yes! This four-year-old has learned the art of Behavior Modification! It's childsplay, ain't it? His happy face is a carrot to reward you for good behavior, and his mad face is a stick to punish you for bad behavior.

Now notice how similar this is to an adult narcissist's rages. They are exactly the same thing.

Whenever you aren't behaving the way they want, they throw a fit. Like that brat in the grocery store, they don't think they should even have to ask for what they they want. They think you should be so attentive to their desires that you just offer it to them. It would be beneath them to ask for anything. So they throw a "Don't-go-there!" tantrum whenever you aren't playing the part they've assigned to you in the stageplay of their life.

That could be because you are behaving like you deserve respect. Or maybe you are busy and do not have lunch on the table yet. Whatever, the cowboy just herds people by yelling and waving things whenever the cattle in his home get out of line.

His wild act is so obnoxious and menacing that people soon learn how to turn it off. They would rather conform to his specifications than put up with that obnoxious wild act all the time.

Thus he trains them to behave the way he wants them to.

SOURCE

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Emotional & Psychological Trauma

Causes, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment
Trauma. The word brings to mind the effects of such major events as war, rape, kidnapping, abuse, torture, or other similar assault. The emotional aftermath of such events, recognized by the medical and psychological communities, and increasingly by the general public, is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now there is a new field of investigation that is less familiar, even to professionals: emotional or psychological trauma.

What is emotional or psychological trauma?
The ability to recognize emotional trauma has changed radically over the course of history. Until rather recently psychological trauma was noted only in men after catastrophic wars. The women's movement in the sixties broadened the definition of emotional trauma to include physically and sexually abused women and children. Now because of the discoveries made in the nineties known as the decade of the brain, psychological trauma has further broadened its definition.

Recent research has revealed that emotional trauma can result from such common occurrences as an auto accident, the breakup of a significant relationship, a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience, the discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition, or other similar situations. Traumatizing events can take a serious emotional toll on those involved, even if the event did not cause physical damage.

Regardless of its source, an emotional trauma contains three common elements:

it was unexpected;
the person was unprepared; and
there was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening.


It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but the individual's experience of the event. And it is not predictable how a given person will react to a particular event. For someone who is used to being in control of emotions and events, it may be surprising – even embarrassing – to discover that something like an accident or job loss can be so debilitating.

What causes emotional or psychological trauma?
Our brains are structured into three main parts, long observed in autopsies:
Because of the development of brain scan technology, scientists can now observe the brain in action, without waiting for an autopsy. These scans reveal that trauma actually changes the structure and function of the brain, at the point where the frontal cortex, the emotional brain and the survival brain converge. A significant finding is that brain scans of people with relationship or developmental problems, learning problems, and social problems related to emotional intelligence reveal similar structural and functional irregularities to those resulting from PTSD.

What is the difference between stress and emotional or psychological trauma?
One way to tell the difference between stress and emotional trauma is by looking at the outcome – how much residual effect an upsetting event is having on our lives, relationships, and overall functioning. Traumatic distress can be distinguished from routine stress by assessing the following:

how quickly upset is triggered
how frequently upset is triggered
how intensely threatening the source of upset is
how long upset lasts
how long it takes to calm down

If we can communicate our distress to people who care about us and can respond adequately, and if we return to a state of equilibrium following a stressful event, we are in the realm of stress. If we become frozen in a state of active emotional intensity, we are experiencing an emotional trauma – even though sometimes we may not be consciously aware of the level of distress we are experiencing.

Why can an event cause an emotionally traumatic response in one person and not in another?
There is no clear answer to this question, but it is likely that one or more of these factors are involved:
Anyone can become traumatized. Even professionals who work with trauma, or other people close to a traumatized person, can develop symptoms of "vicarious" or "secondary" traumatization. Developing symptoms is never a sign of weakness. Symptoms should be taken seriously and steps should be taken to heal, just as one would take action to heal from a physical ailment. And just as with a physical condition, the amount of time or assistance needed to recover from emotional trauma will vary from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of emotional trauma?
There are common effects or conditions that may occur following a traumatic event. Sometimes these responses can be delayed, for months or even years after the event. Often, people do not even initially associate their symptoms with the precipitating trauma. The following are symptoms that may result from a more commonplace, unresolved trauma, especially if there were earlier, overwhelming life experiences:

Physical
Eating disturbances (more or less than usual)
Sleep disturbances (more or less than usual)
Sexual dysfunction
Low energy
Chronic, unexplained pain

Emotional
Depression, spontaneous crying, despair and hopelessness
Anxiety
Panic attacks
Fearfulness
Compulsive and obsessive behaviors
Exaggerating (especially when others chronically disbelieve them)
Feeling out of control
Irritability, angry and resentment
Emotional numbness
Withdrawal from normal routine and relationships


Cognitive
Memory lapses, especially about the trauma
Difficulty making decisions
Decreased ability to concentrate
Feeling distracted
The following additional symptoms of emotional trauma are commonly associated with a severe precipitating event, such as a natural disaster, exposure to war, rape, assault, violent crime, major car or airplane crashes, or child abuse. Extreme symptoms can also occur as a delayed reaction to the traumatic event.

Re-experiencing the Trauma
intrusive thoughts
flashbacks or nightmares
sudden floods of emotions or images related to the traumatic event

Emotional Numbing and Avoidance
amnesia
avoidance of situations that resemble the initial event
detachment
depression
guilt feelings
grief reactions
an altered sense of time

Increased Arousal
hyper-vigilance, jumpiness, an extreme sense of being "on guard"
overreactions, including sudden unprovoked anger
general anxiety
insomnia
obsessions with death

What are the possible effects of emotional trauma?
Even when unrecognized, emotional trauma can create lasting difficulties in an individual's life. One way to determine whether an emotional or psychological trauma has occurred, perhaps even early in life before language or conscious awareness were in place, is to look at the kinds of recurring problems one might be experiencing. These can serve as clues to an earlier situation that caused a dysregulation in the structure or function of the brain.

Common personal and behavioral effects of emotional trauma:

substance abuse
compulsive behavior patterns
self-destructive and impulsive behavior

lashing out
uncontrollable reactive thoughts
inability to make healthy professional or lifestyle choices
dissociative symptoms ("splitting off" parts of the self)
feelings of ineffectiveness, shame, despair, hopelessness
feeling permanently damaged
a loss of previously sustained beliefs


Common effects of emotional trauma on interpersonal relationships:

inability to maintain close relationships or choose appropriate friends and mates
sexual problems
hostility
arguments with family members, employers or co-workers
social withdrawal
feeling constantly threatened


What if symptoms don't go away, or appear at a later time?
Over time, even without professional treatment, symptoms of an emotional trauma generally subside, and normal daily functioning gradually returns. However, even after time has passed, sometimes the symptoms don't go away. Or they may appear to be gone, but surface again in another stressful situation. When a person's daily life functioning or life choices continue to be affected, a post-traumatic stress disorder may be the problem, requiring professional assistance.

How is emotional trauma treated?
Traditional approaches to treating emotional trauma include:

talk therapies (working out the feelings associated with the trauma);
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involves changing one's thoughts and actions, and includes systematic desensitization to reduce reactivity to a traumatic stressor
relaxation/stress reduction techniques, such as biofeedback or breathwork; and
hypnosis to deal with reactions often below the level of conscious awareness.

There are also several recent developments in the treatment to emotional trauma. Depending on the nature of the trauma and the age or state of development at which it occurred, these somatic (body) psychotherapies might even be more effective than traditional therapies. Some of the new therapies include:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming)
Somatic Experiencing
Hakomi
Integrative Body Psychotherapy

EMDR THERAPIST NETWORK

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Cyberstalking and Online Harassment

 
Sticks & Stones from Melissa Kester on Vimeo.


A Real Life Problem


The Internet is a wonderful place to work, play and study. But don't let that fact make you blind to its down side. The Net is no more and no less than a mirror of the real world, and that means it also contains electronic versions of real life problems. Stalking and harassments are problems that many people especially women, are familiar with in real life. These problems can also occur on the Internet, in what has become know as "cyberstalking" or "online harassment".

If you thought that owning a computer and having an Internet account would make a person considerate and respectful; then think again. There are just as many predators in cyberspace as anywhere else. It is only their methods that have changed. Some predators might harass you by trailing around after you in live channels like lovesick puppies; unable to take NO for an answer and pestering you with email messages. In other cases this harassment may become a systematic campaign against you; where your harasser bombards you with threatening messages of hate and obscenities. Although distressful enough, the situation can even escalate to the point where your harasser traces your home address and telephone number; causing you to face not just emotional distress but also physical danger. It should come as no surprise to you that the "bad guys" are making use of this wonderful technology to harass people and prey on the innocent. Why wouldn't they? Not all bad guys are street punks with no education. Some are university graduates with computers.

There have been many examples of cyberstalking crossing over to "IRL" stalking (In Real Life stalking). Sadly, those users who have been victims of cyberstalking, tell a similar story: That no one took the harassment seriously until it became "IRL". Cyberstalking can be a devastating experience for a person online. As they discover that the difference between the "Brave New World" of the Internet and the Real World is that in the real world people listen when you tell them you are being stalked and harassed. In cyberspace people say things like "well just turn off your computer". Such incomprehension is common. "You can't be hurt on the Internet - it's just words" is commonly heard and "If you can't handle it, then you shouldn't be online" is another commonly hear comment. The online stalking is just as frightening and distressing as off-line stalking, and just as illegal.

Men and women may be stalked on-line, but statistics show that the majority of victims are female. Women are the minority of the Internet population which means that their attention is generally a fierce competition between male users. This part of the Internet, resembles crude online single bars, with little in the way of politeness. Unfortunately the immediate and relative anonymity of live chat communications facilities enable users to be rude and insensitive. Cyberstalking and online harassment are also much easier to practice than real life stalking. In cyberspace, a stalker can harass their victim without ever have to leave the comfort of their own home, or have any witnesses to the incidents.

One reason for the lack of successful prosecution of cyberstalkers, is that there usually is a lack of sufficient evidence available for the officials to warrant "probable cause" in order to further investigate. Many law enforcement agencies are Internet illiterate, therefore unaware that the problem could and does exist. To date, the only legislation regarding cyberstalking is the Communications Decency Act, enacted by the US Congress on 2-1-96, and is still being challenged in the Supreme Court. The real life, anti-stalking laws deal with actual attacks, and until such an attack happens, are actually very limited in defending yourself, or preventing any progression of the stalker. There is very little done about threats or harassment in the early stages.

Online users are vulnerable to being targeted as cyberstalking victims in three areas.
1) Live Chats (Facebook, Yahoo, Skype, Messenger) or IRC (Internet Relay Chat): in which a user talks live with other users. This is the most common place for cyberstalking.

2) Message boards, Blogs, Reunion Sites, Support Groups and Newsgroups: a user interacts with others by posting messages, conversing back and forth.  Boards for emotional issues such as divorce; death; domestic violence are especially prone.  Disordered persons can track others they disagree with for years reeking all sorts of havoc.

3) Email box: a user has the ability to write anything and even attach files to the email.

Example: a user enables your email, via live chat or newsgroup postings, then emails you with obscenities, and attaches porno pictures. A common area regarding cyberstalking is at the "edu" sites, which are educational institutes, such as colleges and universities.

One user might know another user personally and interacts on the Internet anonymously, so starting the cyberstalk. One student can enter the Internet as easily as another student, therefore not letting his true identity be known. And since user names can be unknown alias, who would ever know the identity or be able to prove the identity. In such cases, the stalker usually has the ability to trace the victim's phone number and sometimes the address of his victim. Another includes interpreting a posting you may have made on a message board regarding your opinion as an "attack" if it differs from theirs. The stalker then becomes fixated on proving you wrong.

Other forms of online harassment:

1) Unsolicited email
2) Live Chat
3) Hostile Postings about you, using a few "facts" to make an untrue picture
4) Spreading vicious, fabricated, untrue rumors about you (as opposed to telling the Truth at exposure sites)
5) Leaving untrue messages on site guestbooks
6) Impersonation of you online
7) Electronic sabotage, (sending viruses, trojans, etc)
8) Threatening phone calls
9) Threatening mail
10) Vandalism of property
11) Physical attack
12) Posing as you on groups, in emails or in postings.

There are many precautions that you can take NOW to protect yourself in advance from the unwelcome attention of a cyberstalker. Remember: The goal of a cyberstalker is CONTROL. Your task is to reverse this situation. Keep control of who you communicate with on the Internet. To do this, you may like to consider the advice below. Remember, the time to deal with cyberstalking is before you become a target.

CYBERSTALKING PREVENTION TIPS
If you are being harassed online by a cyberstalker, the chances are that you are not the first person they have stalked. Cyberstalkers, like other predators, are opportunists. They know what they are looking for and how to get it. "Stalking" is a "power" crime, the stalkers has the power to make you suffer and enjoys that power. Stalkers' self-esteem rises when they attack your self- esteem. The more pain and suffering they can cause, the better they feel about themselves. The best protection against becoming a target of stalking is not to reveal anything personal that you might have in common. Often, stalkers are mentally unstable, paranoid, delusional, and extremely jealous, and have extremely low self-esteem. Stalkers may display selfishness, malice, sadism, be very cunning and arrogant. Most are anti-social, and to put it in layman's terms, be a "control freak", enjoying manipulating other people. They crave power over others, and enjoy the type power that hurts other people. harassment is common enough in live chat on the Internet. 

 The three most common ways it can start are:
1) sexual harassment (or innuendo);
2) a flame war (argument that gets out of hand);
3)users that show their technological power by attacking innocent users, channels or even networks.

Those who regularly start flame wars online are rude and obnoxious people, often having poor social and communication skills. Their idea of fun is throwing obscene abuse at another just to upset them. These kind of harassers are often loners who don''t have a companion and their attempts to attract your attention is often clumsy and crude. Care should always be taken when turning the away, as the are highly sensitive to rejection and humiliation, and could cause a vendetta to start against you. Understand that although clumsy and crude in most cases, the stalker is not stupid, they are very organized and usually experienced in their war against you.

Stalking is a form of obsession. The difference between a normal cyber harasser and a cyberstalker, is this: harasser moves on to others and forgets you and a stalkers will come back to stalk you another day.

The Internet enables the stalker, his powers, in most cases, merely a knowledge of the technology is all required to have the ability to stalk another user. Most stalkers, having been rejected desire to instill fear in users, therefore, upsetting the normal enjoyment of the Internet.

Note that educated, smooth talking, responsible people also can be stalkers, appearing to be a perfect gentleman or lady with perfect manners. The major "clue" to cyberstalking, is when the stalker pushes for information regarding you personal life, private life, or life away from the net. Rule of thumb, as it may be referred to is: "NEVER GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION ACROSS THE INTERNET!"

Online meetings should stay online, the individuals are, in fact, strangers. Online, the physical warning signs usually in the "body language" are missing. Also the clues of personality within the voice and eyes are missing. All there is to determine a personality is the skill in which they type there messages. There is no code of honor in protecting privacy on the Internet. Each user should therefore take steps to protect their privacy online.

1) never specify gender
2) use neutral-gender names
3) change your password often
4) edit your online profiles often
5) review your email headers and signatures often
6) use secure chat programs that do not permit tracking of your isp#
7) use a good chat network
8) use standard names, passive names to as to not draw attention to you
9) use anonymous remailers
10)use an anonymous browser
11)use encryption to authenticate email
12) discuss privacy with your server.

And last: learn your technology. REMEMBER: PROTECT YOURSELF!

GRAFX-SPECS DESIGN & HOSTING


NOTE FROM BLOG OWNER: Ms. Kester and I have the same cyberharasser.

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Saturday, June 09, 2018

Reality & Revictimization



Reality and Revictimization


...Why not everyone can just "move on" 
and "choose a happy future"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The concept that a victim can always consciously choose how to proceed, is wrong. Abuse is trauma and the ability to take steps forward is often impaired. Sometimes, help is needed.

The phrase, "move on with your life" is common. Sometimes said to those who have lost a custody battle, lost a home, or savings, a family or job this phrase can be another betrayal. Just when a victim needs support, they are asked to go it alone.

The entire infrastructure of a life is often destroyed leaving the victim, stunned, hypervigilant, indigent, betrayed and perplexed as to why they are expected to "choose" to not be a victim. Give them a time machine and this can be done. Give them revictimization and it cannot.

It's time to give that word back its status and in doing so, give respect to the abused. Respect comes in the form of providing help with a compassionate approach to those who have been stripped of dignity through abuse in courts of law, or by their partners.

What is the definition of a "victim"?
According to the dictionary a victim is: One who is harmed by, or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition; a person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of.

The victim of a pathological is traumatized. There are biochemical changes in the body and structural changes in the brain. Thought patterns change, memories are lost, immune system strongly affected, brain cells die, there is chest pain, muscle pain, feelings are intense and emotions chaotic.

Why are victims revictimized?
Because it's politically correct to say, "I'm not a victim, I'm a survivor."

Not all victims are the same.

Some have more resiliency than others. Some are without resources or support. Many have physiological changes that need to be addressed. And when those who need help come looking for it, instead of being welcomed, they find "helpers" that tell them they are responsible for their healing NOW.

These people are revictimizing because "choice" is NOT always an option.


Reclaim the Word Victim
We must reclaim the word "victim" and renew our commitment to those who are victims. We should examine the role of a victim impact statement and victim advocate for those who are traumatized emotionally as well as from a criminal act.
Maybe they don't know what they are talking about.

As a victim of any kind of abuse you deserve:
1. Compassion
2. Validation
3 Freedom from 'therapeutic' verbal abuse (i.e. "make positive choices" or "better your life" or "have hope" is just nonsense!)
4. A support team to open doors to resources
5. A friend, therapist or counselor who can teach you the skills to rebuild your life.

Depending on who you are, this may take a long time or not. Variables include amount and length of abuse, health, supportive family or not, finances, genetic explanatory style (optimism or pessimism), coping skills you may already have and many others.

As a victim, you have the right to say, "STOP" to those who blame the victim.

An entire self help industry has arisen that believes if you just really really wanted to, you can be happy and healthy and fully functional as soon as you choose to be.


A starting point for recovery are post traumatic stress sites. There you will find trained and compassionate support people with articles that explain trauma healing methods.


The Scientific Basis of Healing, Happiness and Recovery
It doesn't matter if you call yourself a victim, survivor or Martian. No one should deny you victim status. It is what is.

A victim is not a slothlike creature, nor stupid. Nor is a victim responsible for what happened to her and we must stop worrying about language and start helping. A victim is a person with a life in chaos. What matters is that you get the help you need and the compassionate trained person to give you the skills.


The good news is that happiness is psychologists are moving from the Freudian model which has dominated psychology for too long and was wrong to boot, to a model that moves from pathology as the dominant scheme. The process of de-traumatization begins with validation. It then moves to retraining explanatory style. Depending on the depth and time of the abuse, it may take a long or short time to process to empowerment and control.


It IS necessary to be heard and listened to and to tell your story.

Validation is critical.

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