Sanctuary for the Abused
Saturday, March 24, 2018
"Was It Even Real?"
between the two of you was real
Was that presentation real?
Your partner told you that he/she cared about you and your feelings. But now your partner doesn’t seem to care at all.
Were any of your partner’s words real? Was the passion real? Was the intensity real?
How about the feeling that you were soul mates conjoined for eternity? Was that real?
WAS ANY OF IT REAL?
You probably see your partner’s initial presentation of him or herself as being true and real. You want to find ways to encourage your partner to be that person. In fact you may well feel that if you can bring your partner back to that place, you will be bringing him/her back to reality.
Lets start by telling you that your partner’s initial representation cannot be counted on to be real. It was a sales presentation, no more and no less.
As for your partners feelings, remember that that narcissists have a highly evolved sense of drama, but very shallow feelings. All that passion, all that intensity, all those words were more about drama than they were about feelings. So, yes, there was probably an abundance of unreality involved in all the drama.
As for your soul-mate dreams, we don’t want to be harsh, but chances are that these were fanned at least a little bit by your own Hollywood scenarios and fantasies.
The thing to remember is that narcissists are not interested in reality. They may be attracted to it; they may be fascinated by it; and they may pay lip service to its value. But they run from it, creating what can almost appear as studies in perpetual motion.
Many narcissists act as though their very survival is dependent on their continuing to live in a place that is separate from reality. That’s a place where the only image they are really interested in is their own.
from the book: HELP, I'M IN LOVE WITH A NARCISSIST
Friday, March 23, 2018
Abnormal Cortisol Levels, Depression, Anxiety & PTSD = Signs of Long-Term Abuse & Psychological Trauma
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Rules of Engagement with a Narcissist
1. You don't matter
There is only one person that counts in a narcissist’s life, that is, the narcissist. This is a hard concept to grasp.
Narcissists by nature are takers and the truth is that you probably only ever mattered at the point in time when you could supply 'that thing' the narcissist needed. You may have been taught by parents and friends the concept that giving is better than receiving.
However with a narcissist you will give until you are emotionally and spiritually bankrupt and receive little or nothing in return. If you don't believe this, take a hard look at yourself today and then compare that with your state when you first met your narcissistic partner. I believe you will be psychologically and emotionally worse off. Like all thieves once narcissists have taken all you have to give, you are history.
2. Don’t try to fight a psychological war that you can’t win
Because a narcissist is amoral you cannot engage them in any moral or conscience issues and expect to win. As a general rule narcissists have no sense of guilt or remorse for their actions. There is NO WAY you can shame them into accepting responsibility for their mindless and thoughtless approach to other people especially yourself. If you are looking for revenge then you will never achieve any satisfaction in this arena.
The rules of engagement are simple: keep your distance. Rule 5 has more on this subject.
3. Ignore the insults and deceit
There is an old adage that sums up this commandment, “don’t explain to your friends it’s unnecessary, and don’t explain to your enemies they will not believe you”. It may come as a shock to many people to discover that the narcissist must appear superior and blameless in all situations and to this end will resort to distorted lies to make themselves appear a victim of your supposed vices.
When you discover the full extent of the deceit this will tear at the core of your being. However, no matter how strong your outrage or anger there is only one way to counteract any harm that may occur and that is to act in a manner that disproves the defamation to the people in your life who count.
Although this course of action appears to be a weak response it is true that people cannot ignore the reality of your actions and words especially if these do not fit the picture painted by the narcissist. Believe me, actions still speak louder than words equally their own actions will start to work against them eventually. Be prepared to lose many friends and acquaintances during the early period of separation.
Don’t be overly concerned, as by your actions they will eventually see who is telling the truth. Like all liars narcissists cannot remember their patterns of deceit and eventually are caught out.
Once a narcissist sees that you have finished with them they will have one focus and that is to destroy you. They will stop at nothing to prove to the world (their world) that you are a loser, the cause of any misfortune in their lives and the person who deserves all the blame.
4. Take off your rose tinted glasses
The ‘person’ you cared about, looked after and more than likely loved never existed! Their life is an act. They present themselves in a different guise depending on the situation. The most difficult part is to let go of the image you fell in love with all those years back.
Unfortunately the image you feel in love with had been carefully cultivated to trap you! Taking off those "rose tinted glasses" is a long, slow and painful process; remember you've worn them for a very long time. Do not be tempted to put them back on at all cost.
5. Remember they are sick - not you
Mental diseases are always hard for normal people to relate to. Because narcissists are not physically impaired it is hard to feel pity or sorrow for their condition. Narcissists, as my learned psychologist friend told me, are "walking sponges" or the closest thing to the primeval parasite left on earth: they survive with you as their host. Narcissists choose their victims with care and they prey on the susceptible and/or dysfunctional people who they can manipulate and control. I believe this is in large part due to the deep insecurity and lack of self-esteem they suffer from. Narcissists do not wish to know or visit their real self hence anything that heads them in this direction is of total fear. They can’t look back at themselves and their actions, as this would open a “Pandora’s Box” of realities they can’t face.
6. Stay out of their Pain Zone
If you don’t wish to ride on an emotional roller coaster from hell then tattoo this rule on your forehead! Once you leave the relationship the narcissist doesn’t need you anymore and its more than likely (almost guaranteed) you were emotionally and physically replaced long before the event of actual separation. You are now cannon fodder and as stated in rule 1 they are out to destroy you.
For your own peace of mind & safety stay as physically far as possible away from them, their abode, place of work and recreation. Don’t get into conversations or phone calls or texts or for one moment think they are softening in their approach to you, they are only gaining information for possible use against you.
Remember that you cannot fight and expect to win on their turf; you must carefully pick the place for engagement on your own terms - only when you feel ready; if you engage at ALL!
Lies and deceit are a natural part of the narcissist’s world. The old adage “the best liars lie to themselves first” applies in this case and the lie oft repeated is far more convincing. A narcissist has the amazing ability to believe their own lies even when they fly in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Take the position that everything they say to you is a lie and or based on a lie. Warning: DOUBLE CHECK ANY INFORMATION THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN AND SEEK VERIFICATION.
Mental diseases are always hard for normal people to relate to. Because narcissists are not physically impaired it is hard to feel pity or sorrow for their condition. Narcissists, as my learned psychologist friend told me, are "walking sponges" or the closest thing to the primeval parasite left on earth: they survive with you as their host.
Narcissists choose their victims with care and they prey on the susceptible and/or dysfunctional people who they can manipulate and control. I believe this is in large part due to the deep insecurity and lack of self-esteem they suffer from. Narcissists do not wish to know or visit their real self hence anything that heads them in this direction is of total fear. They can’t look back at themselves and their actions, as this would open a “Pandora’s Box” of realities they can’t face.
7. Trust Nothing - Believe Less
8. Your realities are not theirs
The perceptions of the narcissist are truly their reality. If you look back you have never been able to change or influence their perceptions. If you couldn’t effect change living in a close relationship then don’t waste your time and effort trying now. They live in their own world and no matter how false or unreal it appears to you, for them it reality.
This is a constant source of irritation as you become more aware of the fact that much of their entire life is an act.
9. Communicate ONLY in written form
As far as communications go I received an important piece of advice early on. It was to communicate in a way that when read by a judge read the material in question he would agree that you acted in a responsible and prudent manner.
Do NOT under any circumstance use verbal or psychological abuse in your communications. I can guarantee you that this will drive the narcissist up the wall as they are expecting an angry and petulant response from you to their goading.
Keep good record of all correspondence and work on the theory that you will more than likely need them at a later date.
Use the fax, email or snail mail. If you are confronted on the telephone NEVER give an immediate reply. Tell the narcissist that you are busy, engaged or not able to talk at the time. Request that they put what it is they want to say in writing to you and don't respond unless and until they do! This puts the ball back in their court and they learn over time that they cannot use the telephone to abuse you.
10. Always call their bluff
Where you are in possession of evidence that is clearly untrue then use 3rd parties wherever possible to exploit the deceit. More often than not a narcissist will casually manufacture evidence to manipulate people and circumstances.
In these situations ALWAYS confront the people who are quoted or cited with the evidence for corroboration.
Trust me there is one thing that ethical people do not like and that is being misquoted or quoted out of context. This applies especially to government employees, bankers, teachers, accountants and lawyers.
When you use a 3rd party to rebut the narcissists version of reality just watch and wait for their reaction, it actually becomes quite hilarious. You will start to see the real person emerge as they react like a spoiled child and will try anything to squirm out of the situation.
A word of caution, once your narcissist partner realises you are continually throwing reality at them they will be forced to change their game plan. The best outcome of this approach is that they soon learn not to play their silly games with you.
11. Get back in touch with yourself
If you were unlucky to have found yourself with a narcissistic partner it is more than likely you’ve paid the ultimate price for this bad luck. At some stage you start asking yourself the question “was I the cause of the problem”?
But if you’ve read articles on NPD carefully you would soon realise that this is very doubtful. If you were like me you probably didn’t help the situation by pandering to their whims and not standing up for yourself.
To suffer a long-term relationship with a narcissist you need to contribute by having reasonably low self-esteem or insecurities of your own. Strong personalities would not tolerate a narcissistic partner very long. If you contributed then accept that you did and now set out to rectify the situation.
Unfortunately you have to learn and accept that the psychological and emotional investment you made in a narcissist is valueless. Your relationship is beyond 'Chapter 11' so you have to write the investment off as a bad debt so to speak.
Now you have to concentrate your energies on rebuilding your own life. Take stock of who and what you are and most importantly what you want to be. Without goals of what it is you want to be there can be no roadmap for recovery.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Restraining Orders May Restrain Nothing!
Victims & Survivors need to know... RESTRAINING ORDERS ARE NOT THE BE-ALL ANSWER!
Psychopaths & Narcissists as well as other pathologicals often ignore or breach the restraining order -- and police far too often do not follow up!
The increase in stalking cases a result of determined harassers looking for alternative methods to target victims
When it comes to harassment, there is a vast range of behavior. Much of it will not justify (or win) any lawsuits, but this doesn’t change the nature of what it is. And quite a few experts have described categories of harassers, and types of harassment, to help make some sense out of the confusion that most people feel about the issue.
Real harassers are abusers or predators who are out to exploit, and care only about their own needs and agendas.
A real harasser is someone who will continue to try to harass or predate despite sexual or other harassment law, and even after being given education about the seriousness of their actions, or the effects of their actions. In most cases, they will simply blame the victim. They rarely take responsibility themselves. They will just change their tactics so that they can continue to harass and exploit in such a way that the victim/s, or the law, can’t do anything about it.
One method for real harassers is stalking. Most forms of stalking are forms of sexual harassment because they are attempts to force a relationship with someone who is unwilling or unavailable. Stalking is the extreme, but covert, version of refusing to take ”No,” or “Leave me alone!” for an answer–you know, behaviors that were the catalysts for sexual harassment law.
Stalking has always been a problem, but experts will tell you that it is clearly on the rise.
I think the increase in stalking is partially a result of sexual harassment law, and real sexual harassers looking for ways to target their victims without fear of consequence for their actions. Because it is covert, it helps them get around sexual harassment law. It enables them to harass anonymously, and to more easily mask their motives and intentions. It also makes gathering evidence next to impossible for the victim, and without concrete evidence, there is no hope for them to even get an investigation.
On top of this, it makes the victim look paranoid, if not crazy, if they should report the problem to anyone.
In it’s most subtle forms (i.e. surveillance, sending anonymous “love” mail/ emails, hang-up phone calls), stalking can be like a chinese water torture. However, most stalking methods are more extreme, invasive, and destructive. (Breaking and entering, phone tapping, computer hacking, character defamation and slander, obscene mail or phone calls, etc.) Some stalkers will try to organize groups of people to assist them in their harassment campaign – called gang stalking or organized stalking. They usually seek out people in their victim’s community, utilizing the victim’s ”real world” community and/or Internet communities. In fact, stalkers often work to take control of, or destroy, a victim’s support network, resources, and options. This leaves the victim vulnerable, or even dependent on the stalker for survival, at least in the mind of the stalker.
Being stalked is NOT flattering – it is a form of psychological abuse and violence. And while stalking motives are usually sexual (or love obsessional), the stalking behaviors themselves may not be–that is another way real harassers can use it to get around sexual harassment law. (For example, watching someone over an extended period of time isn’t overtly sexual, at least not in of itself.)
Moreover, the psychological damage to the victim can be devastating. One expert writes,
”Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom he (or she) has no relationship (or no longer has)….Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect).”(Rokkers)
To most stalking victims, being stalked is like being put through a long, slow rape. For gang stalking victims, it’s like a gang rape. (The very insightful judge in the Christina Orozco case referred to her actions as akin to “murder.”)
And being stalked can be very frightening, regardless of whether or not the stalker’s activities are overtly violent. Physical attacks, even murders, can occur after long periods of ”more passive” stalking activities. Often, the violence is precipitated by the stalker’s being forced to face they have been rejected by their target.
Besides suffering the psychological damage, and damage to life, reputation, relationships, and options, most stalking victims live in fear that something will push their stalkers over the edge to physical violence.
Unfortunately, if a state or country recognizes stalking at all, this is mostly in the context of direct/overt violence, or clearly escalating violence. So, if a stalker avoids overtly violent acts, they can pretty much do as they please. In other words, if the stalker does not threaten or attack, a stalking victim is out of luck. They will not even be able to get a restraining order.
As long as they use stalking to disguise their motives, activities, and/or their identities, they are free from worry about being held accountable by sexual harassment law. And as long as they keep their stalking activities from being/seeming overtly violent, they will suffer no consequence from stalking law. Even better (for them), they can operate for as long as they wish.
And there is nothing the victim can do about it. (Suicides have been reported as victims use this as the only means they have to bringing an end to the harassment.)
It also makes stalking a good retaliation tactic for harassers who have been disciplined (i.e. been demoted, lost job) as many are using this as a way of getting revenge against an harassment target who filed a grievance against them – retaliation laws do not include stalking, either.
In my own situation, I took a course from the female professor who turned out to be a lesbian who quickly became interested in me. (That I’m not a lesbian didn’t deter her as she became obsessed with getting me to “try it” with her.) She began by making a pass, which she clearly saw right off the bat was a mistake, particularly since she did it in front of witnesses. But like most real harassers, she was not willing to give up. She simply revised her methods and began stalking me with an extraordinary determination. It is still amazing to me how far she went, and the depth and breadth or her obsession.
She used classic stalking tactics, such as surveillance and character defamation, the latter enabling her to destroy not only my reputation, but all my relationships and options, both personal and professional. She used cyberstalking extensively in her pursuit and surveillance, using this to watch me and try to interact with me at numerous Internet forums. She even organized groups of people to assist her (gang stalking), enlisting people not only in my “real world” but also in Internet communities I frequented, or she thought I might join. Because she was a department chair and a psychologist, no one questioned her character or motives.
Current stalking laws are woefully inadequate, and don’t even begin to confront the problem, let alone deal with it.
But even if the laws are revised to protect victims from the psychological violence of stalking, real harassers will simply find other ways to abuse. Any stumbling block placed before them, they will get around. It is a game to them. It is in their nature.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Characteristics of a Psychopath/ Abuser
(1. not all Abusers are Psychopaths, but all Psychopaths are Abusers.
2. only a FEW of these need to apply for them to be PATHOLOGICAL)
- superficial charm
- prone to boredom
- deceptive behavior & lying
- conning & manipulative
- little remorse or guilt
- shallow emotional response
- callous lack of empathy
- living off others & predatory
- poor self-control
- sexually promiscuous
- early behavioral problems
- lack of realistic goals
- impulsive lifestyle
- irresponsible behavior
- blaming you for their actions
- short term relationships
- juvenile delinquency
- varied criminal activity
- truly believes their own lies
- insanely jealous
- will turn their friends on you
- enlists others to harass you
- prone to stalking their exes
Monday, March 19, 2018
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a complex of problems that tend to be long-standing. Perhaps the real key to understanding BPD is to realize that the hallmark of this disorder is emotional instability, or even instability in general. This instability is manifest in many areas of a person's life.
1. People with BPD show marked shifts in mood, which often last only hours. One minute the person is apparently happy, the next the person is crying uncontrollably or is totally enraged.
2. Thus, another mark of mood instability is anger that is inappropriate, intense and/or uncontrollable.
3. The instability in behavior is marked by impulsive and often dangerous acts. Self-mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures are common among people with BPD. Many people with BPD say that cutting on themselves or burning themselves provides a sense of relief and calm that they have difficulty finding otherwise.
4. Other indications of instability in behavior is shown by potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors: alcohol/drug abuse, compulsive spending, gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting, reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.
5. In the area of identity, the instability is shown by marked, persistent identity disturbance: self -image, sexual orientation, career choice or other long-term goals; friendships, values. People with BPD often feel they do not know who they are or what they think or what their opinions are. Often they try to be what they think other people want them to be.
6. Such a lack of clear identity often leads to chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.
7. Relationships for the person with BPD are understandably unstable, chaotic, and intense. These relationships are often characterized by what has been called "splitting". Splitting occurs when the self and others are viewed as all good or all bad. People with BPD tend to see the world in black and white terms, never grey. One minute the self or another person is seen as wonderful and the next, the self or the other person is seen as the devil incarnate. It seems like the person with BPD is unable to see the self or others in the full context of life. It doesn't really matter that yesterday you did something good. Only this moment's behavior counts in the evaluation.
8. Because of this inability to see things in context the person with BPD has difficulty seeing that others will continue to be involved with them. As a result, they become frantic to avoid real or imagined abandonment. "Just because you were my friend yesterday does not mean that you will be my friend today." To control these fears of abandonment, Borderlines often alternate between clinging and distancing behaviors. This phenomenon has been called: "I hate you, don't leave me."
Borderlines have a great difficulty in trusting people and themselves. They are hypersensitive to criticism or rejection and often feel they "need" someone else in order to survive. But since they do not trust others to stay and not abandon them, Borderlines show an extreme need for affection and reassurance by the other people in their lives.
Nevertheless, some people may have an unusually high degree of interpersonal sensitivity, insight and empathy, perhaps as a way to stay attuned to the signals given out by others of impending abandonment.
9. When under particular stress, the person with BPD may show transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms. In fact, a brief psychotic reaction can occur in which the Borderline experiences delusional thinking and hallucinations. This usually clears quite rapidly.
Other (non-DSM) characteristics:
As noted above, Borderlines typically have a lot of difficulty with what is called "object constancy." This is the realization that what a person was yesterday is a good predictor of what they will be today. Borderlines seem to have trouble seeing this. They do not trust that a person who was nice yesterday is likely to be nice today. It also extends to the concern that just because a person was here yesterday, does not mean they will be here today. As a result, the Borderline has considerable difficulty being alone. If you're not with me 100% of the time, how will I know you will stay with me?"
Boundary issues are also problematic for the Borderline. It is hard to place limits on others for fear of abandonment. The separation between "me" and "not me" are blurred.
Needless to day, because of all this instability in mood, identity, behavior and relationships, the person with BPD often leads a chaotic life.
According to Linehan (1993), the person who develops BPD is born with innate biological tendency to react more intensely to lower level of stress. They are temperamentally more reactive than other children. When such reactive children are raised in what she calls " an invalidating environment" the groundwork is set for developing Borderline Personality Disorder. An invalidating environment is one in which the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the child are negated by the adults in his/her life. For example, a child says "I'm sad" but the parent responds "No, you're not." This is an invalidation of the child's feelings. Over time, this leads to confusion in the child about the reality of his or her own perceptions of the world and self.
Many mental health professionals have found that a high number of people with BPD have experienced severe abuse as a child. In fact, some have gone so far as to assume that if a person is Borderline, they must have been severely abused when growing up. This has resulted in much blaming of families/parents. "However, the scientific evidence does not justify the conclusion that the family carries the primary responsibility for the development of borderline personality disorder." (Paris). Research has indicated that while many Borderlines have experienced severe abuse, not all have. It is therefore inappropriate to assume childhood abuse when presented with a person with BPD.
Low serotonin activity has also been implicated in this disorder but medications targeting serotonin levels do not seem very effective. It appears that BPD is more than simply a "chemical imbalance."
Borderline Personality Disorder usually begins in adolescence or youth. Diagnosis at this stage, however, should be done cautiously since many of the indicators of BPD are characteristic of "normal" adolescence.
There is a discrepancy between the rates of BPD in men and women, with 80% of sufferers being women. The reason for this is presently unknown.
One out of ten people with BPD will complete suicide. However, if they live long enough, BPD tends to "burn out" in middle age. Functioning seems to improve by the ages of 35 or 40 with some Borderlines being able to manage a successful career, family life, etc. A minority will continue to be highly symptomatic into middle age.
There is no specific treatment for BPD (PsychCentral). Medications may take edge off impulsive symptoms. Low doses of neuroleptics (antipsychotic medication) may be helpful. However, no pharmacological agent has any specific effect on the underlying borderline pathology.
Psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment. However there is a high drop out rate from psychotherapy. When a borderline does stay in therapy, most of the work in therapy centers around decreasing impulsive behaviors and learning to exercise better judgment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, particularly Linehan's Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, which targets impulsivity and emotional instability has been shown by research to be highly effective at least in the short term (i.e. 1 year).
Since many clinicians believe that BPD is caused by traumatic childhoods, there has been a tendency to focus on uncovering negative events so as to help patients "process" them. "However, there is no evidence that these methods are successful. In fact, there is some reason to suspect they can make patients worse by focusing too much on the past, and not enough on the present. In addition, borderline patients can be particularly prone to develop false memories in psychotherapy"(Paris).
Because of the risk of suicide, clinicians often use contracts to help ensure that the client does not commit suicide. However, hospitalization may become necessary if the risk becomes too great. Hospitalization is typically short-term and focused on reducing the risk of self-harm.
Support groups can also be of benefit for the Borderline. However, care should be taken that the instability of one Borderline does not "feed" the instability of another. This is a phenomenon that has been seen often in hospital settings where one borderline cuts herself and afterwards, several others start doing the same thing.
Because of the myriad symptoms shown by a person suffering from BPD, there is a risk that the person will be misdiagnosed. With a focus on the instability of mood, Borderlines are often called "Bipolar." If the focus is on the brief psychotic symptoms, the person may be diagnosed as "Schizoaffective." Such misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate or over-medication by physicians.
Living with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder is painful and distressful. Finding a support group or even consulting a mental health professional may be helpful in dealing with this disorder.
CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE HELP OR INFORMATION ABOUT BPD
Linehan, M.M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guildford Press.
Paris, J. "Borderline Personality Disorder" in The Journal
PsychCentral. "Borderline Personality Disorder."
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Communication & the Functional Sociopath
By William Polowniak, Ph.D.
Fritz Perls a famous Jewish psychotherapist known for his founding of Gestalt therapy once said that refusal to communicate is the most toxic human behavior. I am convinced that he is right. Refusal to communicate really means refusal to listen and to enter into dialogue especially when we disagree. Usually people who refuse to communicate live their lives as “functional sociopaths.” That is, they are self-centered, they do as they please with total disregard for others and they indulge in subterfuge, self-delusion and see themselves as persecuted. Their delusions of self-persecution cause them to become angry manipulators.
So why label people in “either or” categories as “toxic” or “nourishing” people? Labels themselves are dangerous and often unfair, but for the wise person they do help us see what to avoid. They help us to invest our energies in more productive ways. When we use labels, however, we must be aware that labeling others without caution is in itself a toxic behavior. Let us “be aware” when we choose to label others or ourselves.
“Action speaks louder than words” Everyone’s mother has probably said this during our childhood more than once. My father used to say “Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” The typical behaviors of those who refuse to communicate are labeled by psychologists as the “fight?flight” response. Those who refuse to communicate are usually adept at manipulation, they have toxic behavior in general and when confronted by circumstances that proves their position is faulty, they will attack or run away, or they will attack and run away. "Toxic people are adept at pushing our buttons and provoking an over-reaction in others. But the up side of that is that they challenge us to remain centered and be a positive influence even if there is no reward to us directly. Our efforts to not add to the pain and suffering toxic people use to justify their emotional cruelty and brutal behavior is our best strategy. If they do not run they will not listen using a variety of tyrannical behaviors. They begin by raising their voices, then will shout, scream and rant and rave often appearing to be a raving lunatic. They typically indulge in anger, condemnation and blame. They are adept at interrupting and often will not allow their adversary to finish even one sentence. We often see people like this on TV talk shows."
So how does a person deal with those who refuse to communicate? The best defense is listening, in silence, and adopting the posture of a detective. While listening, try to discover what is really at the root of the problem. All the while, if you must communicate, focus on short, simple and clear statements using "I" statements frequently; that is, if your adversary permits any pauses in their onslaught of anger, condemnation and blame. At the very least, actively listening in silence and non-judgment will provide your adversary with needed catharsis, will often defuse their anger and will not add to their fear of retaliation.
Another thing that helps is to rely on trust and the great healer—time. We’ve all heard the biblical quote “Vengeance in mine, sayeth the Lord.” The fact is that time and life will usually bite these kinds of people in the behind when they least expect it. They sabotage their own life by alienating others, when in fact they desperately need and want love and affection.
Another helpful thing to realize is that to the wise person, knowing that “not communicating” can often communicate more than we realize. Not retaliating, not interrupting the interrupter, but listening in silence or basically allowing the adversary to wallow in their own delusions of persecution will ultimately allow the TRUTH to emerge. Reality is the second best teacher. Do you know what the best teacher is? Pain. Very often only pain and suffering can communicate to the person who refuses to communicate.
A final thing that is helpful is to remember that “help is not always helpful.” Recently I tried to help a person who was wallowing in her anger and hostility. Her remark to me was “I don’t need your help.” Often it is wise to avoid unnecessary contact with people who seem to be waiting to pick a fight or to blow up. If communication is really necessary it should be done in writing (and keep a copy) so that it is less likely to elicit a reaction or temper tantrum. And in the worse cases, if a toxic person retaliates and legal action becomes necessary to remedy the situation, what you have in writing may be valuable. In addition if a toxic person acts out threats they will thereby create the proof you will need to legally prosecute for blackmail and malicious mischief. Those of us who believe in community do not like to think of things like legal action or legal defense but the reality is that sometimes legal remedies do in fact create community and can force a more healthy emotional situation to prevail. Legal remedies can show the bully and the emotional tyrant that you are not afraid.
Whenever a person threatens to take me to court and to sue me, my response is that “I love to go to court with people like you. Please sue me. Do it now.” You would be surprised at how this defuses the pompous threats of manipulating tyrants. And, the truth is that I really do love to go to court with people who think that their threats can frighten me into submitting to their demands. In court your adversary will show the judge their irrational behavior and you can force them to listen to reason when it is your turn to speak. You can also ask a judge to admonish your adversary and you can ask for and receive legal costs and punitive damages. But remember, your best defense is to always be honest, fair and loving and kind— especially when it is difficult.
It seems paradoxical but genuine communication begins and ends with listening. Silence is golden. Words are often useless and unnecessary.
I collect quotes. One of my favorites is from the Dhammapada. “Better than a thousand useless words is one word that gives peace.” Another favorite quote states, “Must we waste this moment on words?”
One benefit of silence is that it allows the body and the being to relax into a natural meditative state of being. In this state of mind, we learn to listen to our bodies. More than that, we learn the difference between our cravings and what our body really needs for health.
I hope these thoughts find you well and healthy, and I hope I can learn from my own advice by listening more and improving my communication through active listening. I sometimes forget.
something to think about when your abuser just stops talking to you, says he/she "needs time" or "its no longer a matter for discussion and I am never speaking to you again" and gives you the silent treatment.
Turning their back on you and not allowing you to work thru your hurt and anger with them can be a form of cowardice & sadism.
The behavior also ties into seductive mind-control. Distancing yourself at critical moments makes your 'target' want you more and then the hunter becomes the hunted. (i.e. The Art of Seduction - Greene)
Friday, March 16, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Why the Victim Stays
Of more serious injury or death
Of trying to make it on her own
Of having a failed marriage
Traditional responsibility for the home rests with the wife (e.g., if she had been a better cook.)
Social stigma, "It's not supposed to happen in families like mine!"
Every time abuser apologizes, the victim wants to believe.
When abuser isn't being abusive, abuser is nice.
If victim could be a better spouse or partner, maybe victim could control abuser's violence.
Abuser controls the money. The checking account and credit cards are in abuser's name only.
The victim may not have a job.
Abuser gives victim an allowance and demands receipts for everything spent.
5. DEPENDENCE ON BATTERER
The more dependent a batterer makes the victim, the less likely the victim will leave.
Batterer may force the victim to give up working outside the home.
Batterer may not allow the victim to go to school.
Batterer may sell or disable the victim's car.
Batterer may isolate the victim from family and friends.
Batterer may disable or remove phones from the house when he is leaving the house.
The victim wants the children to have two parents.
The victim both stays and leaves because of children.
A batterer may threaten or abuse the children as a means of intimidating and controlling the victim's behavior.
People who choose not to report violence may not realize that they risk losing custody of their children.
Abused children may remain silent out of fear that the batterer will retaliate and further abuse their mother, themselves, or their siblings.
Child welfare agencies and domestic violence services routinely function along parallel tracks with no coordination. At times they are in conflict with each other, as child welfare agencies' commitment to keeping victims safe. In the extreme, victims whose children have been abused may be taken to court for failing to protect their children, with no investigation into whether the person may have been abused.
Victim may not stop loving the batterer despite the abuse.
Battering doesn't usually occur every day. About 1 in 5 women victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse reported that they had been a victim of a series of at least 3 assaults in the last 6 months. Batterers can at times be very loving and caring, lavishing gifts on the victim, writing personal notes and poems, or doing other things that are very romantic.
8. FAMILY PRESSURE
Lack of family support
"You made your bed, now lie in it."
9. RELIGIOUS REASONS
Marriage is "for better or for worse."
Batterers sometimes use scriptures to justify their actions.
Clergy may be misinformed about the phenomenon of domestic violence or child abuse and may inadvertently send a signal to abused women and children that they should endure the abuse to protect another family member or save the marriage.
10. VICTIMS IN RURAL AREAS
Referral services may be located in towns or cities miles from home.
Victims may be reluctant to make long-distance phone calls that will be listed on the monthly bill.
Public transportation is scarce.
Victims may fear that their batterer will check the mileage on vehicles.
Police officers are often miles from the scene of abuse, and it may take hours for them to respond.
Families residing in rural move less frequently, often staying in the same county, or even the same house, for generations. Physical safety means leaving behind family, friends, and all that is familiar.
Because some adults and children seldom leave the immediate communities in which they live, they may not know that domestic violence and child abuse are crimes.
Close relationships among community members may lead victims and children to seek assistance from family members or friends rather than from police, advocates, or other services. Orders of protection may be issued only at courthouses during limited hours on specified days of the week.
Circuit-riding prosecutors and judges who try and hear cases throughout the district or state may only be available periodically.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Law Enforcement & the Abuser
HOW ABUSERS INTERACT WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT
WHEN THE POLICE COME, THEY MAY DO THE FOLLOWING:
*Denial and Minimization
* Refusing to admit their violent behavior. Makes statements such as:
o "I didn't do anything."
o "She just bruises easily."
o I had my fist out and she ran into it."
* Admitting less than actually happened in the incident or making the assault sound trivial.
o "It was only a love tap."
o "I just gave her a little push."
o "Her ribs are just a little bruised (not broken)."
* Effective Police Response: Inform the offender that he has already broken the law and explain how his/her behaviors met that criteria. Get a detailed account of the scope of the violence by conducting a partner contact interview and by using police reports and hospital records.
*Focusing on Intentions
* Defending one's behavior by pointing to good goals.
o "I was trying to keep her from hurting herself."
o "She was hysterical and yelling nonstop so I slapped her to calm her down."
* Effective Response: Point out the effects of violence: terror, fear, distrust, pain, injury, destruction, etc. Even if his intentions are good, violence not justified and it is illegal.
* Most popular of the excuses, the offender will make the case that the victim is a bad person and the abuse is deserved. The offender hopes you will focus on the victim's behavior rather than abuser misconduct. If you begin to criticize the victim, you become allied with the batterer.
o "I found her with another man."
o "She is a drunk (alcoholic, drug addict, bad mother, thief etc.)."
o "She assaulted me."
* Effective Response: A woman doesn't have to be Betty Crocker (a perfect mother or housewife) in order to deserve not to be beaten. People do not have to earn the right to be free from violence and fear. The act of battering is illegal, just like bank robbery is illegal even if you are very poor.
*Loss of Control
* Batterer doesn't take responsibility for what happened.
o "I exploded but it wasn't really me."
o "I lost it and the next thing I knew, she was down on the floor bleeding and screaming."
o "I saw a white (blue, red, yellow etc.) light and I just blacked out. When I came to she was lying on the ground."
* Effective Response: If you're convinced you have no control, then we should surrender you now since treatment will be totally useless. Do you get violent the same way whenever someone gets you really upset? With your boss? Getting violent with someone is not an automatic response once you get upset with another person.
* The offender claims the other person drove him/her over the edge so they don't take responsibility for what occurred.
o "She made me do it."
o "She knew it was coming and she pushed me into it."
* Effective Response: No one can make you violent. People may hurt, frustrate or anger you but there are many alternative ways to respond that don't involve violence.
*Lack of Time and Money
* Offender cannot attend treatment because of work and cannot afford it.
* States that they have changed, victim no longer feels threatened by them or that the counselor's no longer feel treatment is necessary.
* Effective Response: Most batterer programs have a sliding scale fee system. Reinforce that the abuser must make time for treatment. If you are a probation officer, it is important to communicate frequently with the treatment program and the victim to avoid confusion and manipulation.
OTHER MANIPULATIONS ABUSERS USE
* Pretend they are sleeping when the officers arrive.
* Will be apologetic, friendly, polite and very courteous to the officers.
* Will express frustration/sadness over their inability to get the "alcoholic" and/or "drug addicted" victim help for their problem.
* Will attempt to get sympathy by presenting themselves as a "victim" to their partner's nagging and/or verbal abuse.
* Will attempt to get the officers to relate to their situation. For example, "You know how those women are."