Sanctuary for the Abused
Monday, September 24, 2018
We Mistakenly Believe...
if only we didn’t have some inexplicable problem in perception, we wouldn’t take things the wrong way,
if only we weren’t so inadequate—we wouldn’t feel so much pain and hurt,
that he is sincere, that he is the same way with everyone and they don’t make him mad, so there must be something wrong with us,
like he was always saying “this is what I’m talking about ...I just want to be happy — I don’t see us being happy - you make me do this, you make me drink, you’re going to make me drink, you, you, you are the problem.”
That we are suffering needlessly because of some lack or flaw. This lack or flaw is not particularly defined but is instead a general sense of inadequacy derived from countless accusations (which he will reinforce by saying “everyone says”), we mistakenly believe, if only he would find religion, be reborn, born again, stopped doing drugs, got into recovery, worked his steps, bonded with his inner child, dealt with his anger issues, “childhood issues”, intimacy issues, commitment issues, abandonment issues, went to therapy, stopped smoking, started smoking, got a job, got a better job, got a degree, got a better degree, then the tyranny would stop
or if we were: younger, prettier, thinner, smarter, prayed more effectively, better, or right-things would get better, got into recovery, became more religious, more holy, more fervent, more faith filled, were more chaste, celibate, married in a church, renewed our vows, were more self responsible, reasoned with him, asked the Lord to open his heart, more successful, more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, more assertive, more submissive, more in touch with our inner child, changed our thinking, raised our self esteem, stopped creating/ recreating these types of relationships, healed our family tree, stopped enabling, “let go”, got therapy, took antidepressants, dealt with our childhood issues, intimacy, commitment and abandonment issues, forgave our parents, forgave our perpetrators, forgave ourselves, forgave him, stopped being the victim, developed better communication skills, wore bright colors, sat up straight -things would get better- did more for him and others - then the tyranny would stop.
Sunday, September 23, 2018
An Open Letter to Christian Pastors & Clergy
Pastors, have you ever preached a sermon against domestic violence? Odds are, you haven’t. I’ve listened to approximately 4,000 sermons and have yet to hear a pastor condemn domestic violence from the pulpit.
Southern preachers prefer to pontificate on matters like abortion and homosexuality. Sometimes they rail against feminism. On occasion they preach against pornography, using the occasion to slam churchwomen over immodest attire. In every denomination, pastors preach often enough on tithing, and never fail to pass the plate. Yet they fail at addressing an issue faced by approximately one fourth of their congregation.
Recently a wildly popular pastor shoved the problem of Christian violence into the spotlight when he choked, kicked and stomped his wife in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel. In the South, beating your wife may or may not be a crime. Records show that the most common law enforcement response to domestic violence is “separating the parties.”
Victims rarely press charges because they fear reprisal. Law enforcement rarely presses their own charges (though they could and should), essentially treating wife-beating as a “victimless crime.”
Bishop Thomas W. Weeks, III crossed the line that even Georgia will not tolerate: He was wearing shoes when he kicked his wife. That’s a felony. Besides that, he committed the acts publicly and on video surveillance tape. He also threatened to kill her, which is another Georgia felony.
The abused wife, Juanita Bynum, is an internationally acclaimed televangelist and best-selling author who empowers Christian women with her preaching. Church members say that couple of weeks before the attack, Weeks announced that Bynum would no longer be preaching at the church they founded.
Bynum is pressing charges against Weeks and seeking to end the marriage. Attorneys for Weeks say he will contest the divorce on the grounds that she was cruel. The strangest part of this story is not that the man who kicked and stomped his wife is contesting the divorce or fighting the charges; that happens all the time. What is so bizarre is where this man was just a few days after the beating: He was behind his pulpit telling his congregation that the devil made him do it.
Finally, a preacher is talking about domestic violence! If only his congregation had responded with a resounding movement down the aisle – and right out the church door. No one should sit under the teaching of a wife-beater. The elders should have stripped this man of his title and never let him behind the pulpit again.
T. D. Jakes, the famous televangelist who helped bring Bynum to power, condemned violence against women in a written statement two weeks after the attack. He pointed out that every day, four American men murder their wives or girlfriends, resulting in 1,400 deaths per year. That’s an FBI statistic. He also mentioned that over half a million cases of intimate assault are reported each year. Most cases go unreported. According to the most conservative estimates, between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 women are battered each year. In 1990, the U.S. had 3,800 shelters for animals, and only 1,500 shelters for battered women.
Other Christian leaders even try to blame the victims. Christian author Gillis Triplett claims that there are thirteen traits common to abused wives, including “THEY LOVE THE DRAMA!” (Emphasis his.)
Trait #1. They Don’t Know What Domestic Violence IsEvangelical leaders John MacArthur and James Dobson have both gone on record stating that women must be careful not to “provoke” abuse. In the 1996 printing of “Love Must Be Tough,” Dobson told a story about a woman who was physically beaten by her husband. Dobson concluded that the woman “baited” her husband to hit her so that she could show off her black eye, which he calls her “prize.”
An act of domestic violence takes place every 12 to 15 seconds. It is rare that a week goes by without us hearing about a husband, boyfriend or lover who assaulted or killed his wife or girlfriend. Call any Police precinct and they will tell you the lion’s share of their calls are not related to robberies, drugs or drunk drivers, but to domestic disputes. We hear about domestic violence on Oprah, Court TV, the Channel 5 News and V-103. Every year, the entire month of October is dedicated to this prevalent issue. In Manhattan, New York, one City Councilwoman proposed a bill that would require all newlyweds to receive a brochure on spousal abuse when they receive their marriage license.
Even with all of the public outcry and the private and government agencies that dedicate themselves to domestic violence awareness, amazingly some ladies still don’t know what domestic violence is or that it exists on such a large scale. They don’t comprehend that some men believe they have a God-given right to abuse women. They don’t understand that there are devious misogynistic men who intentionally seek to lure women into domestic nightmares. Due to their lack of knowledge, these ladies become prime targets for abusive men.
Trait #2. They Don’t Know The Warning Signs
In today’s society, every woman actively engaged in dating or seeking a mate should know the warning signs of abusers, but most don’t! At least not until they find themselves booby-trapped in an abusive nightmare. Abusers give off warning signs and they use certain techniques and tricks to lure their victims into their vise-grip like clutches. With domestic violence so pervasive, not knowing the warning signs of abusers is self-annihilation. I advise all ladies not to date until they can identify abusers. Ladies who don’t know or refuse to learn these tell-tale signs are soft, exploitable targets for these hardened men.
According to family therapist, Dr. Torri Griffin, LPC, domestic violence takes on many forms, some of which leave no visible wounds. “Many ladies experience the non-verbal types of abuse from their partners long before experiencing the physical ones. Social isolation, financial deprivation, verbal abuse and emotional abuse are usually present when the physical abuse begins. Most ladies excuse these behaviors as his temperament rather than as serious signs of worse things to come.”
Trait #3. They Intentionally Ignore The Warning Signs
Karen did it again! She covered for her boyfriend’s short fuse and hair trigger temper. They were on their way to a restaurant after leaving church. While stopped at a traffic light, Eric became peeved because the light was taking too long to turn green. When one of the passengers gently reminded Eric that they were on their way to have soup and salad and no one was in a hurry, Eric lit into her with a verbal tirade that shocked everyone in the vehicle; except for Karen. She was used to it! Not to Eric’s outbursts. He scared the daylights out of her with his unpredictable anger. Karen was used to intentionally ignoring the warning signs. She had an abusive man and she knew it. People warned her and pleaded with her to stop dating Eric, but she ignored them. These types of ladies are literal magnets for abusers.
Trait #4. Some Women Believe They Can Change Abusers
We are in the year 2005 A.D. After watching billions of women over the past two-thousand years, fail at their attempt to convert dishonorable males into honorable men, some women refuse to accept this truth: “Women cannot change men!” Secretly, many of these women have convinced themselves that their physical beauty, sexual prowess, feminine wiles and magnetic personalities are powerful enough forces to magically convert misogynistic men into princes. Abusive males, especially repeat offenders, love these types of women.
Trait #5 They Don’t Know What True Love Is
I once did a survey of 4000 men and women to find out what they believed love to be. All told, they presented me with about forty-four definitions; many of which were very scary. Some believed: Love makes you do crazy things; sometimes love hurts; love makes you do wrong and the much publicized… love is blind. News flash: Love does not hurt and it does not make you do crazy things. Jealousy makes people do crazy things! Abusers, inconsiderate and emotionally callous men and women, intentionally hurt the people they claim to love. People with True Love in their hearts ARE NOT abusers and NEVER will be!
Furthermore, love IS NOT blind! It is the men and women who are naïve or unlearned who are blind! Actually they are not blind. Like Karen, they squint their eyes at the truth. Women who don’t know what True Love is are easy pickings for abusive men. These men will slap a woman in the face and afterwards claim, “I love you!” With those three words, these women display unyielding allegiance to their tormentors.
They tell their family, friends, pastor, concerned neighbors, a judge and the police, “You don’t know him like I know him, he’s really sweet and he loves me!” The hard truth is… the love in his Dr. Jekyll side is not strong enough to control or eradicate the hatred in his Mr. Hyde side. Not knowing what true love is what entraps some women in abuse.
Trait #6. They Have A Hard Time Loving Themselves
Some women act as if they simply do not love themselves. They demonstrate self-hatred, no self-respect and low self-esteem by doing things such as: (a) engaging in promiscuity, (b) becoming chronic victims of abusive men and bad relationships, (c) freely, willingly and knowingly entering into risky relationships and marriages doomed for failure, and (d) otherwise putting themselves in situations with untrustworthy men who gladly jeopardize their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being.
It is a fact: women who properly love themselves don’t become or remain victims of abusive men. They refuse to allow hateful and disrespectful males to torment their souls or bruise their bodies.
Trait #7. They Don’t Understand Love’s Booby Traps
Most abusers are smooth… super smooth. They primarily prey on women who don’t know about the love, sex and relationship booby traps. With untrained women, abusive men are capable of easing into their lives with the tactical precision of an F-117 Stealth Bomber. These low lives are masters at short-circuiting women’s intuition—seducing and manipulating their feelings and emotions—and once snared, controlling them with the barbaric weapon of sheer fear.
In today’s society, few women receive training on love, sex, relationship or pre-marital booby traps prior to dating. Consequently, most women have no idea they need this vital training! They know nothing about the engagement ring trick, the desert island trick or the family feud trick. Those are all commonly used tactics employed by abusive men to snare unsuspecting women. Due to their lack of knowledge, these ladies are fair game for any of the predatory males.
Trait #8. Some Women Wear The Scent of Desperation
These women have got to have a man and quite frankly ANY MAN will do! Whatever their reasons; they’re lonely or they need companionship, sex or money, their desperation seeps into the atmosphere as a scent that attracts: thugs, abusers, wife-beaters and sociopathic liars. The scent of desperation is a powerful aphrodisiac for abusive males.
Trait #9. Some Women Choose Men Indiscriminately
To choose a man indiscriminately means to be unselective; it means to choose a man without careful consideration or good judgment; to randomly choose a man. On one hand, women with this mindset give little or no consideration to the men they allow into their lives. On the other hand, their evaluations are superficial. Usually based solely on a man’s material possessions and perceived assets, like the car he drives.
His track record and character are insignificant afterthoughts. In addition, in this day and age, some women boast about their attraction to thugs and hardened criminals. They make no secret about their love for jerks! Some of their boyfriends, lovers and husbands are dead give aways with nicknames and aliases such as: Pimp Juice, I-Murder, Lady Killa and Glock Gotti. Others fall in love with men who are addicted to alcohol, drugs and pornography; not understanding how these hazardous and addictive vices exacerbates violent prone men.
Because of their lack of proper evaluation, some women are easily swayed into relationships by abusers. After tracking over 2600 domestic violence cases and speaking with countless victims, I found multitudes of incidents in which the woman was the second, third and forth victim of a serial offender. Whether these ladies were black or white, college educated or barely made it out of high school, made no difference. Often, their tormentors already had domestic violence convictions, warrants looming, cases pending or restraining orders filed against them by other women. When a woman indiscriminately chooses a mate, she indiscriminately puts herself in harm’s way.
Trait #10. Some Women Love The Drama
If you have a hard time believing that statement, log on to one of the numerous Internet relationship discussion groups on the World Wide Web. Go sit in a beauty or nail salon for a few hours and just listen and observe. Or go to your local bookstore and make a b-line to the romance or relationship section. What you will read and hear about is plenty of DRAMA, DRAMA and more DRAMA! The fact is; some women love drama! Take note: I said, SOME, not all! Please don’t falsely accuse me of making any sweeping generalizations about women.
The women that love drama do bizarre things such as move in with a man they met at church last Sunday; end result: DRAMA! Marry a man they met last month at a bar; end result: DRAMA! Leave their child with a lover they only know by his alias; end result: DRAMA! Get pregnant by a man who has sired five kids by four different women; end result: DRAMA! Fall in love with a crack addict; end result: DRAMA! Although they are clearly in perilous relationships with impudent men, these women still insist on being treated like queens; end result: DRAMA!
No matter what you, I or anyone else says, they forge ahead into these chaotic relationships simply because THEY LOVE THE DRAMA! You can plead with them, pray for them, cry over them and scratch your head and go hmmm? You can suggest church, therapy or counseling and you show them the alarming domestic violence statistics, but it will all be for naught! Why? Because THESE WOMEN LOVE THE DRAMA! Although their Hollywood heroines and romance novel divas turn out OK, these women rarely walk from their dysfunctional abusive lovers unscathed.
Trait #11. A Lack of Positive Male Role Models During Upbringing
Women who have had no positive male role models in their lives, (e.g., good father, grandfather, stepfather, uncles, big brothers) have no real (authentic and legitimate) points of reference to help them distinguish between dishonorable doggish males and honorable men. This puts most women at great risk because their views and beliefs about the opposite sex are usually derived from three confirmed totally unreliable sources: (a) the media, music and Hollywood, (b) women who know little or nothing about men, and (c) conniving, ungodly males.
This lack of positive male role models usually leaves the average woman unprepared to properly deal with the male gender: particularly with respect to detecting and rejecting harmful males. Many women with this trait have a pattern of choosing untrustworthy men… again and again.
Trait #12. For Some Women Abuse Is All They Know
These women come from abusive environments. They’ve watched their mother get abused or be an abuser. They’ve been victims of abuse. Some grew up in abusive foster homes or juvenile facilities. I once tracked a 13-year-old girl who was thrust into a state run facility by her heartless parents. After years of maltreatment, (i.e., starvings, beatings and locking her in closets for hours and days at a time) they gave her up. Her new parents; the state, put her into a penal system type dorm with kids who had no semblance of a conscience and no inkling of morals or values. The petrified little girl was attacked numerous times.
She had never known love or what it was like to have someone care for her. From the time she was small, all she had known was persecution. Because of her traumatic childhood, she had come to expect abuse. Sadly, her mindset was, “Cruelty and betrayal comes with all inter-family relationships.” Some women who grow up in these types of environments feel that abuse is par for the course. Consequently, abusive men are drawn to them. It usually takes long-term therapy to help these women develop the proper depictions of true love.
Trait #13. Some Women Are Contentious
These women love to yell, scream, argue and engage in endless debates and fruitless verbal jousting matches with MEN. They have taken the war of the sexes to a new level, albeit dangerous and oftentimes deadly. Their weapons of choice include: name-calling, put downs, curse words, 911 blackmail calls, threats, I dare ya’s, parental alienation, attacks on manhood and their silver bullet: false rape and abuse allegations. Once they find a combatant, (A.K.A., husband, lover or boyfriend) these women get hyped up for war and the conflict is on!
Unfortunately, they unwittingly thrust themselves into a dark hole of retaliation; which leads to abuse, domestic violence and spousal murder. If it sounds like I’m justifying abuse, you are not reading me right. It is an irrefutable fact; some women are contentious, belligerent and combative. They choose to be that way and they have a knack for provoking and inciting men to domestic warfare. Some of these women are known for pushing otherwise easygoing men to their wits end.
Following the advice and example of such leaders, thousands of pastors regularly dismiss domestic violence and send women back into dangerous situations. With “saving the marriage” as the highest aim, these pastors seek to prevent divorce at all costs.
Women receive the subtle message that their pain – or even their lives -- are not as important as keeping the marriage intact.
One woman told a victims’ support group how she took her children and fled the state in fear of her life. Her church responded by sending her a letter of ex-communication.
In the introduction to her new book "Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence,” Jocylen Andersen states that "
The practice of hiding, ignoring, and even perpetuating the emotional and physical abuse of women is ... rampant within evangelical Christian fellowships and as slow as our legal systems have been in dealing with violence against women by their husbands, the church has been even slower." The Christian wife abuse cover-up is every bit as evil as the Catholic sex abuse cover-up.Christian leaders set the stage for domestic violence by perpetuating pop-culture stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. T. D. Jakes claims in his book “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” that all women were created to fulfill the vision of some man. Jakes bases his gender theology solely on the physical characteristics of male and female genitalia, insisting that all women are “receivers” and all men are “givers.” This false dichotomy breaks down quickly when one considers that female sexuality includes giving birth and giving milk. More importantly, Jakes deviates from Scripture in claiming that women and men must operate like their genitalia in every facet of life.
John MacArthur also does his part to set the stage for female subjugation. He calls the women’s movement “Satanic.” In a sermon called “God’s Design for a Successful Marriage: The Role of the Wife” MacArthur blames working women for everything from smog to prison overcrowding. As an antidote, he offers this quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the disposition of a godly wife toward her husband: “He is her little world, her paradise, her choice treasure. She is glad to sink her individuality in him.”
Finally, consider Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Patterson recently dismissed Hebrew professor Sheri Klouda, simply because she was female. He claims the Bible does not allow women to instruct men. Patterson then launched a new major at the seminary: Homemaking. Only women are allowed to take these courses, which focus on childcare, cooking and sewing -- as well as a woman’s role in marriage. The courses are taught by Patterson’s wife, who is the only surviving female in the school’s 42-person theology faculty.
Considering Patterson’s view of women, we should not be surprised at his response to domestic violence. Participating in a panel on “How Submission Works in Practice,” Patterson tells abused wives to do three things:
Pray for their husbands, submit to them, and “elevate” them. He admits that this advice sometimes leads to beatings, but also claims that the men eventually get saved. Apparently, it’s only the men that matter.
Pastors who truly want to help people and save marriages should stop attacking feminism. Instead, teach couples never to hit, choke, kick, threaten or verbally batter their spouse.
Preach against domestic violence from your pulpit.
Help abuse victims to escape their batterers – permanently.
Encourage them to press charges so that justice can be served.
Pastors, if you want to defend marriage, set an example of a loving relationship. Instruct couples to live in a way that makes their spouse want to stay with them. It really does not take a six-tape series to teach the number one tool of a successful marriage: the golden rule.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Narcissistic or Borderline Controllers
It is as if these kind of men view reality from inside a strange, transparent fortress, whose walls are both shield and golden mirror. Hardened against the truth of the world outside himself, this psychological citadel resists seeing things as they really are. Like mental bulletproof-glass, these opaque fortress walls deflect any words or actions from others that might threaten his perfect "godlike" image of himself. Everything is perceived through this armored, shining shell, and the world must always treat him as if he were golden. And failure to worship at his shrine can be devastating.
At one end of this egotistical continuum are publicly notorious "charismatic leaders"--the Caesars, Hitlers and Saddam Husseins of the world--that represent the severe end of self-centeredness gone violently berserk. They see themselves as "entitled" to dominate or destroy millions, simply because they can. But Controllers that most women encounter rarely look as obvious as an Adolph or Saddam, or become as lethal. Instead of striving to conquer nations, these narcissistic "little dictators" must limit themselves to conquering you.
But what exactly is "narcissism," in terms of being a Controller? And what is the surest way to spot this self-adoring manipulator?
In a Narcissistic Controller's mind, everyone and everything orbits around him, as if people are his planets and he is their shining sun. What he wants, he should have, simply because he wants it. Greed is at the core of his being, but it is greed based more on attention than ownership. He may own a few things, or many, but his primary reason for "owning" anything--including you--is to display his sense of self-induced superiority.
Although such an individual is usually not physically or sexually abusive, he is a master at inflicting psychological, emotional and spiritual damage on others. This type of Controller is incapable of needing anyone but himself, and it is that rigidly fixated belief which lies behind the lordly attitude that dwells in him. It is as if these kinds of men see reality from inside a strange, transparent fortress, whose walls are both shield and mirror. Like mental bulletproof glass, these opaque psychological walls deflect any words or actions from outside him that might threaten his perfectly idealized, "godlike" self-image. And his mannerisms and behaviors reflect his own shining image.
He seems to stand out in a crowd, as if under a spotlight. He acts as if people aren't just watching him--they're adoring him. If you are within earshot, or he engages you in a conversation--which he will, if you can draw other's attention to him--pay close attention to his facial expressions when he mentions those whom he like and dislikes. Listen to how he talks about himself and others. Possessive arrogance characterizes him when he likes someone, as if he personally owns him or her. When he says something good about someone, he tends to say only good things about those whom he perceives as admiring him. Look for intense expressions of disdain toward those whom he dislikes, who will have failed to pander to his sense of self-centered specialness.
When talking about himself, everything he thinks, feels and does, sounds as if it must be important. Nothing is insignificant about a Narcissist, to a Narcissist. Regardless of what position he holds at his job, he is always better at it than anyone else. Whether a company's janitor or chief executive officer, he always conveys a sense of himself as superior to his peers.
When speaking of his family or friends, it sounds like he could be describing expensive cars, clothes, stereos or jewelry. People are possessions to a Narcissistic Controller, useful unto the degree that they make him look good to others and himself. They can be ignored, demeaned or discarded whenever they fail to make him shine.
The quickest and crudest way to confirm that someone is a Narcissistic Controller is simply to marry him. Unfortunately, this actually is the first moment when the narcissistic spell is broken and a woman realizes that Mr. Right is actually Mr. Wrong. If it were simply a manner of recognizing signs of self-centered arrogance, it would be a piece of cake to avoid this kind of man's clutches. But many Narcissistic Controllers possess a subtle weapon: charm.
Most people strive to be socially charming, but this is not the kind of charm displayed by a Narcissistic Controller. The manipulative impact of narcissistic charm is not intended to ease social connectedness. It is designed to establish social dominance. Instead of stimulating thought and interaction, it tends to lull or paralyze the mind. The Random House Dictionary defines charm's essence as, " . . . A power of pleasing or attracting, as through personality or beauty; to act upon (someone or something) with or as with a compelling or magical force . . .." It is this feeling of being acted upon--or controlled--which can initially hint that you are dealing with narcissistic control. It feels intensely charming. You feel gripped by it, instead of eased by it. Other signs can indicate the presence of narcissistic control, as well.
Displaying disdain and contempt for those whom he believes have betrayed him can confirm signs of narcissistic control. But betrayal, to a Narcissist, differs from what normal people experience.
For most people, betrayal usually means a deep violation of trust inflicted by someone with whom a close, personal relationship exists. But, to a Narcissistic Controller, betrayal simply means that someone stopped pandering to his every want and need. In other words, when someone breaks away from his control, he feels betrayed. Since Narcissists do not have the capacity to develop close, trusting personal relationships, there can be no deep violation of real trust.
When a Narcissistic Controller feels betrayed, contempt dominates his facial and verbal expressions. The insolent, aloof sneer commonly accompanies expressions such as, "He didn't know who he was dealing with!" Or, "Doesn't he know who I am?" His real complaint--if he had the ability to see it--should be, "Don't you know who I think I am?" This is not an exhaustive description of Narcissistic Controllers. It is the basics--the essentials. If you believe that you are already locked into a business or personal relationship with this kind of man, a later part of this series will explain suggested ways to deal with him. But if you have recognized the features of someone like this man, and you are feeling caught inside his spell, ask yourself a question: What part of me needs this man, so that I can feel good about myself?
All types of Controllers capitalize on manipulating that part in anyone which lacks self-esteem. Essentially, they feed off our uncertainties about our selves. Find that shy, heart-broken or traumatized part of yourself and make friends with it. Get close to it, and it will help protect you from his deceptions, deceits, and ultimately, his inevitably egotistical scorn.
Love is a two-way street when two people know how to give it and receive it. But to Controllers, it's a dead-end freeway. Love, to them, is simply a means to an end. It is a vulnerability to be exploited. Obedience equals love in their minds, and each type of Controller seeks to achieve his version of "love" in a way tailored to his style of control. The Sadist's version of "loving" control is as distinct as a tarantula crawling across an angel-food cake. Love, to him, is the terror in his victim's eyes.
To the Sociopath, love is the thrill he gets when you've finally taken his bait, he's yanked on the line and the hook is buried deep in your heart. Love, to him, is the look of stunned bewilderment and dread your eyes reveal when you realize it's too late to run.
To the Borderline, love walks between the blades of an emotionally double-edged razor, which swings and slices between emotion-soaked heavens and hells. "Love," to the Borderline male, often ends in the cemetery. Almost half of all batterers and stalkers are Borderline.
If someone with a Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to draw you into a relationship, there is a very simple, concrete way to know it. Pay attention to your stomach. Even though he may initially seem sweet, attentive and empathic, you will likely perceive a subtle tightening in the pit of your abdomen, like a small rock you've suddenly noticed in your shoe-barely noticeable, but there.
Listen to that rock, because it is the voice of instinct, and it's trying to tell you something. Listen to your fear and start scanning for an incoming missile. The Borderline is often a tough target to initially confirm, but close attention to his attitudes and behaviors and an emotional position of calm neutrality can help you confirm his threat-potential. And if Borderline is confirmed, get out of there before it's too late.
But if too late has happened, and you are already involved with a Borderline Controller, you have experienced far more than the pinch of a small stone in your gut. You've been engulfed in an insane, hyper-emotional ride where spewing sheets of scalding lava alternate with warm, soothing baths of emotional saccharine. Life itself will have become a series of whipsawing emotional extremes, between his clinging adoration and hateful spite. The hallmark of this pattern is that "just when things seem to be going well," and he is treating you best, he suddenly turns into a perverse version of Air Jordan and you're the ball. Slam-dunked would be a mild way of describing the receiving end of this intensely emotional pounding.
He was just treating you like a goddess. He was being so sweet and attentive. Maybe he was even telling you how wonderful you are. Then, in the sudden twinkling of a diabolical eye, he's treating you like you've become a "bitch-on-wheels." And you don't know why.
He accuses you of everything from insincerity to infidelity, and your mind scrambles to discover what you just said or did that's setting him off. He keeps saying it's you, and is so intensely convinced that it is you that it's hard not to believe him. Later, after his firestorm of vindictiveness has died down, you might realize what triggered him. You did not respond "right" to his compliments, or scratched your nose in the midst of his adoration, or maybe you just burnt the toast that morning or were two-minutes late coming home from the office. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. There will always be something - apparently innocuous to you - which will abruptly stoke his raging fire again. And again and again, round and around, until your spirit and soul are finally ground into fine, despondent grains of charred debris, and your mind eventually looks like a Tokyo china-shop after a 9.0 earthquake.
Maybe he never physically beats you. Or maybe he does. Or maybe he never will. But you never know. He is stunningly impulsive and unpredictable. But he always assaults you emotionally, ripping into every fiber of your being with verbal vindictive, threats and accusations. Being keel-hauled over a coral reef is a cake-walk, compared to a Borderline's torment.
The only thing predictable about such a Controller is his extreme unpredictability. It is only after you become intimately snared into him that you discover the soul-grinder that lies waiting to strike. Until then, you may even find him amazingly attentive, sensitive and empathic to your every need. He can initially appear to be completely non-threatening. That is why it is critical to learn how to identify this type of individual, because there is a high probability that brutally sociopathic or sadistic-type personality disorders may hide behind his appealing camouflage of muted sensitivity. When borderline, sociopathic and sadistic disorders combine with a narcissistic disorder, a particularly deceptive and dangerous Molotov cocktail of character pathology results. Iraq's Saddam Hussein appears to totally manifest just such a combination. And there are many minor Saddam's already prowling the streets, workplaces, bedrooms and boardrooms of America.
A Borderline Personality Disorder is a master at transforming other's sympathy into pity. In terms of being vulnerable to borderline-manipulation, anyone that is capable of compassion, protectiveness or love can be easily deceived by a Borderline. If one of these extraordinarily deceptive individuals attaches himself to you, and you are particularly prone to confuse pity with love, then you might as well go skin-diving with ether in your scuba-tanks instead of oxygen. A relationship with a Borderline can be like swimming along a stunningly gorgeous coral reef, surrounded by a school of smiling piranha. The scenery may look divine, but you may be dinner.
Early detection of borderline characteristics can be very difficult. Clinical experts on this personality disorder commonly advise interns and colleagues to avoid treating more than one or two of these types, because treatment can become intensely confusing, persistently crisis-oriented and volatile. I know of several former clinicians that left successful practices because they could not learn to identify and deal with borderline patients. It was not that individuals who solely possess this type of personality disorder are necessarily physically violent, but they are geniuses at generating emotional and psychological chaos in people who get too close to them. The frenzied emotional-madness that characteristically runs riot inside of these individuals has an uncanny way of getting inside of those nearest to them.
Over a century ago, psychiatrists discovered this phenomenon and labeled it a folie deux, or "folly of two." It was observed that spouses often took on the symptoms of their psychotic partners. When the psychotic partner was removed from the home and hospitalized, his spouse's symptoms vanished within two weeks. The same phenomenon often occurs today when someone is in a relationship with a Borderline Personality Disorder. It is like becoming infected with emotional-malaria. One moment you're burning with fever. In the next instant your teeth chatter like chilled jackhammers. But if you learn the subtle, early clues to recognizing a potential Borderline, you can avoid your own trip to the sanitarium.
Particularly sensitive and adept therapists often describe a typically paradoxical reaction, commonly experienced by most people when first meeting someone who is Borderline. While feeling gently or tenderly drawn toward him, there is simultaneously an almost inconspicuous sensation of a vague knot in the pit of the stomach, as mentioned earlier. A more general description might be that a person feels that he or she too quickly likes someone and feels a faint sense of unease or dread toward him at the same time.
If you experience such mixed sensations when first meeting anyone, ask yourself why you simultaneously liked him so quickly and felt uncomfortable. If it's difficult to answer either question, put your radar system on high alert and scan closely the next time you meet him. If he is Borderline and has locked onto your sympathetic nature, that next encounter may not be too far away.
Without the presence of other personality disorders, someone who is Borderline tends to rapidly move toward developing a dependent relationship with those who show them interest and sympathy. An early sign of this dependency can be recognized by a rapid increase in contact, initiated by the Borderline, and a sense that such an individual has an uncanny ability to read you better than a blind man reads Braille.
Even though you can develop a very sophisticated form of personality-detection radar, it will never be as subtle or fine-tuned as a Borderline's. They have what seem like high-grade, instinctually built-in personality detection systems, comparable to extremely sophisticated phased-array radar systems used in the military for detecting high-speed, small ballistic projectiles, like the cruise missiles used to attack Iraq during the Gulf War.
This system appears to be purely instinctual in Borderlines, because they do not seem conscious of its presence or the information it gives to them, even when this ability is pointed out to them. Generally, this eerily unconscious quality seems to pervade everything about them. In a very basic sense, they do not know who they are. This is one of the most unnerving aspects about them for people who get too close.
If you ask a normal person on January 1st to describe themselves, he or she can give a fairly detailed description of what they think, feel and believe about the things that are important to them in life. Ask the same question, six months or a year later, and you will get almost the same answers. But if you ask a Borderline that question at noon today, the answer may be completely different by dusk, and will possess an indistinct, blurry quality, as if someone is drawing a picture of himself in mud. Or, depending on whom they are with, they may give two completely different pictures of themselves to two different people, ten minutes apart.
In mental hospitals, these are the patients who generate intense conflicts between staff members, unless those members understand what they are dealing with. One psychiatrist diagnoses him as schizophrenic, another labels him manic-depressive and a third believes he is a hypochondriac. A family therapist thinks he just has a "boundary problem," a psychiatric nurse thinks he's only neurotic, the vocational rehabilitation counselor admires his creative potential and a psychiatric aide thinks he's full of shit. The only people who know his true identity are the other patients. To them he is the master chameleon who can change his psychological appearance on a dime. He is the fox who fools the hunters. But who'll listen to them? They're not "professionally licensed."
What can be especially disturbing to others about this chameleon-like "change-ability" is that Borderlines are oblivious to what they are doing. They are not consciously making-up these different identity versions of themselves. They just do it reflexively, as if they run on some instinctually eerie automatic-pilot. Many psychological theories exist to explain this eerie process in a Borderline - from theories on "object relations" to "dissociation." But staying around a borderline Controller long enough to discover the cause of his strange attitudes and behaviors increases the probability of becoming his victim. Hesitation allows time for him to develop an attachment. And attachment can prove deadly, especially if a borderline disorder combines with another of the personality disorders prone to physical violence. Even if you only become involved with a solely borderline Controller, though, be prepared for a nightmare journey. You're in for an emotionally blistering E-Ticket ride in Relationship Jurassic Park.
Regardless of how a Controller with a Borderline Personality Disorder can alter and tailor his appearance to deceive others, he still presents with a clear and characteristic personality pattern. This pattern usually emerges in three stages or roles: Vulnerable Seducer, Clinger and Hater. These stages cycle and often swing wildly from one role to the next, but through drawing a picture of how these stages appear, a basic portrait can be loaded into your developing Controller-detection-system.
At first, a Borderline male may appear shy, vulnerable or "ambivalently in need of care." This is the first clue: beware of men who feel like lost puppies. If you experience an urge to take him home and feed him, don't- especially if you are in an emotionally needy state. But if you can't stop yourself, then avoid a future feeding frenzy on your soul by making a careful scan for the following reactions and characteristics as you enter this spirit-eater's lair.
In the beginning, you will feel a rapidly accelerating sense of compassion for whatever painful plight he has gotten himself into, because he is a master at portraying himself as the "victim of circumstance." But listen closely to how he sees himself as a victim. As his peculiar emotional invasion advances upon you, you will hear how no one understands him - except you. Other people have always left him because of their "insensitivity." He is always being betrayed, just when he starts trusting people. But there is something "special" about you, because "you really know me."
It is this intense way he has of bearing down on you emotionally that can feel very seductive. You will feel elevated, adored - almost worshiped. And you will feel that way quickly. It may seem like a great deal has happened between the two of you in a short period of time, because every conversation is so intense, and his attention is so focused on you. But if you're paying attention, you will feel his adoration by the third date, or sooner. Initially, it feels like an invisible army of sweet, chocolate ants is subtly infiltrating you. But the invasion may be hard to notice because it feels good, just as the Trojans must have felt good when they towed the Trojan Horse into their city, only to discover it filled with Greek Berserkers bent on destruction and conquest. Heed the warning that Cassandra gave to Troy's King Priam; "Fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts." But it's difficult to say no to a gift from the gods, especially if you have already tapped one too many dry relationship-wells.
Here is a man who may look like a dream come true. He not only seems to make you the center of his attention, but he even craves listening to your opinions, thoughts and ideas. If you have never experienced a man treating you like this before, it can seem like you have really found your heart's desire. But like anything that seems too good to be true, it usually is. While you may think you're about to enjoy the tasty pleasures of a Mr. Goodbar, Mr. Goodbar is about to take more than a taste out of you. And borderline men emotionally eat their women whole.
Once he has successfully candied his hook with adoration, he will weld it into place by reeling in your attention and concern. His intense interest in you subtly transforms. He still appears to be interested in you, but no longer in what you are interested in. His interest becomes your exclusive interest in him. This is when things begin to feel "uncomfortable." Your thoughts, feelings and ideas fascinate him, but only when they focus on his problems. You can tell when this happens because you can feel him "perk-up" emotionally whenever your attention focuses upon his feelings and conflicts. Those moments can emotionally hook your compassion more deeply into him, because that is when he will treat you well - even tenderly. That's why, if you confuse pity with love, you'll believe you're in love with him. Especially if your maternal instinct is strong and rescuing is at the heart of your "motherly code." Following that code results in the most common excuse I hear as a therapist, as to why many women stay with borderline men, ".... But I love him!" Adult love is built on mutual interest, care and respect - not on one-way rescues. And mothering is for kids. Not grown men.
But, if like King Priam, you do fall prey to this Trojan Horse and let him inside your city gates, the first Berserker to leave the horse will be the devious Clinger. A master at strengthening his control through pity, he is brilliant at eliciting sympathy and identifying those most likely to provide it-like the steady-tempered and tenderhearted.
The world ails him. Physical complaints are common. His back hurts. His head aches. Peculiar pains of all sorts come and go like invisible, malignant companions. If you track their appearance, though, you may see a pattern of occurrence connected to the waning or waxing of your attentions. His complaints are ways of saying, "don't leave me. Save me!" And his maladies are not simply physical. His feelings ail him too.
He is depressed or anxious, detached and indifferent or vulnerable and hypersensitive. He can swing from elated agitation to mournful gloom at the blink of an eye. Watching the erratic changes in his moods is like tracking the needle on a Richter-scale chart at the site of an active volcano, and you never know which flick of the needle will predict the big explosion.
But after every emotional Vesuvius he pleads for your mercy. And if he has imbedded his guilt-hooks deep enough into your conscientious nature, you will stay around and continue tracking this volcanic earthquake, caught in the illusion that you can discover how to stop Vesuvius before he blows again. But, in reality, staying around this cauldron of emotional unpredictability is pointless. Every effort to understand or help this type of man is an excruciatingly pointless exercise in emotional rescue.
It is like you are a Coast Guard cutter and he is a drowning man. But he drowns in a peculiar way. Every time you pull him out of the turbulent sea, feed him warm tea and biscuits, wrap him in a comfy blanket and tell him everything is okay, he suddenly jumps overboard and starts pleading for help again. And no matter how many times you rush to the emotional - rescue, he still keeps jumping back into trouble. It is this repeating, endlessly frustrating pattern which should confirm to you that you are involved with a Borderline Personality Disorder. No matter how effective you are at helping him, nothing is ever enough. No physical, financial or emotional assistance ever seems to make any lasting difference. It's like pouring the best of your self into a galactic-sized Psychological Black Hole of bottomless emotional hunger. And if you keep pouring it in long enough, one-day you'll fall right down that hole yourself. There will be nothing left of you but your own shadow, just as it falls through his predatory "event horizon." But before that happens, other signs will reveal his true colors.
Sex will be like a rocket ride on the Oblivion Express. Anyone who can be so instinctually tuned in to reading your needs and manipulating them can also pinpoint your g-spot with the fine-tuned skill of a Swiss jeweler cleaving a diamond. It will seem wonderful - for a while.
The intensity of his erotic passion can sweep you away like a strange destiny on the blue sea of august, but his motive for lusting upon you is double-edged. One side of it comes from the instinctually built-in, turbulent emotionality of his disorder. Intensity is his trump-card. But the other side of him is driven by an equally concentrated need to control you. The sexual pyrotechnics, while imposing, are motivated from a desire to dominate you, not please you. And, after a while, too much of a good thing might actually be too much, to the point where you feel like buying an arc-welding kit and forging your own cast-iron chastity belt. Or perhaps his erotic intensity will be there in a more cunning way. A borderline-sociopathic patient once described this "way," as if he had just invented the light bulb. Little did he know that thousands of erotic Edisons had already preceded him.
Shortly after he had seduced and married his third wife, a Controller named "Tom" developed a calculating and classically "I hate you-I love you" borderline way of sexually controlling his woman. Since he knew that the marked conscientiousness of his wife's character made her particularly loyal, he was certain his method of erotic control would work because, no matter how much she desired sex, she would never seek it with someone else. This was the key to his method, and his way of making her feel simultaneously responsible and guilty for her own desires and his cunning manipulation of them.
Knowing that he had control of her loyalty, he would "work" her sexual longing by timing its gratification. He would do this by turning her on, then losing interest by feigning "a tough day at the office," "a sore back," or some other pretext. All the while, his borderline instinct for reading her level of sexual frustration watched and waited, until he could tell that she was in a state of carnal gridlock. Then he released the laser intensity of his loin-lions upon her now fever-pitched libido and gratified her to the nth-degree.
To increase the agonizing effect of this cycle upon her, he added two more factors of frustration. He initiated the first by catching her while she secretly masturbated. And when he caught her, he always feigned outraged and agonized sexual betrayal. This ratcheted up her sense of guilt even further. Then - just to twist that ratchet one last click - he dropped using excuses like tough days at the office and sore backs for one that was a psychological coup de trompe' of controller manipulation. He started accusing her of sexually abusing him!
He had completely succeeded in deceiving her into believing that she was manipulating poor, erotically-exhausted him. And he had gotten her to cling to him! Once a Borderline Controller has succeeded in this kind of sexual "trick," or in other less genital manipulations, the Hater appears. This hateful part of him may have emerged before, but you probably will not see it in full, acidic bloom until he feels he has achieved a firm hold on your conscience and compassion. But when that part makes it's first appearance, rage is how it breaks into your life.
What gives this rage its characteristically borderline flavor is that it is very difficult for someone witnessing it to know what triggered it in reality. But that is its primary identifying clue: the actual rage-trigger is difficult for you to see. But in the Borderline's mind it always seems to be very clear. To him, there is always a cause. And the cause is always you. Whether it is the tone of your voice, how you think, how you feel, dress, move or breathe - or "the way you're looking at me," - he will always justify his rage by blaming you for "having to hurt you."
Rage reactions are also unpredictable and unexpected. They happen when you least expect it. And they can become extremely dangerous.
If a Controller is solely Borderline, his rages may remain verbal. You might be ducking a lot of dishes, glasses and other breakables, or the occasional airborne frying pan or flying cutlery set. But do not deceive yourself into believing that he is not directly aiming any of these missiles at you. Sooner or later one of them will "just happen" to hit you-or the kids, the cat or dog. And his excuse will be, "It was an accident," or "I didn't mean to hit you," or the ever-classic "Why didn't you duck?" - Not, "Why do I act so insane?"
With a Borderline, there is also the danger that one of these rages will precipitate or be precipitated by a temporary or long-lasting psychotic break. If this happens, a scattered state of rage may instantly become a precisely aimed attack, with you fixed in the cross-hairs.
If you sense any explosion coming, or one has already begun, leave. Do not try to "reason" him out of it. Immediately grab the kids, cats and dogs and get out now. Don't worry about what the neighbors or anyone else will think if he chases you outside. "Witness statements" to the police can help if you need to file a restraining order.
While there is never a guarantee that a solely borderline Controller will become physically violent or not, they will always become verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive. Just keep one simple fact always in mind, regardless of whether a Controller is borderline, narcissistic, sociopathic or sadistic: Whenever any of them are criticizing characteristics in you, they are making autobiographical statements about themselves.
Blame is their way of unloading their character defects onto you. Listen closely to the hateful things they say to you about you. You are listening to verbatim descriptions of their character defects. This is extremely important to remember, especially in the midst of verbal attack. These are the only moments when you will hear the truth about the man who lies concealed behind the steel wall of his personality disorder. But never point that fact out to him. If you do, it may be the last time you see him alive. But not because you're still around to know he's not dead.
If you possess a strong sense of responsibility, Controllers will use it against you. Understanding how to prevent a Controller from manipulating your conscience is key in learning how to "counter - control." Moral integrity is one of the finest assets a person can possess, but it can attract a Controller the way a "hot target" attracts a cruise missile. When dealing with a Controller, conscientiousness can be your Achilles' Heel.
Integrity and conscientiousness remind Controllers of their most profound character flaw. They hate being reminded of what they do not have. They hate those qualities in others because Controllers cannot possess them. That is one reason that they are attracted to integrity. But their attraction is rooted in a desire to dominate or destroy. They must manipulate, rule or emotionally and psychologically annihilate anyone whose soundness of character reminds them of their own profoundly egotistical, selfish and empty natures.
All effective counter-control is rooted in understanding how a Controller manipulates someone's conscience and uses it against him or her. But the great trick to discovering how to effect practical counter-control is in knowing how to overcome a Controller's amorally motivated drive to control, without turning into a Controller yourself.
from ROMEO'S BLEEDING
(Your abuser may be FEMALE)
Friday, September 21, 2018
"Help, I'm in Love with a Narcissist!"
Narcissists: If you love one, a new book offers help
By KRISTIN DIZON -- SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
Jerk. Witch. Creep.
You’ve probably used such names to describe a romantic partner gone bad, or maybe a few choice words of the four-letter variety.
But, there’s another name for the ones who are so self-absorbed and self-involved that all of their needs and wants come first: the narcissist.
He’s the boyfriend who begs you to leave your job, family and rent-controlled apartment to move to another state to be with him, only to discover, after moving, that he’s got another girlfriend he failed to tell you about.
She’s the girlfriend who creates a crisis out of every little situation so she can be the perpetual look-at-me center of attention and drama.
It’s the father who chose to play golf instead of help with his young son’s birthday party, despite his wife’s pleas. Then he arrived when the party was almost over, crushing his son’s feelings.
All of these are examples from flesh and blood people in the new book, “Help! I’m in Love With a Narcissist,” by relationship authors Julia Sokol and Steven Carter. (M. Evans and Co., 270 pages, $21.95).
Previously, they wound up on the best-seller list for “Men Who Can’t Love,” in which they coined the now ubiquitous term, “commitmentphobia.” Now, they’re throwing our self-obsessed, me!, me!, me! approach to relationships under the microscope.
We live in narcissistic times. We observe every move of Paris Hilton and P. Diddy, and lavish attention upon arrogant business moguls like Donald Trump.
Reality is, most of us have some degree of narcissism and self-involvedness. But there's a big difference between garden-variety (healthy) narcissistic tendencies and toxic narcissism.
Narcissists are often charming, adventurous people who entertain us with their interesting stories and grandiose sense of self. They are often very attentive and appreciative toward their partners for the first month or two, and are skilled at fanning the chemistry.
But, they also know how to demean, criticize and show no empathy for others. They're often controlling and have a needy side that asks frequently: Do you really love me? Will you leave me? Are you like all of the others?
Many have a history of troubled relationships and lots of emotional baggage.
They take, they demand, they expect. In return, they give very little, although many are good at delivering flowery words of love that suck us back in, especially after a fight or ultimatum.
But, how do you know if you're living with a narcissist? The bottom line is that if you're in a relationship that's dominated by the other person's wishes and priorities, without the normal give-and-take and compromise, you very well may be shacking up with a narcissist.
Sokol recently spoke with us from her Rhode Island home about living with and loving narcissists.
Who did you write this book for? And why the need for it?
"We're writing it for everybody who doesn't quite understand why they're getting stuck in the same relationship -- one that revolves around the other person. ... I think it's very widespread. And we also did this book to help readers understand their own narcissistic issues. That will help you understand the choices you make and why you're drawn to a particular type of person. Most of these people who get into these hideous, hideous relationships, one after another, complain that they were bored with other people."
What separates average narcissistic qualities from a true toxic narcissist?
"I guess it's how much pain that person is causing and how unable and completely incapable the toxic narcissist is to feel anything for another person. The narcissist is able to weave this terrific web of fantasy and illusion. It's fulfilling all your fantasies, all your dreams. You've always wanted to feel unique and special and the narcissist is able to make you feel that and that this is a unique and special relationship."
Why do people fall for narcissists?
"I think society places a value on narcissism and narcissistic values. We put an emphasis on the superficial. We put an emphasis on the people who sound as though they know what they're talking about, even when they don't. ... Narcissism forgives an awful lot that in an earlier time would have been considered obnoxious. Modesty is no longer a virtue in this country. Narcissists tend to tell you that they're wonderful and terrific and adorable. ... They tend to know how to sweep people off their feet. They are incredibly seductive. They know what you like to hear."
A lot of folks seem to believe that with enough love and hope and effort, the narcissist in their life can change. What do you think?
"After years of hearing these stories -- and we've heard thousands of them -- they don't ever seem to change."
How does one's upbringing tie into loving a narcissist or becoming one?
"Many people have parents who have all-about-me tendencies -- everything comes back to that person. The child is the audience, the support system, a part of this drama. And then they turn around and find partners who pull us in this way. It comes from our own weak sense of self. ... Some are so spoiled by parents that they turned into narcissists."
Why are narcissists so hard to leave?
"The classic narcissistic partner has this 'look-at-me' quality, but also has this 'oh poor me, I really need help.' They draw you in with the sadness and the emptiness and you feel that somehow you can fill this void. And you tell yourself, he really loves me -- even though he's cheating on me every other night of the week."
What's your advice for people to get out of a narcissistic relationship and break the pattern?
"You start setting up boundaries that you're not going to let people cross. You really start believing in the things that you say are important. You stop focusing on perfection, you stop worrying about being bored. And you stop feeling that you can solve the other person's problems. ... The minute you feel you're in this kind of relationship or you've had more than one person like this in your life, a little professional help is not going to hurt."
You and Steven Carter coined the term commitmentphobia. Do you think narcissist will become part of the dating lexicon?
"I think it's starting to do that already. And it's about time, too. I think this is the relationship issue of our times. There's nothing to curb people like these. They're in a society that supports it."
KNOW A NARCISSIST?
Here are the signs of narcissism. It takes five or more before you can slap the label on someone:
1. An exaggerated or grandiose sense of self-importance that isn't supported by reality
2. A preoccupation with fantasies of extraordinary success, wealth, power, beauty and love
3. A belief that he/she is special and unique and can only be understood by other special people
4. An intense need for admiration
5. A sense of entitlement
6. A tendency to exploit others without guilt or remorse
7. An absence of meaningful empathy
8. A tendency to be envious or to assume that he/she is the object of others' envy
9. An 'I'm never wrong' attitude;
P-I reporter Kristin Dizon can be reached at 206-448-8118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on my Facebook page - linked at the left - for supportive discussions with other victims of Narcissists
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Protective Order Violations
Last winter, police found the bodies of a man and his girlfriend. The man had tracked his girlfriend to her cousin's house, broken down the door, shot her as she called 911, and then turned the gun on himself. Next to the woman's body, the police found a court order directing the murderer to have no contact with the victim. The killer had violated that order four times before murdering his victim.
Domestic violence victims often seek protective orders-court orders that direct individuals to refrain from specified conduct-to avoid future violence. In many cases, the court orders succeed in deterring the offenders. Yet abusers often defy the orders-placing victims at high risk for future violence.
Who Gets Protective Orders
Research suggests that most victims seek orders of protection only after experiencing serious levels of victimization. Most women seeking protective orders have experienced physical assault; threats of harm or death; sexual abuse; threats with a weapon, stalking, and harassment; or assaults on their children.
1 Studies also show that victims usually seek protective orders only after long exposure to abuse.
2 Of the total number of victims of abuse, only a small percentage ever obtain protective orders-16.4 percent of rape victims, 17.1 percent of physical assault victims, and 36.6 percent of stalking victims.
Protective Order Violations
Violations of protective orders are both common and often associated with significant danger to the victim. One two-year follow-up study of batterers found that almost one-half (48.8 percent) re-abused the victims after the issuance of a protective order.4 Stalking victims, in particular, report frequent violations. A 1998 National Institute of Justice study found that of stalking victims who seek protective orders, 69 percent of the women and 81 percent of the men said their stalker violated the order.5 And in approximately 21 percent of cases, violence and stalking escalate after the protective order is issued.6
Multiple Violations as Stalking
"In cases with more than one violation of a protective order," says Sergeant Cari Graves, director of the Colorado Springs Police Department's Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT) program, "two things are evident. There is a clear ‘course of conduct' as defined in many stalking statutes. It also shows that the true intent of the perpetrator is to control and intimidate the victim despite the legal restraint placed on him by a judge." With violations of protective orders, the course of conduct may involve repeatedly following or harassing the victim or sometimes abusing another person-placing the victim in reasonable fear of harm. Repeated violations of protective orders, then, constitute stalking. "And even the first violation of a protective order may in fact be stalking," says Stalking Resource Center director Tracy Bahm, "because the original series of events that caused the victim to seek the court's protection may fit the legal definition of the crime."
Yet the connections between protection order violations and stalking violations-and the resulting danger to victims-are not always evident to law enforcement. One possible reason, as retired Lieutenant Mark Wynn of the Nashville Police Department points out, is that law enforcement officers often view protective orders "as a civil issue; something that is involved in divorce, custody or visitation," rather than a criminal matter. Studies show that even when states have mandatory arrest laws for violations of protective orders, law enforcement officers do not always arrest offenders who commit these violations. One study showed that only 44 percent of protective order violations resulted in arrest and that the likelihood of arrest decreased as the number of prior incidents increased.
Another reason these connections are not always clear is that law enforcement usually investigates one offense at a time and does not always look for a pattern of violations. "Law enforcement officers tend to view calls for service in a ‘snapshot' view," says Sergeant Graves. "A single violation of a protection order may seem to involve only a simple investigation and a possible arrest. But if the officer should dig deeper, continues Graves, "she might find that often the victim will disclose previously reported or unreported violations of the same order." In that context, the "single" violation becomes part of a more serious and threatening picture-stalking.
Overlooking the threat posed by protection order violations is unwise and dangerous, Wynn believes. Violations of civil protective orders are criminal offenses and, he says, often a signal to law enforcement "that something worse is about to happen. When offenders thumb their noses at the court, this is an indicator that you've got high lethality on your hands." For this reason some states, such as Florida, have added a provision to their stalking laws that defines more than one violation of a protective order as felony stalking.8
Implications for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors
Experts agree that law enforcement must take protective order violations seriously. Supervisory Special Agent Eugene Rugala of the Behavioral Analysis Unit at the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime in Quantico, Virginia, says that "investigators should review protection order violations on a case-by-case basis," paying close attention to the context of the violations and the reason that the order was obtained. Rugala stresses that a pattern of violations can alert police about the perpetrator's intent and the threat of serious harm to the victim. And, he adds, "the presence of the order may even escalate the risk to some victims."
Because of the danger to victims, law enforcement should carefully track violations and consistently arrest violators. Departments that adopt these proactive strategies often notice a drop in homicides. In Orlando, Florida, for example, the Investigations Division of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, systematically tracks stalkers and protection order violators. The division "views all cases involving domestic violence and violations of protective orders as stalking and as potential homicides," says Lieutenant Kevin Behan. The department's well-trained, specialized "Stalking Team," equipped with a broad array of high-tech equipment, conducts surveillance and gains intelligence on stalkers (and suspected stalkers) and their activities. This approach has been effective, helping to reduce the overall rate of homicides related to domestic violence from 34 percent in 1998 to 21 percent in 2003.
Prosecutors who handle these cases should appreciate the dangers involved and take the appropriate precautions. They should obtain full criminal histories of offenders and examine the petitions for protective orders filed by victims, which often include vital details that investigations sometimes miss. Prosecutors should review all other reports of violations of the order as well as the underlying reports for domestic violence. Because protection order violators defy court orders, prosecutors also should seek high bail, or no bail, in these cases. They should charge stalking when possible and use the stalking laws to show judges and juries the entire context (i.e., stalker's previous pattern of conduct) for each violation. Prosecutors should also seek jail time to contain offenders and to deter future violations when possible.
Multiple violations of protective orders are stalking. Law enforcement and prosecutors who understand this connection are better equipped to investigate the context of violations, assess the danger, and prevent serious harm to stalking victims who have sought protective orders.
If you have further insights on the relationship between stalking and protection order violations, the Stalking Resource Center would like to hear from you. Please contact us at email@example.com.
1 Carol Jordon, "Intimate Partner Violence and the Justice System: An Examination of the Interface," Journal of Interpersonal Violence Vol. 19, No.12 (December 2004): 1423.
2 Ibid., 1424.
3 Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence , (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 2000), NCJ 181867.
4 A.R. Klein, "Re-abuse in a Population of Court-restrained Male Batterers: Why Restraining Orders Don't Work," in E. Buzawa and C. Buzawa, eds., Do Arrests and Restraining Orders Work?, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996), 192-213.
5 Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, Stalking in America: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey , (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC, 1998).
6 B. Spitzberg, "The Tactical Topography of Stalking Victimization and Management," Trauma, Violence, and Abuse Vol. 3, No. 4, (2002): 261-288. Of 32 studies in this meta-analysis of stalking studies, 9 reported that incidents of violence or stalking followed the issuance of a protective order 21 percent of the time.
7 R. J. Kane, "Police Responses to Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence Incidents: Identifying the Custody-Threshold Thesis," Criminal Justice and Behavior Vol. 27, No. 2 (2000): 561.
8 Fla. Stat § 784.048, (4). Stalking; definitions; penalties . Amended 2004.
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN CAN BE ABUSERS.