Sanctuary for the Abused

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WHAT IS EMPATHY?

WHAT IS EMPATHY?

think
"Empathy"… to understand another person's point of view,
emotions, thoughts, feelings
 
Empathy is the most important characteristic in human relationships.

Empathy allows us to listen without judgment to what a person is saying, doing or feeling. It permits us to imagine what someone else is experiencing without having had the experience.

Being empathetic does not mean that we have to agree with the other person or relinquish our point of view. Nor is it about self-sacrifice. Empathy is about standing in another person's shoes without getting stuck in them.

Empathy is a skill that requires understanding — a skill learned over time. It takes years to develop, and deepens and expands as we get older. To have empathy, we must have intellect, listen, and be self-reflective and in touch with our feelings.

Without empathy, there is no compassion. Empathy is the highest level of moral development. A person who totally lacks empathy has no conscience and is capable of committing horrific acts against others —child abuse, serial murder, genocide.

Our children need to learn that empathy is important and that it takes practice. We need to teach them that empathy helps us to relate and care for others. We have to help them learn the requisite skills necessary for developing empathy…

Thinking about ourselves and others

Reflecting on our own behaviors and feelings

Being in touch with our feelings

Listening to another person without anxiety and with minimal judgments

Since developing empathy is a complex process, parents (and teachers) must serve as role model for this behavior by displaying. We need to learn that yelling, threatening, hitting, or saying hurtful things to children is neither emphatic nor is a good foundation for their development.

Empathy is slow to develop and is learned in 10 - 15 year stages.

Developmental Stages for Empathy

Infants: Infants are totally self-directed and only know their own needs.

Toddlers: A child of two notices that other people can feel happy or sad when he or she does not.

10-year-olds: By 10, the child can imagine how he or she would feel in another person's situation, yet does not have the intellectual capacity to know or imagine how the other person is feeling.

Adolescents: In adolescence, young people start to think abstractly and are better able to grasp the concept of empathy.

Empathy, like any other skill, is a life-long learning process. It gets stronger and deeper with age and experience.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sex & Porn Addiction

Treating Sexual & Pornographic Addictions
Sex & porn addictions require therapists with special training in these areas for patients to have a good chance of recovery. These illnesses are very difficult to treat, with relapses the norm. There are no training programs in traditional medical schools, graduate schools of psychology or social work that deal with this kind of addictive problem. And while this will undoubtedly change in the next few years, anyone now seeking professional help will need to check very carefully the background experience of any therapists that they might choose to treat them.

What you are looking for is a "sex addiction therapist" from any of the mental health healing disciplines who has a good track record in treating this problem & personal values that are reasonably congruent with the patient's values. Suggestions will be given shortly on how to find such a therapist.

In addition to having a competent, qualified sex addiction therapist, the patient will also need to attend regularly - (90% of the time) for two years or longer - weekly meetings of Sexaholics Anonymous (or other similar 12-step support group). These groups (free of charge) meet in nearly every fair sized city in America & their address & location can be found in the business pages of the phone book or by contacting Alcoholics Anonymous, who can give directions to the caller on location & time of meetings of the sexaholic group. It will be at these meetings that patients can inquire of fellow members or attendees the names of competent therapists they are individually meeting with & have found helpful & competent in receiving their own treatment. Another source of referrals is to call the National Council of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, who have a register of most therapists in the U.S. doing treatment in this area: 770-989-9754.

In my experience of 25 years in treating approximately 350 of these patients I find, if married, nearly universally the wives are traumatized by the husbands lies, deceptions, and-out-of-bounds sex behavior, and need treatment, too.

If the wife decides to stay in the marriage for a while longer, I engage her in joint treatment with her husband. I have found that if I successfully heal the husband of his addiction but have an angry, hostile, wounded wife who can never trust or forgive her husband even though she remains in the marriage, it greatly increases the risk of relapse in the husband as he attempts unsuccessfully to placate & deal with major marital turmoil. The wife's wounding has to be addressed as well as have both parties participate in marital therapy. Thus I nearly always attempt to have the wife join with the husband in our therapy sessions. This usually predicts a successful outcome if both stay in the healing program. This program works & is successful if both parties stay with it.

Sometimes the husband will find himself with years of sobriety & feel he's all "cured" & doesn't need to still attend his group meetings or therapy sessions anymore. Why waste time & money when he's doing so well? This can be very risky. And it greatly increases the chances for relapse. What I do when patients start experiencing long-term sobriety is gradually lengthen the time interval between therapy sessions. So eventually we may be meeting once every month, or six to eight weeks or longer.

The specifics of treatment by the therapist will not be presented in detail here other than to mention that we do marital therapy, put the couple in marital communication workshops (such as Marriage Enrichment), do a lot of work with relapse prevention, identify the triggers to acting out & develop strategies to protect them from the triggers, fortify them to deal with the "wave," and help them reduce & eliminate masturbation to pornography, since this increases the power of their addictive illness over them & is the royal road to acquiring new sexual addictions or paraphilias which might be acted out. We also strongly emphasize a "no secrets" rule, and how vital this is to healing.
We treat concomitantly any other addictions which they might have. All have to be treated together, otherwise the patient just shifts back & forth between addictions with no real long-term healing. We teach them the three-second rule to manage & control intrusive thoughts & imagery. We give them a lot of reading to do in the sex addiction area (like the Carnes' books, and the "white book," created by S.A. & filled with successful recovery biographies, plus monographs on many other related topics). We want them to be "world experts" on the nature of sex addiction, its genesis, its course, and helpful treatment procedures.

We also find it most important that they have hope & assured knowledge that the illness is treatable & they can get their free agency back again & have rational control over their previously driven irrational behavior. They see how this is possible as they attend S.A. & see & hear the testimonies of other people who now have long-term sobriety. These were people who were in much worse shape than they when entering treatment.

We deal with spiritual issues in therapy when this is appropriate to the unique circumstances & values of the client. We also deal with deep woundedness arising out of early life traumas which now make them vulnerable to seeking out quick-fix sexual acting out as a solution, which really doesn't work in the long-term. I also give a lot of verbal praise & genuine appreciation in response to even their smallest gains & good behavior. I never criticize or put them down when there are relapses. I just say, "This is exactly why we meet in therapy - to strengthen you & develop new strategies to deal with temptation. Now if this situation were to occur again, what might be a more powerful way to deal with it? To resist it? To remain sober? …etc.,"

Male teenage patients can be quite challenging. Many deny that it is a problem & consistently lie about the details of their involvement with it. Their motivation to change may be nonexistent. They are usually brought in for treatment by an angry and/or sorrowful parent & often tend to be uncooperative & passive/aggressive in dealing with the problem. It may be helpful to consider family therapy & be therapeutically confrontive in dealing with the issues that arise. Fairly drastic limitations on home computer/Internet use may be necessary. If 17 or older, I put them into a regular S.A. group with, possibly, the father also attending to be a support to the son & be someone he can talk with about the various issues as they arise.

Permission to reprint granted by Mark B. Kastelman. Excerpt taken from "The Drug of the New Millennium, The Science of How Internet Pornography Radically Alters the Human Brain & Body" Chapter 30, pages 308-311. Click the articles to the right to view more writings on sex & porn addiction topics from Mark Kastelman.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Protective Order Violations

Stalking in Disguise?
From the Newsletter of the Stalking Resource Center, Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 2004

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.

Conclusion

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 src@ncvc.org
.

Endnotes

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.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

An Open Letter to Christian Pastors & Clergy


(can be applied to Imams, Rabbis, Priests, etc)

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.”

V
ictims 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 Is
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.


SOURCE
Evangelical 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.”

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.

SOURCE

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blaming the Victim



The most common emotional responses to sexual harassment, verbal & emotional abuse, battering, on & offline stalking, coercion & manipulation and rape are guilt, fear, powerlessness, shame, betrayal, anger, and denial. Guilt is often the first and deepest response. Anger may arise only later; this is not surprising, because as women we often have no sense of a right to be free from these kinds of violence.

What victims are told to believe: "If anything goes wrong, it must be our fault."


We may feel guilty about violence done to us because we are taught that our job is to make men happy, and if they aren't, we--not they--are to blame. Many of us heard from our parents, "Boys will be boys, so girls must take care"--the message being that we can avoid unwanted male attention if only we are careful enough. Blaming the victim releases the man who commits violence from the responsibility for what he has done. Friends or family may blame the victim in order to feel safe themselves: "She got raped because she walked alone after midnight. I'd never do that, so rape won't happen to me" or "She knew what she was doing when she went out with him/ started a relationship with him."

WOMEN ARE NOT GUILTY FOR VIOLENCE & ABUSE COMMITTED BY MEN ON OUR BODY, IN OUR MIND, AND SPIRIT. THIS VIOLENCE HAPPENS BECAUSE OF MEN'S GREATER POWER AND THEIR MISUSE OF THAT POWER.

(We have used the male gender for the abuser - yours may be female!)

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Relapses & Slips



Remembering and Forgetting
 

Relapse is typically defined as giving up on sobriety and returning to addictive use of alcohol, other drugs, food, sex or work. Or it is not taking care of ourselves in a way that leads to depression, anxiety and dependent relationships. The definition of a relapse varies with different addictions, but harmful consequences are sure to follow. At its deepest level, it is a sense of inner collapse, a loss of spirit, hope and faith.

Slips are when a person, in spite of a commitment to healing, uses or reverts to addictive behavior on a one time basis or for a short period of time.

Slips are not caused by external events

- they are caused by the permission-giving statements we make, but we put ourselves at high risk for a slip when we let ourselves get overwhelmed.

Slips can be related to getting overwhelmed due to death, loss, rejection, or other stressful events. Slips are also more likely when people fail to nurture themselves on a daily basis, isolate, or fail to ask for help with a crisis.

Sometimes the desire to use happens when a person begins to face childhood abuse issues and becomes overwhelmed by painful feelings. A slip can be used as a wake-up call, alerting you to pay closer attention to your process of healing and your feelings.

In therapy I tend to spend less time talking about the actual slip than talking about the preceding cues that suggested the person was shutting down emotionally, not taking care of daily tasks, not dealing with feelings, not being honest, or not avoiding overly stressful situations and relationships.

I also have the person examine the ways they started giving themselves permission to use: Just once won't hurt.

It is important to stress that a slip is not the same as a relapse, nor does it necessarily lead to relapse.

Many people grow and heal in spite of having slips along the way. On the other hand, some people who have never made a firm commitment to sobriety use slips as an excuse for continued use, saying, "It's just a slip."

A slip does not erase the days of sobriety that preceded it. You can never take away a sober day. Some people think they have to start counting the days and months of sobriety all over if they relapse or have a slip. I think it is important to say the whole truth: "I stayed sober for two years, then I had a slip, and I've been sober for four years since then." It all counts.

In my experience it is important to take sobriety very seriously. Once you have erected the wall between you and your addictive substance or behavior, your survival brain starts learning other coping mechanisms to create pleasure and cope with stress. When you have a slip, your brain once again gets the message that drugs, sex, violence, etc. are ways to alleviate pain. Once the barrier is down, it takes time to erect it again. It's like building trust in yourself again. One woman said that in her treatment program, which stressed sobriety very strongly, few people had slips and nearly everyone maintained sobriety. In another program which was loose about slips, more people had slips and relapsed back into their addiction.

It's a fine line because you can get so obsessed with sobriety you get frozen in your life, on the other hand if you continually allow yourself slips, you are also frozen in your life. Essentially, it's good to do all you can to avoid slips and relapse. And if you do slip, it's important to have a positive attitude, get back on track and keep going.

In defining sobriety it is important not to get caught up extensively with clock time and calendar time. It is important to look at quality as well as quantity of sober time, although all sobriety is good. If a person stays sober for eight years but is still being violent and abusive, what does that mean in terms of human life? If a person is growing and healing and has a slip, what has that small slip erased? If a person abstains from drugs but is eating compulsively and is depressed, what does sobriety mean for that person? The point is for the whole person to be growing, stretching and healing ... as well as maintaining sobriety.

==========================================================

David Bruce Jr
http://www.emotionalboundaries.com
dave@victimbehavior.com

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pornography Addiction: The Progression

The following information is from Healing Sexual and Pornography Addictions by Dr. Victor Cline.

FIRST STEP - ADDICTION
"The first change that happened was an addiction-effect. The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for more and still more... The pornography provided very exciting and powerful imagery which they frequently recalled to mind and elaborated on in their fantasies."
"... many of my most intelligent male patients appeared to be most vulnerable—perhaps because they had a greater capacity to fantasize, which heightened the intensity of the experience and made them more susceptible to being conditioned into an addiction."
 
SECOND STEP - ESCALATION
"The second phase was an escalation-effect. With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant... sexual material to get their "highs" and "sexual turn-ons." It was reminiscent of individuals afflicted with drug addictions. Over time there is nearly always an increasing need for more of the stimulant to get the same initial effect."

THIRD PHASE - DESENSITIZATION
"The third phase was desensitization. Material (in books, magazines, or films/videos) which was originally perceived as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive, or immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace. The sexual activity depicted in the pornography (no matter how anti-social or deviant) became legitimized. There was an increasing sense that "everybody does it" and this gave them permission to also do it, even though the activity was possibly illegal and contrary to their previous moral beliefs and personal standards."

FOURTH PHASE - ACTING OUT SEXUALLY
"The fourth phase was an increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including:
This behavior frequently grew into a sexual addiction which they found themselves locked into and unable to change or reverse — no matter what the negative consequences were in their life."

(*As seen in clinical studies of sex addicts, sex offenders, or other individuals [96% male] with sexual illnesses. )
"... Their addiction and escalation were mainly due to the powerful sexual imagery in their minds, implanted there by the exposure to pornography."


"... It is difficult for non-addicts to comprehend the totally driven nature of a sex addict. When the "wave" hits them, nothing can stand in the way of getting what they want, whether that be pornography accompanied by masturbation, sex from a prostitute, molesting a child, or raping a woman. These men are consumed by their appetite, regardless of the cost or consequences. Their addiction virtually rules their lives."


"Once addicted, they could not throw off their dependence on the material by themselves, despite many negative consequences such as divorce, loss of family, and problems with the law (such as sexual assault, harassment or abuse of fellow employees)."

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Are You In An Abusive Relationship?

Does your partner continually monitor your time and make you account for every minute (when you run errands, visit friends, commute to work, etc.)?

Does your partner ever accuse you of having affairs with other men or women, or act suspicious that you are?

Is your partner ever rude to your friends?

Does your partner discourage you from starting friendships with people of the same gender?

Do you ever feel isolated and alone, as if there were nobody close to you to confide in?

Is your partner overly critical of such things, as your cooking, your clothes, or your appearance?

Does your partner demand a strict account of how you spend money? Do they want autonomy, however, on how THEY spend money?

Do your partners moods change radically, from very calm to very angry or vice versa?

Is your partner disturbed by you working or by the thought of you working?

Does your partner become angry more easily if your partner drinks?

Does your partner pressure you for sex much more often than you’d like?

Does your partner become angry if you won’t go along with his or her requests for sex? (sexual positions, sexual practices or frequency, also)

Do you quarrel much over financial matters?

Do you quarrel much about having children or raising them?

Does your partner ever strike you with his or her hands or feet (slap, punch, kick, etc.)?

Does your partner ever strike you with an object?

Does your partner ever threaten you with an object or weapon?

Has your partner ever threatened to kill either himself, herself or you?

Does your partner ever give you visible injuries, such as welts, bruises, cuts, black eyes, lumps on the head?

Has your partner talked you into doing something, and then made you feel guilty or ashamed about it?

Does your partner keep you up late, asking about real or imagined sexual or romantic incidents?

Does your partner force you to apologize for things you didn’t do?

Does your partner insist you ask permission to spend money for household or personal items, whether the money is a community fund or your own income?

Does your partner call you names with sexual connotations such as "slut" or "whore"?

Does your partner flaunt relationships or flirt with others while in your presence?

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

'Survivor Quotes'

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

(a site of insightful quotes from those who have been there & lived to tell the tale)

The Beginning
“I was seeing Mr. Wonderful for a little over a year. The first 6 months or so were... wonderful. He told me he loved me, alluded to our future, was warm and ‘connecting.’ Of COURSE there were flags; he was coming on strong, and I knew he was very intelligent and intuitive and I couldn’t shake the feeling he was letting in under my radar; I hated his flirting and how I’d go for days without hearing from him sometimes; but I trusted him and he was saying things I wanted to hear. Then the splitting started, and I started to unravel. Back and forth, bonding and withdrawing—he never broke us up, but would say he didn’t see how it could last, and he thought we ‘might’ be incompatible, ‘might’ not, he didn’t know. I was bewildered and fought a long time (WAY too long) to figure out what I was doing ‘wrong,’ what was going on, what he was thinking. And then he’d always bond again with persuasive ‘sincerity.’ Finally I told him I meant it—I wanted a commitment or not. I kept some distance for weeks and he never committed OR let go, seemingly ‘proving’ that he loved me even though I wasn’t ‘feeding’ him, though probably I was. About 2 months ago he said some pivotal things and I totally surrendered. LATER THAT DAY he withdrew again. I left.”

“His facade was so polished. Had I not been clouded with my own ego needs I would have recognised a wounded animal that was doing the best he knew how to survive. I was perplexed when he bit at me for no reason, retreated to his cave quite frequently.”

“When we met he portrayed himself as a sensitive new age guy (SNAG) and courted me heavily. I wanted to BELIEVE in his portrayal and enjoyed the courtship so we satisfied each other’s scenarios.”

Buying the Lie
“I chose mates who in the dating phase of the relationship were kind, romantic, fun, funny, seemed to possess good character and insight, intelligence and sensitivity {one was a special-ed teacher and published poet, one was a musician, the hair color N taught seminars in conflict management...'bite me'....} The person you fall for at the start is not the person you wind up living with at the end.”

“Sometimes he is the most caring, generous person I know - those times are few and far in between, but it is at those times that I think he can't possibly be an N. But the fact of the matter is that he is - he is also a gambler, alcoholic, spendaholic and so forth. He definitely lives only for today and it drives me crazy. I have supported him financially for four years now and it still continues. I make his life so easy - no wonder he wants me in it - I have to realize though that I deserve someone who wants me in their life because they actually love me.”

“We fall prey to the seduction, it is irresistible. Then the nightmare of horror begins. The shabby treatment, the avoidance. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. He had been so sincere, so kind. It was Jekyl and Hyde.”


“Friends and family kept warning me of him and what he was doing to me, but I believed that he had been hurt so badly by others that I could “love” him healthy. It didn’t work and wont ever work. A friend gave me a piece of advice that is lifesaving to me ... he said if you keep playing with a snake, eventually it will bite you ... well, I heard it but didn’t take it to heart…”

The Right Victim
“They go for the strongest and the best, but preferably those who are something of rebels within the group...the LEAST controllable. Because if they can crush them, they crush most of the rest at the same time. If they start at the bottom, with the weakest, it’s a long way to work their way up…The ideal target is therefore, strong, smart, rebellious and vulnerable through previous abuse.

“These guys can sniff it out. They know a good person when they see one and use every means, every method to ‘get some’!”

“A caretaker focuses all the attention on others and not themselves, and a N wants all the attention focused on him. The glove fits.”

“…they are so selfish, they just want everything done for them. Some of them are parasites, so who else would they try to latch onto but a caretaker, and bleed them dry.”

Living with them
“It was like trying to raise another kid, but an irrational, mean one at that. One who couldn’t, wouldn’t learn and it was all my fault.”

“At some point in the relationship I realised that my role was no longer ‘partner’... it had evolved to mentor, coach, and at times I felt more like a mother than anything else.”

“That mother-love is so good, so unconditional. I too loved him after he treated me poorly time after time. He loved the Mother-love and he hated it. All children do.”

“He cheated on me endlessly, used women for money and sex, kept telling me it was my fault, and the sorry thing is I believed him because of low self-esteem. So for years I thought that if I tried a little harder, worked harder, pleased him more, did more at our business, then he would wake up and see what a wonderful person I am...but no. He would blame everything that happened to us on me. Said people didn’t respect him as much as they should because I would try to tell people about our home life and it sounded too made-up and crazy... how could this wonderful, charismatic man be so bad?”

“For 23 years he made excuses for her behavior and he hid behind the lies, hoping against all odds, that she would somehow transform herself through his love. She did not, in fact she got worse, not better at all.”

“I knew that his emotional world was comparable to the way a shark feeds. If you study sharks it is a great metaphor for the emotional world of an N. Their whole being, I mean every word, gesture and action is to present a false picture and to supply their insatiable need to avoid emotional contact with others without losing their supply and false sense of perfection. It quite a balancing act for them. And you better believe that they are very good at it because they have been at it since childhood and for them it is a matter of survival.”

“They steal the innocent, harmless fun out of life.......It’s like you find yourself in a position where all the good things and good intentions in the world are somehow blocked from applying to you. As though they poison the sunlight. They try to gag and ban truth... You get to feeling like there is no safety, no hiding place, no-one you can trust...”

“They are trapped in the mind of a two year old, and they possess no cognitive ability to reason, to negotiate, to cooperate, to give and take, to love, to empathize. Rather their lives consist of ultimatums, demands, greed, egocentric thinking, bullying, temper tantrums, and a plethora of ‘I wants’ and ‘Give me’s’ etc.“

Devaluing
"To my experience, a favored technique for Narcissists is to debilitate your identity [personally, I hate the term self-esteem] by levelling false accusations and/or questioning your honesty, fidelity, trustworthiness, your “true” motivations, your “real” character, your sanity and judgement.”

“He has devalued me so much. he has lied, cheated, been a total son of a bitch and has sucked my esteem right out of me - yet I still have hope for him. I can be so damn mad at him that I think I am going to kill him and then he usually says something that makes me forgive him.”

“It will get worse too, if you want to be devaluated all the time whenever he doesn’t get what he wants, and I don’t know if you can be lover, mother, sister, friend, counsellor, financier, etc., all in one with no returns.”

“Ns invade our emotions and our psyche like a virus and it’s hard to get over it. They mastermind our dependency on them (and we cooperate) so that we won’t abandon them—then they abandon us, a sort of pre-emptive strike.

Selfishness
“At our house, he had a candy and sweet stash that the kids weren’t allowed to touch, he would eat in front of them, them be MAD because they begged some from him. He would stop for gas and buy a pop and chips or candy for him and no one else and sit and sat it in front of us and yell at me for letting the kids ask for bites and drinks. He never got how come I thought that was so cruel. He said I didn’t discipline the kids well enough.”

“We don’t exist for them, not really. I’m basically here in the ‘wife’ role, to make his life easier...to cook and clean and wash his dirty undies. If I DARE to mention an unfulfilled need of mine, the reaction is always rage. That’s NOT the way a loving husband responds to a wife he loves!”

They’re Sadistic
“One of the sickest aspects is the pleasure they appear to get when they cause pain. Most healthy people back off when they cause others pain. N’s feed on it and even increase and repeat the act to prove they were right in the first place (they can’t ever be wrong) and as a means to denegrate vulnerability. It’s all so unbelievable because it is so irrational that it takes a long time to really get a grip on it.”

“…he was the MASTER of saving up your most personal “confessions” and then using them to tell you why you are so disgusting and sickening.”

“They’re keenly intuitive and know just how to get to us and know we’re giving, and it’s a huge rush for them when we respond even though they treat us badly.”

No Morals
“In the three years I’ve been married to him, I haven’t seen one speck of morals; I just hear a lot of hot air about my morals and the kids morals...as if he’s okay in that dept. Delusions, denial, blame, excuses, arbitrary rules for everyone but themselves, it’s all smoke and mirrors to try to hide the empty spot where their soul should be.”

“They are vile, despicable creatures with no conscious. They know right from wrong, they simply don’t care.”

Entitlement
“It never ceases to amaze me at the N’s ability to continually use and abuse people with no sense of right or wrong. It is as if they feel the world owes them something, they are ENTITLED to anything they want.”

“What is incredibly scary to me is that N’s do not see ANYTHING wrong at all with taking from people, it is as if they are entitled to all the luxuries that money can buy.”

Boundaries
“Are most usually found, like small puppies, or dinky toys, EXACTLY where you next intend to tread...”

“As far a boundaries go, I was the one who didn’t have clear, defined, well-established boundaries on what I would permit, not permit during the dating experience with my N (soon to be divorced). If I had the boundaries, I would have booted his butt out the door on the first date!”

Hatred
“If I’m not nice of course, then I’m a bitch and “protest too much” my ex N said. Of course when I went along a few times in his opinion of other people to see how he would react, a very mean opinion, very cold, he loved it. He wanted me to join with him in his hate toward the world. He was brainwashing me from the very first time we spent together. Telling me I was no different than him, turning me into a monster like him. He knew I was a caring person and said, “…you mean we aren’t going to be Bonnie and Clyde”?…how sick! He said all men are like him, they just lie to me and he is being the honest one. That we had a bond and would be friends forever.”

Instant Gratification
“They are filled with their own set of fears and really can’t persevere in a relationship. Everything is “instant gratification” for them. Either they want what they want, NOW - or they will move on to someone else to get it.”

Idealised Love
“He didn’t want to try. He didn’t want understanding. He didn’t want to “work through” anything. All he wanted was his own idealized version of love and since I didn’t fulfil the 110 qualifications for a relationship - he moved on. Forget the fact that I did fulfil about 99 of them. I wasn’t perfect. Sooooo...off he goes to find another “perfect” love.”

Contradictions
They talk out of both sides of their mouths - mine did it all the time - one minute he would say let’s get a bigger house with a garage, etc, then the next he would say we needed to downsize to save money! I learned not to put any hope into anything he said and that’s no way to live.”

Lies
“An incredible actress, she can suck people dry and they are left having no clue as to what just happened. She thinks nothing of lying, as a matter of fact I am not sure she even knows the difference between fact or fiction.”

“They are absolutely the world’s best manipulators, liars, and fabricators of truth. They do so convincingly because they believe their own lies. After all their life is nothing but a lie, a sham, how can we possibly assume they know anything different.”

Money
“Mine borrowed money from me constantly - I mean were talking in the 10’s of thousands. I actually had to file bankruptcy because he ran up my credit cards so high. Of course, it didn’t affect him any - he has repaired his credit and is on his way to getting credit again while I sit with a public record on my credit report.”

Change
“I couldn’t believe that some people couldn’t change. But beware of an N, this one goes to Church when he is in trouble or need, he has even gone into rehabilitation centers, during times of failure and great need. But up and at em, don’t be fooled, he always reverts to his old self, false, or true…the nasty N self. He even enrolled in school telling me he would change and got a job there, 5 weeks later, back to his old binging and behavior, I think it is admiration, sometimes they try to comply for approval and admiration, but there isn’t a True Self with morals and beliefs that actually do it. So be careful, of being misled about their ability to change.”

“My therapist says that it is virtually impossible for him to change because he is an N and why would he want to? He gets everything he wants from whichever dumb girl he is with at the time, he feels no attachment to anyone so he doesnt have to deal with a painful breakup and he thinks the world spins around him, so why would he want to change?”

"He never would take responsibility for anything. It was always some one elses fault, or mostly mine. He would say he was just reacting to my behaviors and if I wanted him to change, all I had to do was change me, so I tried for years and years and then I woke up one day and said “my God, he will never change, no matter how much I change or how much I do, it will never be enough” so that was my breaking point.”

“My husband describes personality disorders like this - (he uses an apple as an example) when someone has a neurosis it is like a bruise in an apple, you cut it out and the rest of the person is fine; however when someone has a personality disorder it is as if the core is rotten!!! The apple is bad! You cannot simply cut out the core, impossible. He was married to one for 23 years and she will NEVER change. She is a very nasty person, a control freak, a manipulator, and a pathological liar! She sees absolutely no harm in her ways and she NEVER will.”

“…you can just bet this person will never commit. And it is hard to accept if you are attracted and pulled in. Or if you have a need to change him…Forget it, it’s a waste of time. You can just bet he has others NS supplies on the side and other women. That fear of life, he is not going to take a chance that only one person is there for him, even if he is never there for anyone.”

“Don’t fantasize he will change either. He needs someone there, and the fact he needs someone makes him hate himself and everyone else, and they are so needy, it won’t be just one NS supply. Believe me. It can be male or female, but a hoard of friends, friends, friends, and relationships. Be careful of venereal disease or STDs.”

“I have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot change, so all we can do is to refuse to participate in their sick drama and leave the stage.”

“These people are not reachable....!!!!!! They dont love you...they use you. They dont appreciate you...they abuse you.”

Moving on to New Victims
“I don’t hate him, I feel the way you would about a disease or an injury you had that long... I guess I have always wished that people like him never got born... All they ever do is make hurt, pain and trouble in this world, if not for me then for someone else just as important and valuable. I cannot bear that either...”

“For obvious reasons she is going to paint a glorious picture of love and happiness with this new ‘partner’, the last thing she would want is for you to get ANY satisfaction that the relationship is just as miserable as all of her previous relationships (yours included).”

“While I do not know positively, I think we can presume that there is not one Narcissist out there, that magically transforms themselves when the right one comes along. There are no right ones, because they are incapable of recognizing one if it hit them in the face. Just supplies and as long as it lasts, they’ll stay.”

“And it doesn’t matter how many people tell them they are F----- Up, they will just go on the search for those they can manipulate. Unfortunately there are a lot of vulnerable people with a lot of unmet needs and they are just sitting ducks for N’s.”

ORIGINAL

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