Sanctuary for the Abused

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Emotional Terrorist

by Erin Pizzey

From her 1998 book "The Emotional Terrorist & The Violence Prone" 

Those of us working in the field of domestic violence are confronted daily by the difficult task of working with women in problematical families. In my work with family violence, I have come to recognize that there are women involved in emotionally and/or physically violent relationships who express and enact disturbance beyond the expected (and acceptable) scope of distress. Such individuals, spurred on by deep feelings of vengefulness, vindictiveness, and animosity, behave in a manner that is singularly destructive; destructive to themselves as well as to some or all of the other family members, making an already bad family situation worse. These women I have found it useful to describe as "family terrorists."

In my experience, men also are capable of behaving as family terrorists but male violence tends to be more physical and explosive. We have had thousands of international studies about male violence but there is very little about why or how women are violent. There seems to be a blanket of silence over the huge figures of violence expressed by women. Because family terrorism is a tactic largely used by women and my work in the domestic violence field is largely with women, I address this problem discussing only my work with women.

The potential for family terrorism may rest dormant for many years, emerging in its full might only under certain circumstances. I found that in many cases it is the dissolution, or threatened dissolution, of the family that calls to the fore the terrorist's destructiveness. It is essential to understand that prior to dissolution, the potential terrorist plays a role in the family that is by no means passive. The terrorist is the family member whose moods reign supreme in the family, whose whims and actions determine the emotional climate of the household. In this setting, the terrorist could be described as the family tyrant, for within the family, this individual maintains the control and power over the other members' emotions.

The family of the emotional terrorist well may be characterized as violent, incestuous, dysfunctional, and unhappy, but it is the terrorist or tyrant who is primarily responsible for initiating conflict, imposing histrionic outbursts upon otherwise calm situations, or (more subtly and invisibly) quietly manipulating other family members into uproar through guilt, cunning taunts, and barely perceptive provocations. (The quiet manipulative terrorist usually is the most undetected terrorist. Through the subtle creation of perpetual turmoil, this terrorist may virtually drive other family members to alcoholism, to drug-addiction, to explosive behavior, to suicide. The other family members, therefore, are often misperceived as the 'family problem' and the hidden terrorist as the saintly woman who "puts up with it all." )

While the family remains together, however miserable that "togetherness" might be, the terrorist maintains her power. However, it is often the separation of the family that promises to rend the terrorist's domain and consequently to lessen her power. Family dissolution, therefore, often is the time when the terrorist feels most threatened and most alone, and, because of that, most dangerous.

In this position of fear, the family terrorist sets out to achieve a specific goal. There are many possible goals for the terrorist, including: reuniting the family once again, or ensuring that the children (if there are children in the relationship) remain under the terrorist's control, or actively destroying the terrorist's spouse (or ex-spouse) emotionally, physically, and financially.

To take an extreme parable, when it was evident to Adolph Hitler that winning the War was an absolute impossibility, he ordered his remaining troops to destroy Berlin: If he no longer could rule, then he felt it best for his empire to share in his own personal destruction. Similarly, the family terrorist, losing or having lost supremacy, may endeavor to bring about the ruin (and, in some extreme cases, the death) of other family members.

The family terrorist, like the political terrorist, is motivated by the pursuit of a goal. In attempting to "disarm" the family terrorist, it is vital that the practitioner begin intervention by trying to recognize and understand the terrorist's goal.

The source of the terrorist's goal as in the case of the political terrorist, usually can be understood to spring from some "legitimate" grievance. The grievance's legitimacy may be regarded in terms of justified feeling of outrage in response to an actual injustice or injury, or the legitimacy may exist solely in the mind of the terrorist. Whether this legitimacy be real or imagined, the grievance starts as the impetus for the terrorist's motivation. One hallmark of an emotional terrorist is that this motivation tends to be obsessional by nature.

Whence this obsession? Why this overwhelmingly powerful drive? In many cases, that which the terrorist believes to be the grievance against the spouse actually has very little to do with the spouse. Although the terrorist may be consciously aware only of the spouse's alleged offense, the pain of this offense (real or imagined) is invariably an echo of the past, a mirrored recreation of some painful situation in the terrorist's childhood.

I will not describe here in any detail the types of childhood that tend to create the subsequent terrorist. I will say, however, that invariably the terrorist's childhood, once understood, can be seen as violent (emotionally and/or physically). Also invariably, the terrorist can be regarded as a "violence prone" individual. I define a violence prone woman as a woman who, while complaining that she is the innocent victim of the malice and aggression of all other relationships in her life, is in fact a victim of her own violence and aggression. A violent and painful childhood tends to create in the child an addiction to violence and to pain (an addiction on all levels: the emotional, the physical, the intellectual, the neurochemical), an addiction that then compels the individual to recreate situations and relationships characterized by further violence, further danger, further suffering, further pain. Thus, it is primarily the residual pain from childhood — and only secondarily the pain of the terrorist's current familial situation — that serves as the terrorist's motivating impetus. There is something pathological about the terrorist's motivation, for it is based not so much on reality as on a twisting, a distortion, a reshaping of reality.

Because the emotional terrorist is a violence-prone individual, addicted to violence, the terrorist's actions must be understood as the actions of an addict. When the family was together, the terrorist found fulfillment for any number of unhealthy appetites and addictions. When that family then dissolves, the terrorist behaves with all the desperation, all the obsession, all the single-minded determination of any addict facing or suffering withdrawal.

The single-mindedness, the one-sidedness of feeling, is perhaps the most important shibboleth of the emotional terrorist. Furthermore, the extent of this one-sidedness is, for the practitioner, perhaps the greatest measure and indicator of how extreme the terrorist's actions are capable of becoming.

Any person suffering an unhappy family situation, or the dissolution of a marriage or relationship, will feel some pain and desperation. A relatively well-balanced person, however, will be not only aware of their own distress but also sensitive, in some degree, to the suffering of the other family members. For example, reasonably well-balanced parents, when facing divorce, will be most concerned with their children's emotional well-being, even beyond their own grief. Not so the emotional terrorist.

To the family terrorist, there is only one wronged, one sufferer, only one person in pain, and this person is the terrorist herself. The terrorist has no empathy and feels only her own pain. In this manner, the terrorist's capacity for feeling is narcissistic, solipsistic, and in fact pathological.

Again, I will not attempt here to detail the factors in childhood that lead to the creation of an emotional terrorist. What is evident, however, in the terrorist's limited or nonexistent ability to recognize other people's feelings, is that the terrorist's emotions and awareness, at crucial stages of childhood development, were stunted from reaching beyond the boundaries of self, due to a multiplicity of reasons. Later, the adult terrorist went on to make a relationship that was, on some level, no true relationship, but a reenactment of childhood pains, scenarios, situations, and "scripts." Throughout the relationship, the solipsistic terrorist did not behave genuinely in response to the emotions of other family members but self-servingly used them as props for the recreation of the terrorist's programme. And when that relationship finally faces dissolution, the terrorist is aware only of her own pain and outrage and, feeling no empathy for other family members, will proceed single-mindedly in pursuit of her goal, whether that goal is reunion, ruin, or revenge. The terrorist's perspective is tempered by little or no objectivity. Instead the terrorist lives in a self-contained world of purely subjective pain and anger.

Because conscience consists so largely of the awareness of other people's feelings as well as of one's own, the emotional terrorist's behavior often can be described to be virtually without conscience. In this lack of conscience lies the dangerous potential of the true terrorist, and again the degree of conscience in evidence is a useful measure in my work to anticipate the terrorist's destructiveness.

An additional factor, making the terrorist so dangerous, is the fact that the terrorist, while in positively monomaniacal pursuit of her goal, feels fueled by a sense of omnipotence. Perhaps it is true that one imagines oneself omnipotent when, in truth, one is in a position of impotence (as in the case of losing one's familial control through dissolution). Whatever the source of the sensation of omnipotence, the terrorist believes herself to be unstoppable, and unbound by the constraints or conscience or empathy, believes that no cost (cost, either to the terrorist or to other family members) is too great to pay toward the achievement of the goal.

The terrorist, and the terrorist's actions, know no bounds. (The estimation of the extent of the terrorist's "boundlessness" presents the greatest challenge to my work). Intent only to achieve the goal (perhaps "hell-bent" is the most accurate descriptive phrase) the terrorist will take such measures as: stalking a spouse or ex-spouse, physically assaulting the spouse or the spouse's new partners, telephoning all mutual friends and business associates of the spouse in an effort to ruin the spouse's reputation, pressing fabricated criminal charges against the spouse (including alleged battery and child molestation), staging intentionally unsuccessful suicide attempts for the purpose of manipulation, snatching children from the spouse's care and custody, vandalizing the spouse's property, murdering the spouse and/or the children as an act of revenge.

In my experience both men and women are equally guilty of the above behavior, but on the whole, because it is men's dysfunctional behavior that is studied and reported upon, people do not realize that to the same extent women are equally guilty of this type of violent behavior. My working definition, then, of a "family terrorist" or an "emotional terrorist" is: a woman or a man (but for the purposes of this work, I refer only to women) who, pathologically motivated (by unresolved tendencies from a problematical childhood), and pathologically insensitive to the feelings of other family members, obsessionally seeks through unbounded action to achieve a destructive (and, therefore, pathological) goal with regard to other family members.

Of course, this defining profile pertains to individuals in differing degrees. Many people, unhappy within a relationship or made unhappy by the dissolution of a relationship, may lapse into periods of "irrational" behavior. What characterizes the terrorist, however, is that the vindictive and destructive behaviors are consistent; the moments of calm and periods of lucidity are the lapses, temporary lulls in the storm.

There are also women who, suffering chagrin and misery during or after the life spans of a relationship, appear far more self-destructive than destructive to anyone else. For the other partner, contemplating leaving this kind of individual, the very thought of leaving such a person is made difficult and untenable by such frequently uttered protestations as "I cannot live without you," and "Without you, I might as well be dead." To be sure, many women exist, extremely dependent within their relationships, who, probably having suffered severe emotional betrayal during their childhood, genuinely feel that their life outside a relationship would be so lonely as to be unbearable.

It is difficult to leave such a woman, and the man attempting to leave may well feel that, by leaving, he would be responsible for delivering a mortal blow to an already pathetic wretch. Men also, are often kept in their relationships, which can only be likened to "personal concentration camps," by the fact that they feel a genuine feeling of "chivalry" towards their partner. Women tend to put so much more of themselves into their relationships and therefore suffer when these relationships fall apart.

There is a valid question as to whether or not this sort of suicidally-inclined individual may be deemed a terrorist. (To many minds, this kind of individual, no doubt, would seem to fall more within the category of "emotional black-mailer." ) I believe that, sadly, there are people, deeply damaged by their childhood, who genuinely cannot face life by themselves. When dealing with such potential cases, however, I try to make the leaving partner understand that the suicidal inclinations predate the relationship by many years, and that, however tragic the situation, one person simply cannot be held responsible for keeping another person alive.

In some individuals, the authentic (though unhealthy) longing for death is a longing planted within them since early childhood, and there is very little a partner can do to alter the apparently inevitable course of that longing.

Among true terrorists, however, threats of suicide can be seen to serve a largely manipulative role. In short, the terrorist says, "If you can't do as I tell you, I will kill myself." Whether suicide remains only a threat or is realized, the true terrorist uses suicide not so much as an expression of desperate grief but as a weapon to be wielded against others.

In working with clients struggling either in relationships or with the dissolution of a relationship, I am faced with many questions, all relevant to gauging the woman's terrorist potential:

• Will the woman persevere in her efforts to financially ruin her partner?

• Is she sincere when she promises to kill her partner, or have him killed, should he ever become involved in a new relationship?

• Are the threats of suicide genuine or manipulative?

• Will she carry out the promises of using the law to "kidnap" the children in order to hurt the ex-partner?

• Will she brain-wash the children to such an extent that her ex-partner dare not form a new relationship?

Emotional terrorism is by no means confined to the family context. I know an extremely successful woman in the world of fine arts. This woman has been haunted by a former assistant who, vicariously imagining herself to the writer herself, dresses like her, stalks her, and issues public statements that it was she, not the writer, who created the works of art for which the writer is internationally famous. If the writer is to ensure her own safety, then very definite steps must be taken.

In situations of emotional and family terrorism, there are two areas of work to be done: practical measures of protection ("strategies for survival") on the part of family members, and therapeutic work with the terrorist himself or herself. I must reiterate at this stage, that both men and women are capable of terrorist tactics but men tend to behave in a more physically violent manner within the family. Women, as I have shown, use far more subtle tactics, i.e., that of the terrorist as opposed to outright war.

The first step, on the part of other family members, toward limiting the terrorist's destructive potential is to understand the terrorist to be a terrorist. In a recent case, a Mr. Roberts described to me how, during his marriage, he and his children faced a daily onslaught of verbal abuse from his wife. Mrs. Roberts was also physically violent to the children. Now that he has asked for a divorce, she is making use of every weapon in her arsenal. In the children's presence, she has used drugs and drunk alcohol to the point of extreme intoxication. She has staged several unsuccessful suicide attempts in front of the children, threatened over the telephone to "do something stupid," promised to kill Mr. Roberts new partner, and assured Mr. Roberts that when she has finished with him he will not have a penny to his name. To Mr. Roberts, all of this behavior seemed perfectly usual.

After all, he had witnessed this sort of commotion for thirteen years of their marriage. When I suggested to him, "What you endured is emotional terrorism," he suddenly and for the first time was able to see his situation clearly. Now, he realized, his wife's behavior was neither appropriate nor acceptable. No, this was not the treatment that every man should expect from his wife, either in or out of marriage. No, he does not want his children to be subjected to such extreme behavior any longer.

The fact of recognizing a terrorist is the essential first step. Then, because a terrorist is fueled by a feeling of omnipotence and is prepared to behave without bounds, usually encouraged by feminist therapists who insist that their clients suffer from "low self esteem," pragmatic measures must be taken to define clearly the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

Unfortunately the legal situation which many divorce agreements mandate is open-ended. Certainly, when both parties to a divorce are reasonably well-balanced, it is entirely fitting for the settlement to be flexible enough to incorporate changing financial circumstances, child-care capabilities, and visitation rights. When, however, one party to the divorce is an emotional terrorist, then both the confrontational divorce procedure and the resultant open-ended divorce settlement provide infinite opportunity for the courts, lawyers, and the entire battery of psychologists called in for evaluations, to be used as the terrorist's weapons. In these cases, the court and the divorce procedure provide no boundaries for the terrorist; instead they allow the terrorist to continue to behave boundlessly.

For this reason, when dealing with a terrorist, it is best for the divorce procedure and final decree to be as swift, as final, as absolute, as unequivocal as possible. Every practitioner or attorney handling divorces is familiar with clients described as "litigious." [ "Tar baby" is a popular term among Colorado lawyers.] Only when "litigiousness" is seen as a manifestation of terrorism can the course to swift and precise legal settlement be steered.

To limit the terrorist's feelings of omnipotence, there are many effective measures. The guiding principle, as in the handling of political terrorists, must be: "There is no negotiating with terrorists." Endless telephone calls, conversations, confrontation, trial "get-back-togethers," correspondence, visitations, gestures of appeasement, and efforts to placate the terrorist's demands, all serve to reinforce the terrorist's belief that she is accomplishing something. Only determined resolution in the face of terrorism shows the terrorist that her power is limited.

Furthermore, for anyone dealing directly with the terrorist, reassurances, "ego boosts," and consolations are lamentably counterproductive. Mrs. Roberts soon found for herself a feminist therapist staunchly supporting the erroneous belief "All feelings (and therefore behaviors) are valid." Mrs. Roberts is told by this therapist that she has a right to feel and to behave in any manner she chooses, in callous disregard for the devastation inflicted upon the children. Such reassurances serve only to fortify the terrorist's already pathological, solipsistic, and eternally self-justifying perspective.

If wishing to undertake the second sphere of disarming a terrorist — personal intervention with the terrorist herself — the therapist must be prepared to be straight, honest and very direct. In my own dealings with women as terrorists, I have found on occasion that one quite simply can point out to the terrorist, "You are behaving like a terrorist. This is what you are doing. This is how you are being destructive. This is the destruction you are heading towards," and the terrorist, seeing themselves clearly for the first time, might be encouraged to reconsider their behavior. More commonly, however, extremely deep therapy is required. For the terrorist's behavior to change, there must first be a solid and fundamental change within the terrorist's physiological constitution.

Usually it is only by an in-depth excavation and resolution of early childhood pain that the terrorist can begin to gain a real, true, and level-headed perception of her own current situation. Direct intervention with a terrorist — like all forms of therapeutic intervention — can hope to achieve change only if the individual concerned wishes to change and possesses that vital yet ineffable quality: the will to health. When the will to health is lacking, there can be no change. If the terrorist cannot or will not change, one can only help the other family members to be resolute, be strong, and, whenever possible, be distant.

As a result of their failure to acknowledge emotional terrorism or a propensity for violence in their clients, shelters are totally ineffective in dealing with such women. To recognize such behavior in females would violate deeply held convictions and defile feminist dogma. 

A basic human response to such contradictions is an attempt to deny they exist.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

PORN: Count The Cost

By: Clay Allen

Many men dream of owning a bigger home, a vacation home or even of the possibility of purchasing a second house as investment property.

It’s a sad but astounding reality that the average financial cost incurred by a man involved in compulsive, secret sexual activity is the value of a house in his neighborhood – it has cost him that dream, that piece of property!

How is that possible? First, the obvious tangible cost: purchasing porn, strip clubs, prostitutes, legal and medical expenses, guilt spending, and possibly divorce or loss of employment costs. Those all add up over the years.

But even more profound are the unseen costs: lack of productivity in your career, missed job opportunities, working in a job underneath your abilities, loss of creativity and energy. Then there’s the cost of chasing your fix or running away from consequences of your behavior. Financial immaturity plays a large role, as there is little focus on the wise investment of your earnings, and often lots of “have it now” spending.

In the process of helping thousands of men confidentially break free from the tractor beam of porn dependency and all its associated destructive behaviors, we conduct what the military calls BDA – Bomb Damage Assessment – an honest assessment of what the impact of his compulsive sexual behavior has cost him;

The hope in conducting BDA with a man is that it will help him come to his senses and to stay in that reality; for men who get help and overcome pornography compulsion often dramatically increase their financial status living lives of hope, prosperity, purpose and fulfillment as they no longer live in a false reality.

Clay Allen is the president of AVENUE, a nonprofit organization that equips men to live lives of sexual integrity.

For more information, click here

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Diagnosis of the Victim / Types of Abuse

In some cases it is seen that the abused partner becomes abused because it happened in her own childhood, so she is ready to accept it in the marriage. It is repetition of familiar events. In some instances the wife had a father who was indifferent, cold, often absent and often angry when present. She may not remember a single time when he hugged her – so distant was the relationship. These scenarios make her an easy victim to abuse by her husband. Women are abused and they are blamed as being the cause for that abuse. It is the worst kind of persecution. How does the victim feel? She feels hurt because he is hurting her. She feels like nothing because he is making her feel like nothing. She feels ignored because he is ignoring her – her thoughts and her feelings. She feels ridiculed because he ridicules her on a regular basis. She feels closed off, ex-communicated because he does it to her. Sometimes he causes the entire family to ex-communicate her. Whatever she expresses to her husband, he will invalidate it, he will scoff, he will discount it, he will deny it and he will oppose it. She has no self-esteem because he destroys it every chance he gets.

In a balanced and mutually loving relationship, there is the following scenario: both will love to hear the other’s thoughts. Both will express enthusiasm and delight in the other’s enthusiasm. Both will open their hearts and souls to the other. Both will nurture the other’s physical, intellectual and spiritual growth. Both will help the other. Both will live peacefully and let the other live in peace. Evans says that the wife has the right to expect respect, dignity, esteem, appreciation, warmth, empathy, an open communication, attentiveness, caring and equality in the relationship.

Generally, the wife (meaning, the victim) always blames herself for all the problems. She does this because he is telling her that she is to blame and she believes him. She believes she is not expressing herself well enough. She feels she is inadequate in every way. It is due to his endless accusations. What is noteworthy is that the more the wife gives up on getting any closeness from her husband, and the more she finds friends outside the marriage for companionship, the angrier and more abusive her husband becomes. Due to jealousy, due to his personal insecurities, he cannot tolerate that she becomes happy through other, albeit completely innocent friendships.

Let us again summarize what are the typical traits we can identify in the victim of an abusive relationship. She ceases to be spontaneous. She loses her enthusiasm for life. She is always on guard. She has lost her self-confidence and is often afraid to speak in public or to anyone outside the family, because she has been attacked so many times inside the family for what she has said. She is full of self-doubt. At times she may feel she is going crazy. She is deeply confused as to why her marriage is not a happy marriage. She feels sometimes like running away but due to her now completely codependent nature she is afraid to take the step. If the present relationship ever ends, she will be afraid or even terrified to begin a new relationship. These are the traits of an abused woman, of a victim.

Eventually, the wife feels a constant shame and humiliation at his treatment of her. Eventually he abuses her anywhere, even in front of their friends, work colleagues, at religious functions, and in public places. Her shame becomes unbounded. With this kind of humiliation, she begins to reach a breaking point, and all this while sometimes still not realizing why this is happening – that she is a victim of now extreme verbal violence. There is no other word for it. Daily a minimum of four women are murdered by their husbands in the U.S. But, in all these cases, verbal abuse preceded the physical abuse. It never happens that physical violence starts suddenly without any precedent. The first step in the sequence of violence is verbal abuse and ridicule that escalates to verbal violence, which further moves on or has the potential to move on to the physical level at any point thereafter.

Beverly Engel in her book, The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself, describes six categories of abused women. They are: (1) the selfless woman, (2) the pleaser, 3) the sinner or people who abuse themselves, (4) the codependent or the obsessive rescuer, (5) the drama junkie or people addicted to crisis situations, and (6) the victim or martyr.

In cases where the husband is highly educated, it becomes even more difficult for the wife to extricate herself from his clutches. His education serves to completely intimidate her and it becomes a simple matter to convince her that he is a logical, rational man speaking with his superior intellect, backed up by higher degrees. How many wives will have the self-esteem or the moral courage to object to torturous verbal abuse coming from such an educated man?


Economic Abuse

One lady’s husband refused to let her have a checkbook, saying men should take care of the money. She said, If a woman (or her husband) is in a high economic bracket, and she complains about not having any money, that she is penniless, we should be alert. Some complain, but far more do not tell due to shame. Some husbands will never confide in their wives regarding financial matters, will be secretive for the entire marriage, will not tell them their salary, will always give the impression they are poor or broke, will force the wife to spend any money that she may have – either earned or inherited, and will give her pittance to cover household operating expenses, forcing her to grovel and beg him for more – which then gives him the chance to say, ‘All she wants is my money.’ It is clear economic exploitation. If a woman tries to question such a man, he will react in anger, thus making the subject a taboo one for life. Can one blame a wife then if she begins to steal from his wallet to obtain enough for basic necessities – instead of having to grovel again and again? Some women have families to assist them in these situations. But other women have no one, making them completely dependent on this economically abusive husband. It is a terrible situation. He purposely doles out the money in such meager amounts that she has no option but to begin begging for more. This gives him the chance to further humiliate, deride and scorn her for begging. Today there are all situations in the society.

In some divorces, the wives make millions from their marriages. In other cases, they end up penniless. It is typical for economic abusers to compel their wives to deposit their earnings into his account. He tells her that he will handle the money. Maybe he tells her it will be easier to keep track of the balance that way. Or he may tell her that she’s not responsible enough to manage a checking account. Surprising that she is responsible enough to earn the money but not mature enough to manage it! Economic abusers generally want their wives to work and earn money, so that they can increase their own wealth. Such men will easily tell their wives that if they don’t ‘behave’, they will cut them off – kick them out of the house without a penny, without food, without clothes. What can such women do? What is the alternative for these women? It must appear to them as a very dark abyss without any escape.

According to Dr. Mary Miller, women are able to adapt more easily to economic abuse as compared to social, emotional and psychological abuse. Resourceful women in these circumstances will steal money here and there, praying their husband will not notice.

Psychological Abuse

The most powerful weapon in the hands of an oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” -- Steve Biko
The goal of psychological abuse is to undermine the wife’s security. Hence, cause will not lead to effect. The wife finds herself in a senseless, unpredictable environment created by the husband to confuse and terrify her. He will give her mental torture for days and weeks on end, and then suddenly bring her a bouquet of flowers. He will often tell her how lucky she is to have him, as otherwise she would be on the road or in a mental hospital. The tactics used by husbands to torture and control their wives are very similar to those used in brainwashing prisoners. Psychological abuse means, he will call her a slut, a bitch, a fat pig, or a whore again and again. If she makes any small mistake, he will maximize it into a big fight. Slowly she becomes convinced that she really is a slut, if not also a bitch and a whore. She loses all sense of self-worth.

Perhaps what is most common among such husbands is that invariably they convince their wives that they are dumb. The essential purpose of psychological abuse is to convince the woman that (1) she is stupid and incapable of doing anything, (2) she is a failure as a wife and mother, (3) she is innately immoral, and (4) she is essentially sinful. All of this is designed to reduce the wife to complete psychological dependence on the man. Such men are often educated but emotionally immature and hence unable to deal with a vibrant, dynamic woman. This image of the woman as strong is something he is determined to wipe out. This is why even when the wife is totally subservient, when the husband perceives the wife acting like a confident, mature adult, he erupts in psychological violence to reduce the wife to a terrified, guilt-ridden child.

It is very sad to see the survivors of such marriages – they have escaped their oppressor but the inferiority complexes he instilled remain embedded in the minds of the now physically free wives. He alternates verbal abuse with gentleness, wrath with caring, so as to constantly confuse her until she fully submits to his will. Due to daily abuse from their husbands, tormented wives far more often suffer from mental depression and poor physical health. What abused wives need more than anything else are kind people who tell them they are good, not bad. Who tell them they are (internally) beautiful, not ugly. Who tell them they are sane, not insane. They need continual praise and encouragement so that slowly these victims regain a sense of identity, begin to realize that they have some existential value, that they can love people without being tortured in return, that they can accomplish great and noble deeds in life. Gradually the victim will understand that it was not she who was insane; it was her husband who was insane in his treatment of her. Due to their own suffering, such women are in a prime position to serve others who are suffering, regardless of the cause of that suffering. Often they will relate to all human beings who are oppressed and suppressed and try their best to help them. This psychological abuse is often interwoven with emotional abuse.

Moral Abuse – Guilt Trips and Emotional Blackmail
Moral abuse is abuse of one’s character. It convinces the victim that she is immoral or guilty of known and unknown crimes. The abuser convinces her that she is innately selfish and does not deserve to be well treated by him. The way in which this is done is by continually using every opportunity to fill the wife with guilt. According to Dr. Susan Forward,
“…emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, either directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want. At the heart of any kind of blackmail is one basic threat, which can be expressed in many different ways: If you don’t behave the way I want you to, you will suffer.”
Dr. Forward describes a pattern that is repeated in cases of emotional abuse. First he makes a demand. Second, she offers some resistance. Third, he puts pressure. If he continues to meet with resistance, he makes threats. She doesn’t want to lose him. So the fifth stage is her compliance. And finally, this cycle repeats itself over and over, because it works! Forward likewise describes emotional abuse or blackmail by using the acronym FOG. Fear, obligation, guilt. The husband instills these three emotions into his wife by one means or the other, and she is at his command.

Fear, and fear of abandonment are in many people, and especially in women. The man needs to only touch on this fear and he can exploit it any time. If there is no recent mistake the wife has made, then the husband will bring up anything at all from the past to throw in her face and riddle her with guilt. I knew one man who, after 34 years of marriage, told his wife that she was still in love with someone she knew 36 years before – before the marriage. It was a great crime in his mind that there was somebody else before she had met him. He convinced her also that it was a great crime. His sole sick purpose was to riddle her with guilt.

Dr. Forward further describes four main types of emotional blackmailers. There are punishers, who are of two types: active punishers who make constant threats, and passive punishers who use the silent treatment. There are self-punishers, who turn the threats inward, emphasizing what they will do to themselves if they don’t get their way. Such men will threaten suicide, quitting their job. There is the sufferer. This is the person who constantly complains of his own misery and suffering. This husband will also constantly remind the wife that she is responsible for his personal suffering.

Finally there are the tantalizers. These are men who try and bribe their wives into doing what they want. Blackmailers will continually remind their wives that they themselves are wise and well-intentioned while the wives are the ‘bad guys’. The husband constructs an unreal story detailing the history of their relationship. Due to constant repetition of this story, the wife begins to accept his lies as truth.

These husbands spend their marriages minimizing their own wrong actions, denying their mistakes and blaming all problems in daily life on their women. I remember one woman who took her husband to visit her aged father, a former professor. For everything the father said, her husband would argue and contradict. Her father put him coolly in his place. After leaving, she had to bear punishment for nearly one year from her husband who almost daily would have rages, shouting at her about how badly he had been treated by her father. Though this was highly abnormal conduct, she still did not realize it. She only realized that she suffered and did not understand the reason.

Amnesty International has published a “Chart of Coercion” which outlines eight types of conduct that a controller engages in for gaining control of another person, as follows:

1. Isolation: This removes a woman’s support system, setting her up for easy brainwashing.

2. Monopolization of perception: It means eliminating outside phone calls, activities and even TV shows which would give the wife glimpses of ‘normal’ life and enable her compare it with her own.

3. Induced debility: He overworks her and allows her less sleep, as it also wears down her resistance.

4. Threats: They keep her in perpetual fear.

5. Occasional indulgences: These keep the woman confused and hopeful and in his control.

6. Demonstrating omnipotence: He can hide the car keys, deny her any money, lock the long-distance phone facility or refuse to eat her food – all to demonstrate his all-powerful control over her.

7. Degradation: It means near daily drilling into her head that she is fat, stupid, ugly, without any skills or talents, so that her self-esteem drops to nil, and she gets convinced that she doesn’t deserve better treatment. After years of this kind of abuse, when occasionally someone comes along and does a simple kindness like present her with flowers or offer praise for her cooking or hard work, she becomes overwhelmed and cries uncontrollably. Long after she has left him, his daily slander, brainwashing and hurling insults over her fatness, stupidity and worthlessness have left an indelible, near incurable stamp on her mind from which it takes years or a lifetime to recover.
8. Enforcing trivial demands: By doing this, he is conditioning her to obey bigger demands.

Emotional Abuse
The bottom line is, she could never do enough. He was always unhappy with her. Her husband abused her emotionally, verbally, by humiliating her. To criticize and refuse to eat the food cooked by his wife is a clear example of emotional abuse. From there he would add other things like telling her she is too dumb to do anything right. Or he would constantly run her down for gaining weight. Later he may begin accusing her of having a lover, and may start stalking her whenever she goes out.

In such cases, if the woman works, it will be a tremendous relief for her to get out and reach the office, where smiling faces and kind people are there to surround her. She will often not understand why the workplace seems like heaven and the home like a living hell. However the husband will often start social abuse by talking to her boss and yelling at her colleagues or even making private visits to the homes of his wife’s friends to discuss the wife’s failings and mental instability. The husband will say that he is doing this merely to help solve the situation when all along his real intention is purely sadistic. This can cause friends to avoid or judge the wife, which causes her deep emotional pain. Then with relish the husband will tell the shamed wife that no one likes her, that she cannot maintain any lasting friendship with anybody. The husband will say this in a way calculated to emotionally hurt the wife. This will reduce the wife to chaotic sobbing and will eliminate any outside competitors to the husband’s emotional resources that the wife represents.

All of the other types of abuse discussed here can be viewed as means of emotional violence. Joan Zorza, director of the National Center on Women and Family Law, has noted that while women in shelters will talk easily about their broken noses, black eyes and swollen faces, it is when the talk turns to the emotional abuse that they break down sobbing, becoming riddled with feelings of worthlessness and ‘badness’ – all the ideas their spouse has been feeding them for years. Often the husband will convince the wife that she is crazy or has psychological problems, and then he takes concrete steps to prove it. Such an abuser – emotional or physical – will fight hard against his wife divorcing him, because he cannot bear to lose the control. He will tell the judge that he loves her. But, this ‘love’ will be in total contrast to his conduct, which tells the real story. The real story is, he was an emotional bully. This was the role he played in the life of his wife. Typically, such men will make mountains out of molehills. It is a clear warning to a woman that something is not right in the marriage, that something is wrong with the man. It starts over the smallest of issues, and then his anger grows into rages. The result of emotional abuse is that women lose their integrity and their dignity. They lose their self-respect.

Emotional abuse is inflicted not merely to reduce a woman to a state of psychological dependency, but for the sadistic purpose of emotional violence. Hence emotional abuse like physical abuse is done not merely to protect one’s ego but because of the pleasure the emotional violence brings. Emotional violence is designed simply to use intimate knowledge of the wife’s heart to commit emotional battery. Emotional violence, like physical violence, very easily spirals out of control because like physical violence it is so easy to do and the results are so immediate. Here the goal is simply to inflict emotional pain. This is the reason why emotional abuse along with physical abuse is the most destructive form of abuse. The goal here is to eliminate the existence of the wife emotionally as a separate being with rights and dignity.

The wife facing this violence on a daily basis is deprived of any real existence emotionally except as a resource for the husband’s emotional needs. Thus using emotional violence the husband eliminates any sense of responsibility towards the wife as a separate emotional entity with rights and needs, because by his emotional beating she is stripped of all self-identity. What women need to realize is that just like the bullies on the school-ground who used to beat up the weak boys in class, emotional bullies are in reality emotional cowards. Confident people have no need to bully others. Cowards do, because it makes them feel big and strong temporarily.

Materialists reduce the human psyche to a bundle of sensations, thoughts and emotions. Just like materialism is always connected with imperialistic conquest of other peoples and their lands, so the reduction of the wife to merely a collection of physical and emotional services is essentially a form of domestic imperialism. It is important to understand that emotional violence, even if not accompanied by physical violence, is an innate evil just as much as macro-imperialism is. Hence fighting against emotional violence in the home is just as much a required human duty as protesting imperialism in the global home.

Fighting against emotional violence through awareness programs must forcibly remind abusers that no one has the right to inflict emotional violence on another human being and that just as we can no longer commit physical violence behind closed doors, so also will society no longer tolerate emotional violence behind closed doors. It is especially important that young people be taught a zero tolerance attitude towards emotional violence.

Social Abuse
Social abuse comprises of slandering, shaming, ostracizing and isolating the wife from her close family members and friends. The husband will not allow her to even speak to them on the phone, let alone see them. He will ridicule and deride her relatives, calling them every name he can think of, insulting their characters or personal habits, making up slander about them. One can call it called family-bashing. This is the definition of social abuse. Some women live completely isolated, always in the house, speaking to no one except their husband and children, for ten, fifteen or twenty years – nearly their entire adult life. Is it not similar to the life of a prisoner? Yet, if she expresses reluctance to mix with the husband’s ‘friends’, he will attack her forthwith and call her anti-social.

Only rarely, if it is financially required, will such a husband allow his wife to work, where she has the chance to escape her virtual prison. Still more rarely will he allow her to develop herself intellectually by taking courses. If such a wife gets the chance to do either, she lives in a world of heaven and hell – hell at home and heaven for the few hours she can escape the home. Isolation is a horrible weapon wielded by men to make their women desperate and helplessly dependent on the one person in their life – their abuser. He forces her to retreat not only from her family members but from the entire community of human beings. Another tactic used by abusers is to bring in other people – family members, friends, anyone – and use them to outnumber his already exhausted victim on issues of conflict.

It is common in some Middle Eastern and Asian countries when men leave for work to lock their women inside the house from the outside. It is shocking, however, to find out while doing research into domestic violence that here in this advanced, supposedly more civilized United States there are some husbands who also their lock their wives inside the house while they are out! They may also make sure she has no car, thus increasing her dependence and immobility.

One of the tactics of death squads throughout history, be they in medieval Spain, communist China, or fascist Guatemala, is to initiate ordinary people into the practice of killing victims. The victims are condemned in Spain as devilish Jews, in China as American capitalist agents, in Guatemala as Cuban communist agents. By making everyone a part of the process of violence they hope that everyone will be so shamed by guilt that their crimes will never be punished. On a micro-social scale this is exactly what abusers do to their wives through society.

There are different stages that relatives, friends and especially children go through as part of the drama of social abuse. They act (1) as witness to abuse, (2) as partial participant in the abuse (starting with jokes), (3) as a convert to the belief that the victim is innately stupid, evil, immoral, and (4) as an even more violent abuser than the husband himself. The end result for those who may only reach stage (1), is that they will try to block out the memory of the social abuse, thus ensuring that any kind of help or justice for the victim remains an impossible dream.
“It killed me having to ask for a few dollars to go marketing or buy the kids shoes – like a beggar. But that’s the way it was….. I tried not to notice how he made fun of opinions I expressed on anything, whether it was politics or an author… From the very beginning, if (he) didn’t get his way, he would make me pay. Sometimes he wouldn’t talk to me for weeks or wouldn’t eat, even when I cooked his favorite dinner, and believe me, I tried. Oh, how I tried!”

FROM: Wife Abuse: Breaking It Down and Breaking Out by Garda Ghista

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Men As Victims of Domestic Violence

Men are victims of domestic violence at the hands of both female and male partners.

I feel like the only one

You may feel as if you're the only man who has ever experienced domestic violence but you're not alone. Although research shows that it is mainly women, this doesn't mean that men don't suffer too.

Figures on the extent of male victims vary considerably so it's difficult to state with any accuracy the true extent. However, the 2001/02 British Crime Survey (BCS) found 19% of domestic violence incidents were reported to be male victims with just under half of these being committed by a female abuser.

It may be hard to admit to yourself and to others that this is happening to you but it's not your fault and you can get help.

Are there differences in how men and women experience domestic violence?
There are both similarities and differences. Some of the responses to violence from a partner are the same. Whoever you are, being hurt by someone you love and trust can be devastating. You may feel bewildered and confused. You may wonder if it's your fault. You may feel too ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone. If you do tell, you may find that you are not believed or that your abuse is trivialised. For all victims of abuse, the message is the same...

You are not alone.
It is not your fault.
Help is available.

If you don't find the right help immediately, it's important that you keep looking until you find someone who can support you at this difficult time. It doesn't make you weak to ask for help.

There are also important differences that can often be lost when we assume that what we know about women experiencing domestic violence automatically applies to male victims too. For example, many abused men may feel that they aren't 'real men' if they admit to having experienced abuse.

What help is available?
Men have exactly the same rights as women to be safe in their own homes. All statutory services (such as the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Housing Department and Social Services) have a duty to provide services to all - male or female.

Men are protected by exactly the same laws as women - anyone who has assaulted another person, regardless of the gender of either, can be prosecuted. If you are a man experiencing domestic violence and you need emergency help you can call the Police.

Seek legal advice to clarify your position.

What about my children?
The family courts deal with all child contact disputes on a case by case basis. Evidence of domestic violence will be taken into account and decisions about residence and contact made accordingly.


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shared by Barbara at 12:10 AM 4 comments


Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Abuse Survivors are Targetted by the Wrong Sort of People

Why Abuse Survivors are Targetted by The Wrong Sort of People

Predators Hunt the Wounded

An abuse survivor e-mailed me saying how she seemed to attract men who want to exploit her. On the other hand, good people seem to run from her. Tragically, this is the common experience of abuse survivors. I have always puzzled as to why this is. She sent me a couple of photos of herself. Then something clicked. I was a little gentler, but here is the essence of my e-mail to her:

Your photos, though nice, give the impression that you are sad, shy, lacking in confidence and aching for love. An evil man might look at those photos and think to himself, “Her need for love and for a boost in self-esteem seem so overwhelming that if I let her think that I could meet these needs, she would be so scared of losing me that she would find it hard to resist the urge to do anything I want. If I initially treat her tenderly and kindly and flatter her, I’ll have a good chance of turning her into virtually my slave. I could then treat her however I wish.”

If, on the other hand, a man saw you as happy, confident and relatively content, he’d assume you are quite choosy as to who you relate to and how far you would go. He’d assume you have none of the desperation that pressures some women to compromise their morals to get the love they crave.

Not only could this be a factor in men with evil intent being attracted to you, it could cause good men (or good women) to feel tempted to try to get their way with you. Because they are honorable, they might run for fear that if they stayed close to you they might yield to that temptation.

Regardless of how resistant to sexual pressure she really is, a person with low self-esteem and who craves love gives the impression that she is vulnerable to seduction. Upon finding such a person, immoral men feel emboldened to test their suspicion that they have found someone they could seduce.

To resist sexual advances, a woman craving love and lacking in self-esteem needs far superior self-control to that of other women, if she perceives that she must yield to those advances in order to receive the love she desperately needs. Furthermore, an abuse survivor is strongly tempted to accept the lie that because she has been mistreated before, she has little purity left to protect. This lie is yet another burden weighing down abuse survivors.

Moreover, in addition to these strong pressures, she will find resisting an evil man much harder than other women find it because she has a history of having done everything possible to resist and she was still overpowered. Her past tragedies cause her to lose hope that she could ever successfully prevent a man from exploiting her. She feels sure that any attempt to resist would be a futile waste of effort. Sexual predators know this, so they are on the look out for abuse survivors.

A tragically large number of abuse survivors have mistakenly thought that perhaps they have low morals or are evil or that God is against them, since that they seem to attract sexual predators. This is most certainly not so. The thought is so obviously incorrect that, theoretically, there should be no need to deny it. Sadly, it needs to be spelt out because sexual offenders are skilled at cruelly manipulating tender consciences, causing their victims to have a mistaken view of themselves. The truth is that abuse survivors tend to attract repeat offenses simply because they are hurting; and sexual predators, like beasts of prey, think the wounded might be an easier target.

If predators imagine they have a chance with you, it means nothing. Simply by refusing their advances, you can prove them wrong.

Knowing why the wrong sort of people might try to exploit you can be a relief. There is nothing wrong with you other than the simple fact that you are hurting. I am sure what you really want to know, however, is how to prevent this attention. It’s easy to say that self-esteem, confidence and feeling loved is the answer, but the difficulty is knowing how to grow in these things.

Grantley Morris:
We are NOT 'magnets' for abusers
They TARGET not just the vulnerable but those who's qualities are admired.  Strong, intelligent, well-spoken, self-aware, attractive, successful.  Then they take these people apart piece by piece.  And enjoy doing it.

Click here for a Facebook Group for Survivors

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shared by Barbara at 12:20 AM 26 comments


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Always Choosing A Bad Relationship?

Why Do Some People Choose One Bad Relationship After Another?

hurts too much Pictures, Images and Photos

Some people unwittingly choose destructive relationships over and over again. The consequences of their choices are painful and emotionally damaging, yet those that engage in this repetitive behavior never seem to learn from their experience. Instead they go from one bad partner to the next, much to the chagrin of those closest to them (including therapists) who pull their hair out trying to stop them. Why does this happen?

Traditional psychoanalytic theory offered an intriguing, yet seemingly unlikely explanation for such self-destructive relationship choices. People who choose such partners must derive pleasure from being mistreated. Simply stated, the choosers are masochistic. If the "pleasure principle" drives people, as analysts argued, certainly this behavior follows the same rules. The therapist's task was to make the unconscious pleasure known to the patient--and then they would be free to choose a more appropriate partner.

Yet, in my years of doing therapy, I never found any client who received any pleasure at all, conscious or unconscious, from the abuse and neglect heaped on them by narcissistic or otherwise destructive partners. Rather, my clients were simply hurt over and over again. Still, the "repetition compulsion" was true enough: no sooner had a client ended with one particularly hurtful person then they found another wolf in sheep's clothing. There had to be a good reason. Here's what my clients have taught me over the years.

People who have not been given "voice" in childhood have the lifelong task of repairing the "self." This is an endless construction project with major cost overruns (much like the "Big Dig" in Boston). Much of this repair work involves getting people to "hear" and experience them, for only then do they have value, "place," and a sense of importance. However, not just any audience will do. The observer and critic must be important and powerful, or else they will hold no sway in the world. Who are the most important and powerful people to a child? Parents. Who must a person pick as audience to help rebuild the self? People as powerful as parents. Who, typically, is more than willing to play the role of power broker in a relationship, doling out "voice" only insofar as it suits him/her? A narcissist, "voice hog," or otherwise oblivious and neglectful person.

And so it goes. The person goes in the relationship with the hope or dream of establishing their place with a narcissistic partner, only to find themselves emotionally battered once again. These are not "oedipal" choices--people are not choosing their father or mother. They are picking people they perceive powerful enough to validate their existence.

But why doesn't a person leave when they realize they are in yet another self-destructive relationship? Unfortunately, on occasion things go well with a narcissistic partner--particularly after a blowout fight. A narcissist is often expert in yielding just enough "voice" to keep his or her victim from leaving. They grant a place in their world, if only for a day or two. The wish that this change is permanent sustains the voiceless person until the relationship regresses back to its usual pattern.

Giving up a destructive relationship is difficult. The brief moments of validation are cherished, and the person who finally leaves must relinquish the hope of "earning" more. When the person finally breaks free they are faced with an immediate and lasting feeling of emptiness and self-blame that makes them question their decision. "If only I had been different or better--then I would have been valued," is the usual refrain. Once the old relationship is sufficiently grieved, the person immediately resumes their search for another partner/lover with the qualifications and authority to again secure him or her a "place" in the world.

Ironically, this "repetition compulsion" is hardly masochistic. Instead, it represents an ongoing attempt to heal the self, albeit one with disastrous results. The cycle repeats itself because the person knows no other way of preventing themselves from feeling tiny or immaterial.

This is exactly where therapy comes into play. The analysts were correct in at least one important matter. This repetitive behavior has its roots in childhood, the time in which "voice" and self are established. People are often aware that they are struggling to be heard, to have a sense of agency, and to be valued in a relationship, but they are unaware that this is usually the very same struggle they had with one or both parents. A good therapist reveals this by closely examining their personal history.

And so the presenting problem is redefined and broadened to a life issue--and the work begins. A therapist bears down with all the resources available to him or her. Insight is certainly one--for, as suggested above, there is much the client does not know about the depth and breadth of the problem. Just as important is the relationship between therapist and client. Simply put, the relationship must be real, meaningful, and deep. The client must learn to establish voice, and it must be appreciated by the therapist in a genuine way. For the therapy to be effective, the relationship will likely be different from every other one the client has had. Advice and encouragement, often seen as hallmarks of good therapy, are by themselves insufficient. To make headway, the therapist must partially fill the same void that the client was unconsciously hoping their lover would. The client must feel: "My therapist is someone who hears me, values me, gives me a 'place' where I feel real and significant."

Once the client feels certain of this, they can begin looking for partners using more realistic, adult criteria. And they can finally free themselves from people who chronically hurt them. In this way, the self-destructive, repetitive cycle is broken.


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Lying Game

In an Internet-hookup culture, even sensitive guys think they’re players.

By Amy Sohn

Men have always lied to women to get what they want, but these days many New York women are finding that mendacity has evolved from an isolated disease into a full-blown epidemic. Internet dating and the ease of casual sex have made men unwilling to play by anyone else’s rules but their own, even if it means they must deceive to get what they want. If one woman won’t sleep with a guy on the first date, he can lie to get her out of the house and find someone who will. And when men are caught, they are surprisingly unrepentant; the moral bar has been lowered so far that women who complain about deception come off as high-maintenance psychos. Worse, by the time men are caught, they’ve already reaped the benefits—which is their goal.

Kelly, a 29-year-old writer, met Todd, a guy in his late forties, at an art opening in Chelsea, and after they’d been dating for a year and a half, she discovered that he had another long-term girlfriend. “I had met his parents, he had met mine, I had helped him decorate his apartment, spent time at his Hamptons house, and gone on a vacation with him. It turned out he had met her the same time he met me and he couldn’t decide between us so he kept both things going.”

There had been suspicious signs: He was often “busy with work” or hard to get hold of. One day, she stole his computer address book and called every woman until she found her rival. “It turned out she had met his parents too, gone to his house on the weekends I wasn’t there, and helped him pick out all the things for his apartment that I hadn’t,” says Kelly.

Kelly was furious when she found out how far things had progressed. “This was the worst lie anyone ever told me because it was so continuous.” He didn’t act guilt-ridden when she confronted him, nor was he angry about how she found out. “I’d asked him many times if he was seeing someone else, and he always said no. He claimed that it wasn’t a lie, it was a sin of omission.”

Melinda, 31, a grad student, recently met a television executive named Dave on Nerve’s dating site. He wrote in his profile that he was looking for honesty, and she liked him when she met him. “He was like a good Boy Scout,” she recalls. “He seemed like someone looking for sincerity.”

She suggested they go back to his place, but it turned out he was house-sitting. When they got to the apartment, he became sexually aggressive. After she made it clear she didn’t want to go further, he went into the bathroom. When he came out, he was talking on his cell phone. “ ‘You’re at La Guardia?’ ” she heard him saying. “ ‘You’re back a week early?’”

“I didn’t hear the phone ring,” Melinda recalls, “and I couldn’t hear anyone on the other end. He was saying much more than you would need to. It seemed very unreal.”

Melinda thinks the New York social scene is responsible for men’s increasing propensity to lie. “With all the easy hook-ups and dispensable dates, it gives even the nerdiest guys a swagger,” she says. “In New York, even the guy-next-door type has learned to be a player.”

Lying is not just a heterosexual phenomenon. It is also rampant in the gay community, where many men will say almost anything to get out of a date if something better comes along. Charles, 42, an academic, had been dating Stephen, who often traveled on business trips. One night, while on (a site where gay men troll for sex), he found Stephen’s profile. “A friend of mine wanted me to see if his boyfriend was on there,” says Charles. “As I was checking the site, I stumbled across Stephen’s profile.

“He would often say, ‘I’m supposed to leave on business this weekend,’ and this was what he was doing instead. I didn’t know which was more pathological: that he was lying or that he was being so precise with his language, always saying he was ‘supposedly’ going away so he wouldn’t, technically, be lying.”

Though men may lie because they think it’s easier than telling the truth, all the aforementioned victims expressed confusion about the logic of lying as much as the ethics. “It was such an amazing thing to me,” says Kelly of her two-timing ex. “The emotional investment of maintaining two girlfriends just seemed so ridiculous. I didn’t see why he’d bother.”


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Financial Abuse / Economic Abuse

Financial and economic abuse is a form of domestic violence in which the abuser uses money as a means of controlling his or her partner. Financial and economic abuse is only one tactic that an abuser may use to gain power and dominance over his or her victim.

An abuser may deny his or her partner money. One way this is accomplished may be by forbidding a partner to be employed. This makes the non-working partner dependent upon the abuser for money. There are some economically abused women who are forced to beg their partner for everyday necessities such as diapers (for children), food and/or health care. If an abuser does permit his or her partner to work, he or she may be required to hand over their paycheck each week to their abuser.

Many times an abuser will give money to his or her partner. However, it may not be sufficient enough to meet the needs of the individual. Any monies that are given to a partner by an abuser will generally have to be accounted for and proof will have to be shown of all purchases.

Many financial and economic abusers will put all of the family bills in their victim’s name. At the same time, the abuser will not allow his or her partner to see bank records, bills or credit records. Many financial and economic abusers are not good with money and he or she will end up destroying the credit of their partners.

Some economic abusers who require their partners to do illegal acts for money. There are also abusers who will use any money brought in for children through welfare, child support checks, or monetary gifts on themselves.

Some financial abusers who refuse to work, putting the burden upon their partners to keep the household running. However, money that is brought in by the working victim is mishandled and squandered by the abuser. Then, the victim is berated if bills fall behind.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE1-800-799-SAFE. They will direct you to places in your area where you can seek help.

(While the 'male' is used here, your abuser could also be female!)

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shared by Barbara at 12:14 AM 14 comments


Monday, February 08, 2016

NO HELP to Victim of Domestic Violence from Pastor & Church Community!

(from our friend at EMOTIONAL ABUSE & FAITH:)

domestic violence

I read quite a lot of articles regarding domestic violence in regards to the faith prospective. At times I realize that I get naïve thinking maybe things would get a little better once people decide to share their experiences. I read things and they point to getting in touch with your church, having your pastor and their resources help you. For goodness SAKES don’t go secular!

I think in some circumstances that’s just not wise!

I have been watching a story unfold recently. It started – for me anyway – on two very popular faith boards. It was a story of a married young woman with 2 small children. As in most stories of domestic violence I don’t think she saw it for what it was at first. We all have to have our realizations. I guess in the past she did have churches that told her that he needed help, and that he could be in danger of hurting himself or others. Steps were taken for the reconciliation, and then they had to move and it basically started all over again.

It ended with him having to leave the home after he attacked one of the children. Pictures were documents, and emails filled with venom with his justifications. Threats of cutting off personal communication with his children and all financial aid, because he needed some respect. The emails would make anyone’s hair curl.

The first faith board she went to she was threatened with posters calling CPS or Child Protective Services. She was chewed up and spit out on this faith board, and moderators sat back and watched. They never got involved. The husband had been removed from the home, and that would be the first step that CPS would have taken anyway. I never quite understood why the threats. The poster did the responsible thing, and reported the incident herself so I don’t understand why that wasn’t good enough.

The second faith board basically shut her up. Her thread went on for 10 pages as she recorded threats after threats that he was sending, and she was receiving replies of support. Conversations between the pastor and meetings with him as he basically attacked her in front of him, and at that point there was no more questions as to what the church was dealing with.

A call for a meeting with the Elders was next. Meanwhile, the man broke into the home and started to threaten her while she was on the phone with someone. I guess that person called the police, and the police told her she must get a restraining order. He also had to leave. The restraining order was granted as of now. Her thread was removed – disappeared – because they felt it was getting too personal.

They would possibly ‘revisit’ it if she could get a note from her pastor stating she needed this, and they would have to have a phone conference to discuss this as well. She is no longer allowed to discuss her personal situation, or mention any parts of her family on the board. She is welcome to reply to others if she wishes. Isn’t that nice?

The church has offered ‘spiritual’ support for this family. They will have no place to live soon, sounds like she needs to have the locks changed, has no resources or money of her own. She asked for a letter for her order of protection from the church stating they are helping with accountability, moral support, etc. The church basically told her they were not qualified to do that. Qualified? Hmm. I guess that is true. They have already informed her that they can offer no financial assistant, housing or anything else of substance.

I think people need to see this so they can understand WHY these women go secular, and WHY they also get killed! It’s too ugly for people to deal with. It doesn’t happen within the church. I’m not going to say all churches; organizations are like this, because they aren’t all like this.

There are enough of them, and article after article is thrown into the mix about how women need to learn to submit more.
It just burns me.

If a Christian Counselor, Pastors, Christian Mentors and others from the fellowship don’t do much in ways of help in the real world, and if online faith boards continue to shut this issue down. Where are these people supposed to go?

I’m so disgusted. YES there is way more to the story, and it’s as plain as the nose on anyone’s face what is happening. Don’t go secular – keep it within the Christian fold. Okay. We are waiting…….. now what? Does anyone else see what other options this family has? I’m at a lost myself.

I can’t recommend you go to Crosswalk or Family Life for support in these types of circumstances. Please use those avenues for other types of things. If your church can’t help please find one that will!
Don’t turn down secular help in the meanwhile; it maybe the only source of support you will get in real time!
Please pray for this family.

Please digg, stumble, etc if you feel this type of story needs to get out!
We need to break the silence within the church about domestic violence!
FROM:Emotional Abuse and Your Faith: Pastor, Faith Boards Online, and Church Community says NO HELP to Victim of Domestic Violence

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shared by Barbara at 12:26 AM 7 comments