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Abuse #2577908
06/13/15 07:26 AM
06/13/15 07:26 AM
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Vanilla Offline OP
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Welcome to the new thread about abuse.

This thread has been created so that the effects of abuse on an R and the interaction with DB can be fully discussed. The origin of the thread is because several posters have been subject to abuse within their R.

It can take time, effort and patience to recognise abuse within an R. In particular the abuse suffered which is systematic and damaging to an R arises from personality issues within an abuser.

This DB forum is not an abuse forum and there are many other sites which will help with establishing abuse and helping with the complex interactions that occur. IRL considerable additional resources may be needed to counter abuse.

I speak here for myself and nothing said by me is intended to be endorsed by the board. I am not a vet or a moderator just a DB poster who has been subject to considerable abuse in her R. Nor am I qualified as a counsellor, merely qualified by experience.

If by reading the threads then you recognise an abuse pattern in your R then that is worthy of further considerable thought and discussion. If abuse is recognised and can be acknowledged then it can be addressed. If you sense that you are the abuser then stop and obtain help. Abuse will not assist your R to recover.

Compulsion, addiction (substance as well as behavioural) add a further complex dimension to R recovery and will also need addressing. Any activity if taken to excess will interfere with an R. Depression and other factors may also require treatment. There can be abuse factors in R relationships with compulsives and addicts.

Using the label of abuse in an R can also interrupt the recovery of that R. We may also discuss in the thread the types and levels of abuse. Primarily there is concern that abuse in some cases is fatal to an R.

Finally if in any doubt about safety in an R because of abuse or otherwise, first and foremost move to a position of safety.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577911
06/13/15 07:47 AM
06/13/15 07:47 AM
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Vanilla Offline OP
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What is abuse?

As I understand abuse, It's often easier to discuss that which abuse is not- it isn't about anger or aggression.

Abuse is about control.

Abusers abuse because it rewards and maintains control. It garners resources to the abuser to allow them to continue their behaviour and to bolster their flagging self confidence and ego.

I have observed three main ways abuse works, firstly there is the abuser who abuses as a lifelong pattern of abuse, this is sometimes referred to as systematic abuse. it is the way they interact with the world and with their main relationships. They may also have personality disorders, a colloquial expression is mental and physical "terrorists". Others abuse because they have hit a crisis in their lives midlife or other, this is situational abuse. They are in an A and wish it to continue. Finally there is reactive abuse, the target reacts back to an abuser by creating abuse patterns, in my own case I called this part of me "screaming banshee".

Certain abuse patterns particularly systemic ones have a lifelong component and may require intensive treatment. In my case as the target of such abuse IC, twelve steps, DB and attendance on an abuse manangement and recovery course.

I also know that intoxication (alcohol and substance) can intensify abuse and abuses may use this an excuse for the abuse. I could not help it the *substance* made me. There is a choice to manage the substance, and abuse is targeted at close R members and not generally. If Most Rs can be managed without abuse then substance use is no excuse for abusive behaviour.

Awareness is the key.

V

Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577913
06/13/15 08:01 AM
06/13/15 08:01 AM
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The original thread which started this one is in Zeldas series

originating thread


The following posters advised they were comfortable with their sitches to be included here:

Vanillas threads

Types of abuse suffered by V: verbal, emotional, financial, sexual and intimidation (not physical)

Zeldas thread

Scherman's thread

Other posters who have acknowledged abuse in their threads are Greengrass and RosaLinda.

Cadet and Job thank you for your support in opening this thread. I trust you will correct if I am off point.

Thank you

V











Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577919
06/13/15 08:27 AM
06/13/15 08:27 AM
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Selection of original postings

Originally Posted By: Sherman333
Its a tough subject. But I'm thinking that giving search terms would make the most amount of sense... So when someone recognizes a DBer with facing abuse they could be steered to the thread and that could point them to other resources to help them understand/deal with what they're facing.

I know my situation happened gradually over time and that it is repetitive with the STBXW. She's done it all her life and will continue to do it. I don't think I'd have recognized the abuse when it started... it was subtle. Blatant by the time things were over though.



Originally Posted By: Calibri
I just wanted to say Zelda, that I hear you and what you're trying to say.

Abuse is one of those things, that it doesn't mean the same thing for everyone. Abuse covers a broad spectrum. And that [censored] because there isn't a one size fits all approach.

AT the beginning of my sitch, I wouldn't have classified my H's anger towards me as abuse. I just thought it was years of pent up [censored] finally coming out. It didn't hit me until I was talking in a (rare) joint counseling session with him that what he was doing to me was verbally abusive and that it had to stop. Being called out like that shook H to the core -- and it caused him to exam a lot of things. It eventually lead to him getting help and as a result, receiving a mental illness diagnosis.

And I'm left with the question - was the verbal abuse a symptom of the illness triggering, or was it always there? I don't know. I don't know if I will ever know. *shrugs*

In my case, the abuse, in some cosmic effed up way -- helped. Not me. But rather my Husband. And I would like to believe that he's going to be better later down the road for the discovery of it.


I think perhaps developing a link to recognizing signs of abuse (mental, physical, verbal, controlling, etc) can be extremely helpful -- especially if the new people take the time to read the links.

Just my .02.

---

I think this is a great topic to think tank and explore, as a group.


Originally Posted By: Zelda09
Feel free to hijack, I did not start this thread to discuss my situation personally.

I think there are some reliable sources on the web, which detail warning signs and signs of verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional. It may be helpful to put it all in black-and-white, like a cheat sheet. It is always so clear in hindsight, and excusable in the moment.

Especially if it can be attributed to anything else! Like teasing, like MLC, the list goes on. When you love someone, you wanted to be fixable, you wanted to be anything else.

At the end of the day, it does not matter if it is personality disorders, mental illness, any number of things, that once someone recognizes the signs are there, it will still require a lot of work with a professional, and a strong support system.



Originally Posted By: Cadet
Originally Posted By: Zelda09
Cadet, with all due respect…

There are forums here on infidelity, depression, MLC. Abusive marriages does not deserve its place here?

This would have been helpful to me. Someghing, anywhere on this board to say sometimes DR is not enough and you're in over your head. What I have been stubborn? Perhaps. There is also a good possibility that I might have considered that abuse was a factor in my relationship. That DB does not Cure all. I may have been able to talk to a different kind of veteran who understood, and I may have sought help and called the thing by the right name earlier.



First of all I would submit that many people on the MLC forum are in abusive marriages.

I am not trying to give you a hard time and I do believe that MWD has a section in the books about not remaining in an abusive marriage.

If a DB Coach was helping you then I believe that they would try to get your focus on to YOU.
Certainly my main objective is to try to help people focus on themselves as that is really what DB is all about.
Controlling the only person that we have any power over.


We are a peer to peer group and none of us are paid professionals, but volunteers that are paying forward the gifts that have been given to us.

In my humble opinion.


V




Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577920
06/13/15 08:35 AM
06/13/15 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: CaliGuy
^^^
I was thinking the same thing as fas as MLC and abusive marriages.

As far as the DBing/abusive relationship angle. I do think its set up very good to handle it, I do recal there is a part in the book where MWD actually says not to go back into that type of enviornment. Biblacly speaking even the church states one should remove and protect themselves and pray the S changes.

If you detach, GAL, 180 for you, are you not healing? Is that not the ultimate goal to heal and become self dependent rather than to feel obligated like a moth to the flame of an abusive relationship?

Alot of the MLCrs are in this type of situation and if you read enough ... there is a point where the power becomes theirs and they choose to either stand for the M and wait for the WAS to change, or they drop the rope and move on.

Not taking away from what you have gone through but I personally feel the process here, if followed, can easily save a person in any type of relationship by giving them the tools and they become independent regardless of the spouse and their actions.


Originally Posted By: job
Cadet,
Once the new thread has been created, will it remain here in Newcomer's or will it become a separate forum, whereby it can be viewed and posters can click on that particular forum? I think it warrants it's own forum, i.e., like Newcomers, MLC, etc....but that's my opinion.

Here are some of the abuse topics that may and should be discussed:

1. Verbal Abuse
2. Emotional Abuse (social isolation and gaslighting would fall under this category)
3. Physical Abuse
4. Psychological Abuse
5. Sexual Abuse
6. Financial Abuse
7. Digital Abuse
8. Stalking (yes, it's a form abuse, especially when a relationship ends the one party can't accept that it's over and becomes obsessed w/the other party).

When the new thread and/or forum is set up, I will be more than happy to post the information that I have on all of the above topics. I would suggest that each topic have its own thread so that people will have an easy reference to each topic.


Originally Posted By: Zelda09 in response to Scherman


When I came here, I was also searching other websites for information about axis II, abuse...I knew for a long time my STBX was crossing lines but I guess I did not want to think of him as an 'abuser.' I wanted to think I could do something about it DR, or he didn't know any better and that's why he treated me the way he did.

Even when Mozza and Vanilla used that term, I rejected it. Still remember finding out he'd contacted a girlfriend directly and told her to stay away from me (shudder). That's what it took to be able to say this is an abusive person.

I think a forum/thread here addressing some of this can resonate like you said, at least be a starting point. Even Vanilla said she couldn't find anyone talking about it.

And that alone has a way of making someone feel alone.


No longer alone Z!

V






Last edited by Cadet; 06/13/15 12:13 PM. Reason: removed quote by posters request

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577922
06/13/15 08:37 AM
06/13/15 08:37 AM
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Zelda from her own thread:

I am happy to put some work into this.

To echo what V said, ppl do terrible hurtful things to each other. I certainly must have reached the end of my rope and said and done things that would qualify as emotional abuse (screaming banshee anyone?)

Sometimed we are hurt bc these actions are out of a partners selfishness, and sometimes we hurt others out of our selfishness, frustration or flashes of anger. It's human and we feel bad.

Abuse it is not that and there is a 'tool' at work - one that replaces healthy tools - where an abuser systematically degrades, gaslights, isolates and intimidates their partner. That is the behavior I think we need to include a differentiate from depression and MLC, infidelity. It is a very targeted hurt where someone comes into your space, past healthy boundaries.

As I look back at the last seven months, I do wish that there had been something on this forum that said:

"Being faced with losing your love, dreams and partner is incredibly painful. Whether the marriage was healthy or it wasn't. You can be the first to make it healthy, and yourself healthy through DR, but now is a good time to take stock of not only your role and behaviors, but your partners' as well, and the general dynamic of your M.

If you have been dealing with abusive behavior, it is tempting to minimize it along feelings of longing and empathy for your partner, who may have you convinced he/she is a victim.
(Insert list of red flags, abusive definition, behaviors.)

Know that you did not cause any of this, and therefore you cannot control it, reverse it, or fix it. It is possible to change these behaviors if an abuser is genuinely interested in making those changes. Persuading them and educating them may help in the short term, along with drawing boundaries for yourself, but these are rarely lasting changes unless the abuser is personally motivated.

Abuse escalates. These situations never start with a punch on the first date, or even first year together.

If you see these red flags or patterns, you may be tempted to think that your partner is not really an abuser because of all of their other wonderful qualities. However, this does not change the fact that you have recognized some very unhealthy ways your partner controls and hurts you. Personal motivation to change on behalf of the abuser and professional counseling is the only thing that can reverse this behavior. Changes you make through DR may draw your abuser back to you and may temporarily change patterns. But sooner or later, an abusive personality will use the tools they know best. Some people can grow, but the important thing is your safety until trust can be re established.

Divorce Busting and Divorce Remedy is for you at this point. We can all grow and become our best, and learn to be deeply considerate of our partners!

If any of these red flags looked familiar, please do not minimize your experience, make excuses for it, or blame yourself, or imagine how things will be different if you are to change your behavior. Seek the help of a professional and begin examining your boundaries and why you have endured a relationship with this dynamic."
-------/-

Would I have read this and gone on any different journey? Idk. I remember when I found this site I read it religiously, all the articles. I hoped so fiercely, this man was my soul mate. I loved him and would have done anything to get him back. I remember being willing to compassionately forgive my STBX for flipping me off, telling me to F off, telling me I was this, that, screaming at me, incapable of understanding him...all these things that I first kicked him out of the house for...I thought yes, "he is teething."

I think if we can differentiate abuse from teething, that could be helpful. I had five years of emails, articles I'd sent him about his sbusive ways. Begging him to stop treating me that way, recognize it. Telling him I wouldn't stand for it. So it got more subtle, or longer periods in between. But when I came here, I was so ready to save my M the last thing I wanted to say was, hey I dodged a bullet, good riddance!

I said, he is teething, omg, I can see why he did all that! I can change the dance! None of us want to believe we are being abused and asking for it to come back. Denial is a huge factor. Until someone has been through it, I imsgine it sounds crazy.

Last edited by Vanilla; 06/13/15 08:45 AM.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577924
06/13/15 08:43 AM
06/13/15 08:43 AM
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By RosaLinda

If this is truly a peer to peer support group, I think there needs to be a place for people to address abuse as abuse. With people that have been there, or have professional training in it. DR still applies.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
I suggest that V and Zelda might want to create a thread on this subject.

It's been my experience that abuse is hard for the abusee to recognize. My ex treated me just like yours did you Zelda, for 38 years ("flipping me off, telling me to F off, telling me I was this, that, screaming at me, incapable of understanding him"). It was not until he REALLY whacked out and went into a mid life crisis and I came to this forum for help, that other posters compassionately helped me to recognize this was abuse. I sort of figured it was all my fault and tried to be be better, but did not know it was abuse because he never struck me and I thought I deserved it. DBing helped me learn to set boundaries, and now I am happily divorced and whole.

A thread on how to recognize abuse and how to deal with it is an awesome idea. Cadet already invited you to start one smile



Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2577995
06/13/15 02:53 PM
06/13/15 02:53 PM
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Vanilla, and all - thank you for your work and input here.

I would like to borrow from the web a very good description on how systematically abusive relationships start.

I do not have experience with MLC, and several here have said that abuse can become situational in those sitches. I think for those of us who had the life-long abuse/control issue that Vanilla describes, you will recognize this -

"Early beginnings

An idyllic opening is part of almost every abusive relationship.
•There are many ways in which the glowing beginning of a relationship with an abusive man can serve to entrap the woman.
•Like any love-struck person, she tells her friends and family what a terrific man he is. After talking so highly of him, she feels embarrassed to reveal his mistreatment when it begins-so she keeps it to herself for a long time.
•She assumes his behavior comes from something that has gone wrong inside of him-what else is she to conclude, given how wonderful he was at first? So she pours herself into figuring out what happened.
•She has a hard time letting go of her own dream; she thought she had found a wonderful man.
•She can’t help wondering if she did something wrong or has some great personal deficit that knocked ended the idyllic beginning. So she tries to find the key problem inside of herself.



Many ask the question: Does an abusive man deliberately plan to become abusive when beginning a relationship?

The differences between a woman falling in love and an abusive man falling in love are as follows:

She is looking for an equal partner to love and be loved by.

He is dreaming of having a woman that meets all of his needs, is beautiful at all times of day and night, has no needs of her own and is in awe of his brilliance and charm. He desires a woman who will cater to him and never complain about anything he does or darken his day with frustrations or unhappiness about her own life. Although abuse of a woman is not the goal, control certainly is. He then finds himself using abuse to gain the control he feels he has the right to.

An abuser is a human being, not an evil monster, but he has a profoundly complex and destructive problem that should not be underestimated.

An abuser’s behavior is primarily conscious-he acts deliberately rather than by accident or by losing control of himself but the underlying thinking that drives his behavior is largely not conscious.

An abuser learns manipulative and controlling behavior from several sources, including key male role models, peers, and pervasive cultural messages. By the time he reaches adulthood, he has a integrated manipulative behavior to such a deep level that he acts largely on automatic. He knows what he is doing but not necessarily why."


Mid 30's
Psych-abusive M with violent tantrums from XH
D 9/15; NC forever on

You can't DR your way out of abuse.



Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2578008
06/13/15 03:36 PM
06/13/15 03:36 PM
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Vanilla Offline OP
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Overarching mechanism

Emotional abuse is a continual behaviour pattern which undermines the healthy mental and physical state of another in order to control, it can involve other manipulations and strategies.

It leaves the targets isolated and often unable to identify exactly the cause of the sadness and confusion.

In order to maintain control a cycle develops, cold disinterest followed by promises of love and change. Intermittent reward. Consider examine the concepts of Stockholm Syndrome on Cadets resource thread.

Here are some techniques of abuse:
Withholding, countering, discounting/demeaning/devaluing, dismissing, joking/ blocking, diverting, accusing/blaming, judging/criticing, trivialising, name calling, forgetting, revising/rewriting, ordering, manipulating/lying, denying/negating, anger/aggression, echoing, humiliating, condescending/mockiing

So how do you know if you are being abused?

You are afraid and off balance
You enforce your boundaries and that is ignored
You feel like nothing you do is right
Feel guilty
Walk on egg shells
Avoid public appearances
are subject to shifting sands of expectation
Always cave in
Subject to threats or intimidation
are ignored
Embarrassed or social isolated as a result of your partners actions
Occasionally 'love bombed' or 'groomed' then ignored
Belittled or trashed
The first year or so was loving
The abuse gradually intensified with different behaviours

Try googling the power and control wheel by Kim Eyer
A users believe they have the right to control and get their own way by:
~telling you what to do and expecting obedience
~using force or threats including leaving, suicide and 'sorting you out'
~no discussions, or challenges expected or accepted
~doing whatever they feel like, whenever they want
~blaming the target and taking little or no responsibility

These are broadly the types of actions which are elements in abuse

Isolation
Cutting you off from family and friends, moving to a new location, deliberately preventing interaction with others, interfering with car use

Financial
Not working or preventing target from working, using or hiding funds for their own use including compulsion and addiction, not paying essential bills, what is mine is mine but what is yours is ours, depriving of basics

intimidation
driving recklessly, destroying, giving away, selling or devaluing property of target, using looks/gestures, throwing objects/ punching walls/tearing items, having or using knives and guns, over using alcohol/substances/porn, threatening to remove or hurt children or pets, abusing children or pets to control another

Defining
Treating another like a servant, making all the decisions, defining roles, acting like the owner of the castle

Sexuality
demanding sex or a particular type of sex, rape or non consensual sex, using language or porn to degrade/diminish, denying reproductive freedom (choosing sterilisation say), putting another's sexual health at risk, denying sex or withholding, insulting another's sexuality, avoiding sex by pretending illness, tiredness, overwork or TV

Physical
Biting/scratches, slapping/punching, kicking/stomping, throwing/breaking objects, pushing, confining or preventing leaving (blocking doorways), denying or interfering with sleep, warmth, medical attention food or health disturbance, shoving down steps, tripping, assault with weapons, insisting another change appearance/have surgery etc, risking another's health

So what behaviours are not abusive?
Dressing as they please, wearing makeup, appearance
Choosing their own food, friends, location, jobs, hobbies, cars etc
Fitness status, fit or unfit
Choosing to put on or loose weight
Visiting friends and relatives
Choosing to leave an R or to S
Keeping their opinions to themselves
Not working on the R
Changing who they are
Holding different views
Going dark or leaving
Expressing a different view
Not wanting or wanting a holiday
Needing time alone
Having reasonable personal resources to use
Not wanting sex or leaving the marital bed
Dealing/not dealing with health issues in their own way
To have their own feelings, views or actions
Deciding to please themselves
Educate or undertake new pastimes
To participate in an activity or not
Freedom of religion, membership of support groups, take/not take IC or MC or FC
To change their mind
To request an apology
To enter into another R after ceasing the previous R
Access to children, pets and home (unless abusive)
To request sex, R or discussion
To be free of interference
To define themselves and enforce boundaries
Disagreeing even without discussion

Some be inappropriate and may be an infringement of another's boundaries.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


Re: Abuse [Re: Vanilla] #2578014
06/13/15 03:56 PM
06/13/15 03:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
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V
Vanilla Offline OP
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Vanilla  Offline OP
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V
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 8,855
UK
Violence

So when does abuse become violence?

There is a pattern called the cycle of violence and stages can vary from minutes to months

These cycles intensify over time:
Establishing or building phase
The incident or action or assault or verbal interaction
Reconciliation or honeymoon phase sometimes referred to as calm phase

Each time the incident gets into a higher abuse level
The most dangerous periods for violence are boundary enforcement and leaving the R

Violence can also include the destruction of property, spitting or passing on an STD, having you arrested, disappearing with children or pets, rape, taking explicit photos, make up sex, forcing drink or drugs

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW


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