Please help me understand/Domestic Violence Question - page 9

First of all I have to say that my on line persona doesn't even compare to my real time personality. Writing never has been my thing, I can never get the words from my brain to my typing fingers... Read More

  1. by   widow2RN
    Quote from Bipley
    Actually, I wasn't raised that way at all. While it was far from Beaver Cleaver's family (I believe I am dating myself LOL) I wouldn't change a moment of the way I was raised. I learned some tough lessons that turned into interesting and useful skills today. I can spot manipulation coming from quite a distance. I can usually read people quickly and well. My childhood wasn't easy but really, whose is? Being a kid is tough business, not at all what some people make childhood out to be (carefree, not a worry in the world, blah blah blah).

    Maybe this is why I don't get this whole thing. I can read about it, I can hear the stories of others, but maybe the reason I can't fully wrap my brain around what is going on inside the mind of the abused is because it's not in my personality make up to be an abused person in that way. We all have our weak points and our strong points. I don't know, maybe one of my strong points is such that I couldn't allow such abuse.

    I could have quite easily been the child version of an abused spouse. The setting was right, the abuse was there, but I didn't put up with it. I would fight back. I'm the youngest of three girls. My older sisters, to this day, will say that I was my parents biggest nightmare. I called them on their actions and behaviors and I had the ovaries to retaliate. (going to the police, etc.)

    I don't know if I am explaining myself well. A good example for me is when I was old enough to learn to read. My Mom gave me a book by Frances Farmer called, "Will There Really Be A Morning?" For anyone not familiar, FF was an actress with mental illness in the 1930s or so. It was likely quite mild mental illness. Her parents were able to control her by the constant threats of putting her back in the "insane asylum." That is before mental health units and people were treated horribly. Ice baths, insulin overdoses, straight jackets, rat infested cement living areas, basically... torture. Medical students would practice procedures on these folks because it was believed mentally ill people didn't experience pain. Mom loved FF enough to put her in a place of torture for "help." It was emtional rape and emotional control.

    My Mom had me read this book as soon as I was old enough to read such a book (10? 11?) and then after having read it, we discussed it. After that point if I didn't clean my room she would tell me that only mentally ill children don't clean their rooms and she would have to get me "help" like a good mother should. Then she would remind me of Frances Farmer. For each bad deed on my part the subtle threats of an old fashoined insane asylum were used.

    This stuff worked on my older sisters but it never really worked with me. The initial shock value was effective, but I quickly figured out what was going on and it backfired on her. Today my sisters believe that the reason this didn't work was because I was more intelligent than my parents. I'm not so sure about that. I don't really know why similar techniques worked soooo well on my sisters and not me. I would stand up to my parents. I paid for it, but I still continued to do it. I recall one time my Mom was screaming at me telling me what a little B**** I was. It stung! She really meant it! I refused to let it show that she was getting to me. So I smiled sweetly and reminded her that she always did say I was just like her.

    Maybe some people aren't hard wired for this type of manipulation. Maybe it's a source of personality traits, individual strengths and weaknesses, I don't know. I really don't think I am (or ever have been) a person that this kind of manipulation would work with. Yet there are other scenarios that I would absolutely cave and submit to "X" consequences where others would fly right on by.

    I don't know, I'm just throwing out thoughts.
    Hi Bipley,

    Thanks for your response and sharing of your childhood. I'm also sorry to see this thread take some negative turns for you since I was last online. I can relate to your personality type. I certainly was not the "complacent" child in my own family, but more the blunt, outspoken type. I'm very sad to hear of how your mother used such manipulative threats in attempt to get you to do as you were told. Actually, I can't imagine what that felt like for you. My parents were good parents. I did get the occasional spanking with a belt on my hindside, but by no means nothing to the point of becoming abuse. My mom was VERY supportive of me, gave me lots of praise, and was in many ways like my best friend. Dad was a good dad, he just wasn't the type of man who would or knew how to give praise or hugs and such. He was a "worrier" and always seem to see the "negative" rather than the "positive"... even about me. But, my dad made a good living and was a good provider for his family.

    So, I think of some of the things that you endured growing up. I do believe that the very bent of our personality can indeed be a factor what we develop "strengths" to and in what areas we develop those strengths. In my case, I think the abusive relationship happened with me because I was pretty much "blind-sided" with it in my life. Never before had I been prepared for such as this. This was treatment that was totally "new" to me, but as others have posted here, had the slap or hitting just happened suddenly, I think the individual strength and independant "power" to end it would come easier, but instead, by the time the hitting starts, they have already slowly and subtlely beaten you down emotionally and mentally in many other ways before they ever lay a physical hand on you. I certainly would have considered myself as being the type of personality who would have NEVER found herself in this situation, but, there I was... for 4 years anyway.

    I wonder, Bipley, if it could be possible that what you endured and saw as a child did play a part within your own natural personality of developing your own inner strengths to recognize the signs of the abusive type of person and prevent your life at this point from ever becoming victim to it? I know, for me, that the experiences of the 4 years I spent with my abusive spouse changed me for "the better." Rather than blame, I learned acceptance. Rather than becoming bitter, I chose to become better from it. Like you, I now feel that I can spot the arrogant, abusive type a mile down the road. And, there is a wisdom and knowledge learned about both MYSELF and the abusive type man that has made me into a stronger person who would NEVER again allow myself to be treated that way.

    It's kind of an interesting two-sided coin. Cause, on one hand, I learned that I COULD indeed find myself being the abused woman at a time when I would have thought I could SWEAR that would NEVER happen to me. On the other side, however, at this point in my life, I also feel that sometimes we go through experiences that truly become life-lessons for us. Inwardly, we truly draw up those life-commitment boundaries of what wrong we would never do again or what wrong never to allow again done to us. Perhaps, this is just one of those areas in your life where you saw and experienced enough when younger to have those boundaries already laid down for your adult life. If so... I applaud you for that! I don't believe that is something to attack or insult you for, because I myself completely understand the total difference it makes for us when these lines are drawn with such determination that it can be written in stone. The very strength I found that so changed me at the end of all this now makes it hard to understand why some never get out of these relationships. I do know that fear, intimidation, threatening other loved ones, and oh boy!, the total CONTROL they take over everything certainly doesn't make it easy for the woman to get out of it. But, I also know that it CAN be done, because I did it.

    Again, I applaud you for the strength you already have in this area! I would say don't try so much to understand WHY the women stay and allow this to continue (because that would be like us women trying to understand HOW a man thinks... ha!... when you've never walked in the shoes, you just CAN'T really understand).... but, instead take understanding in what she needs from those of us on the outside of it. She needs someone to listen and not judge her. She needs someone to believe in her and treat her with the worth and respect she has as a human being (above that treatment she gets already of being a "possession" and not a valued equal person). And, if you can ever talk her into going to group meetings at a women's shelter... it can be a real EYE-OPENER to her to realize that she can for once see herself and her own life just from hearing the testimonies of other women from the OUTSIDE for a change, and begin to FEEL those strong emotions of how that other woman does NOT deserve the treatment that she's receiving... and finally, perhaps realize that she IS that other woman. When her heart realizes the self-worth in other women who has gone through identical experiences as her own... sometimes it helps open her own eyes to her own self-worth, and that can be a beginning step toward change and personal freedom.

    Sometimes we don't understand when people don't make choices to create a positive change when it seems like such a "given" to us. But, just keep reinforcing to those women that they do have a choice. It can be a "path" in itself for the woman to find the strength within herself to make that choice and face the fears of acting on that choice. And, it can also be just as equal of a challenge for us to realize that even when we TRY to help, we sometimes have to respect their choice when they keep going back.

    Peace! :wink2:
  2. by   Spidey's mom
    This is very good - thanks for posting it. Made my day.

    I've been at the receiving end of angels and I've been honored to be an angel in another person's life. Anonymous is always best.

    Again, many thanks. And Bipley - stick around.

    steph



    Quote from strssedstudent
    Warning....this is long

    So many of us have shared our stories on this thread, including myself. I received this email a few minutes ago and thought of everyone who has posted or who may be reading this thread and trying to figure out what to do. They say God works in mysterious ways -


    September 1960,I woke up one morning with six hungry babies
    and just 75 cents in my pocket.
    Their father was gone..

    The boys ranged from three months to
    seven years; their sister was two.

    Their Dad had never been much more
    than a presence they feared.

    Whenever they heard his tires crunch on
    the gravel driveway,
    they would scramble to hide under their beds.

    He did manage to leave $15 a week to
    buy groceries.

    Now that he had decided to leave,
    there would be no more beatings,
    but no food either.

    If there was a welfare system in effect
    in southern Indiana at that
    time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

    I scrubbed the kids until they looked
    brand new and then put on my
    best homemade dress.
    loaded them into
    the rusty old 51 Chevy
    and drove off to find a job.

    The seven of us went to every factory,
    store and restaurant in our
    small town.
    No luck.

    The kids stayed crammed into the car
    and tried to be quiet while I
    tried to convince whomever would listen
    that I was willing to learn
    or do anything.
    I had to have a job.

    Still no luck.
    The last place we went
    to, just a few miles out of
    town, was an old Root Beer Barrel
    drive-in that had been converted
    to a truck stop. It was called the Big
    Wheel.

    An old lady named Granny owned the
    place and she peeked out of the
    window from time to time at all those
    kids.
    She needed someone on
    the graveyard shift, 11 at night until
    seven in the morning.
    She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.

    I raced home and called the teenager
    down the street that baby-sat
    for people.
    I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a
    night.
    She could arrive with her pajamas on and
    the kids would already be asleep.
    This seemed like a good
    arrangement to her, so we made a
    deal.

    That night when the little ones and I
    knelt to say our prayers, we
    all thanked God for finding Mommy a
    job. And so I started, at the
    Big Wheel.

    When I got home in the mornings I woke
    the baby-sitter up and sent
    her home with one dollar of my tip
    money--fully half of what I
    averaged every night.
    As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager
    wage.
    The tires on the old Chevy had
    the consistency of penny balloons and
    began to leak.

    I had to fill them with air on the way
    to work and again every
    morning before I could go home.

    One bleak fall morning, I dragged
    myself to the car to go home and
    found four tires in the back seat.
    New tires!
    There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new
    tires.

    Had angels taken up residence in Indiana?
    I wondered.

    I made a deal with the local service
    station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean
    up his office.
    I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did
    for
    him to do the tires.

    I was now working six nights instead of
    five and it still wasn't
    enough.

    Christmas was coming and I knew
    there would be no money for
    toys for the kids.

    I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some
    old toys. Then hid them in the basement
    so there would be something
    for Santa to deliver on Christmas
    morning.

    Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing
    patches on top of patches on
    the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

    On Christmas Eve the usual customers
    were drinking coffee in the
    Big Wheel.
    These were the truckers,
    Les, Frank, and Jim, and a
    state trooper named Joe.
    A few musicians were hanging
    around after a gig at the
    Legion and were dropping nickels in the
    pinball machine.
    The regulars all just sat around and talked
    through the wee hours of
    the morning and then left to get home
    before the sun came up.

    When it was time for me to go home at
    seven o'clock on Christmas
    morning I hurried to the car. I was
    hoping the kids wouldn't wake
    up before I managed to get home and get
    the presents from the basement and place them under the tree.
    (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the down by the
    dump.)
    It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to
    be some
    dark shadows in the car-
    or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked
    different, but it was hard to tell what.
    When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side
    windows.
    Then my jaw dropped in amazement.

    My old battered Chevy was filled full
    to the top with boxes of all
    shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the
    driver's side door, crumbled
    inside and kneeled in the front facing
    the back seat.

    Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of
    the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes
    2-10!
    I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the
    jeans.
    Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes.
    There was candy and nuts and
    bananas and bags of groceries. There
    was an enormous ham for
    baking, and canned vegetables and
    potatoes.

    There was pudding and Jell-O and
    cookies, pie filling and flour.

    There was hole bag of laundry supplies
    and cleaning items.

    And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little
    doll..

    As I drove back through empty streets
    as the sun slowly rose on the
    most amazing Christmas Day of my life,
    I was sobbing with gratitude.
    And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones
    that precious morning.

    ...Yes, there were angels in Indiana
    that long-ago December..

    And they all hung out at the Big Wheel
    truck stop....

    THE POWER OF PRAYER.
    God still sits on the throne,
    the devil is a liar.
    You maybe going through a tough
    time right now but God is
    getting ready to bless you in a way
    that only He can.
    Keep the
    faith.

    My instructions were to pick four
    people that I wanted God to
    bless, and I picked you.

    Please pass this to at least four
    people you want to be blessed and
    a copy back to me. This prayer is
    powerful, and prayer is one of
    the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but
    a lot of rewards.

    Let's continue to pray for one another.
    Here is the prayer:....

    Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies
    reading this right now.
    Show them a new revelation of Your love and power.
  3. by   jnette
    Quote from widow2RN
    Hi Bipley,

    In my case, I think the abusive relationship happened with me because I was pretty much "blind-sided" with it in my life. Never before had I been prepared for such as this. This was treatment that was totally "new" to me..


    ...I know, for me, that the experiences of the 4 years I spent with my abusive spouse changed me for "the better." Rather than blame, I learned acceptance. Rather than becoming bitter, I chose to become better from it. Like you, I now feel that I can spot the arrogant, abusive type a mile down the road. And, there is a wisdom and knowledge learned about both MYSELF and the abusive type man that has made me into a stronger person who would NEVER again allow myself to be treated that way.

    ... at this point in my life, I also feel that sometimes we go through experiences that truly become life-lessons for us. Inwardly, we truly draw up those life-commitment boundaries of what wrong we would never do again or what wrong never to allow again done to us.

    The very strength I found that so changed me at the end of all this now makes it hard to understand why some never get out of these relationships. I do know that fear, intimidation, threatening other loved ones, and oh boy!, the total CONTROL they take over everything certainly doesn't make it easy for the woman to get out of it. But, I also know that it CAN be done, because I did it.

    Peace! :wink2:

    Thank you ! Well written.. and I so agree! Our situations were very similar.

    I have learned MUCH from the nightmare, and know as you say "how to spot them, and the red flags to look for. If you've never been exposed to it before, how are you to recognize them ? Well, I sure know NOW ! :stone
  4. by   widow2RN
    Quote from jnette
    Thank you ! Well written.. and I so agree! Our situations were very similar.

    I have learned MUCH from the nightmare, and know as you say "how to spot them, and the red flags to look for. If you've never been exposed to it before, how are you to recognize them ? Well, I sure know NOW ! :stone

    Thanks, Jnette! Great to hear from someone who can relate. I'm just wondering... when you weren't raised to be prepared for such abuse... can you recall how your family (parents, siblings, etc) reacted when you found yourself in the middle of the nightmare???

    :icon_hug: Hugs to a fellow-victor!
  5. by   widow2RN
    change your thoughts=change your life.

    love that saying, jnette!

    that saying reminds me of another i heard before...

    sow a thought... reap an action.
    sow an action... reap a habit.
    sow a habit... reap a lifestyle.
    sow a lifestyle... reap your destiny.

    it all began with how we allowed ourself to think. like they say... if you think on something long enough... you'll eventually do it.

    keep up the wisdom!
  6. by   jnette
    Quote from widow2RN
    Thanks, Jnette! Great to hear from someone who can relate. I'm just wondering... when you weren't raised to be prepared for such abuse... can you recall how your family (parents, siblings, etc) reacted when you found yourself in the middle of the nightmare???

    :icon_hug: Hugs to a fellow-victor!
    Heh... well, I never had the luxury of making a phone call. If anyone called me, he was at the earpiece with me, listening to every word, breathing down my neck. I had to pretend I was doing just FINE at all times.
    Again, I was never to be out of his sight at ANY time. As I said, I wasn't even allowed to take a shower by myself.

    This was more than just the "average" abusive realtionship (if there IS anything "average" about such).. this was sick, sick, sick. :stone

    But I do remember how shocked, infuriated, insulted, and outraged I was the very first time I was puched in the ear. I could not BELEIVE it !!!

    Right then and there I was "outta here" as one might expect, and headed to the door....but that "outta here" was to never happen and he made it painfully clear in ways I do not wish to go into in any more depth than I already have.



    I was literally a prisoner for three years.
  7. by   Pray
    I came from a family who couldn't be more loving. My dad is the BEST and my mother, siblings are all great. My sister and brother both have good marriages. Then there is me. I truly think that I never met anyone that would hurt another person and that is why I did not recognize it at first. Then, once I recognized what was going on, I denied it- basically because of the embarrassment of not being able to make the marriage work and be good like what I had seen all my life. By the time I wanted out, I was completely attached to my three step children and to my husband's sister, brother, etc.
    Well, fast forward 15 years to now, I left about two months ago now, and have filed for divorce. Fortunately my family is still there for me. I have a good job, but even so, without the cash handout I needed from dad to pay all the deposits everyone wants I instantly could see how some women do not have any choice. I got a flat tire and in the state of mind I was in leaving, trying to cope with wasting 15 years of my life, feeling sorry for myself- etc, it occured to me that if I had no help, one flat tire or similar expense could make a woman think she had to go back to where she had someone to help her. I know that sounds crazy, but after listening to the stupid logic day in and day out of how much the abuser loves you, etc. it crosses your mind that maybe you do need him. Thankfully, I had my dad's good logic that outweighed what I imagined my husband would be saying.

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