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Comments to Should I Stand Up To My Abuser?

Comments to Should I Stand Up To My Abuser?

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

I admire your courage. I too believe you are making the right choice, and I agree that you don't need anyone's approval for that. I wish you a lot of happiness in the future, and also that he may never ever find you - he sounds like a real mental case! B.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

Laura,

You may want to contact some of his 4 previous ex-wives. I'm sure you are not the first one he tried to manipulate & control. They may offer you strategies to get him to leave you alone. Whether you stay in his pattern of control or not, is up to you.

Your therapist is probably trying to get you to confront him, less for *him* getting the message that you are no longer going to allow his control over you, but more for you to give that message to yourself. He only has the power over you that you give him. Yes!

The guy is willing to use physical intimidation, not to mention manipulating the law in whatever way he can to maintain his power over you.

It's time to give yourself permission to let go of his control over you. You've already shown yourself that you can thrive without him. It's time you realize that. 

Talk to your therapist about what you fear & why you have the fears you do. I'd hate to have your very real fears discounted in ways that would leave you open to harm.

Take care,

Holly

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

WELL DONE, YOUR THINKING STRAIGHTER THAN YOU PROBABLY HAVE IN YEARS.

KEEP THOSE KIDDIES SAFE AND KEEP ON WALKING.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

Laura, Just by reading your letter I can tell that you are an intelligent, articulate lady of great strength! Trust yourself--you are on the right path. I wish you and your children a wonderful and peaceful life!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

S1

As a divorce lawyer, it looks like you may be heading for trouble. Hide this guy's kids and he's got a world class grief against you, "the monster who stole his precious children!" It doesn't matter that he has no real interest in the kids, just in manipulating you. Running away is too easy. You will take your co-dependence with you wherever you run, anyway and there's more like him out there. Better to show him you can follow minimum court orders, and poo-pooh his complaints (there will be- "you don't take care of these kids properly, you bad mother!") And the kids need to know who and what this guy is. Otherwise, they'll may not believe you when you say Dad's a monster, and they may seek him out when they're 18. Without regular, boring everyday contact, having to see what he's like first thing in the morning and last thing at night, they may also be more vulnerable to his manipulation. Besides, like it or not, he's their Dad. You picked him. You must make it work and not run away.

July 18 (Laura sent the following to me to post.)

Hello DR Irene,  Hi Laura!

Thank you much for posting your answer to my original email on your website.

I read your reply, as well as readers replies, and wish to convey my thanks
to everyone for their comments.

I will be moving to another state at the end of the month and am starting to
get very excited.  My sense of adventure is in full throttle right now! Yippeee!

I did want to address concerns that were written from a Divorce Attorney
regarding not letting my estranged husband know where we are at.  I may not
have adequately communicated my thoughts regarding my intentions toward my
estranged spouse in my first email. 

I do fully intend to let him know my whereabouts, phone number, etc., after I
am settled in and have contacted an attorney in my new city.  I consulted
with my own attorney before making a decision to move and fully intend to
comply with the Consent Order as written.  I am just banking on him not
bothering as he has done in his other marriages/family. And if he does bother you, you will deal with it, I am sure.

I also want to stress that no matter HOW bad he may have been (and he was
VERY bad) I would never, ever "badmouth" him to his kids.  I wouldn't do that
to the children, first and foremost.  I may also be naive but I believe that
"truth shall stand even when the world is on fire" and "they will KNOW him by
his actions".  He will show himself more than anyone else could, eventually. Don't badmouth dad, but don't distort their reality either. Just be honest.

Regarding the children having "everyday boring contact" with him, My
Therapist is in full agreement with me regarding my feelings that this has
been very detrimental to them.  His mouth and temper are beyond the pale and
after weekend visitations I can SEE and HEAR the damage -- and that's just
the tip of the iceberg.

Oddly enough, my spouse told me he started seeing a psychiatrist (before the
court appearance).  His told me his motive was to "get the psychiatrist to
help you [me] see how you are hurting the family by staying apart".  Yuk. Needless
to say, after 2 visits he pronounced the psychiatrist a "quack" and stopped
going.  He wasn't going for the right reason -- himself.

I will let you know in a few weeks how things are going and, again,
appreciate all the responses I have received.  Keep up the good work Laura! You sound strong; you are taking your personal power! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2000

S1

My ex-husband is a Viet Nam vet. I felt pretty secure when I had 80% custody. My reasoning went something like this: he is going to the vet meetings, he is self-aware, he wants to change. Anyway, my kids need a Dad and a Dad who is wounded in the war, who is a batterer, and who drinks is better than no Dad. He then was able to manipulate the kids to back his lies in court. He had strategically bought a house near the high school to motivate them. He accused me of withholding visitation one night, after I had come to pick him up for the third time. I now see my kids only 5 hours a week and they haven't figured things out for them selves yet. They are probably still trying to "court" his emotional availability. It will just never be there. Anyone trained in warfare, and my husband was gunnery officer, will not fight fair. They are trained for survival. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, not him. If I had to do it all over again I would have taken my kids and run. You can confront a sane person and get results, but it is foolish to think you can outwit a crazy person. Read Patricia Evans books: The Verbally Abusive Relationship  and Survivors of Verbal Abuse Speak Out. There is one story submitted about a "wild cat" who looked like a charming little kitten at first. What is unique about this is its logic. It is not that you have to "fix' yourself, but that you have to recognize the wildcat for what he is: a wildcat. He will either go to wildcat un-training school or you can stay away. In the case of "rabid" wildcats ,to take it one step further, it is safer to stay away. No argument here.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 21, 2000

S1

Hi Laura, You have managed well so far. Even though he's STILL the dad, he's not allowed to give a wrong role model for his children. A parent who can't raise them to be responsible adults is causing damage and your responsibility is to avoid these damages. If you see any affections, take it seriously! My son is living at the moment with his dad who verbally abused me for 14 years. If you ask him ,he's telling that he likes to stay with him but I KNOW that he's mind is manipulated. I'm fighting for the custody for the sake of my son. He's learning to lie, hide, use bad words, blaming all my relatives etc. Good luck and take care! Good luck to you too!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2000

S1

Not every counselor understands the persistence with which some abusers will stalk their victims. You cannot GET closure with him by confrontation, and it endangers you and your children to even try. Right. 

My best wishes to you in your new life!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

Hi, I would like to add this site to mine. The name of my organization is Victims Fighting Back. We are a non-profit organization which advocates on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. We also write legislation. My site address is http://www.townonline.koz.com/visit/vfb/ thanks  I'm adding your site to my links3.htm page and would appreciate a reciprocal link if possible. Thank you. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

S1

Go ahead and put some distance between you and this man, you need to ask yourself, do you trust this man with your children's minds? If the answer is no. Then I repeat, get a lot of distance between you and this man. Then distance itself along with the costs involved will minimize his contact and visitations. Yep.

JMastenbrook (endabuse.com) I'm linking you too; requesting reciprocal. Thanks. Dr. Irene

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

S1

Dear Laura.

You are one courageous woman!. Follow your heart and leave for the safety of you and your children. You are not running away. You are making a valid choice to preserve the welfare of your children and most of all, the emotional health of all of you! So, don't second guess yourself or seek validity from anyone. Trust what you feel to be the best thing for you and just do it. Be strong. And God bless.

Denise

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

Dear Laura, I applaud your courage!!! Please don't second guess yourself. This verbal abuse could become physical if he feels it's the only way to hold on to you. Your kids need you. Be safe and take good care of yourself!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 28, 2000

S1

You are right, Dr. Irene. So is she. I've been doing marriage and family therapy for 30 years, and he does sound like the worst of the worst. Please do not use my name or address. He may live in my state! I'm treating several females who are in similar situations, and don't need any more problems. By the way, ladies like her seem always to be on my client list! Jack L. Stevenson, South Carolina Marriage and Family License # 7. (Thanks for your useful site. A client told me about it. I'll refer others to you). If you see this, please send your contact information. I would like to add you to the site's  Therapist Directory.  Thanks.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 05, 2000

S1

Dear God

Myself and my friend have and are living this. Run!!!!!!! Eventually you will wear him down. He can't look at himself too closely, cause he will see the truth. Good luck.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

I wish you the best of luck, at least you DO have the strength to get away from the problem, God Bless you and your children. Be Safe,Be Happy.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

Right ON! I learned something from my own (not so bad) experience: With normal people, you tell them what you are going to do. With abusers, you can't. Don't ever tell him in advance what you are planning -- he will take it as a threat and retaliate. Instead, just do what you have to. So if you have to go for a restraining order, let him find out when the papers are served on him. Sorry, but... look how these people pervert our decent natures... Good luck!! Good for you!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

I know those comments. My husband tells me terrible things. After hearing them constantly, you begin to believe them. When he calls me those names, it feels like he is making me smaller and smaller. Like he is chopping hunks into me. I feel like a mouse in a corner. I was doing so well in my job and I was occasionally modeling too. I was happy, fit and had a great income. He made me move out of the state and that is when he bagan to break me down. He got me away from my family, I could not run anywhere, and he made me his scapegoat for his own problems. He says that I must do "@#$%^" to him if I want to go to the mall. Or, I'd better be up whe he comes home to give him -----, or he will be really mad. If I am asleep, he calls me whore, worthless, ugly, and all the others.... When he comes up to me to hug me (which is rare), it is like I cower to him. I am like a scolded dog. He does'nt hit me, he just calls me these terrible names. I ask him to please leave, but he won't. I just can't take the names. I understand now that this is abuse, I want it to stop! I am so low. I want myself back. I want to stand up to him. I want him to not just hear me, but to really listen. Any tips anyone?

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

this is very strange

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2000

S1

this is very strange

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2000

S1

I broke up with a verbally abusive and sometimes physical abuser last yr. I stupidly went back with him because after so much remorse on his part he bought me a carat+ ring and I thought "My god he must really love me to do this!" The point I am tring to make though is that, I had a nagging voice in the back of my mind the whole last year we were back together. Listen to that voice in the back of your head, Go and don't look back! I am afraid because this guy only lives a mile from my house and we are in a remote area, I'm scared because even though we've had no contact for a week I am afraid he'll wear me down. The only thing I am going by though this time is the voice in the back of my head.This time I plan (if he attempts reconciliation) to listen to that voice. I am kind of hoping he found a new victim, though I'll have to pray for her. But even if he did, it will still hurt (I won't lie) but also relief too! I am not too good with this computer stuff so I'll Give you my e-mail if you feel the need to correspond. I sure need someone to talk to real bad. I am at minypin@webt.v.net or minypin@hotmail.com Any kind of supportive e-mail would be greatly appreciated

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 19, 2000

S1

What a very brave, intelligent woman, blessed of God to persevere under overwhelming adversity, and to always love, protect and nurture her children, look to options for flourishing, i.e., complete education, realize the dynamics of fight or flight, and, as far as I see, all those reading her story would corporately rally a tremendous applause for rational, logical, loving analyses to attain assurance that, having done everything, let go - - and I do pray God will provide even more abundantly to you and yours. I know your story so well - - it is mine, too - - but some of the prisoners did not escape without severe wounds - - and God has to fix them. God bless you, precious lady!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

yO

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU SAID I COULD RELATE TO, ESPECIALLY THE EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION. MY I WAS MARRIED TO A DOCTOR FOR 10 YEARS AND HE HAS SUCCESSFULLY MANIPULATED THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO THE POINT WHERE I HAVE TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY. HE STILL HARASSES AND INTIMIDATES ME AND HE KNOWS HOW TO PLAY GAMES WHEN WE FINALLY MADE IT TO C MADE IT TO COURT. THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND THE LOOPHOLES HE HAS FOUND HAVE BEEN UNBELIEVABLE. I AM ASTIRED OF MY ABUSERS TACTICS AS I AM THE LEGAL SYSTEM. GO TO ANOTHER STATE AND START OVER, I WISH I HAD. BECAUSE HE IS A DOCTOR HE HAS PUT ME PUT ME THROUGH AS MUCH HELL AS WHEN WE WERE STILL MARRIED. I AM EXHAUSTED FINANCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY. I AM A TEACHER AND I AM THINKING ABOUT RUNNING.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU SAID I COULD RELATE TO, ESPECIALLY THE EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION. MY I WAS MARRIED TO A DOCTOR FOR 10 YEARS AND HE HAS SUCCESSFULLY MANIPULATED THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO THE POINT WHERE I HAVE TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY. HE STILL HARASSES AND INTIMIDATES ME AND HE KNOWS HOW TO PLAY GAMES WHEN WE FINALLY MADE IT TO C MADE IT TO COURT. THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND THE LOOPHOLES HE HAS FOUND HAVE BEEN UNBELIEVABLE. I AM ASTIRED OF MY ABUSERS TACTICS AS I AM THE LEGAL SYSTEM. GO TO ANOTHER STATE AND START OVER, I WISH I HAD. BECAUSE HE IS A DOCTOR HE HAS PUT ME PUT ME THROUGH AS MUCH HELL AS WHEN WE WERE STILL MARRIED. I AM EXHAUSTED FINANCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY. I AM A TEACHER AND I AM THINKING ABOUT RUNNING.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 21, 2003

S1

Last year on Feb 6th, Scott Steinfeld, an ex boyfriend who had been stalking me for a year and a half and who had previously been charged with harrassing me, followed me in a public area and battered me, knocking my tooth loose. As of this date, the tooth has completly fallen out. Back when we dated, he paid for extensive dental work to be done to two of my teeth. When I left him because of his violent obsessive behavior he threatened to knock out the two crowns he had paid for b/c they were "his" . He made this threat over and over again. On that day in Feb, when he succeeded in fulfilling his threat, I called the law for help. he was promptly arrested and remained in jail for six days. He also served a month on house arrest and was given a criminal non-contact order to stay away from me as part of his bond. Lastly, he was banned from entering Osceola County the county in which I reside by Judge Blechman . This was done for my protection. I was initially satisfied with the efforts of law enforcement and the staff of State Attorney Lawson Lamar. My problems came about it civil court. when the Defendant was arraigned for his crime in late March, almost two months after his arrest, he quite suddenly decided that I posed a terrible threat to him. For the record, I have never threatened, stalked or battered him, and most certainly have never been charged with doing so. I have since learned that the State of Fla 's Laws of filing and obtaining injunctions require neither proof nor witnesses nor a police report for filing, although it is customary at the final hearing when both parties are present in front of the judge that some corroborating evidence over and above the Petitioners word be presented . as you know well, there need be no case pending or previously have occured. In the interests of Justice and fairness, most judges typically are reluctant to grant injunctions against parties who have not been charged or accused, and especially when the Petitioner - the person claiming to be the "victim" in civil court - has themselves a history of undesirable behavior toward the person they are seeeking the restraining order against. To every standard there is an exception, and I was the exception when I and the man who battered me appeared in front of Judge Gail Adams. I have since found out she is unpopular amongs many and particularly disliked by Legal Aid since she has shown a marked bias towards women, especially in domestic / family cases. { she rules unfairly against them often. } The temporary injunction submitted under oath by the Defendant / Petitioner was rather bizarre in nature. {see paperwork} The date was illegible and left me unable to provide an alibi. Worst of all, I had no funds to hire a lawyer. I have since learned the hard way that one thing about injunction cases that s a well known fact but rarely admitted is that often the Respondents with attorneys dont get an injunction against them - even if they should - and the ones without one often do . this was the I showed the temp injunction with which I was served with to various professionals in the legal / criminal field. They were : the Orange County Sheriffs Office , the Office of the State Attorney, and the Orange County Victim Services Ctr, and Harbor House, they were all of the opinion that the statements were ludicrous and clearly retaliatory and didnt think I had much to worry about as far as such an injunction being granted. When we appeared in front of the Judge, she was already having a bad day it seemed. With each progressing case she grew more frustrated. It didnt help me that I and my batterer had previously been in front of her half a year ago in April of 2001 when I sought an extension on an injunction I had against him. When he appeared with his attorney in that case, she dismissed it as she usually does when respondents have attorneys and the petitioner has no witnesses . When he battered me eight months later, I wrote a letter complaining about her and copied her on it. Doubtless, she didnt appreciate that. At the time of the hearing for the injunction against me, she mustve remembered me bc she slapped me with a permanent injunction , which is unusual and bizarre, considering the circumstances and lack of evidence. My batterer thought the whole thing was funny and laughed out loud as she dismissed my objections with a cursory "I've had enough, I'm done for the day ! " We were the last case on the docket. My "hearing" lasted all of ten minutes, and I didnt get to speak but for a few. I presented facts which I surely thought would work in my favor, but it didnt seem to matter. She'd made her mind up and I was just one more case she was able to get out of the way. In contrast, I sat through and watched her give parties with attorneys up to an hour - sometimes more - and these were cases were the Respondents were actually criminally accused or convicted ! The pro se parties seemed to just sort of be kicked to the curb in comparison. I have since been asked : why would I object to an injunction ordering me to stay away from someone I dont even want to be around ? It is nt the injunction per se I've a problem with, its what it stands for and the powers the spring from it. Never having been accused by the police or criminal courts of being a threat or danger to my batterer, I am nonetheless entered in to law enforcement databases nationwide as having an injunction against me. As a matter of course, I have chosen to keep a gun in my home for self-protection and never, not once have I been accused of pulling one, or even misusing one! As a direct result of the injunction, I am of course barred from even touching one ! Most importantly, an injunction can easily effecate a false arrest since all the Petitioner must do is call 911 and claim to have been harassed ! I as the accused, need not be present at the scene, nor need there be any evidence. The very essence and nature of the injunction is the "warrantless arrest" clause, which bypasses the customary investigative procedure and encourages law enforcement to act upon the complaint of a Petitioner, lack of evidence notwithstanding. This is particularly disturbing considering this batterer has previously attempted to have me charged with stalking. It was investigated and determined to be false by the assigned detective. But the injunction has just made his life easier, he doesnt have to provide any proof other than a sworn statement, since the injunction by its very virtues carries the presumtion that I am dangerous to this individual. If you wish to verify anything I've said you may do so by requesting from me anything you wish to see. Legal Aid sent me a sympathetic letter stating they wish they had the funds and attorney availability to appeal this case on my behalf, but they do not. period. end of story. they have already gone far out of their way for me - They have never before taken on an injunction case on behalf of the Respondent . After I pleaded my case with them, they agreed to ask for a rehearing on my behalf because this judge seems to have a bad reputation in the way she makes her rulings. The motion was filed within the proper time frame, but the judge summarily denied it, meaning she gave no reason for doing so ! Most recently, I hired a private attorney who filed a motion for recusal on by behalf on grounds that I cannot get a fair and proper hearing in front of this judge. The Judge did not set that for a hearing either, despite being under advisement that a Judicial Qualifications Complaint - ie a formal grievance - had been filed against her, - and that she is , as a result , under formal inquiry. Rather, she instead stubbornly refused to recuse herself and denied the motion, again summarily. so she is now sitting on a case, with a MAJOR conflict of interest issue, namely one of ethics, because a Judge isnt supposed to hear a case involving a party where a grievance has been know to have been filed - it's considered morally wrong to do so. I had no money for appeal and my attorney and I were up against a wall ! I had to let her go bc I could no longer keep paying her. now my case is pending appeal, my brief is due this month and I dont know how to get started, I wish some one would help me and do it as a public service to a victim, but so far no one has wanted to . I will continue to pray..... the next step was a motion to dismiss, which was denied . I had a competent, ethical attorney, but the judge wouldnt even let her talk or go into the original facts . she simply stated there was no grounds for such a motion to be granted . the said hearing was attended by Ms Margaret Anglin Ceo of Harbor House, the Orange County Coalition against DV, who was there in my support and stated on record that she was attending the hearing on behalf of the respondent . she was not there to testify to anything, but rather I had asked her to attend as a show of moral support and to demonstrate - by her presence - what she thought of this whole case. and she graciously agreed. but not even that swayed the judge and the decision stood . the State Attorney's office, which had been highly supportive of me all along, has now filed a criminal information against me the report being initiated by Steinfeld. the charge is harassing telephone calls in violation of an injunction and there was never such a phone call made by me, and the date he reported it was two weeks after the date it allegedly happened AND most importantly, there is no record of such a phone call. the report was made in retaliation by him when I sought to get the injunction dismissed. obviously the thought of that happening caused him to lose control and panic and since he no longer has direct control over my life, he indirectly controls it by pitting both the civil and criminal system against me. I was forced to get an attorney and we moved to dismiss the criminal charge. faced with all the evidence in my favor, the State agreed there was nothing to prosecute. why they even filed on it in the first place is unclear. The only thing as bad as the injunction was his acquittal on the dv battery charge. his attorney was manipulative and told the jury unless they were positive the couldnt convict. the prosecutor assigned t my case went into labor the night before the trial and the prosecutor who showed up to replace her hadnt even viewed the file til the morning of the trial . yet after the acquittal, they made me empty promises in the form of a perjury charge which never materialized , ( it basically died in intake ) they filed it and then said they couldnt proceed because the lie had to be "significant'" . Can you please look into this and see how you might help me ? I thought perhaps you might assist me or know someone who can . . Funds are my biggest problem, and it is ironic that whenever my batterer was in court, whether for an injunction or criminal matter, he always had the best attorney money could buy and I have not been so lucky. this has sent me the message that justice can be bought and paid for, and in this instance, I guess I have lost by virtue of not being able to afford competent counsel. I finally got a permanent injunction against him which doesnt mean much bc he just got arrested for violating it. upon bonding out he filed a civil contempt action against me asking the judge who slapped me with the injunction to hold me in contempt for making two phone calls I never made. per his affidavit there is no record of the phone calls and there is neither a date nor time stated. . please let me know if you can help