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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments to The Perfect Man

Comments to The Perfect Man

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 

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I think you picked up my ex-husband! No, seriously, Dr. Irene is right. This man will abuse you more and each time the severity will increase. To top that off, you will feel like you can't tell anyone so no one will know what it happening to you. His control is the same as my ex. I had to be home from work by 4:30 but that was the time I was supposed to get off work. I actually left work early, so I wouldn't be late! (Bad!) I would justify it by coming in early or working part of the lunch hour to make up for the "missing" time.

Truth is he was great to my daughter until our son was born. Then he started abusing her (at 18 months). When I turned him into Child Protective Services, he turned the physical abuse on me.

Get OUT! NOW! You did fine before he came into you life. Do you want to have the responsibility of his children to boot. If you end up having his children, then you will be forever attached to him (contact et al) because of child support and visitation (if he gets it). Get out now while you still have some of your self-esteem in tact. I will be far easier now, then later.

You are a fine person in your own right and you don't need him to decide what you life should be for you! My ex used the same argument that my friends were a bad influence. Unlike yours, my friends and family were "snobs" to him. (We are all college educated, professionals) And so all "our" friends were chosen by him.... white trash going nowhere in life.

You have a mind. Use it. What you see is true and he won't change. You are in imminent danger. You need to go to a battered women's shelter and get a restraining order immediately.

Best to you. Please come back and let us know how you are!

 

Dianne

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DEAREST CARA,

LEAVE NOW...WITHOUT A TRACE. PLAN IT OUT, LINE UP YOUR DUCKS, DON'T TELL HIM WHERE YOU ARE GOING. CONFIDE IN YOUR FAMILY, GET A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST HIM. Cara, if you don't do this, you will be 25 years old, black and blue, your child will be dysfunctional, you will have NO self-esteem and you will be dependent on this animal. Think with your MIND, not with your HEART. Talk to everyone, let them know about him. Tell HIS parents how abusive he is. I know this is hard since you are involved with him but YOU ARE HEADED FOR BIG TROUBLE! He is MAKING you need him so that he can ABUSE you! PLEEEEEASE LISTEN TO ALL OF US. If you can't think enough of yourself right now, think of your SON. Don't think about how good he is to you materialistically, on paper, think about what he's doing to your soul, your insides, your child. START PACKING and get your son in a safe place. If you think you hurt on the outside, picture a life full of bruises inside that will take years to heal...we can all help you if you need it just post another message.

Love From, "Learned the hard way" Alias LHW

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Dear Cara, You can't even be an acquaintance to that guy! I dated a young man who began with just verbal abuse when he was frustrated & angry (which was not about me, but directed toward me, and blamed on me.) When I told him that this was unacceptable and I finally broke up with him, he harassed me by playing his music loud. (Unfortunately he lives on the other side of my wall in a condo.) He would always be sad and remorseful when his tantrum was over, and when he was calm we looked into his past. He was molested as a child. He has "learned helplessness" issues, which lead to his need to control others and why he allows himself to be controlled, as well as major anger problems. When he agreed that he would go and get help, I stood by him, trying to be supportive. This was wrong. I compromised my life and my well being for an individual who was going through the motions to get what he wanted: to be with me. For over 2 and 1/2 years I would pull away, come back and trust him because he was getting some help. Sometimes I would see some hope as he did try to make some effort, but for the most part I was on a roller coaster ride with him. Yet, his verbal abuse and harassing music turned into pushing and shoving. I thought I was protecting myself by withdrawing some. I was not. The last we left it was that I would see him in church on Sunday and that I would talk to him over the phone only. No dates, no meetings. He was very bad at keeping the boundaries WE set together and he failed to keep all of his promises also. Last Monday, he did not like what I said, over the phone, so hours later, when he got home from work, he hunted me down, yelled in my face, spit in my face, and then started pushing me. He pushed me over my dog. When I caught myself my hand went over his face and I scratched him with my finger nail. He marched inside and called the police on me! This tells me that he feels he has the right to abuse me. As you can see from my story, the guy I was with, as well as the guy you are with, will continue to get worse, not better...even with some help! They don't care about us! They care about having their own selfish needs met. When we do not meet their desires they try to control us with their anger. That is a sick relationship. You and I deserve better than that. Control does not equal love. This guy does not love you. How can you or I love someone who has no respect for our boundaries? It is never okay for anyone to yell abusive things or push or hurt you. THERE IS NO EXCUSE! An abuser will always blame his inappropriate behavior on YOU. There is never any time when it is your fault that someone is out of control and is trying to control you with his anger! A healthy person can agree to disagree with you. A healthy person may express his disappointment that you will not do what he wants you to do, and then respect your decision. I understand that there are times when everything seems wonderful. Maybe you have the same sense of humor, enjoy the same activities. I'm sure he can be quite sweet at times. So could the guy I was seeing. It is not all black and white. An abuser is not either a monster or not an abuser. Like the guy I was seeing, the guy you are seeing was probably damaged as a child. He now damages others as he continues what he learned. His self esteem is low. He does not value himself, therefore he does not value you. Do not be co-dependent and try to help him. Do not make his problems your problems. Do not try to stand by him while he gets help. Let him get help, prove himself to you, and then think about it, if you are still interested in him 3 to 4 years later. It could take longer. If he is not committed to getting help, then he has just told you that he intends to abuse you, and continue to make himself a victim of his abuser. He has shut the door on a healthy relationship, not you. You cannot help him. You will not change him. If you stay the abuse will increase until your self esteem will plummet, your life will suffer, and you will sustain physical injuries. You will spend time with the police and with counselors. Your job will suffer. Your son will learn how to treat women from what this man and you model for him, and he in turn will grow up to be an abuser. Your life will suffer and so will your sons, just for staying with this man. Don't you and your son deserve a better life than that? RUN, DON'T WALK AWAY NOW! If you stay too long this man will think of you as his possession and will not want to let you go. Restraining orders will not keep him from you. He will find you if you move too. Why do you need this crap in your life? If you can't imagine this guy being like this, remember, neither could I or any other women that this has happened to. If any of us saw it coming we wouldn't have hung in there! Learn from others experiences and save yourself a lot of pain and suffering. Leave this guy right now!

Annette, pastor & counselor in training.

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It's true you should leave this man immediately. And DO NOT let him sweet talk his way back into your life. You've come face to face with a hard case abuser, so take a lesson from this experience and move on with your life.

Think of your son and the lessons you teach by example. Think of the deep insecurities your son may develop as a result of your relationship with this very troubled man.

You know what to do and have the courage to do it. Leave him.

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It is so sad that you have allow this for even one minute. If you continue with this man you may end up dead!!!! You deserve more out of life then to be abused in this manner.

I agree with the doctor GET OUT NOW!!!

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Dear Cara,

If you are like I was no matter what anyone had to say I did what I wanted and made my partners terrible behavior ok. It may seem like it will be ok because sometimes it is wonderful. I don't even know this man and I know he will get worse. Control isn't about love. Someone who would hit you and hurt you doesn't love you. Love can't live with abuse.

My partner was the most wonderful man for 10 months. Then it turned one day and it has been going down hill for 3 and a half years.

If you are independent and have a roof over your head don't give this guy one more inch. I left with my boyfirend and I am loosing my house and everything I own because I trusted him and he said he would help me and take care of things.

One of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS is protecting your son from seeing this abuse. I promise you it will imprint him for the rest of his life even if he is little. Show your son you respect yourself and never let anyone hurt you.

I really thought when my partner started abusing me I couldn't stop and walk away or it might end the relationship. Now I accept he ended the relationship with the first hit.

Cara, you only get one life and when your young it seems like forever. I promise you the choices you make today will affect you 20 years from now.

If you don't believe me just try a test. Back off and this guy will come with flowers and the whole bit. Or be careful he may come at you with the control he plans to use on you full time once he gets you.

Like Dr. Irene says sit with your feelings. How do you feel after being beaten by this guy? And abusers are expert talkers. He is going to make it your fault no matter what he did. Protect yourself and your son. You deserve better.

God's Blessings to you,

Faith

 

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Cara, For your sake and the sake of your child GET OUT NOW!!! Listen to Dr. Irene. You do NOT want to stay with such a man. Your situation makes the verbal abuse I went through for so many years look like absolutely nothing. You will not be an independent woman much longer if you stay with him.

This man is not just bad. He is very, very, VERY BAD. If he won't leave then you leave, preferably while he is out of the house. Surely your family would help you to get your things out while he is gone.

Please, I beg of you GET OUT!

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Hi Cara,

You ask if your boyfriend is good or bad. The answer is he is PSYHCO BAD. RUN for your life. Men like him kill woman like you. Do you want to be another Hedda Neusbaum...remember her, she was the common law wife of a lawyer who killed that little girl they adopted....Lisa Steinberg. Take a look at the before and after pictures of Hedda...he bashed her face in so many times.. she is permanently disfigured. And her story is very similar to yours. You either run for your life now...or you will forever regret it.

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Dear Cara, I am the older sister of an abuser. He is 48 yrs, I'm 50. I have observed his behavior with a series of girlfriends. Every woman he has had a relationship with left him. I became friends with three of his ex's. I'm speaking to you from 30 years of experience observing his behavior. Your partner is exactly like my brother. You asked if your partner's age made a difference. Yes, it does. My brother always goes for younger women because they are more naive than women his age, thus, easier to control. My parents (deceased) and I have heard all the lies, seen all the manipulations my brother has used on women. He repeats the same pattern with every woman, just as your partner is doing to you. You are no different than any other woman your man has dated, don't think you are special. Whenever a woman broke up with my brother he would cry, buy her gifts, and tell her she was the only woman who ever meant anything to him. Oh, how much he loved her. He would also tell her that no one else understood him. His tales of woe were long and sad, stories designed to pull your heart strings. So your boyfriend says he was abused as a child? It could be true, but I doubt it. If it is true, he is only telling you to tug at your heart, to get what he wants from you. (By the way, my brother has used these same tactics to manipulate and control our parents and me.) My brother has even threatened to kill himself to get a woman back---he has never been suicidal, all a lie to manipulate the woman he was dating at the time. Even with a restraining order, your man will come after you. Read The "The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker so you will know how to get away from him. He will track you down and stalk you. I'll bet your man has an arrest record, too. Is my brother a nice person? Yes, many times he is very sweet, compassionate, and considerate. Just like your partner. Do I, like my parents and his numerous ex's ever feel sorry for him? Yes. His life is hell. Can we make him normal? No, that is what is so sad. Professional therapists haven't been able to fix him either. Over the years he has been court-ordered into all kinds of counseling programs, including domestic violence. My brother has verbally and physically abused every woman he has been with. One time he put my 72 yr old father in the hospital and hit me. We called the police. Don't think that having your man arrested will "teach him a lesson." It won't. He'll only plead, and tell you how sorry he is. OR, he will tell you it's all your fault. How could YOU be so cruel and selfish? How could you exaggerate so much? It was all just a big misunderstanding, right? And he'll drive you crazy until you drop the charges. YOUR SON. My brother was verbally abusive to children. If you can't save yourself, save your son by leaving this man. Trust your instincts. Trust the people on this site who have been through these situations. YOU ARE IN DANGER. You cannot help fix what is wrong with your partner. Get Away from Him! DO NOT LET HIM BACK IN YOUR LIFE. Abusers know how to make you feel guilty. They know how to confuse you. Grieve about this relationship that didn't work, feel the sadness, and MOVE ON WITHOUT HIM. (From the older sister of an abuser who has seen it all.)

 

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Cara leave now. You have been given the gift of instinct for a reason, listen to it! Move, cut off contact, change your locks whatever it takes to get away from him. I am honestly afraid for you! The abuse will only get worse, don't allow it too. Leave now!

Paula

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Cara, You are being brainwashed by this man and have done nothing "selfish" at all. The man you describe is not operating from the same reality as you. In fact, selfish people like him can only project their selfishness onto another person. He is very 'dangerous' as Dr. Irene said and the violence is already escalating and will only continue to do so if you stay with him. In fact, you should take precautions to protect yourself and your child as well if you do decide to leave him and I certainly hope you do. I left a physically, emotionally and verbally abusive relationship but it took a call to the police because he was choking me (again) but this time with the intent to kill, which I guess is the ultimate way to control someone. There is nothing he can do that could make up for the abuse you describe and all I can say is ,"Save Yourself"!

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Cara,

I know you find yourself questioning so much. I have been there and honestly still find myself there often even though I have been diligently learning about this stuff for over a year. I have thrown myself into my recovery and am trying so hard, I am getting somewhere and I would like to see you get away from there too! However if you do not learn to set and enforce personal boundaries and learn to recognize abuse, you will end up in another relationship that's the same! you have been separated from your husband for two years, why? what happened in your marriage? it was probably abusive too right?

one very important rule for you is "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS". stop listening to his words because they are not backed up by his actions! he does not treat you lovingly and he blames you for his abusive behaviors. In his mind he most likely believes what he says. His beliefs are twisted! Stop listening to him! I know I have been there! I had a very similar relationship with a boyfriend I was with at 16, guess what? I married him when I was 21! I had 3 kids with him and now I am struggling to get out and away! It got progressively worse and all the time I believed all his words and his abuse was my fault. I believed no one could love me as much as he for he told me so. I eventually lost myself! and its a damn hard fight to get you back while you are with him. I know I have been working on me for 2 years. Knowing inside I want out and need to get out but since we have children it held me back. He kept guilting me and using emotional black mail on me to get me to stay. saying oh you want to destroy this family for your own happiness. Threatened I will be just like my mom if I leave. I let him isolate me from my friends and family for a long time, not anymore! The abuse just gets worse! he is comfortable laying hands on you and that is not okay no matter what you do! You need to get your son away from that monster! He is being groomed to be an abuser like him or be a victim like you! as he gets older he will most likely take on the abuser role because he sees him as the strong when and learn to be disrespectful to you just like his role model is teaching him. he is learning how the world works by what goes on in your home. I will tell you one of the biggest impacting articles I read to have me say hey I am not going to "stay for the sake of the kids" (a belief I lived by) was here at Dr. Irene's site "Divorce: Protecting the children" read it and reread it! you must realize this man is an abuser!!! there is no excuse for his actions no matter what he claims! wrong is wrong! he is not helping you he is tearing you down and destroying you and you are allowing it! I had a lot of anger for myself for what I allowed to happen to me for so long. I have forgiven myself because I know I was doing the best I could with the beliefs I had. You can educate yourself here at this site and in books and in therapy. you must take responsibility for your life! its yours! he claims he is helping you and wants you to be happy. well if that's what you want then you take control of that! its your job to take care of you and your happiness and no one else's besides it sounds to me he is doing a lousy job of it! You are the only person for that job. When it comes to physical abuse zero tolerance is the rule!

read through here and see if you recognize anything - ABUSE SIGNS~ (signs of verbal and emotional abuse) http://drirene.com/verbal1.htm

also read this post I posted on the message board. WHAT IS A HEALTHY MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIP~ http://www.insidetheweb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi?acct=mb654279&MyNum=955141426&P=No&TL=955141426

Cycle of Abuse: Time is Not on Your Side! http://drirene.com/cyclesof.htm

My Boundaries~ http://drirene.com/boundari.htm

Recovery Map life during and after abuse~ http://drirene.com/road_map_for_recovery.htm

very important to read this next one to find where your beliefs are coming from that are allowing you to be treated this way. FAMILY OF ORIGIN STUFF~ http://drirene.com/what_is.htm

Divorce: Protecting the Children~ http://drirene.com/divorce.htm

You are in an abusive relationship! he is an abuser! The longer you stay the more damage to recover from and the more difficult it gets to get out. GET OUT! but dont stop there! work on you get the help you need, because damage has been done and you need to recover and heal. You also need to learn to make changes in yourself so you do not repeat this relationship again.

take care of you! remember, to take care of your son you must first take care of you! What's best for you is what is best for him.

My best to you Suz

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Cara, the verdict on this guy is unanimous. GET HIM OUT... TODAY if possible. He could be VERY dangerous. He's a "suitable case for treatment," as they say--in a locked facility if it comes to that!

I agree with the woman above who told you to THINK, not let your "heart" mislead you. Unlike many people, I don't go much on telling others to "trust your feelings"--though you should always listen to them. What's more difficult is figuring out where they come from, what they mean, and which is most important. I'm skeptical about saying "trust your feelings" because we have lots of different feelings, all mixed, and I'm asking "WHICH of many feelings is it that we're supposed to trust more than the others?"

That's half the problem, when some feelings can be exaggerated, while others aren't as strong as they ought to be. Cara, your instincts did lead you to wonder whether this man was being fair (no, he sure as hell isn't; he's so far out of the box it almost "can't be true"!), and whether there isn't something wrong with him (you bet your LIFE there is--all too literally!) Your feelings are reliable that far at least; but they should have been stronger, a lot stronger.

This guy secretly disconnected a wire on your car to keep you immobilized at home. No doubt he had a "plausible" reason for doing so; it was "for your own good" (which is one of the biggest lies in the world, as Alice Miller pointed out), because otherwise you'll only go out with your friends, who are a "bad influence." And besides, this is the man who's looked after you and even your son so well, the man you love (place hand over heart, sound of violins). Of course he was "only trying to look after you"... wasn't he?

Clear your head of all that subjective stuff and look at it OBJECTIVELY instead. Imagine yourself watching this on a movie screen. Here's the "solicitous lover" skulking around disabling his trusting girlfriend's car. What's he up to? WHY is he doing this? Isn't this WEIRD behavior, isn't it SINISTER? Even if we weren't sure what his motives were, we'd be instantly suspicious and brand him a probable villain. And if he smoothly reassured her that he had a good reason, we'd say "OF COURSE he'll do that; villains always do! They take people in." We'd yell at the unsuspecting heroine on the screen to be on her guard. Where was your SUSPICION, Cara? Taking a day off?

Then he "ordered" you to stay at home for twelve hours or so while he was out, most of the day and evening. Now if anybody tried "ordering" me to stay at home, I'd feel instantly angry. If they were "nice" to me most of the time, I'd probably start by holding that anger back, being more diplomatic, and saying "Excuse me, but I'm just not going to do that, no matter what you tell me." They have no right. But if they tried to force it on me, I'd be enraged. I'd tell them to shove it right up their ugly fat ass until it came out their mouth. They'd hear some "verbal abuse" from me then, all right! ;) And finally, I'd laugh in their face--because the idea is so absurd. So where was your ANGER about all this, Cara? Gone to sleep?

And that's before I've even started on the violence done to you. I'm not only asking why you aren't more angry about this, but this guy started strangling you. How would you feel if you saw that happening to someone on a movie screen? So where was your FEAR, Cara? I'm sure it was there at the time, but where is it now? Gone fishing and left you alone?

But then there are all these other feelings. "Love," whatever that means. Gratitude, no doubt, to this man who's been treating you so well--to start with, anyway. Guilt, if you "hurt" him by rejecting him "after all he's done for you" (ahem!). And that's all the worse because the poor fellow must be so incredibly insecure and scared. That's why he's so insanely possessive of you. He's afraid of what you'll do, based on nothing you've done at all. He's so frightened of losing you that he would, quite literally, prefer to DESTROY you than allow that to happen. He's proven that already.

All those feelings are much TOO strong. But HIS feelings aren't YOUR problem. They're something pathologically wrong with him. You're not the cause of that, and there's no way you can fix it either. As for your feelings, DROP the guilt, and CAN the gratitude. They're no use to you in your situation. How grateful should you feel to someone who wants you to live in a prison, allowed out only under supervision, who tosses drinks in your face, rips your clothes off, throws you against a wall, and tries to strangle you?--and will certainly do worse in the future. THROW THIS MONSTER OUT, NOW--before he KILLS you.

So what price "feelings"? The other half of the problem is that many of them are rooted in our beliefs, and in our learned understanding of other people and of ourselves, which may or may not be accurate. Cara, if you "wanted someone to have a better life," and acted kindly toward them--like your son, say--that would mean to you that you loved them. You'd act fairly consistently; you might get angry now and again, but you wouldn't seriously hurt someone you loved. It's largely the same with other people. If they act kindly toward us much of the time, if they seem to love us, we find with most people that they won't turn around and abuse us violently at another time. We learn to "expect" fairly consistent behavior from people, because that's usually what we've seen. But you can't expect that from this guy. You might have trouble figuring him out because you haven't seen anyone like him before.

But you have seen him before--probably in an Alfred Hitchcock movie! He's insane. He's bonkers. You can't trust him an inch because there's something wrong inside his head. His feelings and behavior at one time are no guide to what they might be at others--as you've seen for yourself, several times. When you do things that wouldn't give a normal person the slightest cause for suspicion or anger--like having your own female cousin, your best friend, to visit--he reacts violently. And later, he put his hands around your throat and squeezed? Well, he does have feelings. After you're dead on the floor, I don't doubt he'll feel sincerely sorry for what he's done. I mean that. He'll probably burst into tears, and he'll send a gorgeous bunch of flowers to your funeral--if that's any consolation to you. But which is worse: to walk around feeling sad without him and guilty because you threw him out? Or to end up six feet underground?

I don't doubt either that he acts this way because something bad happened to him a long time ago. We might feel sorry for him about this. We might feel sorry for poor old Count Dracula as well. It can't be very nice for the fellow, being condemned to a living death. But we'd still scream and run away if he came tapping at our window. You won't change your monster either by feeling sorry for him or being nice to him. Is he bad? is he good? you ask. That's not really the point. The point is, he's very bad indeed FOR YOU, not to mention your son, and quite possibly lethal.

If I were you, Cara, I'd quietly pick up the phone and call the police. Tell them your situation. I gather this is your house you're living in, so this guy is going to have to be ejected, together with any property he has. I wouldn't trust him in a confrontation about that. He could react violently, so you'll need solid backup. Get help from your friends and family too. Get the locks on your doors changed immediately. You can make a complaint about what he's already done, if you need to, and you can get a restraining order. Just get him out and keep him out. If he asks why, all you need to tell him is that you're afraid of what he might do--as you have every reason to be.

And one other thing. Do get some counseling for yourself, Cara. There are things you need to learn--about other people like him, and how to spot them; and most of all about yourself, about why you let a guy like this get so far with you before seriously asking what was wrong. You can find out. Keep reading this site as well, and I'm sure everyone will look forward to a news update from you. Good luck!

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For heaven's sake Cara ...RUN! Don't walk. Don't let your child see you being treated this way. You owe it to your CHILD and YOURSELF! Call the cops if he lays a HAND on you EVER AGAIN! Yes, I know I'm shouting but you seem to have a thick head when it comes to your own best interest. Age indeed plays a part- This jerk is NOT your father. You take care of yourself. RUN RUN RUN LIKE HELL!

Cara, 

Have you read these responses? Please post and let us know how you are. Dr. Irene

 

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You should have had him arrested a long time ago. Not only are his actions abusive, they're criminal. It's just a matter of time before he serious injuries you or kills you.

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This is a note to the lady above, whose 48-year-old brother is an abuser.

Thanks very much for helping to reinforce all our advice to Cara. She needs to get rid of her psycho nut as soon as possible, for her own safety. The more voices telling her that, the better, and yours is another voice to help her. And I don't doubt in the least anything you say about your brother's behavior.

BUT...

One thing you said absolutely shrieked at me. Here it is:

"So your boyfriend says he was abused as a child? It could be true, but I doubt it."

May I suggest something to you? Would you please read Cara's letter through carefully and ask yourself WHERE YOU GOT THAT IDEA FROM? Because I've done the same, three or four times, and I could find no hint of it anywhere in the letter.

Let me say immediately that I personally have little doubt that this gravely troubled man, this "psycho," almost certainly suffered something early in life that made him the danger to women that he is today. But who suggested that? Nobody; not even the posters who came before you.

So what are you defending against with this protest? In my mind, you're doing what I call "shadowboxing." You're fighting ghosts that aren't there--except in your own head. Do you know the line from "Hamlet": "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"?

Do you see what I'm asking myself? I'm asking myself, to begin with, why you're saying what you're saying to warn other women against men like this. I know why I'm saying what I'm saying, because it's too obvious to anyone with half a brain that Cara's boyfriend is bonkers, and potentially deadly to her. But I'm wondering what your own experience is with men--about which you've said nothing--and whether possibly you've had any bad experiences (and whether there was a reason for that), or whether you've had little experience at all, possibly because something you experienced as a child warned you off committed relationships altogether.

I don't need you to tell me that; I could be guessing entirely wrong about it, and I admit it. I'm just Mister Nosey Parker, that's all. I always have to ask "Why?" It's an obsession with me. I like to understand why things happen. The world has to make sense to me. But why are you so set on insisting that Cara's boyfriend probably wasn't abused as a child? Why, in short, are you DEFENDING YOUR PARENTS against any possibility of an accusation that they might have F^&%D YOUR BROTHER'S HEAD OVER? With physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or any other form of abuse? Abuse that you might personally have escaped in your family--by adapting to it, by becoming the "good girl" allied with your parents, and possibly by becoming codependent? And suffering the consequences?

This guy put your 72-year-old father in the hospital, and hit you as well? I wouldn't dream of putting my father in the hospital when he was 72, or at any other age. I respected my father, and my mother--because they both respected me. Doesn't it occur to you that there might have been a REASON for what your brother did? That your father--who was, after all, directly responsible for helping to raise your brother--might have done something to DESERVE that? Henry Lee Lucas, besides suffering countless other abuses, was so viciously beaten by his mother that he not only stored up unimaginable rage, but she physically damaged his brain centers so badly that he was unable to control his behavior. As a young man, he stabbed his mother to death. It was the only good thing he ever did in his life, to remove a worthless, destructive piece of trash from the earth so that she'd never hurt anybody else. With extreme people, extreme measures are the only ones that work. What a pity he didn't turn himself in right then, instead of going on to murder up to two hundred (according to many accounts) other innocent people. I'm not saying your parents were anywhere near as bad as his, but I am saying that PEOPLE DON'T DO THINGS FOR NO REASON AT ALL.

I've got a deal for you, lady. I'll read your book if you'll read mine. I'll be glad to read "The Gift of Fear," by Gavin DeBecker. In return, I hope you'll read "Thou Shalt Not Be Aware," by Alice Miller. This brilliantly perceptive woman identifies the forces that lead people to defend their parents against all accusations, whether those parents were good or bad, and to insist that their parents were saints even when they were devils. Another good book on this theme is Susan Forward's "Toxic Parents." None of this will justify your brother's behavior today, any more than it justifies Lucas's string of serial killings; but it does help to explain it. It's time to stop abuse, of anybody, anywhere.

B1: Submit

S1

Cara! Get out. Go! Leave! Leave NOW. Don't think about it. Don't rationalize it. If you start to think BUT...Then tell yourself "Stop It" and go. Leave to a battered shelter. Call the police and help you get out. This level of abuse will kill you or your son. Do you want your son to think he can treat you or his future wife like this? RUN NOW! You have your whole life ahead of you. Get to a counselor who will help you understand why you can't defend your rights and find a person who loves you. This is not love. Not one bit. Take care, you are in my thoughts!!

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S1

My god girl! Walk, run, crawl, whatever you have to do! Your life is in Danger! If that does not scare you, YOUR SON'S LIFE IS IN DANGER! This man is sick, very sick. Do not tell him you are leaving. Just get what you absolutely need and get your son and get out. Go someplace safe, contact the police and file a report and get a restraining order. Do not call, do not send a message. You do not owe him any explanation, you don't owe him anything. Get out, now!

You're in my prayers. cc

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S1

Cara, you would not believe how well I understand your letter.... I am involved in the same type of relationship....

I knew I was in trouble, when I started cleaning up my house because I did not want my family to find me dead in a messy house.... I have a PERFECT man too....

And, it is literally impossible for someone to understand if they have not been involved in something like this.... You are welcome to e-mail me.... My e-mail address is Lgunter@teamia.com

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S1

BRAVO to everyone responding to Cara's story. You are all very caring and insightful. I'm particularly impressed with the abuser's sister, because often families of abusers won't admit their son's/brother's problems leaving more frustration for their partners (I just went through this). Imagine four adults all thinking the same messed-up way?! Sadly, we can tell Cara until she is blue in the face, but she will leave when she is READY. I hope these comments are bringing her a new awareness...I couldn't emphasize my feelings any better these wonderful people have. But I will say GET OUT NOW and if I had the right to brainwash you in doing so, I would!!!!!

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S1

I want to respond to the person who really went off about my saying "so, he said he was abused as a child, I doubt it." MY NEXT SENTENCE WAS---"If it is true, he is only telling you that to tug at your heart, to manipulate you." I never stated he wasn't abused. Even if someone has been abused, it doesn't give them the right to abuse someone else. It is also true that there are abusers out there who have never been abused as children.

Also,

(1) I confused what Cara wrote with someone else's post. That's all. But you sure jumped to a lot of conclusions over a mistake in my response.

(2) I've described my family in many other posts I've made, and on the Yak board, as BL and SIS. I've never stated my brother wasn't abused.

(3) You sound angry at me for unfounded assumptions you have made about me. I suggest you read some of my posts. Couldn't you have asked about my background in a kindler, gentler way? Or raised the questions you have in you mind without attacking?

(4) Maybe I'm wrong, but your level of anger to my post seems higher than necessary. I'll bet it never even occurred to you that I had one fact in Cara's story confused with a fact from someone else's post. It was that simple.

(5) To repeat myself, I never said that abusers haven't been abused. But they often use their abuse to manipulate victims, not to sincerely look for support.

(6) You are dead wrong when you said maybe my 72 yr old father deserved to be put in the hospital by my brother. No one deserves that, even the abusers. The idea is to try to handle every situation with as little violence as possible.

 

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S1

HI,

It sounds to me like there is nothing to be confused about. After the first incident (unwiring the car), the man needed to be dropped.

I was with an emotionally abusive man for seven years so I can understand how confused a person can be in these relationships. They are smooth talkers and my husband was what I call a Master Manipulator. Can't believe I stayed with someone like that for so long!

Anyway...get to heck away from this guy! He will sweet talk you and profess to care for you and he might even believe that himself BUT he is really trying to control you! He is weak and scared and a bully by the sounds of your letter.

Be brave and strong. Get on with your life. Cindy

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

S1

To the sister of an abuser who responded to Cara,

When I read that reply to you, I too thought woe....this guy (and I knew he was a guy before he even mentioned it) was over reacting. Then I thought yuck...irrational thinking...aughh...whatever...forget about it....onto reading the next post. I say pay no attention to him. So you made a mistake and misunderstood Cara's post...so what...it's not like your a doctor who operated on the wrong leg of your patient. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

S1

Exactly. Thank you for your post. In fact, he sounds a lot like my brother! Anyway, I don't think my mistake in posting a reply to Cara hurt her, and that's what counts. I assume she just read that sentence, thought to herself, "that doesn't apply to my situation," and continued on.

CARA---are you out there? If you're able to give us an update I think everyone would like to know how you're doing. But, you don't "have to" post again, only if you want to. In other words, no pressure. We care, and be kind to yourself.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

S1

Cara:

Please take the doctor's advice. Also realize that in his sickness his twisted mind really believes that he loves you. But there is no justifying his behaviors. His having the cleverness to make you feel like you are selfish is extremely dangerous. In this kind of relationship, your own mind will make excuses and eventually cloud your judgment about the level of danger.

Honey, please, please let him work out his problems with you and your son at a safe distance. You are so young, never forget that you do not need a man to raise your son well. You can get support from loving sources.

Take care of yourself. Dr. Irene has a checklist with concerns leaving a dangerous situation safely. Read the list. It is very helpful.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

S1

Comment to the person who wrote the "book" responding to the sister of the abuser. You've obviously totally over-reacted, INAPPROPRIATELY, and you should be telling all of your frustrations to a personal therapist rather than wasting precious space on this site where we are trying to help someone in danger. It is transparent how you have your own share of abusive problems, as you've demonstrated the VERY ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR that we so passionately talk about here with disgust. There is always a diplomatic, decent way to state your opinion in any circumstance, and you have failed to gain anyone's respect with the style you've chosen here.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 14, 2000

S1

Cara, you state you are an independent woman...if you want to keep that status take the good Dr's advice and run not walk away from this guy. If he is like this now what if you married him. If would ONLY GET WORSE!!!! Would you leave your child with this kind of person? NO!!!!!!! DO NOT leave your self with this kind of person. Your child will only learn this man's behaviors!!!! You don't need this. I be your friends are waiting for you to WAKE up!!! Next time he abuses you call 911 and get a restraining order!!!!!!!!! GET OUT NOW!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 14, 2000

S1

This man is obviously very controlling. He doesn't want you to have friends because he's afraid they will convince you that he's no good. Plus it makes you very vulnerable and easy to control if you have no support base. The physical abuse is the scary part. That should never be tolerated, no matter what the circumstance. The loving behavior he exhibits to you and your son does not make up for the abuse. That is not loving behavior anyway. You deserve someone who respects himself, you, and your son.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 28, 2000

S1

It only gets worse, Cara. Get AWAY, get your child AWAY.

 

A friend

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000

S1

CARA I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THRU.. I MET A MAN 10 YEARS OLDER THAN ME AND IMMEDIATELY HE STARTED CUTTING DOWN MY BEST FRIEND WHO HAPPENS TO BE A MALE AND STRANGE BUT THIS MAN IS HIS BEST FRIEND TOO. HE MOVED US 1000 MILES AWAY FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND JOB...FOR OVER A YEAR NOW HE HAS VERBALLY ABUSED ME AND JUST A MONTH AGO HE FRACTURED MY NOSE AND CHOKED ME SO BAD I PASSED OUT. WHEN HE IS NICE YOU COULDN'T ASK FOR A NICER PERSON.. BUT YOUR "LOVE" WILL TURN VERY ABUSIVE AND YOU MAY NOT LIVE TO SEE TOMORROW.

you have your son to think of also ...IF HE HIT YOU ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE HE TAKES IT OUT ON YOUR LITTLE BOY

BELIEVE ME AND TRUST ME I KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT.

LOVE DOESN'T HURT<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

S1

Cara, unless he is willing to seek counseling for his abuse problem and admit he has some very serious issues I'd do as Irene says and get out while you are still alive! This most definitely will not go away, it will only get worse and you will slowly become twisted into his distorted views on life. I have just recently realized that I am a verbal abuser and I am going to find a good counseler tomorrow. I never even got into the physical stuff as he has and I still have not found any success in "trying" to get better and not do the things I do anymore. It's simply not possible, especially with the things going on that you described. He is going to need some professional counseling and alot of it to get his crap straight and that's if he even admits he has a problem. I hope that helps you. Tim

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2000

S1

Cara,

Numerous women have had to deal with these types of 'Cowards', and some have done so successfully. I myself have been physically abused by one of them many years ago. At the point of'snapping' and attempting to hit him back...he picked up our 8 month-old son and put him right between us...then exclaimed..."What's the matter with you.....are you completely insane?". Oh yes, men of this despicable nature don't have a 'TINY' thing wrong with them. They need help DESPERATELY!! I do believe it was that very day that I actually bit a hunk of flesh out of his side after he tried to pin me down as I went for the door. That was many years ago, yes after listening to him tell me horrible things I began to believe about myself.

Get out Cara.....and get out NOW! I have no idea what your present circumstances are now, but ACT you must! Your life is too important to be used up engaging with some clown who gets his rocks off by by pushing women around. You've got something way too valuable, too precious, too tender and deserving to take of in the short amount of time we all been given, called LIFE. You've got YOU, the little Cara that apparently no one though much of to teach her of her worth. She needs you.......you're the only one she can count on right now to take her away from this sick, twisted 'poor excuse for an asshole'! You're all she's got at this moment Cara, and she's screaming for your help. Do whatever it takes to get away, whatever it takes - and then get her some help.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 05, 2000

S1

I couldn't have said it better, Dr. I. This guy is definitely off the deep end. Cara, if you don't RUN, NOW, there's plently more where that came from. You'd be a fool or worse to stay. I'd say it's time for a restraining order and some serious headshrinking for you.

harlequin

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000

S1

PLEASE CARA,GET OUT DO IT NOW,IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE AND HE WILL END UP KILLING YOU......

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

Yes I understand everything I had the same thing happen to me and we are very happy with each other we have been together for 20 years And he is the 'love of my life"

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 05, 2001

S1

I agree with Dr. Irene - this man is very dangerous and you should do everything you can to get out of the relationship now - I would not accept his apologies or anything else (he'll go back to the same behavior) leave him now - no matter how difficult it is for you - (and my guess is it will be) get out or you will wish later that you had - he is sick and you need to protect yourself -

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2002

S1

Cara, I am only 18 yrs old, but I have been in a realtionship with a guy that treated me the same way. He would call me every minute to know where I was at who I was with and what I was doing. He never gave me any peace. If he did find me after he had been tracking me down he would accuse me of sleeping with another guy. He did physicaly abuse me only a few times. I got out of that relationship and my life has been so much better. Even though you have a son with this guy, it is better off to leave. Your son does not need to see these things. If he does, it may traumatize him. You will be extremely happy and have a better life if you leave this man sweetie_31096@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002

S1

This letter is so scarey I want to cry. If I were you I would get a restraining order on this man. This man will destroy you! Get out now! Do anything, but get out! I just cut off a relationship with a man that didn't show half of the signs your guy does. What makes you think this man loves you? What would you think if someone were treating your cousin or your girlfriend like this? Step back and take a look! If this were someone else, what would you say to them? Would you say, "I think your boyfriend is really a nice guy who loves you"? No way! Get out as fast as you can!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dr Irene, Thanks a mil for this great site! Dear Cara, GET OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.. now who is talking? me? who stuck around to be hurt, hit by a car, throgh againts the wall that started to bleed and ended up in hospital?? PLEASE go to this site: http://www.bullyonline.org and read how bullies choose the victums, what they do to them and why.. . What this man is doing is slowly and totally taking control over your life! You have a son!!He does not want you to have any friends as this is your support (LIFE SUPPORT!!!)!! trust me, next will be your family (He will start breaking that relationships.. well.. he already did his best with your cousin! Get your cousin back in your life, and TALK!! Never be scared to talk to people what is happening to you because thats what an abuser/bully wants you not to do in case his true nature will be discovered!! Its Jack and Hyde personality.. He will make you loose total self confidance, feel quilty, in fact in the end you will feel mad... ugly.. unwanted... etc.. maybe even surcidal! learn to love yourslef and TRUST your instincts before its too late.. GOOD LUCK love Joanna

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dr Irene, Thanks a mil for this great site! Dear Cara, GET OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.. now who is talking? me? who stuck around to be hurt, hit by a car, throgh againts the wall that started to bleed and ended up in hospital?? PLEASE go to this site: http://www.bullyonline.org and read how bullies choose the victums, what they do to them and why.. . What this man is doing is slowly and totally taking control over your life! You have a son!!He does not want you to have any friends as this is your support (LIFE SUPPORT!!!)!! trust me, next will be your family (He will start breaking that relationships.. well.. he already did his best with your cousin! Get your cousin back in your life, and TALK!! Never be scared to talk to people what is happening to you because thats what an abuser/bully wants you not to do in case his true nature will be discovered!! Its Jack and Hyde personality.. He will make you loose total self confidance, feel quilty, in fact in the end you will feel mad... ugly.. unwanted... etc.. maybe even surcidal! learn to love yourslef and TRUST your instincts before its too late.. GOOD LUCK love Joanna

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dr Irene, Thanks a mil for this great site! Dear Cara, GET OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.. now who is talking? me? who stuck around to be hurt, hit by a car, throgh againts the wall that started to bleed and ended up in hospital?? PLEASE go to this site: http://www.bullyonline.org and read how bullies choose the victums, what they do to them and why.. . What this man is doing is slowly and totally taking control over your life! You have a son!!He does not want you to have any friends as this is your support (LIFE SUPPORT!!!)!! trust me, next will be your family (He will start breaking that relationships.. well.. he already did his best with your cousin! Get your cousin back in your life, and TALK!! Never be scared to talk to people what is happening to you because thats what an abuser/bully wants you not to do in case his true nature will be discovered!! Its Jack and Hyde personality.. He will make you loose total self confidance, feel quilty, in fact in the end you will feel mad... ugly.. unwanted... etc.. maybe even surcidal! learn to love yourslef and TRUST your instincts before its too late.. GOOD LUCK love Joanna