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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments to When Words Won't Work

Comments to When Words Won't Work

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: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

Instinctively, before I even had the label "verbal abuse" to describe what was wrong in my marriage, I have been "backing off" little by little for years. Being backed off protects me emotionally from the volcanic moments, but also backs me off the positive moments, too. I miss "the way we were" and feel so far gone, so "backed off," that I'm left with nothing but coldness. My husband keeps trying to reach out--dinner, a movie, a weekend away, joint counseling--but I want no part of it. I've been angry so long (and the anger gave me strength), that I can't find the way back. Friends and family say, "He's trying. You should give him a chance." But the honeymoon never lasts. I have tried to explain to him why I don't want to be with him by using this analogy: you can kick a dog and it will continue to come to you with its tail wagging, hoping for a pat on the head, a "good dog," approval. But after a while, the dog cowers in the corner more, wags less and maybe even runs away. Then his response would be, "What's wrong with that dog?" Dr. Irene, how do you move forward after you've backed off?  You try counseling.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

Dr Irene,

What do you do when the abuser won't LET you back off? My ex would physically block my way out of the house and on the few occasions I managed to escape, he came after me and physically prevented me from getting away from the situation and him. 

Bet You call the police. If need be, you go to a shelter.

  B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

When I learned that SITUATIONS create THOUGHTS create FEELINGS create BEHAVIORS which create NEEDS, LIFE BECAME SIMPLE AND UNDERSTANDING WAS WITHIN ME.

Thoughts are what tangle us or free us: AS A MAN THINKS SO IS HE

FREE AT LAST   Yippee! This is what cognitive therapy does folks.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

Il know backing off works because I have done it. The problem is, what do you do when it is in the middle of the night and the kids are asleep and he stands outside the locked bathroom door ranting. Or when you are locked up in the car and can't get out? This is where I am trapped and he takes advantage of it. Even when I say nothing and hope that no response will make him back off...he continues relentlessly!  You call the police. If the situation keeps repeating, you dump the abuser.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

I never realized until yesterday that I was being verbally abused I thought that my husband's culture was to blame, I realize even more now that I have looked at the signs of verbal abuse that I was in a dangerous relationship. He never hit me but he constantly tried to manipulate and hold me back. He thought I should get a job after staying home with my baby, who is now almost eight months. The first interview I went to, I was hired.  Then things really started to get bad and he proceeded to tell me how my money was to be spent - even though I showed him that if I did what he asked, it would leave nothing for myself. He told me that maybe I should be working more hours and that he wasn't asking me for much. He was expecting me to give him money to pay for most of the bills, and still be responsible for the baby's day care and whatever expenses working would bring on. I am a waitress and I can only work select hours so that I may be able to divide my time with him and with our baby. With this kind of job, the more hours you work the more money you make. I decided last night, after taking my daughter to the movies with my sister and him getting angry and telling me not to come home, that I was an adult who was a mother and that I didn't need anyone telling me what to do. So this morning I packed my bags and left. Good for you! Maybe now he will rethink his actions - and be more open to change. Good luck to you. Dr. Irene

 

 B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 13, 2000

S1

Dr Irene, why does it feel that when I am gaining greater self-worth, self-esteem and feeling in control of my own life, my partner reacts angrily? Because your partner seeks to control you.

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, I stumbled on your website after looking up codependency issues. I've been going through months and months of thinking I've been going crazy. I can't believe how you're describing my life with my husband. I'm in the process of moving out. I've taken a stand. One that has taken me a year and a half of going through the stages that you've outlined on "The Victims Stages of Recovery." I Can't begin to tell you how much it means to me to know that others are going through the same thing and I'm not so unique. Join one of the email support groups. You're NOT alone!

My husband has had his standard insults he's been using steadily for two years. I'm lazy, fat, disgusting, I don't contribute anything to the household, I'm too sensitive, stupid, etc... His favorite insult is, "You're a sick, sick woman." Which is amazing to me since I've been told the opposite of all that from the people in my life who love me. Luckily, I have great support from loving friends. What scares me the most is that he knows what my buttons are. He pushes them when he needs to get a result. I've been in therapy for a year with a wonderful therapist who has helped me gain insight and enough self-esteem to be completely aware of the fact that I don't deserve this. However, that doesn't change my instinctual tendency to self-blame, try to fix the world myself with love. Keep working in therapy. You'll get there. Pick up a copy of Ellis & Lange's How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons,

There is nothing I can do to help him. I have to save myself. I'm afraid of the effect this has had on me. I'm not the same person. I'm so scared to leave, but right now, The fear of leaving is less than the Pain of staying. I'm going to the book store to get a few books that you recommend. I need them. A positive thing I need to mention is that I have worked myself to a point that I have some wonderful job prospects available. That is something that scared me in the past because I internally believed what he said about me. I always thought to myself. He loves me, so what he sees in me must be who I really am and I've been in denial about it. I realized that he's the one in denial. Wow! Good stuff. Good luck to you; you're off to a good start! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2000

S1

Thank you so much for your website ! I feel as though the nail has finally been hit on the head ! We have spoken to our pastor, a couple counselors. Nobody seems to have a full grasp of what a verbal abuser is all about. I have been advised of living my life in a "blameless" way, to "Why do you keep doing things that upset M.... so much?" This is the blame-the-victim mentality trap that you can fall into in ordinary marital therapy. Or, "It is your duty as a wife, no matter how mean he is to take care of his needs."  Who said this??? so and so on ! Yes, this is correct advice in a loving relationship. I even had a counselor tell me that when I asked what he felt about verbal abuse, he said, " what IS verbal abuse? Oh boy... What is NORMAL behavior, everything is relative." 

I really thought I was going crazy... and it has taken a big toll on me in the anger department. My husband does live in a different reality than me. What I wanted to ask is, how do I open a discussion with our 10yr old boy, 6yr old girl and 4yr old boy about daddy's ( do I call it a sickness? ) problem and how to tell them to "back off" ( the 10yr old is really bucking heads with him because he defends himself) I tried the "Ok" technique and he walked away grumbling (HE retreated this time... YAA ! ) Should I tell them the same or is it different in a parent child situation? Just become better and better at handling daddy yourself. Your children will learn by "modeling" after your behavior. Your actions are the best teacher. 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000

S1

Dr Irene,

I just found out that the book called How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons, Ellis and Lange. That the publishers have gone out of business so the book is no longer available. Oh no! That's a popular book and its likely someone will pick it up. Amazon.com asks that you check back in case it becomes available again. Meanwhile, try Change Your Life Now: Powerful Techniques for Positive Change by Knaus & Ellis.

Thanks T.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, I have tried to take back my rights as a human being. It took me 19 years and three tries to leave an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage. I was repeatedly and hideously abused as a kid, the result of which is that I am quite dissociative. Your site is very helpful to me, although many years have passed since I was either married or in abusive love relationship. My problem is a messed up family who loves me, helps support me financially - helping with the gap between disability and real expenses - but who cannot deal with the fact that I have not been able to put the childhood abuse behind me. That's their problem. Don't make it yours.

Late last year, I gave up explaining to them why I was where I am. Good to stop wasting your breath. If it hasn't worked yet, keeping it up won't make it work any better. It seemed to me at the time that if they wanted to understand, they would. I am still scapegoated for making demands on them for help and for reminding them for what they can forget -- i.e. that my parents did some pretty unspeakable stuff and that while I have tried to get past this and have a productive life, this is still only a dream. Your family do not owe you financial support. Stop asking for help; stop reminding them of what was done; just get on with life. If you want more find a way to make it. Or, do without. Stop using your difficult past as an excuse to not be self-sufficient. I know you don't want to hear this, but it is an integral part of your own recovery.

I believed that I was deserving of bad treatment in all aspects of my life. I set myself up for it, drove miles out of my way to be abused, and then cried "Abused again." I no longer believe I should be abused, and have tried to get out of abusive situations that appear (or I attract) as quickly as possible. Good! However, when push comes to shove (pun intended), a little voice goes off inside stating what I was told as a child - "If something bad happens, it's your fault." And while I talk to this little voice and explain that is not so, never was, it is exhausting to be at war with myself. I would like some peace and not let myself get put down or walked on, even if I don't have the money in bank to make as many free choices as I would like. Thanks for being there. Marie Thank you for a wonderful site.  Free choices are surely facilitated by money - in that you have more options - but you don't need money to make choices. YOU run your life, money or no money. Right now, you are choosing to use the fact that you have no money as a roadblock. The reality is that you may not have as many options as you would if you had a bankroll, but still have choices. Life is not fair, nevertheless it remains your job to make the most of all that you are!  Good luck. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 17, 2000

S1

The other day my husband sneezed. I said, "Bless you," but he didn't hear me so he was in a huff about it. He is the King of melodrama! Sure, I can reflect on it and figure it to mean more about it shows I didn't care enough about him to say "Bless you" and that's what his real problem is... but come on! I am so sick of this BS. He acts like a spoiled child! I hear you.

I think about all I have given him in trying to help him feel secure and loved. Its just ridiculous that he still needs to behave the way he does over every little thing. Also I noticed something else. Regarding his changes: they are not real; they are a concentrated effort when he feels like it - and he justifies not following through when he doesn't feel like it. 

What I mean is, I am supposed to walk away and refuse to have a discussion with him while he is yelling and being disrespectful. However I can try to do that, but really, its a matter of him letting me. Just like a while back when I kept trying to do that and he: kept following me around yelling at me and then locking my bedroom door and standing between me and the door and not letting me out! Yuk. I cant be assertive and take care of myself unless he allows me to! I cant leave the house unless he allows me to. 

Just a while back he wouldn't quit yelling at me and following me around, so I decided to leave the house, when I was trying to leave he squeezed my hand until I dropped my keys and he wouldn't let me out of the house. I am not in control, he is, because he has the brawn. This is physical abuse. Call the police if something like this should happen again.

I try just living my life the way I want to - and am not catering to his every "need". I think he just gets madder at me and sees me as being unreasonable and disrespectful. Yesterday I was cleaning the house. He said, "Can I talk to you for 3 minutes."  I walked over to listen, I listened, responded, then went to go back to my work. He asked me to sit on his lap. I declined, and went back to housework.

He got all mad saying, "You have hours to spend with people you don't know online (reading here and other self growth sites, and its while he is at work and the kids are in school), yet you cant give 3 minutes to me." The way he behaves, why would you want to?  I explained I did, and now I am getting back to getting the things done I need to get done. He started to complain about the way I treat him - and not fulfilling his needs. I said, "I already told you: I have given up on that, I am no longer draining myself for you; I have too many things I need to get done."

So I think it just gives him more ammunition against me - and angers him more at me. Then he starts making threats, "Well I can do that too; I won't do anything for you..." However, I suppose that's easier then dealing with his crap while I am draining myself trying to fulfill his enormous amount of "needs". Yes it is. Let him get as angry as he pleases, as long as he doesn't act out towards you. If he does, leave - or call the police. But, if words won't work - and you have given several good examples of how they don't in your case - and you are so unhappy, why are you still with him?

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2000

S1

What happens if you make a victim of yourself and all your anger is directed towards yourself? You hurt yourself unnecessarily. What happens when you know you are responsible for your actions and that you know you were wrong. You take responsibility and learn from your mistakes - and don't repeat them! What happens when through fear and lack of faith, you hurt somebody else through fearing to speak what you feel - and that person is hurt because you hurt them not speaking what you feel; hurt because you were afraid of them - and they hate you for fearing them? You work on your fear - which is your prison. What happens when you want to find them and tell them what you feel, but they push you away? You can make an attempt, but you must respect their decision to push you away. So, I'm the abuser of myself, of her - even while I see I'm hurting myself and her - and all because I'm afraid of saying what I feel. Could be.

Or maybe it's because I'm lying to myself inside? Also possible. So all my anger goes inside, and I see how it's just self perpetuating.  I'll always be guilty, always be ashamed, always be afraid to talk to her Gee, I hope not! - while she will always be angry, and want to push me away. That will make me afraid, ashamed. Arrrgh. I see it, but it's all wrong. And it makes me angry. Of course I could just leave it all alone and move on, but I'm angry because my feelings were so strong and I gave in to fear. 

All this self pity is making me sick. STOP wasting your energy on self-pity. Learn from your mistakes and do better next time. That's the best any of us can do. But all the wrongness and the anger and the hurting her makes me feel sick as well. So fine, I'll just tell myself it's my personal responsibility to make myself happy and well, and she's responsible for making her happy and well. Yes, it is. But I know I was responsible for making her angry and hurt. Taking care of yourself and practicing personal responsibility means you clean up your act - and therefore you don't hurt another. I want to say I'm sorry, but I am too frightened to go and find her. 

Not knowing where she is, and chances are I'd be too ashamed to admit I've wasted two years pining and fretting and doing nothing. What a waste of life. But I know it's not her fault, and by not moving on I'm making it her fault, even if I don't want to. Huh? I'll just smile and think to myself...oh well never mind that I fell in love -  there's always next time to doubt and fear and feel ashamed and hurt somebody else. Of course I'm being really hard on myself, but I'm so angry about it. I've wanted to say something for so long, but fear and the imaginings of contempt by others has held me back. And your fear will always hold you back - until you learn to accept fear as a part of life. Don't make it bigger than it is.

Why can't I be stronger and defend myself? Because you have to learn how to first. This woman was my friend, and I doubted myself. No wonder I'm so angry. I don't blame her for anything. Only myself. And it does nobody any good that I do if I'm going to carry on hurting myself so. Stop blaming yourself! Just take responsibility for yourself. I hope you see the difference: Taking responsibility means you own what you did, but you don't beat yourself up over what you can't change. You learn from your mistakes.

I'm not sure what you're talking about. At one point you imply that you tried to contact her and she pushed you away. Later, you state that you are too frightened to contact her to apologize.  Which is it? I do hear that you are stuck and fearful and seem to be going in circles. I think some counseling would help you. Good luck. Dr. Irene.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 20, 2000

S1

I have been watching and anxiously awaiting Dr Irene's reply to this last post. Ooops...forgot about this board...

I just wanted to say some things to you regarding your fears:

Five truths about fear:

1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow it.

2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.

3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do it.

4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I'm on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.

5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

I think a great book for you to read is "In The Meantime: finding yourself and the love you want" by Iyanla Vanzant I agree!

this book helped me tremendously. I lost myself keeping my feelings to myself. Why are you afraid to tell her how you feel? What's the worst that could happen? you can set yourself free by letting those feelings out and who cares about the contempt of others? So you refuse to LIVE your life FULLY because of others? You have spent 2 years pinning and fretting! Put some closure on this... go to her, express your feelings and ask her for forgiveness and see where it goes. Whatever the outcome you will be able to start to heal.

Also read "The Road Less Traveled" by Dr. M. Scott Peck this was a very helpful book to me as well. I recommend it to all! Excellent book.

He says " Move out or grow in any dimension and pain as well as joy will be your reward. A full life will be full of pain. But the only alternative is not to live fully or not to live at all. The essence of life is change, a panoply of growth and decay. Elect life and growth and you elect change and the prospect of death."

In avoiding the experience of pain even at the cost of living, you are living death. Is this what you want for your life, a life of sameness free from the new, the unexpected, a living death, without risk or challenge? there is no reason to fear growing, the rewards are much greater then the growing pains.

Suz     Oh Suz... I should have known it was you. Very nice advice. Dr. Irene

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 20, 2000

S1

You have it! I did not recognize verbal abuse for along time. I have just begun to use the above mentioned skills to protect myself from further harm and to strengthen myself to the point of not being "pushed" again. Walking away works best at first, before the skills are there to avoid continual manipulation. Later, just standing your ground and refusing to be treated or talked to in a hurtful way show the abuser that their actions/words will not manipulate anymore. It really works. At least its improved my situation. I am not sure that it will ever be 100% no abuse---but I do know now that its up to me and how I react that really controls the situation. Yes!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2000

S1

My only comment is that the co-dependent label is absolutely inappropriate and wrong when applied to people who are being abused.....This from the book: When love Goes Wrong----What To Do When You Can't Do anything Right by Susan Schecter and Ann Jones.....and ALSO from my perspective. I mean ANOTHER label for people who are already victimized and struggling--to deal with. To ME, co-dependence has no place in describing the abused. To me, co-dependence is blaming us for our own abuse. To me, co-dependence means helping someone abuse you, allowing it, supporting it, condoning it----this is absolutely untrue.....The ONLY way we allow it, is simply by being there when the abuser abuses! I NEVER participated in my own abuse, and neither does anyone else.....No one would tell a person in a prisoner-of-war camp, that they colluded with the enemy in being brainwashed and tortured..........this is the SAME thing. Thanks for listening.....any responses, e-mail me at: <carleton@oakland.edu>

We disagree strongly. Codependency characteristics accurately describe the behavior of most victims. They get into trouble specifically because they are giving individuals with low self-esteem who take care of others before they care for themselves. This has absolutely nothing to do with blaming victims for their abuse! Relating these two concepts is an inaccurate and illogical leap in your logic. Your conclusion is nowhere supported in any of the material presented on this site. You import that conclusion - then you object to the conclusion you introduced! Check it out. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2000

S1

Isn't there a rather large difference between being a prisoner of war and CHOOSING to remain in an abusive relationship?  

Honestly, I personally was terrified to leave my abuser. He threatened to kill me if I left and tried to take our children from him. But even when there is a gun to your head, you still have a choice of what your next action is. 

Labels can get annoying but they also help to break you out of denial when you recognize the characteristics in yourself that fall under the definition of the label.

Believe me, I was not very accepting of the "co-dependent" label when I first heard of it in Family Week at rehab. But once I was in personal therapy and reading "Co-dependent No more" and "Beyond Codependency, " Melody Beattie's books; also "The Emotionally Abused Woman" (was a great one!), I started to get a clearer picture as to what co-dependency is. It isn't just about being an enabler. Amen.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2000

S1

I need some advice and fast. This is concerning my 20 year old daughter - long, tough story but she is living with a boyfriend who is abusive. She got pregnant, and during the pregnancy admitted to one of her friends that he had caused a large bruise the friend had noticed (when I asked her about this, my daughter vehemently denied this and called the friend a liar). He is a substance abuser (met amphetamine and alcohol) and has been in a gang and in jail for assault. She has defended him and said he had "changed" and the assault wasn't his fault, etc. Near the end of the pregnancy, I notice bruises on her upper arm that looked like someone had grabbed her arm very hard - again, she denied abuse. There is too much to go into here, but they live with his mother, who is mentally ill, and I have seen him scream at his mother and use foul, abusive language (he called her a f---ing bitch slut!) Obviously he has no respect for women! Anyway, a couple of weeks before the baby was born, she decided she needed to move back in with us, much to our relief, because the financial situation was poor and she admitted that he was a "troubled person," and she realized she couldn't help him. She feels so sorry for him for the abuse and abandonment he suffered in childhood that she seems willing to overlook his wrong behavior, or justifies it. She decided not to tell him until right before she was going to move back in with us, because as she said, "I don't want to get all sentimental about this and get talked out of it, because I KNOW it is the right thing." Good for her!

She went into labor 2 weeks early, before she could move out, and now things are even worse. They are in the new parent "high" and all lovey-dovey, so she wants to give him another chance. She says he is so good and loving with the baby and that the baby needs to be raised by both her parents because she thinks the root of all his troubles is that he never knew his own father. He became very manipulative when the baby was born and would not allow her to use her own last name for the baby on the birth certificate, even though they are not married. She wanted to use his last name, but use her own last name as well, and he refused, telling her that it would be an "insult" to him if the baby had her name, too. She capitulated to him in every way, allowing him to use the first name he had chosen instead of what she preferred, etc. Anyway, I expressed to her my dismay that her wishes were not respected regarding her own child having her last name, too, and she is the kind of person who will subjugate her own needs and then say, "Oh, I didn't really care, it really doesn't matter that much to me" - which is exactly what she did in this case. Later, she told me that she regretted not putting her name on the birth certificate and that she thought I was right - that if she and the father did not get married, perhaps her daughter would like to have her mother's last name. So she called the hospital to see if she could still make changes and was told that she had a couple of days to do it - what is very telling is that she wanted to do it without his knowledge!

 That is not an equal relationship in my mind, when you can't reasonably discuss with your partner your wishes, and have them respected. They told her she needed his signature, too, since she had signed paternity papers. She said she was going to tell him that she wanted her last name on there, too, and would go the next day to do it.

The next day, the hospital called my house trying to reach her because they said she had been quite insistent that she wanted to add her name, yet she had not come or called and she had only two hours left before they could no longer make changes. She had previously told me that she had discussed her change of heart with him and that he had agreed to change it. So I tried reaching her for a long time, but could not, so I drove over to give her the message. It turns out she had discussed her change of heart with him, but he got so upset about it that she didn't insist (I didn't know this). I told her that the hospital asked me to give her a message, and this guy freaked and started screaming at me, "Why do they want to talk to her?" When he found out, he went into a 15 minute tirade of verbal abuse toward me and used the "f" word every other word and called me a "manipulative, controlling f---ing bitch" and accused me of putting those ideas in her head. She said to him, "But it's just a NAME and I feel weird that my daughter doesn't have the same name I do" and he screamed at her and said, "Her name is Ariella Jacqueline J and that is IT - she is MY daughter and I will not sign any f---ing papers"! I told him he was showing my daughter no respect for her wishes, and he screamed at me to get my "f---ing ass out of their house" and then kept screaming at her, "Tell your mother to get her f---ing ass out of here" while my daughter sat there with fear in her eyes, saying nothing. I told her I would leave only if she wanted me to, and she said, yes, it would give her a chance to calm him down. He made sure he disparaged our family name before I left and I begged him not to scream and curse in front of his baby because it wasn't good for her and he screamed, "I don't f---ing care!"

Later, my daughter called me and tried to justify the whole thing and said that he was just upset because he thought I was trying to manipulate her (and even if that were true, that is no excuse for behaving like an animal!) I told her that she needed to recognize that she is in an abusive relationship, and she got very quiet. I asked her to call an abuse hotline and get educated on what all this kind of behavior means. We are just sick about all this - we believe he is not only dangerous to her, but because he sees her and the baby as his "possessions" he will go ballistic if she leaves and will come after me (because he will blame me for her decision) and our family. What kind of things can we say to her to help her see that this is not in the baby's best interests to be in a poisonous environment like this - it is not always better for her to have her father around at all costs. Our daughter is easily intimidated by most people and timid about expressing what she wants (except with her dad and I -she was the typical teen who dressed and did exactly what she wanted and bucked us in a very normal way - perhaps we are the only people she feels that secure with?) Anyone who has any suggestions about what we should or should not do would be greatly appreciated (my husband is ready to commit homicide and is not a violent man, but I don't think that's the answer!) Thanks! 

I truly empathize with you, but unfortunately, there is not much more you can do. Engaging in confrontations with the boyfriend is not productive. Your daughter is the only one who can change her situation; she is an adult and has to fight her own battles. You can help her by offering to educate her and being there for you when she needs you. You might pick up a copy of Evan's The Verbally Abusive Relationship, wait until the next time she is fed up, and give it her then - when she is most likely to read it. You can also send her to this site then.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 24, 2000

S1

I really appreciate how you acknowledge that there are situations which will not be resolved by standing up to the person. The psychiatrist told me just to tell my mother off. She didn't care or ask if I ever had, or what the repercussions were. There I was sitting in her office being quiet and polite and timid and worried. I finally found a psychologist that I worked with for three months who I could talk to about things. People really don't listen to me and that was the hardest part of the whole thing. I couldn't find anyone to believe me. My second boyfriend in university who was a genius knew my mother had problems, but he ended up marrying a dark skinned girl from Trinidad. It was hell after he left. He once told my mother that she didn't know me at all. So my mother went around the house for at least a week saying that she thinks she knows her own daughter and slamming doors and things. It was as if I wasn't even there. Ohhhh... I'm glad you're not timid anymore!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 01, 2000

S1

For two years my partner verbally beat me up on a regular basis. After your site I don't engage him and I have used the advice of just using one word answer. It has been effective. However, now he has a new abuse. Well I guess it is not new it is just used more now.

I asked him questions and he avoids the answer. I can't find out anything. He can abuse me and never say a word.

Example: I have a house that he agreed to help me pay for. He stopped paying and I kept saying what do you want to do? Are you going to help me? Where do you want to live? Will you help me sell the house? I can't pay for this any longer please help me! Stop asking. Just do what you need to do yourself.

He doesn't respond or tries to start a fight. I am wise to that abuse so now he just says I will live here or there. I don't know. No answers or answers that don't convey any message.

I ask him if he feels our relationship is valuable? What action does he think needs to be done to save it and what is he willing to do. He just said our relationship is declining.

So words don't work. What do I do when silence and evasive answers are all I get?

Then he says to me, "I wish I could talk to you!" Next time he says this, get him into counseling.

His common reaction to my asking questions is I have a problem with some of your behaviors. I can't move forward facing that. So the message to me is if I would change and give him what he wants it would be ok. I could grow long ears and a fuzzy tail for all the carrots I chase. Correct.

I said to him , "It seems strange to me that it is just my behaviors that are an issue. Your verbal abuse poisons every day of our lives. I agree to make changes. Do you agree to get help with your abuse problem? He either ignores me or says he is working on his verbal abuse. He is doing it alone and silently because he can't trust me to share.

No matter what I do to set boundaries he finds a new avenue to abuse me. Any suggestions? Besides counseling, even your own if he won't cooperate: get out.

Faith

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 02, 2000

S1

I understand about backing off, and I have done that mostly because I do not at this time feel like having a relationship with him after his abuses during the past month. I don't know if it is working yet because the abuse goes in cycles. But here is my question: one of the things that makes him mad is my confronting him with anything negative, even when I do it respectfully...I don't want to be "backed off" forever. I feel the need to discuss issues sometimes. Are there some people with whom we will never be able to discuss things in a reasonable fashion? Yes. And also, what if we make mistakes and say nothing when an abuse occurs? A few weeks ago, I tried bringing something up, and he poked his finger at my forehead and said harshly and loudly, "It's all in your MIND" and gave me a little shove (18 years, and he has never done anything like this before). It shocked me and I said nothing about the finger thing. Now, it is still bothering me and I am wondering if next time it will lead to a bigger shove. And I am feeling like I should bring it up...but I know where that usually gets me. You cannot allow abuse; it is likely to escalate. When you are married to someone who is a person that words don't work with, how do you deal with things other than backing off? I don't know other ways that don't compromise you further.

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2000

S1

Yes, surprisingly I taught this kind of behaviour to others in a business/work sense. I went home and was emotionally abused! Getting out now, remembering your tips- I think trying to take each situation as it comes is also important. Yes. My abuser has many tactics up his sleeve, every encounter is that little bit different. Just look at all that misguided creativity!

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2000

S1

I am now 50 years old. My parents were in their forties when I was born. They were Europeans and devoted Christians who experienced the Nazi occupation. Ouchhh... Yet they were of strong character who maintained peace, joy and respect in the home. They found good in everyone.

This is what I gave my husband of 32 years. I raised 3 children, lost my good job due to the facility closing, and returned to college to finish after 28 years. :)

What he gave me was verbal abuse, emotional turmoil, addiction to alcohol and painkillers. I grew tired. I decided that the forces of destruction he chooses to entertain have made him a tormented soul. He can have a good life-somewhere else. I've realized we have a choice to remain tormented or to pursue being a gentle spirit.

I no longer have to wrestle with these negative forces he brought into our relationship-they can consume him, not me.

I grow stronger everyday and have realized a peace and joy that did not exist for years. What you are finding is priceless. All the money in the world can't buy that one. God bless you.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

S1

I have a question I hope can answer for me.

I am watching TV with my family. I request my H to turn up the volume on the TV set. He says "No the volume is fine."

I say again. "I know the TV volume is okay for you but it isn't for me."

He says "No its not being turned up its fine."

I say "Why won't you turn it up, I can't hear it, I don't know why, I just can't."

He says "Get an hearing test and shut up, otherwise I'll turn the programme off altogether."

I am left feeling angry and resentful, because I really want to see the programme and he knows I do.

How could I handle this? Why I ask is I want to be straight in how boundaries comes into this.

Love T Dear T, Your husband is withholding your right to listen to a TV show. He is in your boundaries because he is dictating the volume for you. While he has the right to ask you to have a hearing test - and by all means, you should have a hearing test since the loud volume may bother him - the way he is handling it is hurtful and domineering. Get your hearing test and let him know you've scheduled it. Meanwhile, if you are too fearful to simply smile while turning up the volume a bit, get your own TV.  Good luck.

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 07, 2000

S1

I would like to know how a husband can deal with verbal and emotional assaults by his wife. The same way a wife deals with an abusive husband. Abuse is not a sexist problem, but its a bit more difficult for men, who lack the consensus woman have.

  

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 13, 2000

S1

I used to try to leave and he would block me from leaving and I would charge. he said he was protecting me because I was acting crazy but I just could not take the names again.

Then I became numb and would curl up on the floor and did not talk; and he yelled at me anyway and poured water on my face.

Then I left; and he stalked me and now we are back.

Now he tells me he doesn't care about me and laughs at me when he says bad things. When I back off and am quiet he says the same things to me again and again. then I lose control and yell and holler and he laughs at me more, and now I am throwing things, not at him but past him and feel guilty afterwards. I leave and he doesn't care. It hurts so bad. I want him to care so much; after all we are married and he does nice things for me.

I keep thinking it will change but it doesn't for long. I keep hoping I guess that somehow things will get better. If only if this, or that changes. If we get a house, when we finish school (university); but this probably is not true either.

I don't think before I act anymore. I am losing it big time and I am just sitting here typing, reading your site oh again over the last probably two years, and crying for the first time since probably the first time I read your site.

I went to three different therapists but they all just want to put me on medication and no one talks to me. A psychologist or social worker will talk to you and they can't medicate you. But, you probably need the meds too; you sound so depressed... Or once we did go for counsel together and the man gave us rules to fight - as if this was the answer? No. It was just a place to start. Try, try again...

I am tired of myself. This is depression, which just about anybody in your situation would have...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 06, 2000

S1

I need help I have been separated for 3 years from my verbally abusive husband. We have tried counseling Every time I go back, he's nice at first but then resumes his abuse. I want to leave but when I try, I get so sad and depressed that eventually I go back. I do live in my own house. Please help...I go to work and school and Im 51 years old. I think you need to talk to your internist about an antidepressant. It can really help...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

I am stuck in a abusive relationship. It would take up way too many bytes on this computer to tell you what I'm going through right now. It seems every attempt to get out of this relationship seems to backfire on me and I don't know what else to do. My husband says he's going to take our 7-1/2 son away from me if I don't do as I'm "expected" to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

I am stuck in a abusive relationship. It would take up way too many bytes on this computer to tell you what I'm going through right now. It seems every attempt to get out of this relationship seems to backfire on me and I don't know what else to do. My husband says he's going to take our 7-1/2 son away from me if I don't do as I'm "expected" to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

I am stuck in a abusive relationship. It would take up way too many bytes on this computer to tell you what I'm going through right now. It seems every attempt to get out of this relationship seems to backfire on me and I don't know what else to do. My husband says he's going to take our 7-1/2 son away from me if I don't do as I'm "expected" to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2000

S1

Living with an abuser wears me out! It is emotionally draining on a good day, not to even mention the bad days. I have been saving money for months, paying off all my bills, just bought a car - can't wait to get out of here!!! I don't know if i can even be decent to people any more - have turned into a nasty person, just trying to defend myself all the time. There has to be a happy place to live somewhere in this world - it sure is not here!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 26, 2000

S1

My husbands anger is always directed at our children...rarely to me. He can be the most caring man but then he will take his anger out on the children (verbally)....how can I tell if this is emotional abuse?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Words don't work anymore - but I have taken steps to protect myself. Cell phone - to call police and I have left once, went to a shelter and called the police to stop him and also to get away from him, money in the bank in case I am ready to leave. Finally bought a car with my money, not his, am waiting to register it - don't have enough money yet.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2000

S1

I've just read the posts to when words don't work. It's funny I knew the way I have been treated the last three years + has been wrong. I just never had a label for it. I went through the worst verbal abuse (one of the worst) 2 weeks ago, except for today and another time when I was called a c**t during a blackout of his.. I was told every horrible thing in the world. We had an ill dog that needed putting down and this triggered the episode. He repeated himself over and over even after I told him I would take care of the dog and he didn't need to worry himself about it anymore. He proceeded to leave for the day. Drink all day and then try to engage me in an argument all day. He told me he despised me and that I could take my house and life and shove it up my ***. We have been married for 20 years and he said he despised me the whole time. That he was leaving and never coming back. He couldn't leave quick enough.

That day was the first time I logged on to this site. I had typed in the words verbal abuse and stumble upon here. Like I said it was the first time I literally labeled what I knew was true.

Anyway, I did well to disengaged on my own. My comments to his raging abuse were I don't know what to say...I didn't. I am sorry you feel so poorly. So the episode itself didn't escalate. But believe it or not to keep the peace and not make waves (I knew I was doing this also I did it on purpose)later I APOLOGIZED and told him that I didn't believe a word he said that it was (Here's the biggest excuse in the world....which I gave him) IT'S JUST DRUNK TALK I REFUSE TO BELIEVE ONE WORD THAT YOU JUST SAID. Even though in my heart I did. I knew it was just one more brick in the huge wall that has been constructed by him all along.

Today was yet another ugly episode. Talk about using any trivial thing to set him off. (I've been reading the stories on this site) He was furious that he had to work with me and my daughter for her next phase of tuition...long story/short. I am staying with an elderly aunt for her care and so I am not home today (I work here). He blew up at another daughter this AM at our other daughter as she wanted to go to the mall. She was taking our car. He wanted to know why she didn't ask for the car? Excuse me she has never had to ask for the car. She has had her own car for 4 years and it just so happens it is being repaired for now. She had surgery on her left foot and can't drive our other vehicles as they are stick shift. I told her weeks ago to use the car during her recovery of surgery. So she didn't think to ask. I told him why would she as for a car? She has always had her own and never needs to ask for a car. She is just using this one for now We have two other vehicles. Why would it occur to her that she need to ask for a car? He was like steam coming out his ears, jugular popping out his neck and his face was pure red mad (SCOHE, JPOHN, FPRM). I am serious. I have a habit of explaining my existence. Just the previous night she had told him she was driving a friend to the mall and he told her "I'd rather you drive your a safer driver than her". The very next morning he cut her to the quick about not asking for the car. set up set up set up!!!!!!!

He called me to argue about the tutition problem which I refused to argue. I could tell by his tone where we were going. I hung up without words. He called my daughter in LA and proceeded to basically hostilly tell her what I didn't listen to. He set her up totally. Five days ago he told her to pursue finishing her 2 weeks left of school. She did what he told her to do and sent him the application and the fees amount and he called her and told her to basically screw it and go get a job in a restaurant that he had changed his mind. She is a cosmetician and professional makeup artist. She needs an additional 2 weeks of schooling required by the state boards in the state she lives. Her schooling was 2 weeks shy of the requirements.

My one daughter (about the car issue) left him a note and told him she was the only one around for him to verbally abuse since I was at work and that she left to go shopping.

He chased after her in the car. Stopped in the middle of the road and literally cut her a new AH as he was (SCOHE, JPOHN, FPRM) AGAIN! At the top of his lungs in the middle of the road in front of neighbors. She is 18. Graduated with honors and is going to college in 1 month. Both our daughters are actually ANGELS. I cannot tell you enough they have not been one ounce of trouble. They are also very beautiful (eye candy) ha!

He then come over to my work and proceeded to (SCOHE, JPOHN, FPRM) that our daughter needed to learn respect and ask for the car. He didn't tell me about confronting her on the road issue. I learned that later from my daughter. I told him to leave that I refused to talk to him while his anger chemicals were raging. That he should go run around the block. He left.

My daughters and I have felt like we were punched in the stomache all day. The scary thing is my husband is totally oblivious to our pain. Even though I am still at work the times I have saw him after this he acted like lalalala nothing happened. He is gone. Drinking again. Gone all day and doesn't even give me the common courtesy of a phone call to tell me where he is. The really scary thing is he is totally self righteous in his own mind and thinks we are all wrong and that we are the losers.

I let him ruin my whole day. The funny thing is I have spent my 24/7 focusing on improving my self as I knew I was spending way to much time being angry at him. I have quit smoking YEAH, went on a diet and have lost 13 pounds and am working on my PMA and gratitude journal. I swear this whole act recently has been pure sabotage on his part. It seems like whenever I get even close to creating a normalcy, and serenity in my self and my environment he creates a drama or else he just doesn't feel alive.

I was the most organized and positive that I have been in a long time. In fact I brought a few projects over here at work to work on. Just a few loose ends and then I would actually be caught up on everything I was working on recently. I couldn't believe I was that "good". After this epidsode. I cried all day and didn't work on a thing. I still can't shake this feeling out of my stomache. I want to cry more. It's just under the surface.

That is why I am submitting this post. I need to get this out. I found journal pages of my daughter's today. I think she wanted me to find them. They were so sad. I could publish them here. My daughter is gifted in writing and you would not believe what they said. Suffice it to say she is hurting. She is an adult "18" and a growing child. Her words. ie. She knows she should mature and understand this but she is a growing child as well and still needs us to be strong for her.

Anyway, my motherly instinct is out. I am done. The boxes are packed tomorrow. When my husband comes home and acts dumb and asks me what am I doing? Three words....We're frigging done! Once the toothpaste is out of the tube you can't put it back in. I am so angry, hurt.

I have survived 2 boughts with cancer (different kinds unrelated if you can believe the luck of that) by the time I was 32 the first when I was 27. My dear children were just babies then. I am 42 now and still alive. I learned how prescious life was then. I really value people in my life. That is all that matters. Not things. I just can't believe I wasted the last 20 years of my life putting up with this abuse. No time for self pity now. I refuse to go in that room. My husband said that to me once...what do we have in common????? I laughed at him and said...try the last 20 years.

My daughter refuses to come home. She doesn't feel safe in her own home. God I am sad.

Thanks for listening. I know nothing will help at this point. I have to do it myself. This is a walk in the park compared to cancer and I will do this but God I am scared.

Love to all

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2000

S1

I wish Dr. Irene would comment on mine

Love to all

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 24, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 27, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2000

S1

I felt the need to post some comments here regarding verbal abuse and disengaging. I went back to my abusive relationship. I feel that at this point it is for lessons to be further learned in my codependency. I am also finding out how those three magical words 'I Love you' have been the bait that has been keeping me in this insanity. Right now, I am more angry at myself for going back to this mess. Of course, when I pulled away emotionally the first time he came at me with promises he will change, we will go out, etc. He just told me a bunch of junk I wanted to hear. I had been crushed by his relationship with another woman. I still continued to hold on emotionally when all else pointed to that I needed to bail out a long time ago. The constant criticisms. I realize that at this point that this man has criticized every aspect of my life. He has criticized my job, my hair, my apartment, my car lease, etc. I don't function in bed good enough. Now he has starting to withold emotionally and sexually. I noticed that when I get angry with this treatment, he softens for a second. Now I am at the point where I am asking myself: Why am I allowing myself to be treated like this? I think the last straw was when he came up for my birthday and acted like he was doing me a favor for being there. My question is, why come if you don't want to be here. I asked if he wanted to terminate the relationship, and his answer was no. I no longer want to stay around and be the recepient of this disrespect and abuse. I realize that early on in our relationship is that I was doing things for approval like cooking breakfast, dinner, etc. Now I realize that these are normal ongoing daily activities that I do for myself anyway. I don't need to cook for anyone to get a pat on the head. My attitude towards anyone who feels this type of contempt for me is that a person like this is not needed in my life, period. There is no need to stick around someone like this. I realize that whatever is going on with this man is his problem. It is not my problem to solve it. I am just very angry at this point for allowing this to go on for almost a year. Another fact is that in the very beginning I knew this person was not right for me. However, I settled for a warm body and ignored the insults just to keep him around. Thank you Dr. Irene for helping me see this. Paula

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2000

S1

I felt the need to post some comments here regarding verbal abuse and disengaging. I went back to my abusive relationship. I feel that at this point it is for lessons to be further learned in my codependency. I am also finding out how those three magical words 'I Love you' have been the bait that has been keeping me in this insanity. Right now, I am more angry at myself for going back to this mess. Of course, when I pulled away emotionally the first time he came at me with promises he will change, we will go out, etc. He just told me a bunch of junk I wanted to hear. I had been crushed by his relationship with another woman. I still continued to hold on emotionally when all else pointed to that I needed to bail out a long time ago. The constant criticisms. I realize that at this point that this man has criticized every aspect of my life. He has criticized my job, my hair, my apartment, my car lease, etc. I don't function in bed good enough. Now he has starting to withold emotionally and sexually. I noticed that when I get angry with this treatment, he softens for a second. Now I am at the point where I am asking myself: Why am I allowing myself to be treated like this? I think the last straw was when he came up for my birthday and acted like he was doing me a favor for being there. My question is, why come if you don't want to be here. I asked if he wanted to terminate the relationship, and his answer was no. I no longer want to stay around and be the recepient of this disrespect and abuse. I realize that early on in our relationship is that I was doing things for approval like cooking breakfast, dinner, etc. Now I realize that these are normal ongoing daily activities that I do for myself anyway. I don't need to cook for anyone to get a pat on the head. My attitude towards anyone who feels this type of contempt for me is that a person like this is not needed in my life, period. There is no need to stick around someone like this. I realize that whatever is going on with this man is his problem. It is not my problem to solve it. I am just very angry at this point for allowing this to go on for almost a year. Another fact is that in the very beginning I knew this person was not right for me. However, I settled for a warm body and ignored the insults just to keep him around. Thank you Dr. Irene for helping me see this. Paula

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

Hi, please help me: i has been marriage for two year with a men 17 years older than me, in the beganing was everithing perfect, he was helping me alot with my language, and cultural transition until i notice that he was pushing me to do thing that no make me feel happy,so i start expresing him my filling and means and he became a mounsters start screeming at me and usung bad words, trying to put me down , teling me that a can't do enithing ok, that i don't appreciate his help, and stuuf like that, wen i cry, he say "i am tired about your sensibility, please grow up".what realy scaring me is mi reaction i became agressive, sad, star feling alone, angry, frustraired, and i am losing respecto of him,i star using his way,usind bd words and all the rest,PLEASE help to get out of mi behaivor i no righ but a can't no found the way back, thank you

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, Can two people who have hurt each other so much and been in these types of situations ever recover enough to try to make the relationship work? Have you ever seen examples of this? I have been on your website all morning and it has done more for me than an entire year of marriage counseling. I actually found it the other night and talked to my partner(abuser/co-dependent partner whatever) about it. I think he is recognizing things like this and he has also been going to the counselor(both of us together at times and many times separate). He says that he wants to work it out, but that I still blame everyone and everything, including myself. He claims that he still and always will love me, but that he cannot "go back". I agree with him on this...I do not and cannot go back to the way it was for the last two and a half years. However, we have two small children together and many happy times in the past. We always used to make each other laugh and were there for each other when we were down. We've had a very traumatic year. Our son was attacked a year ago this Halloween by a neighbor's inappropriately penned hybrid wolf, my finger was "accidentally" broken during an argument, six months into counseling his father was killed by a drunk driver and then a month later he lost his aunt to cancer. We both feel as if we are "beaten" down. We never thought we would be here at this point. When we were younger, everyone thought we were an ideal couple. I guess my question is that, do people ever recover and still stay in the relationship? If they both recognize problems with the marriage and with themselves and make a commitment to making it work? I think we both really want our family to work and grieve for it. Thank you for any help or advice.

Shannon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000

S1

I have read your comments on different post of when it get physically abusive. You say call the Police, its according to what kind of Police Dept your county has. About 3 or 4 years ago, My husband and I got into a arguement, over sex, The children was home it was the middle of the day I had been sick and he starts in on me about how I don't love him and all this verbal crap. I told him I didn't want to argue, so I tried to take the girls and just go for a ride til he got over his little tantrum, He wouldn't let us leave he said I bought you that car and I can take it back, so I pushed him away from me and he started hitting on me I manage to get on the phone with 911. The Police came and told me that he didn't care what our problem was he would take the children out of the house and to foster care, I had no marks on me so they said they couldn't do anything. When the Police got there my husband went out first and told them we were having a misunderstanding. Was perfrctly calm and polite. After that I waited til the next day I called a shelter they told me I could stay for a week or two after that there was nothing they could do. So I Have no faith in the system. I am Taking matters in My own hands saving money and one day I will be out, I let myself get tangled up with this person and I will get out.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000

S1

I have yet to see this addressed. I have continually been told to ignore or back off from my verbally and emotionally abusive husband. How can I when the courts have given him shared legal custody and partial physical custody of our son. Shared is not in his vocabulary and he uses this part of the custody to manipulate and harass my son and myself. It gives him control. He also uses the partial physical custody as a way to stalk and intimidate me. In my situation it is worse because he left me for a woman who is exactly like him and they stalk and harass me and my family together. Last week the girlfriend showed up instead of my husband and grabbed ahold of my son and I had to pull her off of him in order to get her to loosen her grip and stop hurting him. Our custody exchanges take place at the State Police Barracks because of the continued abuse from these two. That didn't stop her from attacking my son and then me. Now I have been cited for harassment for trying to protect my son, good thing is that she also has been cited for harassment. We will have our day in court, I just hope that she is not able to manipulate the judge. Get this, the whole time she is doing this to us, she is on the cell phone to my husband. My husband then sends e-mails to our 8 yr old telling him that the girlfriend did not hurt him and he heard the whole thing on the phone. I called the State Police out to my residence 4 times in the last year but they only submitted 1 report. Despite my having a Protection from Abuse order they have determined that I am a spiteful woman. Why? because why would my husband, who has a girlfriend, be harassing and stalking me with his girlfriend and her daughter present?

I have our whole relationship since the separation in e-mails back and forth. Some day I hope that someone can take this e-mails and use them to help others. I have received nearly 300 e-mails this year from my husband and 3 from his girlfriend. I have sent (mostly responses) approx 75 in return. I have NEVER written to the girlfriend except to tell her she is not to be e-mailing me after receiving a harassing email. I have tried ignoring but it gets me in trouble with the court orders. He is now going to file contempt charges because I have not been informing him of every little detail of our lives. Why do the courts allow these controlling abusers to continue with their behaviors?

ValleyGal2000

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 09, 2001

S1

In response to valleygal 2000-My ex is not far from yours. The courts seem to believe everything they say and that we are either uncooperative or nuts. When you disengage they retreat but only for a little while. I'd be interested in finding out why this is allowed in the courts. I have the same thing going on. He can take the boys and move and keep me from them but if I make a peep to the GAL (guardian ad litem) he tells me that my ex can do what he wants and that if I would just let him have his way, then maybe things would be better. Imagine being told by the kids lawyer to let the abusive ex have his way in order to get along. This issue needs to get out in the open. It's happening all over.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

Thank you for the information. I am in between stages at the moment(anger and personal responsibility). And I find these writings benifial. I feel on the right path. Thanks so much!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 06, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2001

S1

Abuser- "If you don't do what I want (visitation changes in schedules/holiday's to suit only himself, not the best interest of the most important one - 15 year old) I will take you to court and take my son! Son is 15, and has a very active school, friends, sports and church life, with very little disruption to his dad's visitation schedule. This may help someone else: All of our communication is done via the mail. That way we both have copies of what was said re:dates drop off locations etc. That way you have documention and don't have to talk to the jerk.

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 03, 2001

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B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 07, 2001

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Dear Dr Irene: Just read through your Wayne/Mel. Thanks for posting, I needed this. Been away from my husband since October 2000. Gained strength, assurance. He called this weekend - the whole indignation/intimidation/accusation. I fell for it. Read this today. I will now disengage again. Thanks very much. E

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Date: Thursday, May 17, 2001

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Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001

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Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2001

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Date: Saturday, June 23, 2001

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Makes perfect sense, but, to be honest - I hate the fact that I HAVE to take care of myself - always have hated that. Sometimes, it is such an effort. Sometimes feels like you have to be hypervigilant with people just to get respect.

Still, you give great advice and I will try to use it.

Thank you

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Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2001

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Date: Wednesday, August 01, 2001

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What about bipolar abusers? (The search came back with an error today - result of the move?). I've been dealing with my husband's verbal abuse for years and finally got fed up about 1.5 yrs ago. He agreed to seek counseling. Took him almost a year to do it and then was diagnosed bipolar. He's on meds now and in therapy. There is definitely an improvement, but the episodes still come. I find myself standing up to him and letting him know I won't tolerate his nonsense, but I'm really tired of it all. I want to leave but am now working through the guilt of him having this "illness". We are in a very easy part of the cycle right now, too. He's pretty easy to get along with and is offering compliments and trying to be appreciative. I know it will change, though. It always does. And I can talk (or yell :( ) til I'm blue in the face and get NOWHERE with him. I absolutely LOVE this site but the only thing it lacks for me is information on bipolar disorder. Thanks Dr. Irene!

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Date: Monday, August 06, 2001

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Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2001

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Date: Saturday, September 01, 2001

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Date: Saturday, September 01, 2001

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Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001

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Ok...I've disengaged and now I'm really scared. My husband, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and taking medication, now tells me he can't concentrate at work (his boss called him at home about an issue..never happened before), can't sleep at night, cries for no apparent reason and "feels bad" emotionally all the time. I know why...I've disengaged and made him aware of/responsible for his behavior and the strain is getting to him. So, now what do I do with a pressure cooker and is this typical of abusers who have to control themselves? No where do I read about the abuser who's losing it while he's trying to control the behavior. All the advice is good and sound, but it can back-fire as I'm about to find out!

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Date: Sunday, October 14, 2001

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Am in the process of breaking away from a verbally and emotionally abusive boyfriend. We weren't cohabitating thank god. But still difficult had to get new unlisted phone numbers home and cell. Left a physically abusive husband 8 years ago after he broke my arm. Thought I had learned my lesson on this stuff. It goes so deep - the wounds are from childhood and at a "soul level"

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 02, 2001

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Date: Sunday, February 10, 2002

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Date: Friday, February 22, 2002

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Date: Friday, February 22, 2002

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Date: Monday, March 04, 2002

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Date: Friday, March 08, 2002

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Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2002

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Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2002

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I have been married to an abusive man for 17 years.One minute he is fine the next he is verbally abusive,breaking things.His best is to put me down as mother housework anything he can think of.I am afraid of him when he gets in this mood.My children are afraid of him.Rescently he has taken an infatiuation with guns!Lots of them.And it makes me very uneasy.I am timed when i go out.I get no access to money.I am disabled from a spine injury and back,He let me lay 5 days with clots in my lungs and leds.Blood pressure was 34/.And i begged to be taken to the hospital and he would pt me down saying i was just lazy needing to get up.But i couldnt because i was loosing conciousness and would pass out .Am i being to paranoid or should i get out while the gettin is good.? Lost scared hurt... Any advise would be appreciated.

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Date: Friday, March 22, 2002

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Date: Friday, March 22, 2002

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Date: Sunday, April 14, 2002

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The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned, but it is still nonsense. -Benjamin Franklin

And most everything on this site and what self-flagellating posters advise each other is as well.

Sarah

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 28, 2002

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B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 28, 2002

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I am stuck in a situation with a man I was engaged to be married to. He also is the father of my two year old baby. This man has a documented history of domestic violence in the court system. Despite this, he has managed to turn everything around, that has occured over the past two years and has convinced many people that he is the victim and I am the abuser. I have spent time in jail because this man said I beat him up, this was not true and was never proven. I recently found out my baby suffered a broken leg at eight months old, and has been brought to the daycare with red marks around his neck within the last couple of months, which he is blaming me for. This man has managed to get custody of our baby and has persisted to keep me from seeing my baby over the past year. Just weeks ago I first learned that there is an active case involving CPS, at first I was under the impression that they had him under investigation. Just two days ago, I learned from the CPS caseworker that he has convinced them that I am the one responsible. I feel like I am losing my mind, I don't know where to turn, in fear that no one will believe me. How can I stop this Manipulating abusive monster and save my baby and myself? Can you suggest any resources? Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Sincerely, Michelle

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Date: Thursday, May 09, 2002

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Date: Saturday, May 25, 2002

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I think you must disengage to "save yourself". When you are there, you know. Noone can do it for you - you must lose your need to be addicted to the outcome.

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Date: Tuesday, June 04, 2002

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Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

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Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2002

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Date: Saturday, August 10, 2002

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Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

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Date: Thursday, August 15, 2002

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Date: Friday, August 16, 2002

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Date: Saturday, August 31, 2002

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Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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Date: Thursday, October 10, 2002

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This was our telephone conversation one morning when my husband called as we argued about a previous fight. Lionel: Hi Lulu: Hi Lionel :I wasn't ignoring you yesterday. I had a headache. Lulu: You can say whatever you want, we both know the truth and to ignore someone is emotional abuse. Blaming it on something else or someone else is not admitting you did anything wrong and is always your answer to everything. If you choose to treat me poorly you will have to deal with the consequences of your own actions. Your mental, emotional and verbal abuse caused me a lot of pain and I would like for you to give me my space. Lionel: I understand. Lulu: Also, If you would like to leave this relationship that is your choice. I will hurt for a few days, but I will get over it. It will not be as hard as dealing with your abuse. So do not sit and threaten me. I will not live with your threats. Lionel: I understand, but you are being too controlling when you complain about every little thing. Lulu: I have a right to complain. I can only apologize for my lack of self-control in making your mistakes my responsibility. I am being controlling by insisting and persisting that you see where you went wrong and trying to teach you how to do better by not justifying your actions. When I make your actions my responsibility I am overstepping my boundaries and that is something I plan to work on in improving myself. You need to fix your own mistakes. The next time I tell you to stop doing (whatever it is your doing) because it hurts me and you continue to justify your actions I will not stay to argue with you and try to correct your mistakes. Than it would be my mistake. I will make my point and tell you to let me know when your ready to talk and willing to acknowledge my requests. When your ready to talk and you continue to justify your actions, I still will not argue with you and try to correct your mistakes. I will make my point and tell you to let me know when your ready to talk and willing to acknowledge my requests. When your ready to talk and willing to acknowledge my requests your being responsible for your actions and I in return am being responsible of myself not you. Lionel: What about you’re screaming at me? Lulu: I apologized immediately after words for my lack of self-control and not acting assertively and letting my emotions run me because it only makes myself feel worse when I compromise my integrity. And you? Lionel: I screamed because you screamed. It’s a natural human reaction. There is a casue and effect. Lulu: Did I tell you to scream? Lionel: No. Lulu: Did I tell you to curse? Lionel: No. Lulu: Those were your actions, your choices. Do not try to pin you’re reaction on my actions. Your reaction is your responsibility. Lionel: You insisted on talking to me and you would not leave me alone. Lulu: I admit it was hard to not want to talk after you abruptly told me that you don’t care to be with me anymore and that it was over and that you wanted to leave me and that you have been thinking about walking out for the past month and making me the sole problem. I can only be responsible for my own actions. I am not responsible for yours. Lionel :I said what I said out of anger so that you would leave me alone and I wouldn’t have to talk to you so that I could go to the gym. I let you go when you need to be alone. Lulu: Yes you do give me my space, because I ask you politely so that I do not offend you. I do not mentally abuse you before I leave by telling you I am walking out on you so that you can leave me alone. The next time you say you’ve had it with my complaining and you want to leave I will respect your choice and let you go. I will not live with your threats, because I have a right to complain if I don’t like what you’re doing to me. Now that you tell me that you said it only out of anger, you have to respect whatever my demands are of you. Such as giving me my space until I figure out what I would like to do for myself. Lionel: Why do you go for a walk to make me worry about you? Lulu: No. I go for the same reasons as you to blow off some steam. Lionel: Where do you go? Lulu: I usually sit on the porch or go out front and sit on the wooden bench. Lionel: I saw a 400lb crazy guy sitting on the bench once. If someone hurts you, that’s your responsibility. It’s not going to hurt anyone as much as it will hurt you. Lulu: I put myself at risk every day I walk outside my house or stay inside my house. You never know what will happen. I know how to protect myself. I will tell you exactly where I plan to go so that you won’t worry. It is easy to solve a problem when each of us is responsible for ourselves. Lionel: Most of the time it takes forever to solve a problem because it never ends. Lulu: It only takes forever when one of us chooses not to be responsible for our own actions. Things never get anywhere when either of us drags it on. My limit is 2 hours. If you cross my limits and things continue to drag on I will have my answer as to which of us does not deserve to be in this relationship. It takes two to make things work it takes only one to ruin it. After work I am buying a couple of books. Men don’t listen and one by Dr. Irene if she has one. Can you get me Men don’t listen. Sure. Lionel: o.k. I’ll see you later tonight. Lulu: o.k. Bye. I went to sleep early last night. We did not get a chance to talk. I am waiting until he approaches me. When he approaches me I will tell him that I will not tolerate this type of behavior and demand he go to counseling. Even joint counseling if it makes it easier for him to go. If he chooses not to, I will walk away and not look back. Lulu

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Date: Thursday, November 28, 2002

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Date: Thursday, December 05, 2002

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Date: Saturday, December 14, 2002

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Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

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This is really on track. One warning though careful of the disengaging stuff when in proximity of the abuser.It works a bit,but when the penny drops they can become physically dangerous. Mine did as aparting gesture minutes before he knew I was to be picked up in a scenario I wouldn't expect him to.But its probably good where the odd call needs to be made to sort out a few return goods practicalities (things returned will be be done by by another, not me later on) though my ex husband has suggested I should be more careful as if he is made too annoyed enough he could try vengance (surepticiously) later while I'm assuming he'll give up completly as his ego knows I know what he is about & there isn't anything in it for him now. Who knows which of us will be right as its not practical for me to hide etc..

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Date: Monday, March 10, 2003

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Date: Thursday, March 27, 2003

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By reading what you consider to be offensive behavior by Wayne...I have come to the conclusion you may be in need of counseling yourself Dr Irene...If you percieve Waynes comments to be a serious attack or an effort to control, you have much to learn. Yes he is analytical and enjoys listening to himself speak it seems, but as seriously as you are taking this mans posts is a little on the super sensitive side in my opinion leading me to believe you may have emotional abuse in your past. You post as if Waynes comments are the appitomy of manipulative. Does the word Codependent ring a bell if not maybe for your own sake you should research the word Dr. Irene...The emotionally abused can make wonderful therapists... only if they have recovered themselves. I suggest a little more self evaluation and healing before you continue on this endevour...Sincerely Dr. Shole PHD

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Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003

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Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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Date: Thursday, May 08, 2003

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I have a father that verbally abuses everyone. If he can't get you, he will go after your relationships with other people. My mom lives with him and has taken to drinking herself to sleep every night. I live 1/2 mile away and deal with him daily. I have not learned to back away fast enough, but I can't really see the mood change coming anymore. They happen more and more fequently. My brother's have moved out of range and I stayed because I'm stupid. I can't seem to shut up fast enough. I still feel like I can reason with him and I can't. He has closed his mind off to everything except his own way. I'm crazy, horrible, And caused my mother to become an alcoholic. I embarrass him and he is ashamed of me. I need to release myself from this relationship and to find a healthy way of dealing with him before he takes me to court for keeping his grandchildren away from him. Help? Elena

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Date: Sunday, July 06, 2003

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Dr. Irene, Thank you for your board. I am learning slowly but surely how to make boundaries. It is not easy as I never made them, at least not that I know of. Was the rollover queen to a man that is an emotional and psychological bully for 28 years. Am learning to back off as he must always win. And I don't have to have him in my life on a daily basis.He is a professional and more than a little self involved. It is all for the best, have done lots of reading to trying and learn all I can. Thanks for the site.

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Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

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doctrin

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Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

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doctrin