I'm just discovering my abusive ways
and my wife and I are working through them. I appreciate your site
and efforts and good insights.
Sent: Friday, January 14,
Subject: please loose the graphic
Dear Dr. Irene,
One request. The graphic
representation you use of a cat (representing the verbal abuser) whose
eyes are red like a devil who is being consumed by fire attempts to
categorize all verbal abusers (even ones trying to change) as individuals
who should burn. I don't find it necessary or helpful and would
request that you tone it down. Yes, you got a reaction from me.
Yet, your graphic doesn't lead anyone to believe that change is possible.
If that's the case, I think we both have much to learn.
I appreciate your
effort in communicating your thoughts and feelings regarding the
|If you think I
believe that recovery for abusive people is not possible, you
clearly haven't read the site.|
|If the graphic
elicited an emotional reaction, then I accomplished my artistic
|If I were to
take down every graphic with offensive potential, there would be few
graphics left. |
The site attempts
to lighten a heavy subject through the use of humor and parody. This
particular cat, I think, is representative of how abusive people too
often view themselves.
I suggest that you lose the anger - and enjoy the humor.
Ps: For a more
January 14, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene-
Today is my first visit to your web site and I am just starting to
explore it. Thank you.
I saw the cat graphic and the response to it from the gentleman named
"Sam". I find his response typical as to the one I have been
living with for 9 years. If an opinion or expression comes on too
strong, even if it demonstrative of a great deal of pain, it should be
censored. Isn't that part of this disease? While the abuser
inflicts pain the victim should never dare to cry out?
Sorry, Sam. Deal with how uncomfortable it is that victims see
their perpetrator as having devilish characteristics.
Yes, you nailed it. It is part of the
"When you hate
[a person], you hate something [in him] that is part of yourself. What isn't in us doesn't disturb us."
- Hermann Hesse
Thank you. Dr. Irene
Dear Dr Irene,
I am new to your site, first time, and I have looked
into your clipping. One caught me, it was a message from Sam,
regarding your graphic of the cat. I did agree with Sam. It should be
typical of an abuser who wants help to be angry over a graphic like
I too have not read many subjects that were
positive. I do believe abuse can be helped, if the abuser is willing
to try. So I was offended as well. If coming to this site was for help
or encouragement, I would feel there was no hope. I have only read 7
stories so far, but none were encouraging, they all talked about
leaving him, getting rid of him, life without him.
I would like to see your section on progress made,
success stories, helpful advise. That is the frame of mind I am in and
would like to have the support as well.
Sincerely, Nine Years Invested
Dear Nine Years,
There is much more material on
leaving the abuser than on the recovery of the abuser for a few
First, more victim people write in
than abuser people. So, you find more material responding to their
Second, most abusive people are not
interested in recovery. A number are, as long as they can do it on
their terms - which won't work since that is essentially the
problem! I tell my abusive clients that they have to want recovery
so much, when asked to "jump", the answer should be
"how high?" So there are very few abusive people who really
overcome this difficult addiction to anger. On the other hand, many
improve - a lot - even though they don't completely overcome what
I see as a personality disorder of sorts.
But, success stories are on the
site. Read about
Brent as the shining
example. I agree with you, more abuser recovery success stories are
I'm glad you wrote to validate Sam.
I will email him to see your posting.
My very best wishes, Dr. Irene
Nine Years wrote back. "I explored further and found some helpful and
She reports on an exercise this couple uses that
works! See it here.
Ps: Readers: Please submit
encouraging stuff on the abuser-person's recovery. It is my pleasure
to print it!