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HOW YOU BECOME PREY TO A CHARMER/ABUSER PERSONALITY?
August 10, 2003
10:26 pm
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For all you oldtimers on here that have seen this writing of mine again, please just bear with me one more time. (smile) After reading another thread here, I think it's time for another dose of it. I hope it helps someone here.

*******************

First, I would like you to know that when I say "abuser" in the above title, I may not be talking about obvious abuse, as in, physical violence or yelling and screaming. Passive/aggressive abuse can be just as deadly and is actually - more used by - people who are more advanced in the arena of........"charm"...... as I will speak of it here.

Obviously, we want to know how we ever get caught up in a spiderweb in the first place. If we were conscious of what we were doing, we would not be doing it. Or at least, a great number of us would not be doing it. This personality that I refer to as charmer/abusive will be called the C.A. throughout the rest of this writing.

You need to view a C.A. as someone who probably does not have the same values as you - at all. They are a chameleon because it serves their purpose. They quickly "put on" whatever "you are" and "need" in order to - use you for whatever they need from you. They are, indeed, a great sales person. The kind that "does not" repel you in the beginning, but instead, almost magically - draws you closer and closer and closer very quickly. How do they gain entrance into your life? Read the following and take the time to look back over your life. There is opportunity here for life changes.

1. A C.A. looks for victims with the following characteristics: low self-esteem, a past with a lot of trauma, neediness, fairy tale type thinking, maybe even someone with a little rebelliousness (to some degree...), and a history of relationships with men that were not healthy.

2. They listen intently to you, as you, voluntarily tell them your innermost thoughts, secrets, deep hurts and dreams. They quickly assimilate from this - what kind of camouflage to weave "for you". You basically - tell them - what to become, in order that they might hide who they really are from you.....while erecting the man of your dreams right before your eyes.

3. While they may not come over completely to your way of thinking about everything, they will agree with you on certain things that are very important to you. For example, if you have been abused in your life, they will assume the position of "protector" and will be a great empathizer regarding your pain, at least in the beginning.... They look for the "red flashing lights" and become a ready-made ally for you in some way. If you are a single mother, he might all "too quickly" become super-dad, because he knows how vulnerable you are in this respect.

4. They quickly want to become physical with you because once that happens, you instantly have a cloud over your eyes. C.A.'s know this about women, especially wounded women and they use it to their utmost advantage. If the sex is good, they assume you will follow them anywhere. C.A.'s know that touch and physical gratification in the sexual realm is like a drug of comfort for you. It's almost like heroin for some women who have been sexually abused. It tells a woman, in an instant "microwave push-button" sort of way - that they are wanted, worthy and valuable. Of course, this is so very far from the truth. But, it works. It works very well. And C.A.'s know that whatever radar you did have going on - will now be majorly - disconnected. Kind of like the burglar who snips all the wires to the phone and the electricity before entering the home to steal the valuables.

5. He listens to what you tell him about - how people have controlled or manipulated you in the past and he uses the same weapons, but may employ different maneuvers so you don't recognize it. For example, you say that you could not stand it when your last boyfriend was jealous of you all the time. He then never berates you like the other boyfriend did by always flying off the handle, but might take a more quiet and passive route of doing it. He may just drop little hints - constantly, but in such a way that you can't really call him on it. It just becomes the continual dripping faucet in your life. He's always calling you when you're supposed to be home for no apparent reason, or calling you right when you are to be home, or later that night he shows up with a convincing reason, but really might be more along the lines of - are you really alone? But, it's just really hard to nail him on his jealousy because he isn't really blatant about it in your book. This is "blatant", but "you don't recognize it as that". This is the important thing to see here. He will take advantage of your "cloudiness" here and will disguise it as him just caring about you in some way. And you will hesitate time and time again to really call it - for what it is.

6. C.A.'s will capitalize on your need - to be needed in their life. And you are needed by them. Otherwise, they would not be reeling you in. They know that you are going to equate your worth, as a woman, based on how much you can do for them and be "needed" by them. And.....they do need you, for something - for a season. So, consequently, in their mind - it's a fair trade. You need to be needed and they need something from you. Do not kid yourself into believing this is going to be a - fair trade. They stroke your ego and your emotional side for awhile and they drain from you - whatever they want. There is no need for them to have a conscience about this, because it's like any other sales contract. If you don't read the fine print, (which is what this writing is about) it's "buyer beware" and tough luck. A deal's a deal. You can project your own interpretation on it all you want. In fact, they want you to. They are counting on that. But.....your projection, regardless of how much you believe it.....doesn't ever make it fact. You buy the illusion, and they make a sale.

Now which is it that is really more important here? Is it the need for you to get something of worth, or is it more important for you to be lied to because it feels familiar to you? Do you have an intense need - to be sold - to? If so, then who was the person in your past that you loved and yet they lied to you by what they said and how they treated you? Little girls believe very easily - when they are looking up to a very important man in their lives. They are larger than life and you are not able to look at them realistically - using a child's mind. If they betrayed you, abandoned you, rejected you, or assaulted you in any way - you are apt to make excuses for them because you need them in your life in some way. A grown-up version of this - will allow themselves to become prey to a charmer/abuser and you constantly second-guess your own thoughts and feelings and will make endless excuses for this man. You will just automatically think and feel with your little girl mind in this scenario of having a man in your life. Whereas in other areas of your life - you may be very mature, grown-up and responsible. You will not always do this - if you will allow yourself to learn - why you do what you do and how to gradually prevent it. It took time to lay down the foundation of what is unhealthy in your life. It will take time to rip it up and replace it with what is good and constructive. Again, time is your friend.

7. C.A.'s need for you to quickly put them into your inner circle - whereby you consider them to be of like-minds with you, a kindred spirit, soulmate sort of thing. When that happens - you basically dismiss a lot of red flags because you have completely validated them as - being like you in some majorly important ways. This are usually sensitive issues. Where you "really live" kind of issues. Therefore, you cannot possibly suspect them of a lot of things. It would be like putting yourself on trial! Think about this one - very hard. It is one of the worst "snags" that will hook you and take a great deal from you when the hook is ultimately withdrawn. They find that platform where you have your deepest hurts and strongest opinions and they become your ally, your cheerleader, your confidant, your defender, etc., etc. And "poof" you're sucked in hook, line and sinker. Oftentimes, the very people who have wounded you the worst, are the very same kind of people that can empathize with you - the best. And why wouldn't they? A predator - knows his victims - very well. They study them. They have to, in order to trap them. That's why I write things like this. We need to "study them" as well. It's called - playing "offense" instead of "defense". Learning to be savvy - will work on our part. Rest very assured - they will do "their homework" regarding "you". Be willing to be as quick to forgive yourself when it comes to making a mistake of character as you are quick to forgive them over and over and over again.

8. C.A.'s do NOT respect you as as a person - at all....BUT....they will go great lengths to convince you - that they do. They will quickly put you up on a high pedestal, where they supposedly worship at your feet. No one in the world is more beautiful or more important in their lives. You are the bomb! Just remember here that I use the word "quickly" a lot. Someone genuinely thinking you're wonderful and all that - isn't necessarily bad. But, it is highly suspicious when it happens - very, very quickly. Sure, in some rare case, you could just click - if you meet the right person. But, I warn you about making this your basis for all your relationships. You are a sitting duck. Genuine feelings that really matter in the long run - take time. C.A.'s don't have time. They have to do everything quickly. They want what they want and they want it NOW. So, hurry up and "get charmed", so this ball game can get underway! That's the way they look at it. They are counting on - your need to get instantly stroked all the way around - as their "in". This is your blind side and they go right for it. "Make her feel like a princess early on and she will eat out of your hand".

9. They will educate you on how women in their past have not met the mark with them. How they have failed them in some respect. It's called - giving you a challenge you cannot resist as a woman. Especially, if you are a woman who sees her worth being linked to - how much she is needed by a man. They are basically saying to you - "here, see what you can do. Prove to me, that you are worthy and prove to me that you can be better than all these other women. Do the impossible! I'm waiting..." And that's just what an abuse victim loves to hear.....and C.A.'s deeply know this. Abused women - are very used to being superhuman and performing the impossible and having to work for every sliver of love and attention they get. So, this challenge is more like alcohol being sat in front of an alcoholic.

10. C.A.'s hit you hard and heavy. They call you a lot, they want to be with you a lot. They will not respect your need for personal space, but will disguise with - just have to be with you because I can't get you out of my mind. They will usually talk to a lot about how wonderful they are, especially in the areas of "what you need them to be". It will be tailor made, just for you. They will dazzle you with their dance and try to effectively shut down all your protective barriers. They will also want to pull you away from your friends, family and children. They need to be tuned into - just them, if they are going to effectively charm you in a small amount of time. Like any teacher in any classroom - they have to have your undivided attention in order to "teach you" what they want you to learn. So, they don't want you comparing notes with anyone else or getting someone else's read on them. Someone who isn't blind to them - will see them for what they are and tell you. They want to get you in that "cloudy zone" as soon as possible where you are wrapped up with them physically and are providing them with what they need so you feel very validated and valued. They know that once you get effectively hooked in this regard - you will vehemently fight off anyone, including your own flesh and blood - in order to keep this realm of "importance" that you've got going on here. They count on you - to do just that. They load the gun for you and "you" pick it up and use it. That way - their hands are clean. You did their dirty work - for them. You end up driving away the very people that could help you the most. Precisely, my dear Watson.

I said all that to say this.......Time is your friend, use it wisely. If there is one thing that is going to serve you well in the arena of protection - it is to hesitate, step back, go more slowly than you usually do. Read this writing often and "think" about what is going on - while it is going on.

If you see at anytime - this is happening - you do not owe anyone a thick book on how or why you came to your conclusion to back off and cut it off. C.A.'s are absolutely great at convincing you - that you owe them this. As if, they are some powerfully important figure in your life. If they are doing this to you, they are obviously NOT important to you and should not be have that title - as you are leaving the relationship.

I don't know how many times I see this and it is the killer snag that eventually pulls them back into the web. And I've seen women who are almost all the way out and have put many steps into walking away. But, the quick snap of this rubberband - is profound. We say we are walking away, but they interpret this to mean - we want to be talked back into it. Why? Because we still talk to them. We get caught up in telling them why and why not and how and when, etc., etc. They put US on trial - for what they did! We feel like we owe them all this. Whether we like it or not, we are giving great power to someone who does not consider our best interests at all. A person who respects you might ask for clarification to a degree, just so they understand you and then - that's it. They have enough self-respect for themselves and for you to listen to what you said and think you meant it.

By your continuing need to engage with them - tells them - you don't mean a word you say when it comes to boundaries. It means nothing to them now. You may have barked at them, but that's about it. You're back in the ring trying to validate your assessment of things with the very person that did it to you in the first place. So, you are putty in their hands - simply because you walked back out onto the dance floor. Whatever respect you imagined them to have for you - is now completely and absolutely gone. You are definitely "prey" to them now. And they toy with you at will, because you have given them that power over you. They are putting a lot of trust in the fact that - you do not trust your own judgement. If you need to constantly talk to them about why you thought this or that or got hurt about whatever - they instantly know that you don't trust yourself. A confident woman would just call it and that would be the end of it. Some discussion would be allowed, but she would trust her own mind and her own feelings and would not feel compelled to get it validated from the direction those hurts came from in the first place.

It sounds crazy when you really look at it like this. That you would want validation from the very person that hurt you, that affirms you made a sound judgement. Hm,m,m....so, like are we going to get that validation from this person? I would venture to say the odds of that happening are greatly stacked against you. But, this goes back to why you look like such easy prey to them. Oftentimes, if you happen to be a victim of incest, particularly - then so many times the man in your life is going to represent your father to you. So, if he has assumed the position and you have put a lot of trust in him early on - you are going to treat him like a father would be treated. You will give him this respect and position of power and authority over you - because that is what your little girl that you used to be - would do regarding the man in her life back then. And since you put this man in that super powerful position - the hardest person in the world to convince that a mistake has been made - is you, the victim. After all, they have "first chair" with us. We have to work it out, make it fit, or change it somehow. What I want to know is - how can someone who has known you for such a short time - have enough clout and importance in your life - to be allowed the right to speak louder and with more authority over the person who knows you best? And that person - is you, btw.

C.A.'s will storm your gates in the beginning and in the end. They will initially storm your gates with quick flattery, comradery, and empathy. In the end they will storm your gates with insults, total disrespect and will look like someone you do not know at all. They will hit your gates hard and heavy with whatever works - when you decide to walk away. If trying to get you to give them a computer printout on how you arrived at your conclusion and talking it to death doesn't work - then they will storm your gates and bust every boundary as quickly as you can erect it. However, if they are not getting what they want - they will hit you hard, but not forever. There are more fish in the sea. So, do not move your boundaries - one inch. Say what you mean and mean what you say - consistently and absolutely and you don't owe anyone - an explanation - as to why!

C.A.'s are spoiled brats. They respect nothing and no one. They count on you not being able to forgive yourself - for making a completely wrong assessment of - who they were or who you thought they were. That is one of their best and most dangerous weapons against you. If you are so proud that you cannot be humble enough to say - I made a mistake and walk away from it - they will have you for dinner - a second time around, and a third and a fourth time....until....."they don't need you".... anymore.

It's high time - you learn how to live - offensively and be in control of your own life. It's called - Learning to live - Pro-active for your own well-being. A predator is completely turned off by anyone that lets time be their friend. So, if you want to know who a person is that you may be suspect of - just hold them at arm's length for awhile. Make them wait - for everything. The person who is genuinely interested in you - won't push. And they won't try and dazzle you in any way. They will........wait. If they don't do this and you jump.......you are in for - a ride. Just know it up front and put on your seat belt.

Just always look at what you are doing and if you find it really hard to stop engaging long enough to be rational - just remember that if this person has become a larger than life dominant factor in your life.........they are not this godlike image of what your father was or should have been. They are - what they are and you have a good enough mind to call it. Please give yourself permission to see it - just like it is - with your adult mind, not your little girl mind. Super heroes - are fairy tales. Real villains - can do much damage while wearing - superman's cape. In fact - they can get away with anything and everything. Do not give them that power. Take your power back. What is real and true and good for you - will come by way of......you believing you have the right - to choose and not be chosen. Prey is "chosen" by the predator.

You will become more mature in these areas, by educating - your little girl and helping her to grow up. She got stuck back there somewhere and who could blame her? I wouldn't. But, you can take her by the hand and teach her, so that the voice you listen to - isn't a little girl's cries and screams for that one special man to love her. It will be the voice that says - I am wiser and older. I know what I want and what I don't want. I know where I'm vulnerable and where I am strong. My radar is up and running and I am doing the choosing, not the other way around. I am in control of my life.

I wish you peace and I hope you want that as well. The glass is half full and on the table in front of you. It's time for..........."you". And if people don't support you in this along the way - ditch them. They were never in your court to begin with and it's better they sent you a red flag - so that you know who they are now. Right? Just smile and say - thank you very much, I needed that piece of information about "who you are".

August 11, 2003
1:27 am
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Ladeska,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I felt like I was reading a summary of the relationship my mother and father are in. My mom left him after 30 years of him being the charmer/abuser. The divorce was final in May and now she's back together with him. AGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I'm going to print out your thread and send it to her. Maybe it will knock some sense into her!Thanks so much!
gatorgirl
P.S. Did I mention that my dad is a car salesman - shocking isn't it 🙂

August 11, 2003
12:07 pm
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Hi Gatorgirl! I'm so glad this helped you. At least you can take this, even if she can't and either help other people with it or just use it to understand things better in your own life. I hope she reads it, but be prepared for one excuse right after another to keep from really taking it to heart. Sometimes people make "deals" in their lives and the things that are in that deal making would probably shock you - what they are willing to do - in order to get something. The compromises are often very, very shocking and quite revealing about someone's character. I used to think alot of women were just blind, men, too. But I've come to the conclusion over time that this is somewhat true and somewhat - not.

Just like I used to let alot of women off the hook who stayed with abusive men while their children were being abused because I put them in the category of just being too messed up to see anything. But over the years I've come to understand - deals were made and sometimes children were sacrificed, all the while the women would say - I just didn't know what to do, I was so confused, battered, yada, yada. I've seen the long arm of that one played out now though. I'm almost 50 and I've watched some people's lives intently and that just isn't the case most of the time. It feels good to believe that because we are giving them alot of slack. I did that, backed off, but nowadays I look at how life has played out and most of these people that I've been following, in my own life and others........made deals and it was selfish, narcissistic, lazy and nothing even close to being just "too messed up" to see anything. It was a matter of choice with a definite agenda. It's made me want to vomit what I have really realized here to be quite honest.

The thing is, alot of people could be, would be out of their situations, even if they didn't have a paper like this one sitting in front of them, because they would be driven by something inside them to search for their answers and to secure their own freedom. The fact that some people Do Not Do that - needs to be looked at for what it is. That.........all too often goes overlooked and we just slide by it. We need to park the car and look at it - right in the face.

August 11, 2003
12:26 pm
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Thanks for posting this again Ladeska....I have this one saved and I have copies of it that I give to my friends and my sisters.

Every time I read it I am just simply amazed that we (I) didn't see these things before.

T

August 11, 2003
2:32 pm
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Sometimes, Tracylyn people ask for help, but in all reality - they do not want it. You wanted to know certain things and because you put that out there, you were ready to receive it in your own growth.......and it came directly to you. Your "window" as I affectionately call it - was open... Ask and receive, seek and you shall find? Is it really that easy? Precisely.

There's something about this concept that I want you to really, really think about.......a bit of a power pellet in this one....

August 11, 2003
4:04 pm
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What worries me is that I guess I am gullable. I never see the "bad" in people and just assume everyone is honest, and good and pure.

I made a joke on a thread the other day that I don't see the red flags until the wind blows hard enough that the damn flag slaps me in the face and knocks me on my ass.....then I sit there going "oh, is that what that was?"

I was with my ex husband for a very long time....he was so like this. Rescuing me from my dysfuctional household....and then with bf....who truly wanted to "fix" me, solve all my problems and help me to grow....but in the end, he was the same controlling, abusive person as my ex.

All I've ever wanted (in a relationship)is for someone to love me for who I am, accept me for who I am, trust me, respect me and never try to "fix" or change me........is that too much to ask? I have that with my best friends....why can't I find that in a partner? Is it just a "man" thing to want to be the protector? To want to "fix"?

Just some questions pondering about in this fuzzy little head of mine and you know how I love picking your brain!!!!

August 11, 2003
4:51 pm
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Part of it is the "man" thing. They are "fixers" by nature and not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that certain personalities go way further than that and that's when it gets real, real ugly when we're not prepared for that and it hits us, overwhelms us, infects us.

One thing that is majorly wrong here is that we are taught - exactly what you said in the beginning of your past post. You always thought that blah, blah, blah......and that you are gullible because of that.

Well, that's very true. You're a product of your programming. We all are. We've been programmed from the cradle on up, to disconnect that intuitive side of ourselves, to not ask questions that would require feeding the critical thinking part of our brain. So what we were really born with in the way of instinct gets quickly drowned out and gagged and the new way to think is........just think that people are basically good and that most bad people are very few and far between and that they are also pretty visible, like you'll be able to see HUGE lights flashing to warn you about them.

Well.......that would be just like placing you as a baby out into the middle of the Amazon Jungle and going - now think happy thoughts okay and you'll be Just Fine!!! Love you!
Same difference really.

We are herded, guided, positioned, whatever you want to call it - into a place that we have our radar either completely turned off or dysfunctional at best. And without radar to flash something up on the screen for you to look at, guess what? Not much is going to be going on with the critical thinking aspect of things, now is there? Why? Because we have let someone else do our thinking for us and we've believed it to be absolute truth.

Yikes. Now that one has to hurt!!! And it does. It rips one life apart right after another and leaves little more than a heap on the floor that is either completely out of commission or so horribly wounded all it can do is say - tell me what to do, yes master...

I've looked back at my own life and seen play by play where I was sooo set up for things and guided almost as if all these people got together and decided to do the same damned thing! I got it from the people I lived with, lived around, found in churches, found in most groups, and it just picked up speed the older I got. Trouble is, I just got more and more pissed off about it and went - um - NO.

Is it a big CONSPIRACY???? Well, you can call it whatever you like really but when I see familiar fibers of things in several different places at once I kinda start to go hm,m,m....now I might not be the brightest bulb on the tree but even in Criminolgy 101 they teach you to pay attention to such things.....and check it out.

I do very much have a theory about all that but I usually keep it to myself for alot of reasons. But let's just say a herd that is blinded, is alot easier to lead, isn't it?

I mean when you really sit back and think about your formal training/education in schools - were you ever really taught to buck the system, to think for yourself, to question things, to really analyze stuff and push the envelope? Maybe by some teachers, but they are usually very, very few......

Mostly we are taught NOT to do that, to just accept things without question, to think that if someone wears a White Coat and rides a White Horse, they must be the Good Guy! And we are really punished when we go against that kind of thinking and ask - so what makes "him" so special? And what's really going on here? If nothing is, then you won't mind me asking, right?

But if you're like that, you're labelled as a rebel, a trouble maker, a person who creates dissent, a conspiracy theorist, a fruit loop, a bad, bad person, an eccentric, a know-it-all, etc., etc., etc. You get my drift here. WHERE IS the Ritalin for this kid???? (that's kinda spooky now, isn't it?)

One thing is for sure......that most people who were of genius mentality most often dropped out of school, rebelled quite a bit and were considered anti-social, whacked and out on the outer edge during most of their life, hanging on by their underwear. Yet, later, their work is considered brilliant and excellent and we WORSHIP them!!!! How nice. They usually died a most lonely death wondering if they were the only ones on the planet that put two and two together and actually came up with four and three quarters and just wanted someone else to listen to the possibility of - maybe the world isn't linear!

We don't break out of our molds very easily, especially when they are put on us very, very carefully and extremely thick, layer after layer. Doesn't mean that the embryo of life here isn't completely suited and equipped to do astounding things, but the environment shapes us the minute we pop out into it. I think that most people have to go through something really, really traumatic, maybe even a near death event that brings them right to the edge where they have to break through the outer crustiness in order to activate alot of their abilities. I hate to say it but adversarial things in life, do tend to refine certain processes in us, or at the very least get them going. Such would be the trauma a butterfly would go through though, right? And if you could ask a seedling, he might tell you of a similar journey from within the hard shell of a seed to pushing it's way up through and around rocks, mud and other obstacles. Yet, through the cracks in the sidewalk and in searing heat, flowers do grow. And butterflies still do shake free of their cocoons. Not without great risk however. Then again, without risk, we all die.

We go to great lengths to deny ourselves of our own potential. We believe that - it is something to be very afraid of and that we should trust whoever wears a white coat and let them do our thinking for us. Be good little girls and boys.....(or else) So since when is it........wrong to ask questions, since when is it wrong to turn things upside down and look at them inside and out and examine the mechanics of it? Since when is it wrong not to just listen to your gut or to be spontaneous about a great many things in life? Why all the bits in our mouths? Why all the chains...? What is really UP with that? Why do we go there? Why do we teach it to our children?

I don't know if you've ever read Animal Farm. If you haven't, you should go check it out.

http://www.online-literature.c.....nimalfarm/

You kinda feel like you're "waking up" lately, dontcha? (smile) I know....I see that in you.

I probably didn't really answer your question and posed alot of other questions for you. But therein.....is.....the answer and I'm quite sure you will find it.

August 11, 2003
11:37 pm
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This thread has hit home. I fell prey once. But not twice. Statistics say pretty much unanimously that once a victim, always a victim. In other words, ya find the strength to tleave one butthead just to find another. So when I started dating my fiance and found myself falling for him, I took him to my therapist. Yep. He agreed to go- I told him I'll never be able to trust him without an approval from my therapist because I'll likely never trust myself, not again. So he went.

I dunno if it's a solution for everybody. But I didn't fall prey twice.

free

August 12, 2003
12:25 am
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Actually Free, this is a very, very good thing to do and I recommend it alot to people. To pick someone that you know - has got good insight, your best interests at heart, has no ulterior motive and agenda, hasn't been wounded like you have and will see around corners and through facades that you are blind to and will lay it out for you very honestly.

This is a good, good thing to do. It helps you learn to walk on your own in your own time, it enables you to reap the rewards of choosing good people to be on "your team" and see how invaluable they are to you and it keeps you accountable.

Good for you and I strongly recommend this for anyone else that knows - they have some blind sides and realize it.

August 12, 2003
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Thanks for the rockin' hard, honest, factual, well-stated truth! This will help a lot of people who visit this site if they are willing to invest in taking it "in".

Arwen

August 12, 2003
4:19 pm
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Great stuff here as usual Ladeska.

True, true, I am waking up...the butterfly has emerged and is starting to flutter her little wings. (got my tattoo last week by the way)

I think it took me a few years to get thru the divorce, figure out who I am, learn to love me and know what I want......now, I am ready to dig deeper, down to the core....to figure out not only how to change the patterns but how they came about in the first place.

I am learning, it is working, I can see that. I've met a couple guys quite recently that I almost ran away from.....guys just seem too intrusive to me.

Sometimes I think I'm jaded, because of what I went thru with my husband I think everyone is out to control me and therefore might lose out on someone good. That is kind of scary to me.

Also, I worry so much about my children. You talk above about how I was taught all of this. How do I keep this from my children. I know I teach them to think for themselves, to not like or dislike something just because I do. I make them make their own dicisions and try not to sway their opinions at all. I worry that their dad has too much of his negative influence on them....I have to detox their poor little minds when they come back from him. I know I've taught them to buck the system when they don't think something is right, don't know if that's good or bad, as you say, they may be labeled as trouble makers. I don't want them to just agree to something though because a teacher said it was so. That's not right!! My oldest once refused to dress as a Native American for thanksgiving at school. I was very proud of her. She had decided that it wasn't right. We are not allowed to dress as African american's during african american month, or we cannot dress hispanic for Cinco De Mayo.....so why on Thanksgiving...or Halloween for that matter...is it acceptable practice to dress as a Native American.....go figure. (I guess that's a whole other topic).

Ladeska, I also don't hold people accountable for things they have done. Someone can treat me like shit and say "oh I'm sorry" and I go "ok, no biggy, I'm fine".

My wheels are turning lately, I sat stagnant for a while. Not stagnant, really, because I was working on things on the surface...it's time now to dig....so thanks for the shovel.

August 12, 2003
5:13 pm
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Exactly why is it that we don't hold people accountable for their actions? Is it because we blame ourselves or think we deserve to be treated like shit? I know I get an urge to "run and avoid" if there's even conflict over the stupid remote control.

free

August 12, 2003
5:40 pm
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You know what guys? I'm going to start a thread about "Avoiding Conflict". I think we could do alot of work over there....

August 12, 2003
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As far as your children go, in what you asked here.......more than anything else Tracylyn you work their mind about everything. Not so much in the way of - you must think like I do.....but "you must think".

Kids these days are way too visually stimulated and there is not enough interactive time going on where they are really critically thinking and going back and forth with real live humans. A reason for A.D.D.? Uh - Ya THINK??? Absolutely. When the brain is stimulated by quick gratification to the senses all the time - some areas of the brain are going to be real hyped up and very demanding to be stimulated more and more and more and faster and faster and........the other parts of the brain are going to be less developed.

They will learn from you - your core and essence, the good stuff - by just watching you and watching you change directions in life and blaze new trails. Alot of people don't "do that one", Tracy. They stay in the same old ruts in life. This one thing will do more for your kids than anything else. It shows courage, critical thinking, application and a moral code that is high, plus just good self esteem.

They will need this - more than alot of things you could give them. Because when they are down in their own dark hole, they'll think about you and go.......Momma kicked butt and turned things around and I CAN, TOO!!!! *smile*

The other thing is to just engage them with questions about things...sit and be real patient with them and go - well tell me about that and what do "you" think? What's that made of and about?

Even if you know the answer......assist them in finding the answer and prod them a bit to do that. Introduce them to all kinds of things that will make them think and get them out of their own box in life. Explore with them. Introduce them to all kinds of things that are out of their normal realm of things.

It's not about us being perfect, sweetheart. It's about us "moving...growing....evolving.... getting better and better, playing, laughing at ourselves with them, laughing - AT them when they mess up and going - heck, you shoulda seen me in a similar situation!!

Above all else, don't worry so much, Tracylyn. It will give you frown lines. You're a great mom, I have no doubt about that one and I'm sure they are going to be little fireballs in this world! Hold them tight and love them lots, kiss on them as long as they will let you and even when they say - Oh God Mom, not in public!! Do it anyways!

August 12, 2003
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Ladeska... I didn't like reading your posts... they hurt. I kept wanting to ask... but he's not doing this on purpose right? It could just be how he learned to meet his needs right?

WEll, I'm paying attention to those feelings... and those very feelings tell me I better pay attention to your words. I'm printing them and I'll revisit them often.

I didn't like them... but I needed them. Thank you.

August 12, 2003
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Your post deeply affected me. I came onto this sight looking for information to help someone who is suffering from depression and I am encouraging to seek counseling. As I read your post I realized that I was guilty of many of the characteristics you listed. I am deeply in love with my girlfriend and am committed to making things work between us. My intensions are good. When I met her she was in what I considered a bad relationship. She was with someone self absorbed and emotionally unavailable. I basically convinced her to leave him for me. All this time I thought I was doing the right thing, but after reading this I am not so sure. You have described our relationship, the way I have won her trust, and many of the behaviors that I exhibit. I have used past relationships against her, I have given her excessive compliments, moved along the relationship too quickly. I have been careful to do the opposite of her previous boyfriend to hurt her. I have made her believe we have the same values. I have never physically abused her or anyone else in my life for that matter, but I feel that my need to be the center of her life is ultimately hurting her. The only problem I have with your post is that it does not consider the offender. What do I do? You must believe that I want what is best for her and myself. I am very much in love and want nothing more than a happy life with her. How do I achieve this? Please help me to better understand this and what I should do.

August 12, 2003
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Ladeska,

Boy do you have it pegged! Works for women, too. Perhaps even better, since we men tend to be emotionally less mature than women, and are eager to show that we are "not like" those "other" men. Argh!

August 12, 2003
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good article ladeska, but if you ask me, the abuser is never at fault. Its the abused person to whom the blame goes to, because it is they who allowed the other person to abuse them.
can you say in the end, that to the best way to stay away from abusers and not be caught by them, is to increase one's own self-respect?

August 12, 2003
11:49 pm
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Outomyshell....Ouch! I know...I read things like this whether I write them or not sometimes and go - dang it, what did I have to go and read THAT for?? Now I'm responsible for what I know! I hate it when that happens!!

It's good to have knowledge though and not just from one source but hopefully this will spur you onto investigate things further, inward and outwardly. I put up a thread on the social/political section about Abuse. Lots of good sites in there. You might browse through there and see what you find of interest and share it with us here! Glad you're here on a good path for yourself, sweetheart. Time to stop making excuses for behavior, whether yours or someone else's. Knowledge is power, so get busy learning!

Bsmit......Well, I have to say, I'm so glad you're here, glad you are taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. For one thing, like guest-guest said - it's not just a one-way street here. She allowed it, too. And sometimes the reasons we do that - aren't very honorable. We all make deals and contracts that allow things to transpire, too. So, I'm not just all up on beating the offender here.

As for you, I'd say that you need to be honest with yourself first, like you've started doing now, and go on your own journey of reading, counseling and looking into the patterns in your own life and why you need to do things like this in order to get a woman's affections? Control doesn't give you what you really want. It just makes someone your slave through deceptive means.

Then again, I can take the other point of view and say - that alot of women stand by and let things happen and give into it because they are doing their own manipulation.

At this point though, you're admitting your part and it doesn't have to involve her....you cleaning your own house. It needs to come from you and be about you and nothing else. You may even lose her through all of this and that's okay because it may be necessary.

I suggest as a start to visit the same thread that I just mentioned above and check out the websites. See if anything clicks. The narcissism sites are good ones.

Also, the book "People of the Lie" by Dr. Scott Peck, when you are wanting to get real with yourself. Like he says, we have to be willing to be displeasing to ourselves. That is the first big building block. You don't read this book to find out how to use it on other people. You read it to look into yourself and then......you can look outward.

The whole thing is not about who's right and who's wrong. It's about what's illicit in all of it and where does it fall? Which side of the fence? If it falls on your side, then you take care of it and pony up. They are responsible for their own stuff and you leave it where it lays.

If we disrespect people enough to manipulate them, then we disrespect ourselves and ultimately believe that we have to do such rope tricks in order to earn their love and approval. That was instilled in you somewhere. Where might that have started?

Guest-Guest....like I said above, there is deception to go around on both sides sometimes. But those who abuse are responsible for what they do. And those who are allow it, are responsible for what they allow. It's not a thing of - one is right and one is wrong. If it's stinky - there were two that contributed to it.

Ignorance can be helped however. And people like bsmit can make a complete loop in the road and wake up. Alot of people say they want help, but it's been my experience - it's mostly alot of talk. Most people don't stay with it and really follow through and commit themselves to a path of self-improvement for the pure satisfaction of living a life of honesty and character. I guess it all depends on what you want to draw towards you. If you want garbage, then be garbage. If you want quality - then be quality. If you have to manipulate someone so much that you put them down to your level so you can disrespect them because they let you con them - then you get your just rewards and in the end, you are not satisfied and have to go find another victim to feed upon. Becoming someone YOU respect, attracts like kind and that doesn't dry up on the vine. It bears fruit.

August 13, 2003
12:58 pm
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guest

You are being discussed over on the "Who's to blame" thread. Looking forward to your sure to be charming response.

free

August 14, 2003
2:02 pm
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Bsmit,

We need more like you to come here and post openly and honestly. There is a goldmine of information inside of you that has hardly been noticed, much less mined.

Thank you for having the courage to talk about yourself and your experience so candidly. I would love to see you start a thread for yourself, and talk about who you are and what you feel motivated you to past behavior, and current enlightenment.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Arwen

August 14, 2003
2:46 pm
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Ladeska

I copied your post about the characteristics of a charmer/abuser personality and gave it to a friend of mine who is working at getting out of a relationship with just such a man. I am so glad that I knew it was there- it helped her so much because now she knows that she is not just an idiot who keeps getting used- she is a victim. She is now ready to get out of the relationship completely and tell him to stay out of her life. Thanks for your words, they always help me and have now helped another woman get out of such a damaging relationship. Keep up the good works!!!

August 14, 2003
2:53 pm
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OHHHH! I'm soo glad crybaby!! Good, good! That's what I wrote it for and so glad to see it put to good use. Like I've said so many times before, people just need knowledge. They can fix alot of things in their life if they just know - what's up! Give her a BIG hug for me!

August 14, 2003
3:55 pm
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! (Tracy screaming)

Ladeska help. Am I a coldhearted bitch???? =)

Bf called last night. We don't see each other any more but we talk on the phone at length trying to decide if what we had is worth keeping, fighting for, or if it is even going to work.

He called last night and was crying about the baby we lost back in December. I answered the phone and he was already in tears, could hardly talk and said he misses her and he wants her so badly. (I miscarried at around 7 weeks).

I honestly believe that this happened for a reason. I am thankful today that he and I are not connected thru a child.....I know it happened for a reason!

Now, I feel like he is doing this to get me back. I feel like he is trying to play on my emotions and win me over this way.

Is that cold of me??? I have a hard time showing any empathy for his saddnes because I feel like it isn't real. I know it hurts him, but I don't know that his constant sadness over it isn't just a way to get to me. I tell him I'm sorry he is feeling that way. He says I don't understand because I already have "my" children.

I don't know, maybe he is for real....which would really make me a coldhearted bitch for not believing him. Uggg!!

August 14, 2003
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I'd love to share more info as I learn more. I've been reading a lot on different disorders and have noticed a lot of characteristics that I possess. If I could take a preliminary guess I am looking into ADHD as a start. If I am right, I would say some of my problems stem from this.

I've been thinking a lot about my past relationships and they seem somewhat similar. I don't want to cop out by saying this, but some of the behavior seemed very common when compared to most of the guys I know. I'm not saying that makes it right. On the contrary, I wonder if it isn't a larger problem in the way we grow up viewing sex and relationships. I won't say that it was learned. If it was it was more from peers than role models. A lot to think about for a few days. I think I'd better look to a more expert opinion than try to sort it out myself.

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