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WD: Crazymaking
December 17, 2003
1:29 pm
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Worried_Dad
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LaRosa, Ladeska, Zinnie, HarryO et-al,

Seems like we've hit a nerve here! Let's get into it.

What have we learned?

Crazymaking is real, and it sucks.

It is well documented that hitting is only the tip of the domestic violence, and that although bruises fade, psychological and emotional damage can take quite a while to repair. Marie France Hirigoyen in her book "Stalking the Soul," addresses the issue of abusive relationships with narcissistic abusers and argues that such victims have had their psyches nore or less permanently altered. I believe she is right, bith from personal experience and from a neurochemical perspective.

I reinforce the idea that abuse of a child is a different thing than intimate partner abuse. The motive of the abuser, however, is the same in both cases.

An abuser wants to be given what they want, when they want it, just because they want it.

It is all about them.

I do have tension with you Harry-O, which reminds me of the disagreement with guest_guest. Let's take the example of the aabusive mechanism of control which Patricia Evans calls "Witholding." If someone is giving you the silent treatment, or decieving you about their feelings and intentions, their really is nothing you can do about it.

December 17, 2003
2:09 pm
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HARRYO
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WD The only physical abuse that I
have known was as a child. I will
be healing from that until the
day that I die. I'm not sure where
your tension with me comes from, I
guess my ex wife and I verbally
abused each other on a regular basis.She was a domestic violence
counselor and knew all the cops,
but that wasn't what deterred me.
It was me getting in the middle of
my father abusing my mother and the
horror of leaving the house with
my sisters as we went to "friends"
houses.
As far as my present situation,
last Summer I met a wonderful
woman that I fell madly in love
with. She dumped me. I hurt.
The humiliation from the rejection
feels like when I was abused
by my father over 40 years ago.
I KNOW that its not the same,
but it FEELS the same.
Isn't getting in touch with feelings
what codependent recovery is all
about?

December 17, 2003
2:26 pm
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Zinnie
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To me "Crazy Making" is just that. Making or manufacturing situations that are a "mess" for the drama.

Why?

To some it's like a rush of adrenaline. For me? It's a waste of energy. Have I always been this way? No, not until I removed myself from the crazy situations and started living a life that was peaceful. It CAN be a choice. What do I mean by choice?

YOU can select your partner. If you see abuse on the horizen, you can choose to remove yourself from the situation and move on.

I don't know, maybe - I'm just a simpleton.

Z.

December 17, 2003
2:51 pm
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gingerleigh
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Shouldn't we all strive for simplicity?

December 17, 2003
8:26 pm
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Sometimes abusers won't let you out. sometimes they threaten you with your life, their life, the lives of those you love. Sometimes they make it very difficult to leave financially. They isolate you from friends and support. Then when you decide your'e gonna get out:

they run with your kids.

they stalk.

they file court cases ad-infinitum.

to those who think that leaving an abusive situation is the victim's choice and know somebody in this situation: (I'm gonna use "her" because this is what I've been through in my own attempt to leave the "messy drama")

don't brush her off. Don't tell her that you can't testify against him if she presses charges because you are his friend too and don't want to get in the middle. don't tell her that if you are subpoena'd you will not remember the events you've witnessed. don't ask her what was going through her head when she married him, and why she did that.

Don't make her spend thousands of dollars that she may not have (I didn't have it until last year, when I hired an attorney for a simple child support case that my ex constantly files). Listen to what she does not say, because that will tell you how afraid she really is. When she calls the police asking for a police escort to pick of her kids, don't tell her she will have to go to court for a solution because this can't be done every time.

When she calls the police because he is violating a protective order, don't tell her those aren't valid in public places (a dispatcher actually said this to me-the prosecutor told me that they most certainly are), Don't act aggravated with her because she can barely talk let alone breath. Don't tell her you will send a car out to her house later to take a report. Don't tell her she is safe because she is in a public place (anybody ever seen the Tracy Thurmon story?)

Don't laugh, make fun of her, and tell her to see a doctor for medication because she looks depressed and aweful and needs some sleep (a judge actually said this to me at a hearing where I was in pro-per and begging him for help). Don't be rough, rude, hostile with her. And for crying out loud, don't argue with her about whether or not the protective order was violated and refuse to take a report.

And don't, after doing all of this, tell her that things can only change if she wants them to. That it is up to her.

Judges: when somebody is in front of you, take the time to read the file and don't ridicule if she is behaving a bit irradically and appears upset. She's probably terrified. There is no need to crucify.

I don't have all the answers. If I did, I'd make alot more money than I do.

I'm just very grateful that somebody in the system, somebody with power, did one right thing.

He believed me, everything. What I said. And most importantly, what I did not say.

Quite frankly I didnt tell him a whole lot, but I remember these words so clearly when I was in a daze after a big incident and he was pacing around his office: "This is huge- this is just huge and it has to all come to a head- I believe you. and so will a jury."

free

December 17, 2003
9:37 pm
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"It CAN be a choice"- so many people sy this. So many.

Yes, it can. I chose to put things in a box so that if he ever did kill me he would get caught and my kids would not be raised by the man who killed their mother. And went about living my life. I chose to not be emeshed in it all, to focus on my career and my kids and my social life.

So may I ask this: if so many people believe that a peaceful life is a choice, why did so many people go so bonkers when I didn't call and report or make an issue of:

The second, third, and fourth time I got bullets or bullet casings with my name carved in them and other weird markings

The non-stop phone calls every day and night into the wee hours, from his house, from pay phones, from his cell phone

The evil messages on my machine which I deleted

Him moving in 10 doors down after being kicked out of the house by a judge

Him cutting down a palm tree to he could barbecue, drink, and aim the AR-15 at my house- he was just checking out the new scope he bought, or so he said

Him following me all over town one day- just driving behind me and stopping where I stopped, writing something down

Him taking the kids to Wal Mart to buy a message machine just like mine so he could learn how to access my messages. And then he did that.

Him dropping the kids off one afternoon in the parking lot after coming into a bar where I was playing darts and screaming about how I was a bar whore

Him hunting for me in bars that have dart tournaments- asking about me, asking where I was, telling people he was worried about me and the kids because I wasn't answering my phone.

Him walking right into my house one day and taking things he wanted that he claimed were his (we had been divorced over a year already)

Eleven dead red roses on my doorstep a couple weeks after getting a letter that read "please forgive me, I was wrong, call (his number) to collect 11 plain red roses". I had ignored this letter.

My entire flower garden in the front yard was doused with gasonline one night.

Sometimes when I would go out to my car to go to work, there'd he'd be. Parked across the street a few houses down.

My first rabbit he took and made it clear he took it. Then, he accidentally ran over it with his Bronco. He was so sorry. Right.

I had a mating pair of Indian ducks. They were gutted in the backyard one night. I told the kids that it was raccoons. But they had been simply gutted and left.

My second rabbit disappeared out of the back yard just a few months ago. The kids animals were all in their cages. Mine was missing from her cage, which was closed. She just wasn't in it. And hasn'tbeen found. I don't have my own pet anymore.

At softball and basketball games, he would walk up to me and in a low, almost whispering voice ask things like: can't you just die? have you made a will? Do you know how many yards a blah-blah-blah scope is accurate to? Did you know that you vowed we would be married until death?ha-ha ha

I started dating about a year after our divorce. One night I came home about 2 in the morning. He was supposed to have the kids. He was on my couch. They were with a babysitter.

I stopped getting mail. Like bills and important stuff. then I get this big manilla envelope. All my mail. Opened. No return adress of course.

He wrote "the rapist" in the memo of a child support check.

He came to pick up the kids one day on foot and when I went to tell him, hey- you are supposed to pick up the kids curbside- and he pulls his hands out of the pocket of his big leather jacket and says "is that so?" and this big knife falls to the ground right in front of me. Laughing, he maintained eye contact with me as he bent down to pick it up.

he took my kids for 5 days. I had no idea where they were. I reported this one, but knew nothing would ever come of it. And it didn't. Surprise-surprise.

This is but a small part of the whole picture.

What I find really strange when I tell people things is how many people actually say "Oh, my God."

They are the same ones, it seems, who told me that a peaceful, free life, was my choice.

I wonder how many other people in this situation have done the same thing. some dead. some still alive. Erica jantz (her husband was just convicted in a neighboring town of mine for stalking and murdering her), Nicole Brown Simpson. Tracy Thurmon. No-namers like me.

I'm starting to speak out much more now. Especially since I was finally taken seriously about a year ago. This made things a bit more real for me.

But...there is still a part of me...I wonder...when he violates his probation and restraining order, will I report it? that would mean alot of drama, and ya know..........

Peace is my choice isn't it?

free

December 17, 2003
9:39 pm
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mj
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I am so sorry that you were exposed to all this abuse dear friend.

December 17, 2003
9:59 pm
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Thank you mj. Those words are a healing balm. Thank you.

I just can't stand quiet any longer.

It's not always a victim's choice. Not the whole picture.

But parts of it are. So right now I'm heading out the door to dinner, wine, and a special evening with my fiance. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

free's gonna get some nookie, oh, yeah, huh! (wiggling my hips-big grin)

hugs to all

free

December 17, 2003
10:16 pm
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mj
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Have a delightful evening 🙂

December 17, 2003
10:20 pm
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wireless
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Free it is funny how I always learn from other peoples pain and never my own. You will be OK. How did you ever manage to trust again. How did you find it in yourself to ever want to get married again.

December 18, 2003
1:44 am
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Free - you are such an inspiration - that you haven't given up - that you continued on through all this and have now found your happiness - you deserve every moment of it - you have given me insight and motivation - thankyou - and all the best for your new life with your fiancee - hugs to you, H

December 18, 2003
3:41 am
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Zinnie
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Free,

Not discounting what you went through or any other abused person goes through at all. I think I worded part of that wrong.

To me... when you FIRST see the signs of crazy making - and you know where this is going (because you have done this scene before) - get out, leave, do what you need to do if at all possible.

I'm talking about "crazy making" in the sense that some folks move from relationship to relationship and it's the same thing over and over and over again.

That is like purposing sticking your finger into an electrical socket. Shocked the hell out of you the first time. Right? So, let's go do it again?

Relationships are going to be different in the fact that sometimes it is going to be a parent/child relationship - and the child may not be able to leave. Or, in the case of an abusive partner - one might be financially dependent on the partner and have to stay until... or there might be as you say the threat to take the kids.

Again, what I'm trying to point out is that when you see the first signs of it, do what you can to get away from it. Don't stay to see what happens in the next instance.

Z.

December 18, 2003
5:09 am
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Zinnie
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Another thought... crazy making - to me is the intentional making of a situation to see what will happen.

My sister-in-law (hubby's sister) is the prime example of this. She will specifically do or say something to get a rise. Example: She purposely showed her Mom pictures of her Dad and his new girl friend knowing that it would hurt her Mother. Then, she will literally sit back and watch her Mom in pain with a shit eating grin on her face. Then say "oh, it was an accident, I did not mean to do that." And, turn right around and do it again.

December 18, 2003
1:35 pm
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Thank you Worried Dad, for putting me onto Patricia Evans - it was such a great relief to see so many of the grey areas being put into perspective - from her book on the subject of the verbally abusive relationship and recovery.

1/ Witholding - right from the start - the abuser is taking control - without you even being aware - and there is'nt anything you can do about that....it is much more deceitful and coniving than I could've ever imagined - but it certainly does add up.

I am non-plussed! Must read Patricia Evans again.

As the saying goes:- "Knowledge is Power."

Love, LA Rosa

December 18, 2003
1:43 pm
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with witholding & the other forms of abuse....don't people with shady histories get acclamated to using one against the other? For example, what if one withholds because the other hits? Don't we learn abusive behavior from abuse? How can we step out without leaving?

December 18, 2003
1:51 pm
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Zinnie
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Pug,

Learn for our mistakes, and where we come from.

My first husbands father was physically abusive to his Mother and him as a child. He chose not to be that way.

My parents were verbally and emotionally abusive as are my husbands. We made a decision not to be that way to each other.

My first serious relationship was physically abusive. I decided that was not something I wanted to live with.

Z.

December 18, 2003
1:53 pm
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Lisset, you wrote...

If we don't see you, then what *does* it mean?

December 18, 2003
1:59 pm
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pug
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Zinnie -

Have you ever heard "there's only so much happiness to go around & you are too happy" That's what my sister said when I got married. I spent a long time feeling survivors guilt &, since my father had an affair, always thought it would happen to me. That things were too good to be true. How do we separate from our histories without rejecting them & offending our families?

Pug

December 18, 2003
2:00 pm
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You're right Zinnie. Abusers show signs. I did not know this when I entered a relationship and marriage with my ex monster. I did not know much at all about violent relationships and their dynamics. But, at my high school the kids talk about this frequently, they want to understand domestic violence, rape, spousal rape, date rape, child abuse laws.

People do go from one abusive relationship to another. Stats are pretty grim as far as breaking the cycle. Pretty grim as far as leaving an abuser and staying away in the first place. We leave an average of 8-10 times before we actually make the break.

As for trusting, well this is a big issue. But I didn't like the option. I was lonely, and longed for the gentle touch of a man. Learning to trust has been a long and difficult road. I've been with my fiance for over 4 years, engaged for about a year and a half. We haven't set a date. I'm financially independent, and run my home and raise my kids. I need that until they are grown. he has his apartment down the street. he likes being able to go to his place and relax in the evenings. He's from an abusive relationship as well. His ex wife and him and me and her husband get along very well. She's not evil. But she was abusive to him. So he's a little gun shy as well. I trust my fiance a great deal.

However, I think there will always be a part of me that nobody will ever know or be a part of. A reserve, if you will.

free

December 18, 2003
2:03 pm
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Free,

The more I hear about your ex.....Ooh, I get so mad it makes me want to puke. If their were a DSM diagnosis for you ex, it would be Evil Personality Disorder, or EPD. What else can you call it.

I am real glad you have found a good and decent man who loves you. You go, woman!

LA Rosa,

If you think Evans is an eye opener, try Hirigoyen.

Pug,

It is said that those to whom evil is done, do evil in turn.

December 18, 2003
2:09 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Pug,

Sadly... that cannot always be done. We cannot make other's happy all the time. I think we need to realize what makes us happy and worry about that.

Think about it. I could spend all day trying to make my parents, nine brothers, their wives, my sister, her husband, my husband, his family, and my parents happy. Meanwhile trying to walk around feeling good about myself. Can I do it? No. Can you do it? If you can - wow Wonder Woman really exists!

But, if I'm happy and doing what I need to be doing to make sure I'm taken care of, my husband is O.K., and fine with what is going on in OUR lives, and my kids are O.K. - mentally and physcially, then hopefully the other things fall into place. We have to be accountable for ourselves.

Not saying walk around and be mean to others, and hurt other people feelings unmercifully. Trust me there are times when something is said or done by one of my family members that I want to jump up on top of a table and start screaming like a bloody banshee. But, in the big picture of things what good is it really going to do?

I used to worry myself sick over these things. I mean really worry. I married a man my family did not like because he was older than me. I tried everything I knew how to do to work the situation out to where everyone involved was "happy" - in the end no one was, and I made myself sick. Funny thing happened though. He married me because he loved me. For no other reason, he plain and simple loved me. He passed away after four years, and left me with some beautiful step children. Then I met and married the man I'm married to now and have been for a long time. Again, did it make my family happy? No, not really because I'm still far away, I don't play their games, and I'm not running around doing everything I can anymore to please them. Is my husband's family happy with his choice? Well... they were until they realized I was Hispanic. But, that is their issue, not mine.

My concerns are my husband, my kids, my self.

I do not go around trying to hurt others. Matter of fact if I think something I say is going to be hurtful, I will keep it to myself, unless by not saying it - it could harm the other person.

That is all we can really be responsible for in this life.

Z.

December 18, 2003
2:21 pm
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Zinnie

I'm sorry to hear that your first husband died - how sad and hard. I know someone who just lost his wife & they had two little girls together. Now he has to go on....They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but sometimes that doesn't seem true.

As for your husbands family...if they're racist that's their thing, but it's hard & there's always going to be biased feelings, whether it's about race, personality or lifestyle.

Pug

December 18, 2003
5:50 pm
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WD: I love your diagnosis. I'm gonna steal that one- that is just so perfect! Monsters do exist under EPD lol.

pug

I think the way to step out is to step out at the first shot. I remember when I started dating, and I just had so much fun with this guy, and after a bit he pulled a control trip an I said "hey, you can't do that to me" and there was an argument. He didn't call for a while, and I didn't call him. Then when he finally called, he wanted to know why I hadn't called him, etc., and I told him "I told you, you can't do this to me, and where you blew it was when you failed to agree with me and respect my boundaries- now you've given me the silent treatment. I'm sorry, but it's over. We're through and I'm gonna miss ya." something to that effect. He wasn't happy. Neither was I. I cried. It sucked. But ya know what- I had so much fun that I'd do it all again.

And step out at the first "uh-oh" feeling.

free

December 18, 2003
7:00 pm
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Free,

That was my point. If you have lived it once, why do it again? When the stuff starts, you get out NOW.

Not after they have apologized, cried, gotten married, done it again, had a kid, did it again, did it again, did it again, left, came back, apologized, did it again, had six more kids.

That is the conscience decesion. Sadly, once that "control" is excercised it becomes an evil monster that grows.

Z.

December 19, 2003
11:53 am
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dear lisset

I hope you will accept my hug to you today. And know you are heard.

free

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