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Domestic violence hearing tomorrow morning
August 8, 2007
9:18 pm
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soofoo
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My freedom is almost over. Tomorrow the temp restraining order either has to be dropped or turned into a final restraining order. It will be dropped. I cannot do a trial. No way. Not in me. But he doesn't respect me. And really why the hell should he considering I've kicked him out and taken him back several times already. I can't imagine any scenario that would be good. I want him to be sorry, but even if he said he was, I can't believe him. I don't want him popping in. Checking up. Manipulating the kids. Manipulating me. I would be better off if I got the FRO. But I can't. Any advice or support would be appreciated.

August 8, 2007
10:16 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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It sounds to me like you have done a lot so far. You did get the temporary order after all. that is a big step. How did you feel during that time? How did you feel when you made that big step?

Reading what you wrote I think you are a lot stronger than you think. What is standing in your way of a FRO? Money? or just not enough mentally/ emotionally? who helped you go through with the first one? How do the kids feel? Are they old enough to put in their opinion?

August 8, 2007
10:16 pm
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I'll be thinking of you.

August 8, 2007
10:42 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I honor your decision to care for yourself the best you can.

But I think you are making a mistake in letting this go.

An abuser never stops until they lose interest or someone MAKES THEM stop.

August 8, 2007
10:45 pm
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soofoo
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Thank you Tiger. I got the TRO when I called the police. No court or judge needed for that. The FRO means a trial. It doesn't cost money. It's a mental thing. I'm embarassed. I don't want to divulge all these details to a judge. I don't want to turn my life over to a judge. I don't want anyone to know. I haven't even told my family. My kids think he's just staying with his parents for a little while. The situation is complicated with so many people involved. I have four boys aged 3,5,6,9. He has a daughter that lives with us age 6. He has two sons that live with their mom age 12, 14. His daughter's only home is my home. And I love her with all of my heart. She's the little girl I never had. He uses her in our arguments and I can't stand it. I will lose her too if I end this relationship. Yet it is such a cost to me personally, to live with him. I am not at peace with either direction.

August 8, 2007
10:52 pm
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soofoo
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Tiger
I felt relief when I got the TRO. And then I felt pain and woe. I felt a deep emptiness. I felt empowered also. Hurray, he cannot come by and stir up craziness! Now I feel like I am about to lose all that.

August 8, 2007
11:00 pm
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soofoo
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Worried Dad

Why am I the one who feels ashamed?

I think because I ought to know better. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I'm an idiot when it comes to men.

August 9, 2007
12:57 am
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Hi sofoo-

Well, if you won't (no such thing as can't- this is a choice) do a trial, then it'll be dropped.

It's tomorrow morning- are you going? If you don't want to tell the judge what's going on, then why go? I'm confused with this one. I doged a judge a couple times before I actually went- but then I hid behind an attorney- I DO understand the shame. Domestic violence feeds on silence sofoo. What you can do sofoo- is go tomorrow and ask for more time to get an attorney or speak with a domestic violence advocate.

Often people don't handle these on their own- we're just not strong enough at this stage and we're confused and court is overwhelming and bewildering. Lawyers or domestic violence advocates come into play.

A judge WAS involved in your protective order- read it- a judge that was on call signed it- it was faxed back and forth from the police station. when the police came, they had to call a judge and tell the situation and get an okay to issue an Emergency Protective Order, or EPO, which is what it sounds like you have. These are usually good for 10 days, at which time a hearing for a Temporary Restraining Order takes place, and this would be good for up to 90 days, and then there's a hearing for a permanent restraining order, good for 1 to 3 years.

It's important to be prepared before you go to court.

I do know how difficult this is- especially with all these kids involved and my heart goes out to you.

It's one way or the other sofoo- there's not a third option. You will either be with this man or you won't.

And that decision is yours. By not doing anything about the protective order, you are in fact making a decision.

How about calling a domestic violence hotline and checking into counseling? It became a lifeline for me sofoo- people who'd been there coming to my side- kind of took away the alone feeling.

I know the shame- I haven't conquered this one so I don't have the right answers- I am to this day, 10 years after divorcing an abuser, so ashamed that I married and had kids with him- it's just so embarrassing.

I can tell you this though- the judges have heard it all, and any judge I've know of who has spoken publicly on domestic violence has been so grateful that the victims came to him/her while they were still alive. Just something to think about.

Keep us posted on how things go tomorrow k?

hugs

free

August 9, 2007
1:38 pm
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hear, hear, free

August 9, 2007
4:52 pm
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thewall
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Soofoo,

Thats what he wanted you to do all along.... he emotionally beat you (and physically I'm assuming) so that you would feel too weak or too ashamed to stand up to him or tell his dirty secret.

By your actions, (if you dont tell the judge what he has done to you) then you are letting your ex still have power over you. And you are giving your ex permission to continue his behaviors. And he will. Hopefully not physcially but at the very least emotionally and verbally. You deserve better than that. He beat you into submission emotionally. Dont let him do it anymore. Be strong. Tell the judge everything. Remember the ole saying... the truth will set you free?? Telling the judge your whole story of what he has done to you will feel so liberating for you!! Free yourself from the secrets. This will be a huge step in your healing process.

I was wondering if you have you ever done any work in therapy on false guilt and shame? You might want to look into this somwhere down the road of your healing from this man. There are many books on the subject. I hope you also have a supportive therapist working with you and encouraging you. Often times when a victim is abused, they allow their fears and emotions to make the decisions for them and it consequently affects their future decions, even when they are away from the abuser. I encourage therapy to help you get through this. I know it has helped me work through my abusive childhood.

I will be thinking of you tomorrow.

August 9, 2007
5:36 pm
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Checkin in on you sofoo-

You're cared about here as you can see by all the posts.

No matter what happened at this hearing, remember this: Each day is a new beginning, each day another step, each day holding the key to a promising future. No matter what your decision was, and no matter what happened or did not happen at this hearing.

Let us know k?

free

August 9, 2007
9:51 pm
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soofoo
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Thank you so much everyone, for your thoughts and words of encouragement.

Thewall-- I have never heard of false guilt and shame. But I have felt it. Coming to this site has given me a lot of words for things I have been experiencing but have not been able to express or define. It has been amazingly strengthening for me.

I was terrified at the hearing. I asked to have the restraining order dismissed, and also said that I didn't want my bf coming back to live with me. I was counseled by a kind woman in a room alone. She told me about free individual counseling and also a support group that meets on Wednesdays. I am definitely going, at least to the support group.

I had been afraid of things happening that I now know cannot happen. I was afraid that the court would take my kids for what my bf did. That is never going to happen. The woman I spoke to relaxed me a little. I was assured that I can get another TRO if it happens again. Most of my fears and shames, I now realize were not based in reality, but rather a product of abuse. And not even from this BF, but from the last one, a lawyer who had me absolutely convinced that I was going to lose my kids if anyone ever found out.

Some of the shame is definitely due to the fact that this isn't the first time I've been abused. I'm definitely doing something wrong and I don't know what, because I'm always shocked that it happens. I do not notice warning signs. Because of my need for security, I know I attract a very jealous type. I really have a lot to learn.

Oddly, BF was extremely respectful. And grateful that I let the whole thing go. He wants to go to counseling with me. Precisely at the time that I give up on him, he wants to make it better and says he does not know how. I told him I don't trust him and I don't want him in my house. If he shows up without my permission I'm not afraid to call the police and go to court (still gives me the willies, but at least I claimed I wasn't afraid). I told him I won't be made to feel like the bad guy on this. Suddenly he's super responsible. It's very strange and I don't exactly know how to handle it. I really am looking forward to the support group. If it's like this site, but in person, wow that would be amazing for me. Finding this site was likeI'd been walking around in a foreign country where nobody speaks the language so I just smile and nod a lot, then finally I stumble into the American embassy.

This BF is not a narcissist or sociopath. He has empathy and conscience but he is very very unstable. He has a problem with temporary psychotic episodes that last a few months and happen once every two years or so. He's had three in his life. They started at age 34. I've seen one of them and took care of him during it, because he refused to stay in the hospital. Now his psychotic break is over-- back to reality, but his personality is different. He has a very bad temper now, he didn't before, mostly anxiety and fear. So part of me thinks he has a lot of potenial and I should give him a chance. My kids are attached, etc. But oddly (because I am usually very very attached) I don't really want to. I don't feel the same as I did. I don't exactly know why, but I'm feeling less needy of him.

Free, Tiger, WD and Fantas thank you so very much for your support and feedback. I feel very lucky to have found this very special place. I have read so many posts and it's like I've found my peeps. If I had not found this site, I also would not have considered counseling, always thought that it was too much time/money/hard to get a sitter, etc. for just talking. I didn't see the point. But now that I see how incredibly insightful all of the people here are, how so many have been uplifted from their problems. How valuable it is to have words to match what is going on inside. Now I am quite excited to start therapy. By myself.

Sorry this is so long. My gratitude is big!

August 10, 2007
12:18 am
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Hi soofoo

You did a really big thing today- pat yourself on the back, you deserve it. I could have never gone to court by myself in the beginning. This was just huge soofoo.

I'm so glad you're gonna go to the support group- it's gonna be an eye-opener. Yeah, there is so much to learn. It's never ending.

Welcome.

To the healing journey. It's a good one.

What are these psychotic episodes he has?

hugs

free

August 10, 2007
6:25 am
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Worried_Dad
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soofoo,

You feel ashamed because

1) Inducing shame is a basic trick of any abuser.

and

2) Feelings of shame are a consequence and symptom of being abused.

I'd say that 8 or 9 out of ten victims of abuse that I have talked to express feelings of shame.

I suggest you just let yourself know "yes, I feel ashamed. No I have dome nothing to be ashamed of."

You can deal with that paradox later. Now you need to ensure safety and stability for you and yours.

August 10, 2007
10:06 pm
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thewall
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Soofoo,

I Said a little prayer for you on your court date. Glad things went well in the court room and that you found a friend to show you the way to healing. Never give up on your healing journey. Promise yourself this.

You said abusive men are attracted to you. I was abused as a child and would swear I wore a sign that said "abuse me!" . It seemed that once I escaped my mothers abusive hand, I found all kinds of other people to abuse me... the boss, another boss, ....etc. I came to a point when I had hit despair with all of these abusive situations and sought counseling. My mission was to find out what I was doing wrong to attract these jerks. Heres what I learned.

I learned that abusive people step back and watch how we act. They chose thier victims carefully. I was the "Nice girl", "sweet", never showed my anger, never stood up for myself when others would treat me wrong, blah blah blah. I learned not to stand up for myself from being abused by mom. I had the lowest self esteem. She made me feel like nothing.

When the boss abuser learned this by watchign me interact with others, this became the abusers "aha" moment. He watched how I wouldnt stand up for myself to other people with milder issues so he took the opportunity to swoop in and start doing it too but even worse, since he knew he could get away with it. He also learned about my family. He learned that I was poor and had no money to sue him if he did something bad (which he did eventually, he raped me). He learned that I had no family support (my dad was dead and mom was abusive), so he knew no one was going to show up on his door step to kick his butt for me. He met my husband and saw that he was quiet, shy, and not one to cause trouble. He saw that I was taught by my mother never to question authority or sever punishment would occur. So boss man, being an authority figure, took great advantage of that, even threatning to fire me if I complained, knowing I needed to work and could not afford to quit. He continued to make my already damaged self esteem worse by telling me I wasnt a very good employee. That I didnt catch on quick enough. He told me my hair wasnt just right, and that i needed to wear more makeup to look pretty. He prepped me for years for what was his ultimate goal...rape.

This is what abusers do. They watch how you act with others and see that your self esteem is too low to defend yourself. Then they go for it too. Until we break the cycle and learn to stand up for ourselves and fight back and develop some courage and some good feelings about ourselves, finally realizing that we do not deserve this kind of treatment. Thats when abusers stop coming around. When we look like and act like we'd kick their ass if they messed with us.

Your abusive bf is having psychotic episodes. I worked in a psych hosp for 10 yrs. Generally these episodes will happen more often and become more severe as he ages. He needs help, meds, counseling, but by all means, you should not be the one to help him. You can't anyway bc what he needs is beyond your help or anyones help, other than professionals. Let the psychiatrists and counselors help him. You cant. Its beyond your ability.

But what you do need to be focusing on is your mental health and overcoming the scars from all of your abusive past, so that you wont fall into the hands of another abuser ever again. It works. Learning how to stand up for yourself is rewarding. I did it, and so can you.

thewall

ps. theres a good book called "Boundaries" that you might want to look for in the library. It taught me alot.

August 10, 2007
11:42 pm
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Waya to go Soofoo!!!

August 11, 2007
12:37 am
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Hi thewall

What do think the key is to conquering the shame and embarrassment that go with being a victim of domestic violence?

free

August 11, 2007
6:03 am
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Free-- about the psychotic episodes, it starts with paranoia about things that could actually happen. Like he constantly thinks I'm cheating on him. (I never have) Gradually the paranoia gets more unreasonable, like he checks under the bed looking for a man hiding there. He thinks I slept with someone else in the time it takes to to go to the corner for milk. It involves not trusting any of the people close to him. Closest especially. Me, his parents, friends, sisters, boss. They gradually get worse like- he thought his best friend killed his girl friend and hid her body in a trailer in our driveway. Finally he is in a totally different world. He thinks spirits are using his tools in the garage to kill people. He thought our dog was a gateway to hell. He felt that people in cars put their headlights on towarn they were going to kill his children. Communications with others through the tv. He can't sleep, he didn't sleep for 7days! I am not exaggerating about that and then he begins to hallucinate. This last time he was fired from his job as a result of this. At first I took him to a therapist. then the psychiatrist. He was prescrbed risperidal, and continued to worsen. Then when he didn't sleep Doc prescribed zyprexa also, and it helped enough to get him to sleep. But then he wouldn't take the zyprexa. At that point I told him it's hospital or out. Unbelievably he could not be taken against his will. I tried to drive him to the hospital and he jumped out of the car and went to his parents house where he stayed for a month and normalized.

August 11, 2007
6:20 am
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soofoo
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The wall
I will check out that book. I am a library junkie. I also am interested about false guilt and shame. Thank you so much for sharing yor story with me. I could relate to that. When people scare me, I tend to try to make them like me. Which is exactly the opposite of what I should do.

I definitley let people overstep my boundaries. Then they don't respect me. I think part of the problem is related to lack of support, like you said, because you look for comfort in the very people that have hurt you. At least I do. That's why I want to expand my horizons a bit, and find other means of support.

I feel like I won't even be able to know who is good and bad for me until I have more choices of people.

This web site has really kickstarted things for me.

Tiger Trainer, Worried Dad thank you for your support.

I am going to a family reunion until Monday so I won't be able to post until late Monday or Tuesday.
I am so very grateful for everyone on this site and feel very hopeful and optimistic about my future. Thanks again.

August 11, 2007
6:56 am
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thewall
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Soofoo,

Enjoy your family reunion. And please be careful with this guy. His psychotic episodes are very serious and could turn into something potentially very dangerous for you. Always Always Always watch your back and NEVER let him back into your home or EVER be alone with him. If you must meet with him, go to a very public place or meet him with a counselor or Dr.
Yikes, scarey!!

thewall

August 12, 2007
11:15 am
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Free and Soofoo,

Good question. For me, conquoring the shame came when I started education myself on how abusers think, and why they do what they do. This happened with the help of my therapist as well as the books he would recommend. As I read things in a book, I would often think "wow, I'm not alone. Otherwise they wouldnt be putting this in a book" or "wow, I'm not crazy. I wasnt imagining things or over reacting. This book has him nailed perfectly on his/her controlling behaviors, etc".

Knowledge is POWER and for me this has been so true.

I also think having alot of support from my husband, and my therapist helped. I had totally removed myself from the abusive relationship with my mother, who was the verbal and physical abuser, so I no longer was getting re-injured. This would have been very confusing...go to therapy and hear how strong I was, then go visit mom and hear what a looser I was. I think it would have defeated the purpose for me and my healing, had I stuck around mom. So I told her I needed time and space and didnt have any contact with her for a couple of yrs or so. That was the most healing, peacful time of my life. I got alot of work done in therapy that I would not have had the emotional energy for, had I been around her.

Dont get me wrong. It took the help of my therapist to get me strong enough to tell her I needed space. Without his help, I would have never learned how to stand up to her and for myself.

So to answer your question.... educating myself through books and therapist....the encouragment and support of therapist and husband... all helped me realize it was not my fault and i did not deserve it. And for me, my strong faith, that gave me HOPE that there was someone bigger than me that could handle any problem and would be on my side as I grew in HIm and as a person.

Never give up on your journey of healing. It is soo worth it in the end!!! I am shame free and stronger than I ever dreamed I could be. You can be too. 🙂

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