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Why women don't leave
March 17, 2006
10:59 pm
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needhim
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I feel your anger. I have a emotionally fragile boy who has seen men yell at women and threaten bodily harm. I pray to God I can de-program him and make him better than that.
You would probably hate to see the dysfunction my children have lived through. And probably still are. I feel real guilty and feel like it is my fault. I brought my children in to this world and I haven't cared for them the way I should because we were being emotionally abused. He does not remember his father's abuse of me, I left him when I was 5 months pregnant. Then fell in love again with a man who did not physically abuse me but emotionally abused me. He did so because of his use of drugs. I don't know why women don't leave. I have had a hard time leaving myself. I hope though that someone comes and helps me raise my son to be better than his father and step-father.

March 17, 2006
11:03 pm
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Hi Twinks,

Real nice to hear from you again.

First, I want to applaud your choice to become educated about and active in the field of domestic violence.

I observe that your post is a complex one.

The question of "Why Women Stay" is a very interesting question. It is also a horrible question that instantly places on an abused woman implied responsiblity for her condition. When laymen ask that question, the thing to do is to be calm, and explain things to them. When a professional asks that question, I just wanna smack 'em. They ought to know better.

I, of course, phrase that question as "Why do victims stay?"

The bulk of your post is a quote of a not-very well written essay that attempts to represent its thesis as "scientific" reasoning.

You introduced that essay with the controversial statement "it is still a fact that the majority of abusers are male."

If that essay is supposed to be an argument to the effect that most abusers are male and an attempt to explain why that is so, then the essay is deeply and profoundly flawed.

I will argue with your idea about the proportion of male and female abusers shortly, but first I will help you know why I would even bother arguing about it.

The question of "how many female victims of male abusers are ther?" is an interesting question.

The question of "how many male victims of female abusers are there" is an interesting question.

The question of "Are most abusers male or female" is also an interesting question. For scientists, but not for healers.

This issue reminds me of issues about funding of AIDS research.

I remember a conversation with a friend of the arch-conservative fundamentalist Christian persuasion who insisted that there should be NO public money spent to research prevention or treatment of AIDS. She believed that AIDS was a disease that mostly affected Gays, who ought to know better than to be gay. Her summary: "Let them die."

My misguided friend had the idea that public policy and science about AIDS research should be guided by presuppositions about the CLASS of the victims, i.e., they were all perverts anyway.

As a scientist-healer, MY ideas about AIDS research was that our efforts should be guided by trying to understand the biological and biochemical nature of the disease and its effects on victims. To ME, the thing to do would be to try find vaccines, treatments, or even better, CURES that would help ANY patient who needed help.

Never mind the fact that gay people deserve medical care too. It is only in USA and Europe that AIDS is a "gay disease." The only person that I personally know who dies of AIDS was a heterosexual man who contracted it from his unfaithful (and abusive) wife.

Most people infected with HIV are heterosexual people. Millions of those people are heterosexual women who have never has sex with anyone besides their husbands. A lot of those people are NEWBORN INFANTS who are born with the disease.

My friend, in her misguidedness, was suggesting that we not spend money to figure out how to help babies born with HIV infection. That is unnacceptable to me.

When I am faced with the task of helping somebody with HIV or AIDS, or any disease, I really, truly, sincerely do not give a FLYING FUCK who they are, how they got it, or what their personal beliefs, lifestyles or practices are. A healer heals. Period.

So the question: "Aren't most AIDS victims gay men?" is a question that is "innocent" from an epidemiological standpoint, but it is also an evil and viscious question.

March 17, 2006
11:06 pm
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Worried_Dad
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And so it is with the disease of domestic violence.

March 17, 2006
11:21 pm
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Twinks,

I am having trouble locating the article quoted above in the trauma pages. Can you help me find it? A more precise link?

March 17, 2006
11:48 pm
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To complete my close analogy between questions about the epidemiology of AIDs and the epidemiology of Domestic Violence...

I am interested in the question of "who are the victims?'

I am also interested in the question of "how did they come to be victims?"

But those are DIFFERENT questions, and LESS INTERESTING questions compared to...

"What is AIDS?"

"What is Abuse?"

"What are the effects of AIDS on victims?"

"What are the effects of Abuse on Victims?"

"How can we diagnose HIV infection?"

"How can we diagnose AIDS?"

"How can we treat or cure HIV infection or AIDS?"

"How can we diagnose Abuse?"

"How can we treat and heal victims of abuse?"

By descending into politically motivated arguments and theories of AIDS, we lose sight of the need to unravel the biochemical and social-work aspects of AIDS. And "other" victims become marginalized and re-victimized.

And so it is with Domestic Violence.

The current Stae of the Art in domestic violence is about answering the questions:

1) What is Abuse?

2) How can we Diagnose Abuse?

3) What are the effects of Abuse?

and

4) How can we help Victims of Abuse?

and most importantly

5) How should professionals define, diagnose and respond to Abuse?

Anything that takes too much energy away from those Central Questions will take heat from me, WD.

March 18, 2006
7:42 am
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garfield9547
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twinks

Why do women stay? Could also read
Why do men stay?

I am going to cut and paste a very interesting article from a women that has done her healing work. Her name is Ellie and this was the last of a series of 5 chapters she wrote on her way to recovery.

She was married to a N and believe you me there are lost of female N's outside there as well.

From the narcissisticabuse site

Here goes

I have wrestled with this question for a long time. While with him, I sometimes wondered, ‘what on earth am I doing here’? I refused to believe my life was such a mess, that he was lying -- and in my refusal to accept reality, I trapped myself in my disbelief. Since gaining my freedom, I have looked back on those 4 years 9 months and wondered, ‘what on earth was wrong with me that I stayed so long’? In my acceptance of reality, I let go of my disbelief and accept I was a victim, long before I met him.

I know there are the physiological/psychological factors that compounded my convoluted thinking causing me to accept my belief that I was incapable of leaving him and would be lost without him. I know these factors contributed to my inertia and the resultant trauma bonding that held me pinioned in his unholy embrace. But none of these factors explain why an intelligent, well-educated, articulate woman did what I did – before the trauma bonding, the Stockholm Syndrome, the depression, the pain.

Why did I stay?

I stayed because in the process of burying my truth beneath his lies, I turned off my inner voice of reason. I quit listening to myself telling me that regardless of what he was saying, what he was doing wasn't adding up. I gave into despair, helplessness and confusion and gave up on me. I wanted the rosy sunrise of his promises, the gilded cage of his castle in the air and gave into the magical thinking so that he could make my dreams come true.

I stayed because I didn’t want to take responsibility for what was happening in my life, my daughters’ lives and to me.

I stayed because it was easier to stay than to leave. It was easier to take the coward’s way out by staying locked into his machinations than to take the leap into the unknown by leaving him and his lies behind.

I stayed even though I knew he was lying. I knew he was deceiving me. I knew he was manipulating me. I knew all of this but I refused to look at the truth because to look at the truth meant having to look at me – and I was too frightened to do that.

I stayed because I was a victim and I didn’t want to admit it.

As I write this I think about those who might say – but you can’t blame yourself. You didn’t know who he was when you first met him. You went into that relationship with your arms wide open in love and expected to have your love reciprocated in equal measure.

And all of that is true.

None of it matters though when I look at the reason’s for why I stayed.

I could walk into a hundred relationships with my arms wide open and still find them empty – because my arms wide-open were filled with my own empty promises that I would treat myself with love and respect, truth and honesty. My lack of clarity in my beliefs, my values, my principles trapped me in his lies because I didn’t know what I stood for.

I stayed, not because of him, but because of me. My weaknesses brought me to my knees. My weaknesses kept me locked inside the web he wove around me.

Two and a half years after gaining my freedom, I am willing to stand in the naked light and state, unequivocally, I stayed because of me.

He abused me. He lied. He deceived. He used terrifying stories to hold me silent. He manipulated my mind and smothered me with his untruths.

But I am the one who chose to believe him. To let go of reason so that I could accept his unreasonable words and actions. Accept his unacceptable behaviour and compromise on myself – not because of who he was, but because of who I was and who I refused to be – independent, strong, uncompromising in my belief in me and what I deserved from love and life.

I stayed because I did not have the courage and strength of character to stand up for me without fear.

In my world, post P, I am 100% accountable for me. Post P I cannot hold him accountable for what happens to me today –Just as he is accountable for what he did, I am accountable for what I did, and what I do today.

Today, I let him go, in peace, without shame, blame or pain. Holding onto resentment, bitterness, anger keep me from living the beautiful life I deserve. I let him go because I have the courage to take charge of my life today, to be 100% accountable for me today and to make choices that love and support me every step of the way.

I leave him behind because I know that the past is gone, today is alive and tomorrow is just a dream away. A dream that will come true as long as I walk my path with dignity, grace and ease, 100% accountable for me.

Garfield

March 18, 2006
9:46 am
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Zinnie
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Right now I am dealing with two friends who are married to very abusive men.

Neither of them have bruises, neither of them have broken bones, neither of them have any sense of self esteem or worth either.

In one case, my friend KNOWS she is married to an alcholohic, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive man. Yet, why won't she leave?

In another, my friend is only now coming to realize that her spouse has been de-meaning her and degrading her over the years. I do believe she is smart enough to know that she does not want that for her or her children - after all, what WILL happen to the children? Will her daughter marry a man, just like good ol' Dad? Will her two sons treat their wives the same way Dad treats Mom? If she doesn't get out now - yes, they will. Yet, why won't she leave?

I do believe in both cases, they are afraid. They are dealing with men that play mind games and are so adept at them, that both women are convinced that they will not and can not make it on their own. They will be nothing without their man.

Another idea that factors in to this, especially when the couple is married, is the shame so many feel on so many levels. They do not "want to let their families and friends down" - or worse yet, in the case of friend #1, they don't want to admit "I have made this same mistake twice" meaning she married the same type of man twice.

There are so many factors - but, the question is really simple when broken down - "why DON'T women leave?"

March 18, 2006
10:05 am
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Zinnie,

Hi. It must be very frustrating to see your friends stay in those abusive marriages. I feel for you.

I'd like to propose that women tend to stay as long as they see potential for change in the man, and they are remarkably stubborn in holding out for change. Not always a bad thing -- what would it be like if women only conditionally loved their children or their healthy husbands? Of course, men should do the same.

The reluctance to admit the relationship has failed may be another reason -- women seem to be relationship-oriented, and feel a breakup means they failed the relationship.

Maybe they've become addicted to unhealthy relationships, just like their men might be addicted to alcohol, drugs, or what not.

If they've been treated abusively all their lives, they may have come to see abuse as the norm, and feel something is wrong if they're NOT abused.

I wish I could tap your friends with a magic wand and magically cure them. I'm sure you do, too.

Take care, Seeker

March 18, 2006
11:14 am
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Worried_Dad
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Some women leave abusive relationships. Some put up with them for a long time and then leave. Some women stay in abusive relationships for the rest of their lives.

Some women do not conceptualize their relationships as "abusive." They may think that just because the man is not hitting them that they are not really being abused. Or perhaps physical violence is very infrequent, and they think "oh he only hit me once," or "he only hits me when he is drunk."

Some women do not understand the concept of an "abusive relationship." They do not really understand how their health is being impacted and it never occurs to them to leave.

Some women are financially dependent on their abusers and cannot see leaving as an option.

In the cycle of violence, an abuser may go through periods of behaving in a kindly or charming manner. The couple might have "good times." They might even have great sex.

When you alternate the "good behavior" with the frankly abusive and traumatizing behavior, it actually bonds the woman to her abuser, and makes it harder for her to accurately percieve her situation. That pattern can also create a sense of helplessness which prevents the woman from considering doing anything to improve her situation.

Some women are simply so psychologically damaged by the abuse that they cannot rationally think about separation. They have been made to feel ugly and undesirable, stupid, useless, bad, or crazy.

Some women are afraid of what might happen to them or their children if they try to leave. Some of them have good reason to be afraid of what might happen.

Some women are in love with their abusers. I assure you that love has the power to do many things that are not in our own best interest.

March 18, 2006
12:05 pm
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worried dad

and then we can also say

When you alternate the "good behavior" with the frankly abusive and traumatizing behavior, it actually bonds the man to his abuser, and makes it harder for him to accurately percieve his situation. That pattern can also create a sense of helplessness which prevents the man from considering doing anything to improve his situation.

Some men are simply so psychologically damaged by the abuse that they cannot rationally think about separation. They have been made to feel ugly and undesirable, stupid, useless, bad, or crazy.

Some men are afraid of what might happen to them or their children if they try to leave. Some of them have good reason to be afraid of what might happen.

Some men are in love with their abusers. I assure you that love has the power to do many things that are not in our own best interest.

Garfield

March 18, 2006
12:58 pm
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Garfield,

Not to worry. I am hyperacutely aware that women can be dangerous too.

To argue that point with me would be like preaching to the choir.

I just chose to not engage in the issue of gender or gender politics in this thread, so as not to distract to much from the issue named in the title.

The issue of gender politics deserves its own thread. I am a little tired after the evolution debate and need to rest a little before launching into one of my famous bombastic essays.

I'll do it, if you really want me to. I just wanted to catch my breath.

March 18, 2006
1:21 pm
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Worried Dad

You said
I just chose to not engage in the issue of gender or gender politics in this thread, so as not to distract to much from the issue named in the title.

I think (as a women myself) it is time we all engage in this issue.

Women for there gender gets excused FAR more than necesary.

So if you are a women in society's eyes this somethimes means you have a license to ABUSE

Garfield

March 18, 2006
1:26 pm
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garfield9547
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Worried Dad

You said

The issue of gender politics deserves its own thread. I am a little tired after the evolution debate and need to rest a little before launching into one of my famous bombastic essays.

I'll do it, if you really want me to. I just wanted to catch my breath.

I am ready. Go for it.
Whenever you are ready.

And also on Aids. I am from South Africa as you know. Stay in Kwa-Zulu Natal with the second highest AIDS rate in the world.

Lost 5 lovely people working in our factory in the last 18 months.

We only have 15 workers.
I have been to hell and back.

Have lots to share on the emotional side.

But I am practical, soooooooooo sad.

Garfield

March 18, 2006
1:33 pm
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garfield9547
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Sorry

It sound as if I do not have empathy.

If we ever get to discuss AIDS I would be able to explain better.

SURVIVE

Garfield

March 18, 2006
11:14 pm
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Juanita
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Some women don't leave b/c this is all they have ever known & it has progressed slowly. They are afraid to be "alone" in this world, having to fend not only for themselves, but their kids. There is also the fear the next man will be the same or worse. There is fear in being alone when the car dies, or the kids become sick & vomit all night where will they gain their strength? Who will help?

Yes, there is shame too. Shame b/c they have kept quiet & everyone thinks their man is so great ... they will question the woman's decision. How painful to go thru this stuff alone & then to be questioned by the ones they love about their decision, and to be looked upon as the "bad guy" for leaving such a "good situation". The man the public sees is not the same man she lives with, especially when there are no bruises, or everything else appears ok in the relationship. Everyone will think she is wrong or stupid. Her spouse, her children, her family, the local community.... everyone. Sometimes, she herself questions her ability to make the right decision when everything else appears ok except for she.

March 19, 2006
12:56 am
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"All" This thread is Rich. Yes at times we walk into it and sometimes there is just so many headgames going on that a person cannot keep track of them all. Geesh ! Many times the Perpetrator has more support then the target.

Juanita This got me.
>How painful to go thru this stuff alone & then to be questioned by the ones they love about their decision, and to be looked upon as the "bad guy" for leaving such a "good situation". < Just my 2 cents. I wont put anyone through trying to decipher me wonderful writting skills. LOL Im very hands on and in person. If this descussion was going on around a table I would be all over the room and looking out the window and my eye contact and the rest would leave me little to say but to interject here and there. I do hope many read,learn and heal from coming to this site and Knowing that they are not alone.

March 19, 2006
11:01 am
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I have to admit that I have avoided this thread since it started, but I'd be danged if curiosity didn't get to me. Now that I am here.....

Fantastic points each of you have made.

Twinks... I believe in creation and God, but the behavioral things you describe I believe are true. The Old Testament is full of exactly what you are talking about.

WD... My wise friend. I always love reading what you have to say. I must say there is much to be learned and your heart is big enough to cure anything if it were only possible.

Garfield... the post from the N's website. I read that and could so relate. Could you give me the site name? I'd like to see if I could use that article in my own work and would like to check out that site also.

Zinnie... I'm sorry about your friends. I have a friend whose hubby was caught in the beginning stages of sexual molesting her oldest daughter and thru the process of dealing w/ it she said to me one day that she will not live alone (w/o a man). I just looked at her and said "tell me you did not just say that and if that is how you feel you give me custody of your daughter now." I don't understand...

I have to admit I could see some of me in almost every post. The not wanting to embarass the family and then the lack of support when I did have the nerve to leave the first time. What a horrible feeling to have a family that doesn't believe or back you.

And the mind games, the brainwashing, looking back I can see where it started almost in the beginning, very subtle, making me believe HE was the only one whom I could trust, who could take care of me and protect me from all the bad things he showed me, made me solely dependent on only him. So sad.

I do want to add another aspect to the input. I want to add that some women stay because they fear for their lives or for the lives of their kids or parents. I for one have NO doubt in my head that had I left that I would have been killed, and the one time I did leave it was for the lives of my family that I went back. I don't think this is the norm for abusive behavior, but I know I have seen this to be the case time and time again. Even here on this site. Sometimes we have to bide our time till they don't want us anymore to get out. I know that may sound like a copout to some, but it was my reality and it is the reality of many.

Today, I am grateful and blessed to be away from the evil x and to have ya'll here to help me heal. Thanks all.

March 19, 2006
11:09 am
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mamacinnamon
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Oh, Juanita... I know exactly what you are talking about here. To this day my mom does not beleive my wonderful evil x did anything bad to me and she don't know the half of anything. But the hurt every time it's in my face is ... (cannot think of the word). It's so hurtful to know my mom doesn't believe me.

But, Juanita, you may be surprised how many actually do know what the hubby is like. Mine, I thought, was so very well thought of, would do for anyone, etc. I found out later that folks knew... they knew and didn't say anything to me. That hurt also.

But what I want to say is that is IS worth getting out of that situation. Family or not... she can survive. I won't lie.. it's a hard row to hoe, but so worth it.

She and her kids deserve better. I know when she is ready; when she has had enough; she will make her move. I did and I am a survivor.

(((hugs to you ))) 🙂

March 19, 2006
11:38 am
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Juanita
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WD made a good point to ~ you go thru good times & it makes you question the "abuse" of the bad times - especially when it is mental or emotional.... you get so confused and question yourself. Not only that, but you question your ability to judge people. How could you not know or see what's going on? What if you make the same mistake again? How can you trust people? You question yourself, your judgement, your abilities.

Not a fun place to be... awful to be full of self-doubt.

March 19, 2006
11:49 am
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Yes, Juanita, it is. Been there. Makes you feel even worse about yourself. And besides the abuser, you are your worse self critic.

How could you not see? It sneaks up on you. It is so subtle at first. You think they love you and they are only doing things or showing you things out of their love for you. They are just trying to help you. Sound familiar?

How do you trust again? yourself and others? Time takes care of that. If you work on healing then time does heal. But, I must say, I am a very cautious person now.

If you make a mistake again? Educate yourself, learn, help others in the situation you were in. All these will work toward helping you to not get into another relationship again. I'd like to say it will never happen, but one of the most devestating days in my life was when my now hubby's counselor told me that now hubby is almost the exact opposite of the evil x, but they are still just the same in the area of addiction, and addicts are also abusers according to the counselor. My now hubby works every day to stay clean and has now for a very long time, but the attitude and mouth can still be there. I learned what to look for so I don't take it now.

But, not to ramble on, it CAN be done. She CAN leave and be ok. And w/ the black cloud lifted from living w/ the abuser, she will have strength to deal w/ the other adversities that will come her way.

March 19, 2006
8:38 pm
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Zinnie
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I finally have a chance to sit down and write this.

Anyway... let me preface this by saying that I DO love my Dad. Very much. He is a good father. He is a shitty husband.

The BEST lesson my Mom taught to my sister and myself? That we deserve NOT to be treated like that.

My Dad and Mom married when my Dad was 20 and my Mom was 14. Yes, 14. During the course of their marriage they had thirteen children, and my Dad to my Mom's knowledge had four affairs. The fourth one was her undoing.

My Mom, a woman with only a fifth grade education, and still eight children at home finally said ENOUGH! I have had it! GET OUT NOW! You see, my Dad was never physically abusive, but he was very mentally and emotionally abusive to my Mom, and it was something my Mom hid from all of us for many many years.

We grew up in a tight knit, Hispanic, Catholic community - I was the only child of a divorce that I knew of - no one, not any one of my friends parents were split up; and I felt so very alone. For a while, soon, I got over it.

But my Mom? I now remember her (she recently passed away) and I have to say WOW - THAT TOOK GUTS! She threw my Dad out, and found a job. Not that there was a lot of opportunities out there for a woman who had never worked, and a fifth grade education. There was not. So, she did what she knew. She got a job working for the city in their nursery working with plants. My Mom could make anything grow. Well, she ecked out a living doing that - and no one understood why my Mom would do that. I mean my Dad had his military retirement, AND a union job, he worked side jobs all the time, we had a beautiful home, new cars, and EVERYONE in the neighborhood thought my Dad was Mr. Nice Guy.

Well, he was - to everyone BUT my Mother.

He wore her down over the years, he had affairs, he had illegimate children. He left my Mom waiting for him on her birthday, only to find out he had gone out with his current girlfriend. He talked her down, he called her stupid, complained that the house was never clean enough, dinner was not hot enough, the yard was not manicured enough - in short nothing was ever right.

So, my Mom finally did what she needed to do. Then, she found out that she could make more money as a heavy equipment operator. My Mom, being no slouch, learned, took the test and passed!

When my Mom died, at her memorial service - the Priest said "she got married at an age that now a days we would NEVER marry anyone, and she raised fine children. She had a fifth grade education, yet, every one of her children graduated from college on a full scholarship. She did what she had to do to keep her children safe and raised them with dignity and grace."

She did all of those things. My Mom later had many problems, that I won't deny. But, the most important lesson she taught all of us, especially my sister and I was that we had to have enough respect for ourselves to demand that we be treated with the respect that we inherently deserve as humans.

March 19, 2006
10:50 pm
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Zinnie,

What a great legacy to your mom!

Please tell me, how did she hide this abuse from you? And when and how did you find out about it?

I am just wondering, as my daughter is so in denial of my ex, though she was out of high school when we finally got married.

Were you in denial of this when you were a child? Why or how would you not know? Perhaps you did not realize what was unacceptable mental abuse from him? Many questions, I know. If you feel up to it or sharing, I would be interested for my own help. Thanks for whctever you can share.

Sew

March 19, 2006
10:56 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Sew,

My Mom managed to hide a lot of this from us on many levels. For one thing, she flat out refused to fight with my Dad in front of us.

But, looking back I see that we also walked on egg-shells around my Dad. There is also the cultural barriers, in the Hispanic culture - "the Man is all" so we did everything we had to in order to ensure that Dad was always happy, comfortable, whatever.

To my Mom's credit it was not until we were older that she really shared what went on in the marriage. She did not talk my Dad down, and later on, she even accepted his children from his other marriages. The true testimant to my Mom? At her funeral, there were three of my Dad's ex-wives, AND their children there - even the Priest remarked on that. You see, my Mom was like "they are still your brothers and sisters, so therefore they are welcome in my home."

How old is your daughter?

Z.

March 19, 2006
10:58 pm
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sewunique
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Hi Twinks! So good to see you back as well. We should have a party with all of us back here....I was gone for long time as well. In fact, I rarely have time to read here as much as I'd like or used to.

Sounds like your job is going very well. Isn't it great to work at what you enjpy and are great at doing? Thanks for remembering what I said about the kids, cuz I didn't!

Sew

March 20, 2006
1:39 am
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sewunique
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Hi Zinnie,

Thanks for responding back. My daughter is now 35, been married for 14 years (her only marriage) with three children, two who are teenagers. You recall some of my story? where I found pix ex took of girls (at least 18, as far as I can prove) and inapproriate ones of her?

Last conversation with her was the Christmas hoiday while visiting my dad here in Fl and he asked her to at least speak to me being the holidays and all. She reluctantly did talk and gave me the run down she has nothing to "get over" and she misses me sometimes, other times she does not and she has reviewed my life and sees that I have been strong in the past and this "was only one time" what ever that meant and felt I could have fixed it. Meaning my divorce she is mad about.

So I am still without communication; I gave up after multiple phone calls to her home and cell with no response.

I ssent an email birthday card to my one grandson and was able to talk to him on his birthday and told him I was sending the card. I only have their email address which goes to my daughter's name. She toldl me her husband is the one who opens the emails; she is too busy. Strange, but that card I sent was opened up at 1 AM their time that nite. And I do not think her husband is smneaky and they go to bed early, he gets up at 5 AM for work. So I figure my daughter must have opened it at 1 AM. So am not surre if the granson ever got the email card. I call; they are out (they are truly over busy with activiites) but never a return call back to me. Always an excuse.

She claims I deserted her leaving with this divorce as her husband told me; "she feels I deserted her again." I never deseerted her before, not as a child either; I basically raised her on my own after my first divorce. I must have been a terrible codependent mother in her eyes. Maybe PTSD counseling is in order for me? Sorry I dumped here; it sorta just spilled out.

It sounds like your mother was not only open and caring, but really bit her lip and accepted many things to get her life move forward. She certainly sacrificed much. I am glad you can see what she gave you and your siblings; embrace that and her love when you think of her; it has helped me.

Sew

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