I Was A Fool --- Tegan and Sara http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZHGeg_0Rlo
While doing research for my latest article on domestic violence for Helium.com I came across the definition of domestic violence which I feel is important to share. Take gender out of the equation. Those that commit domestic violence are unable to express themselves verbally in a healthy way, so they use anger and violence (verbal and physical abuse) to instill fear and control others to get what they want which is 'their way'.
Definition of domestic violence:
Domestic violence, sometimes called battering, relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence is a crime that can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and sexual abuse. Batterers use threats, intimidation, isolation, and other behaviors to maintain power over their victims. Domestic violence impacts everyone, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year (Lieberman Research, Inc., Tracking Survey conducted for The Advertising Council and the Family Violence Prevention Fund, July-October 1996). Domestic violence also affects same-sex relationships and men as victims.
Taken from: Safe horizon—Moving victims of violence from crisis to confidence. http://www.safehorizon.org/page.php?nav=snb&page=domesticviolence&gclid=CMWOivrItZ0CFRBM5QodQG_ijg
The cycle of violence: (Taken from the article I wrote on Domestic Violence)
Abuse (Verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual, etc)
Guilt (The abuser feels guilt because he is afraid of being found out not at the fact that he has hurt someone he claims to care for)
Excuses (You made me do it, I have never been like this with anyone else only you, I had a bad day, etc)
Normal behavior (Acting like nothing happened the night before, acting as if no abuse occurred, acting like the caring person he claims to be)
Fantasy (The abuser fantasizes about how he will abuse his victim once again focusing on what he feels she has done wrong and wishes to make her pay)
Set up (The abuser will create a scenario where he feels justified in abusing her again *He will ask his partner to do something for him but will fail to tell her that she has to do it in a certain way or by a certain time thus justifying in his mind that abusing her for this is ok)
Being a survivor of sexual and ritual abuse it is very common to find yourself in an abusive and controlling relationship or a series of abusive and controlling relationships. Coming from such a violent and abusive upbringing, it errodes your self esteem, your self worth, and you may end up in relationships that are not healthy. Abusive personalities can smell a victim of abuse and gravitate towards this person as abusive personalities have a need to dominate, control and abuse. They themselves have probably been a victim of abuse as 'abuse' is a 'learned behavior'. It is very typical for a male to become the abuser and the female to become the victim of abuse. (This is not always the case, but it usually is ...the way males are raised in abusive families is to 'teach the woman a lesson', 'show her who's boss' and throw his weight around with physical violence with his father setting the example....females raised in abusive families are taught to be submissive, do what they are told, and often times witness their mother being physically and verbally abused.)
It is also common for the abusive personality/ or abuser to do anything to maintain power and control over his victim by any means possible. This means that the abusive personality/ or abuser will lie about you and your relationship. He will deny his behavior, rationalize, guilt- trip, play the victim, villify the victim, play the servant role, project blame, shame the victim, and minimize the abuse---he will tell others that you are unstable, crazy, a liar and try to make you look like the one that is abusive---basically whatever he has to, to shift the focus from his behavior or from taking any responsibility for his behavior. He will really step this up when he knows that you will no longer tollerate his abuse and that you may start to seek outside support as he is afraid of being exposed and does not want to face the consequences or loose control. Abusive personalities are very good at hiding their abusive ways. They work hard to make sure that 'no one knows' how they truly are to their partner ---which often times leaves their victims feeling very alone.
I myself have had many physically, mentally, emotionally, and verbally abusive relationships where I was once again the victim of abuse, not feeling that I deserved any better. Now I know that I do deserve better....MUCH BETTER....and so do all of you. I can proudly say that I have broken free and put an end to being in an abusive relationship---I no longer tollerate disrespect, verbal abuse, physical abuse or any sort of violence--- or for that matter any kind of abuse PERIOD. Hopefully neither do any of you. I have made it quite clear that the next time anyone puts their hands on me I will protect myself and call the police. I fully intend on following through.
ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INTUITION
by Michael Linehan
(Excerpt from book 2-- Unlocking Buried Secrets #2: Healing From Satanic Ritual Abuse Workbook)
I have been involved in a lot of abusive relationships…many in fact, starting from the age of 15 when my first boyfriend drugged and raped me up till my middle 30’s…in all of my relationships I did not trust my intuition or gut feeling…that is the tiny voice inside you that says to you ‘this person is not safe’…‘something’s not right here’…and it’s also the tiny little ‘warning bells’ that go off inside you alerting you to danger or signs of potential danger…I did not trust my perceptions or feelings I had about a person or the situations with a person…when I was a teenager I was not really aware of the red flags that kept popping up and I was shocked and confused when I found myself in a terrifying situation…as an adult I was able to recognize the flags, but not yet able to completely trust myself on what I felt, saw, experienced or knew to be happening in my relationships.
I was aware that things weren’t right…but I attributed my feelings and awareness to being ‘paranoid’…I thought I was just paranoid of someone abusing me because I had been so badly abused in the past by my family and my relationships…as well as feeling paranoid…my boyfriends would feed off my fear of being paranoid and use my fears against me…they would tell me that I was being paranoid usually right after they had said something or done something inappropriate, disrespectful or down right abusive…basically they would take whatever someone else had said to me and use it against me to deny their abusive behavior towards me…ie: If I told them my father said that ‘I was imagining things’ every time he abused me…they would say to me that ‘I was imagining things’ after they were abusive…adding further that I only ‘think’ they are being abusive because my father or others abused me…so every time I felt the warning bells going off inside me…I ignored them…until once again I realized that my perceptions were correct yet again…it took many times of this happening before I finally realized it was not ‘coincidence’ that I was correct.
Some of the red flags or early warning signs of abuse
When I expressed my thoughts or feelings:
-My boyfriend would yell or scream at me that ‘I made him say or do what he said or did’
(This is including calling me names, putting me down, and screaming hurtful nasty things at me…and physical violence)
For example: I told my boyfriend that a lot of my ex’s were controlling…one day in the summer while we were driving in his car I went to roll down the window…he locked the window controls …turned to me and said ‘see? …all men have control’… then laughed…then he pushed the window button on his side and rolled my window all the way down and wouldn't let me roll it up…then he finally unlocked the window controls so I could put it where I wanted it…*when I brought this to his attention and told him that this was hurtful… he got upset and angry and told me he was trying to DESENSITIZE me to my past and that I make an issue out of everything.
(He treats you well when other people can hear or see him…but when others are out of ear shot or you are alone he is mean, vindictive, cruel and abusive)
(A non abusive person may feel jealousy and need a bit of reassurance…an abusive person will expect you to change your life to accommodate his insecure feelings…ie: he will expect you to not go to your classes or hang out with certain friends, he will expect you to dress differently than you want to etc)
(You made me do this to you/ I didn’t do it/ I have never been like this with anyone else only you)
Signs of this happening: if you tell him that you think his friend ‘Tino’ is really nice, he will run his friend down so you loose respect for him…watch for this being a pattern… he is saying all this to you to keep you from getting close to his friends…he then will run you down to his friends that think ‘you’ are nice so that they don’t get close to you…this is a very calculated act on his part…and it also tells you that he is very aware of how he is treating you and is making sure he isolates you from others…he is basically making sure that his abuse is not discovered
(Ridicules you/ humiliates you/ makes fun of you when you are afraid of him/ etc)
Anytime you feel AFRAID of upsetting a person…or if you are afraid of the persons anger…this is a SIGNAL that something is wrong…this is not necessarily a sign that you are being abused, but this is a sign that something is wrong, something that needs attention and something you need to sort out…you should feel safe and comfortable asking questions or speaking your mind without the fear of the other persons reaction.
(Anyone who loves and respects you will WANT to hear how you feel no matter how long you need to talk and wont get angry at you)
Abusers tend to view every disagreement or argument as a war…one in which he must win EVERY time…he doesn't view this as an opportunity to learn to communicate and see both sides and listen to your feelings, nor does he feel that he can learn anything about how the both of you think and feel.
-Talks to you in a tone of ‘final authority’…defines your reality--his way of thinking is the right way and the only way (in his mind)
-Not listening to you…and refusing to respond
-Laughing at your feelings, thoughts, opinions and perspective
-Mocking you as you cry from his abuse
-Accusing you of what he is doing
-Distorting what you say and what happened
-Interrupting, not listening, and cutting you off in mid sentence, changing the subject, ignoring what you are saying
-Smirking and rolling eyes
-Uses what you say against you
-Yelling …or yelling over top of you
-Plays the victim
-Leaving the conversation abruptly
-Intimidating you physically (towering over you/ getting in your face/ walking towards you in an intimidating way/ blocking a doorway/ pushing you back into a corner/ using his chest to bump you back while being aggressive and verbally abusive/ slapping you/ shaking you/ hitting you/ etc)
-Telling you to shut up (Or telling you when you can talk and when to shut up--determines when the conversation is over even if you haven’t had a chance to voice your feelings)
-Threatening to leave you on a regular basis to get his way (ie: you shutting up and doing what he wants)
Basically my boyfriends have said and done whatever they could to get me to ‘shut up’ and accept their treatment…if this means instilling fear in me with physical violence…then so be it…that’s what they would resort to…one of my boyfriends actually admitted to me that he did whatever he could to get me to shut up…this included being mean, nasty, and abusive…hearing him admit this to me was a real eye opener and it was also ‘validation’…it validated for me that I was correct in how I perceived his treatment of me…I was right on the money.
There are a lot of signs to look for that will help you recognize when you are in an unhealthy relationship… as you become more and more aware of the signs…you will become more aware of your body signaling you of potential danger and possible red flags... you will become more and more perceptive and eventually you will begin to trust your intuitions, gut feelings and perceptions about the people you surround yourself with…all of this ties in together… it all has to do with the ability to trust yourself, your perceptions and what you know to be true…this is so hard for us survivors of ritual abuse as we were taught to never trust ourselves or anything we knew or experienced…ever…we’ve been so horrifically abused in so many devastating ways it is no wonder we struggle so much with trusting ourselves and our perceptions.
All of these behaviors are abusive when they become a PATTERN in your relationship.
(If you tell him that his mocking you when you are crying and in pain is hurtful and you want him to stop this behavior…he will make a point of mocking you more often and may even act like he is enjoying it to further cause you emotional pain.)
(‘You made me do it’… ‘you made me say it’… ‘I was never like this with anyone else…only you’…etc)
(Anything you do that is separate from him, something that you are good at that is not connected to him…this causes him stress and adds to his insecurities and he will try to get you to drop what you are doing while convincing you that this is your decision.)
(When you start to set boundaries and limits re: his hurtful behavior…the abusive partner will try to get you to doubt yourself and try to confuse you saying that you are too sensitive or that you make issues out of everything, he doesn’t respect your feelings or objections)
(Gambling, sexual addictions to pornography, drugs or alcohol, pills etc)
(Early detection of anger: gets easily annoyed, irritated and moody when things don’t go his way…snaps at you or others a lot, drives angrily, raises his voice often, explosive anger, there’s no stopping him.)
(Everything has to go his way on his terms…he doesn’t ask for help and views this as weak, makes all the decisions in the relationship)
All of what I have listed is what an unhealthy person exhibits and this is a huge indicator of whether or not the person will turn abusive…this is in no way a complete list…I have made this list from my own personal experiences…I always tried to rationalize that ‘things weren't that bad’…and that my boyfriend would never become abusive…it was so hard for me to admit to myself that my relationship was very abusive…it was even harder to say the words ‘abusive’ and my boyfriend in the same sentence…I felt that I was in some way mean to think this way…and it was harder still to realize that I was behaving like a victim…I was ALLOWING these guys to disrespect me…walk all over me…use me…treat me like I was complete shit…garbage…I had to really get real about how I was living out my childhood patterns…I was finding myself again and again in abusive relationships wondering how in the world did this happen to me again?…all I wanted was love and to be treated kindly…I really needed to look within myself to find the love I craved and wanted so desperately…as well as the answers as to ‘why’ I continually CHOSE these kinds of guys to be involved with.
I learned that I had to work on myself…I needed to begin to ‘trust’ my feelings…perceptions…instincts…I needed to no longer DENY what I saw and knew to be happening in my relationships…unfortunately, surviving the devastation of ritual abuse has left us survivors unable to trust ourselves, our perceptions and we tend to deny what is happening in our lives and with the people we surround ourselves with…learning to trust yourself and your perceptions is hard work but ultimately something I hope for all of you to master as this is what will keep you safe…after everything you’ve been through…safety is essential.
(End of excerpt book 2-- Unlocking Buried Secrets #2: Healing From Satanic Ritual Abuse Workbook)
(End of excerpt book 2-- Unlocking Buried Secrets #2: Healing From Satanic Ritual Abuse Workbook)
*For those of you who have been afraid to press charges or make a report with the police for fear of further abuse (Such as I was in the past) please dont let that stand in the way of your safety. The more you show the abuser that he can get away with physically assaulting you the more you are showing him that this behavior is ok. It is never ok. But if you feel that scared of calling the police you can call the shelter in your town and talk with the doctor at the shelter. Everything is confidential. This is a smart thing to do and will really help you if you ever decide to press charges against your abuser. It will show the courts that the abuse is ongoing and a pattern.
Abusers tend to abuse their partners emotionally, verbally, psychologically, physically and even sexually.
Thats another important thing to mention. Abuse is never a one time thing or incident. Abuse is ongoing and escalates. Abuse is a choice. You either choose to control and abuse another person, or you choose to never ever harm another human being---ever. Its that simple.
A lot of people turn a blind eye to abuse, afraid to get involved. This only allows the abuser to continue to abuse his partner and gives him an even greater sense of power as he feels that he is above the law.
A lot of women return to their abusive partners over and over---as the abuser is a master at manipulation, pairing 'seemingly' kind acts in between acts of abuse and violence which is confusing to the woman as she starts to think that maybe this time he has changed--- a lot of women trapped in abusive relationships have no family support to turn to as they have come from abusive/ unsupportive families---it is not uncommon for a woman to attempt to leave the abusive relationship several times before finally finding the strength from within ---resisting the abuser's attempts to pull her back in-- leaving for good.
It is also important to mention that abusers dont suffer from ' a loss of control' like they claim, again blaming the victim justifying the abuse by claiming: 'she pushed my buttons'. If this were the case then the abuser wouldnt be able to control himself in ANY situation that made him angry (Or when someone pushed his buttons)---but he is, he does not show this side of himself to his boss at work, or around friends...he saves this for the one he feels he can control...his partner, behind closed doors. And again, if this were the case he would not be able to suddenly gain composure (just after abusing) as soon as one of his buddies called, or friends unexpectedly showing up. In the event that the police are called, upon arrival they will witness the victim emotionally distraught and hard to calm down, while the abuser is cool as a cucumber.I know there were many times that my ex's were abusive to me and within a short period of time they were acting like the 'nice guy' they claimed to be when friends would come around---while I would struggle to put on a happy face, pushing down all of my pain.
Since abusers seem to want to blame the victim for their behavior and seriously think that they are the victim in all of this...and since they feel that you are the one blaming them by simply stating that their behavior towards you is unacceptable....I will list the difference between naming the behavior and blaming a person. (*I got this way of breaking it down from 'Illiana' who works with and supports women of domestic violence and abuse at Anselma House/ shelter for abused women and children)
Naming the behavior is:
'I am scared when you push and shove me and it can’t happen again'. You are simply stating what he ACTUALLY did to you
NOT taking responsibility: ‘it’s your fault’ ‘you made me do it’ ‘I was never like this with anyone else, only you’ ‘I didn’t do it.’
NOT blaming is:
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your behavior and STOPPING the behavior: ‘yes I shoved and pushed you into a corner’ ‘I am sorry, that must have really frightened you and must have been awful and reminded you of past experiences that were scary for you’ ‘I am sorry’ 'I will never do that again'
If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, please seek support so that you dont have to suffer alone. Below are some helpful links if you are in an abusive and controlling relationship. It is NEVER ok to be abused. Find your inner strength and personal power and take back your life.
I am posting this you tube video below of 'Pink's 2010 Grammy Performance' because whenever I listen to her music or listen to her speak about her life on MTV I am inspired to keep moving forward in my life ---and take the necessary steps to achieve my dreams.
Pink---One of my biggest inspirations---she is so inspiring to me on so many levels such as overcoming her childhood, living fearlessly, being outspoken and definately not afraid to show the world who she truly is. Pink is truly a beautiful person in my eyes.
This is the 2010 Grammy Performance by Pink---"Glitter in the air"---
If you are in immediate danger call 911 or The National Domestic Violence Hotline at:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Physically Abusive Relationships
Signs & Symptoms of Abusive Relationships