Saturday

Physically Abused Victims Feel Trapped, Fearful, Often Worried, Insecure, Angry and Jealous

So the abuser didn't hit, slap, kick, push, or spit on the victim in awhile, but one's refrain from physical abuse does nothing for the victim's negative emotions that linger long after the abusive episodes have subsided.  When the next explosive argument and violence shows up, it most likely will produce more of the same feelings: isolation, fear, worry, insecurity, anger, and jealousy in the victim.  There is no quality communication, genuine love, compassion, or understanding in relationships like this!

Trapped

When a victim feels trapped it is similar to that of a mouse caught in a trap.  No matter what one's common sense tells him or her about getting away, the fight within feels useless after awhile and so one gives up!  In the victim's mind, "You caught me. I accept my fate."  So all attempts to get free whether he or she tries to do it or someone offers to help are ignored.  There is more reasoning as to why "I can't, I won't, I couldn't..." Instead of, "I can, I will, I am able to..."  The abuser has a long list of strategies to keep the victim close.  He or she uses them time and time again because they work!  The abuser had already interviewed the victim a long time ago during the dating phase.  He or she plays on the victim's weaknesses.  

The abuser thinks evilly concerning the victim. "She is the lonely type, she isn't going anywhere.  He is needy due to his mental disability.  He doesn't have much money, he can't manage his bills on his own.  Who is going to want her?  She knows she is ugly, she is lucky to have me.  He never could keep any of his girlfriends in check, he's a wimp.  He probably thanks God everyday he has someone like me."

Fearful

Someone who has used repeated intimidation, threats, and harm isn't the kind of person you can rest easy around.  So the victim is visibly nervous and scared within whenever the abuser comes around.  The anxiety increases when a voice is raised, a door is slammed, something goes bump, and someone screams.  The flight, fight or freeze response is activated.  However, most victims are usually frozen in these relationships.  They can't seem to move when they would like, so they just busy themselves in view of their abusers, sit for far too long like in front of a screening device, stand in place when the abuser talks like what a soldier would do when a sergeant talks, or go to sleep when things in their households are tense. 

Worried

There is the worry the victims carry around at home like, "Did I cook the right meal, buy the right food...Should I say this or do that?  Is he going to hurt me because I did...I should have never done that." The concerns are even more intense when around relatives and friends whether with an abuser or not.  "I hope that they don't say anything to piss him off.  I really wish that my parents wouldn't talk so much to her.  I rather be at home, this way I don't have to answer their questions.  Maybe if I just smile and don't say much, they won't tell me another thing my spouse said or did to them.  I pray my partner won't give me the silent treatment or find an excuse to hit me, because of what my friends said.  I can't stay here for long, because my spouse is going to start to blow my phone up and I don't want to hear his mouth!"

Insecure

It is hard to be yourself when in an abusive relationship.  You don't feel content with who you are, you are unsure about your future, and you don't trust yourself or your partner.  The violent partner may still be someone who you love, but how can one feel at ease in a relationship with an individual who uses violence to manipulate and control?  How can one say that he or she is "secure" when most of the behaviors that the victim displays especially when communicating with others say, "I am uncertain about who I am anymore.  I can't seem to make a decision.  Do you think I am doing a good job?  What do you think about me?  Am I living up to your expectations?  Please don't reject me, you probably think I am stupid. I don't think I am smart enough to do that look at all of my poor decisions."

Angry

Having a relationship or friendship with someone who has been victimized isn't easy.  As a victim, you aren't a happy person to be around.  You have sadness in your eyes, anger in your voice, misery in your walk, and an aura that tells everyone, "Please keep away!"  So it isn't any wonder why people gradually distance from you.  You make excuses for your pent up rage.  You lie about how you truly feel when asked.  Then one day or many days you go off on the wrong people.  You can be a bit selfish expecting them to be all things to you, meanwhile you can't be too much of anything to yourself like a peaceful person for starters.  You want to be there for someone who disrespects you while you disrespect others.  Your anger is misguided and misdirected. A victim has no problem displaying rage and acting on it with others, but eventually cowers to one's abuser.  Watch how he or she thinks twice about reacting to the abuser during conflict or a tense moment, but doesn't hesitate to display unhealthy emotions with select individuals that he or she considers weak.  Talk about the kettle talking about the pot!  The victim is really angry at his or herself for making the decision to stay with a loser and it is unfortunate that everyone around this person suffers because of it!

Jealousy

The victim is often jealous.  Why?  Because he or she sees how the abuser treats everyone else outside the home with kindness and respect.  The victim is jealous of those people who have quality relationships, so how come she can't have something like that with the man or woman she chose?  The victim attempts to use healthy relationship advice to make her situation better with an unwilling subject.  His or her partner becomes upset when this done because the abuser doesn't want to change.  Jealous emotions arise and the victim begins to lash out on the unsuspecting because he or she feels powerless in a miserable relationship.  The victim knows the difference between love and hate, positive and negative, healthy and unhealthy, good and evil, and because of that it hurts all the more to see that others are doing so well and he or she is not.  Jealous emotions will also keep one distant from those who appear to be doing better in their relationships than the victims.  However, that is not always the case rather what he or she is jealous of is a mirage or allusion.  There are many relationship secrets that couples do not share with others for many have been emotionally and/or physically abusive at one time or another toward each other.

Interview with Director and Founder of Domestic Violence Resource Center...

Sunday

When Mothers are Abused and Children are Used to Keep Them "In Line"

They can do no wrong, the children of two dysfunctional parents, they are esteemed by their abusive fathers far more than their mothers who gave birth to them.  Why?  Simply put, most abusers revel in being able to control children--they are seen as extensions of themselves and tools to be used.

The victim reaches a boiling point in the relationship that she can't take the emotional and physical control any longer, the abuser knows this, so dad is going for the children.  They will listen and obey or else.   

Strange as it may seem, for many abusers it is okay for them to abuse both mothers and children, but someone else dare correct their children including their own mother, they better look out!  For example, if the mothers were to discipline their offspring such as: take their toys for misbehaving, yell about poor grades, or remove gaming devices for not doing chores once again, they are made out to be the bad guy.  Dad may not go all in about correcting his children, but will lash out on mom for doing so.  (I know confusing, right!?) The mother suffers in silence because she is being punished once again for doing what a parent typically does, train a child.

A father, who had once been harshly dealt with as a child by his caretakers, looks at almost any form of correction like teachers calling about his unruly child to a mother raising her voice about what a son or daughter has done wrong again as a personal insult.  A mentally disturbed man will "go off" or "lose it" as if he is defending the child within who had no voice long ago.  When mentally and physically abusive people have children, unresolved issues show up in how they parent or not.

Long ago Mom, the victim, who didn't have a clue how deep the rabbit hole was when she dated her abuser, who is now a father, inherited a major problem--someone who she loves--but still a problem that she can't solve--no matter how much she does for him, how timid she becomes, or how many children she has for him!  Secretly, many victims wish that they would have never made the mistake of having children with an abusive man like this, but they reason it all away with positive thinking until the children turn on them--some sons and daughters begin to root for the other side, the abuser! 

For some of you, who are not familiar with this kind of mental abuse, you would think that the abusive parent, who you don't know is controlling and manipulative, is simply "protecting" the children when he is critical of the mother's discipline practices.  However, that is not the case, he is using the children like pawns in a game.  They are used to make you or I think that he is a good parent while putting the other parent down.  You learn later what he was saying were lies, exaggerations and cover-ups usually to make him look good while the other parent looks "out of control," "crazy" or "emotional." He uses the children as spies to find out what the mother is up to; for instance, who she is talking to on the phone when he isn't around, where she has gone, and what she has bought at the store.  

When the hurting mother scolds her children for being disrespectful to her, making excuses for the father's angry outbursts, or reporting back to the father about everything she is doing or not, he accuses her of being abusive and tells the children something like, "Your mother needs help--she doesn't know what she is talking about.  Your mother has problems!  You don't have to listen to her.  I have always had issues with your stupid mama!  Look at her, she drinks, cusses, fights me!  Thanks for telling me about her, don't worry I'll buy you this or that..."  Meanwhile, the abuser never bothers to take responsibility as to why Mom is upset once again and avoids telling the children the truth.  He twists it or doesn't bother to talk about anything!

An abusive husband grows weary of having to put his wife "back in line, she can be a handful!"  He might tell his family.  "I'm concerned about how she treats the children" while conveniently leaving out the times when he did some mean-spirited things that left the children scarred like he did to the mom.  

Abusers see the innocence of a child and use it for their own benefit.  They will excessively dote over children while putting the mother down in front of them.  Say they love the child while ignoring their broken wives who too would like positive attention.  The petty husband creates division and stirs up feelings of jealousy within his own family.  He does these things because he feels good doing them and couldn't care less about how his actions make his partner feel.

The abused wife might even redirect her angry spouse back to the misbehaving child to avoid being punished yet again for not correcting the child for things like: talking back, fighting with other siblings, or not completing homework.  "You love the kids so much, you deal with them!"  For some mothers, enough is enough and so this is why they end up leaving their abusers and their kids behind. 

When a mother is repeatedly made to feel inadequate about parenting the children and ignored when issues arise concerning them, not only by her abusive partner, but other controlling relatives too, she will give up on her family and all that comes with them.  If she is at her wits end trying to be all things to her children while trying to keep the peace with her difficult spouse, she will unfortunately direct the children back to their abusive father.  She may say things like, "I'll tell your father...I can't take you all anymore--let him deal with you!  You don't want your father to beat you too, now do you?  You know what your dad will do if he finds out, so if you tell him this, I will tell him that, and he will really hurt you this time!"

Oftentimes abusers will use children in such a way to control their spouses.  This is why victims will lie or keep secrets concerning the children for fear of backlash.  Meanwhile, a brainwashed child is like a detective, watching mother's every move.  Eager to "tell dad" in an effort to get his attention and another treat for a job well done, children store up information like recorders and wait for the opportune time to share with their fathers about "bad mom."  Quite naturally a child will do these things for fear of being punished, because "we know what happened to mom the last time and we don't want that happening to us!"  However, the whole family is subjected to punishment depending on how the mentally troubled father feels that day.

A victim may have never thought when she gave birth to sons and daughters that she would end up disliking or even hating them because of whatever their father has put in their heads, but this is a wife or a girlfriend's reality.  Everyday a mother is watching her back, being careful not to say anything that can be carried back to her temperamental spouse.  She doesn't trust her children or her husband.  She is weary of the angry outbursts and worries over what her children might one day become.  She has no choice but to plan her escape.  Things were already unsettling in the household, but they only worsen when she sees the truth, "My children are just like him, they are trying to control me too!"

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men and other books.

Saturday

What You Need to Know about Domestic Abuse

We have seen the movies, listened to talk show hosts, heard stories about relatives, friends and co-workers, and some of us were victims ourselves, domestic abuse hasn't gone anywhere.  No matter how much a civic group preaches about "no more abuse,"  there will always be someone somewhere who feels that it is his or her right to abuse over and over again!

What we already know about domestic abuse is that it is a pattern and/or cycle of controlling behavior and this typically occurs with people who live together or have lived together.  The behaviors can be life threatening and lead to a premature death for victims.  Domestic abuse spreads throughout generations and it doesn't matter your background, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexuality, social class, etc.  However, what we need to know is that in times of crisis (such as what we are still in), the abuser is more agitated, angry, difficult to talk to, and if he or she has lost employment, the constant worry about money, housing, utilities, and food will drive them mad.

Victims are often nervous, worried, fearful, and don't trust their abusers when their stress levels are high.  They fear for their safety and offspring.  Pets are also abused.  The entire household is tensed.  Victims are walking on eggshells around the mean-spirited relative.  Unexpected meltdowns can occur at any given moment.  The more the victims attempt to keep the peace, it seems the angrier the abuser becomes.  Abusive men and women need a savior--someone who will make the negative feelings go away within.  They don't want to walk around causing problems for everyone including themselves, but they simply can't help themselves and neither can victims--no matter what you do or say.

When one has been repeatedly yelled at, beaten, ignored, lied to, ridiculed, cheated on, and some of you know the rest, whether victim or abuser, the brain doesn't always think logically; therefore, poor decision making when it comes to the affairs of life tend to happen.  Bills are forgotten or go unpaid, housing is unkempt, the children's basic needs are not met, poor job performance, and so on.  Those loved ones, who are on the outside looking in, want very much for everyone to just snap out of it.  Forget about the losses and just "break up," "get a job" or "move."  However, it is a challenge when parties involved in domestic abuse don't have the energy, time or money to do those things.  Victims are oftentimes depressed in emotionally and physically abusive relationships.  They also wrestle with their feelings on whether to go or stay.  They use past memories "when times were good" to motivate them to stay.  They want to believe their abusers will change, but the truth is that oftentimes controlling men and women don't.  You either continue to be abused by them in some way (emotionally, sexually, spiritually, physically...) or you walk away with hopefully most of your mind and body still intact!

Unfortunately, many domestic abuse victims still want to remain with abusers because they have been brainwashed for so long by them.  They have blurred the lines when it comes to what is right and wrong, moral and immoral, good and evil.  Their abuser may have told them they will "do better, change, when I get my new job things will be different, I love you...I need you... Let's get married, start a family."  So the victims believe the lip service and remain in these bad relationships only to be used and abused again!

Domestic abuse resources are available on and off the Internet.  There are helpful individuals, many who are survivors, that can be contacted via email, live chat, snail mail, and on phone lines ready to answer questions and concerns.  An exit plan is discussed when a victim has had enough.

It is my sincere hope that no matter what the situation, one's faith will see him or her through along with a great support system who sincerely cares far more for a victim's well-being than any abuser ever will!  Remember abusers know how to lie, sweet talk, persuade, and make others think that victims are unstable, crazy, or don't know what they are talking about.  Don't believe these liars! 

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Laboring to Love a Abusive Mate and Laboring to Love Myself   

Monday

Violent Relationship, Power and Control - Childhood Observation Came Around Full Circle

Yelling, threatening, punishing...this was not what I signed up for.  What kind of relationship was this?  In the 1990s, I was still discovering unique traits about myself before I ended up in a violent relationship.

At times, I wasn't easily understood by family and friends.  Being in an intimate relationship was really not ideal for me at the time.  It was enough trying to figure out my personal interests outside of college and where I might end up being employed later. 

I was quite young, a mere 20 years old and not a virgin.  Yet, I still dabbed acne cream on random pimples that would sprout up whenever my menstrual cycle would rear its ugly head. I was still fitting into clothing from the ninth grade and still standing at the bus stop sucking on a lollipop in the words of rapper L.L. Cool J.  I was still cute in the face while my body was maturing in clothing that showed my best features. 

The socially sweet, privately cruel abusive man took notice one day as I hurried to my part-time mall job after leaving my part-time day job at a telecommunications company.  I was walking along a street one hot summer day in my childhood hometown headed to a bus stop without a lollipop.  The abusive man, who I referred to in past articles and a book entitled, "Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate" would take what little innocence I still had left weeks later. 

Ten years older than me at the time, my abuser had a lot of experience finding women and bedding them.  He was in the mood for someone youthful, naive, and ignorant to his kind of gaming.  A young woman such as myself back in '96 was just happy to be getting a ride from a date, going to the movies and eating at restaurants on someone else's dime.  I didn't have time nor the brain space to be concerned about manipulative men on the prow using power and control tactics on their prey.  That was something that happened in the movies.  It wasn't my reality until a met Mr. Wrong. 

My youthful laughs, blushing, and occasional fun in his bed would turn into many tears, fears, and stresses in a matter of weeks.  I felt I was just too young to manage the issues he was dumping on me, yet my wanting to help him motivated me to stick it out--his meltdown, his neat-freak behavior, rides in his cars, talking to his friend, and going to places he suggested.  I started longing for fun times with my friends again when life was just about attending college classes and staying late to help out with extracurricular activities while chatting it up about us soon-to-be graduates great opportunities ahead.  What did I get myself into back then?

When I figured out why I would be attracted to someone older who didn't have much patience, money, trust, respect, care, etc. I realized that he was familiar.  There was something about his features, conversation and mannerisms that reminded me of childhood.  I observed broken men like him interacting with broken women in our family.  These abusive men I grew up with had a domineering presence.  They were nice men when they wanted to be, but the common personality trait was that they all had a dark side -- a mean spirit.  The dark side was attractive as long as it stayed in a movie scene, but in reality, my reality, they were simply put, evil men.  They used and abused women.  They had little respect for them.  They wanted far too much from women then they were ever willing to give.  What was confusing was the women complained among one another, but with a smile on their faces and listening ears, they still served these bad men.

I overheard their conversations growing up, these violent men talked about what they got away with and laughed about the "crazy" women who they weren't dealing with anymore.  I learned later why those women were no longer in their lives, they had hit them repeatedly.  They got away--they had, had enough!  What my relatives didn't know was that my new boyfriend was just like them, he too was grabbing, shoving, and tripping me with his foot whenever he was irritated or angry with me.  He too was talking about other women who got away too with his abusive friends. 

When I think back, I was a bit lonely.  I didn't really like younger men at the time, because the ones I encountered was so immature.  I was also in need of some financial assistance (so I thought he would help me), but later I found out I was helping him far more.  The player wasn't about to get played (so he thought) by a younger woman--he held all the cards including my heart.

I know that had I been more discerning about this guy and less busy with other things like work and college, I would have seen that he was no match for me.  However, I also didn't think we would be nothing more than "friends with benefits" too.  Months later he had proposed to me and despite the abuse that I had been enduring by his scarred hands, I felt like things would get better since he wanted to commit to me and only me.  But they didn't, a whole lot of promises, but nothing got any better, it only got worse. 

The angry man accused me of things he had really done to me when we would argue about all sorts of things like cheating.  He would criticize me about my new found faith, meanwhile he was the one who invited me to church.  He would lie about his whereabouts and the drugs he smoked while I was at work.  He told me I was nice-looking and smart and then would turn around in the same breath and talk about how stupid I was and joke about how I looked during my tough bouts with a variety of PMS related symptoms.  I honestly grew to dislike that man, but I knew I had to leave him once and for all.

Nine months later, the time came when we had a major falling out because I had finally made up in my mind that I was not marrying him and I was moving out.  I fought one of my worse physical fights with him that sunny, spring day in April--a Saturday, I recall.  A day when we should have been resting from a week's work, but no, there we were fighting again.  It was my yelling, "Help! Help!" and the thumps on the floor from us fighting that motivated someone in our apartment building to call the police.

I have shared details over the years about my story on this blog and on other websites around the web.  What I would like every reader to take from this blog entry is this, never be so busy that you aren't paying close attention to that new person in your life.  Notice all the signs that let you know this person is not the one--don't dismiss them! 

Singles will spend more time pouring over material to pass a test, an application to purchase a car, and even scrutinize someone who is handling their food and money, but not so much when someone shows up in one's life appearing to be the answer to all his or her problems.  

Looking back, that abusive man was a gentleman.  He behaved like he was really into me (while he was also "into" every other person he thought he could bed too).  Finding and bedding women was his hobby!  Controlling others was his interest.  The signs were there, but I had an old, familiar phrase in the back of my mind, "Boys will be boys." 

What I observed during childhood was that rarely did nice-looking men, who talked a good game, experienced consequences from the gullible women.  As long as they knew they could get away with some things, they continued to do them.  These women, who were at times fearful, didn't bother to set boundaries.  They did whatever they could to keep their men, because they thought they were being "good" women by doing so. 

The strong women realized the truth about those abusive men from my childhood rather quickly and got out of their lives as quick as they learned.  I saw them once and then not anymore.  Yet, the gullible and fearful women, who were too mentally weak, physically tired, and felt like they couldn't ever meet a good man, settled.  Those were the familiar examples around me, weak women with low self-esteem who walked on eggshells around players, pimps, and hustlers.

No matter how much education one has, there is always a spot in one's mind where ignorance is bliss until you get hurt.  You notice some things, but you don't really want to fight that fight with someone.  You hope and pray that the issues might go away, but with people who have unchecked disorders of all sorts, they don't just go away! 

The man I met was a narcissist. He also may have been borderline, because his mood could change very quickly to anger, paranoia would kick in, along with disloyalty and addiction especially if the slightest relationship related issue triggered him.  It could be the tone of your voice, the way you moved, or something you said that he didn't like.  I spent a lot of time in that relationship saying, "I'm sorry...I didn't mean...That's not what I said... Why are you calling me a name?"  I would yell, curse and cry.  He would grab, push, choke, name-call, ignore, cheat, etc.

For the victim, you can do better.  I know it is hard to see your worth in a miserable relationship.  One day, you will see yourself in the way that God intended when you get away from that evil person, a child of darkness, that feeds off of snuffing out the light within.  Haters hate those who they know are far better than them. 

I was in college on the Dean's List and came from a two-parent household.  My hater never went to college and his father wasn't around because he was married to someone else.  He was a rejected love child.  My mother and father who cared for me from the time I was born, hadn't ever abandoned me.  His mother's idea of care was making extra income by spreading her legs for male suitors who he and others' in the neighborhood saw coming and going out of their home.  He was forced to be independent at a young age making his own food and cleaning their home.  I got to take my time since it wasn't deemed necessary for me to grow up so fast. 

We had more differences that created a lot of division between us.  I had no problem communicating my thoughts, writing, and enjoying the company of others.  He wasn't good at articulating his emotions, didn't write well, and in the company of others he turned people off with his "I" talk and the shady way he looked at people.  Haters have a way of seeking out people better than them, then later hating them because they are better -- go figure!?

Please be inspired by my experience to make better dating and relationship decisions in your life.  Back in the 90s, we use to say, "I don't need a man."  Yet, we acted in ways that said differently.  A man is an added benefit to your life when he is right, but when he is no-good, we don't settle.

God bless.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men and other books. 
God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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