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Thank you so much for stopping by this blog and clicking on the various categories.

Back in 2007, I published Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate after over ten years of being out of my abusive relationship. The writings were recorded while laboring to love my abuser. What finally broke us up was the police and the court system.

I hope the same thing will NEVER happen to those of you currently in abusive relationships, but if it does, it is the best thing for you if you don't have a plan of escape. The day the officers came, they saved my life! Being in an abusive relationship is like being addicted to a drug--it's difficult to stop being with an abuser without intervention.

Feel free to follow me @nichollmcguire. I don't tweet about all things abusive, but I do provide useful information about a little bit of everything. So follow me today! Thanks for your support! Also, you can follow me at @helpforpeople.

Nicholl McGuire


It's Time to Get Quiet...

You may be busy with work, meeting your mate's needs, children, and other activities. Every time you have a moment of peace and quiet, an inner voice on the inside says, "You need to rid yourself of this bad relationship." But you don't listen. You think that things will get better. Maybe they have for a day or two maybe even a week or a month, but then you find yourself arguing yet again. Before long, you are hitting or being hit by the person you say you love. There is something wrong, very wrong. Make up in your mind to find peace. Prepare a plan that will release you from unnecessary burdens.

Nicholl McGuire
Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate

Jealous and Controlling Men - Is Your Boyfriend a Control Freak?

It was during my time working in England a few years ago when I first wondered about the jealous-man-syndrome. On the way to my apartment at the end of each day, the sight of men sitting patiently in their cars waiting to pick up their wives or girlfriends at work impressed me. Not until one day when a woman friend said that her man always insisted on picking her up after work on the dot each day. If she needed to go for a drink or anywhere else for that matter, she had to tell him in advance. I realized in retrospect that what I was impressed about as men who were taking good care of their ladies were really not there in the parking space for the best of purposes.

It is interesting to note that the biggest problems in the dating scene are the controlling and jealous men who are anxious to seek someone to love and relate with. Yet when they have her, they do subtle things to subject her to a sense of reliance on him, hiding behind the mask of "loving her and wanting the best for her". At first, the woman will not notice it; in fact she will probably feel elated at the attention that she is getting from her man. And why wouldn't she? His charm and good-looks make everyone think he is prince charming; he appears like the world is at his fingertips; and she feels everything is so heavenly! But little did she know that she will later discover that Mr. Nice Guy isn't what he is after all.

Now, how can a woman spot Mr. Jealous and Mr Controlling? This is probably the initial difficulty of every woman who is out there in the dating scene. It will be helpful if we outline the observations on how a controlling and jealous man behaves.

A jealous and controlling man lacks self confidence or self esteem. This is the key issue here; it is the root of the matter. All too often he feels uneasy about himself. Why is this so? Because he doesn't truly believe that he deserves this amazing wonderful woman; he thinks he isn't good enough to be her man. And deep inside, he believes she can do better than him.

Mr. Jealous and Controlling lacks self belief. He thinks his woman will be taken from him. He has this picture in his mind that at any moment she will escape from him or that she is looking for some means to be out of his world; and worst, he is thinking that she does not really love and want him at all. You see, first of all, the man does not know how to love himself so he cannot comprehend why she would love him. As a result, he will stop believing her or her loving words and disregards all she does for him.

This is the beginning of Mr. Controlling's predicament. He begins to think of ways for her to depend on him and increase her sense of reliance. "If she is really thinking of leaving me, I should be able to make her stay. But how? Simple, I will cause her to be so dependent on me for everything. I should make her want and need me and desire to be anywhere with me even when I am with my male friends."

As the relationship progresses Mr. Controlling will think of ways to ascertain that you will be there where he always sees you. Even though deep down, the man does not love himself, he is desperate to know that you do; and he needs to see proofs as to what lengths you will do things for him. So he will fabricate situations to make you stay home with him and your social life will begin to dwindle. Instead of having your regular time with pals, you will be with him, assisting him in all his needs in the guise that this is necessary in building the romantic relationship. After all, you'd want to spend most of your time with your man. Little by little, he will move you away from your circle of friends, even concocting stories that these people are not really true to you. You will not be aware but he is beginning to isolate you from the social world to serve his own needs.
After he has succeeded in making your world revolve around him, he will try to lower your self esteem by passing judgment on you and making you feel awful about yourself. He will criticize the way you dress, how you do things, your work, or even your personal values.

He will make you think that no one else would ever like you and that you should be grateful for having him around to love you despite of who you are. He will say you are so fortunate to have him. Slowly, that degree of reliance and fright will develop inside until you are made to think that indeed what he is saying is true. You will lose your own identity; your friends will be concerned about it but you will dismiss them or make excuses because your man has already managed to control your way of thinking.

In what specific ways does he show his control over you? (And you allow him to...)
• He interferes with your social activities. He is overly concerned about who you go out with, when and where.
• He insists on going with you anywhere, even to mundane places.
• He wants to know where you are by calling excessively.
• He makes you feel ugly and inferior and tries to put you down. He shows disgust about your looks and orders what you should wear.
• He shows violent annoyance and antagonistic attitude. He overreacts even to minor details.
• He insinuates dominance in domestic circumstances; he wants to be in control of everything inside the house.
• He does not want to communicate or discuss; he always has the last word.

Now he made it. You are now at the position where he desires you to be - secluded from others and subjugated by him; a woman without a sense of identity but only full reliance on him. And he feels good about himself for achieving this. In the eyes of your friends and in the social arena, he is still Mr. Nice Guy. But deep inside you is a feeling of dread for social life because coming home and confronting him will be a tough time again. It will be like a broken record constantly repeating a bad sound - you fully depend on him yet he does not trust you and he keeps thinking that you don't love him and you are going to walk away. This is why he keeps doing these things to you - he needs a constant proof that you love him. And because you are already under his control, you keep doing what he wants... A vicious cycle indeed!

Hey, wake up! Is this why we go on dates and have a relationship with someone? Sure, you have a need to feel loved, wanted and desired by your man but definitely not this way and not at the expense of losing your individuality. Perhaps a little jealousy will do or an arm around your shoulder or being seldom drawn in, just so your man can show he cares about you. It can make both of you feel good, attractive and sexy even when done in a light-hearted manner. But jealousy has to have some level of control and things shouldn't go too far. To love a person is not to own them. In a romantic relationship, you do not capture someone and keep her imprisoned.

Manliness and masculinity is not be confused with possessiveness and jealousy. The latter takes away a person's dignity and self-esteem. It subjects the weaker force for the desires and intents of the stronger party. We are in the modern era and this kind of behavior doesn't have a place here. However, nowadays it is obvious that men have become increasingly threatened because women are rising in almost all areas of society, be it political, social or financial. That a man has dominant role in the household as father and husband is now becoming an antique proverb. Old customs don't die easily. Men hold on to the traditions which they grew accustomed to. For this reason they become depressed and dismal and they frantically try to regain their position in the relationship as well as at home and in the current society.

And the way they do this result in them becoming extremely Controlling. When a man is in any of these situations- lack of masculinity, frustrated about his career, lack of financial achievement, dominant parental influences, disappointment in domestic roles and lack of identity, in general - his tendency to become Controlling is very high. We can only hope that soon he will be able to see that what he is doing are pushing the modern woman away instead of winning her to his side. Of course, we do not anticipate that he will change overnight. But in due time, a man should accept that he is not always the key person in the relationship and as such must also reciprocate the love, affection and attention that her partner gives him.

More and more women are becoming aware that a jealous and possessive man does not deserve them and neither should they need to ever put up with him. But the mockery is, had your man been calm and self believing, you wouldn't even play with the idea of moving away. However, his poor attitude due to his low self-esteem eventually led to what he fears the most - you packing up and saying goodbye.

If you are experiencing these things right now and are contemplating on leaving him, cling to your family and friends. Mr. Controlling is teeming with psychological and emotional issues and you will be needing company in dealing with those. In order to make you want him back and return to him, you can expect that the man will target the weak areas that he has already shaped in you.

On a lighter side, the authentic Mr. Nice Guy is a cheerful, positive and self assured man who doesn't have problems concerning possessiveness and jealousy. He and his woman share mutual interest in each other's person. He appreciates her girlfriend's individuality and respects her ideals as she does him. Relationships are not only about sharing the same likes and dislikes or doing the same things together, it is also about maintaining the liberty of self-expression and individuality. It is about deep trust, knowing that your partner only has best intentions for you and your relationship.

So take heart. A lot of women have risen up to the circumstance and moved on although it is tough. There are many real Mr. Nice Guy out there you could meet, love and be happy with. Healing from the traumatic ordeal may take some time. But always take note that this is your world, your life. It is your privilege to decide on your own and to be responsible in doing what makes you happy. Controlling and jealous men have no place in this world. The sooner they help themselves get out of this pathetic behavior without any woman's help, the better.

By Brenda Benson

Check out my Latest review of The Woman Men Adore or visit for more dating and relationship advice.


How to Know Your Mate is Abusive
This is the audio version of my article on this site "How to Know Your Mate is Abusive" and is also an excerpt from my book entitled: Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate written by Nicholl McGuire.
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How to Avoid Dating Violence

Do you know the basic steps on how to avoid dating violence? Are you aware of how dating nightmares such as physical and emotional abuse can affect your self-esteem? How do you protect yourself from being on the receiving end of abuse in dating? Dating can be fun but it could make a turn for the worse if you end up with an abusive partner. Here are a few insights on how to avoid dating violence.

The first step on how to avoid dating violence is to avoid guys who drink a lot or those who are into drugs. Alcohol and drugs can affect any person's disposition, making him more irritable and more prone to inflicting harm on other people. In order to avoid dating violence, you have to stay away from men who have a higher tendency of being violent when provoked.

Overly jealous guys are also to be avoided. It's only natural for a guy to be jealous of his girlfriend's attention to other men. However, when the jealousy turns into possessiveness, it can get really dangerous for a girl. Another way on how to avoid dating violence is to stay away from guys who are prone to violent outbursts when you're in the company of your male friends. In fact, if you're the type of girl who has friends of the opposite sex, you might want to lay down the rules with a guy you're dating first and make sure he understands and accepts your friends as well. It wouldn't do to remove your friends from your life just because your guy doesn't approve of them anyway.

Check your guy's mental health. Yes, it might sound absurd but you're better off knowing that you're not going out with some sort of lunatic. Observe how your partner behaves and make sure that you're going out with somebody in the right state of mind. Don't go out alone with a guy until you're absolutely certain that you're comfortable with his company. The most important thing that you need to remember on how to avoid dating violence is to know your date carefully before you hang out with him alone.

Imagine what if you could make any man adore you, chase you, love you, and commit to you? Click Unforgettable Woman Advice and learn 77 Secrets that 99% of women have never heard. You have got to see this!

This article is contributed by Tina Jones from the Unforgettable Woman Publishing Team. She works together with founder Alexandra Fox and writes dating/relationship articles for women. You can find more about Unforgettable Woman Publishing by visiting their website.

He Doesn't Have to Hit You to Be Abusive

When most people think of abuse in a marriage, they naturally figure that the man is beating the woman (in some cases, the woman actually beats the man). Abuse does not always involve violence though. The greatest form of abuse that is experienced in a troubled marriage is verbal abuse.

What exactly is verbal abuse? It is hostile language that is specifically meant to demean and hurt the listener. Many, including the courts, take the side that it is harmless, but that's completely false. It can be just as dangerous as someone waving a knife in your face. This is because it is often a precursor to physical violence. Generally, someone doesn't just walk up to another person and start punching them for no reason. Everything begins with words.

Many people know there is no law against verbal abuse in the United States so it probably isn't considered a real problem. These people are wrong. Intense verbal abuse can cause a victim to have feelings of low self worth and low self esteem. Consequently, these people run the risk of falling into a clinical depression and suffering a post-traumatic stress disorder. These medical conditions sometimes have a lasting affect on the victim.

Since the law has no recourse against verbal abusers, what can victims do? Recognize that verbal abuse requires an abuser and a participator, the victim. If you want to stop the abuse, don't just sit there and listen; walk away. When you stay, the stronger the abuser feels, and his attacks may become more frequent and crueler. The best way to stop being a victim is to stop allowing someone to make you one.

For additional help, speak to a women's counselor or a trusted family member or friend. You deserve better than what you have now.
By Jayan B
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When He Hits You

This is some creepy deal. He says he loves you, yet he hits you and then you don't know what to make of it because you are head over heels in love with him. While some say 'If he hits you once, he will most definitely hit you again', others choose 'Not all physical altercation between lovers continues to re-occur'. Now you are stuck in the middle, having to decide. Its two ways actually, it's either, you walk away and never get to realize if the love would have grown better and he never would have hit you again, or you decide to stay in the relationship and meet your untimely death. Yeah! Real scary.

I happened to be in an abusive relationship once. And when I got out, I knew better than to ever think of going back. I guess I used to see the signs, but I just decided not to dwell on them. The fact that he was overtly jealous didn't give me cause for concern because I took it that he loved me so much, hence the high level of jealousy and possessiveness. It started one day, he saw me talking with an old friend, I could see the dark glances he kept casting my way but I chose not to jump to conclusions as I have always been accused of.

We got home, I was singing happily concluding the trip as fun, while unknown to me he was planning his next move. Before the door could hook up with its frame, I had a good slap to my face and it went on from there. As was expected, the romance began the next morning and flowers, cards, chocolates (my weakness) began to fly in my direction, coupled with well cemented professions of love, I was on board faster than I had dropped out.

A month later, he concluded I had lied to him and I took a kick to my rib as my punishment. As usual that is the beginning of the series. I knew I was in an abusive relationship and had to help myself before I was helped. Looking back now, I don't regret leaving that relationship because for all I know I might have been left for dead and you wouldn't have had the opportunity to read this article. You see!

Someone once told me, I think he hits me because he likes me. Even though I saw that as outright daft, I agreed with her, in fact when the like grows to love then he'll be checking you in and out of the hospital for broken ribs. Come on! How low could one's self esteem get? If a guy truly loves you, he will never hit you, he will never use profane words on you. Note my repetition of the word never. Drugs and drinks are just over used excuses to the behavior of a deranged man.

I for one, am of the school of thought that if he hits you once, then he is going to hit you again. The exception is if he seeks help. Slaps and kicks only begin the cycle called domestic violence. It will progress to something worse than that. Flee while you can. One time is too many a time. There might not be a doubt that he loves you but until he learns to put his anger under check, you cant be too close to him. He is like a dog who plays with his master this minute and in a flick of an eye, acts outraged.
Most women do not opt out because they do not have an option. Leaving a secured life for the unknown is not anyone's favorite. I've said my piece, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

By Tricia Ikponmwonba,Inc.


Laboring to Love People

After an abusive situation, sometimes people find that it is very hard to trust anyone including relatives and dear friends. Nicholl McGuire, Author of Laboring to Love Myself, shares her experience. Read more here: Laboring to Love People: Excerpt from Laboring to Love Myself


Teen Dating Violence And Abuse

Violent and abusive relationships can happen in any age group; however, teens face a unique set of challenges. Young teens may not know who to turn to get help or may think their mate’s jealousy and possessiveness are just more signs of “true love.” Teenage dating is not always an innocent phase of life just before adulthood. It can even turn deadly. Many times violence is after a break up in a relationship that was not previously violent. It is estimated that more 10 percent of teens nationwide are in a dating violence situation.

What should a teen do if he or she feels they are in an abusive relationship or is thinking of leaving a violent mate? You should seek help from a trusted adult or a domestic-violence group.

Each case is different. In some cases you may need to get an order of protection. In other cases it may be enough to just break up the relationship. Because of a teen’s age and inexperience it may be harder than adults to recognize the warning signs of abuse. Teens often also misinterpret warning signs of dating violence which includes jealousy, possessiveness, and sexual pressure as signs of love rather than warnings signs of abuse. A little bit of jealousy especially in the beginning of relationships is usually normal. If that jealousy turns into attempts to control and manipulate person violence, it can get very dangerous.

Abusive jealousy may start with little things such as a mate forbidding you to see friends alone or becoming angry at certain kinds of clothing you wear, hiding car keys so you cannot leave. All these things are warning signs that does not mean the other person loves you, but the other person is not reacting normally toward you in the relationship and you probably should just move onto someone else or just out of that particular relationship.

Messages can be confusing for teens especially. A mate may surprise you with flowers and beautifully written love notes, while at the same time, if he or she is upset at you for visiting friends alone or is hiding your car keys so you cannot leave, stop accepting the flowers and the notes, the relationship is not worth continuing on with.

It is common for teenage victims of dating violence and abuse to keep the problem from their parents. They fear if they tell the parents, the parents will demand a separation. Most teenage victims of dating abuse do not want this to happen. They keep hoping for the magical “something” to get back to when the relationship was good and continue to endure the abuse, sometimes until it too late.

More and more high schools are giving frequent presentations to teens. This has helped teens to see the warning signs of dating violence and abuse. Many teens will then come forth with their own stories, which can result in referrals to school counselors for further advice and instructions about their situations.

It is not always the girls who are being abused in teen dating relationships. Females are more likely to be the victims of teen dating violence, but they also can be the perpetrators. Anyone can be controlling and manipulative to the point of violence.

If you are a victim of teen dating violence and abuse and cannot tell your parents or do not want to tell your parents, at least talk to another trusted adult or school counselors about your problem. There are also hotlines set up in every locality for domestic violence that anyone can call and get help. These lines are usually 24-hour hotlines, which mean if you find yourself in a violent situation in the middle of the night, you can find help through these lines. If you find yourself in an emergency, do not hesitate to call local 911 emergency services. It could save your life. Once you are clear of the situation, you can look back and see how unproductive the relationship really was and keep moving until you find a mate who does not live his or her life just to control and manipulate your life.

Connie Limon Visit us at for an extensive list of FREE reprint articles all about dating.


Prescription Painkiller Abuse and Addiction - Warning Signs and How to Seek Help

Prescription drugs are the second most commonly used drugs in America, just behind marijuana, yet they are far more dangerous and highly addictive. People believe they are safe because they are legal with a prescription, but they do not realize that they are putting themselves in severe physical and psychological danger by taking prescription drugs.

Narcotics are the most commonly abused prescription drugs and include painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, and Hydrocodone. They are prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain for post-op treatment, illness, and injuries. But the problem is, these drugs were designed to relieve pain temporarily. Once the painkiller effects wear off, a person will need to take another dose to feel relief, and then another, and then another.

Pretty soon, the prescription or prescriptions run out, but there is still pain - either physical or emotional. The person begins to experience withdrawal symptoms, which can cause even more pain, making for a very uncomfortable experience. So what does this person do? Try to get more, in whatever fashion necessary. If the doctor won't prescribe it, the person can find it elsewhere with a few clicks online, or from a friend. Once the drug is in hand, problem solved...or not?

Most people who have an addiction or physical dependence on prescription drugs don't use illegal drugs like ecstasy or heroin, so they don't recognize the warning signs that they have a problem. They are often working professionals with children. They suffered some type of injury on the job or at home, and their pain is very real, so real that while the doctor's prescription has run out, their bodies crave some sort of way to alleviate pain.

When their bodies don't have relief, they begin to experience even more severe pain in their muscles and bones, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, tremors, severe mood swings, profuse sweating, chills, fever, flu-like symptoms, and even hallucinations. It can be very frightening for both the person experience these withdrawal symptoms and their loved ones.

Does this sound like you or someone you love?

Often times, chemical dependency is something a person cannot control, yet they are scared to get help. Prescription painkiller abuse treatment can help those suffering from chemical dependency by helping develop coping mechanisms when urges become difficult to control, and to help alleviate the physical symptoms of withdrawal with medication.

Entering into a prescription painkiller abuse treatment program can be scary for many people, especially those who have never used illegal drugs before. This is where specialized treatment is available, and medical treatment can be given, if necessary, to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, which is used for things like Oxycontin addiction treatment and Vicodin addiction treatment.

The important thing to remember is that often times these addictions are an involuntary response by the body so a person should not sit in judgment of themselves, nor should others. Healing can only begin with acceptance, which is often the most difficult part of the recovery process altogether.

Vision - The GLOBAL Good Foundation

Dating someone who is violent? You aren't alone.

Vision - The GLOBAL Good Foundation

Common Legal Penalties For Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse can be very damaging to families both physically and emotionally. These crimes are taken very seriously by the court systems. There are many different types of household abuse, each of which carries different legal consequences. Understanding some of the common legal penalties for domestic violence can help anyone struggling with a domestic abuse situation.

Physical violence is usually what people think of regarding household abuse. This can include common forms of abuse like punching, hitting, pushing, and throwing things. However, there are also less common forms of physical abuse which include things like false confinement or imprisonment or denying necessary medical treatment. This type of household violence is usually prosecuted according to the level of assault that was committed.

Emotional and verbal abuse, though it doesn't cause bodily injury, is just as serious as physical harm. Those who have been emotionally damaged by a spouse or other member of the household often have low self esteem and do not feel good enough about themselves to be successful in even the most minimal areas of their life. Provided that no physical damage has been done, emotional and verbal abusers are often sentenced to a rehabilitation program, such as anger management.

Financial abuse involves the control of a person's money or assets. Victims can be barred from handling their own money and given an allowance to be used only for the stipulations set by the abuser. In some cases, victims are even prevented from obtaining a job or an education as a way of asserting more power over them by the abuser. In this case, financial control is often legally relinquished to the victim.

Each type of domestic abuse is different, carrying varying penalties. The most severe forms of abuse are punished with prison sentences as a common legal penalty for domestic violence. In more recent years, courts have been using rehabilitation programs as a part of sentencing to help reform the offenders and prevent future infractions.

Are you looking for help in defending yourself against legal charges? Perhaps you need a federal criminal attorney? You may also want to check out finding domestic violence lawyers if you have been a victim of abuse.

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Have You Been Involved With Someone Who Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

There are those people who live in a fantasy world. They want everything to be right in a superficial world they have created for self. If anything is out of place, then someone has to pay. For instance, maybe he or she has had a dream since childhood that is now unreasonable with family and children, but it doesn't matter what you or anyone else thinks. Maybe they have suggested you change your hair, body, or something else about your appearance because it doesn't fit into their dream of what beauty is suppose to look like. This person may be a mother or father and resent the fact that the children are "messing up their world."

You walk on egg shells with these type of people. Sometimes you don't know whether you are in or out of the relationship from one day to the next. These narcissistic types are usually male and they have a long list (like some women) on what they expect their partner to do for them in a relationship meanwhile giving very little in return. Their expectations are high. Their definition of love is shallow.

You might want to learn more about these types of people and how to heal from a relationship with a narcissistic person. Get this book: Click Here!


Black and White Together Without Shades of Grey

Codependents and Adult Children of Alcoholics are prone to see the world and events in black and white. It is one way to make sense out of what really makes no sense at all. If we put a label that clearly defines something we are more equipped to deal with it. Or so we believe. When it comes to relationships, and in particular, relationships in our family or with a spouse, that becomes a big problem as a person starts to come out of the denial that there really were some problems in their family. Now that they see the dysfunction and how bad that was - it is hard to see anything "good" in the dysfunctional relationship.

My family life had love and affection. For years that is how I viewed my family. That is the only perspective I allowed myself to experience. However, it also had chronic dysfunctional problems that colored how I viewed life, myself, God, and others. It took me decades and a lot of recovery work to begin to understand that. I have detailed some of these issues in previous articles so I don't want to spend a lot of time going back to the specifics of those issues. But the challenge for me was to reconcile what I believed about my family early on with what I was learning about how my family life affected me. At times I have felt that if my family was as dysfunctional as I had come to understand, then there was no way there was much good in my childhood. Conversely if I admitted that there was some good, then the dysfunction was overstated, exaggerated or worse yet, not true at all.

There has been a lot said and thought over the last couple of decades about the concept of how your "Family of Origin" affects you. The whole "nature versus nurture" argument is one that will sure to be debated for a long time. My view falls somewhere along the lines that both who you are and what you become is based on three components: Your family of origin, your physiological makeup (your genes), and your decisions and actions about the situations and experiences you go through in life.

There are some who prefer not to deal too much in the past. I have even heard some people claim that looking too closely at your family of origin is just an excuse for your behavior...again- my belief is more balanced than that. I suspect (translation - here comes my opinion) that people who insist that looking backwards is of no value really means that they are scared to death to deal with what is in their past. We in the recovery world deal with that in the first step - it's called "denial". But I am no expert.

I have done a lot of work over the last decade or so delving deep into my family of origin in several ways in order to overcome my hurts, habits, and hang-ups. It has been a very scary, rewarding, uncomfortable, and healing experience. It has probably been the biggest component to my overall healing and on-going recovery.

Dysfunction is not measurable. That is because dysfunction is different for each family. Here is a definition I have read and used in past articles:

"Family dysfunction can be any condition that interferes with healthy family functioning. Most families have some periods of time where functioning is impaired by stressful circumstances (death in the family, a parent's serious illness, etc.). Healthy families tend to return to normal functioning after the crisis passes. In dysfunctional families, however, problems tend to be chronic and children do not consistently get their needs met. Negative patterns of parental behavior tend to be dominant in their children's lives."

Virginia Satir is one of the key figures in the development of family therapy. She believed that a healthy family life involved an open and reciprocal sharing of affection, feelings, and love. In her estimation 95% of families are dysfunctional. I believe that number is a little low...

I do want to share that I have had some very encouraging experiences in dealing with my family of origin lately due to some challenging circumstances, a lot of recovery work, and some very supportive friends in my life.

Going back to visit my family has always been uncomfortable in different degrees over the last 20 or so years. There have been times I have literally drove for hours to see my family only to get there and be so overwhelmed with negative memories and emotions that I immediately began to make plans to go see or do something else with somebody or anybody else I knew in that city.

Sadly the last few times I have gone back to my family it has been to see my father who just passed away after a long battle with cancer. The good news is that I had been able to make my peace with him before he passed and that was necessary and right. Something else happened as I went back that was very encouraging. And it was someone else who saw it in me and brought it to my attention. Dianne is the love of my life. We share a connection I can't say I have shared with someone else as deeply. We share a lot of similarities in our recovery journey which has been a tremendous blessing. The last several visits to my family she has accompanied me.

One of the most encouraging things I have been able to experience in visiting is that I am more comfortable with myself and therefore more comfortable around others. When it comes to being at home with my family I have been more able to visit and be "there" and be connected to what is going on in my family -emotionally and in my thoughts. One of the reasons is that I have been able to accept that both good and bad occurred in my family. I have been able to acknowledge both parts.

At my father's funeral I was asked to share some thoughts about him. It was a very healthy experience to be able to share some very positive encouraging memories about my dad that I truly believed in my heart. At the same time I did not feel like I was betraying the actual dysfunction that existed in our relationship by sharing some extremely good things in our relationship.

Sometimes black and white can exist together without becoming an unidentifiable shade of grey.

Adrian Caminos
For more information about Adrian's Journey in overcoming anger go to:
San Deigo, California


Surviving Emotional & Verbal Abuse

On behalf of those of us who have experienced this reality - and we are many - it is my objective to enlighten others who find themselves in similar circumstances -- to save others from unnecessary pain and break the cycle of abuse among us for the benefit of today's families and future generations. If someone who reads this sees himself or herself and demands better, then I will consider my undertaking as having had significant value.

Perhaps like you, I never dreamed she would be "one of them," could never have contemplated the possibility that abuse would touch our family or imagined that my children and I would, for a time, live in fear, be forced to leave our home. On the other side of insanity; however, the day came when we found freedom and a fresh start to begin restoring a measure of what was taken from us, and what I, through my enabling behaviors, gave away.

As a young woman, I had seen "Sleeping With the Enemy" and read my share of articles and books that chronicled tales of abuse - usually physical. I thought women in abusive relationships were either blind or stupid or both. Why didn't those women tell their abusive partners where to get off the first time they said or did something cruel? What were they thinking? What held them there?

Unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons, I now know that it's not that simple. Or maybe it is. Maybe those of us who are guilty of enabling are blind or stupid - through a subtle combination of factors that include choice, denial, commitment, ignorance and deception. We don't set out to be enablers - to turn a blind eye to hurtful actions and attitudes. In looking back and now looking forward and seeing others in similar situations, it is apparent that what we experience is quite often a slow burn, a gradual change. It may happen so incrementally that it is difficult to pinpoint an actual moment in time when we realized that we were trapped in a cycle of abuse, if we are fortunate enough to realize it at all.

In referring to abuse, I am not referring to a few choice words from a cranky spouse who had a bad day, but someone whose behaviors betray a routine pattern of intentionally hurtful behaviors, neglect, or domination; someone for whom a good day might be an anomaly. This is not the gentleman who loses his temper once in a while, but someone who is a fight waiting to happen. His lifestyle is characterized by narcissism (extreme self-centeredness) evidenced by various overt or covert forms of domination, intimidation and hostility.

Do you feel as though you must walk on eggshells? Are you always striving to keep the peace? Do you keep your mouth shut most of the time, while in your heart and mind there is a growing burden of stress and fear? Do you try to convince yourself - or does he - that perhaps you are being excessively critical, overly sensitive or paranoid? Is your life a combination of confusion, hurt and anger that you work to keep under wraps as you try to maintain a modicum of normalcy in your home? It may be past time to take a closer look at how it all began and, if necessary, determine whether or how to get out and go on.

The first time cutting words were uttered you probably found a way to graciously look the other way. That's what love does right? He's just stressed about his job. Maybe I deserved it. He didn't mean it. The progression begins slowly and the hurt is only inflicted occasionally at first. Or maybe you are so shocked by his occasional lapse that it doesn't seem real - you think it must be a fluke, an irregularity, or a one-time-only incident. He may even readily apologize when the hurtful action is brought to this attention. But, the actions begin to bleed into other areas of your life, and over time you begin to wonder when things will go back to the way they were - or if they will.

Our culture's attentions are more readily sensitive to physical or sexual abuse. For my part, my husband never hit me, but my kids and I were subject to countless manifestations of emotional and verbal abuse. Before your write off those more subtle forms of abuse, understand that they leave scars as deep and lasting as any slap. The weapons and word choices are insidious, calculated and intended to inflict pain and fear. Such abuse needs to be identified as such, and rejected and fought with equal conviction.

Copyright 2010 all rights reserved

Cindy Burrell, a writer, wife, mother and a survivor of emotional abuse is here to tell you that there is hope...

After twenty years in an abusive relationship Cindy was left feeling lost, lonely and exhausted. She had learned to compromise her happiness in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off the onslaught of abuse. Her story is one of neglect, fear, lies, and addictions. Finally forced to leave their home with her four children, they escaped the emotional prison in which they had all lived. Although scars remain, Cindy and her children have found healing and restoration.

Currently, Cindy works as a professional writer/researcher for a California State Senator. She has served in similar capacities in the Legislature for many years while doing her own writing on the side. "I am an emotional/verbal abuse survivor, and I am - at long last - no longer afraid to share what the Lord has done for me."

See her web site at


The Types of Domestic Violence and How to Fight Back

Today, domestic violence is becoming a well-known problem, but few people realize that women in romantic relationships aren't the only victims. Domestic violence is defined as any violence that occurs in a household, whether between close family relationships or even among distant relatives who happen to be living under the same roof. The most widely publicized forms of domestic violence include that between the husband or father as abuser and girlfriends, wives, and children as victims, although it can actually occur between any family members.

Domestic abuse may occur in a wide variety of situations. It may include not only physical abuse, but also sexual abuse, in which the abuser uses force to compel the victim to participate in a sexual act. This can occur even if the victim and the abuser are married or in a romantic relationship. Although identification of physical or sexual domestic abuse is not difficult to uncover by those closest to the victims, it is often accompanied by emotional abuse. The symptoms of this type of domestic abuse are more difficult to uncover. Emotional abuse that falls under the category of domestic abuse may include financial dependence on the abuser, humiliation or embarrassment in public, or isolation from friends or family. This type of abuse makes it more difficult for victims of domestic violence to reach out for help, and leaves lasting psychological scars.

Even when those closest to the victim are aware of the situation, putting an end to the violence is a bit harder. It is all too easy to tell victims of ongoing domestic violence or verbal assaults to simply get out of the situation. Victims are often reluctant to break apart family relationships, especially if kids are involved, or have been conditioned to accept this mistreatment at the hands of their abuser. As a result, domestic violence may go on for years. In the most problematic cases, victims never leave the relationship, and may even end up dying at the hands of their abuser.

Standing up against the abuser or speaking out about the situation may be the most effective means of stopping it, but it's also the most problematic. Those who are abused are often fearful of retribution from the abuser, and instead hope that the problem will go away on its own. Many victims feel that they have nowhere to turn and no resources to get out of the situation. The longer the domestic violence and abuse continues, the more resigned victims may become to it.

The key to escaping domestic violence is empowerment and confidence. Victims of domestic abuse must realize that they do not have to remain victims. Protection from the abuser is available in many forms, including pepper sprays, stun guns, and TASER devices. The point of such self defense devices is to enable victims of violence, whether domestic violence by a close relative, or a random street attack, to fight back. With regard to domestic violence and most other violent situations, awareness is essential. You have to be aware of what is going on around you, and make the conscious decision to not become a victim of the situation.

Resist Attack has a full range of pepper sprays to keep you and your family safe. Also check for current specials on our tasers.

By Richard Armen

How to Steer Clear of Controlling Relationships

Although it may come as a surprise, the fact is controlling relationships are far more common than most people realize. Controlling relationships are mostly a by-product of people who have had the unfortunate experience of being reared in homes that were highly unstable and/or one or both of the parents was quite controlling. Like actors in a play, in most controlling relationships there are two roles being played out, the controller and the controlled.

The person who is trying to do the controlling is almost always trying to compensate for the "out of control" nature of the environment they grew up in. Internal fears of life spiraling out of control plague people with regular control problems. Their context for life was set in childhood and they often continue living out of that paradigm even though it's no longer relevant.

The unstable home environment could have been a result of an alcoholic parent(s), an absent workaholic parent(s), the breakdown of the marriage, or some form of physical or emotional abuse. If a parent withholds love and affection as a means of keeping the child under their thumb, this destructive behaviour can carry over into adult relationships and cause a lot of problems.

It's because of one or a combination of the following reasons that a person decides to date or marry a controller.

1. This is what they grew up with and it's what they're accustomed to. So even though it's not enjoyable, it is strangely comfortable, being controlled that is.
2. They are attempting to change the controller, to reform them. This is often done unknowingly. The unconscious intention is to try and repair a disappointing relationship they had with their parent(s).
3. Being in a relationship with a controller makes them look good, because when they measure their own behaviour against the controller's, they look like their doing a pretty good job of running their life, even though they're probably not.
4. As times life seems easier while in a relationship with a controller because the controller makes most if not all the decisions for both people. It gives them someone to blame when things don't work out right because... they didn't make the decision?

There are a few things to consider if you are looking to steer clear of a controlling relationship.

1. If being controlled is what you are used to, what you grew up with, then it's vital to realize that "you are not responsible for the environment you grew up in." In dysfunctional homes, the children tend to take responsibility for the parent's problematic behaviours. In controlling homes it's common for the parent(s) to blame the child as a means of off loading responsibility and thus paralyzing the child. In order to drive it deep into your subconcious mind, I suggest you repeat that phrase over and over. "The environment you grew up in was not your responsibility, not your doing." As importantly, "you are 100% response-able, able to respond, to your life as an adult." You can learn the skills and run your life well without the need to have a controlling person manipulating you.

2. If it's your intention to try and reform a controller....please stop. There is no action better at creating insanity in a person than trying to control something you have no control over. The only thing you and I have control over is ourselves. If we will spend our time working on our own hang ups and shortcomings, we will gain increased feelings of control over our lives. Efforts to correct a controlling person are really only futile attempts to control them.

3. As an attempt to cover up your lack of personal initiative, don't hide behind a controlling person's unhealthy actions to make yourself look good. Focus on finding reasons to live that bring happiness to you and others. Take some time to research what your life purpose might be. Why are you here? We've most likely never met, you and I, yet I am quite sure you have abilities and gifts that can be used to make the world a better place to live.

4. Learn how to make decisions for yourself. Being in a relationship with a controlling person can be pretty terrific because they are more than happy to make most if not all the decisions. That seems to make things easy, except that you aren't developing the habit of making good decisions. This step is primarily about your will and rarely about skill. "But I don't know how!" you protest. You will learn. Bit by bit, day by day. The process of learning to make better choices is the same as learning any new skill, it gets better and better with more practice. Practice does not make perfect, but it sure makes life a lot more pleasant!

Chris Keenan is the founder of Relationship Sharing. They help people who like to share and learn about relationships, to do so in small groups settings via telephone conferencing. If you found this article on "How to Break Free from Controlling Relationships" helpful, then go to for hundreds of free relationship articles and try the "relationship sharing" service for free!


King & Servant

He abides by the man's rule.

he seeks to regain his authority.

She greets him.
The woman
he shaped, he molded, he scolded.

His head slowly bends down
and she waits for the king
to respond, but he is quiet.

She takes her cue and shies
his meal is cooked
his dishes are washed
his clothes are clean and put away
his bills are paid his castle is kept
like her.

College-educated, employed
and beautiful, but her bed has been made.

Innocence given away to him for keeps --
it wasn't his sweet little pussy cat
who purred at each and every contact;
instead it was her self-esteem
self-pride, self-love that had been

Everything about her was wrong
and he reminded her
that she had to choose for he knew
what was best -- he was wiser.

The parties, the boys, the toys
they had to stop.
He stressed they weren't good
for someone so special.

And it wasn't for long
before a slap would follow a sorry,
a punch would follow a beg,
between thrown clothes and luggage
between obsessive, pleading phone calls
and stalking from afar
and she couldn't say "bye."
Because the voice inside her head was no longer hers.

Nicholl McGuire
Author Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate


Warning Signs Of Child Abuse

In the USA, over 900,000 children are victims of abuse & neglect every year. Child abuse is so common, yet shocking . Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect, the scars can be deep and long-lasting, often leading to future child abuse. Learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse can help break the cycle, finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers.

Why would someone abuse an innocent child? Child abuse happens in all social groups and all ethnicities. Sadly, the abuse is overwhelmingly caused by those who are supposed to be protecting the child- the parents.

There are many forms of abuse, but the result is the same- serious physical or emotional harm. Physical or sexual abuse may be the most striking types of abuse, since they often unfortunately leave physical evidence behind. However, emotional abuse and neglect are serious types of child abuse that are often more subtle and difficult to spot. Child neglect is the most common type of child abuse.

Risk factors for child abuse include:

History of child abuse. Unfortunately, the patterns we learn in childhood are often what we use as parents. Without treatment and insight, sadly, the cycle of child abuse often continues.

Stress and lack of support. Parenting can be a very time intensive, difficult job. Parents caring for children without support from family, friends or the community can be under a lot of stress. Teen parents often struggle with the maturity and patience needed to be a parent. Caring for a child with a disability, special needs or difficult behaviors is also a challenge. Caregivers who are under financial or relationship stress are at risk as well.

Alcohol or drug abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse lead to serious lapses in judgment. They can interfere with impulse control making emotional and physical abuse more likely. Due to impairment caused by being intoxicated, alcohol and drug abuse frequently lead to child neglect Domestic violence. Witnessing domestic violence in the home, as well as the chaos and instability that is the result, is emotional abuse to a child. Frequently domestic violence will escalate to physical violence against the child as well.

All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child's sense of self and ability to have healthy relationships.

Physical child abuse: Warning signs and how to help
Many physically abusive parents and caregivers insist that their actions are simply forms of discipline, ways to make children learn to behave. But there's a big difference between giving an unmanageable child a swat on the backside and twisting the child's arm until it breaks. Physical abuse can include striking a child with the hand, fist, or foot or with an object, burning, shaking, pushing, or throwing a child; pinching or biting the child, pulling a child by the hair or cutting off a child's air. Another form of child abuse involving babies is shaken baby syndrome, in which a frustrated caregiver shakes a baby roughly to make the baby stop crying, causing brain damage that often leads to severe neurological problems and even death.

Warning signs of physical abuse
Physical signs. Sometimes physical abuse has clear warning signs, such as unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts. While all children will take a tumble now and then, look for age-inappropriate injuries, injuries that appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt, or a pattern of severe injuries.

Behavioral signs. Other times, signs of physical abuse may be more subtle. The child may be fearful, shy away from touch or appear to be afraid to go home. A child's clothing may be inappropriate for the weather, such as heavy, long sleeved pants and shirts on hot days.

Caregiver signs. Physically abusive caregivers may display anger management issues and excessive need for control. Their explanation of the injury might not ring true, or may be different from an older child's description of the injury.

Emotional child abuse
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". This old saying could not be farther from the truth. Emotional child abuse may seem invisible. However, because emotional child abuse involves behavior that interferes with a child's mental health or social development, the effects can be extremely damaging and may even leave deeper lifelong psychological scars than physical abuse.

Words. Examples of how words can hurt include constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating a child, calling names and making negative comparisons to others, or constantly telling a child he or she is "no good", "worthless," "bad," or "a mistake." How the words are spoken can be terrifying to a child as well, such as yelling, threatening, or bullying.

Actions. Basic food and shelter may be provided, but withholding love and affection can have devastating effects on a child. Examples include ignoring or rejecting a child, giving him or her the silent treatment. Another strong component of emotional abuse is exposing the child to inappropriate situations or behavior. Especially damaging is witnessing acts that cause a feeling of helplessness and horror, such as in domestic violence or watching another sibling or pet be abused.

Signs of emotional child abuse
Behavioral signs. Since emotional child abuse does not leave concrete marks, the effects may be harder to detect. Is the child excessively shy, fearful or afraid of doing something wrong?

Caregiver signs. Does a caregiver seem unusually harsh and critical of a child, belittling and shaming him or her in front of others? Has the caregiver shown anger or issues with control in other areas? A caregiver may also seem strangely unconcerned with a child's welfare or performance. Keep in mind that there might not be immediate caregiver signs. Tragically, many emotionally abusive caregivers can present a kind outside face to the world, making the abuse of the child all the more confusing and scary.

Sexual child abuse
Sexual abuse, defined as any sexual act between an adult and a child, has components of both physical and emotional abuse. Sexual abuse can be physical, such as inappropriate fondling, touching and actual sexual penetration. It can also be emotionally abusive, as in cases where a child is forced to undress or exposing a child to adult sexuality. Aside from the physical damage that sexual abuse can cause, the emotional component is powerful and far reaching. The layer of shame that accompanies sexual abuse makes the behavior doubly traumatizing. While news stories of sexual predators are scary, what is even more frightening is that the adult who sexually abuses a child or adolescent is usually someone the child knows and is supposed to trust: a relative, childcare provider, family friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, or clergy member. Children may worry that others won’t believe them and will be angry with them if they tell. They may believe that the abuse is their fault, and the shame is devastating and can cause lifelong effects.

Signs of sexual child abuse
Behavioral signs. Does the child display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior? A child might appear to avoid another person, or display unusual behavior- either being very aggressive or very passive. Older children might resort to destructive behaviors to take away the pain, such as alcohol or drug abuse, self-mutilation, or suicide attempts.

Physical signs. A child may have trouble sitting or standing, or have stained, bloody or torn underclothes. Swelling, bruises, or bleeding in the genital area is a red flag. An STD or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14, is a strong cause of concern.

Caregiver signs. The caregiver may seem to be unusually controlling and protective of the child, limiting contact with other children and adults. Again, as with other types of abuse, sometimes the caregiver does not give outward signs of concern. This does not mean the child is lying or exaggerating.

Child neglect
Child neglect is the most frequent form of child abuse. Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs, endangering a child's physical and psychological well-being. Child neglect is not always deliberate. Sometimes, a caregiver becomes physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as in untreated depression or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe. The end result, however, is a child who is not getting their physical and/or emotional needs met.

Warning signs of child neglect
Physical signs. A child may consistently be dressed inappropriately for the weather, or have ill-fitting, dirty clothes and shoes. They might appear to have consistently bad hygiene, like appearing very dirty, matted and unwashed hair, or noticeable body odor. Another warning sign is untreated illnesses and physical injuries.

Behavioral signs. Does the child seem to be unsupervised? School children may be frequently late or tardy. The child might show troublesome, disruptive behavior or be withdrawn and passive.

Caregiver signs. Does the caregiver have problems with drugs or alcohol? While most of us have a little clutter in the home, is the caregivers home filthy and unsanitary? Is there adequate food in the house? A caregiver might also show reckless disregard for the child's safety, letting older children play unsupervised or leaving a baby unattended. A caregiver might refuse or delay necessary health care for the child.

What to do if a child reports abuse
You may feel overwhelmed and confused if a child begins talking to you about abuse. It is a difficult subject and hard to accept, and you might not know what to say. The best help you can provide is calm, unconditional support and reassurance. Let your actions speak for you if you are having trouble finding the words. Remember that it is a tremendous act of courage for children to come forward about abuse. They might have been told specifically not to tell, and may even feel that the abuse is normal. They might feel they are to blame for the abuse. The child is looking to you to provide support and help- don’t let him or her down.

Avoid denial and remain calm. A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial. However, if you display denial to a child, or show shock or disgust at what they are saying, the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down. As hard as it may be, remain as calm and reassuring as you can.

Don’t interrogate. Let the child explain to you in his/her own words what happened, but don’t interrogate the child or ask leading questions. This may confuse and fluster the child and make it harder for them to continue their story.

Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong. It takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse. Reassure him or her that you take what is said seriously, and that it is not the child's fault.

Reporting child abuse and neglect
Reporting child abuse seems so official. Many people are reluctant to get involved in other families lives. However, by reporting, you can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child and the child's family, especially if you help stop the abuse early. Early identification and treatment can help mitigate the long-term effects of abuse. If the abuse is stopped and the child receives competent treatment, the abused child can begin to regain a sense of self-confidence and trust. Some parents may also benefit from support, parent training and anger management.

Reporting child abuse: Myths and Facts
I don’t want to interfere in some one else's family. The effects of child abuse are lifelong, affecting future relationships, self esteem, and sadly putting even more children at risk of abuse as the cycle continues. Help break the cycle of child abuse.

What if I break up someone's home? The priority in child protective services is keeping children in the home. A child abuse report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home - unless the child is clearly in danger. Support such as parenting classes, anger management or other resources may be offered first to parents if safe for the child.

They will know it was me who called. Reporting is anonymous. In most states, you do not have to give your name when you report child abuse. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse.

It won’t make a difference what I have to say. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

Child Abuse Hotlines: Where to call to get help or report abuse
If you suspect a child is in immediate danger contact law enforcement as soon as possible.

To get help in the U.S., call:
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) – Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

To get help for child sexual abuse, call:

1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368) – Stop It Now

1-800-656-HOPE Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Child abuse prevention
Reducing the incidence of child abuse is a matter of intervention and education.

In some cases, as in cases of extreme cruelty, sexual abuse, and severe alcohol and drug abuse, children are safer away from the caregiver. Not all abusive parents intend harm to their children, however. Some parents need help to realize that they are hurting their children, and can work on their problems. Some examples include:

Domestic violence. A mother might be trying to do her best to protect her children from an abusive husband, not realizing that the children are being emotionally abused even if they are not physically abused. Helping a mother leave an abusive relationship and getting supportive counseling can help stop these children from being abused.

Alcohol and drug abuse. Alcohol and drug abusers may be so focused on their addiction that they are hurting their children without realizing it. Getting appropriate help and support for alcohol and drug abuse can help parents focus back on their children.
Untreated mental illness. A depressed mother might not be able to respond to her own needs much less her children's. A caregiver suffering from emotional trauma may be distant and withdrawn from her children, or quick to anger without understanding why. Treatment for the caregiver means better care for the children.

In some cases, you might be able to provide support for parents/caregivers who need help yourself. What if a parent or caregiver comes to you? The key is not to be self-righteous or judgmental, which can alienate caregivers, but offer support and concrete offers of help, such as helping them connect with community resources. If you feel that your safety or the safety of the child would be threatened if you try to intervene, leave it to the professionals. You may be able to provide more support later after the initial professional intervention.

For caregivers
Do you see yourself in some of these descriptions, painful as it may be? Do you feel angry and frustrated and don’t know where to turn? Caring for children can be very difficult. Don’t go it alone. Ask for help if you need it. If you don’t have a friend or family to turn to, call the child abuse hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD, yourself. The hotline is also designed to get you support and find resources in the community that can help you.

By: Arthor Pens

Single Mother Income Authority is a help site for battered women also.


Poem: Love Kills

I give you no ammunition to use against me!
Nothing to allow you to destroy my heart!
No stray bullets to attempt to blow my mind!
No gunpowder to leave on my soul!

You are hollow!
Like the barrel of your gun,
you pull your trigger and then your done!

You are an assassin
and I'm the president
proudly serving your country.

Nicholl McGuire
Domestic violence survivor and author of Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate


Forgotten Victims Of Domestic Violence

A lot of the time when we think of domestic violence our attention is focused on just the two parties that are fighting, the abuser and the victim. We rarely think of the children in the home that are watching. Yet each year an estimated 3.3 million children witness domestic violence. Some of these children are caught in the crossfire and sustain physical injuries. Even those children who do not experience abuse themselves are left just as traumatized as those who suffer direct abuse. This is part of my own story about the effect of domestic violence on children.

I learn early on to recognize the signs when the fight would escalate into violence. I knew that the safest place for me was to hide in a corner out of the way. I often covered by ears to try and block out the screams. It did not help for the screams still penetrated the gaps in my little fingers. I sat their in silence and hopelessness. I knew I could not do anything to stop it yet I felt guilty. Somehow I just knew the fighting was all about me, yet in reality the fighting had nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with the abuser and the demons inside of him.

Living in abuse there are never any carefree days. There is always constant anxiety about when another round of beatings will occur. You come to expect it as a way of life, or that is how it was for me, until one day all of that would change. One day my father the abuser came home from work unexpectedly and the abuse began. Little did I know that this day it would end so differently. The abuse went far beyond a beating and there I was focusing on a dead body laying in a pool of blood. I was totally oblivious to the fact that another life was being taken. Like a stain on my dress the stain of that murder will forever be a part of my soul. Once the impact of that one single event was realized, it was then that the devastation comes into full view. As a result our family dissolved. I no longer had with me my seven siblings. I now stood alone as an orphan, abandoned and helpless.

It took me a long time to become the whole women I am today and to put the past behind me. Yet it can be done. I tell the whole story in Family Secrets: Letters to My Granddaughters.

Grace Ann Neuharth has lived "Family Secrets: Letters to my Granddaughters". This is her story and her first book. She believes there is a place in the world for a book that shows clearly that God can fix the most impossible situations. Grace's story will help many people move beyond survival to victory. In fact, it already has. Listen to audio of first chapter at web site.


Poem: When You Go Back

What lures a woman to go to the other side
of the tunnel -- alone.
In the dark amongst the shadows and screeching screams from afar.
What is it that her soul searches for?
Is curiosity that strong to commit suicide...
Is man really worth it?

Nicholl McGuire


Domestic Violence Divorce And The Legal Abuse Syndrome

Married women on their way out of an abusive relationship are frequently found navigating the system en route to safety. But is their path safe?

Not necessarily so. We frequently see women struggling in relation to their legal counsel just as they struggled in their battering relationship. And they feel worn down, confused, taken advantage of...

What often happens is these women engage in their relationship with their legal representation just as they engaged in relation to the “white knight” from whom they are seeking refuge.

They look to this person as their savior, leaping in with blind faith. When told exactly what they want to hear, they saddle up and go for the ride. Sadly for some, years go by, and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, they ask, WHY?

Family Violence and Legal Domestic Abuse

My sense is the dynamics are exactly the same. Domestic abuse is about control and so is the legal abuse syndrome. And the survivor in both of these situations engages and participates in the same victimized way.

Some campaign for justice for themselves and their children and then discover, as they approach the finish line, that counsel has nothing to say. Or their trial date is delayed indefinitely.

In most of these cases, these women have engaged in exhaustive disclosure, spending more on their production than they actually produce in pay (are awarded as compensation). All awhile, they wonder how and why their partners have managed to go month to month, year to year without providing full, legitimate, or in some cases, any financial production.

And it doesn’t even occur to them that this is merely a strategy that keeps them engaged in the process of their proceedings just as they where engaged with their abusive partner. If you are in a legal proceeding and recognize that your voice is muffled or muted or misrepresented, seek to understand the dynamics of legal domestic abuse.

By: Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from legal domestic abuse, I invite you to check out Legal Domestic Abuse where you can also claim your free Survivor Success Tips and eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse at home and in court.

Teen Dating Violence - What Every Child and Parent Must Know

If there ever was any doubt in your mind where adult domestic violence has its roots-put your inquisitive mind at rest. It starts with our kids!! In a recent study partnered by Teenage Research Unlimited and the Liz Claiborne Corporation, teens 13-18 were surveyed on the frequency of dating violence in their lives.

The study revealed some shocking statistics and facts about the teen dating scene. Among many conclusions are that a significant percentage of teens not only are victims of dating abuse but also they accept it as normal and that they feel pressured to have and keep relationships particularly if it is a "serious" one.

Teens in these serious relationships report by nearly a 2 to 1 margin more abuse, controlling and even violent behavior compared to other teens.

The study also showed that:
- 20% in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed
- 30% report being worried about their physical safety
- 64% report controlling behavior
- 55% compromise their values to please their partner
- 61% reported having a partner who made them feel bad or embarrassed about themselves
- 25% report being in a relationship where their partner put them down or called them names
- 29% said they were pressured to have sex they do not want
- 50% of young women worry that their partner will break up with them if they do not agree to engage in sex.

It is no wonder that this problem exists with teenage male belief systems that include:
- Controlling their partners
- Possessing their partners
- Demanding intimacy
- Physical aggression is the "masculine" thing to do.

Teenage female beliefs include:
- There's no resource for help
- Abuse is normal because their peers are abused
- Jealousy, possessiveness and even abuse are "romantic".

Historically other studies and surveys support these findings. This serves as pretty solid evidence that teenagers grow up in a society that frowns on adult domestic violence, yet it appears they serve their apprenticeships in high school learning the nuances of how to abuse. Do they learn on their own or do they learn from their abusive parents? It is a very difficult question to answer nevertheless the cycle must be broken. Today's youth represent the best chance to make a change.

Here's how to start. Educate and Prevent.

Know Some Warning Signs. Is there a history of violence with previous partners? Are there threats of violence, use of force? Is there cruelty to animals? Are traits of sudden anger, jealousy, verbal abuse, controlling behavior, unpredictable mood swings present? All or any of these can be predictors of future behavior and definite warning signs.

Set Standards. Only allow double dates for the first few dates. Know exactly what the plans are-who, where, what, when-be very specific. Remember: Trust but Verify. You love your children. It is your responsibility to set the standards for their actions.

Develop a Safety Plan. In an emergency know who to call: police, relative, parents, friend, neighbor, pastor-have a calling card handy. Know who you can trust to talk to. Develop a buddy system at school so you are never alone. Change your route to school if necessary. Carry some non lethal self defense items-pepper spray, personal defense alarms, etc. Trust your instincts.

Above all be prepared. Knowing what to look for and keeping an open mind may end up saving you a lot of pain.

Chances are very good that you are reading this because in some way crime has touched your life or you want to be proactive and protect yourself, family, home, or business from the ravages of crime. That is the first step.

By Jack Krohn Platinum Quality Author

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Children And Verbal Abuse

I am a man of 54 years now. But despite seeing so many things in my life and experiencing all the emotions, I feel hurt when I am verbally abused. It is not that verbal abuse does not hurt. Some people think that verbal abuse can be easily forgotten and one may go forward. Yes, one goes forward but the scars of the wound inflicted by the verbal abuse go along with many of us. How about a child?

A child can be verbally abused in many ways. Children abusing each other with name calling etc. are common. But worse is verbal abuse by elders. Parents, relatives and teachers form part of this group in a child's life. Many parents have set ideas about how a child should behave. If the child does not behave that away, the parents do not explain them the right way but make fun of them verbally. If such fun is made in presence of others the child's psyche is hurt. The hurt may look very innocent but that makes a child feel insecure about themselves. The children lose faith in their own abilities. They learn wrong methods of behavior. I have seen some parents who verbally abuse their child in presence of the teacher. All the complaints they have about the child are made right in the presence of the teacher. This is a verbal thrashing. Somehow because the child cannot hit back, it is taken as granted by many adults that children can be verbally abused without hurting them. Adults feel good after verbally abusing them and feel that they know how to properly train a child. The facts are contrary. The child feels humiliated.

Whenever we talk to a child, we should put ourselves in their shoes and first think about how that will affect the child. Only after we are sure, we should speak to a child about sensitive issues. Verbally abusing a child is a crime in law, and also a bigger crime in the scheme of God.

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Emotional Abuse - What is It?

You're Crazy!" This statement is one that is commonly made by an emotional abuser. Emotional abuse can also be referred to as psychological or verbal abuse. The effects of emotional abuse are long term and can take a long time to heal. My biggest concern with this sort of abuse is that a lot of women do not recognize it and simply think that their partner just does not treat them very good! This is such a misunderstanding that worries me. So what is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse can be defined as one partner insulting, yelling, putting down, humiliating, threatening and harming pets or damaging property. All of these are inclusive to this type of abuse and are very harming to the one on the receiving end. The effects of verbal abuse can be as severe as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, self-harm, actually feeling crazy and mental illness. There are so many other effects to which consist of anxiety, loss of energy, self blame, low self-esteem and sleeping problems. This abuse is serious and should not be ignored.

In summary, emotional abuse is also referred to as verbal or psychological abuse. Although there is no physical harm, there is serious emotional turmoil that takes place within these victims. Being abused in this manner will change a person and alter their personality. Nobody has the right to take away yourself respect and dignity and change you. We are all born with character traits that make us special and should keep these for the term of our life. Please, do not let someone take away the traits that make you special. Seek help and education if you are a victim of emotional abuse before it is too late!

The author is a single mom who was in an abusive relationship for years. She has become passionate about raising awareness of abuse. To learn more about abuse please visit her blog at

By Sara Marshal

Sara Marshal a single mom who was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissistic partner. She finally had the strength to leave.


7 Things to Think About for Women in Abusive Relationships

7 Things to Think About for Women in Abusive Relationships
When you don't know whether the time is right to leave him, and you just can't figure out why you allow such negative things to happen to you, consider these seven statements that just may change your life.
Read More
God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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