This blogger also writes about dealing with bullies in the church:
This blogger also writes about dealing with bullies in the church:
I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse. This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help. There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors. So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful. I have them arranged by category.
The first part is on the general topic of abuse. The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.
Dr. Phil episode which enraged Russia: http://drphil.com/shows/show/1545
video on abuse and jealousy by an abuser to one’s spouse, family
You’ll often find people saying that kids today don’t behave because they’re not whacked or yelled at. But this isn’t true, because I’ve seen a household where kids were constantly yelled at and whacked, and yet the kids still kept acting up in various ways all the time.
Don’t you see they’re imitating the parents? That’s not being the adult and taking control, that’s acting like a child and losing control to punish the children. They pick up on that.
I remember being a child vividly: Kids want to behave for kind and gentle people, and want to misbehave for mean people. They want boundaries, but they also want to be able to tell a difference between a kid and an adult.
You tell them don’t hit, but then beat them for not behaving. You tell them to quiet down, but yell and scream at them. You tell them to behave, but yell and scream at each other. How is smacking them around going to get them to act like adults?
I saw all these people changing their Facebook profile pics because of child abuse, which is fine. But what I want to see is lives changed. My parents did not abuse me, but child abuse makes me very angry just the same. I get furious whenever I think of how somebody I used to know would treat her husband and children, things she would do right in front of me as if daring me to object:
She smacked a three-year-old in the back of the head so hard her tongue flew out. One moment I see two children dancing, the next moment I see her going ballistic on them for no reason I can tell, screaming and slapping and spanking. I heard her belittle her oldest child more than once. Once she came and picked up the children after I babysat, and even though she hadn’t seen them for hours and it was just a few minutes later, I could hear her screaming at them in the car while I went back to the house. Not yelling, screaming. How could she have gotten so angry so fast?
Then there were the stories I heard of what she did in the privacy of their home: screaming, cussing, spanking too hard, hitting her husband. And when she discovered my reaction was not to bow to her superior parenting skills, or support the way she treated her husband, I became her next target. She focused her ire on me supposedly “going after” her husband, which was a red herring–and allowed her to completely ignore the true reason, and her own responsibility, for my not wanting to be around her.
She is gone out of my life.
It makes me so mad to think of these things. I want these things to STOP. I want to see parents treating their children with compassion and gentleness because they are, after all, just children. I want to see spouses treating each other with love and respect, not like possessions or slaves. So in remembrance of child abuse, I’m writing this rather than changing my profile pic.
Because I saw that woman–a large woman, very tall, probably about 200 pounds–smacking a tiny three-year-old girl–small for her age–on the back of her head, and because I was shocked and appalled to find people on the Internet saying that it’s not abuse to do that, in the following research I specifically looked for information on the effects of smacking small children on the back of the head, or anywhere else on the head for that matter, such as the face.
(You have to be careful in research like this because “smack” means “spank” in many countries, and I’m not concerned about light, quick spanks to the well-padded butt.)
I’m less concerned about the effects on older children or teenagers (though I don’t condone that, either) because their heads are more developed and teenagers are practically fully-grown. But smacking small children is especially risky because of their lack of physical development, small size, and the risk of sending them into a table, TV or other piece of furniture. Toddlers have been killed this way.
These same people also thought that it would be wrong to even notice and praise one of their children for doing a chore, as if it would somehow spoil her (then wondered why they couldn’t get their kids to do chores). I’d hear the mother belittle and humiliate her children. I heard her threaten to spank one child (only 3 years old at the time and only just potty trained) if she wet her pants again. To hear that woman’s husband joke about smacking kids and apparently condone it, disgusted me, and more than once I made my feelings known.
(Heck, once the husband told me several disturbing things: that his father had abused him–and he deserved it–that he was a terrible kid and that turned him around; that he had once locked the children in a closet to get them to listen to their mother and would probably have to do it again; and he downplayed the verbal abuse I witnessed his wife doing to him.)
This is probably why, a very short time afterwards, they both started bullying me on Facebook and the friendship soon ended.
My mother and father never smacked me anywhere on my head. When an older brother smacked me one day, my mother became very angry with him and said to never do that. My parents raised me in the days when you could still use a paddle, which I don’t condone nowadays, but I don’t remember them ever doing anything that was abusive, at least according to the standards of the 70s and early 80s. Of course I did naughty things from time to time, as all children do, but I turned out fine without being abused by my parents.
–Head injury can result in severe brain damage, including brain stem compression and herniation, blindness, deafness, mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, skull fracture, paralysis, and coma or death.
–Injury to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain can result in growth impairment and inadequate sexual development.
–Less severe but repeated blows to the head can also result in equally serious brain damage. This type of injury may be detectable only with a CT scan, and, in the absence of obvious signs of external trauma, may go unnoticed.
–Blows or slaps to the side of the head over the ear can injure the inner ear mechanism and cause partial or complete hearing loss. –Effects of Abuse and Neglect on Infants and Toddlers
In the course of figuring out what to consider legal physical punishment in Canada, who can do it and what they can do, the Ontario Superior Court noted in 1999 that
The Court recognized the “growing body of evidence that even mild forms of corporal punishment do no good and may cause harm”. The Court’s decision noted that experts from both sides agreed that:
(1) “hitting a child under two is wrong and harmful … has no value and can destroy a child’s sense of security and self-esteem,”
(2) physical punishment of teenagers “is not helpful and potentially harmful,”
(3) “corporal punishment using objects such as belts, rulers, etc. is potentially harmful both physically and emotionally and should not be tolerated,”
(4) “physical punishment should never involve a slap or blow to the head,”
(5) “corporal punishment which causes injury is child abuse”.
It was noted in the decision that not a single expert witness advocated or recommended physical punishment as a form of discipline.
Later, the Supreme Court of Canada
“narrowed the definition of who may use physical punishment, on what ages, body parts and capacities of children, with what force, and in what circumstances.
(1) Only parents may use reasonable physical punishment. Teachers may use reasonable force only to “remove a child from a classroom or to secure compliance with instructions, but not merely as corporal punishment”.
(2) Only children older than two and not yet teenagers may be physically punished.
(3) The use of force on children “incapable of learning from [it] because of disability or some other contextual factor” is not protected.
(4) Only “minor corrective force of a transitory and trifling nature” may be used.
(5) “Discipline by the use of objects or blows or slaps to the head is unreasonable”.
(6) “Degrading, inhuman or harmful conduct is not protected”.
(7) The physical punishment must be “corrective, which rules out conduct stemming from the caregiver’s frustration, loss of temper or abusive personality”.
(8) “The gravity of the precipitating event is not relevant”.
(9) The question of what is “reasonable under the circumstances” requires an “objective” test and “must be considered in context and in light of all the circumstances of the case.”–https://staffapps.ocdsb.ca/WebLink8/0/doc/1637320/Page26.aspx
also see Spare Us the “Spare the Rod”
“Child abuse is rarely premeditated. It occurs when caregivers lose control–often while trying to stop behavior (such as crying) or when punishing perceived transgressions (such as toileting accidents). Caregivers cause injuries by shaking, throwing, hitting, slapping, gagging, strangling and smothering children.
Children with physical, cognitive, emotional and developmental disabilities, and those with physical health problems, are more vulnerable to maltreatment. Inflicted head injuries occur predominantly in children younger than 3 years. Although inflicted head injuries are less common than accidental head injuries, they’re more likely to cause morbidity and mortality. Survivors of inflicted head injuries commonly experience behavioral, cognitive and motor disabilities, as well as visual impairments and seizures.
……….”Brain and other injuries occur when applied forces strain brain and other tissues beyond their structural tolerance. Primary mechanisms of injury include forces developed when the head accelerates about the neck (angular acceleration) and from impact (translational forces). Rotational acceleration results from any action that moves the head from side to side or front to back. Impact plus rotation increases the applied force substantially. Primary injuries are typically focal or diffuse. Significant forces are required to cause severe inflicted injuries.
Secondary mechanisms involve the brain’s reaction to primary injuries. They include hypoperfusion of brain tissue (from hypotension/shock) and hypoxia.” –Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, “Inflicted Head Injuries in Infants and Children: An Important Cause of Developmental Disabilities” by Elizabeth Gilles, M.D.
“Physical abuse includes beating, shaking, scalding, and biting. Given that corporal punishment is widely accepted in the United States, what is the threshold for considering spanking or hitting as being abusive?
One approach is to consider any injury beyond immediate redness of the skin as abuse. Any punishment that leaves a bruise or imprint beyond the initial redness should be considered excessive and abusive. If parents spank a child, then the spanking should be limited to the buttocks, should occur over clothing, and should never involve the head and neck.
When parents use objects other than a hand, the potential for serious harm increases. Acts of serious violence (eg, throwing a rock at a child, slapping an infant’s face) should also be seen as abusive even if no injury ensues; significant risk of harm exists.”…………
“Of all inflicted injuries, those to the central nervous system (CNS) result in the most significant morbidity and mortality. Injuries resulting from direct impact, asphyxia, or shaking (shaken baby syndrome) are referred to as abusive head trauma (AHT). Direct trauma may be the result of punching, slapping, or the child’s head being struck against a hard surface.
Many instances of AHT appear to result from a combination of shaking and direct trauma. Subdural hematomas, retinal hemorrhages (especially when extensive and involving multiple layers), and diffuse axonal injury, although not exclusively the result of AHT, are critically important markers and should always raise the question of AHT.”
……”Blunt trauma to the ear may produce subperichondrial hematoma and intracranial injury resulting from rotational acceleration of the head. A slap to the face or choking may leave a hand imprint. A slap to the face not only can cause injuries; it also has a strong associated psychological component. Long-term dental neglect may result in multiple dental caries, eating difficulties, chronic pain, and periodontal infection.” –Pediatric Care Online: Child Physical Abuse and Neglect
Excessive physical discipline is harmful and dangerous to children. Small children can be killed by relatively minor acts of physical violence (for example, shaking, dropping, or throwing the child against hard surfaces). Any severe beating with an object, forceful shaking, submersion in hot water, intentional burning, and other forms of intentional infliction of pain are inappropriate and criminal behaviors. –http://www.emedicinehealth.com/child_abuse/page3_em.htm#physical_abuse_child_neglect_and_emotional_neglect
Interesting how we’re not supposed to slap our spouse or elderly patient on the face or head, which is abuse, but some people think it’s okay to do to children.
“Injury to the head and neck is common. Slap marks on cheeks and neck extending to the scalp and linear marks of hands or fingers are seen. A slap would cause parallel linear bruises on the cheeks.” –http://www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Publications_SEA-Injuries-6.pdf, Link no longer works
“Physical abuse – The use of unreasonable force against a child. What is considered reasonable will depend on the age of the child, the severity of the actions and its lack of healthy corrective purpose regarding the child’s behaviour. This might include, for example, hitting, slapping, shaking, choking, kicking or burning a child. It also includes any conduct by a caregiver that might put the child’s life, health or well-being at risk.” –page 4, http://www.legal-info-legale.nb.ca/en/publications/abuse_and_violence/child_abuse/Child_Abuse_Booklet_EN.pdf
Smacking a child at the back or head is never allowed. This is dangerous and puts the child in a very vulnerable position, in which is can’t defend itself in any way. It is never meant as a normal punishment, but always a sign of bad behavior of the parent. And I think you can qualify this as child abuse. Even if it’s not meant that way it’s still abuse. If it happens once you can apologize to your child, but if it happens more you should get help immediately. And if it happens all the time the child should get help immediately. –To smack or not smack a child, http://www.helium.com/items/366485-to-smack-or-not-to-smack-a-child, Link no longer works
Examples of Physical Abuse include:
Beating with a belt, shoe, or other object; Biting a child; Breaking a child’s arm, leg, or other bones; Burning a child with matches or cigarettes; Hitting a child; Kicking a child; Not letting a child eat, drink, or use the bathroom; Pulling a child’s hair out; Punching a child; Scalding a child with water that is too hot; Shaking, shoving, or slapping a child. –Child Abuse: An Overview
#56 Recognizing Physical Abuse
* If you cause injury to your child, you are breaking the law
o Never use any object to hit a child (boards, belts, sticks, or switches)
o Never hit or slap a child’s face or head
o NEVER hit or shake a baby
+ Babies can be blinded, brain damaged, or killed by shaking –Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police – Presentation Transcript
Physical abuse can cause direct damage to a baby’s or child’s developing brain. For instance, we now have extensive evidence of the damage that shaking a baby can cause. According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (2009), shaking can destroy brain tissue and tear blood vessels. In the short-term, shaking can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, or even death. In the long-term, shaking can damage the fragile brain so that a child develops a range of sensory impairments, as well as cognitive, learning, and behavioral disabilities. –Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development
A man on his deathbed has admitted that he was responsible for the death of his toddler nearly 40 years ago.
Columbus Police officials say 18-month-old Bradley Cuturia died at the Medical Center in July of 1971 but it was never reported to police. The child had been abused before unbeknownst to police and had been treated several times before at Martin Army Hospital on Fort Benning.
….In the early part of 2009, the child’s mother, Cheryl Cuturia, contacted the Columbus Police Department saying she was concerned her child had been killed by his father, Thomas Cuturia. Hillhouse says the couple had moved to Wisconsin after their son’s death and have been separated “for quite some years.”
…Hillhouse tells WTVM the baby was struck at least once in the head, maybe more, and died from his injuries two days after he was admitted to the Medical Center. Police say originally, it was reported that Bradley fell down one step.–Lindsey Connell, Dying father admits to killing toddler son
Half a year ago, a father and his girlfriend were charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect on 3-year-old John Taylor Baxley….The toddler died in August, but prosecutors waited for medical reports before charging Justin Garwacki, 26, and Kara O’Connell, 21, with the death….
Garwacki said he hit his son with a “cupped” hand on the head, face, stomach, legs and genital area, a detective wrote in an affidavit. He also poured water over the boy’s head in the bathtub to teach him how to hold his breath, and when John didn’t do it properly, Garwacki told investigators he struck the boy on the head. The boy fell and hit his head on the tub.
The couple filled a sock with uncooked rice and heated it in the microwave, the affidavit says. They put it on the bruise, but that burned the boy’s forehead. The gaping wound went untreated.
O’Connell admitted to detectives she hit the boy hard enough to cause bruising and picked him up off the floor by his throat, the affidavit says. She said she did it because he didn’t listen to her, and that she knew hitting the boy was “excessive and wrong.” –Alexandra Zayas, Citrus Park couple indicted in death of 3-year-old boy
The aunt of a murdered 3-year-old says the little girl’s death could have been avoided. Petra Jimenez’s 3-year old niece, Melody Velasquez, was killed by a massive blow to the head in January. The girl’s two adoptive fathers have been arrested and charged in her murder. –3-year-old killed by massive blow to the head
And of course the parents who scream and and hit their child in public. I’m not talking about spanking, because spanking is a controlled swat or two on the bottom, and should not be done out of anger. But I’m talking about the parents who grab their kid in a fit of anger and just start smacking the crap out of them while yelling and screaming. I’m not a violent person, but gosh, I’d love to punch those parents in the face. How low do you have to be to take your anger out on and bully a small child? –What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen a parent do?
A man was arrested today on charges he fatally beat his 2-year-old stepson, who had almost 30 injuries to his head, face and upper back, police said.
Investigators believe Deondray Ashe was beaten twice with a belt Sunday evening. They say an adult witness was present when the boy, who had special medical needs, was beaten. –Stepdad beat 2-year-old to death with belt, police say
The Lakeland boy, known to his family as Dooley, was born about three months premature. A variety of medical problems kept him in a hospital and a health-care facility for most of his young life.
Potty training at home was proving to be tough. Sometimes he would play with the roll of toilet paper and touch the water in the bowl.
His mother and stepfather told Lakeland police detectives that the price he paid for such behavior was sitting for hours on the toilet and enduring beatings with a belt, according to recently released transcripts and investigative reports. –Transcripts graphically depict death of toddler
The boyfriend of a woman charged in the death of her 16-month-old son now is accused of the same crime. A Dorchester County grand jury on Thursday issued a direct indictment charging John D. Weaver II, 20, of Summerville with homicide by child abuse in Rowan Bracci’s death. The same charge already had been filed against the child’s mother, 19-year-old Amber Lynn Bracci.
Autopsy findings released by County Coroner Chris Nisbet confirmed that the boy died of a closed-head injury at the hands of another person or persons.
He had bruising of the scalp, hemorrhaging and brain swelling, Nisbet said.
Deputies arrested Bracci on Jan. 14.
In the arrest warrant, she is said to have told deputies she had hit her son in the head within days before he was rushed to a hospital. The warrant also said she admitted smoking marijuana two times between the time she noticed her son was having medical problems and the time she got him help. –2 indicted in toddler’s death
A Whitehall toddler dies from brain damage consistent with abusive head trauma, and detectives are taking the case to the Grand Jury for a murder indictment.
Jose Trevino, 39, of 4186 Doney St. was arrested and charged with felonious assault after a 3-year-old girl’s death last Friday.
Acasia Chavis, 3, suffered significant brain damage that was consistent with abusive head trauma while in Trevino’s care, according to Whitehall police. –Donna Willis, Abusive head trauma kills Whitehall toddler, police say
My friend recently struck her 3 year old on the side of the head by his ear after he bit her 1.5 year old while we were driving out of town. It was a pretty hard hit, but open handed, and he did cry. I was shocked, and I told her that many people would report her for child abuse. She told me what she does with her own children is none of my business, and when I insisted, she pulled over to the side of the road and kicked me out, leaving me stranded in a strange city and waiting 2 hours for someone to show up to get me. What would your reaction have been? Do you think that’s child abuse? Would you as a parent have reacted the same way to my remark?
Her 3 year old is definitely wrong to bit the 1.5 year old. But there is other ways and more effective ways to punish the 3 year old. She could have cause the 3 year old brain concussion or burst the ear drum. –Is slapping a 3-year-old in the head child abuse?
You may find yourself in the position of having to choose whether or not to report a friend, or the spouse of a friend, or a family member for domestic abuse. It may feel like a betrayal of that person, especially if your report is about things your friend told you in confidence.
But some secrets should be kept, and some secrets should be told. Your friend’s life, or the lives of their children, could very well depend on your decision. In fact, the betrayal could very well be you not making that report.
Don’t listen to the rumors that make CPS sound like some socialist corrupt government trying to tell you how to raise your children and steal your children away to line their pockets etc. CPS is there to protect the innocents in our society, to give them a chance for a good life instead of either death or a lifetime of anger, hurt, pain, and carrying on the abuse to another generation. Think of how things are in countries where CPS does not exist, where abuse of children and women is condoned and protected by society.
#62 Reporting Child Abuse
* Excuses given for not reporting suspected abuse, or not believing when disclosed
o CPS will remove the kids
o “I can’t prove anything.”
o “I’ve known _______ for years; he would never do such a thing.”
#66 Reporting Child Abuse
* Reasons to report suspected abuse
o Protect the child, not the abuser!
o Children are rarely abused only once
o A report makes it possible for a family to get help –Child Abuse Awareness from Fairfax County Police – Presentation Transcript
Here is an example of someone (Ruby Klokow of Sheboygan, WI) who terrorized her family for years before finally, more than 50 years later, justice was (nearly) done. I do wonder why no one spoke up before. Were they still afraid of her until she got to be elderly?
Even if you just suspect that someone is abusing or neglecting a child, report it. If you are afraid to report the suspected abuse or neglect because you might be wrong, do it any way. If you are wrong, you can always apologize. If you are right, you may have saved the life of a child and you have definitely changed the life of a child for the better.
As a child, I always wished someone would ask about if I was being sexually abused. I couldn’t voluntarily ask someone for help. I was too afraid. This is true for many children. If you suspect a child is being abused, ask. Please ask. Not all children will tell you the truth, but some will. They, like me, are just waiting for someone to care enough to ask. –Patricia Singleton, Be a Voice for Children–Speak Out About Child Abuse
Why I loathe feminism… and believe it will ultimately destroy the family by Erin Pizzey, is actually about abuse, not so much about feminism: Her point is that women are just as capable of abuse as men, yet many feminists were demonizing men and glorifying women. She got abuse from both her mother and her father, different kinds. I don’t agree that feminism in itself will destroy the family, just man-hating feminism. But I post this anyway for the larger point it makes.
Too many men are succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome or feeling too scared to leave their abusive wives. Then the abuse is carried on to the next generation. I’ve seen this stuff firsthand, and how the abusers can screw up not only the lives in their own families, but the people orbiting around them. We need to be there so that when the abused man or child escapes, they can also escape the destructive message of the abuser: “You deserve this!”
In 2010, I was ripped to shreds verbally, completely undeserved, while both I and my husband were told that I should just accept it as my due. We were treated like there was something wrong with us for thinking verbal abuse could never be justified. We were treated like I should just take all the cussing and character assassination being thrown at me. I was told I should “grow up” and accept “responsibility” for the abuser not being able to hold her own tongue and temper. We were accused of throwing an “olive branch” back in their faces, an olive branch that never existed, because we preferred ending the “friendship” to staying with someone who refuses to acknowledge her own part in things and apologize for her harshness.
We were told that I somehow deserved it, had somehow done worse than she did, when all I did was keep my distance from someone who was constantly mean to me, who had gotten a lot meaner in the past few months with no explanation or warning. We were told that 99% of women would react even worse than the abuser did. We were told this not just by the abuser, but by her husband, who was supposed to be my best friend.
My husband was actually physically intimidated and threatened over the course of a few days by this supposed “best friend.” And I got the impression that much had been held back from me over the years I thought we were “best friends.” This after more than two years spent hearing from her husband about how she was abusing him and the kids.
The emotional damage is devastating. Imagine this happening to a child who can’t break up with her mother. Imagine this happening to a man who feels societal pressure to stay with his abusive wife. Help change society’s views so that men have a place to turn to! He stays because he feels he has no choice, while the children grow up believing this is “normal” behavior in a marriage and in life! Don’t let another generation grow up believing that tantrums and abuse are the way to solve problems!
Quotes from the above link:
Once again, she was unleashing her peculiar brand of emotional cruelty, and placing all the responsibility – and guilt – on me. It was a pattern of behaviour I would witness again and again among some of the women in my refuge.
But despite his clumsy, predictable form of macho brutality – born out of his being the 17th child of a violent Irish father – it was my mother’s more emotional, verbal form of abuse that scarred me most deeply. She indulged in a particular kind of soul murder – and it was her cruelty that, even 60 years on, still reduces me to tears and leaves me convinced that feminism is a cynical, misguided ploy.
While I don’t agree with her about feminism, I do understand where she’s coming from, and I, too, resist any kind of feminism that portrays men as monsters and women as longsuffering victims. It goes both ways.
I was, on reflection, following my mother’s unspoken orders. Remarkably, she had manipulated me to such a degree that I was now willing to murder for her.
It’s amazing how a narcissist can so twist you and manipulate you that you’ll do anything for her/him, believe anything s/he tells you, so you end up taking the fall for her/him, for her/his own deeds and lies.
By now, he was trying to force my mother to sign her money – she had received a sizeable inheritance from her father – over to him. Week after week, in the local cottage hospital, she refused, and week after week, he ranted and raved at her while she writhed in pain. I begged the nurses to stop him, but they said no one could come between a man and his wife.
And that’s why people stand by and watch instead of speaking up: They think it’s not their place. Or because when they did speak up, the abuse turned on them.
I only decided to talk about my traumatic childhood last week – on a BBC radio programme called The House Where I Grew Up – but I decided long ago I would not repeat the toxic lessons I learned as a child. Instead, I would become a survivor.
Harriet Harman’s insidious and manipulative philosophy that women are always victims and men always oppressors can only continue this unspeakable cycle of violence. And it’s our children who will suffer.
Also see Examples of Child Abuse, Hitting Kids Upside the Head is ABUSE, …Because slapping kids on the head is ABUSE! STOP THE VIOLENCE! and Slapping Kids Upside the Head Causes Traumatic Brain Injury.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about Common Core, such as that it’s a government takeover, Obama was involved, some weird paranoid crap about biometric screening….This writer goes into what the facts are, vs. the scare-tactics used by extreme right-wingers, such as the Tea Party.
I’ve noticed quite a bit of hits from keywords referring to abuse. This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and people need to find help. There are also many hits from keywords referring to narcissistic or borderline personality disorders, disorders which often lead to abusive behaviors. So I will make a series of posts from my webpage on abuse, which gathers together links I have found most helpful. I have them arranged by category.
The first part is on the general topic of abuse. The last section of the webpage, my own personal abuse stories, has already been posted here.
Bullying is abuse. I find this video to be very true, especially since I see people like this all the time in the aforementioned gaming forums and chat rooms, normally pimply teenagers in their parents’ basements making fun of people: Are You a Bully or a Victim?
My favorite quote from this video: “Every single bully on the planet is a jackass. Period. End of story.”
(By the way, cyber sexual harassment is also bullying. It is “real.” And, once again, the harassers are jackasses. You don’t have to put up with that, and don’t let anybody tell you to just “get over it”–especially a guy. Your feelings are real.)
Of course, abuse doesn’t just happen among spouses or families. It can also happen among friends. The “mean girls” don’t always grow up and out of it; women are often cruel to each other:
Why are women so mean to one another? (Different blog)
The Boston Globe article A world of misery left by bullying references Alan Eisenberg, who began blogging his abuse stories anonymously to deal with the pain, then finally let the world know who he really was. Rather than being called a victim whining about his problems, he appears to be getting applauded for his courage. And there are others blogging about bullying and getting praised for it, such as Single Dad Laughing. This gives me more courage to share my own story, even if it’s just bits and pieces.
They Believe What?–The NonVerbal Cues Argument: Here, Eisenberg questions the argument that kids get picked on because they miss nonverbal cues. While this may have some truth to it–I come across this all the time when researching NVLD–Eisenberg makes a very important observation: This does NOT excuse the bullying: “While there may be truth to the study, to say that the victim has brought on the bullying by their inability to read non-verbal cues is equal in my eyes in saying a woman who is raped should have been able to predict this based on the way they behaved with the rapist.”
In this blog post on Phoebe Prince, Eisenberg notes that even after her death, kids were still posting nasty comments on the memorial page. It’s disturbing how people can taunt and hurt and feel no remorse.
Of course, bullies will say you deserve it. You don’t ever deserve it. On December 2010 I read an article about a girl who beat up another girl, kicked her in the head, caused a concussion and bleeding on the brain, and then bragged on her Facebook page that the victim had it coming:
12/4/10 – A Waupun woman, who allegedly bragged about beating up a 17-year-old girl on her Facebook account, was charged this week in Fond du Lac County. 18-year-old Angela R. Miller made her initial appearance on a felony count of substantial battery and disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to a gas station in Waupun on Thanksgiving after two females were seen fighting. A witness says as the victim was walking out of the gas station Miller allegedly grabbed the girl, punched her in the face numerous times before pushing her to ground where she began kicking her. The complaint says Miller then drove off with a friend and sent a text message to the 17-year-old that said, “I didn’t even do the damage I could of.”
She also later posted on her Facebook account that the girl “had it coming”.
The complaint states that Miller was apparently upset with the girl for a relationship she was having with Millers ex-boyfriend. As a result of the fight, the 17-year-old girl suffered a concussion and some bleeding on the brain, along with a fractured jaw. Miller is due in court again later this month.–http://wxroradio.blogspot.com/2010/12/top-stories-november-4th.html
Despicable. She’s been sentenced, though it’s a slap on the wrist.
It’s highly unlikely that you can make a bully understand that the way he or she treats you is abusive. These people won’t take ownership for their bad behaviors. They always have a justification and rationalization. It’s your fault. You “made” them treat you badly. In order for the emotionally abusive person to see their behavior for what it is, they have to be able to tolerate cognitive dissonance.–Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies
I have witnessed people taking pleasure in the pain of others. For example, my blog stalkers sending me a message saying that they “had a good laugh” at my pain, anguish and anger over their many abuses of my husband and me, then threatening me if I tell about it (proving that they knew they did something wrong, or it wouldn’t bother them for the truth to be told).
Or one of those blog stalkers, Tracy, posting on Facebook right after ripping me to shreds over a misunderstanding complete with cussing and aspersions on my character, “I’m having a GREAT day!” (And this after all the kindnesses I had shown her over the years, because she could not accept that introverts are different from extroverts, that I am quiet and that she is too scary and mean to draw out a person like me.)
My own brother (who I suspect is a narcissist) turning to me and laughing every time a villain did something horrible on TV. My brother burning ants with a magnifying glass. My brother ridiculing everything I did, said or liked, even if he himself liked it first. Hearing from my mother that my brother tried to kill me once when I was a baby.
Bullies making fun of me on the playground. My ex Phil passive-aggressively embarrassing me in front of my friends more than once, for doing something he didn’t like. Richard, the other blog stalker, laughing about turning his former best friend, Todd’s, Internet forum into a Hello Kitty theme, out of vengeance.
Tracy ripping Todd to shreds and smearing him on the Internet, making people think he was crazy, because he did something to help her, and she interpreted it as an attack. My 18-or-so-year-old Marine brother choking me (I was about 11 or so) and saying, “I’ve been trained to kill.” A guy who called himself a light bringer, who openly admitted to being “on a campaign against Christianity,” turning a disagreement over my SCA group’s website, into a campaign against that SCA group, posting our names online and claiming he was being religiously persecuted by us–when we just wanted our group site to load quickly, be easy to navigate, and not make the non-religious, educational SCA look like a Pagan religious group.
A girl cyberbullying all sorts of different people on a little BBS, and bringing her friends along to help.
Being sexually harassed day after day my freshman year of high school, by one of my teachers, one of the guys in the cafeteria (who even put his penis on the table next to me), and two guys in the row behind me in Biology class. Being sexually harassed in filthy words again by a couple of Creeps in an IRC chat room, while Richard and Tracy did nothing, while Tracy in fact egged them on, and later being told by Richard that I was “being ridiculous,” that I needed to get over it, that it wasn’t real sexual harassment.
My aunt constantly ridiculing and scolding her mother during visits. My aunt, as my mother put it, “destroying” my grandmother, who is very old and losing her faculties. My aunt alienating everyone in the family. My aunt scolding me for everything I did or said, and accusing my innocent dad and brothers of sexually molesting me, because of the “way” I was (selective mutism, shyness).
I take no pleasure in writing about these things, only pain that’s being dredged up in order to release mine and help others. But someone who enjoys the pain of others, would giggle while posting real names and/or pictures and clicking “post.”
Some sites I look at say that narcissists/psychpaths/sociopaths lack conscience and empathy. But the blogger of Narcissists Suck puts it another way, that they do have conscience and empathy, but it’s malfunctioning:
How do we know the narcissist still has an operational conscience? Let’s ask the question another way. How do we know the narcissist is aware of the difference between right and wrong? Because of the multiplied and extensive efforts they make to hide their bad acts.
The truly insane person is defined as an individual who is unable to distinguish right from wrong and will therefore commit their crimes regardless of who is looking on. Their lack of any attempt to hide their crimes is how we determine they are insane, i.e. they lack rational ability and conscience. (By this definition, psychopaths are not insane. Rarely will our justice system allow a psychopath to claim insanity when the evidence shows the psychopath’s many efforts to hide his crimes.) We don’t see true insanity in the narcissist. We see them presenting an image of perfection to outsiders then going home to beat the wife and sexually abuse the kid.
Then they will pull your face close to theirs and through snarling lips and gritted teeth tell you that if you try to expose their bad deed they will destroy you. This person knows what they are doing is wrong. They are careful as to when and where they commit their base acts. Only the helpless and the vulnerable get to see the fully unmasked narcissist. This is all the proof we need that they do indeed possess a conscience. Albeit, a perverted, abused and malfunctioning one. The narcissist still has a conscience, as evidenced by their multiplied efforts to hide their bad acts. We have clear proof they know the difference between right and wrong. Narcissist or Psychopath, Narcissists Suck
This writer would agree, then, that Richard knew that how he and Tracy were treating me was wrong, by the way he spit, hissed, threatened, yelled at, got into the face of and towered over, and tried to intimidate my husband for sticking up for me.
Psychopaths, sociopaths and malignant narcissists are not just high-profile criminals, SS officers, cult leaders, or colorful fictional villains. They also can be otherwise ordinary people living next to us in the suburbs or apartment building. The damage they do is mostly psychological or emotional rather than criminal, though many of them commit physical or sexual abuse as well.
From the two-part article “Who Does That?”:
But being able to spot pathology in less overt and even frequently hid, yet equally as damaging acts, is where most of us fall short-even professionals in the criminal justice and mental health systems. It’s also where survivors of PLR’s are likely to trip up yet again since the ‘types’ of behaviors pathologicals perpetrate can vary causing confusion to the unsuspecting, highly tolerant and emotionally understanding survivor.
Low empathy is at the core of a cluster of pathological disorders that correlates to ‘inevitable harm’ when it crosses the paths of others. Low empathy has its roots in reduced conscience, remorse, and guilt. Without empathy pathologicals find pleasure in harming others. While they might not cackle aloud in public when a dog is hit by a car, they no less live in the shadows of enjoying the physical or emotional destruction of others. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pathological-relationships/201109/who-does-part-1
Lisette’s House of Mirrors blog, which goes into detail about her own dealings with malignant narcissists/sociopaths, is here.
The sociopath does not accept the blame for any of the harm and hurt they cause other people. In fact the sociopath is convinced that the blame for what happened belongs with someone other than themselves, even when this clearly is not the case. They don’t care that they damage and destroy other people’s lives. Their only concerns are winning the game and getting what they want. http://www.squidoo.com/sociopath_sociopathic
The victim of a sociopath may feel physical and/or emotional pain as a result of what has been done to them. The sociopath cannot identify with the misery they are causing for the other person. Instead they are derisive of the pain of their victims, and they may use the upset they cause to their own advantage. http://www.squidoo.com/sociopath_sociopathic
Bancroft’s PROFILE of the TYPICAL ABUSER (actually, of a malignant narcissist):
“The batterer is controlling; he insists on having the last word in arguments and decision-making, he may control how the family’s money is spent, and he may make rules for the victim about her movements and personal contacts, such as forbidding her to use the telephone or to see certain friends.
He is manipulative; he misleads people inside and outside of the family about his abusiveness, he twists arguments around to make other people feel at fault, and he turns into a sweet, sensitive person for extended periods of time when he feels that it is in his best interest to do so. His public image usually contrasts sharply with the private reality.
He is entitled; he considers himself to have special rights and privileges not applicable to other family members. He believes that his needs should be at the center of the family’s agenda, and that everyone should focus on keeping him happy. He typically believes that it is his sole prerogative to determine when and how sexual relations will take place, and denies his partner the right to refuse (or to initiate) sex. He usually believes that housework and childcare should be done for him, and that any contributions he makes to those efforts should earn him special appreciation and deference. He is highly demanding.
He is disrespectful; he considers his partner less competent, sensitive, and intelligent than he is, often treating her as though she were an inanimate object. He communicates his sense of superiority around the house in various ways.
The unifying principle is his attitude of ownership. The batterer believes that once you are in a committed relationship with him, you belong to him. This possessiveness in batterers is the reason why killings of battered women so commonly happen when victims are attempting to leave the relationship; a batterer does not believe that his partner has the right to end a relationship until he is ready to end it.
Because of the distorted perceptions that the abuser has of rights and responsibilities in relationships, he considers himself to be the victim. Acts of self-defense on the part of the battered woman or the children, or efforts they make to stand up for their rights, he defines as aggression against him. He is often highly skilled at twisting his descriptions of events to create the convincing impression that he has been victimized. He thus accumulates grievances over the course of the relationship to the same extent that the victim does, which can lead professionals to decide that the members of the couple “abuse each other” and that the relationship has been ‘mutually hurtful.”
It seems that CONTROL is the problem – not VIOLENCE.
“A significant proportion of batterers required to attend counseling because of a criminal conviction have been violent only one to five times in the history of their relationship, even by the victim’s account. Nonetheless, the victims in these cases report that the violence has had serious effects on them and on their children, and that the accompanying pattern of controlling and disrespectful behaviors are serving to deny the rights of family members and are causing trauma.
Thus the nature of the pattern of cruelty, intimidation, and manipulation is the crucial factor in evaluating the level of abuse, not just the intensity and frequency of physical violence. In my decade of working with abusers, involving over a thousand cases, I have almost never encountered a client whose violence was not accompanied by a pattern of psychological abusiveness.”
“An abuser’s desire for control often intensifies as he senses the relationship slipping away from him. He tends to focus on the debt he feels his victim owes him, and his outrage at her growing independence.” The Mind of the Abuser, Sam Vaknin
My blog stalkers can read these posts and enjoy all the attention, which I’m sure they’re doing, since they show such avid interest in my thoughts and life that they’ve been here several times this week. But I don’t care. And I’m certainly not talking “behind their backs,” because they’re reading everything and I’m well aware of it.
Because they are so interested and I have no other safe means of communication with them, they have made this blog into a vehicle for me to confront them with what they have done and how their behavior affects people, to show them how their actions fit in with the established behaviors of abusers, to show them that their salvation is at risk as long as they do not own what they’ve done, and change how they treat people.
I do this rather than sneak silently into the shadows as if I were doing something wrong, as if I were telling lies instead of the truth I have witnessed and can document. These posts are for other victims of narcissists and sociopaths who need to understand that it’s not their fault these things have happened, that they’re not crazy, that it’s okay to speak out about what’s been done to them. These posts are to help you understand what these behaviors look like, not just some clinical traits in an abuse list or the DSM.
Take courage. There really are people who do these things, and quite a lot of them, from the keyword searches I see.
“Evil Is Taking Pleasure From Causing Pain or Harm” Happiness and Evil.
“He thrived on intimidating me. He derived pleasure from causing me pain” Taking Pleasure From Pain.
The next red flag is, “Hated for Mysterious Reason by People Close to Them”:
In fact, another red flag is being hated — I mean really hated — for mysterious reasons. And by people that hating is uncharacteristic of. If, say, a person’s adult son or daughter doesn’t even visit him in the hospital or go to his funeral,* there is a heavy-duty reason for that. Fortunately, it’s not our responsibility to judge. But we do need to appreciate the weight of such a startling fact. People do things for reasons. They are not always good reasons or just reasons, but people do things for reasons.
*Good examples: Abraham Lincoln did not go to his father’s funeral, and Barbara Bush did not go to her mother’s funeral. “What Makes Narcissist Tick”, pg. 79
This red flag is well understood by those of us who have been through hell with a narcissist and found ourselves loathing them and forcing no contact for our protection. We would be very unlikely to judge someone else harshly if we found out they had inordinate hatred for a particular person even a parent or sibling. So this red flag is one most of us would readily understand. Unfortunately, most people out there in the world do not have any of this understanding. They are far too quick to judge what they don’t know. They are quick to condemn our hatred of a malignant narcissist as being wrong. They are naive to a fault about people who are capable of earning such hatred — so they condemn us. This red flag should be put on billboards and written with sky-writing: Respect the fact that people do things for reasons therefore don’t be willing to judge what you know nothing of.
Remember, Kathy is talking about a mysterious, intense hatred for a particular person in someone whom you know doesn’t go around routinely hating people. Narcissists, on the other hand, have a very long “enemies list” so it can’t be said it is uncharacteristic of them to hate others. It is their default and normal setting. But when you meet someone who typically gets along well with most people then know for sure that if they hate someone there is a reason for it. It isn’t for you to judge whether or not the reason is “good.” Frankly, it isn’t anyone’s damn business. More Red Flags, Narcissists Suck
The sensitive, tender little feelings that the narcissist has for themselves is an extension of the empathy they have for themselves. They refuse to feel your pain, but they expect you to feel theirs! I use the word ‘refuse’ advisedly. It is a willful act on their part to unacknowledge the pain they inflict upon you. They know what they’re doing. Their empathy allows them to know how you feel. They simply refuse to feel anything for your sake.
I’m going to cast the net a bit wider than just narcissists here. Anyone who is in a relationship with an abusive person has seen how sensitive the abuser’s feelings are. People who stay in abusive relationships seem to be those who can’t see the huge disconnect in their own thinking. The disconnect is this wide gulf between the abuser’s lack of empathy for you at the time they’re abusing you and yet how carefully you have to step around the abuser’s feelings at all times! The common refrain among those caught in abusive relationships is “walking on eggshells”.
The abuser’s feelings rein supreme at all times. Everyone else is expected to cowtow to, step around, coddle, soothe, and respect the feelings of the abuser at all times. Yet, when the abuser needs to unload, he or she reserves all rights to decimating and destroying your feelings and self-respect until they feel better. It is a sick, sick dynamic. And it is perpetuated by largely by the victim’s non-recognition of the absolute unfairness of this system….
Every psychopath has feelings for himself. The same psychopath gets a total thrill from hurting your feelings. Even if we’re only talking about someone who emotionally abuses you on occasion so they can feel better it is the same principle. Someone who ignores your pain but has all kinds of compassion for their own pain is a sick sonafabitch. Steer clear. Do They Have Feelings?, Narcissists Suck
No matter the appearance of a mild-mannered nature — if a person excuses abusers it is because there is some space in their minds which accedes to the notion that in at least some cases abuse can be justified. In the case of my father there was some evidence of aptitude for abuse, but it was rare enough that I could easily forget and thereby resume my opinion of him that he was not abusive.
His unmitigated support of my mother, his lack of having ever protected myself or my daughter from my mother’s abuses, his absolute demand I be the one to apologize, move on and forgive my mother in the absence of any sincere effort on her part to make things right, his unsubtle reminders of the sins of my youth to try to prove I had no right to hold my mother to any account…all these things proved to me once and for all that he is an abuser himself.
Only abusers are willing to grant other abusers the right to abuse! It is at its very root a pass they are giving to themselves. Excusing abuse is abuse in itself. It is a red flag that the person has themselves a propensity for abuse. Granting absolution to abusers is always an extremely selfish thing to do; it ignores the humanity of the person abused and preserves compassion for the one doing the abusing and by doing so gives the person excusing the abuse a pass for the abuse they may decide to dish out themselves….
Allow yourself to really think about the selfishly evil use of empathy of the narcissist. They use it to know (and enjoy) exactly how they are making you feel as they use and abuse you. That is what we call sadistic. They use it to manipulate you to their own ends. Or else they will use it to feel for their sorry-assed selves. These uses of their ability to empathize are profoundly selfish and often cruel.
There is no merit whatsoever for the fact that the narcissist is indeed fully in possession of the ability to empathize. In fact it is a solid basis for our condemnation of them. They pervert their ability to empathize and use it to selfishly exploit others to their own ends, to find pleasure in the pain they inflict, as well as to grant themselves pity when they least deserve it. If the narcissist was incapable of empathy we could grant them a pass for having some sort of disability. We must acknowledge the reality that the narcissist is all the more evil because they do possess this ability but choose to use it for their own selfish ends against you. They have managed to completely pervert their ability to empathize. They DO Have Empathy–Just Not For You, N.S.
ProzacBlogger gets it, writing about his stepmother, who scolded him for cutting off contact with his father, and defended his father. Heck, what he says about her is just what I want to say to Richard for sticking up for how Tracy treated me:
My father was a monster and she sticks up for him. I know she doesn’t know him that way, which is fine. But respect another person’s experiences, I DON’T CARE IF HE’S YOUR HUSBAND. Writing to Exhale, Because F*CK! I Need It [Update: Link no longer works because blog has been taken down.]
From the same writer:
The world is filled with bullies such as the busdriver I ran into yesterday. Your abuser was one of them, bullies at schools are the same trash, my father is one of those idiots; pathetic people compiled of a bunch of failures and insecurities wrapped in a shiny box and coated with a bunch of wild fantasies and lies.
Understand this, these people NEED to do what they do in order to stay alive. Do you think they can look at themselves in the mirror and think: I’m such a nice, good looking person! Or do you even think they can honestly say to themselves: I didn’t do anything wrong right after they beat the shit out of you or someone else? No.
Instead of that they don’t look in the mirror at all, but instead go with what any other person (besides you) says about them. They will never look at themselves after they ruined someones life, instead of that they will come up with millions of reasons (lies) why YOU DESERVED IT! –Prozacblogger, How to Prevent Bullies and Abusers From Getting to You [Update: Link no longer works.]
Like ProzacBlogger and Anna Valerious, the writer of Narcissists Suck, I’m not concerned with hearts and flowers and how we should try to “understand” our bullies and sociopaths. They don’t care about our feelings, so why should we care about theirs? Trying to “understand” the bully and get the victim to “let go” is just defending the bully and letting him get away with what he did. Stick up for the victim instead, acknowledge his pain and that he has a right to it, and hold the bully accountable. As Anna Valerious writes,
You have the psychobabblers and do-gooder Christian types clucking their tongues if you happen to show a flash of anger when talking about the narcissist. They immediately assume that you are not progressed yet to a place of ‘healing’ if, when talking about the evil narcissist and her evil acts perpetrated on your own life (which likely has ongoing effects on your life and is therefore a crime in progress), you dare display your outrage.
People are afraid of our anger. Why? One reason is because they are sloppy thinkers. They think that our anger is the problem when the real problem is the monster who inflicts pain every chance they get. Our anger is an appropriate response to their inappropriate behavior. If the tongue-cluckers insist we should not let ourselves feel an appropriate emotion then they are, in reality, insisting we become like the narcissist–pretending our way through life and denying what we feel. I’m not going there for anyone….
I have always been aware that by expressing my anger and hatred toward people with ‘evil personality disorder’ I would be condemning myself in the eyes of those who choose to think that reaching a zen-like space is proof of having healed. I am willing to be seen as not having progressed to perfect equanimity with evil people. I’ll explain why as I go.
It would have been such a simple thing for me to talk about malignant narcissists completely dispassionately. Kind of like the droning of the boring professor in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” where, regardless of the subject matter, I would speak in one tone endlessly. I’m sure many would be impressed with how strong I am to have gotten to where nothing rattles me. I could receive much praise for having perfectly ‘healed’ from my past. I’m not going for any silly little awards like that because I don’t believe perfect calm in the face of evil is a goal to strive for. No matter how many people may praise me for it…
I’m all about being real here. Here’s how I see it. If I were to be completely dispassionate in the discussion of destructive narcissism it would send the message to you that I would not be provoked into defending you if I were to witness the injustices of the narcissist you’ve endured. When you read my justified anger at the bad acts of the narcissist as it has affected me it gives you good reason to believe I would be just as outraged at what you’ve endured. You sense my empathy when you read my outrage.
To display only perfect calmness in the face of overt evil would not convince you that I give a rat’s ass about you. I do give a rat’s ass. Which most of you ‘get’ when you read what I have to say. You sense I am one of your champions. You believe I would defend you against the indefensible acts of the narcissist if I were witness to them. You believe that I would not condemn your own justifiable anger at the total injustice of the evil acts of the narcissist. If I give myself permission to express my anger at injustice…surely I would give you the same latitude. An Accurate Measure of Mental Health ISN’T Lack of Anger
When insecure ego’s feel threatened and you disagree with them – they go on the attack – like children. Then like in playgrounds – they find another spiteful friend and gang up.
Then they do the whole giggling and laughing – you know as some children/teenagers do when being nasty and spiteful. They are simply bullies – like children – in grown up bodies.
Emotional development stunted. Lack empathy, lack remorse, lack conscience….
You will note the laughing and chuckling – which is further proof of sociopathic/narc behaviour – as they ‘enjoy’ trying to upset people and think it’s amusing. Normal adult people don’t act like that. Normal people don’t delight in nasty behaviours, in ganging up on people – in enticing others to cause hassle and harassment too. That is just delighting in evil. –Healing from Complex Trauma and PTSD
I just got this in my blog stats:
I clicked on the referring link, and it took me to this website:
What is StealthGenie and how does it work?StealthGenie is a powerful cell phone monitoring application that can be installed into any iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone where it works invisibly and uploads the phone’s usage information to StealthGenie’s online user area that can be accessed remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. To get more information on how StealthGenie works, you can visit our Quick Tour page.
Why do I need StealthGenie?You need this application to be able to effectively monitor the cell phone activities of your employees or loved ones such as your children remotely and without them finding out.
Will monitored phone user know StealthGenie is installed on their phone?StealthGenie works completely invisibly so the monitored phone user will not be able to see the name ‘StealthGenie’ (or anything similar) anywhere on their phone.
This service can tell the user everything about the cell phone he’s spying on: calls made and received, browser history, GPS tracking, e-mails–even record phone calls!
While I can see this being useful for parents or someone who’s being cheated on, it’s also extremely easy to use this to stalk people–particularly, abusers stalking their victims. An abuser only needs access to the phone once to make this work. Already, abuse websites often tell you to clear your browser history. But apparently victims need to be careful about their cell phones, too!
Someone who clicked on my site recently, probably in New Jersey, please be careful!
PLEASE share this post: I have no idea whom this person is stalking, and maybe it will get to them.
[Please note: This is NOT the "Tracy" of my other memoir, Tracy's Reign of Terror. The Tracy of "Reign of Terror" lived in a far different region, far away from mine, and was probably in middle school when I was in college.]
We saw many classics in Film class. The first was D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent movie, Birth of a Nation. It may have been blatantly racist, but it was important because it introduced many techniques Griffith had invented, such as irising (blacking out the picture around a particular thing you want to emphasize) and cross-cutting (cutting back and forth from one scene to another during such things as battle sequences).
He was a filmmaking genius, and the movie looked so real, even seen on a small TV screen. Maybe it was the “real” look of the actresses, who didn’t seem Hollywood perfect like the actresses of following years. They didn’t look painted-up with makeup, even though silent pictures required special makeup, so maybe they were made up differently than in other silent films. It seemed as if these people would look in real life exactly as they appeared onscreen, except in color. The film was surprisingly clear.
As for the other movies mentioned in the textbook, I wasn’t even aware before this that silent movies were made in the days of Merry Widow hats and leg-of-mutton sleeves. I thought they started in the 20s. It was so strange to see movie actresses dressed this way when they weren’t in a costume drama.
It was hard to have to read all the lines and hear only music for three hours, which probably made the movie seem even longer, as did our hard, classroom seats–but it wasn’t impossible. If it weren’t for the racist plot, the movie could actually have been great. In the beginning, it introduced itself with a words-only screen in which it called itself the “greatest movie ever.” Considering movies were brand-new, this was quite an arrogant claim.
Oddly enough, this movie was a catalyst for the rise of the Ku Kux Klan in the 20th century. The Klan had disbanded in 1869, and then this movie came along and praised it. This movie may have become almost obscure over the years, but in its day it inspired major controversy. History repeats itself more than many people realize: My textbook read on page 62, “The film was suppressed in some cities for fear of race riots.” I believe a similar thing happened in the early 90s with one or two movies about the ghetto.
Maybe the next day after we saw Birth of a Nation, it was time for much more pleasant movies by Charlie Chaplin. We saw one or two of the shorts (I think one was One A.M.) and then The Tramp.
The next day, we saw the impressive talkie The Great Dictator. Hitler had taken his peculiar mustache from Chaplin to make himself seem more lovable to the German people; now, Chaplin returned the favor, and played Hitler (Adenoid Hynkel) in one of two roles in the movie.
He poked fun at Hitler in a well-deserved fashion. I loved when Hynkel gave speeches interspersed with such words as “Wienerschnitzel” and “Sauerkraut” and other German words for food that had no place in the speech, and coughs and German words with very English pronunciations (like “joo-den” for “Juden,” which should be “yoo-den”). I also loved “Tomainia” for Germany, “Bacteria” for fascist Italy, and “Osterlich” for Austria. The last one was my favorite, because it sounded like “ostrich,” and Austria in German is Oesterreich (oes-tehr-rike). This movie was often serious, but often funny. The whole class seemed to love this movie. It was certainly a lot easier to take than Birth of a Nation.
This film class taught me that there are many, many classics and non-classic but brilliant films which have fallen into obscurity because they are silent movies. In the early 2010s, I would finally have a chance to see Intolerance (Griffith’s ironic response to people being “intolerant” of his own intolerant movie). I have seen Metropolis (the robot movie clipped in Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” video) on TV in 1985, on DVD in the 2000s, and on TCM in the 2010s, the latter being the finally restored, mostly-complete version. I have also seen Nosferatu and many other silent movies, thanks to TCM running silent movies on Sunday ever since around 2005/2006.
Since I haven’t been able to find my Winterim syllabus, I don’t remember when or in what particular order we saw the movies, or what they all were. But I do remember they were in chronological order. I do remember seeing Citizen Kane for the first time and discovering what a masterful work it was (the shadowing, in particular, could not have worked in color, but is exquisite in black and white), The Grapes of Wrath, It’s a Wonderful Life, Meet John Doe, Sunset Boulevard, Rear Window, Easy Rider, Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), The Conversation, Do the Right Thing.
Most of these movies I had never seen before, so I would associate them ever after with Film class. I liked most of the movies we saw, too. Since it had been years since I read the book Grapes of Wrath, I didn’t mind the film’s liberties with it. (Though I hated the book, I am a purist about movie adaptations.) Rear Window was a fun and sometimes erotic play on the voyeurism of watching TV. The eroticism may not be apparent to everyone, but it, according to our textbook, had to do with the long camera lens sitting on Jeffries’ lap, and his lack of sexual interest in anything he didn’t see in the TV-screen-like windows across the street.
The textbook also considered certain parts of Dr. Strangelove to be sexual jokes: the two planes in the beginning, apparently copulating; the bomb at the end looking like a phallus symbol which Slim Pickens rides down to earth. It was a great pity that we could not hear Dr. Strangelove very well in that classroom despite Dr. Nelson’s attempts to fix the problem. This distressed him, because we couldn’t hear all the jokes or appreciate just how good this movie was. We made note of this, and didn’t judge the movie as bad just because we couldn’t hear it. No one knew why it was so hard to hear, because all the other videos sounded just fine.
I went to San Francisco in 1999, and probably saw many of the sights shown in The Conversation. Though the movie often dragged, at the same time I couldn’t see how it could be cut. There was something professional and intriguing, yet abhorrent about the way Gene Hackman’s character kept recording and endlessly replaying the targets’ conversations.
Do the Right Thing both amused and horrified us. Many of the scenes were funny. But the deaths in the end were so awful, especially the one of Radio Raheem, the kid with the jam box, since it seemed he hadn’t done nothing wrong except make an error in judgment. It was such a shame that he, whose jam box was everywhere during the movie, would be killed, so ending his music-loving days. Also, I saw in this movie what I had read about, perhaps somewhere in the textbook: that in the scenery and composition of his movies, Spike Lee used colors that complemented black skin. It made for a truly beautiful effect.
Some of these movies made you feel good and noble; some made you feel bad and part of a diseased society. But you could see what made them all great and/or significant movies in one way or another. They weren’t all wonderful movies, but even Birth of a Nation used groundbreaking techniques, making it significant, though not great. I don’t remember what other movies we saw than the ones I’ve already mentioned, just that I liked most of them.
Nelson also wrote suggested movies on the board every day, movies which were being shown on TV that night or week. This was the first I heard of The Graduate, but I didn’t get to watch it. I saw very few of the movies, though I did try. I wanted to see Stalag 17 again, but it was playing on AMC, which Roanoke’s cable system, Warner, didn’t have. I did see North by Northwest on the 18th and used it as a subject for a response paper, which I noted in my day planner on January 19. I saw Strangers on a Train and wrote a response paper on it, which I noted on January 20. I don’t remember if I saw A Night at the Opera, but since it was the Marx brothers, I know I wanted to. I wrote down movies even if they were on AMC, probably just in case I still got a chance to see them, however remote.
The miniseries Tales of the City came to PBS; Wisconsin played the censored version, the one without nudity. The movie played over two nights or more.
I discovered after the first installment that Pearl and maybe Sharon had come across it and watched it. As demented as it was (it was about a young, innocent woman’s experiences in the twisted world of 70s San Francisco), with its marijuana brownies and gays and lesbians and free love and a woman who used to be a man, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. On Wednesday the 12th, Pearl asked me to record it for her that night, since she would have to miss it.
On Friday, January 14, apparently I was supposed to expect Sharon to come over and hang out in my room for a while, but I don’t think she did; Phil, however, did. We had a long conversation, during which I got my point across, that he wasn’t being fair to either Tracy or me. Clarissa was out of the room. It was bitterly cold outside. That was the first night of the sub-zero temperatures we had that year. It was cold in our room, too, so as Phil sat in a desk chair, I sat in another chair in front of him and wrapped myself up in my flag afghan.
He said that friends could marry and be happy even though they weren’t in love with each other. One of his relatives had done this. But I didn’t buy it. Sure it could happen, but why settle for a marriage or dating relationship with someone who’s just a friend, when you have someone you can love wanting to love you?
To this day, I don’t understand why he chose Tracy over me. Got there first, hogwash; he already knew I liked him and wanted to go out with him. He’d come right out and asked me about this before he chose Tracy. And he said he knew Tracy better, but he could’ve gotten to know me before making his decision.
I also didn’t know that during this conversation, he realized he was in love with me. He didn’t tell me this for maybe a couple of weeks. It was also much later that he told me how badly he wanted to unwrap my afghan and ravish me.
We finally went over to the Phi-Delt suite, where a bunch of us were to watch my tape of Tales in Jennifer’s room. We ripped on the insanity of the movie all the way through, but enjoyed it at the same time.
Phil said his birthday was on the 16th. He would be 20, the same age as I was.
I don’t remember what else we did that night, but I do remember that it got so bitterly cold (wind chills were probably well below zero) that Phil and I didn’t want to go outside to go home. When Jennifer and her roommate asked us to stay overnight, Phil agreed, and then so did I. I think Clarissa left anyway. I only lived in the next dorm, but if Phil was going to stay there, I wanted to as well.
Jennifer’s Mike was also there; he and Jennifer cuddled in her bed. Several of us crashed on the carpeted floor; I slept with my coat as a blanket and maybe also as a mattress. It was very cold on that floor, but the room wasn’t as cold as some other rooms were.
It was a long night and I got little sleep, since the floor was not at all comfortable. Phil slept nearby in his jacket. We inched closer together all night; I think some of our friends noticed this. Phil had passionate dreams about me.
I was glad when morning light finally came into the room and I no longer had to try to sleep on that hard floor. When it came time for people to wake up, Phil woke up and sat in a chair for a while, watching me. I suspected he was watching me, but my eyes were closed, so I didn’t know for sure until several days or weeks later, when he told me. He also later told me that he stayed there because of me.
After he left, I spent some time in the lounge with Pearl, maybe Jennifer, and Jennifer’s roommate. I spoke of Phil, but they called me the Other Woman. I was convinced he really wanted me, not her, but they weren’t. They seemed to think it was really Tracy he wanted, and that it was hopeless for me.
On Tuesday, it was so cold that classes were canceled. For Wisconsin, that has to be pretty dang cold: We’re not wimps up here.
According to January 27 in my day planner, that day I got a Gothic novel from the library to entertain myself over Winterim Break. I may have gotten The Monk at that time, though I thought I got it earlier and had the flu while reading it.
The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis was written in the 18th century. This strange book amused me while it scared me, because of all the sex going on in this 18th-century novel. No wonder it was considered pornographic for the time! (Of course, this was the same century that produced Dangerous Liaisons.) For ours, it’s pretty tame, however.
It’s about a monk tempted by a novice who’s really a woman in disguise. Meanwhile, he also lusts after a 15-year-old girl he saw around town, and plots to rape her. She wants to marry this guy she’s just met. There’s also a couple who break up for some reason I forget, and she enters a convent. The guy comes to see her, and they end up doing things that they shouldn’t. Then, even though she had a part in it, the girl calls the guy a foul seducer. There’s more, but just in case you want to read the book, I don’t want to give away what happens. I probably finished reading the book on Friday, March 6. In February I told Phil about it, and he jokingly scolded me for reading such a racy book.
On the 27th, Pearl talked to Phil, and he told her he was able to date other people as well as Tracy. The problem was, he’d just found out about another girl who liked him, even though he wasn’t that interested in her. (I think she was 16, and he recently discovered that wasn’t “legal,” so he wouldn’t want to put himself in temptation’s way and end up in jail for statutory.)
On the 28th, everyone else left for Winterim Break, and I stayed. I had tried calling Phil the night before, but he wasn’t home. Now he called me, wanting to hang out, if the weather allowed him to come to the campus that night. It was supposed to be pretty snowy, but he came anyway, around 8:30. Once, while Clarissa was out of the room, he said,
“I decided that Tracy is a good friend and will stay around.” He talked as if he broke up with Tracy nicely. She understood, saying she didn’t expect to hold onto him, anyway. (Not until summer did he admit that he wasn’t so nice. In fact, he said to her, “I’m sick of being nice.”)
He was available again. This made me happy, of course. Finally! No more “other woman” stuff from people! And note the date–exactly two years after the day Peter broke up with me. I wondered if this was deliberate timing on God’s part, a consolation, giving me someone better (so I thought at the time) on the anniversary of the day that was so black for me. As for Peter, all I had left for him was friendship and concern. What I’d felt the past few months was probably nostalgia.
Phil stayed to watch Mystery Science Theater: 3000 with us, though finally Clarissa wanted him to leave so she could go to bed. Phil and I stood outside in the hallway for a few minutes to say goodbye. He looked like he might want to kiss me, but as far as I was concerned, this was our first “date” since we became a couple, and kissing should wait for the second date. He seemed to sense this–maybe it was my body language–and didn’t try.
On Saturday the 29th, Phil came over to pick me up at 4:30. It was now Winterim Break, and we had no homework to worry about. As we walked along the sidewalk that led from the side door nearest the suites, I looked up at Phil’s clean-shaven face and thought, “He doesn’t look as cute now!” I had a strange, momentary loss of interest in him. But I remembered my loss of interest with Peter soon after we started dating, and realized that this would probably soon pass. I also soon asked him to grow his beard back.
(I didn’t use to like beards. Maybe I did now because all the alternative rockers were wearing goatees now, so all the college boys were also wearing goatees when the school year began, so I began to think goatees look cool. I still think so. Phil’s beard was more shaggy than a neatly-clipped goatee, and had patches which did not grow properly, but I still liked it.)
We went to Phil’s house to watch movies: Top Gun, Dead Poets Society and Room With a View. I thought he played these for me because he loved them, which impressed me; he told me much later that he liked View more because it was good for dates, than as a movie. At the time, however, I innocently thought that his liking it showed how sweet he was. As for Dead Poets Society, I believe he legitimately liked this one, because Robin Williams was his idol.
My mom and I had watched View before, the uncut version with the skinny-dipping men getting caught by women. (Turns out that really is in the book, even though it was written about a century ago.) Mom said, “Whoops!”
We watched these movies in Phil’s tiny room. He had no bed, just a couch, which he later said was a sofa bed. There was no room for a regular bed. On the wall with the door was his full entertainment center, with TV, S–’s Marcus Cable with Weather Channel reports for S– (rather than Green Bay, which we got at Roanoke–and they even had different colors, fonts and features), VCR, Nintendo, and possibly a stereo. He even had remote controls.
Also in the entertainment center was a porcelain bird, a beautiful, white sculpture, maybe a foot high or shorter. It was probably a falcon, though people thought it was an owl. He later told me about the artist he got it from (I forget the story now). When we began talking about engagement, he said it would be my engagement ring, since he didn’t have the money for a real one.
Up on the back of his door was a picture, drawn on a piece of notebook paper. I think it was a unicorn, and around it were the words, “I love you.” I hadn’t drawn it, of course, so I smiled and asked Phil what it was. I may have feared it was from Tracy, but it was from girlfriend number 6. I think he had broken up with her only the previous summer, and I don’t think he was mad at her for anything, so he still hadn’t gotten around to removing the picture. I smiled, completely without jealousy, and said nothing about him taking it down. But once, I got up to go the bathroom, came back, and noticed it had been removed.
As we sat on the couch watching movies, getting progressively closer, Phil’s four-year-old nephew kept walking in and talking to us, because the door didn’t have a lock. He brought in his drink; he chatted with and smiled at me; he acted like a four-year-old who didn’t understand the concept of dating and wanting to be alone. We laughed. He finally fell asleep in the living room. Phil and I got even closer then, with Phil stroking my hair and kissing the top of my head.
After the movies, Phil turned off the TV. He sat beside me on the left arm of the couch, and looked at me. He half-smiled and may have nodded his head. Then he leaned over and kissed me, leaning me down onto my back on the couch.
He told me he’d liked me as long as I’d liked him, and that’s how long he’d been waiting to kiss me.
We shared so many long kisses that evening that my lips grew tired and chapped. But my stupid daily wear contacts dried out as it got later and later, so I finally had to reluctantly tell Phil that I had to go home and take them out.
During this date or the next, Phil told me that Peter had warned him about going out with me. He named some reasons, and said he had no problem with them. At least one was news to me.
Phil agreed with me that the reasons were petty, and I said how glad I was to be with someone who was not petty. He said, “Peter said, ‘Phil, she waited outside the bathroom for me!’” We both thought this was the most ridiculous thing we’d ever heard. Where else was I supposed to go, we wondered? Was I supposed to wander all over the building while he was in the bathroom? Was I supposed to ditch him there and go off to class without him?
A short time later, Phil and I were alone in the cafeteria and about to leave. We went over to the doors, then he went into the men’s bathroom, which was between the two sets of doors leading to the hill outside. I leaned up against a table which had been used for holding various foods during the meal, having nowhere else to go. Phil came out of the bathroom, saw me, said with a grin, “You waited outside the bathroom for me!” and kissed me for it. He couldn’t imagine somebody not doing this!
My husband also can’t figure out why Peter had a problem with it, and once got upset with me because I went to a nearby cafe in the movie theater instead of waiting outside the bathroom for him! Whenever we’re out and about, or traveling, and have to use the bathroom, we wait outside the bathroom for each other. So Peter–WHAT THE HECK was so wrong with this?
On Thursday, March 9, 2000, several of my college friends came to my home and, with my husband and me, went to a restaurant for dinner. As we were leaving, the girls stopped in the bathroom for five minutes or so. And you know what? We didn’t go out to the cars, oh no. We all stood and waited (not my idea) right outside the bathroom for them, with the guys holding their coats, and nobody said a word about it!
I don’t think Phil ever did agree with any of the things Peter told him were supposedly “wrong” with me. For the record, when Phil broke up with me, I don’t believe he used any of those reasons. In fact, when I told Phil early on that being with Peter too much destroyed our relationship, and that I didn’t want to spend all my time with Phil for fear it would happen again with him, Phil said, “I’ve had ex-girlfriends tell me that if they’d spent more time with me and knew more about me, like they know now, they wouldn’t have broken up with me. I want to spend as much time with a girlfriend as possible so this doesn’t happen again.”
Peter also told Phil and Phil’s mother that I had talked about marriage all the time. So I told Phil what really happened, that I only talked about marriage all the time because Peter did the same and we were essentially engaged. Though in many ways I was not yet aware of, Phil was bad for me, in some ways he was good for me, at least for a while, because he showed me that Peter had indeed been petty and not all guys have problems with these things.
Phil said Peter was right about one thing: that I was a good kisser. Hearing that even an ex-boyfriend would say this about me, was flattering. Hearing that two guys thought this about me was even more flattering. Shawn had complained about how I kissed–but who cared anymore? This proved that it was just Shawn being his usual hypercritical self, never satisfied with anything about me or anything I did.
I was furious with Peter for trying to keep Phil from going out with me. Peter seemed to have turned into Mr. Studmuffin, constantly finding new girlfriends, while Phil was the first guy I’d found since Peter who truly wanted to go out with me. I deserved love, too. And didn’t he realize that the best way for me to get over him was a new love? This bit of evidence makes me wonder if other guys did not ask me out, because Peter poisoned the well with his lies and half-truths about me.
As he drove me home with the radio on Top-40, he sang along with songs that said, “I love you.”
The next night, the 30th, I didn’t wear my contacts, so I could stay as late as I wanted to. We ended up falling asleep on the couch, holding each other all night. Yes, we were fully clothed. We often did this over the next few weeks, though soon it began to be too uncomfortable to spend the night holding each other on a couch. He would begin to pull the couch into a queen-sized bed instead. The first night, however, it seemed wonderfully comfortable and romantic to lie unmoving and holding each other on a couch.
The next morning, right after we woke up, I had to hide in Phil’s room until he spoke to his mom. When he did, she said it was OK that I was there.
On the way back to Roanoke, he put his hand on my knee, sang along with love songs again, and said, “Don’t think I don’t mean it.”
A declaration of love this early? Aren’t guys supposed to be reluctant to commit, scared away by girls who say “I love you” too early?
Though I loved hearing him say “I love you,” I didn’t know what to do about it. Though I could be in love with him already, it was too soon to be sure.
When we got back to Roanoke, I began to feel as if Phil were already wearing on me. This transient feeling made me a bit sad after Phil left. What’s this, I finally have a boyfriend, one I really like, and already I don’t want him anymore? Phil said to Clarissa with a smile as he dropped me off, “I think she’s getting tired of me already.” I don’t know how he knew. But it only lasted a few hours or more, the aftermath of forbidden fruit no longer being forbidden, but at the time I didn’t know what was going on.
Peter told Phil that I moved very slowly, and that we didn’t kiss until maybe a week or two after we started dating. Phil told him we’d just spent the night on his couch, and Peter was shocked. As I told Phil, I couldn’t figure out why he was so shocked. I often crawled into Peter’s bed at night when I spent the weekend or a vacation at his house, and we both had wished that I could stay there all night. I would have, but he told me his parents would probably go ballistic and perhaps ban me from his room entirely. We didn’t want to have sex; we just wanted to cuddle. I’m serious, so don’t laugh or say “sure.” So I wondered why Peter thought I wouldn’t sleep fully-clothed and chastely on Phil’s couch on one of our first dates. Did Peter forget so soon? Oh yeah, he had a way of twisting the truth about me.
As I also told Phil, the only reason Peter and I didn’t kiss right away was because he took so long to do it. I would have gladly kissed Peter much sooner, but though he had plenty of chances to kiss me goodnight, he always chickened out (as he told me later) and hugged me instead. It made me very frustrated with him, since I wanted to kiss a guy before I died.
Also, Peter obviously had no clue how far I had already gone with Shawn. I wanted to go back to innocence, stay away from the things I did with Shawn, but I was hardly the innocent one Peter thought I was, anymore.
I soon learned that Peter was thinking of joining the Church of Wicca. From Christian to atheist to Wiccan: what a change in just a few years! And how incompatible we would have been!
On Tuesday night, February the 1st, just before Spring Semester started, I don’t think I had a class very early the next morning, though Phil did. But at the time he didn’t care, and was more interested in kissing me than in taking me back to school and then going to bed.
Late that night, Phil’s brother Dave suddenly burst into the room wearing nothing but briefs, and said in a scolding tone, “Phil, you have an 8:00!” He left soon after, and I thought that was so strange. How could he have been so bold as to 1) come into the room without knocking while I was in it and 2) come into the room in his underwear while I was in it? I believe he was well aware that I was there, so ignorance was not an excuse. I think Phil said Dave really didn’t care. I was soon to discover that both Dave and his mother had a habit of bursting into Phil’s room without knocking. They did this no matter who was in his room.
Recently, the newspaper told me Tracy graduated college, and her major. I’ve also seen her back in town recently, right in the same parking lot I pulled into. From various IPs linked conclusively to them, It looks like one of them has been in town this whole past year, even while she went to college on the other side of the state–even though her IP location came from a city near the college for much of the year.
Her main IP address is screwy, because the locations keep changing even though the IP does not. Sometimes she’s in Eau Claire, or Madison, or Rochester MN….And now the same IP shows up as Fond du Lac, then Madison, then Fond du Lac, then Madison…. Other local IPs from that ISP, including mine, always show as Fond du Lac. She recently used one other IP that showed Missouri, but it was identified by my stat trackers as her cell phone–and she used that same phone on my blog a short time later, from Fond du Lac. And sometimes I get hits from Texas, someone who has used Richard and Tracy’s unique search terms. I have no clue what’s going on. All I know is that now she’s graduated and was in Fond du Lac again back in June.
I’ve heard of people leaving town to get away from their abusers, but that’s not possible here: We own this house, and were in this town long before they were.
The other day, I open up the newspaper and it tells me that Tracy got some kind of honor at her college. A couple of years ago, it said she was in an honor society of some kind. I did not want to see that. She does not deserve honors after the way she has treated so many people over the years. But unfortunately, academic-based honors often have little to do with the kind of person you are, and are based solely on grade point averages, so even sociopaths and various forms of abusers can get degrees and honors.
Abuse victims want justice. We don’t want our abusers getting accolades. Just ask the daughter of Woody Allen what that’s like.
Just ask any girl who’s been raped in college, but her abuser went on to get a degree. Even a degree seems too good for our abusers. This does actually happen, as a victim’s concerns are minimized and the rapist is allowed to graduate:
A graduating senior at Central College who was found responsible for “non-consensual sex” with a fellow student was given a choice: be expelled a month before graduation or stay in school with the conditions that he not walk in the ceremony and allow the college to notify a future employer and other schools that he’d violated the code of conduct….
A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that students deemed “responsible” for sexual assaults on campus often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems, while their victims’ lives are frequently turned upside down. –Lee Rood, Central College lets rape suspect select punishment
Scott is a graduating senior, so some people may wonder why I care anymore. He’ll be gone soon enough, so what if the school didn’t do anything? When he was first found responsible, I was told that the purpose of these sanctions was to help him learn from this. It is clear to me he hasn’t learned anything, and that scares me. When he gets his diploma, he will officially be a representative of what Macalester stands for, and I fear that he will represent my school as a place that protects rapists at the expense of the people they victimize.
If I return to Macalester for my senior year in the fall and get my diploma next year, I will also be representative of Macalester. For better or worse, I will be tied to Scott forever. I will also be tied to what I see as a pattern of survivors of sexual assault who are forced to watch their school choose to protect the future of criminals over their own safety. My fear is that if I stay, I will become a silent accomplice to rape. Not just to my own rape, but to the future people I believe Scott will victimize. –Anna Binkovitz, Sharing a degree with your rapist
Just finding out that my ex Phil is a math teacher or professor, makes me cringe. Him, molding young minds? The guy who psychologically abused me and even tried to sexually assault me several times? And of course, to be a math teacher, he had to get a couple of degrees. Years ago, I told people I hoped he would become a monk, so he could not hurt more women or, as a priest, advise married couples. Instead, he went on to marry, have two kids, and get divorced, making me wonder how that woman and her children have been abused.
My bullies, Richard and Tracy, denied the truth of what I wrote in this blog about their many abuses of me and others. I had already told Social Services about the abuse in their home. They threatened to sue, and began to stalk me at church for a while, then by keeping tabs on my blog. And that’s despite the fact–or maybe because–Richard had been convicted of choking one of his kids, proving I wrote the truth. I kept my blog up despite all the hell they put me through, because the truth needed to be told. I told my friends and family about it, too.
The Forum we all used to belong to, was convinced of my credibility when they saw the facts of Richard’s case on the state’s and newspaper’s websites. Yet still Richard and Tracy imagined they could somehow threaten and scare me into believing I was a liar. Apparently they were the only ones who did not see Richard’s conviction as proof I was telling the truth about domestic violence in their household.
Yet I opened up the paper yesterday and read that Tracy had received some sort of honor at college this past school year. I previously learned that Richard, while convicted, plea-bargained and got merely a fine and year’s probation. So he’s out walking free despite nearly killing a 9-year-old girl, and I still see the kids with them both despite Tracy’s verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse, despite my detailed report describing how Tracy had been tormenting the children and exposing them to her domestic violence against Richard.
I want these people in jail for abusing their kids and terrorizing me. I want Richard to have gotten the sentence he deserved: many years in prison, which he would’ve received if he hadn’t plea-bargained. I want Tracy put in jail for punching Richard. I want them to either shape up or get their kids put with better parents. I want them to apologize to me on their knees. I do NOT want them moving on with life, getting honors, manipulating and abusing other people, being told how wonderful they are, continuing to physically abuse and psychologically torture and scar their children. (They have hurt a lot of other people besides me.)
One consolation is, while Richard wanted to become an Orthodox priest, my priest tells me that’s impossible because of the child abuse conviction. And a friend who sometimes has to help hire people, was directed to screen out anyone with domestic abuse on their record, because of the nature of the job.
It boggles my mind (and my husband’s) that Tracy got a degree in business management. HER, a MANAGER? She can’t even manage her own household or temper! I fear for anyone who, in the future, is put under her supervision–just as I fear for her children under her supervision. I pray for her children’s safety nearly every day.
And I’m not the only one who has to deal with this. I see the same frustrations, anger at the injustice of it all, permeating other abuse blogs. For example, this one, because this woman, a PTSD sufferer, was spiritually abused by a predatory pastor, then reported him–yet now he’s been made senior pastor at a new church:
Allison also occasionally checks up on her LinkedIn profile, which is creepy. Yes, those of us who have been abused know how creepy it is to be “checked up on” by our abusers! I get “checked up on” every week or so by mine! Keeping my blog up has required a lot of courage, and has earned me a strength I did not have before.
Then there’s Alex Grenier, who has spread the word about his father’s severe physical and sexual abuses, yet Bob Grenier continues in his Calvary Chapel position.
This kind of thing happens in our churches, and it should not. It’s not just a Catholic problem.
It’s also not just a Christian problem:
Hopefully the more we spread awareness of these things, through our blogs or other means, the more things will begin to change. Already there is an outcry about abusive pastors going on to other churches, or keeping their current posts. Abuse victims of all kinds are spreading the word that this evil exists, so that hopefully society can begin to stamp it out. “Narcissist” is becoming a household word, and Cluster B (abusive) personality disorders are becoming better-known.
Sometimes narcissists tell you all sorts of stories to make you think they’re the most interesting person in the world. But a little digging proves them to be false, or taken from other people’s lives.
I have spent the last 6 years combing the Net for verification of Richard’s wild stories about his past. (Yes, even while we were still friends, I doubted them.) If they are true, they would reveal corruption in high places. But if they are false, they would have been meant to make himself look more awesome in my eyes while brainwashing me into becoming anti-liberal. Because after all, liberal presidents were doing horrible things while conservatives fixed them.
And, well, it provides some amusement when I’m bored.
Doubtful story #1: That his brother invented a car which runs completely without gas, which was about to be introduced publicly with the help of Bono, but Al Gore blocked it. But for years I have searched the Net and found absolutely nothing to support this. Rather, I discovered that such cars have been in development for decades, publicly–and without Al Gore blocking them. Also doubtful because his brother supposedly would have a large salary because of this, but when Richard needed a large sum of money, I asked why his brother didn’t give it to him–and he said he didn’t have that salary yet. This was two years after he told me his brother had been offered this salary. This is one of the reasons I now highly suspect Richard of running a con job on my husband and me.
Doubtful story #2: That Obama changed policies dealing with a certain tribal group that plundered its wealth. But research I uncovered told a different story in a tribal newspaper, that Obama had resolved this issue some time ago, to the tribe’s satisfaction. I don’t go into more detail here, to hide identities, so sorry if this is too vague. Also, apparently some tribal members were getting jailed for speaking out about this. This violates human rights if true, but is it true?
Doubtful story #3: That Clinton signed an executive order that Border Patrol guards were to shoot illegally crossing immigrants on sight, but Bush rescinded it. I have combed the Net for years, especially recently as some Border Patrol controversies have hit the news. I discovered that yes, Border guards have indeed been doing all sorts of illegal acts, such as shooting people without justification. But this has been an ongoing problem for decades, NOT starting with Clinton, NOR ending with Bush. And I found absolutely no evidence of Clinton issuing such an order.
On the contrary, organizations such as Amnesty International have been quite vocal for years about any sort of mistreatment of illegals by border guards, and I think they would’ve been able to uncover if such an order justified the guards’ behavior. Rather, the Border Patrol is often criticized because these actions are NOT legal and they are not being properly screened/trained/disciplined. There are even people (usually the more radical right-wingers) who say the Border Patrol is hindered because it never has been allowed to shoot on sight, but should be. A certain story which Richard told me, must have led to an outcry from somebody, a disciplinary process, a report to Amnesty, something, because everything I find says that he was NOT allowed to do that. So yes, some border guards do these things, but not with the president’s permission.
This is the most frustrating part of his stories: the lack of a means to verify them. Some I can toss aside as some fanciful BS he told me to see how gullible I was, such as that story about the sweat lodge…. (I won’t go into detail, but he knows what I mean.) And I can chuckle at the very idea that he would be somehow connected to, or have stories about, every single interesting person/activity on this planet.
Let’s see…he knows ghost hunters with pictures that prove ghosts/chupacabra…AND knives were thrown at his ghost-hunting party by a spirit…AND he was related to an guy in the Freemasons who could prove their link to the Illuminati…AND made a successful movie…AND wrote a movie that was nearly made by a huge director but Richard never got around to a rewrite…AND gave ideas to a friend who turned it into a popular movie, but conveniently kept Richard’s name out of the credits…AND knew practically everybody in Hollywood…AND was personally addressed by a demon during an exorcism…AND some guy sicced demons on him when he was a kid….
I can just figure he was either lying or taking stories of other people’s lives, because these stories strain credibility and I have no one to confirm or deny them. The people he grew up with, are thousands of miles away from me.
Some stories I can verify through Todd, who either witnessed them himself, or Richard told Todd these things as well. This is why I am reasonably confident that Richard was indeed in the Mafia and was once a preacher–and that his previous residence was far worse than I ever saw. Some other stories I can reasonably believe because of things Todd and I both witnessed, ie, that Tracy’s abuses got far worse than what I ever saw, and that she and Richard have domestic disputes.
I don’t know what to make of his hypnotism claims. Was he just putting me on, or did he really do this? Or was he like my ex Peter, truly believing in his ESP abilities, but that doesn’t mean he really could do this?
But the above stories have more sinister implications about the government, and would be easier to confirm or deny through news organizations or blogs, and that drives me to keep searching. SOMEBODY out there should know if they’re true or not, without having to be connected with Richard.
If anybody has concrete evidence about these things, I would love to see it. No, it won’t turn me conservative, because my liberal ideals are based on my system of morals and much research. It’s more for curiosity. And no, I won’t approve political rants.
More on narcissists and their personas.
This post by Alex Grenier is so awesome that I have to share it with my readers:
Alex Grenier was abused by his pastor-father and now advocates against child and church abuse on his blog, Calvary Chapel Abuse. Some quotes:
I appeal to your Conscience as a Christian parent…especially if you’ve been taught by a conservative fundamentalist evangelical church that beating your kids with rods “for Jesus!” and breaking their “spirit” is right and righteous. Let me be extremely clear: It is evil and you are wrong. You have bought into a lie.
Don’t hurt your kids. Don’t teach it, don’t rationalize it, don’t justify it. If you are hurting your kids now, stop. If you are a pastor who is teaching child discipline and you appeal to the Old Testament and verses that tell you to beat your kids with rods and leave stripes and scours (bruises and wounds)…and you teach that a parent must beat the “rebellious spirit” or “will” out of your children…you are teaching evil and you are sinning.
Jesus does not want you to beat your kids into submission and Jesus does not force people into submission.You imposing your power physically and mentally and spiritually over your children to “break” them so they conform to whatever whim you have in your home is being a bully and is being an abuser and is an incredibly destructive misuse of the power and responsibility God has given you, toward the children he has also given you.
God does not want you to beat your children to “break” their will. That is what enemy military and the mafia does to extract information or to force compliance with a particular agenda…or to just be plain evil bastards who like to hurt and scare people.
Other “abuse” is defined as imprisonment, like locking a child in a small coat closet (my brother Geoff was imprisoned by my step-dad in a small coat closet as a form of discipline).
Hitting and striking your child in the face or head with your hands is abuse.
Parents, if you really truly “love” your children and want what’s best for them…do not hurt them. Do not have as your goal to “break their will” and to force conformity to your particular whim or agenda or view of a particular situation. You do not want God forcing you into compliance. You would press charges against me if I walked into your home, grabbed you by the collar and beat you into submission if I wanted you to stop doing something.
Your children are sentient human beings. I am a sentient human being. My brothers are sentient human beings. Your children have the same rights you do, they are just as important to God as you are.
There is nothing more dehumanizing than crushing the spirit of another human being using fear, force, violence and humiliation….
- About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
- In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.
- Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
- Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
- Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
Parents, many of you are that “devil” that is ruining your kids. Many of you are the very evil you say you are against and guarding your kids from. If you want to screw your kids up big time, just do what my step-dad has done…hurt your kids, dominate them, force them into conformity, strip away their humanity and use fear and guilt and shame and beat any good they have right out of them. You cannot beat Jesus into your kids…but you sure as hell can beat Jesus out of them….
We employ a parenting philosophy we call Grace-based Parenting…and I lead that effort in our home. My wife came from a very healthy and loving Christian home that disciplined responsibly so she is not nearly as sensitive to the issue as I am…but she has seen the results of what happened to me and my brothers over the years and understands the dynamic and the cause-effect correlations that come with abuse.
…The first rule of Grace-based Parenting: Make up your mind early on and know that your goal is NOT to force absolute conformity and to have realistic goals and know and accept that your spirited child is…not might…but IS going to give you trouble. Don’t be shocked when he or she does. Know that the issue will be a recurring issue…just as there are things about you (parent) that you struggle with, sins that you struggle with all the time that you repeat and don’t conform to God all the way in some areas.
…The second rule of Grace-based Parenting: Don’t die on every hill. Pick your battles. Don’t make every last issue full-on nuclear war. Kids are human beings and they are full of energy, full of mischievousness and sometimes full of naughtiness. Remember, they take after you. Show some grace over petty issues. Give them the power to speak for themselves and the power to push back and explain themselves. Don’t silence your kids. Don’t take away their voice…that is very destructive. Have good boundaries…have rules…but not petty stupid stuff. We were often smacked in the head or face while our hands were forced to be kept at our side whenever our step-dad perceived a “bad attitude”. Don’t worry about a facial expression that expresses disappointment or discomfort or non-agreement. Your kids are human beings!
…The third rule of Grace-based Parenting: Give your kids the power over their punishments. My son crosses the line…often. He does the crime…and he serves the time. But, he also has the keys to let himself out of punishment (metaphorically speaking, we DO NOT lock up our kids…I saw it happen to my brother growing up…he was forced to stay in a small coat closet in the dark and it was terrifying and evil, like solitary confinement in prison only done to a child). The punishment begins and we simply tell our kids…if you want to end your punishment then correct your behavior.
…When you tell your kids you “love” them…and then you hurt them and yell at them all the time and crush their spirit and scare them and threaten them etc, they are not stupid. They know that you don’t love them…it’s just a word you use. Kids are very perceptive and they learn to not trust you very quickly when you cross lines and are abusive and mean towards them. When you lose your kids’ trust, you have failed miserably as a parent.
…If your kids aren’t supposed to hit others and yell at others…how can you be a trusted and honest broker if you treat them much differently? If you lose your cool, repent quickly and let your children know you are sorry for your actions and that yelling was wrong…just as when they yell it is wrong.
If you find yourself consistently losing your cool, you have a problem and you need to get help. It is not normal, both moms and dads, for you to fly off the handle all the time and to scream and yell and “lose your temper”.
My step-dad was famous for his self-described “temper problem” which he used instead of his “child abuse problem”.
If you cannot control yourself, if you cannot deal with another little human being not being perfect and not complying perfectly to your will and you freak out over this (my step-dad would blame his abusiveness on being “provoked” often by my brother Geoff…which is wrong, Bob is responsible for his own abusive behavior) then you have a major problem and you need professional help.Get it under control or you may end up in jail, you may end up on a blog someday and you will end up with grown kids who are damaged and who will never forget how you hurt them.
There is much more good stuff in that post.
From Cathy Young at TIME Magazine:
Traditional stereotypes have led to double standards that often cause women’s violence—especially against men—to be trivialized…..
Research showing that women are often aggressors in domestic violence has been causing controversy for almost 40 years, ever since the 1975 National Family Violence Survey by sociologists Murray Straus and Richard Gelles of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire found that women were just as likely as men to report hitting a spouse and men were just as likely as women to report getting hit.
The researchers initially assumed that, at least in cases of mutual violence, the women were defending themselves or retaliating. But when subsequent surveys asked who struck first, it turned out that women were as likely as men to initiate violence—a finding confirmed by more than 200 studies of intimate violence. In a 2010 review essay in the journal Partner Abuse, Straus concludes that women’s motives for domestic violence are often similar to men’s, ranging from anger to coercive control.
I know from personal experience that women can be violent aggressors to husbands, lovers, children–not just in self-defense. I witnessed Tracy hitting Richard, smacking the kids in the head, going nuts on the kids. And Richard told me that she would go into rages and punch him, while he struggled to keep from fighting back. I also remember seeing girls hit boys back in school. Women abusing men really does happen, even though some try to say it doesn’t. And it needs to stop, no matter if women or men are the aggressors.