What if The Abusers Changed?

A question which can come up any time you deal with an abuser, is, what if they change?

What if, through the court’s forcing them to cooperate with Social Services, Richard and Tracy turn their lives around?

What if they get education, get skills, get steady jobs, and that stressor is removed?

What if they go through counseling which eliminates the child and spousal abuse?

What if Richard decides not to be narcissistic anymore?

What if Tracy gets a diagnosis and treatment for whatever is causing her behavior?

That is a good question.  I’m not sure what my answer would be.  But unless someone who knows them tells me of these changes, or unless they come to me and demonstrate these changes, I have no way of knowing if they’ve happened, or if they’re for real.

Narcissists/Abusers are often able to pretend to have changed so they can suck the abused back in again.  And Richard told me things like, he was violent in his past but turned away from that, and he abused the kids once or twice in the past but doesn’t do that anymore–only to demonstrate that to be a lie.

Not only did his violence in other ways begin to show itself here and there over time, in comments he would make about his feelings toward violence, but he nearly killed one of his children, a few years after he told me that he had turned away from past child abuse.

So would I even be able to trust him if he came to me and said that he’s turned away from violence and abuse?

If they did come to me and beg forgiveness for the things they did to me and for how Richard threatened and intimidated my husband, I would probably want to grant them that forgiveness.

But to trust them? to let them back into my life?  That would take long, hard thought before doing it, and even if I allowed it, it would take a long time to trust either one of them.

Richard would no longer be my “bestie” because that trust in my best friend had been sorely betrayed and broken.  Not only will he have been on probation with the state, but he would now be on probation with me.

And I even find their politics disgusting, now that the true nature of their political parties has come more to light, and I know Richard and Tracy to be rabidly partisan to the point where they insult the intelligence of people who disagree.

Would I really be able to let them back in again and hear them say things about politics that I find repugnant because of the way their parties treat the poor and elderly, and deny reality?

If they supposedly “change” but do not come to me asking forgiveness, then I will have no basis on which to put a belief in their changing at all.

If they “change” but continue to think I’m at fault for Tracy’s abuse and bullying of me–

–that I need to be the one to go to them–

–that Tracy can rage with filthy and belittling comments and accusations, yet I’m supposed to believe Richard when he says I did worse (just by being a quiet person and scared of her) and that Tracy is “not a monster”–

–then that will be incontrovertible proof that they have not changed at all–

–just pushed the abuse down deep where they can fool social workers and probation officers and friends that they have changed.

I know from the newspaper that Tracy has been inducted into an honor society at a local college, so that means she’s getting an education which would help her get stable, better-paying employment.

So if Richard and Tracy do get stable employment and start being nicer to their kids and each other, then hey, that’s cool for them.  Maybe those kids will finally have a chance at a better life.

But if they never demonstrate to me that any change has happened, then all I have to go on is how they treated me in the past, how they abused each other in the past, and I will have no proof that they have truly changed at all.

I tried making peace with them before, only to find that their version of “peace” was for me to allow them to continue bullying and abusing me, without letting me have a voice or opinion of my own.

I can’t go by some fantasy fairy land dream; all I can go by is what I know from my own experience.  And that means that all the world can tell me they’ve changed, but I cannot, should not, must not believe it without it being proved to me.

Otherwise, I’ll just set myself up for disappointment, and probably more abuse and bullying in future.  And the first step for them to prove it to me, is to come to my husband and me and apologize for the bullying and abuse of me, and threatening and intimidating of my husband.

Here’s a blog post on this subject, just posted today, called Learning about predators from nature: leopards do not change their spots.  Shrink4Men’s blog was timely, not just because I posted this blog before I saw that one, but because I’ve been doing it again–missing Richard and wondering if he and Tracy are not really so bad as all that.  I have to keep reminding myself of the truth, lest I forget.

My trouble is, I’m way too freaking gullible.  I knew about Richard’s past–violence, dog with women, fooling a whole congregation as a preacher by faking speaking in tongues–but I believed he had changed.

I believe the lies of predators far too easily, and sometimes the lies are some real howlers.

I have to stay strong and remember that I know what Richard and Tracy are really like, even if their friends think they’re awesome.

I have to remember how pleasant and peaceful it’s been without that nasty Tracy in my life.

 

Buy My Books! Buy My Books!

My books are available for purchase here.  E-book downloads are only $3.  You can see text previews at the links for the print versions.  Descriptions:

Tojet:

A fairy tale for adults.  A mysterious girl named Tojet appears in a convent-run school one day.  Two teachers, Sister Elizabeth and oddly-named Merkit Terjit, take her under their care.

But is she a lost, imaginative orphan or a time traveler with fairy powers?  How does she know who Merkit is and how he was named?

Tragedy drives her away, but she returns as a young, beautiful woman, far more mature than she should be.  She shows Merkit a world of obsession and dark fairies.

He can’t help falling in love with her, but what about the monastic vows he’s about to take?  Can he fight the temptations that surround him?

—Preview available here.  So far, this book has been given the highest rating by four readers.  Also see professional reviews here and here[Update: Last link was to Wayback Machine, but doesn’t work anymore for some reason.]

 

The Lighthouse:

Enter the world of the Lighthouse, a club for supernatural beings and social misfits.  In this Gothic story collection you will find castles, ghosts, vampires, romance and terror:

 

Bedlam Castle–An American college girl loses herself in the hallways of a 900-year-old castle.  Eccentric characters invite her to dinner.  One is a genie, one is an undine, and most of the others are ghosts.  One man intrigues her the most–but is he a mortal man or a supernatural creature like the rest?

 

Jarkin–Becky Stevens falls in love against her will with Archibald Jarkin, an eccentric, austere and charismatic preacher.  Their passionate marriage is tested when Jarkin’s TV ministry turns into a witch hunt.  When Becky discovers the Lighthouse, their life together takes a startling new path.

 

Alexander Boa: Or, I was a co-ed vampire slave–When a young woman’s college is taken over by a vampire, she becomes his secret mistress.  Will she be torn apart when her friends decide to kill him?

 

Candida–A young man is stricken with a girl who falls under a vampire’s spell.  Soon married and pregnant with the vampire’s baby, she has no idea what danger she’ll be in if the baby is a boy.

 

All Together Now–This story combines characters and settings from the other four stories.  Jenny, a social misfit, is introduced to the Lighthouse, supernatural creatures, and a deceptive man.  When he leaves her and then accuses her of stalking him, she can only vindicate herself by facing the horrors of a haunted cave.  Will she survive?  Will she fall in love again?

–Preview available here.

My College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke

 

Copyright 2006

Synopsis:

“Roanoke” is a pseudonym to protect identities.

My memoirs are a mix of good times, along with stories of verbally/emotionally/sexually abusive boyfriends, and probably some undiagnosed form of NVLD/Asperger’s.  How dark times finally gave way to coming out into the light. 

They reflect 4 years of apparently dealing with a little-known learning disorder, without the benefit of knowing I had it.  It has caused difficulties.  But it also gave me certain abilities which helped with my writing and later jobs.  

These memoirs are meant to entertain, to help young women avoid making the relationship mistakes I made, and to show how I finally came through my relationship struggles triumphant.  

Also note that while I still struggle with many things because of NVLD, I graduated college and have made a decent life for myself–the roots of which are in my college story.

Index: 

Link to my page on NVLD and a bit of my life story dealing with it
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Below: Links to all of the chapters of this web-book.

 

Freshman Year 

September 1991:

 

October 1991:

 

November 1991:

 

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

 

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 

February 1992:

 

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

 

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

 

May 1992:

 

Sophomore Year 

 

Summer 1992:

 

September 1992:

 

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

 

November 1992

 

December 1992

 

January 1993

 

February 1993

 

March 1993

 

April 1993

 

May 1993

 

 

Junior Year 

 

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

 

September 1993

 

October 1993

 

November 1993

 

December 1993

 

January 1994

 

February 1994

 

March 1994

 

April 1994

 

 

Senior Year 

 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There

 

July & August 1994

 

 

 

 

 

January 1995

 

February 1995

 

March 1995

 

 

April 1995

 

May 1995

(Disclaimer: These memoirs are from my point of view.  The points of view of other people may differ.  Whether or not mine is correct is subjective.  It’s also probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of the people in these memoirs who did something that hurt me would act differently in the same situation today.  

I keep the details of bad things here not to hold onto hurts, but to make the story complete, and to help others who may be going through a similar situation and don’t know what to do.  These memoirs are also for the amusement of my friends, some of whom have lived through these events.)

History of these memoirs: I began writing detailed diaries and letters to friends in 1991.  At first, these “diaries” were mostly notes written into my day planner to record special moments with my boyfriend, Peter, such as details of the Link (explained in my memoirs) and things he told me.

In 1992, I was given a diary for Christmas, and began filling it with accounts of my troubles, since I was going through a breakup.  Soon, I filled that up and began using notebooks, filling several notebooks and diaries by the time I graduated in 1995.  These diaries were like any diary: a mix of good and bad experiences.

In 1992 or 1993, I typed my freshman year day planner into my word processor to preserve it, in case of fire.  I included more details that came to mind.

In early 1994, I began making notes for novels based on my own experiences, because I felt that nobody was capturing the kind of college experiences I and my friends were having.  The closest thing to that was the TV series Class of ’96, which was criticized as being unrealistic, and soon canceled.  Yet that show came closer to my reality than any other show or movie I had yet seen.

In late 1994 or early 1995, I began putting my experiences into a semi-fictionalized form for future publication, but the events of senior year put them on the backburner.

As I began my first job as an insurance clerk, I also began working again on my memoirs, putting them into fictional form as a series of dialogues between the protagonist and a wise, older friend.

Yes, this was much like Felicity’s tapes sent to a dear friend, in the first season of Felicity–only this was 1995 and 1996, a few years before anybody ever heard of Felicity Porter.  So I had the idea first.  Nyah.

I could change events as I wished, having my protagonist do what I wished I had done.  But first, I would write down the truth, to be fictionalized later.  In the meantime, I still wrote entries from the point of view of my protagonist’s friend, which basically were my own, wiser view a few years after the events.

Because of my job, I couldn’t go very fast on the memoirs, doing most of my writing–of the memoirs and of fictional works–on weekends and vacations.  In 1998, I was downsized and became a housewife; during that time, I made lots of progress.

However, I also read an article about libel, and feared I couldn’t publish my fictionalized version without being subject to libel suits.  I kept writing the true accounts for my own use, but no longer intended to fictionalize them in a novel.  Instead, they would be my journal of college.

In 2001, I neared completion of the accounts of freshman year (I had started working backwards because Phil’s abuses were fresh in my mind and needed to be dealt with immediately).

Friends from college kept saying, “I want to read your memoirs!”  But how was that possible, when they filled two fireproof vaults, and much of them were actually letters and personal diaries?

It was for my own use, so it was not made into an easily accessible form for anyone else to read without going to my house.  It was also full of private details.

So I decided to clip and paste bits of my journals, sometimes including copies of diary entries and letters, into e-mails sent to all those who wanted to read my memoirs.  This e-mailing began right before 9/11, and was kept up twice a week for quite some time.

In the years following, I kept the e-mails, and sent them to anyone new who wanted to see them.  But this was impractical because there were so many e-mails to send at one time.

In April 2006, I discovered Myspace.  On my Myspace blog, I started posting various things I had written before, such as travelogues.  I also posted them on this website in case Myspace crashed.

Then I began posting my memoirs–risky, because strangers could read them (including the Avenger, who happened across her story in maybe 2007).  I expanded and edited them as I went.

I put a copy of each blog on my website, calling them the Archives.  Which means even more people could read them.  It’s risky, but if I didn’t want anyone to read them, why did I spend so much of my life writing them?

At last, the story is out.  And yes, this is the true version, not at all fictional.  Eventually, I hope to also include memoirs of my childhood and possibly adulthood.

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