Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Date: December 5, 2012

In Honor of Child Abuse Remembrance

Help prevent shaken baby syndrome

  • Never shake a baby. Also, do not slap or hit a child of any age on the face or head. A child’s brain is very delicate. Shaking, slapping, or hitting a child can cause serious harm, even though it may not leave any obvious sign of injury. –Healthwise staff, Shaken Baby Syndrome: Home Treatment

I’m seeing all these people changing their 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, I became her next target.

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 note rather than changing my profile pic.

–reposted from Facebook, December 6, 2010

 

Women Abusing Men

Reaction to Women Abusing Men in Public

This video disturbs me greatly.  The couple may be actors, but the bystanders don’t know that.  What is the matter with people that instead of reacting to this apparent abuse the same way as if it were done by a man to his girlfriend/wife, they walk on by and even cheer her on, saying he “looked guilty” and they figured he deserved it?  I’m glad that somebody, at least, called 911!

I can understand if they were scared: Women who abuse their husbands/boyfriends/children are just as scary as men.  If you confront her, or if she discovers through other means that you feel she’s abusing her husband and children and needs to STOP, she’ll turn on you.  I saw this firsthand, which is why I’m so concerned about this subject.

I saw things Tracy did to her husband and children (such as verbal abuse, ridicule, hitting, screaming at the top of her lungs, smacking a tiny child on the back of the head), I heard from the husband about even more things (such as hitting and punching him, even worse verbal tirades, verbally abusing the children and spanking them too hard).

She tried to force me to be friends with her or else she’d punish me in various ways, such as accusing me of moving in on her husband, ridiculing anything I did or said, trying to shame me, going off on me in jealous rages, acting all sweet to my face while telling her husband how horrible I was, accusing me of nefarious motives for keeping my distance from her.

The psychological torture was subtle but strong; she kept pinning the blame on me for everything, just as she did her husband and children and anybody else she had a disagreement with, and saying I was the one who needed to change my behavior, that I deserved what I got.  (You don’t EVER deserve abuse!)

She convinced her husband to go along with it, even to agree with her.  She crowed in triumph, not just privately but publicly, when my friend finally betrayed me and allowed her to pull out the stops and verbally abuse me full-force and accuse me of things that were not true–when he knew DANG well that I did not deserve any of it, that I was innocent of her charges, that she was blaming me and yelling at me for things he had done, things that had been his idea.

The emotional fallout has been devastating as I try to sort out what happened and crawl back up from feeling just the way she wanted me to feel, like a worm, like I should be ashamed, even though I had done nothing to be ashamed of.

Imagine what it’s like to be related to or married to such a person, unable to just walk away and cut them out of your life.

So I would certainly understand if these bystanders were scared of the female abuser, because there is something to be scared of.  Women like this are dangerous.  They could turn the beating on you.  They could tell you to mind your own d*** business.  It takes courage to stand up and say hey, stop doing that!–courage that I wish I had had.

But no, these people walked by because they didn’t think it was that big of a deal!  One even said that she herself is too nice and should do more of what the actress was doing.

Women should know very well what other women are capable of verbally and physically, that they’re not all angels, because we deal with such females as this all the time growing up and in the workplace.

And imagine what it must be like to be the husband or child of someone who feels she has free reign to abuse you–and you can’t get out, whether because of the stigma, love, lack of resources, or the very good chance that you’ll be the one arrested or losing the children to her.

But there’s still a stigma against men who are abused, that they either deserved it or are wimps.  That a small woman couldn’t possibly harm a larger man.  It just isn’t true, and what about the children who are smaller than the woman?

Then people try to tell their stories and hear things like, “What did you do to get her so mad?” or “You should forgive!” or “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”

I post to raise awareness.  I feel helpless because I did all I felt I could do, but it wasn’t enough, I couldn’t stop it.  But if society starts treating men who are abused the same way it treats women, maybe things can at least improve.

–reposted from Facebook, May 9, 2011

 

(Facebook post 2011) Too many men are too scared to leave their abusive wives….Erin Pizzey explains why she loathes feminism: childhood abuse from mother

This article is actually about abuse, not so much about feminism: The point she makes is that women are just as capable of abuse as men, and 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.

I post to raise awareness because 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!”

A year ago, I was ripped to shreds verbally, completely undeserved, by a woman, 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.

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.”

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:

“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 long-suffering 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 him, believe anything he tells you, so you end up taking the fall for him, for 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.”

From Love and Stockholm Syndrome:

“Don’t feel the victim’s behavior is against the family or friends. It may be a form of survival or a way of lowering stress.

Victims may be very resistive, angry, and even hostile due to the complexity of their relationship with the controller/abuser. They may even curse, threaten, and accuse loved ones and friends.

This hostile defensiveness is actually self-protection in the relationship — an attempt to avoid “trouble”.”

I can only hope this is true…otherwise I can’t explain how my “best friend” turned into an abuser himself….Abuse sends out hostile waves that must be stopped before they do even more damage.

–reposted from Facebook, June 9, 2011

 

My Struggles with Infertility

I’ve been off birth control since early 2007, shortly after I started going to an Orthodox church.  Everything I read/heard said that Orthodoxy is against birth control, so that’s why, but my priest told me, “The Orthodox Church is not against birth control.”

It was very confusing, but I wanted another child, anyway–and my hormonal imbalance, I discovered, had finally corrected itself after years on the Pill.

No more wacky periods that were sometimes normal, sometimes a month or so late, sometimes lasting far longer than five days–a problem I’d had occasionally since 1994, causing me to suspect alternating pregnancy (when they were very late) and miscarriages (when I had a ten-day period the summer of 1994).

(This is probably why my period was 10 days late in 1993, making me think I was pregnant.)

Then it finally came to a head right before my wedding in 1997, when my period lasted for 16 days, and got diagnosed and treated with the Pill.

I had not intended to use birth control after my wedding, but now I had to, so having children was already pushed off.  Then I began having gynecological problems, kept having to get stuff removed to make sure I wouldn’t get cervical cancer.

When it was finally all gone in 2002 (for the moment–it came back later), I went off birth control again, but it wasn’t until spring 2003 that I finally got pregnant.  I was 29, having been married at 23.  So my first child was already late.

But I had to go in for a LEEP to remove more stuff after this, in 2006, after my son was born.  Nothing more has happened since, but I worry every time I get an exam, that it’ll come back “abnormal” again and further testing will find more stuff to get removed.

My periods were normal in 2007, and have been since, making me think I must now be able to have the other two children I wanted.  But nothing has happened!

Once I thought I was pregnant, which Richard will remember, because he was staying here when I got struck with a sudden attack of vertigo, nausea and vomiting.  (His joke: “How will it look, Richard comes here and Nyssa gets pregnant!”  NO, we did NOTHING, it was just a joke.  🙂  )  But my period started soon after.

I resigned myself to the distinct possibility that we are now infertile and I will never have more children.  It made me very sad, and finally, last summer, I went through all our baby things, stored and waiting for another baby, and gave them all away.

It freed up lots of space–but was sad, a defeat.  I figured if we waited much longer, all our stuff would be so out of date that nobody would want it, yet it’s barely been used.  The bottles already had to be recycled, though barely used (I mostly breastfed), because we got them before BP or whatever-it-is was removed from baby bottles.

Now we may know what the problem is….Though whether this will lead to me getting pregnant at 40, remains to be seen.  Even if the problem is fixed, I may be too old.

Another option: taking in foster kids for Social Services, since I have such a burning in my heart about child abuse.

[Update 10/23/14: My husband’s surgery did not change a thing.  12/24/15: Nor did mine in 2014.]

 

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