Topics on Page 3:

Abuse in all its forms: Links to help

My Personal Stories

Why I Put These Stories Here

Abuse in all its forms: My Thoughts, Quotes and Links to help

ALWAYS REMEMBER: YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL AFRAID OF YOUR SPOUSE/FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER, OR FEEL YOU MUST LIE FOR THEM.  IF YOU DO, THEN SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY WRONG.

My own experiences and those of others have inspired me to post this section on “Abuse,” to help anyone else who is dealing with it, either directly or by witnessing a friend/family member’s abuse.

It can come from a spouse or parent, but it can also come from a friend, a bully, a teacher….

Also, if you’re getting physically abused it’s obvious to anyone that you’re being abused.  Verbal, emotional or psychological abuse are harder to prove, especially if you’re the only witness, but the effects remain.

Trying to prove the abuse can leave you feeling like you’re crazy, especially if your abuser is well-liked by others.

The recent attention on bullying may have just started in about 2010, but I’ve been working on this page since 2008, and wrote my college stories in the mid-90s.

From the Orthodox Study Bible note for 1 Kings 19:10: “The children of Israel forsook the Lord because an angry and wrathful temper took hold of them, for God cannot be known in that kind of disposition.  He can only be known in and through the virtues, such as gentleness.”

It is very easy to find helpful websites about abuse with a simple Google search, far more than I can possibly list here.  Also see June 1994, July & August 1994 and September 1994 for descriptions of the emotional and verbal abuse I suffered from my ex-fiancé.  These pages also have many helpful links.

You can’t control an abuser: You can only control yourself.  If you are the abuser, is it possible to change yourself?  I believe it is, but first you need to identify that you are an abuser.

If your relationship with someone is troubled, and especially if you have been abused yourself, you need to see:

How to Know if You Are an Abusive Spouse

Coping Steps for Verbally Abusive Parents

Our families should be a safe place to be, where we learn how to love.

Marriage should be how we become better people, losing our selfishness and bringing up the next generation to love mankind.

Our friendships should be a place to relax and be ourselves, without worrying that we won’t be accepted.

Human selfishness, vanity and desire to control, distorts these things that should be beautiful.

Also, I feel that just as obeying our parents is good except if they command us to do evil, the same is true with sticking up for our spouses.  While it is good and right to stick up for our spouses and stand by them, if our spouse is doing or saying something abusive or evil to anyone, then it would be evil for us to stick up for them and stand by them.

Apologies are essential and must be forthcoming from both parties, not just one all the time, or else you have an imbalance.  The following article applies to everyone, not just people with Aspergers:

Sincerity and remorse aren’t essential. If we have caused hurt to another human, we apologize, whether the hurt was intentional or accidental, the result of a planned action or not. –Liz, Aspie Tip: Apologies

Rekha Basu with an excellent editorial on forgiveness and apologies: Time to Let Go of Our Old Grudges (December 2010)

Aren’t Christians supposed to treat each other with love and patience? All through the Left Behind books, I keep finding examples of Christians treating others like annoyances.  They do it to each other, they do it to Hattie, to Bo, to their co-workers….

Rayford leads Hattie on for quite some time then tosses her aside like scum, like it’s somehow her fault for thinking they had something going on.  Then every chance he gets, he pretends to love her (in a sisterly fashion, of course), but secretly thinks how dumb she is.

Buck does the same.  And Rayford tries to sabotage things any time another Christian man starts falling for her.

But there is no scolding from the author or from one of the other characters, just a feeling that the authors think he’s being a decent, Christian man….

Sometimes the characters do have pangs of conscience and/or a scolding, but more often it just passes by without any guilt or scolding.

Then in real life, in the church, we have people using each other and treating each other like dirt, bullying each other, cussing at each other, calling other people names for disagreeing with them on politics or religion or personal issues, jumping to conclusions,

without apologizing for their outbursts, without trying to resolve things peaceably like adults rather than with tantrums and yelling like a child, without trying to understand each other.

Having an organ in the church becomes more important than whether or not the congregation is learning how to love Christ and fellow man.

They talk as if it is their right to respond violently–whether verbally or physically–to a perceived slight, even though the writings of the Apostles and the Church Fathers tell us this perception of entitlement comes straight from Hell. Then these people go to the Communion chalice as if they’ve done nothing wrong.

How can we expect the world to bang down our door when we act like this? If Christians are just as bad, if not worse, than the “heathens,” then we have nothing concrete to show that our invisible, supernatural beliefs are truth.

Early Church congregations added members through their acts of charity and love, not through having the best, most persuasive speeches, or the most awesome worship music, or the flashiest tracts.

Contemporary accounts I’ve read of the time speak of a Church that was quite different from the surrounding culture, not because of dress or food or music but because they were taking care of each other, rather than following their own selfish interests.

Before you go to Communion, examine yourself: Have you at least tried to make up with the person you hurt?  Have you tried to soothe the person whose feelings you hurt?  Have you bullied anyone?  Do you think no one has the right to feel hurt but yourself?

Have you realized that yelling and screaming or hitting first, then asking questions later, means you will lose friends or family, without them even wanting to tell you the truth about what you misinterpreted?

Have you so affected someone with your harshness and ill-will and abuse that when they see you in church taking Communion, they have a strong urge to run to the bathroom and throw up?

The people in these books remind me so much of real-life Christians who talk about love but don’t show it (if you can call them “Christians”).  It’s enough to lead one to cynicism about religion.

And to make one realize that we can’t judge someone for leaving Christianity if they’ve been driven out by what they’ve seen and heard from fellow Christians. We may not understand, but God surely does.

To many of us, the words “Christian” and “abuser” don’t seem to belong together. They are, or should be, a contradiction in terms.

And yet how many of us have heard of a minister’s children who were raised with cruelty and abuse? How many of us know of an upstanding, church-going man- or woman- of- God, who turns out to be a criminal or a child molester?

Who can forget the huge scandal in the Roman Catholic church, when so many of their so-called “men of God” priests were exposed as pedophiles, child molesters who were using their position in the church as a source of obtaining new victims?

Calling oneself “Christian” does not make one exempt from abusive behavior. And calling oneself “Christian” does not make one a REAL Christian, either!

One Scripture which addresses this point is 1 John 3: NO ONE WHO LIVES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING. NO ONE WHO CONTINUES TO SIN HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM.

DEAR CHILDREN, DO NOT LET ANYONE LEAD YOU ASTRAY. HE WHO DOES WHAT IS RIGHT IS RIGHTEOUS.

HE WHO DOES WHAT IS SINFUL IS OF THE DEVIL, BECAUSE THE DEVIL HAS BEEN SINNING FROM THE BEGINNING. THE REASON THE SON OF GOD APPEARED WAS TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK.

NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD WILL CONTINUE TO SIN, BECAUSE GOD’S SEED REMAINS IN HIM; HE CANNOT GO ON SINNING, BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD.

THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHO THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE AND WHO THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL ARE:

ANYONE WHO DOES NOT DO WHAT IS RIGHT IS NOT A CHILD OF GOD; NOR IS ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER”.1 John 3: 6-10 NIV. –Rev. Renee, The Christian Abuser- Twisting God’s Word To Justify Abuse

If you were abused by a person who called him/herself a Christian and said that they knew Jesus — I assure you that this was the Greatest Deception and lie that they ever told.

At best they might have heard about Jesus, I doubt that they ever personally met Jesus in the SuperNatural, because when you truly meet Jesus you are Transformed by His Holy Love and when you follow Jesus you turn away from evil, and the closer you walk with Jesus, then evil is no where to be found, so when Jesus is in you and you are in Jesus you can do no evil.

And Abuse is the Manifestation of Evil. So the Counterfeit Christian lied about being an Authentic or True Christian.

Just because a Person calls him/herself something doesn’t automatically make it so, look at the fruit of the Behavior they are producing to reveal their True Nature. –Soaring Dove is Letting Go, The Journey Out of Nothingness

Sections below:

The Topic of Abuse (General)

Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends 

Borderline Personality Disorder 

Bullying 

Child Abuse

Domestic Abuse (anyone who lives together or is in a romantic relationship, including roommates or family members)

Emotional Abuse

Gaslighting

Getting into the Psyche of the Abuser

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS 

Narcissists

Personal Stories

Physical Abuse

Recovery

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child 

Toxic Friendships/Relationships

Understanding the Abused

Verbal Abuse

The Topic of Abuse (General) 

VERY IMPORTANT observations from When You Love an Angry Person by Lynne Namka, Ed. D.

Some People Do Not Take Responsibility for their Aggressive Outbursts

A few decades ago there was a myth that it was healthy to blow up to keep it from being bottled up in the body and causing physical problems.

Unfortunately, this erroneous idea sticks around today despite the evidence that blowing up does not solve the problem and creates trauma for others.

Still some people feel justified in exploding and then forgetting about the incident while those around them are left devastated.

Some people who are typically angry believe they have the right to vent their frustrations on others or to break things. This self-indulgent attitude is entitlement and is a form of self-righteousness.

Outbursts of anger do not solve the underlying feelings of threat, fear and sense of betrayal, which are hiding under the anger in the person. Angry people block vulnerable feelings such as hurt, sadness, guilt and vulnerability.

The emotions have to go somewhere so they turn up as anger. Anger becomes the substitute emotion for the others that are not allowed. (See my articles on Narcissism, Repressors and Children of Entitlement on the Angries Out web site.

The person who believes that he has the right to vent anger on others never quite grows up emotionally. He is stuck in a child-like reaction when he feels frustrated and responds with a temper tantrum. Tantrums increase the anger by revving the body up to a heightened arousal state.

Screaming does NOT purge the anger impulses. It may give a temporary relief but makes it worse overall. Name calling and swearing do not solve the problem.

Continued yelling breaks down the inhibitions that most people have about not acting out their harmful impulses. Any habitual verbal thought pattern such as yelling creates a well-worn pathway in the brain making it easier for the pattern to happen again.

Dealing with irritation with constant expression anger can be a harmful habit that takes over a person’s life.

Expression of hostility results in more hostility. Impulsive anger such as yelling, throwing things, cursing, and blaming the other person takes its toll on the person expressing it and harms those in its path.

Frustration and anger may temporarily go away with the venting, but the rage remains within because it is not addressed directly. The anger remains there unchanged until the next time an expectation is not met or there is disappointment, threat, or stress.

People who cannot stand feeling helpless get angry instead. Anger and the adrenaline make them feel that they are more in control of the situation. Getting angry instead of feeling ashamed or anxious helps the person manage those emotions they do not want to feel.

Violence has a way of getting out of control. Rewarding a person’s verbally abusive behavior by allowing it, excusing it and returning to things as usual WILL increase their screaming behavior.

When family members indulge the aggressive person, their violent tendencies remain. The person learns that there will not be consequences for inappropriate behavior so continue his tirades without fear of reprisal.

Children in the family learn that when they are stressed, it is okay to blow up and hurt others and things.

Some angry people feel anxious and guilty about blowing up. They feel a decrease in their self-esteem with feelings of remorse and guilt.

They talk about how bad they feel (some will even cry) to “hook” their partner feeling bad for them and allow them to return to grace. This is one dynamic in abusive relationships called the “fight and make up” syndrome.

Some people who get angry cannot talk about the problem the next day. Talking about the issue stresses them and they get angry all over again.

This type of person emotionally distances to take care of his anxiety.  While you need closure to deal with your own anxiety and need to talk.

Emotional Distancing and Emotional Pursuing when anxious and upset are common ways to cope with conflict in most relationships. Read my article on the Angries Out web site on Repressors to understand the need to withdraw from conflict.

Types of abuse (including spiritual); cycle of violence; signs; links for help; links for men, gay couples, immigrant women, and teens

Tool box of terms

Gentle Spirits of the Net, Are You Being Abused?

What is Abuse? (extensive information on abuse and narcissism)

What is a drama queen (or king)?  (Or, how a drama queen/king is different from someone who’s merely emotional or sensitive, and how this falls under abuse/manipulation.  Being a drama queen/king is not about being easily saddened, but about lashing out at people, manipulating, viewing others as servants, being self-centered, demanding, overbearing, irrational….In other words, it’s another form of abuse.)

Victim Blaming–when you get blamed for the abuse

Playing the Victim–when your abuser claims to be the abused, that it’s justified

Scapegoating–a group ganging up on you and saying you’re the problem, that the blame is all yours

Mobbing

Some people aren’t sure if they are being or have been abused. They may know that they have been harmed, but they may think that they deserved that harm, for instance, or perhaps think instead that some degree of harm is acceptable or reasonable, or just inevitable.

Though it is not possible for us to give you a definite answer to any questions you may have about what is abuse and what is not abuse, consider that people who haven’t been abused don’t tend to spend much time wondering whether they have been abused, while a many people who have been abused (or are being abused) do wonder about it.

If you are upset enough to wonder about it, it is likely (although not definite) that you have been abused. We’ll explore the definition of abuse in greater detail later in this document. —Mental Help.net: Introduction to Abuse

“Do not let victims assume the blame, and do not make excuses for the abuser’s behavior such as stress, unemployment, alcoholism, etc. There is no excuse for abuse.” —Eastside Domestic Violence Program/ Religion and Domestic Violence

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. –Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, Psy.D. Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

Although it is a common belief that grooming is most relevant to children, the same or similar psychological processes are used by perpetrators to exploit adults.

In the case of adult grooming, the victims family and friends are also manipulated into thinking the perpetrator is a “nice guy” and that he can be trusted.

It is not only a perpetrator’s victims that are groomed (which would be considered emotional abuse), but the victims’ family and friends, the perpetrator’s own family and friends, and even public servants and medical professionals (in which case it is purposeful manipulation). –safe-at-last, Perpetrators Perfecting the Fine Art of Institutional Grooming

Abuse Specifically Against Husbands/Boyfriends

It’s not just men abusing women.  As for the question, can a man be abused by a woman: Any woman who’s been to public school should know the answer is yes!

In my school days, I often heard girls say, “Boys can’t hit girls but girls can hit boys!”  Once, when I was in a classroom with an open door, a girl in the hallway hit a boy so forcefully (on the arm, I think) that I could hear it.

And there were always the girl-on-girl bullies, sometimes physically fighting but usually psychologically bullying.

So we girls know very well what girls are capable of.  To deny that a woman could conceivably abuse a man, denies what we have seen and heard.

Teaching your sons to avoid crazy women

Lots of resources here

While this website is specifically targeted to gay men, it is very detailed, and useful for straight couples as well.

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Men

Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado

What is a battered husband?

Tiger Woods Controversy Highlights Domestic Violence Gender Gap

Game Over: Woods Charged With Reckless Driving; No Evidence Of Domestic Violence

Battered men–different types of abuse

Abused Men: Symptoms of Emotional Abuse

Women As Verbal Abusers

Carolyn Hax column from 10/24/10 about a controlling girlfriend

Profile of an abuser: an insecure control freak (12/22/09)

Safety Planning–Extensive Guide

How to clear your browser

GOOD NEWS: STEALTH GENIE HAS GONE DOWN: See articles Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling StealthGenie Spyware App and Maker of StealthGenie, an app used for spying, is indicted in Virginia.

The Emotional Terrorist

Controlling Domestic Violence Against Men

Intimate Partner Abuse Against Men and here

Abusive Women in Relationships

Verbal Abuse of Men–Sharing Your Story (be sure to click on “Helpful Info,” which has many links for help for men being verbally abused)

Signs you are a victim of emotional and verbal abuse by toxic women or potential narcissist (video)

Studies shatter myth about abuse

Myths and Realities About Domestic Abuse Against Men

Dr. Phil and His Viewers Don’t See Eye to Eye on Women’s Domestic Violence Against Men

Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender

Can Men be Abused by Women?

“Are you an abused man?  Three Questions.”

When Love Hurts: The emotionally abused man

Reasons you can’t communicate with a Borderline or Narcissistic Woman

Signs your girlfriend or wife is an emotional bully

Is your girlfriend or wife a professional victim?

Ways to avoid becoming involved with another crazy, emotionally abusive woman

13 Signs Your Wife or Girlfriend is a Borderline or a Narcissist

Relationship Roller Coaster Ride: the cycle of abuse

There is no closure with a narcissistic or borderline woman

Dr. Phil episode on abusive women

On the double standard of women abusing men

An episode of Titus, The Last Noelle, is about an ex-girlfriend who abused Christopher.  Also, if you have the chance, catch his Love is Evol stand-up act, which uses humor to deal with the pain of his abusive ex-wife’s various behaviors.

Here is a 1993 TV-movie about a man abused by his wife, Men Don’t Tell.

Reaction to Woman Abusing Man in Public  It’s just appalling, the reaction of most people here: walking on by or–in two cases–cheering her on, assuming the man deserved it!!!

A letter to Dear Prudence describes a girlfriend who in the beginning would just playfully hit or shove.

Many women do this with guys: Maybe her boyfriend has just craned his neck to stare at a passing hottie, or made a crack in front of friends about his girlfriend’s tendency to leave a mess in the kitchen.

This playful hit is not meant to be abusive; she’s not angry, and it’s not hard enough to hurt; her boyfriend laughs, maybe even enjoys it; it never, ever becomes more than this.

However, this writer’s girlfriend has started hitting him, hard, when she’s upset or frustrated with him:

When she gets upset or frustrated at me she sometimes punches me forcefully in the arm. She’s even slapped me hard across the face.

In the subway once, she was frustrated that I was taking too long to sit down and shoved me; I was off-balance and flew into the window.

This is really embarrassing for me to think about, as I am more than twice her size, but it seems that the way she vents her anger or frustration is by hitting me.

I never imagined, as a male, this would happen to me. Why is this happening to me and what should I do to stop it? –Bruised and Confused

Prudence responds that his girlfriend is indeed physically abusing him:

There is nothing playful or cute about being shoved into a window on a moving subway.

Yes, most domestic abuse is of the male-to-female kind. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t abuse of men, and often it’s hidden because, as you know, it’s not only humiliating but can seem faintly ridiculous given the physical disproportion of the parties.

But a large man who has restraint and decency in the face of being physically attacked by a smaller female partner is no less a recipient of domestic abuse than a woman attacked by a large man.

The reason this is happening to you is that you are continuing to stay in a romance with someone who has proven she is dangerously out of control. What you should do to stop it is swiftly and completely end this relationship. –Sept. 4, 2008

He may feel her abuse is caused by her emotional personality, PMS, or other hormone fluctuations. He decides to ignore her abuse because he loves her and wants the relationship to continue.

In spite of the abuse, he may find enough good in the relationship to “make up” for the abuse. Often men do not see the pain and problems in marriage as easily as wives do. Men are usually more quick to forgive and forget. –Barrington H. Brennen, Why do Men Stay in Abusive Relationships?

These women lie, connive, and extort. To insult and humiliate their partner, some argue and use offensive language in the presence of others including their children. Many steal or destroy their partner’s possessions.

These women are driven by jealousy and view others as rivals. They treat their partners as possessions and strive to isolate them from friends and family.

These abusive women falsely accuse their partners of infidelity while they have affairs. These women often abuse children or animals. Nearly all exhibit erratic mood changes, feign illnesses or injuries, and most are practiced actresses.

They are not sick; they simply play the multiple roles of the terrorist, the tyrant, the fiend, and the victim….

Once your spouse or companion has chosen abuse, end the relationship promptly and irrevocably before she or he blames or accuses you of their own behavior. Get a restraining order and change the locks, sue in civil court now and, when the assailant is your spouse, file for divorce….

When faced with the breakup of a relationship, especially a marriage, some women become vindictive, and abusive women become very dangerous.

When others (friends, relatives, police, attorneys, and judges) believe her, they join in, and the frustrated husband or partner finds himself a victim of undeserved hatred, defamation, and abuse. —Abusive and Violent Women in Relationships: Recognizing the Signs of a Bully

The below quote sounds like Tracy–and also explains why I preferred to go through Richard when I had problems with her:

Confronting an abusive woman about her behavior only makes her nastier and you’re then subjected to a narcissistic rage episode and/or histrionic drama queen performance.

She’ll just blame you for everything or deny what she did anyway, so why bother saying anything? —Signs your narcissistic or borderline wife/girlfriend is traumatizing you

Also, this comment from a Shrink4Men reader, “Mr. E”:

Another possible addition [to the Shrink4Men quiz, “Is she a crazy b**ch]:

Do mutual friends/roommates confront you when they’re upset with her?

I can recall several instances where a friend / roommate has come to me about her behavior (frequently with some hostility). I always figured this was because I was an easy target, and felt weak.

I definitely think poor boundaries on my part encouraged this behavior (I should have stopped them and told them to talk to her, not me), but I think the root problem is that they were afraid to confront her directly.

When I foolishly bring up whatever the friend/roomie complained about to her, I get interrogated and eventually raged at when I freeze up and stop talking. She’ll also hold a grudge against the person in question for ages.

The good news is, I’ve finally figured this out, and have started telling people to just talk to her. Curiously enough, they never do…

I’d love to know if this is a common experience.

 

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.

Borderline Personality Disorder

[Note: I primarily focus on abusive, narcissistic borderlines when putting together this list.  There are also borderlines who do not wish to hurt others and do work on their own issues.]

Stop Walking on Eggshells

My Trip To Oz And Back: A True “Retrospective” Story Of My Relationship With A Person With BPD

BPD Central

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Women

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Men

Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender

Relationships and Divorces with a Borderline

Talking with a Borderline

Reasons you can’t communicate with a Borderline or Narcissistic Woman

13 Signs Your Wife or Girlfriend is a Borderline or a Narcissist

Borderlines making you insane via gaslighting

There is no closure with a narcissistic or borderline woman

Cluster B Personality Disordered Woman’s Guide to Conflict Resolution Process Flow Diagram

Bullying

Signs your girlfriend or wife is an emotional bully

Bullying is abuse.  I find this video to be very true, especially since I see people like this all the time in 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.)

Bullying and Substance Abuse: Who It Affects and Why

The Long-Term Effects of Bullying

Behavior of the Serial Bully

How to handle church bullies

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 each other?

Why are women so mean to one another? (Different blog)

Female Bullying

Mean Girls as Adults

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.

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. –Shrink4Men, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

Child Abuse

Yelling and Swearing at Children is Emotional Child Abuse

Not only shouting: Different types of emotional child abuse

Study: Yelling at kids comparable to physical punishment

Women as Verbal Abusers

Bully Moms

Moms on the Verge

Coping Steps for Verbally Abusive Parents

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?

Reasons why some people don’t understand Emotional Abuse

What is Emotional Abuse?

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–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.

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

 

–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.” —Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth

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.[43]

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. —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.”  —Managing Child Abuse: A Handbook for Medical Officers (WHO)

“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, Child Abuse: Recognize It, Report It, Prevent It!

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

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

 

Shaken baby syndrome (also called intentional head injury or abusive head trauma) is brain damage that occurs when a baby is shaken, slammed, or thrown against an object. It is a form of child abuse that occurs when the baby’s caregiver loses control.

Shaking a baby or striking a baby’s head is always dangerous. Babies’ heads are large in relation to their bodies, and their neck muscles are not well developed.

If a baby is forcefully shaken, slammed, or thrown, his or her head will jerk back and forth uncontrollably. The child’s skull can hit the brain with force. When the inside of the skull forcefully strikes the brain, it can cause:

  • Bruising, swelling, or tearing of the brain tissue. Brain injury and bleeding can cause increased pressure in the brain, which can lead to serious, permanent brain damage.
  • Damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye, which may cause bleeding inside the eye (retinal hemorrhage), vision problems, or blindness.
  • Death. — Healthwise Staff, Shaken Baby Syndrome (Intentional Head Injury), reviewed by John Pope, MD – Pediatrics & Chuck Norlin, MD – Pediatrics

 

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 [link no longer works]

 

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?

Is slapping a child hard in the face abuse?

Is slapping child abuse?

UK forum thread on the horrors and dangers of someone smacking a 3-year-old on the head

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?

How to Work with CPS

CPS brochure

CPS FAQ

Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence

How can I help a friend or family member who is being abused?

How to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

For Domestic Violence Survivors and their Family, Friends and Co-workers

Care and Protection Cases

What to do if you suspect child abuse

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse

What we can do about child abuse

How to Report Child Abuse on a Friend or Family Member

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.

Domestic Abuse (anyone who lives together or is in a romantic relationship, including roommates or family members)

Types of abuse (including spiritual); cycle of violence; signs; links for help; links for men, gay couples, immigrant women, and teens

While this website is specifically targeted to gay men, it is very detailed, and useful for straight couples as well.

A Cry for Justice: specifically helps victims of domestic abuse in the Church, who are often kept in their situation because of bad advice/enabling in their own churches

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Women

Under most state laws, domestic violence is defined as any physical abuse, or threat of abuse, between intimately involved partners, roommates, or family members.

In some states, the legal wording extends to include anyone with whom you have had a child, whether or not they live with you or EVER lived with you.

Domestic violence can (and often DOES) happen outside the home – what makes it “domestic violence” is the relationship between the parties, regardless of WHERE the violence occurs.

Domestic violence is often thought about as being inflicted from a husband to a wife, but it can also include violence from a teenager to a parent, from a wife to her husband, between siblings and other family members, between your ex and your current love interest (you are the uniting factor in the middle), and between partners in gay/lesbian couples, even if not living together.

Law enforcement and the courts use domestic violence as an umbrella term for a wide variety of combinations of other crimes. Most domestic violence charges include at least one “person to person” crime, such as assault (threatening to harm someone either by word or action) or battery (ANY level of unwanted touching) .

There does NOT have to be injury for a domestic violence charge – even pushing or grabbing is enough! If there IS any level of injury, the battery can be charged at a higher level. —What IS Domestic Violence?

Dear Abby’s warning signs of an abuser

No Place for Abuse: Biblical & Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence  (Catherine Kroeger)

Women, abuse, and the Bible: how Scripture can be used to hurt or to heal  (Catherine Kroeger)

Dr. Phil: Episode “Abusive Love”

Deal Breakers

I hate his hot temper

Abusive Relationships

Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects

Types of Abuse

Charlton PD: Warning Signs of Abuse

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: A Training Manual for the Greek Orthodox Community

Signs of an Abusive Man

Hidden Hurt: Domestic Abuse Information

Succinct and helpful 3-part article on abuse

The Controlling Partner–Warning Signs of Verbal and Physical Abuse

The Cycle of Domestic Violence

Cycle of Violence

Characteristics of a Controlling Personality

Warning Signs That You’re Dating a Loser

Profile of an abuser: an insecure control freak (12/22/09)

Self-diagnosing abusers (12/23/09 live chat)

My Trip To Oz And Back: A True “Retrospective” Story Of My Relationship With A Person With BPD  (note: they are lesbians, so this is violence by a woman, not a man)

Women as Verbal Abusers

Signs to look for in an abusive personality

Safety Planning–Extensive Guide

How to clear your browser

GOOD NEWS: STEALTH GENIE HAS GONE DOWN: See articles Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling StealthGenie Spyware App and Maker of StealthGenie, an app used for spying, is indicted in Virginia.

Domestic Violence Handbook (though it does concern me how much this focuses on women as victims and men as abusers, when it’s often the other way around, or mutual)

Three common problems in marriage and how to deal with them

How to Know if You Are an Abusive Spouse

Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender

Are You Being Abused?

How to Recognize Someone who is Abusive

video on abuse and jealousy by an abuser to one’s spouse, family

On the double standard of women abusing men

Website for people with autism or Asperger’s; about being targeted for domestic abuse because of their special issues

Starting in November 2010, Dr. Phil has been doing a season on domestic violence; lots of good stuff is here, so spend time going through the links and shows.  December 2010 Archive, Abusive Love

Do not let victims assume the blame, and do not make excuses for the abuser’s behavior such as stress, unemployment, alcoholism, etc. There is no excuse for abuse. —Eastside Domestic Violence Program/ Religion and Domestic Violence

Women erroneously think that a dangerous man is only a violent man. While the violent man is indeed one of the categories of dangerous men, there are seven others that are often overlooked.

These omitted categories are exactly how women get into dangerous relationships. These lapses in information leave women without the knowledge to respond to the face of dangerousness when he is in their life.

Since much of the information about “what” makes a man dangerous has not been taught to women, they do not recognize and respond to dangerousness. –Sandra L. Brown, M.A., How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved

How to Spot a Dangerous Man (describes the various kinds of dangerous men alluded to in the above article)

The abusers blame the victim for causing the abuse. For example, the abuser would say to the victim, ‘If you cleaned up more, I wouldn’t call you names.’  —Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Neither the man, nor (still less) the woman, possesses absolute power over the other partner in the marriage. Coercion exercised over the will of another–even in the name of love–kills love itself. And so the question arises: must one submit to coercion if it threatens that which is most precious?

A countless number of unhappy marriages result from precisely this–that each partner considers him or herself as the owner of the loved one. This is the cause of nearly all the difficulties of married life. The highest wisdom in marriage is shown by giving full freedom to the person you love:

for our human marriage is the counterpart of the marriage in heaven between Christ and the Church, where there is absolute freedom.  —“Domestic Violence at Home: Cursory Observations” (how submission is misunderstood and abused) by Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald

Emotional Abuse

Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Abused Women: Symptoms of Emotional Abuse

Covert Emotional Abuse: How Abusers Control, Objectify and Dehumanize their Victims

Are you a victim of emotional abuse?

Emotional Abusers

Emotional Abuse

Healing Emotional Abuse

Lies Abusers Tell

Emotional Abuse: The Victim and Abuser

Signs your girlfriend or wife is an emotional bully

Emotional, Psychological, and Mental Abuse: Is There a Difference?

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.  –Dr. Tara, Things you need to know about emotional abuse and bullies

Gaslighting

Gaslighting

Ambient Abuse and Gaslighting

Borderlines Making you Feel Insane via Gaslighting

 

Getting into the Psyche of the Abuser

Why They Hurt the Ones They Love

Emotional Abuse: The Victim and Abuser

Why do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives?

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Women/Men

Domestic Violence in the Mind of the Abuser

 

If You’ve Been Reported to CPS

Because there have been so many reported cases involving an abuse of power, the Department of Child and Family Services has done much to ensure that each individual report of alleged abuse is handled consistently within the agency and follows a specific procedure.

While this certainly doesn’t eliminate abusive or unreasonable treatment by some social workers, it does greatly reduce irresponsible behavior and does much to protect law-abiding citizens and innocent children from being subjected to harmful ordeals.

The agency has also developed an informative web site that is available to the general public.  Their Department Policy Handbook is included on the site, which gives detailed descriptions of their policies and procedures.

I would highly recommend those who are involved with any kind of counseling within the church body to obtain a copy of this manual and become familiar with it.

…Are Christians obligated to report criminal child abuse?  Yes!  Are those who fall under the mandatory reporting laws obligated to obey them?  Yes!

Should believing offenders be subject to the same judicial consequences for criminal acts as unbelievers and be held accountable in the same way?  Yes, yes, yes!

Should we become involved in these cases as a church?  By all means, yes!

And should we forgive and work to restore fellowship to repentant offenders and minister to victims as well?  Yes, of course!

…It is important for Christians as well as social workers to note that God’s definition of abuse is actually much more demanding than any court’s.

The Scriptures condemn any behavior toward another that is demeaning, unkind, oppressive, hateful, vindictive, or self-serving (to mention just a few).

God vehemently warns against abusing ones authority and power over another, and does not give anyone in any situation the right to impose unlimited authority over others who are subordinate.

The Scriptures clearly forbid any kind of cruelty, sexual exploitation, neglect or failure to provide for ones children.  Christians are to regard children as God’s lambs who need protection, loving guidance, and tender care.

Furthermore, God holds parents responsible for the way they deal with their children and the way they protect their children from harm.  Those who willfully inflict harm on a child, neglect a child, or in any way oppress a child are harshly spoken of. (Matt. 18:6).

Bringing harm to a child in any form is a serious matter from a Biblical point of view.

…First and foremost, Christians need to conduct themselves in a calm and gentle spirit, remembering that “a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” (Pro. 15:1)

It is important to cooperate with the social worker to the extent he or she does not violate one’s rights as a parent or one’s child’s right to privacy and protection from harm.

When parents become defensive and refuse to cooperate, it only increases the suspicion of the investigator.  The social worker has no doubt learned from experience that people who have something to hide tend to act defensive and uncooperative.

So cooperate and keep a sweet spirit even in the midst of a very frightening and uncomfortable situation.  Remember that your child will mimic your attitude and response.

If you are matter of fact and cooperative, your child will accept the investigation much more calmly himself.  This is to the child’s benefit as well as yours, and is the best way to defuse suspicion. —Debi Pryde, How to Work with CPS

 

REPORTING IS NOT “MEDDLING”

Deciding to get involved in a situation of suspected abuse or neglect can be difficult. It is, however, a decision that may be crucial to a child not only today, but also in the future.

Parents who have abused or neglected their children may need services and support to provide safe care for their children. —CPS brochure

 

Narcissists

Articles on Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Dealing with a narcissist

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement–FAQ

Narcissistic Rage and Narcissist Injury by Sam Vaknin (video); quote:

Raging narcissists usually perceive their reaction to have been triggered by an intentional provocation with a hostile purpose. Their targets, on the other hand, invariably regard raging narcissists as incoherent, unjust, and arbitrary.

Reasons you can’t communicate with a Borderline or Narcissistic Woman

There is no closure with a narcissistic or borderline woman

13 Signs your wife or girlfriend is a Borderline or Narcissist

Manipulation Tactics of Narcissists

More Red Flags: History of Past Upheavals & Hated for Mysterious Reasons

Exposing the Narcissist, Dealing with Blowback, and Guilt

Narcissists Suck!

video on abuse and jealousy by an abuser to one’s spouse, family

Forgive the Narcissist?

This is a documentary on Sam Vaknin, who posts so much on the Internet about narcissism.  He himself is a narcissist and/or psychopath, letting us into the mind of a narcissist through his website and book, Malignant Self-Love–though, of course, you have to wonder if he’s not trying to fool you somehow even with that.

Still, just as with interviewing a serial killer for why he did what he did, this self-expression from a narcissist or psychopath is very helpful and revealing in a way that a normal person just wouldn’t be able to “get.”

Losing Narcissistic Friends

At my lowest point I couldn’t eat or sleep. I couldn’t go to work or socialize with people. My friends and family couldn’t understand the depth of the pain I was in and thought I should just “snap out of it” or “get over it!”

I would have loved to be able to just “get over it!” But this was one of the most difficult challenges life had brought my way….

It wasn’t until one of my few friends I had left referred me to a psychiatrist who believed I had been in a relationship with a narcissist, that my desolate world began to have meaning.

I could finally at least understand why I was feeling the way I was. I finally had somewhere to go with this. I finally understood that I was not crazy as I had come to believe I was!

…Recovering from narcissistic abuse is a journey. It is a path back to the self. Those who have been abused by narcissism have slowly lost themselves. They have given pieces of themselves away bit by bit until there was nothing left to give.

It is usually at the moment of ones greatest sense of depletion that the victim experiences the horrible devaluation and discarding by the narcissist in their lives….

Most victims, which I chose to call “survivors,” or “thrivers” find themselves at their all time lowest lows once the relationship ends….

You would think that when the relationship officially ends, would be a time where victims can get their energy back and get on with their lives. But it never quite looks like this.

Instead one ends up feeling as if she has been kicked almost to the point of death and left to die in her own pool of blood while the one who has kicked her goes off to live happily ever after with someone who is young, beautiful and full of life.

As survivors we struggle to stay alive and although we know the narcissist is NOT good for us, we become obsessed with him. He becomes our link to life and to our sanity. –Kaleah LaRoche, http://www.narcissismfree.com/

For every spouse abused by a narcissist, there are several children of narcissists abused by them. And, in most situations, the narcissist has had the power to get co-workers fired and/or to destroy careers, so the narcissist also leaves a trail of these victims in his or her truculent wake through life.

And then there are the friends. People who once were friends of the narcissist and all of a sudden one day found their guts hanging out in a narc attack, to be left wondering forever afterwards what they did to make the narcissist so mad that he or she ripped them to shreds and refused to see or have any contact with them anymore….

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had a friend who suddenly blew up at you one day and spoke just viciously, tearing you to shreds, to the point of tears, and then refused to see or talk to you again? Still bewildered by it? If so, stop wondering what you did….

This is one of the most difficult facts to face about malignant narcissists: they are predators. They need no reason to attack: they need a reason NOT to attack.

Therefore, when it’s the last time they’re going to see you, there is no longer a reason not to attack you. There won’t be any adverse consequences.

So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It’s a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone.

They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.  And what’s to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?

So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life.  –Kathy Krajco, The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist

(Lots of good stuff in the comments section, too, such as, “The best thing though is to keep telling the truth. Stick with those who believe you and for those who don’t leave them to their fate with the N.”)

The following blog is also very familiar, especially the part about others not understanding why you don’t just “move on” when it’s “already been a year!”: Laura Kamienski, Finding New Pieces When You Can’t Pick Up the Old Ones

Personal Stories

Real Women’s Stories of Abuse, Survival and Jealousy

Speaking up about someone else’s abuse, or walking away from your own, is never easy. It takes strength, support, and a courageous spirit.

Share your inspiring stories of survival, as well as your experience with a friend or family member who was–or still is–in an abusive relationship.

No matter the voice, no matter the story, there is power in sharing our truth.  —Time to talk, Redbook Magazine, link no longer works

My own stories, to help those who are being abused and need to read the stories of others who have been there.

Physical Abuse

Controlling Abuse

Also see Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse and Abuse specifically against husbands/boyfriends

 

Recovery

Safety Planning–Extensive Guide

Resources from A Cry for Justice

How to clear your browser

GOOD NEWS: STEALTH GENIE HAS GONE DOWN: See articles Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling StealthGenie Spyware App and Maker of StealthGenie, an app used for spying, is indicted in Virginia.

There is Life After Abuse

Healing Emotional Abuse

Verbal Abuse Healing

Emotional Abuse: The Victim and Abuser

Getting over things

Self Matters Action Plan

Heart 2 Heart: Support Network and Self-Help Data Base for Abused Women/Men

Forgiveness-Does It Matter If The Abuser Is A Born-Again Christian?

Desperate Measures–When they sense they’re losing their grip on you

There is no closure with a narcissistic or borderline woman

Forgive the Narcissist?

 

Stopping Abuse/ Helping Abused Friend, Family Member, Co-worker, Child

Yes, you can stop violence against women

How to help a friend who’s being abused/survived sexual assault

How to help a co-worker who’s being abused

Avoiding Victim-Blaming

Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA)

MOSAIC Threat Assessment System

Safety Planning–Extensive Guide

How to clear your browser

GOOD NEWS: STEALTH GENIE HAS GONE DOWN: See articles Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling StealthGenie Spyware App and Maker of StealthGenie, an app used for spying, is indicted in Virginia.

How to Help Someone who is being Abused

Helping an Abused Friend

Domestic Violence Handbook

How to Help a Friend who is Being Abused

Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook

How to Work with CPS

CPS brochure

CPS FAQ

Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence

How can I help a friend or family member who is being abused?

How to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

For Domestic Violence Survivors and their Family, Friends and Co-workers

Care and Protection Cases

Identifying child abuse

Child Welfare Information Gateway

What we can do about child abuse

Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse

Domestic Violence Handbook (though it does concern me how much this focuses on women as victims and men as abusers, when it’s often the other way around, or mutual)

What happens when you report someone to Social Services

Is my friend being abused?

But since Karen’s death, I have learned that it’s all right to say to your friend, “I don’t think your partner is treating you well.” That’s being a good friend (Liz Welch, Redbook Magazine, You May Think Domestic Violence has Nothing to do with You).

Speaking up about someone else’s abuse, or walking away from your own, is never easy. It takes strength, support, and a courageous spirit.

Share your inspiring stories of survival, as well as your experience with a friend or family member who was — or still is — in an abusive relationship.

No matter the voice, no matter the story, there is power in sharing our truth. –Redbook Magazine, Time to talk, link no longer works

Reporting child abuse can be difficult on a personal level. You may feel that you are “meddling” in someone else’s affairs, breaking up a family or disrupting people’s lives.

However, by reporting suspected child abuse, you are making a difference in the life of a child. Sometimes we have to intervene to stop damaging and destructive behaviors that are being done to people who are weaker or have no voice, no power to stop it.

When you step up and take action on behalf of a child in this position, you will not only make a difference in that child’s life, you may also touch the lives of all of the people involved. –Stephanie Partridge, Signs of Emotional Child Abuse

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

Toxic Friendships/Relationships

How to Protect your Health Against Toxic Behavior (Especially good if the mistreatment you suffer comes not from a spouse, but from someone else you have to have contact with.  It gives ways to forgive such treatment and set boundaries.  In the comments, you can also find advice on how not to be toxic yourself.  There is some New Agey stuff in the article and the comments, but most of the advice applies no matter what religion you are.)

Unhealthy Friendships: Why do we keep them and how do you know if a friendship is unhealthy?

How to Recognize a Toxic Friend

Women as Verbal Abusers

 

Understanding the Abused

How women get involved with verbally abusive men

Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser (Explaining why your friend/family member/co-worker stays with that man/woman, defends them, and even treats you badly for trying to help)

Why do you stay? (Traumatic Bonding And The Development Of The Stockholm Syndrome in Battered Women)

Top 7 Reasons People Stay in Abusive Marriages by Cathy Meyer, About.com Guide

From “Love and Stockholm Syndrome,” above:

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.

 

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse Checklist

What is Verbal Abuse?

Dr. Irene’s Verbal Abuse Site

Verbal/Emotional Abuse

The Verbal Abuse Site

Identify & Respond to Verbal Abuse

10 Myths About Verbal Abuse

How to React to Verbal Abuse

Getting Verbal Abuse Out of My Life (personal blog)

Verbal Abuse: Wikipedia

Verbal Abuse Healing

Verbal Abuse FAQ

Controlling Abuse

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse in Relationships

Invisible Scars: Verbal Abuse

Women as Verbal Abusers

There are harsh tones, there’s yelling, and one little girl (correctly) pointed out that there is a difference between yelling and screaming. Which do you think is worse? Why? See what I mean?–You do know the intricacies of body language.

….If you think about it, yelling has got to be one of the most self-defeating behaviors ever tried. Check out this scene: He yells. Now she’s mad, so she yells. Well, he is really mad, so now he really yells. Where, oh where is this going? No where. Of course. –DrDeb, Yelling does NOT get what you want

 

You may be asking, why does this person treat me this way.  Patricia Evans describes in her books that as a result of a traumatic experience the person does not develop emotionally into what we see as normal….

A person that has truly been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit cannot deliver anger to another….

Emotions, in this case anger, are not something that just happens.  We are accountable for our emotions.  Anger is a choice.  We can choose to be angry or choose understanding and love.

Without understanding that we are fully responsible for our actions to each other, that our emotions are not a result of our past, we cannot step out of the chains that bind us.

We cannot blame the things of our past for our current behavior, or use the things from our past as a crutch to justify inappropriate behavior.  —Verbal Abuse Healing, Denise Zink  (Also see this page for tips on standing up for yourself against verbal abuse.  For example, say “Stop” and nothing else.)

 

ONCE AGAIN: IF YOU FEEL SCARED OF YOUR SPOUSE/FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER, SOMETHING IS WRONG.  YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL YOU MUST LIE FOR THEM, OR DO ANYTHING UNDERHANDED OR MANIPULATIVE OR ILLEGAL.  YOU SHOULD NOT FEAR THEIR TEMPER.

 

My Personal Abuse Stories

Abuse is a personal topic for me because of abuse I suffered at the hands of two ex-boyfriends, two “friends” (not together but years apart), and a family member.  I was also bullied through most of my childhood at school, singled out as the “weird” one.

“Friend” #1 was Shawn in my Memoirs.  The ex-boyfriends were Peter and Phil.  The family member and the most recent “friend,” Tracy, who bullied me for the past few years until I finally cut her loose, both would criticize anything I did or said.

The difference between the family member and Tracy, however, was that if anybody was a jerk to me, the family member got mad about it, while Tracy didn’t seem to care.  Once, a little girl on the bus scratched my face because I refused to let her take my cat bookbag, and the family member wanted to find her and beat her up.

For more about why I post these stories, see below.

School Bullying 

In elementary and junior high, I got a lot of bullying in general because I was different from the other kids.  I couldn’t figure out what it was about me that set them off, because to myself I seemed normal.

No matter what I did in public, I began to feel very awkward about it.  For example, I preferred to always carry something or have my hands in my pockets as I walked, because just walking made me self-conscious.

In junior high, once some kid put a sign on my back during a fire drill.  I never knew what it said because I finally knocked it off, having felt it go on.  But everyone around me was laughing–even my teacher!

The teacher, who struck me as being a classic stereotypical nerd complete with pocket protector, should have known better, but he laughed anyway.

High School Sexual Harassment 

My freshman year in high school, I was also sexually harassed by three guys, two of them together.

One of them kept making sexual comments to me at lunch, and once even put his penis on the table next to me.  I refused to look, but know he did it, because of the reactions of the guys around him.

I couldn’t stand the school’s chicken sandwiches after that because that’s what I was eating at the time, and it reminded me of it.

Now I know that I could’ve switched tables to get away from them, but at the time I felt trapped into sitting at that one table because that’s where I sat at the beginning of the year.  I didn’t realize that I could sit at a different table with other kids.

I’m not sure why I felt that I had to sit at that table, but it could have been an NVLD thing: “You can’t change the pattern you’ve already set!”

After lunch we would all stand by the door and wait for the bell; I can remember this guy doing or saying something while we stood in line, so much that I crouched down as if to protect myself.  But I just don’t remember what exactly he was doing.

The two other guys, who sat at the table behind mine in Biology class second semester, would spend the class period making sexual comments to me.  Once, one spoke so loudly to me during the lecture that the teacher stopped and scolded them.

I don’t know why I didn’t tell the teachers what was happening; a friend told me to do so about the lunch period bully, but something kept me quiet.  In fact, in general I was a passive recipient of bullying.  I just didn’t fight back.

Religious and Sexual Harassment by a Teacher 

Meanwhile, my Photography teacher made at least one such comment as well.  (I don’t know why all this happened the same year.)

All first semester he’d been harassing me for being a Christian and having conservative values, even though I don’t recall saying a whole lot about them in class or much of anything, really, unless spoken to.

Other kids in Photography class joined in on the religious harassment, including a witch who told me her coven killed my cat (all I said was he went missing on Halloween and never came back), and one day started yelling at me that maybe God is the liar and the Devil is telling the truth–until a Jewish girl told her to quit it and leave me alone.

Then one day, during a work period, the teacher was sitting on a stool at a large table when I had to get around an obstruction of some type.  I don’t remember the details now, what the obstruction was, or anything.  But I didn’t want to go behind him to get around, because there wasn’t enough room and I’d run into his butt.

Rather than leave me alone like any decent man would do, he ridiculed me and told me to go behind him.

I don’t know why on earth I did this like an idiot–probably because I had grown up with the mindset that you do whatever a teacher tells you–but I started going the other way to go behind him, like an obedient student.

He started humming or moaning, and a girl said to me with wide eyes, “Better not do that.”

The following semester, I ditched that class and switched to a class on life skills.  He was a major reason why, both from this and from his religious harassment.

(We learned about such things as teen pregnancy, whether you should marry the teen father, domestic abuse, and watched movies about tough lives like one about teen runaways and The Burning Bed.)

That year or the next, a letter to the editor of the school newspaper complained about an unnamed teacher who would sexually harass students.  I always wondered if the girl who “rescued” me was the writer and if she meant my Photography teacher.  (I must have forgotten her name already.)

All these things happened freshman year, and that year I began to get an ulcer from the stress.  After every lunch period, my stomach was in a lot of pain.

My junior year, I developed headaches from TMJ in my jaw, another stress-related condition, even though the freshman year bullies had either graduated or were no longer in my classes.

Emotional and other abuse from guys in college 

I’ve described parts of my college abuse stories already, up above and in my College Memoirs.  Look for the stories of Shawn and Phil in particular, though there was bad treatment by Peter as well.

The bad treatment of Peter, however, mostly came after our breakup, while what I got from Shawn and Phil happened while we were still in a relationship of some kind.

The Darkness Engulfs Me: Abuse by Two Narcissists–and Betrayal by a Best Friend and Spiritual Mentor

See here for my story.  On my blog, I work on getting the poison out of my system for good.

Online Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

See here.

For it is not an enemy who reproaches me,
Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me,
Then I could hide myself from him.
But it is you, a man my equal,
My companion and my familiar friend;
We who had sweet fellowship together
Walked in the house of God in the throng.
Psalm 55:12-14, NASB

Why I Put These Stories Here

Why are we the ones that hide the truth?–on blogging about abuse

Silence is the victim’s biggest enemy, which is why I’m posting this here, though I’ve given no names or identifying details.

I’m also doing it because of countless other such accounts I’ve found on the web by survivors of abuse, including My Trip to Oz and Back and Real Women’s Stories of Abuse, Survival and Jealousy.

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.

Just Google “True abuse stories” to find many.  Some do it just to vent, some do it to help others who are going through similar things, to let them know they’re not worthless or stupid, that they don’t deserve abuse, that they’re not alone, and that there is a way out.

Sometimes it takes such a story to realize that you are being abused, that words can be abusive, not just fists.

In any case, rather than being accused of airing dirty laundry or “being a victim,” these people are being called courageous.

Writers and songwriters, especially in alternative and metal, also write about abuse experiences quite a bit.  From the above linked website Real Women’s Stories:

Concerning the member’s own personal stories of abuse, survival, and jealousy: For most of these women, just telling their personal story of abuse and/or survival to another trusted person is VERY hard.

Here, they have went a major step past that. They have written their stories for you to read and learn from and to build women’s self-esteem. Some of these women are still enduring the abuse and are looking for a way out.

All of these women should be applauded for their strength and courage to tell their true abuse and survival stories and to help others.

For most of these women, this has made them re-live a past that they would much rather forget, a past full of hurt, fear, anguish, resentment, abuse and real pain. They have written their stories for you and for themselves, in hope.

From The Importance of Sharing Abuse Stories by Rainbow Gryphon:

When we’re dealing with painful experiences, whether past crime or mental illness or abuse, it can feel sometimes like we have an obsession with reading about other people’s experiences.

We go to support groups where we can hear the story of others. We read memoirs about their experiences. We read blogs and lurk on forums.

Society urges us to move past our experiences and not dwell on them like this. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, I don’t think we ever completely lose the need to hear about others who’ve gone through the same experiences.

…With the explosion of the Internet, we now have access to the stories of people in every type of abusive situation, and I personally believe that this is a boon to abuse survivors.

We need to share our stories somewhere, whether it’s a blog, a blog comment, a forum post, or a social network, because it actually helps all of us move out of a state of victimization by reassuring us that our suffering is real because it’s being shared by millions of other abuse survivors.

From Top 10 Reasons to Expose Your [Abusive] Ex:

Tell your mother, father, and friends everything! This actually saved the life of Marcia Ridgeway, the Green River Killer’s 2nd wife.

He had tried to choke her from behind once. She told everyone, including her father who talked to Gary about it.

Years later, after his arrest, he told police that he had wanted to kill Marcia, his wife, but was afraid he would get caught because she told everyone that he attempted it once.

Remember that the next you think you are “protecting” your mate or marriage by not telling the abuse you suffer.

….Keep a detailed diary. This will help remind you when you forget how bad it is and can help you see your patterns. You can also later use it when you want to write a book or if you need evidence in court.

Dated journals are court admissible. (My journal was a god send. When Bob tried to “forget” what he had done, tell me he didn’t say such and such –I would have the date and time that he did!– My journal kept me from believing his words “you’re crazy, it never happened, you blow it out of proportion,” and other crazy-making ways he tried to turn it around on me.)

Write a book and publish it. Do your own web site with your story and pictures. Post all pictures that relate–things he tore up, the car he crashed, all his toys and you have none–whatever pertains and illustrates your life together.

From Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Expose Abuse by a Woman [link no longer works]:

Exposing your abuser is a liberating experience. Abusers use every physical and emotional tactic to isolate, intimidate and terrify you into keeping your mouth shut–it’s about power and control. When you expose your abuse by a woman it’s an empowering experience….

Exposing your abuser empowers others to do the same. Most criminologists and sociologists feel that domestic violence against men may be one of the most underreported and under prosecuted crimes in the United States.

Police ignore the problem, DA’s often refuse to prosecute the crime, then judges throw-out the charges. If a woman ever is found guilty her sentence is minimal if she receives one at all.

The more information that is out there on these women, the more difficult it is for the justice system to ignore the problem….

It helps other abused men know that they are not alone. When this writer watched the YouTube videos on a Marriage in Plano it caused physical illness.

At the same time, however, it was important to know that other women operate off the same identical script. For the first time, this blogger knew that another man shared a similar experience. There is comfort in knowing you are not alone.  [Since this link no longer works, try this one instead, about documenting abuse.]

From Exposing a Narcissist, Dealing with Blowback, and Guilt by Joyful Alive Woman:

For many women, especially victims of Narcissism, exposing their abuser is a very difficult issue. This extends all the way to pressing charges in the instance of an actual crime taking place.

We’re taught to be forgiving, keep our mouth shut, endure our burden. We are literally taught to be martyrs because “that is what good people/good women do.”

This applies to people who aren’t religious as well as those who are. It’s part of our cultural norm and identity….

Unfortunately, a frequent result of exposing and being doubted is that we become even more outraged than before, because people don’t believe us and/or they judge us for talking about it.

This blog post deals with the question of, should we share our abuse stories or is it being drama queeny?

The first commenter apparently thinks it’s being drama queeny.  But the response to that commenter is that no, it’s up to the abuse victim/survivor to share the story, please do so, and by keeping it quiet we allow violence to continue–that calling it attention or pity seeking to share it, carries on the abuse.

Another commenter echoes my own feelings: That it’s liberating to talk about these experiences, and she does so because she wants to share her feelings and her life.

The Importance of Sharing Abuse Stories by Laws.com
Blogging About Abuse: What You Should Know
The Importance of Telling Your Sexual Abuse Story

In my past I was not physically abused or molested, and was not abused by my parents, making it hard to identify the emotional abuse for what it was.

I’ve heard the stories of or seen other friends and acquaintances go through various forms of domestic abuse.  Two male friends–including Tracy’s husband Richard–have told me about their verbally and physically abusive wives, so yes, men do get abused, not just women.

A friend of mine also had a very controlling husband until she finally left him.  Even my mother, the one time she met him, did not like him.

I found someone who helped me get over the past and its baggage.  Learning about emotional and verbal abuse has helped me to move on.  Sure the pain still remains; even if you forgive the person, I doubt that’ll ever go away.  Learning about abuse also helps you learn how to set boundaries.

Note that while many of the resources out there deal with spousal abuse, abuse can come from all sorts of sources: friends, bosses, siblings, parents.

Also note that jealousy often tops the list of signs of abuse; for a full treatment of this subject, see my Life page, “Is it okay for me to be jealous of the opposite-sex friends of my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend?”

As “Dategirl” Judy McGuire writes in her column,

Lest you think that could never happen to you, if you look at any study of domestic violence, you’ll see that jealousy is the No. 1 predictor of domestic abuse.

Some other adjectives used to describe a typical abuser include controlling, overly critical, hypersensitive, and isolating.  Sound familiar?

Yes–In fact, these describe Tracy, not just to me but to her husband and children!

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